Saturday, July 15, 2006

Rahm tells White House how to save

Chicago Tribune

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Representative Rahm Emanuel (D-IL) released the following statement in advance of delivery on the House floor:

"Mr. Speaker, yesterday the President said we continue to be wise about how we spend the people's money.

"Then why are we paying over $100,000 for a 'White House Director of Lessons Learned'?

"Maybe I can save the taxpayers $100,000 by running through a few of the lessons this White House should have learned by now.

"Lesson 1: When the Army Chief of Staff and the Secretary of State say you are going to war without enough troops, you're going to war without enough troops.

"Lesson 2: When 8.8 billion dollars of reconstruction funding disappears from Iraq, and 2 billion dollars disappears from Katrina relief, it's time to demand a little accountability.

"Lesson 3: When you've 'turned the corner' in Iraq more times than Danica Patrick at the Indy 500, it means you are going in circles.

"Lesson 4: When the national weather service tells you a category 5 hurricane is heading for New Orleans, a category 5 hurricane is heading to New Orleans.

"I would also ask the President why we're paying for two 'Ethics Advisors' and a 'Director of Fact Checking.'

"They must be the only people in Washington who get more vacation time than the President.

"Maybe the White House could consolidate these positions into a Director of Irony."

No comment needed! Ha!

No, it's not ...



In the past, neoconservatives have danced delicately around the notion that Israel's conflicts should be viewed by the U.S. as its own conflicts. But, to his credit, Bill Kristol yesterday came right out and candidly put his views on the table. In the Weekly Standard, Kristol's column -- entitled "This is Our War" (by "Our" he means the U.S.) -- argues explicitly what many have contended for some time is an unstated belief of neoconservatives: that the U.S. should view the threats to Israel as threats to the U.S., because the enemy is the same, and should join Israel in the destruction of these enemies. Kristol actually argues that President Bush should immediately abandon the G-8 summit in Russia and fly to Jerusalem in order to stand by Israel, in "our" new war, which should be waged against Iran, Syria and Hezbollah, for starters. This article is very significant and I am quoting from it at length:


Listen to me. I served when we considered "an attack on Europe to be the equivalent to an attack on the U.S.". That doctrine was describing the defense of Europe, not carte blanche for Europe to unilaterally attack its neighbors. The Cold War is over and I don't give a shit if Israel gets its ass handed to it. Israel's problems are of her own making. It's bad enough we send them billions in aid and military hardware, and our policies allowed them to act unilaterally and with impunity toward their neighbors.

You see, the Holy Land means nothing to me aside from its historical value. I don't care who controls it or whether Israel remains a viable entity in the future. I don't care that it's the 'birthplace of the world's religions'. All I care about is the poor people who are caught in the middle on both sides who have the right to live in peace.

I am more than willing for the U.S. become an objective intermediary in the region, providing leadership to achieve peace (something impossible with Bush and the neocons in power), but our unconditional support of Israel is counterproductive in the region and damaging to U.S. foreign policy in general.

Israel has to be held to account, as well as Hamas and Hezbollah. Yes, they have the right to protect themselves but this heavy handed action can only cause more problems than it solves. Just as our operations in Iraq are serving to recruit more followers into the insurgency and al-Qaeda, the Israeli attacks on the infrastructure of an already hopeless group of people are only boosting the membership of Hamas and Hezbollah, creating the next generation of enemies.

Don't speak to me of blame and who began the conflict. There's enough to go around. All I know is that Hamas and Hezbollah are using homemade rockets (and old Russian Katyushas which don't work more often than they do) and Israel is using F-16 Falcons, Apache gunships, and M-109 self-propelled artillery against civilian populations.

Don't speak to me of Israel's demands the Palestinian Authority and the Lebanese government should control these groups. Not when Israel has destroyed the infrastructure where central control of the population is impossible. Not when Israel has done nothing to help their neighbors out of poverty (did they even try?) or lend a hand to the hopeless people they make impossible demands of. Say what you will about Hezbollah and Hamas, but they do more than lob rockets at Israel. They help support the poor people of the region, schooling the children, taking part in government, and improving the infrastructure. Were it not for Israel, do you think these groups would have become so mainstream?

I'll support Israel when they decide to become part of the region where they live instead of an island in it. Yes, it is up to Israel to begin the initiative because they are the most powerful entity. The U.S. entering the fray firmly in Israel's corner can only cause more unrest in the region and put our interests at home and abroad at greater risk than they already are.

It's time for real solutions in the region, not just force against force. It's time for the saner lot on both sides to stand up and say 'enough is enough' and get down to the real business of peace. Unfortunately, the sane ones* are not the folks in control.


More sanity from Station Charon.


Why not try some diplomacy instead of constantly swinging the Sword of Gideon, then maybe they wouldn't be facing people who raise their children to hate them from the minute that they are capable of comprehension. It is an effective model for perpetual war though and with the 40 year ascendance of the military industrial complex to the pinnacles of power it is also a lucrative one.


*Link via Shakes.

"Depart from me, you workers of iniquity for I know you not!"

Following up on Fixer's post, Sizemore at The Brutal Truth goes a little ballistic. He's good at that. Go read.

Bush can personally waterboard the entire middle eastern populace, hook car batteries up to their testicles, rape the women, and shove flashlights and nightsticks up the asses of Club Gitmo/Casbah Ghraib "guests", and those sins won't effect his salvation with the Lord according to these Rapture Rejects. In fact, it's quite the opposite -- if these actions (sins) of Bush bring about the Rapture and the return of the Lawd, the ends justify all means. And since the blood of Christ at Calvary allready "saved" Bush "from the foundation of the world" or "from the perspective of the cross", it's as if these sins never happen, are never credited to Bush, and therefore he still remains a Christian with his reservation in Heaven intact. He's still their boy hero!

Fools and hypocrites ...

When the End Times boil over and the Rapture comes, these assholes are going to get called on God's carpet and read the riot act for interfering in His business and fuckin' over His plans. Then, they're gonna get on the Down elevator. When they get off at the bottom, they will be greeted by a grinning reddish-complected fellow who will thank them for their souls, and for helping him carry out his plan. They will have plenty of time to mull that over while standin' in line for a picture with Bush.

The latest twist in CT politics

There's something interesting going on amongst the Repubs in Connecticut as well as amongst the Democrats. CQPolitics:

Top Republican officials in Connecticut are calling on candidate Alan Schlesinger to consider dropping his Senate bid after allegations of a gambling scandal, but Schlesinger maintained he has done nothing wrong and will not withdraw.

Schlesinger, a former six-term state representative, is the GOP candidate in the increasingly convoluted race for Connecticut's Senate seat - one that includes incumbent Democrat Joseph I. Lieberman facing a significant challenge in the Aug. 8 primary from Democratic anti-war candidate Ned Lamont, and the recent entry of state Republican Rep. Diana S. Urban as an independent anti-war candidate.

The allegations -- reported by Hartford Courant columnist Kevin F. Rennie and first published by National Journal's Hotline on Call, to which Rennie is a contributor -- came from the former commanding officer of the state police's casino licensing and operations union. Bradley Beecher alleged Schlesinger was a card counter who plays under an assumed name and has been thrown out of the Mohegan Sun casino in Uncasville, Conn.

Getting 86'ed from a casino for card counting hardly qualifies as a "gambling scandal". It's a smart way to play 21 that lowers the already lowest house edge of any game. Casinos don't want the player having an advantage. They want you to drink free booze and throw your money at them. From the 'comments' at CQ:

There's nothing wrong with counting cards. More power to blackjack players who count cards. It takes a lot of practice, brain power, and hard work. It is not immoral or illegal, and it is not cheating. It is only against the casino rules because it's the only way the casinos can lose money.

OK, so the CT Repubs are making a mountain out of a molehill. Why? Here's my SWAG:

They think Lamont may win the Dem primary and force Holy Joe to run as an independent. They see this as a good way to split the Democratic vote, and want to run a more viable candidate with a better chance of getting 34%. I don't know exactly how the former Rep running as anti-war candidate fits into the mix.

I don't really much care what the Reps do or don't do, but anything that screws 'em up a little is good, as I see it.

I don't embarrass easily ...

But Jesus H. Christ:

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (CNN) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin has rejected a suggestion from U.S. President George W. Bush that his country should emulate democracy in Iraq.


"I talked about my desire to promote institutional change in parts of the world, like Iraq where there's a free press and free religion, and I told him that a lot of people in our country would hope that Russia would do the same," Bush said.

To that, Putin replied, "We certainly would not want to have the same kind of democracy that they have in Iraq, quite honestly."


We look like such idiots.

Thanks to Dr. Attaturk for the link.


Go see Colbert on Lieberman v. Lamont. Put down the coffee!

Saturday cartoons

The deficit, Holy Joe, and more.

Bob Geiger.

Montag (here and here).

Quote of the Day*


Computer: a device to allow people to make more and faster mistakes.


DEAR SENATOR LIEBERMAN... Shut your fucking hole already. I'm done listening...


To connect his analogy to American politics in terms that Red-Staters can relate to, our Middle-Eastern attack dog has broken through the fence and has started to rampage through the block biting and killing the neighbors.

*And early in the day no less!

Friday, July 14, 2006

Just go already

What I said this morning:

...The Jihadists and Rapture freaks would be in their glory. It would end in Armageddon of the grandest sort...

They're already foaming at the mouth.

Update (Saturday morning):

Looks like the page C&L linked to was scrubbed. Digby memorializes the nuttiness.

They got Al Capone ...

They'll get your cracker ass. PZ Myers:


"Defunct." Such a sweet, sweet word when applied to Dr Dino's Plywood Cutout Adventure land.


They also made the withdrawals in sums under $10K a pop, to avoid federal requirements for reporting suspiciously large withdrawals. Still...over $400K/year in mad money isn't anything to sneeze at. The creationism racket pays.

Religious fraud is a pretty easy scam, too.


Ain't much that scares me but there's one buncha folks I won't dick with. The IRS. They jammed me up once over a misunderstanding (seriously) and it took about a month to get them to unfreeze my life. Nice to see they're catching up wih some of these 'churches'.

Friday Cattle Dog Blogging

That piece of steak looks good, mom! Have I told you I haven't eaten in five years?

The Boil on our Behinds

I saw this in 'comments' while I was looking at this political cartoon about 'signing statements' at Truthdig.

What the left and the majority of the world fail to recognize is the vital gift G.W. Bush, his administration, and the current Congressional leadership have given us all. By boldy presenting themsleves as the saviours of our great nation, and simultaniously being the most fiscally irresponsible, diplomatically inept, ideologically regressive, and Constitutionally corrupt government in the history of our nations history, they have revealed for anyone with eyes to see that the warnings of Jefferson, Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt and Eisenhower have come true....that corporations do own our government, and that nothing has really changed since the signing of the Magna Carta. The beauty of a boil on our behinds is that it alerts us to systemic toxicity...the question is, do we have what it takes to lance the boil and clean up the mess?

Gimme a sharp needle and a coupla shots of whiskey! I'll hold my breath, close my eyes, and take a stab at it! I guarantee ya I'll lance something!

If you can't dazzle them with brilliance...

just be a clueless freaking dick:

" Bush later toured the 700-year-old St. Nicholas Church, where he put Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on the spot.

Rice, who once trained to be a concert pianist, admired an enormous 165-year-old organ with pipes that filled one end of the sanctuary.

Bush noticed, and saw an opening, too. He turned to the tour guide, Pastor Hans Peter Neumann.

"This is Condoleezza Rice," he said. "She wants to play the organ."

But the secretary made no music.

That came later when the party was met in Trinwillershagen by a band dressed in red jackets that played American songs.

Clearly in a playful mood, Bush took the band leader's baton and conducted a few bars. Then he sneaked behind a female flutist and poked her on the shoulder, giving her a start. "

What a complete freaking embarrassment.Someone's off his meds or he's drinking and on the meds.I thought he had"handlers".Why in the fuck are world leaders having a thing to do with this idiot? Please tell me there's video of this,no one will believe it unless there is.And if there is video,it needs to be put in a museum as a reminder of why" conservative" is the new dirty word."Liberal" has just been redeemed.

Parents,this is why if your kid isn't all that funny or talented,you MUST gently sit them down and tell them that they really aren't.You don't have to be harsh but don't nurture their hopes if they can't sing,dance,act,or tell jokes in proper context.Please.I know your little angel is special to you,and that is how it should be.But for the love of GOD,don't lie to them,or this is what you end up with.Or a kid with a reject try out for American Idol.Consider it your service to your country.Please.I beg of you.

More on Homeless Veterans

Yes,this issue will continue to bug the crap outta me until it's fixed.It's completely obscene,uncalled for and there's not one excuse that can erase it.

If you've not seen the documentary "When I Came Home",it's up on the Information Clearinghouse website. Here's the Linkage. It's divided into two parts,the link to the second part is on the page to part one. Take the time to watch it,and have a box of kleenex handy.

Why I don't debate ...

With conservatives. Driftglass says it so well:


I don't believe for a second that if someone still backs Dubya at this late date, they can be "gotten", so I have no interest in wooing a single one of the reprehensible, died-in-the-sheep's-clothing "red vote".

I have no interest in debating them or swapping scripture with them or thumb wresting them for forensic points because it simply doesn't work. This is the tribe of the "Always In Error But Never In Doubt". This clan of Simple, Declarative Dumbfucks, have been proven bloodily, monstrously, horrifically, incontrovertibly, overwhelmingly and tragically wrong year after year after year and it hasn't made so much as a dent in their certitude, or nary a new cortical fold or crease (or "gyrencephalization". And lemme tell you, I cannot adequately describe the toe-curling prosegasmic thrill I get when I dig up a new word.) to form on the smooth, inert surfaces of their Beautiful Minds.

They are lost and doomed; have filled their skulls with bumper stickers and fear, welded it shut, and melted the keys down for tinfoil to line their beanies.


Late for work. It's FRIDAY!!!


While we've all had fun with the Homeland Security target list:


This country is run by the spiritual descendants of the Three Stooges. Bonk! Oof! Nyaaaghh! Woobwoobwoob! Ooo, mice! (don't misunderstand; I love the Stooges, but I sure as shit wouldn't want them running the country).

Let me just say this. That is where al-Qaeda went wrong. Instead of attacking an obvious target (D.C., WTC) and a group of people who don't scare easily (New Yorkers), they should have blown up petting zoos and homecoming parades in the heartland. Note to the mentally diminished (wingnuts): I am not advocating this, just looking at it in terms of strategy and tactics. If bin-Laden wanted to get us into an all out Holy War, he should have blown up Southern Baptist churches during Sunday services. Could you imagine? The Jihadists and Rapture freaks would be in their glory. It would end in Armageddon of the grandest sort.

Ah well, like I always say, good thing most criminals aren't too bright. Seems Osama didn't really learn that much since we created him 25 years ago. Bush never knew anything to begin with. They both suffer from an affliction called arrogance.

Storming the gates

When do we get to have our Bastille Day?

Bastille Day, the French national holiday, commemorates the storming of the Bastille, which took place on 14 July 1789 and marked the beginning of the French Revolution. The Bastille was a prison and a symbol of the absolute and arbitrary power of Louis the 16th's Ancient Regime. By capturing this symbol, the people signaled that the king's power was no longer absolute: power should be based on the Nation and be limited by a separation of powers. [my ems]

Talking out his ass ...

Holy Joe changes tune:

"And I think the sooner we get out of there the better for us and the Iraqis, but if we get out too soon it'll be a disaster for us and the Iraqis, and we'll pay for it for years."

What happenened to supporting Fearless Leader? Sue from My Left Nutmeg:


I almost dropped my soap. Did I just hear this? This is the man who voted down TWO Senate debates about withdrawal? In fact, stood on the Senate floor chastising those who DARED to suggest anything other than "stay the course?"

Let's take a trip down memory lane here, folks:



Thursday, July 13, 2006

House backs Voting Rights Act extension

The Boston Globe

The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday overwhelmingly approved a 25-year extension of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which would preserve for another generation a law that opened voting booths to minorities.

Often described as the crown jewel of the civil rights era, the Voting Rights Act outlawed poll taxes, literacy tests and other obstacles that had prevented African Americans and other minorities from exercising their right to vote.

Controversy centered on two issues -- extra scrutiny for mostly southern states with a legacy of voting discrimination against minorities and a requirement to provide bilingual ballots to citizens with poor English.

Amendments that would have softened or eliminated those sections were easily defeated.

Virginia Democrat Robert Scott said there was a good reason certain states and counties still need advance clearance from the Justice Department to make changes in electoral practices.

"They got covered the old-fashioned way -- they earned it," Scott said.

Many black and Hispanic lawmakers described the changes they have witnessed in their own lives since its passage.

Some recalled their parents struggling with literacy tests -- such as reciting by memory the names of all U.S. presidents in chronological order -- designed to keep blacks away from the ballot box.

No kudos to the House. All they did was their job. For once.

As long as we're in a suin' mood...


An Indian tribe sued the former superlobbyist Jack Abramoff and Ralph Reed, a candidate for lieutenant governor in Georgia, on Wednesday, seeking millions of dollars in lost revenues from a casino that the Texas tribe said had been fraudulently closed.

The suit, in Federal District Court in Austin, says Mr. Abramoff, Mr. Reed and three other men mounted a fake religiously themed moral crusade in 2001 to defeat a bill in the Texas Legislature that would have legalized gambling in Indian casinos.

Their real motive, the suit adds, was to promote the gambling interests of a tribe in Louisiana that was paying them to represent its interest in a competing casino.

"This case chronicles Jack Abramoff and his associates' greed, corruption and deceit and their devastating impact on Texas's oldest recognized Indian tribe," said the suit, filed by the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas.

The Louisiana-Coushatta tribe, Mr. Abramoff and Mr. Scanlon's original clients, sued the two in November 2004, accusing them of overcharging for work never done.

Beyond the Alabama-Coushatta casino, the suit says, the defendants conspired to pit tribes against one another, defrauding one at the behest of another before trying to persuade the victim to hire them to retaliate.

"Look, Tonto - Indians to the right of us, to the left of us, in front and behind! We're surrounded!"

"What you mean "we", white man?"

The blanket-asses gonna get some spiffy new blankets outta this deal, you betcha!

It's a nice touch for 'em to wait to sue until the week before Reed is up for election. Ha!

Get 'em!

Yahoo! News

The CIA officer whose identity was leaked to reporters sued Vice President Dick Cheney, his former top aide and presidential adviser Karl Rove on Thursday, accusing them and other White House officials of conspiring to destroy her career.

In a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court, Valerie Plame and her husband, Joseph Wilson, a former U.S. ambassador, accused Cheney, Rove and I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby of revealing Plame's CIA identity in seeking revenge against Wilson for criticizing the Bush administration's motives in Iraq.

The lawsuit accuses Cheney, Libby, Rove and 10 unnamed administration officials or political operatives of putting the Wilsons and their children's lives at risk by exposing Plame.

"This lawsuit concerns the intentional and malicious exposure by senior officials of the federal government of ... (Plame), whose job it was to gather intelligence to make the nation safer and who risked her life for her country," the Wilsons' lawyers said in the lawsuit.

Specifically, the lawsuit accuses the White House officials of violating the Wilsons' constitutional rights to equal protection and freedom of speech. It also accuses the officials of violating the couple's privacy rights.

Yippy Skippy Fuck!

I hope they take those bastards for a bundle.

Dylan Plays At Concert For Peace

I'm throwing this in because I like Basque food. From the Basque News and Information Channel:

The Concert for Peace held Tuesday (July 11) in Donostia-San Sebastian starring Bob Dylan gathered 83,550 people at the Zurriola Beach, according to its organisers.

After the concert, fireworks filled the sky and, as expected, DJ Javi P3z and Macaco livened up the party. The Catalan band brought the festive touch to the evening.

The performance, organised by the city's Jazz Festival and Kursaal Foundation, had a marked pacifist character, and political messages were away from the event following a request by the artist himself.

Out in Nevada, if you see a guy dressed like a sheepherder, he's probably a Basque. If you see a nicely-dressed pale-complected person hangin' out with a buncha sheep, chances are he's a Republican.

Today's Holy Joe Moment

Good piece on Lieberman at The New York Observer.

The most prominent orthodox Jewish politician in American political history, Mr. Lieberman is attempting to survive a chaotic primary fight that has consequences far beyond the leafy borders of Connecticut, with opponents across the country calling him a traitor to his party and supporters returning fire with charges of liberal self-destructiveness and anti-Semitism.

Is it still viable to run as a foreign-policy hawk, a pro-environment civil libertarian, a self-declared "noodge" to immoral Hollywood and a socially moderate Zionist?

Mr. Lieberman, at least, thinks so.

What is happening to Mr. Lieberman, at the least, indicates that the political environment in Connecticut - and elsewhere - has changed drastically.

After twice being re-elected to his seat by an average margin of more than 30 percent, he is now in real danger of losing in a primary contest to Ned Lamont, an anti-war, blogger-backed millionaire who is running for major office for the first time.

"Senator Lieberman, sometimes he seems to go out of his way to undermine the Democrats and poke a stick in the eye of Democrats," Mr. Lamont said Monday evening as he sipped an iced tea and dug into a plate of potato skins in Wallingford. "It's President Bush, aided by Senator Lieberman, in many cases, that has taken this country way off its historical norm."

Similarly, the aforementioned liberal bloggers say that the anti-Semitism charge is just a feint to draw attention away from the broad and increasingly well-disciplined opposition to Mr. Lieberman among the party's grassroots.

Anti-Semitism? No. Anti-Bush-blowing phony Democrat? Yes.

GAO Issues Report on Iraq

Booman Tribune

The GAO report states pretty unequivocably that we have no plan for success and that we are unlikely to be successful. It states that we are failing in curbing the influence of militias, that we are failing to create effective minitries of government, that we are failing to revitalize the Iraqi economy, and that we have no answer to who is going to pay for ongoing operations and where that money is going to come from. They recommend that the National Security Council get their shit together, come up with a real plan, give clear responsibilities for enacting the plan, etc. It's a kind way of pointing out that there is no plan, and that the Iraq War is a failure.

Gee, what a surprise! Not.

There's plenty more. Go read

Republican Congressman Says Bush Should Be Removed from Office


A radio show reported yesterday that Republican Texas Congressman Ron Paul said the following:

"I would have trouble arguing that he's been a Constitutional President, and once you violate the Constitution and be proven to do that I think these people should be removed from office."

And this: "Congress has generously ignored the Constitution while the President flaunts it, the courts have ignored it and they get in the business of legislating so there's no respect for the rule of law."

And this: "When the President signs all these bills and then adds statements after saying I have no intention of following it - he's in a way signing it and vetoing - so in his mind he's vetoing a lot of bills, in our mind under the rule of law he hasn't vetoed a thing."

And Paul said the United States had entered a period of "soft fascism."

A Republican Congressman said that? From Texas? There's hope for us yet!

While Deist made it very clear through his defensiveness and hostility that I'd never get an interview on this topic, I'm not sure it wouldn't have an impact if, say, 10,000 people sent an Email to that address thanking Paul for his statements and asking him to do more than talk. Can you do that please?

We thank you, Congressman, but we can all talk, and talk is cheap.

If you send an e-mail to your congresscritter, you may have to send it personally instead of through a .org. See Don't Block My Voice.

You elected them! They represent you! Yet some lawmakers don't want to hear from you anymore and have set up technology to block your messages! They say your messages are spam.

Lawmakers routinely accept postcards and other forms of mass communication generated when organizations activate their membership to support or oppose legislation. But they want to block the same kind of message when delivered over the Internet. Take a moment now to oppose efforts to roll back the clock on civic participation! (If your legislator is not accepting your email, the message will be delivered by fax!)

The Internets appear to have 'em runnin' scared, huh? It's still OK for people who don't know how to use a modern convenience like a computer to send a postcard if they know how to write or print. They accept hand-written checks or cash as well.

It's The Conservatism, Stupid

Paul Waldman at TomPaine. Today's "must read".

Ask a conservative what the biggest problem in America is today, and you'll get answers like overtaxation, a sexualized culture, lack of respect for authority, insufficient church-going or big government running amok. But if you then asked the conservative what the real source of the problem was - the beating heart pumping blood to each and all of these socio-politico-cultural wounds - you'd get the same answer: liberalism.

And conservatives learn these messages when still young. What does a "campus liberal" do? Well, it depends what his or her issue is: fighting sweatshop labor, or environmental degradation, or the Iraq war, or any of a dozen other problems about which liberals are concerned. What, on the other hand, does a "campus conservative" do? Fight liberals and liberalism.

As everyone knows, conservatives have succeeded in making "liberal" an epithet, something they throw at their opponents - who try desperately to dodge the label. The demonization of "liberal" has been successful in part because conservatives have effectively created what social psychologists call a "schema" with decidedly negative features around the term. A schema is a set of ideas that are connected in people's minds, such that activating one idea - "liberal" - activates a whole set of related ideas, like lights on a Christmas tree. We assemble schemas as a way of storing and categorizing related information in memory. In this case, the related ideas are things like "soft on crime," "weak on defense," "sexually permissive," and so on. The ideas liberals would like to pop right up in people's heads when they hear the term liberal - "wants prosperity for everyone," "supports universal health care" or "stands up to powerful interests" - are farther away from the schema's center.

This didn't happen by accident. It is the result of a relentless campaign against liberalism by conservatives. And liberals need to do the same thing to conservatism.

Conservatives had their chance: a Republican president, a Republican Congress, Republican-appointed courts - in short, the perfect environment for enacting their vision with little to stand in their way - and they failed. Should we be surprised at the level of corruption? Of course not; they don't think government is there to serve the people, so why shouldn't they raid it for whatever they can grab?

In short, progressives should start talking about the Bush administration's failures not as those of a president, but of an ideology.

Conservatism is Bill Bennett lecturing you about self-denial, then rushing off to feed his slot habit at the casino. It's James Dobson telling you that children need regular beatings to stay in line. It's a superannuated nun rapping you on the knuckles so you won't think about your dirty parts. It's Jerry Falwell watching "Teletubbies" frame by frame to see if Tinky Winky is trying to turn him gay. Conservatism is everyone you never wanted to grow up to be.

Conservatives are cowards, and they hope you are, too. We're afraid, they shout. We're so afraid of terrorists, we have to become more like the things we hate. We're so afraid, we have to let our government sanction torture. We're so afraid, we have to let the government spy on us. We're so afraid, we have to give the president dictatorial powers. We're so afraid, we just want to rush to the arms of politicians who say they'll protect us.

Progressives need to frame their rejection of the fear campaign as an act of courage: Al-Qaida does not scare us, and we will not dismantle our democratic system because we are afraid. The America we love does not cower in fear, as the conservatives want it to.

The key challenge facing progressives right now is how - once George W. Bush decamps for Crawford in January of 2009 - to maintain the increased energy motivating the political left in recent years . They will be able to do so if they come to understand that George W. Bush is not what they need to fight. What they need to fight is conservatism.

I agree with everything Mr. Waldman says until the second-to-last sentence. We damn sure do need to fight Bush, in the short term of his remaining days in his stolen office. He gets it right, and back on track, in his last sentence.

He's dead right about fighting conservatism via a progressive message. The way us peasants can send that message is at the polls in November.


Go to Main and Central and click the links for more on this and a definition of a great short description of conservatives, WATB.

Let's get this straight

I will gladly give my life to defend this nation. I will not die for Israel.

Quote of the Day

John Kerry, in his prime:

"We are all of us in this country guilty for having allowed the war to go on."

As apt today as it was 35 years ago.


I sent you over to Pete the Republican Moron's site the other day. And while we all got a good laugh at his stupidity, this was very uncool:


then came the commenter bill. he decided that i don't have a right to say what i want to say because obviously i am too stupid for him. so what did he do? he posted my personal information online, inviting all to call me and let me know. others joined him. a total of 5 people posted my personal information...

Come on, you guys. We don't play their game. Pauly cautions:


but revealing someone else's private information like that -- i find this completely unacceptable. doesn't matter who the person is, or what i think of his or her views -- that's one trick i don't play on people. because that's when things really get out of control.


I find it unacceptable as well. Do you think I keep preaching about the high road to hear myself talk? As soon as you lower yourself to their level, you're no different than they are. Your reputation, once sullied, is a bitch to rehabilitate. I probably wouldn't agree with anything Pete says (he strikes me as a naive teenager truthfully), but he has every right to say it. We talk so much about the Constitution and the First Amentment, it's awful hypocritical to punish someone for speaking their mind.

Let's get with the program, people.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Fidel dead?

Heh ... Froggy, with lots of disclaimers. With that source I'd disclaim my ass off too.

But of course ...

We got a running joke around the house that I know everything, and what I don't know I make up. Thing is, the Mrs. and I don't take me it seriously.

These guys, I'm not so sure ...

Cancel Bush's "Fear Factor"

Attytood 'splains to the MSM how to deal with all the WH election-year fearmongering.

Yesterday morning, an historic townhouse on Manhattan's Upper East Side exploded in a spectacular fireball. It turned out that the cause was natural gas -- the doctor who owned in the building was apparently trying to kill himself. But that's not what many New Yorkers thought at first. They were convinced it was terrorism.

Naturally, the first thing that Larry King thought of was 9/11.

After all, he watches CNN.

So do we. And while we couldn't agree more with John Dean, that the climate of overhyped fear-mongering begins at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, but there's also more to the equation than just the actions of the Bush administration. Anyone who watches TV news or reads a newspaper -- and who's seen street thugs elevated into global terrorists, or Internet chatter become an "intricate plot" -- knows what we're taking about.

And here's the thing, no matter what we do or say, the current crew in the White House will be whipping up these "terror threats", to paper over mistakes or to justify new military adventures, between now and January 2009. We can't stop them from throwing it out there.

But the media and its role as a super-enabler -- that's a different story. In theory, a news outlet would act as a filter, determining what terrorism stories are important and which ones carry the strong whiff of baloney. Instead, since Sept. 11, 2001, the media has become a giant amplifier, not a filter. When the subject is "the war on terror," no development is too small for wall-to-wall "breaking news" coverage, or a front-page scoop.

But news outlets have another. more important role: To be responsible. Terror fears have warped the American political debate, from clearing the way for an unjust war in Iraq to papering over White House scandals. That type of influence is something that goes well beyond ratings. CNN would also get lots more viewers if Carol Costello or Anderson Cooper read the news in the buff, but that wouldn't be very appropriate. Scaring the American public needlessly, we'd argue, is a much greater sin.

In fact, although they seem not to realize it, but TV execs and top editors have the power to cancel the version of "The Fear Factor" that's broadcast out of Washington, with a few easy moves. Here's how:

1. You set the agenda, and not the White House. You wouldn't tell your plumber how to fix your toilet. So why do the world's best newsmen let politicians tell them how to cover the news? -- it's baffling. (See No.5 - G)

When the government announces "a major terror arrest," it's impossible not to rush in at first with guns blazing, and that's fine. But an hour or so into it, take a deep breath, and do your own analysis. When the government says that drifters with no weapons or plans were going to blow up the Sears Tower, does it pass the smell test? If it doesn't, it's just as easy to run away from a story -- or at least downgrade it to its rightful tiny hole at the top of the hour -- as to rush into it headlong.

2. Define your own terms. Again, news directors are the ones who need to decide whether the terror struggle is truly "a war," or something else, or whether online chatter in an Arab country about New York's tunnels is really "a plot."

There's good precedent for this. Over time, many editors have agreed that in the abortion debate, the terms "pro-life" and "pro-choice" are politically loaded bombs, and not the language of news or accuracy. And so many papers shun these terms. It was easy when citizen groups were involved, so why can't the government get the same treatment.

3. Talk to each other. Shocking, we know. But these are desperate times for America, and desperate times require some desperate measures. Imagine if the news chiefs of CNN and MSNBC and Fox -- OK, Fox is probably out -- had a hotline for sharing their initial impression of terror stories. Imagine if the CNN guy said, "I kinda of think this Miami story is baloney, myself," and if MSNBC agreed.

At the least, we'd love to see this: An emergency summit on covering terrorism. Gather in a big meeting hall, call in the C-SPAN cameras, and work toward some notion of when terror is real, and when it is manufactured. Critics would scream "collusion," but would it really be collusion or would it be serving democracy, journalism's highest calling?

4. Prioritize the issues of the 21st Century. Yes, terrorism is a significant story. But where does it rank against global warming, dwindling fossil fuel supplies, the rise of China and India, or the disappearance of the middle class here in America? You -- and not Karl Rove -- need to make these decisions.

The media is indeed the most powerful tool of our time. But right now, it's being manipulated by outside forces. Jazzman Gil Scott-Heron said famously, "The Revolution Will Not be Televised."

But maybe the real American revolutiion will not be televising.

Pretty good post. Go read the rest.

To which I would add:

5. Tell your corporate bosses and everyone else that you will decide what news to cover, and how it will be covered, not them.

In other words, blow Bush on your own time and leave the newsroom out of it.

Journalists have the experience and know-how to gather, filter, and disseminate the news, if they can remember why they're supposed to. Now that they're all fat 'n sassy, it would help if they could rekindle the fires in their bellies from their younger, leaner, hungrier days.

Wouldn't hurt if they could grow their sacks back, either. Note to newsmen: Think Dana Priest, Christiane Amanpour, Molly Ivins, etc.

One Vet at a Time....

Follow me Below the Fold

Now Playing:

"The Jerk" starring George W. Bush. A little light entertainment.

Bumper Stickers

At Progressive Revolt.

Detroit Man Arrested for 'Inciting to Honk'

I almost got arrested once after being incited to honk something. That was at Hooters...


A local man was handcuffed and arrested after standing at Nine Mile Road and Woodward Avenue in protest against the war in Iraq.

Victor Kittila, 55, of Eastpointe was standing near the road in Ferndale last week holding a sign that read "Honk if you want Bush Out," according to the Daily Tribune. Kittila lost the sign after police confiscated it and placed him under arrest.

Ferndale police seized the sign asking people to honk because it was becoming too noisy in an already busy part of town, according to the paper's reports.

Sounds like all them extra blastin' horns made it noisier'n shit! Looks like his sign worked well enough to piss somebody off, and maybe not just for a convenient ginned-up noise violation.

Bravo, Mr. Kittila!


*What Would Jesus Drink?

Reaching out


My nearest big-town newspaper, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, has an editorial today about the outreach efforts by Vietnam Veterans of America to the next generation of veterans, the newly-formed Veterans of Modern Warfare, which encompasses the veterans of the wars since Vietnam, including the "sideshow" conflicts in Grenada and Somalia.


Links at his page. Though, at the time, on the ground in Grenada, it didn't feel like a 'sideshow'. These guys are doing some good work.

Had enough?

Click to embiggen

The entire collection at Needlenose.

How they see us ...

Shorter Digby: We're the pissed off townspeople with the torches, pitchforks, and the noose.


People in Washington need to wrap their minds around the fact that this stuff really is bubbling up from below and it's real. Bloggers are merely in the vanguard of a rising leftwing populist sentiment around the country. It is a predictable reaction when a party ceases to be responsive to its voters. Liberalism has been moribund for some time now. This is a chance to at least begin the process of resuscitation and could be used by the political establishment as a useful counter-weight to help drag the country back from the brink of rightwing extremism.(If that's what they want, that is.) Smart politicians will accept this and find a way to use its strength strategically, not fight it.


In the words of my 10th grade science teacher, "Nature abhors a vacuum" and there has been a vacuum of leadership on the left, and in the nation in general, for a long time. Bloggers are filling that vacuum. A great post rebutting the 'whiny Dems' who are afraid their country club is about to go public.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


Go here and follow the directions.

A sad day ...

My tears haven't stopped since I read their email. Our dear friends M and T from Adgita Diaries have lost their dog/baby Harry Hound suddenly thanks to a heartless, inhumane driver who didn't even have the courtesy to stop. I take from their email:

... Harry came to us at six weeks and for 6 years and participated in every second of every day of our lives. It was Harry who was light, pure joy, loyalty and in himself the best of the two of us. It has ripped our hearts apart and changed everything. The gardens are gray, the house haunted by his every move and we weep bitterly. ...

All I can say is, you know he'll be waiting.

All our condolences and prayers be with you, guys. Now I have to break the news to Shayna.

War Crimes

You wanna talk war crimes?

A Nuremberg chief prosecutor says there is a case for trying Bush for the 'supreme crime against humanity, an illegal war of aggression against a sovereign nation.'


I'll give you war crimes. I need a shower, I'll be back.

Tip o' the Brain to Maru.

Interrogate Quiz 'em

50 Easy Questions to Ask Any Republican

Keep Your Jesus Off My Penis

I gleefully stole this video from Shakey's Sis. Note: if you insist on drinking anything during this, save yourself time and just pour it on your keyboard now.

Afternoons with Bruce, Colin, Jane, and Ralph

Go listen to Bruce and Colin interview Jane from Firedoglake, and others, about Lieberman on WTIC.

War veterans denied GI Bill benefits

The Oxford Press

An Army reservist since high school, Rowe, 27, planned to serve out the remaining four months of his military obligation in the inactive Reserve, get his honorable discharge and then use his GI Bill education benefits to go to college, just as his father did more than 30 years ago.

But Rowe soon realized that, despite his time in a combat zone, he didn't qualify for those education benefits unless he remained in the Reserves or Guard.

It's the same for tens of thousands of National Guard and Army Reserve troops mobilized since 9/11 - the largest deployment of reservists since World War II.

When military benefits were updated in 1984 through a law called the Montgomery GI Bill, members of Congress and even the military did not envision reservists being called into active duty as frequently as they are today. The law did not extend full college benefits to citizen soldiers and terminated them once they left the Guard or Reserve.

But since 2001, more than 500,000 reservists and Guard troops have been deployed for homeland security duties or sent to wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Yet when they get home, they don't get the same benefits as those who were active-duty service members.

"Under the law, [reservists and Guard troops] are veterans for every single benefit except the education benefits," Norton said.

Primary opposition to changing the education benefit for reservists and Guard troops - those on duty one weekend a month and two weeks in summer unless they are called to active duty - is coming from the Pentagon's Office of Reserve Affairs. Pentagon officials fear changes could hurt attracting and keeping men and women who sign up for the Guard or Reserve.

"It has proven to be a very attractive recruiting tool, and its effectiveness as a retention tool is certainly equally important to the Reserve components," Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs Thomas Hall testified in March before the House Veterans Affairs Committee.

This is unconscionable, despicable, and unfair. If a troop's ass gets put in a combat zone it's got the same chance of getting blown off as anyone else's. The benefits should be - must be - the same for all of 'em. Period.

Why does Congress hate Reservists and Guardsmen? They better even up this benefits discrepancy right fuckin' quick.

"Liberal inquisition" my ass...

The lovely and talented Katrina vanden Heuvel of The Nation skewers both David Brooks and Joe Lieberman with one thrust, kinda like the thrifty hunter who waits to catch two ducks fucking so he can get 'em both with one shot*. Via Common Dreams.

David Brooks had a laughable column in Sunday's New York Times. (See also Jenny's take - G)

"What's happening to Lieberman can only be described as a liberal inquisition," Brooks proclaims. What Brooks characterizes as an "inquisition" -- an effort, as he puts it, "to expel Joe Lieberman from modern liberalism"-- is simply a spirited effort to elect a Senator who better represents the values of Connecticut's citizens. That's not ideological purity. It's about organized people holding accountable a legislator who has acted as an unflinching supporter of this disastrous war.

But it's not just about the war--as Brooks and other Lieberman supporters would have you believe. It's also about Lieberman's uncanny willingness to go out of his way to give Bush and the Republicans political cover in their attempts to define the Democratic Party as weak or incapable of governing. Instead of fighting back, Lieberman legitimizes these attacks. For example, when asked about Democrats who vocally oppose the President at a time of war, Lieberman said, "in matters of war we undermine Presidential credibility at our nation's peril."

And, at the end of June, when Republicans scheduled Senate votes aimed at depicting Democrats in an election year as "cut and run" cowards, Lieberman was the first to speak during the Republicans' time. What did the Democratic Senator from Connecticut do? Lieberman dumped on the Democrats, showing that he was willing to be used to depict his fellow Democrats as weak.

Nor did Lieberman stand with his party in vigorously opposing Bush's Social Security privatization plan. As Josh Marshall's has reported, when Bush announced his privatization plan Lieberman said in February 2005 that he was undecided, and announced that he wanted to study the president's idea. The result: Lieberman helped Bush make privatization a legitimate subject of debate – when it should have been cast off as extreme.

Lieberman has also been the Democratic Party's point person on defending off-the-books, short term stock options for CEOs. This invitation to thievery resulted, as was predicted, in the plundering of corporations--to the detriment of employees and small investors. But, even after the worst corporate crime scandals since the Gilded Age, Lieberman defended these practices and continued to collect big time campaign contributions from executives in Silicon Valley and elsewhere who were cleaning up.

What David Brooks fails to recognize is that millions of Connecticut citizens have decided they want a Senator whose values accord with theirs. That has little to do, as Brooks would have you believe, with the oft-maligned netroots seeking "to purge what's left of the Scoop Jackson Democrats." It's about a renewed recognition that people can make a difference and choose leaders who actually represent them. Ned Lamont--imperfections and all (have you ever met a perfect politician?) -- is mounting a very strong challenge and deserves credit for helping to lead that charge. So do thousands of students, activists, principled citizens--including former Lieberman supporters--who have had enough.

I'm amazed that some of Holy Joe's fellow Dems are still backing him given the fact that he won't back them, in fact does his damndest to undermine them. Party unity seems to be a one-way street as far as he's concerned: "You back me, and the Hell with you."

Very Republican of him. Hey, if it walks like a duck...

*Just try and get the visual of love-locked-with-a-reach-around aviating webfeet Brooks and Joe out of yer brain! Ha!

Oh, the irony...

Ironic Times

Juan Valdez Angers Bush Administration
Offers free Colombian coffee to America's poor.

Report: Trident Nuclear Warheads Could Detonate in Road Crash
Public advised not to tailgate.

International Space Station Welcomes First Illegal Alien
Brought by space shuttle to do jobs astronauts unwilling to do.

Dozens of New Species Discovered In Indonesian Jungle
Pictures, descriptions included in new cookbook.

There's also a picture of Paris Hilton's butt if you're really hard up.

Quote of the Day

Scout Prime:

Of course as they say, no decision is a decision and Bush "The Decider" has once again decided to ignore (neglect, slap in the face, stick it to, say fuck you) to Louisiana.

Be happy!

Go see Creature.

Now shut up

I didn't blog about it because Skippy said it most eloquently and quite well, and it deserved as much attention on our side as it actually got.

just when we had resolved ourselves to obeying kos as the leader of blogofascism, it turns out that deb frisch is really the spokesperson of lefty blogtopia (y!wctp!).

who is deb frisch, you ask? funny, that's what we asked.


the hardly-ever-right wing is all a'twitter that the rest of us haven't risen up in an uncontrolled rage over the disgusting and evil child molesting that deb's comments invoke. most of the right wing have decided that deb is indicative of the left, and since we've not condemned her en masse, we, by default, agree with her.


Since Skippy was about the only person (or roo, as it were) from Left Blogtopia (y!sctp!) to mention it, the wingnuts ended up there. To wit, Skippy had to spend more time on it than it warrants.

the all seeing eye, over at the jawa report, in his disgust that the lefty blogs aren't talking as if deb frisch and jeff goldstein mean anything, linked to our humble site wherein we opined that not only was deb a wacko, she was pretty much a wacko nobody ever heard of or paid attention to.


As I said before, this person was largely ignored until the wingnuts pounced on the story and now we're supposedly responsible for her? Listen to me, you lobotomized twits, her books aren't being published by a 'lefty vanity press' (think Regenery) and being bought by the case by wingnut think tanks. She is not given the floor on cable TV and doesn't have a nationally syndicated radio show. When you take responsibility for your hate mongers who have a national forum, we'll take responsibility for a twit with a blog.

Just shut the fuck up and go back to sucking the Chimp's cock.

I thought we won?

I thought Afghanistan was a 'success'?

GHAZNI, Afghanistan, July 10, 2006 - The Taliban were never truly rooted out of Afghanistan's hills and now, five years after the euphoric liberation of the region, they are better armed and organized into large-scale units to fight coalition forces.


The Taliban are copying Iraqi insurgents with disturbing success. There were roughly 1,000 roadside bombs in the past year and 40 suicide bombings in the last nine months.

They are getting help from abroad, including al Qaeda bomb-makers and Arab fighters, but what is more worrisome to the coalition troops here is that the Taliban are getting the assistance of Afghans themselves.


I might just be an old enlisted man but it just seems to me that when the Russians had a hundred thousand troops in country and still couldn't win after a decade, ten thousand of our guys don't have a chance. Had we thrown the same resources into Afghanistan as we did in Iraq (and killed every last Taliban) we might have a viable nation by now.

With the reemergence of the Taliban and the fact the opium crop is at record levels, we can pretty well assume our Afghan policy is working out the same as our Iraq policy, doomed to end in failure.

Monday, July 10, 2006


Wasn't me ...

But let me say, everybody's ass in New York puckered a little bit when the news first broke.

Here's your ass, Joe

Oh man, the reports are still coming in right now but it seems like Joe had his ass handed to him in Stamford today.


* Lieberman snuck in the back door rather than face the couple of people outside with anti-Joe Message signs (one sign said "Commit or Quit" and the other sign that ripped into Joe over his high approval rating among Republicans. I heard that particular sign really got under team Joementum's skin).

* Only 20-25 people showed up for the event. There were more Lieberyouths there (at least 30) than guests (so sad).


So Joe can't even rustle up more attendees than campaign workers. Maybe he should get more Republicans to endorse him. Ralph Reed perhaps? Jerry Falwell maybe?

Tip o' the Brain to Atrios.

Bush Pilot

Just go to Main and Central and click the link! I gotta dry out this keyboard again! I need a waterproof one, or maybe a little umbrella...

Unsolicited Advice For Democratic Losers

By Richard Reeves

Let's begin by stating the obvious: If the Democrats cannot win the 2006 congressional elections, they don't deserve to be a political party. They will survive as losers, of course, but only because American election laws are a contract between the Democratic and Republican parties to preserve each other no matter what happens.

Given failing wars, a failed Republican president and a deliberate betrayal of the America most of us grew up in, or thought we did -- we were taught that Americans went to war only when we were attacked, and we did not endorse torture and the murdering of civilians -- it is hard to imagine how the Democrats can lose.

The losing strategy, I think, would be to stand still in front of forests of American flags and shout: "Iraq! Iraq! Iraq!" Such a campaign would also be punctuated by more hushed mentions of Afghanistan as well.

That's a mug's game, a losing game for the Democrats. Why? If the overwhelming majority of Americans realize by the end of the year that invading Iraq was a mistake, why not round them up like so many cattle? The answer is in the question: Americans already know things went terribly wrong and we are governed by incompetent ideologues who rushed in where angels feared to tread.

The problem for the Democrats on Iraq is that they cannot or will not come up with any credible arguments about what to do next. The Republican response -- "Follow the flag! Stay the course. Support our boys and girls against the ragheads" -- will once again top Democratic mealy-mouthed confusion and political cowardice.

So, politically, I would argue the war will take care of itself. People of all political persuasions already get it. Sooner or late, many Americans will see verbal attacks as anti-American diatribes. Politicians do not always do well by doing good or being right.

The Republicans already have many institutional advantages in the coming elections: the power of incumbency, the ability to raise money, and districts across the country that have been redesigned to concentrate Democratic voters (minorities and the poor) in ways that maximize the chances of Republican candidates in areas that were once marginal. Their final advantage would be an election cast as referendum on war, easily turned into a referendum on patriotism.

My advice, unsolicited, to Democrats would be to wage a campaign on local issues and the overall national governance of Republicans these last six years.President Bush and the Republican Congresses came to power in an American superpower -- military, economic and moral -- with a balanced budget and what seemed unlimited future. Now, we are a debt-ridden country reviled around the world and scorned at home because of conservative positions and performance from stem cell research to New Orleans. The war in Iraq is only a symptom, not the cause, of the decline of the United States -- and that decline should be the Democratic issue of choice in 2006 and perhaps 2008 as well.

This guy is right and wrong at the same time, in my not-so-humble opinion. Bush's War and the Occupation of Iraq is "only" a symptom of our decline in the same way a 300-pound tumor is "only" a symptom that something may be dreadfully wrong with our health. We're not going to fix it by ignoring it while trying to deal with flat feet, body odor, flatulence, and incontinence, although those things need addressing as well.

Of all the evils perpetrated by this administration, Iraq is by far the most serious. I won't bore you with all the others. I know I could list them with one or two for each letter of the alphabet and still miss a bunch of 'em.

Where Mr. Reeves gets it right is this: The Democrats need to put aside their petty internal squabbles and consolidate their message. That's how the Republicans have done it, and they run the joint. Poorly, to be sure, but that's not the point. As stupid, incompetent, closed-minded, anti-everybody but the rich and powerful, and just plain evil as they are, they did it by getting together on one message, sticking together, kickin' ass, and lying.

The Democrats need to get together on one message, namely that the American people have been sold a bunch of snake oil by charlatans and taken for fools in the process at the hideous expense of their future if they don't act now.

They also need a plan as to how they will fix things once they are in, in easily understandable terms. A lot of people don't want to be bothered by the intricacies of dealing with complex problems, they just want the pols to "git 'er done" and leave 'em alone.

If the Dems work out a good way of getting their message across and stick together, they can kick ass by telling the TRUTH. That's the main difference between US and THEM.

'If' is a big word. 'If' Hell had ice water, I'd rather be there than Texas, just for example. While hoping and working for the best outcome this November and beyond, I'd say us reality-based folks better not hold our breath.

Attention Pundits

Good post at The Ham Hock of Liberty (no, I didn't make that up!) on media gasbags, blogs, and Lieberman:

Gentlemen, it has come to my attention that your strings of pearls are being worn thin from clutching, at the intemperate and potty-mouthed "fascism" of liberal blogs. Apparently, you don't like these self-appointed kingmakers "purging" the Democratic party of anyone who doesn't toe the line, as seen most clearly in the current Senatorial primary race in Connecticut. You have picked up the whiff of intolerance and fascism behind the near-unanimous support for Ned Lamont, versus the incumbent Joe Lieberman. You think that the full-court press to elect Mr. Lamont is, apparently, almost a crime against basic human decency. And so you have started several sandbox fights with your arch-enemies, the guys (and girls) with blogs.

As you are so fond of explaining to the rabid pre-teens on the internets what is really good for them, let me explain what's good for all of you: NOT calling the exercise of democracy "fascism" or "purging." Some people with websites do not hold the reins of governmental power. They do not direct party funds. They don't run the military. They have, in other words, no actual power. What they have are opinions and some facts. Sort of like yourselves. When they advocate the election of Ned Lamont, the only ability they have to effect this is to convince people that he is a worthy candidate. Worthy of votes, donations, and word of mouth to Connecticut voters. The voters of Connecticut will decide whether they agree. This is the point you seem to be missing. If enough voters in Connecticut decide that their views will be better represented by Ned Lamont than by Joe Lieberman, he should be elected. Right? This is how democracy works. If you disagree, you are just as free as Markos, or Jane Hamsher, or Atrios, to make your argument why Joe Lieberman is the better choice.

"Lieberman deserves support, because he votes against your beliefs and interests." That's basically what you're saying. Think about it.

That last line hit the nail right on the head. Worth a read.

All The News That's Fit To Bully

Daddy Frank

TWO weeks and counting, and the editor of The New York Times still has not been sentenced to the gas chamber. What a bummer for one California radio talk-show host, Melanie Morgan, who pronounced The Times guilty of treason and expressly endorsed that punishment. She and the rest of the get-the-press lynch mob are growing restless, wondering why newspapers haven't been prosecuted under the Espionage Act. "If Bush believes what he is saying," taunted Pat Buchanan, "why does he not do his duty as the chief law enforcement officer of the United States?"

Here's why. [List follows...]

The administration has a more insidious game plan instead: it has manufactured and milked this controversy to reboot its intimidation of the press, hoping journalists will pull punches in an election year. There are momentous stories far more worrisome to the White House than the less-than-shocking Swift program, whether in the chaos of Anbar Province or the ruins of New Orleans. If the press muzzles itself, its under-the-radar self-censorship will be far more valuable than a Nixonesque frontal assault that ends up as a 24/7 hurricane veering toward the Supreme Court.

The trouble is we have plenty to worry about. For all the airy talk about the First Amendment, civil liberties and Thomas Jefferson in the debate over the Swift story and the National Security Agency surveillance story before it, there's an urgent practical matter at stake, too. Now more than ever, after years of false reports of missions accomplished, the voters need to do what Congress has failed to do and hold those who mismanage America's ever-expanding war accountable for their performance in real time.

Much, much more. Go read. That's our Pop!

Lieberman Ad Uses Fake Lamont Sticker

LiberalOasis. Video at Crooks and Liars.

A TV ad, with a message approved by Sen. Joe Lieberman, uses a phony Ned Lamont bumper sticker to falsely claim that all Lamont has to say is "No More Joe."

The ad ran today on Hartford's Fox affiliate WTIC-61, during "Fox News Sunday." (It was also shown during C-Span's airing of the Lieberman-Lamont debate.)

The narrator begins the ad with: "In the battle of the bumper stickers, this one has a simple message: 'No More Joe.' But what else does Lamont really have to say?"

A graphic of a "NO MORE JOE" sticker is shown. The second line of the sticker reads: "Ned Lamont * Democrat for U.S. Senate". In the bottom right corner of the sticker is a URL,

Problem is: there is no

This means two things are possible.

The Lamont campaign is the dumbest campaign in history, making bumper stickers sending people to dead website that they don't own.

Or the Lieberman campaign, desperate to find an attack line against a strong challenger, has to lie and pretend Lamont has nothing positive to say about his own platform.

So to call out Lieberman's false ad is also a way to remind voters, and reporters, that the Lamont candidacy is a broad-based camapign, not a simplistic, amateurish exercise.

Certainly not as amateurish as that Lieberman ad.

Amateurish? Don't tell Lieberman that! I'm sure he paid big money to the consultant that came up with this one! I'm damn glad Holy Joe got to the guy first!

She was 14

From the Palace, related to my post directly below:


Cynics will cluck that such occurences are an unfortunate feature of all wars -- which is, of course, one very persuasive reason why morally cretinous assholes should not, in [the] future, be entrusted with the power to start them on nothing more than a whim.


It is long past the time for us to get out.

Sunday, July 9, 2006

A dangerous situation

Digby looks at the Neocon mind.


This was a very good article until this point. Our failure [in Iraq] is already certain no matter what we do. The fundamental flaw in this entire enterprise is not how we did it, although the massive failures outlined in this article are so obvious that it's imperative to discuss them on their own terms. In fact, I worry that what this failure of execution reveals is a military leadership so lacking in intellectual ability and so wracked with primitive racism that this country cannot count on it to actually defend us in case of a real war. The officer corps are supposed to be smart guys, not a bunch of idiots who would read some piece of trash like "The Arab Mind" and actually believe it --- much less use it as the basis for tactics on the ground. This is a dangerous situation for America. [my ems]


Long but very good.


Wintess the effect of these idiots' decisions on the troops, from Bulldog:


Post Traumatic Stress Disorder didn't become commonly diagnosed until the Vietnam War. The Iraq War and the multiple deployments of troops has heightened the awareness of PTSD and its effects on returning soldiers. The episode described above can be classically described as a PTSD-related incident. Unfortunately, many returning troops are being discharged and told to visit the nearest VA Medical Center for any health-related issues they experience instead of being treated by military doctors.


Thanks to the asshats in charge, there will be a generation of young men and women who are gonna have (and unfortunately cause) some big problems once they get home.

L'Italia vince!

What a match! Tied 1 - 1 after regulation and overtime, Italy wins by 1 over France in penalty kicks.

Link added.

Update (Monday morning):

No, this is not Rome or Naples or Venice, this is Little Italy in NYC. I love this city.


I was quite taken with Fixer's post about the recent marriage of two of Canada's "brave, decent, and true" Mounties. I got the idea that show tunes figured in this deal somewhere, you know, like from Nelson Eddy/ Jeannette MacDonald movies like Rose Marie (aka Indian Love Call), so I started looking. An idle mind...

...finds some good shit sometimes. Not only did I find several informative and beautifully illustrated pages on The Mountie Films, I hit big-time pay dirt at The Old Corral, a site devoted to B-Westerns, which I love.

Also, who can forget the most comedic use of stereotypes in TV history, Due South?

The show falls somewhere between a cop show and a comedy show. Although superficially following the police drama format, the comedy derives from the outrageous plots, the self-mocking Canadian and American stereotypes, and the occasional fantasy elements (such as the regular visits paid to Fraser by the ghost of his dead father), all played with absolute deadpan by the actors. Much of the comedy, as well as setting much of the tone of the show, was provided by Fraser's supernormal detective ability. For instance, in one episode, Fraser tracks down a suspect by smelling the breath of a rat to detect which brand of cooked ribs it had been eating.

I didn't find any connection between show tunes and the sexual makeup of the Mounties. Hell, there ain't any. I knew it goin' in but I was trying to find some humor in the situation. Instead, I found a gold mine. Please enjoy the links.

*Red-Coated Married Poufters?
Really Campy Movie Posters?

The Little Tramp's Classic Labor Lesson


Venezuela's socialist government is using a 1936 Chaplin film to educate workers about their rights. Employers are not applauding.

LOS TEQUES, Venezuela - In his classic 1936 film, "Modern Times," Charlie Chaplin has to work so fast tightening bolts in a steel factory that he finally goes crazy. In a memorable scene that has become a metaphor for labor exploitation, the Little Tramp is run through the factory's enormous gears.

For President Hugo Chavez's socialist government, the film is more than just entertainment: It's become a teaching tool. Since January, in a bid to expose the evils of "savage capitalism," the Labor Ministry has shown the Chaplin film to thousands of workers in places such as this rundown industrial suburb of Caracas.

Metalworker Miguel Moreno also has seen some improvement. "We have more power because we know more," he said. "They've given me earplugs for the noise, at least."

Gee, maybe we should show this Chaplin flick to the Chimp. Hey, if Miguel got some earplugs, maybe Georgie'll move his buttplug to his jibs and shut the fuck up!


If this world was 'designed intelligently' by the Almighty, what the fuck was He smoking when He did this and where can I get some of that cheeb?

"May they name a baby after you!"

I was reading about how a Lieberman mouthpiece is scolding CT Jews for supporting Lamont and got a link to Jewish curses from the first 'comment'. Oy!



RCMP Constable Jason Tree and Constable David Connors exchanged vows this week in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, before a justice of the peace and a troop of other Mounties.

While same-sex marriage is becoming commonplace across Canada now, this was the first time (that I know of) that two of Canada's finest men, our very own Royal Canadian Mounted Police, took the plunge.


So when are the tight asses in this country gonna wake up? Can ya get any more 'manly' than Mounties? It sure as hell wouldn't be an issue if one of these guys came to their rescue, I'm sure.

Yes,We Have no Progressives...In Georgia,USA..and I think I've figured out why.

Ok,that's a terribly broad and sweeping generalization,sorry for that.But I am fed up.

I've been patient.I've been tolerant.I've been civil.Believe it or not,I've even been rather nice to my fellow neighbors and community members who don't share my religion or politics.We're all in this together,aren't we?

Appearently Not.

Yesterday was the tipping point for me. I ran out to get some pool chemicals after dinner and what do I see? Right there in the Lowe's parking lot? A big,black SUV with a"Liberal Hunting License"slapped on the back window(also,see this).And a W sticker.And a Ralph Fucking Reed(and yes,that IS his middle name, for I have decreed it so)bumper sticker.Nice.Yeah,there's your Homeland feeling of Security right there baby.

This right wingnutty hostility is nothing new here in the South,sometimes it's even kind of funny.A guilty pleasure to be sure,because making fun of the impaired isn't really all that difficult or sporting,but sometimes,you just can't not do it.It's either that or go completely insane.I prefer humor over insanity myself,but hey,that's just me.

In the run up to the 2004 election,and to only a slightly lesser degree in 2000,the fear and loathing in the air was so thick around here you could cut it with a chainsaw.Every TV in every public venue(bars,restaurants,even stores that sell TVs)was tuned to Fox news.In line at the store, conversations in parking lots, people at the next table in a restaurant,at the pharmacy,conversations inevitably drifted to war and politics.When people are relaxed and in their comfort zones,their guard is down,and if you pay attention,you hear some amazing things around here.

"Damn liberals shouldn't even be allowed to vote.They're lucky we let them,shows how open minded we are."(I shit you not,I heard this while waiting to get my car serviced in early 2004.I could spend a whole post on that one alone,but let's keep going)

"You take God out of the schools,and of course our kids won't be ready for college when they graduate.Those liberals want to ban the Bible too,you just wait and see what happens if one of them gets elected around here.They have to be stopped,by whatever means necessary."(and this woman holds a job and drives a motor vehicle,amazing)

"Democrats are going to STEAL the elections,mark my words."(if true,this proves Democrats are lousy criminals,don'tcha think? I smell a campaign slogan in there someplace.)

"I'm tired of being persecuted for being a Christian.Just the other day some stupid liberal was complaining about the kids praying before their soccer game.We ran him and his wife and that little brat of theirs outta there fast."(never mind the 3 new churches and enormous private Christian school down the street-which has a long waiting list,or the fact that irony is just completely lost on these people.Or how objecting to public prayer qualifies as persecution.Or how the guy just knew for a fact this person was a Liberal.)

You see,I don't think that it's that there are really NO progressives here,it's just that they've been scared and intimidated into silence for the most part.And honestly,who the hell can blame them for being scared of this crap?

I think the time has come to ask these so called "conservatives",many of whom claim to be "Christian"a few questions:

So,if I'm to understand you correctly(because heaven forbid you'd ever be misunderstood)you're actually saying that it's perfectly OK by you for a neighbor to shoot one of your neighbors for being a registered Democrat?

Or perhaps what you really mean is that it's perfectly normal and sane to advocate that Americans arm themselves and go hunt down and kill the American family down the street because they hold liberal beliefs?

Would it be alright with you if,in a random house to house search on your street,liberal families were dragged out of bed in the middle of the night,taken into their front yards and lynched?Would you enjoy seeing those bodies hanging in the trees right next to your kid's school bus stop?

What would you do if I had a "Conservative Hunting License"sticker on my car?Would you be appalled?Outraged?Driven to violence against me?

Look,I know this moron with the hunting license sticker is probably full of shit and couldn't fight his way out of a wet paper bag.Most of the people in this country who cheer for violence cry when they stub a toe or go home and kick the dog around when someone cuts them off in traffic.It's real easy to run your yap about shit like that and most people are too self centered to do anything that might earn them a bruise or interfere with their TV schedule.But there also comes a time when common sense should be the rule,rather than the exception.Not to mention just being an overall decent human being.

With Freedom of Speech also comes the assumption that most Americans are not complete idiots and understand cause and effect(something that is completely lost on the Party of Moral Responsibility).The idea here being that unpopular,disturbing or perverse ideals and rhetoric would be relagated to the fringes(not shut down or censored),not go on to become a mainstream sensibility.The Founders counted on us not ever forgetting that common sense and at least a basic understanding of integrity would be the keys to a successful democratic republic.Nowadays,being a thug is not only acceptable,it's rewarded(see Rove,Karl),it's a goal to aspire to.

And someone's gonna get hurt or killed eventually as a result,it's only a matter of time.

I hesitate to use Rwanda as a comparison here,but hate speech via hate radio played a HUGE role in the genocide there.That's rather hard to ignore.Inexpensive AM radios were handed out freely,and information was given out over the airwaves as to where"the cockroaches"could be found and exterminated.And we all know how that turned out.

No,we aren't Rwanda,and we should thank our lucky stars we aren't.

However,it does prove that hate speech incites violence if people are fearful and driven to see the "enemy"in anyone that's not exactly like them. And maybe it's past fucking time for this shit to be pushed out of the public discourse,scorned,and made unpopular again.

I keep a Sharpie marker in my glove box.Mostly because I send alot of packages to far away family and friends,and it comes in handy to mark out old delivery bar codes from re-used boxes.Sometimes I'm in a hurry and forget to do it at home,hence the marker in the car.I found a new use for it yesterday.

In bold black letters I wrote on the hunting license sticker:


Quote of the Day


Washington reporters have been wrong about damn near everything they have reported since Clinton.

Police states 2

Since when is it illegal to wear a t-shirt?

This afternoon, drinking a cup of coffee while sitting in the Jesse Brown V.A. Medical Center on Chicago's south side, a Veterans Administration cop walked up to me and said, "OK, you've had your 15 minutes, it's time to go."

"Huh?", I asked intelligently, not quite sure what he was talking about.

"You can't be in here protesting," officer Adkins said, pointing to my Veterans For Peace shirt.

"Well, I'm not protesting, I'm having a cup of coffee," I returned, thinking that logic would convince Adkins to go back to his earlier duties of guarding against serious terrorists.

Flipping his badge open, he said, "No, not with that shirt. You're protesting and you have to go."


Personally, I'd have showed the cop a protest he'd never forget. Look, ladies and gentlemen, this shit didn't go on before Bush took office. This is still the United States and as long as you're not disturbing the peace, you can wear whatever the fuck you want to. Note to gung-ho cops who think this 'liberals-are-traitors' mindset that seems to be in fashion lately gives them license to harass innocent citizens: There are some of us out here who aren't cowed by your badge and gun. Fuck around with me like this and you'll get them both shoved up your ass.

Link thanks to Dave Johnson.


SheaNC brings us back almost 20 years, to those heady conservative days of the Reagan Era.

"And now the liberals want to stop President Reagan from selling chemical warfare agents and military equipment to Saddam Hussein, and why? Because Saddam 'allegedly' gassed a few Kurds in his own country. Mark my words. All of this talk of Saddam Hussein being a 'war criminal' or 'committing crimes against humanity' is the same old thing. LIBERAL HATE SPEECH! And speaking of poison gas... I SAY WE ROUND UP ALL THE DRUG ADDICTS AND GAS THEM." - Rush Limbaugh, Nov. 3, 1988

See, it's still all the liberals' fault.

Shame on me

For not sourcing this properly. Wish it was true but it's not.


Although the political intent of the 1 August 2004 Boondocks strip was clear, the context that it was not really a repeat of a strip from 3 November 1988 and did not report something Rush Limbaugh actually said over the airwaves on that date went missing in action, and the text of the strip has since been passed around the Internet as if it were a genuine transcript of a portion of a 1988 Rush Limbaugh broadcast.

Although leave us not forget: