Saturday, March 31, 2007

Building fences to keep the fence-builders out

There's been a lot of jokes about this, and I guess it just had to happen. Please forgive the link to the Repug rag.

The head of a California company hired by the U.S. government to help build a fence along the Southwest border to curb the flow of illegal aliens into the United States has been sentenced on charges of hiring illegals for the job.

There's a lot more to it than that but the only deal that can improve on that was that it took ICE eight years to prosecute this firm.

And you still won't have to turn the light on

When you get up to take a leak in the middle of the night. The B12:

Good to know Washington takes cleanup of radioactive waste seriously. Look how quickly they plan to finish the job:

Chocolate Jesus

I'm sure you've all heard about our 'Chocolate Jesus' incident here in NYC. I wasn't going to blog about it because William Donohue is behind all the outrage and after all I said about him during the Shakes/Amanda incident, I didn't want to give the loser any more time. However since one of my favorite men of God decided to write Mr. Donohue a letter, well ...


Nor am I particularly upset with the artist for sculpting the Redeemer's immaculate thingy, although the thought that the communion host transubstantiates into something with a penis is very discomforting, particularly because I get kind of excited when I think about it. Don't get me wrong. I'm sure the Pope has had similar thoughts many, many times, so I guess it's OK. I mean, it doesn't make me any more homosexual than the Pope. Right?



Via the Rude One, I posted the excerpt of transcript of Donohue making a complete ass of himself on Andy Cooper's show. It's long, but Andy interviewed the artist (Cavallaro) at the same time he had Donohue on. The guy has a lot more smarts than Wild Bill and made him look like a fool. I enjoyed it.

Pet food recall

It ain't over (There's an Alpo recall in progress and some questions about one of the Hill's Science diet dry varieties). CatsMeow (in comments) alerts us to a site called Itchmo that's keeping up with all the news on this front. I'm gonna put 'em in the 'Cool' blogroll and you can check with 'em on a regular basis.

Princess Shayna says the pups and kitties are depending on you to keep informed, don't let them down.


From CatsMeow in comments:

Hope everyone with pets will sign up for itchmo's recall alerts and tell their friends to do so as well, as it appears to be the only way to keep up with recalls of all kinds. Is there a site for human food recalls similar to itchmo? Anyone know?

If anyone does know, leave replies in comments.

Draft Notice

Greetings fellow American (at least that's what my dad told me his said):

WASHINGTON "The Marine Corps is recalling 1,800 reservists to active duty, citing a shortage of volunteers to fill some jobs in Iraq.

Members of the branch's Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) will get letters this week notifying them of plans to mobilize them involuntarily for a year, said Lt. Col. Jeff Riehl of Marine manpower and reserve affairs.


How is this not a Draft? Time to bring 'em all home.

A whore among whores

It's Saturday and that means I'm whoring the next chapter of my novel The Fourth Estate, up now at The Practical Press.


From The Old Farmer's Almanac, which I keep strategically placed for a brief read each day, comes this:

March 31 - Wabash, Ind., became first city to be lighted by electricity, 1880.

That made me think of the song Paradise by John Prine:

"And the coal company came with the worlds largest shovel
and they tortured the timber and stripped all the land.
Well they dug for their coal 'til the land was forsaken
and they wrote it all down as the progress of man.

"And daddy won't you take me back to Muhlenburg County
down by the Green River where Paradise lays.
Well I'm sorry my son but you're too late in asking,
Mr. Peabody's coal train has hauled it away."

We like and need electricity, but I'm pretty sure we don't have another 127 years of that kind of 'progress' left in us.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Just once ...

I'd like to hear the Chimp tell a wounded soldier, "I'm sorry for what my orders have done to you", but I guess he just figured they owe it to him. [I had another two sentences written here, but I figured it'd be best for all concerned if I self-censored. There's a first.]

It's like Seinfeld ...

Cernig posts an article from Michael Fullove, director of the global issues programme at the Lowy Institute for International Policy in Sydney:


Similarly, in its geopolitical incarnation, adherents to the Costanza doctrine cast aside many of the fundamental tenets they learnt at staff college or graduate school. Let me name a few.

First, military and diplomatic resources are finite and should be directed towards your greatest priority. An example of the opposite approach would be for a country that has been attacked by a non-state terrorist group to retaliate by removing a state regime that had nothing to do with the attack.


How to make a good Republican ...

Stolen from the always-great CultureGhost:

See No Karl, Hear No Karl

Joe Conason

Guess who the latest Bush administration officials stricken with amnesia are trying to protect in the U.S. attorneys scandal.

Gee, I haven't a clue...

Looking at this buttoned-down operative of the famously buttoned-down, tight-sphinctered Bush political machine, why would anybody believe that? These guys don't freelance, and they don't take Karl's name in vain.

Far more probable is that somewhere high above his pay grade, the same imperative that doomed Scooter Libby is now about to claim Fredo Gonzales. That precious flower, the turd blossom, must be protected above all.

You might have to watch a Porsche ad for a site pass. Know the difference between a Porsche and a porcupine?

The porcupine has the pricks on the outside.

Wrong Finger, But...

Boehner pulls Another Boner, Disses Vets

Think Progress

The Tuskegee airmen were the U.S. military's first group of African American fighter pilots, an elite unit that served with distinction during World War II only to return home to face to discrimination and harassment. Today, they received the Congressional Gold Medal, "the most prestigious Congress has to offer."

But the event was marred slightly by the presentation of House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH):

During his short speech to those in attendance, Boehner six times mispronounced the group's name as the "Tusk-E-gee," eliciting audible groans from the front to the back of the Capitol Rotunda. One woman standing in front of me leaned to her companion and whispered, "This is so embarrassing, and he's from my state."

You can't really tell how badly he mispronounced 'Tuskegee' by reading it. You can from the video. What a fuckin' dildo.

Perhaps making matters worse, almost all of Boehner's speech focused on the general accomplishments of American forces in World War II, paying little direct respect to those in the room.

As if to remove any doubt about the verbal kerfuffle, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell took the stage and began his speech by pronouncing the group's name correctly, while making a clear, if passing, glance in Boehner's direction. Immediately afterward, the entire crowd broke into applause at the correction.

It's hard to imagine McConnell doing anything right either, but I'm glad he did.

Since Boehner 'paid little respect' to the Airmen, I'll give 'em some. First, here's their site. Here's a Wiki-history. Also, The Red Tail Project.

The Tuskegee Airmen are all old now, but they were true pioneers and brave men of honor. They faced a lot of racism and went a long way from "Nigras cain't fly!" to a very Distinguished Combat Record.

Those men triumphed over a stacked deck, only to return to one after the war. All Americans owe them respect. They earned it the hard way.

Rove Aide To Step Down

Raw Story

Multiple sources reported today that a top aide to President George W. Bush's key adviser Karl Rove will soon step down from her job in the White House. The aide, Sara M. Taylor, was identified in yesterday's hearing with a former top Justice Department official as seeking the resignation of a US Attorney in Arkansas. She could still face a subpoena, RAW STORY learned.

With every lap around the bowl, Turdblossom is getting closer to the drain. Keep jigglin' the handle...sometimes the big ones take more than one flush.

The Myth of Voter Fraud

Good piece in WaPo. Here's the money line:

[...] Firing a prosecutor for failing to find wide voter fraud is like firing a park ranger for failing to find Sasquatch. [...]

The only people around here who ever claimed to find Sasquatch were a coupla loggers. These guys spend a lot of time by themselves out in the woods. They also claimed they were sober at the time, so I knew it was a dubious claim at best.

Last Throes of the Insurgency?

A real barn-burner! BuzzFlash Guest Editorial:

Maybe Dick Cheney was right: we are in the "last throes of the insurgency" - but not the "insurgency" he was talking about.

Cheney's "insurgency" is a nebulous ill-defined neoconcoction that will never die as long as Halliburton can wring billions upon billions of dollars out of it (over 20 billion at last count). Cheney depicts the insurgency as some monolithic enemy, composed of "terrorists" who "hate freedom," Coca-Cola, and MTV. The imperial Cheney expects us not to notice that the dread "insurgency" is Sunnis one day and Shiites the next, Saddam lovers one day, Saddam haters the next, Iranians one day, Syrians the next, Al-Qaeda and its infinite imitators and permutations one day, the Taliban and its swelling ranks the next, Saudis, Moroccans, Pakistanis, Indonesians, Ethiopians, and more. (It also includes Cindy Sheehan, Teddy Kennedy, Valerie and Joe Wilson, Keith Olbermann, and you.)

It takes a special person to still support Bush-Cheney in March 2007! To call oneself a Republican today, a person necessarily falls into one of three narrow fairly hopeless categories: (1) filthy rich and pathologically selfish; (2) congenitally mean and pathologically indifferent to the suffering of others; or (3) woefully ignorant, mentally retarded, insane, delusional, or in a psychotic state of denial. The first two categories (rich/selfish and mean/sadistic) are basically incapable of redemption barring some life-altering experience such as being kidnapped (Patty Hearst), incarcerated (Charles Colson), or getting old (my friend Tony's father). The third group (retarded/crazy/in denial) can do remarkably well with medication, residential treatment, radical therapy, injections of LSD, or in some cases, a lobotomy - all of which are vastly preferable to being a proud Republican.

Go read. You'll enjoy.

A word of warning to us all: Let's not get carried away just yet by the joy of watching the Repugs eat their own wheels as they fall off. The fuckers are still as dangerous and unpredictable as a cornered rabid rat.

Iraqi Neocon Propagandists

Here's an interesting exposé of the "two Iraqi bloggers" the Chimp quoted the other day:

The most important issue here is not whether ITM is a CIA blog, or a money-making scam, or a desperate trick to earn the Fadhils a couple of US Green Cards. It's not whether SoA is a clever bit of US PsyOps, or a neocon money-laundering operations. It is the fact that this foolish nonsense is all Bush has got left in his propaganda armoury. The man is a fool, a fake and a shameless stooge. Impeach now!!!.

Seriously, what could be more emblematic of Bush's pathetic situation today than the fact that he is reduced - nay, he chooses it because he is so out of touch! - to quoting these charlatan bloggers for proof of his desperate last "surge" policy's success?

Disclaimer: I can't vouch for the authenticity of any of it, but I don't put anything, anything at all, past this administration and their "loyal Bushies".

I never got it ...

Until I read this post at Rez Dog's. I always wondered why guys who've seen war, fought in it, are so gung-ho for this steaming pile of bullshit the Chimp has foisted upon the American people. This makes sense to me:


War turns human beings into killers, "citizens of death’s gray land". We all became killers and must come to terms with that fact. One way is to insist that our actions were absolutely justified, that we were right to kill. Another way is to recognize that what we did was not justified, that we were either fooled or acquiesced to killing. I have always considered myself in the latter category, which has left me with a legacy of self doubt and anger. On the surface, I would think that believing in what you did would be easier to deal with but the vehemence of the pro-war veterans suggest to me that they can only be sure of their actions as long as no one questions them. When fellow veterans question war, their certainty is at risk. [my em]


I never understood guys who know what war is about advocating it in the strongest terms, I expect it from the 'chickenshit' conservatives. From my limited experience (a few skirmishes in East Asia, drug interdiction, Grenada), I would never wish war on anyone, especially the innocent.

Quote of the Evening

Mrs. G to me while a sleeping pill commercial was on:

"Let's take some Ambien, go to sleep, and go out for burgers!"

I couldn't make shit like that up if I tried. Luckily, with Mrs. G around I don't have to.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

" are breeding like drunken ferrets."

Mark Morford

Here's the good news: The Republican party is dying. Slow, painful, twitching, secreting war and intolerance and desperation like a fetid gas, snarling and gagging like Jabba the Hutt being choked by the hard chain of progress and hope and relaxed social mores and an upcoming Generation Next that seems to sense that screaming about gays and women's rights and Muslims and drugs actually doesn't do much to move the human experiment forward in the slightest.

Seems Generation Next tend to be more socially liberal and much less worried about the trembling "sanctity" of the failed nuclear family, and are overall less inclined to align with a particular religion. Indeed, it almost makes you want to weep and sigh and go buy a large grass-fed free-range organic hybrid vibrator.

Ah, but there is a flip side. A counterargument. A dark cloud of righteous bleakness and it looms like a giant synthetic cheesecake-scented Glade PlugIn of potential misery.

It is this: According to another set of data, for the past 30 years or so, conservatives -- particularly those of the right-wing red-state Christian strain -- have been out-breeding liberals by a margin of at least 20 percent, if not far more.

It's true. The reason? Why, God loves babies, of course. White American babies, most especially. Also: issues of space, religion, sexual orientation and, of course, conscience. Or, you know, lack thereof.

It seems impossible. Either we are we headed toward a new dawn full of smart social liberalism, perhaps leading to concomitant ideas of peace and tolerance and a newly evolved American identity, or there is another massive group lurking in the shadows, entirely overlooked by Pew Research, a seething army of religious conservatives who are working like a spiritual STD to force us backward once again, much the way the Bush regime brutally reversed decades of social, environmental, fiscal and international progress and made war and isolationism and megachurch evangelicals the lords of the playground for a shocklingly painful blip of time.

And hence we are, as ever, simply a mad intoxicated mishmash of reactions and beliefs and ideologies, a God-obsessed sex-crazed drug-lovin' sociopolitical train wreck of a country that doesn't really know its ass from a hole in the ground or its God from a burp in the sky.

Personally, I'm going with the new liberal dawn thing. Hell, it doesn't hurt to dream, right?

No, it doesn't. Please read the rest.

When all these retarded wingnut kids get to military age, we need to start a war with Mars or somewhere else we can ship 'em that they'll never get back from, draft 'em, and send 'em off to do the patriotic duty they were bred and raised for.

Last Female WWI Vet Dies at 109

San Francisco Chronicle

The last known surviving American female World War I veteran, a refined Civil War buff who met face-to-face with the Secretary of the Navy to fight for women in the military, has died. She was 109.

Charlotte Winters died Tuesday at a nursing home near Boonsboro in northwest Maryland, the U.S. Naval District in Washington said in a statement. Her death leaves just five known surviving American World War I veterans.

In 1916, Winters met with Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels to persuade him to allow women in the service, said Kelly Auber, who grew up on South Mountain, where Winters and her husband, John Winters, settled.

When the Navy opened support roles to women, Winters and her sister, Sophie, joined immediately in 1917, Auber said. By December 1918, the Naval District said more than 11,000 women had enlisted and were serving in support positions.

Friends said she was proud of her role but didn't like to be fussed over as she grew older and there were fewer and fewer WWI veterans alive.

"Why are they doing this for me? I don't deserve all this," Doug Bast of Boonsboro recalled her saying.

Oh yes you do, ma'am.

"She was very proud of her accomplishments, and when asked, she'd say it was the thing to do, to be patriotic. And, she was very patriotic," Auber told The Hagerstown Herald-Mail.

Godspeed, Sailor.

Quote of the Day

Avedon Carol:

I swear, it's seeming like by the end of this, they'll be indicting every Nixon and Reagan survivor who hasn't either been busted yet or died.

One can dream, my dear.

Pay up, bitchez

Our pal Lambert says the rich are gonna have to start paying their share again.

A Light in the Darkness

A Light in the Darkness

Dedicated to Kathy Sierra. My best wishes for a quick and successful resolution of your current problems. Be aware that virtually all in the blogging community who are aware of your problems are supporting you. You will emerge stronger for this.


I'm in ur ais, stretchin' yer sphincter ...

From the partners in snark ... heh ... Gotta get the Mrs. from the train station.

March Madness

Hometown Baghdad

The other day the moron-in-chief quoted some Iraqi bloggers on just how peachy keen everything is going in Baghdad because of his surge. Here's some videos he didn't quote. These are all pretty recent. Enjoy. That's maybe not the right word.

For Bob Dylan Fans


After a small club gig in Stockholm, it's reported that Bob Dylan "actually smiled several times and ... against all odds ... played the guitar."

Does the MSM have BAADD?

Eric Alterman

As almost all 500 members of "The Gang" from ABC's now defunct "The Note" swim in the turbid waters of the U.S. Attorneys purge scandal, we are seeing waves of subpoenas and daily changing stories from Attorney General Gonzalez. Alas, it's a typical case of Bush Administration Attention Deficit Disorder - the competing scandals are coming in faster than the main stream media seems to want to address them.

Yet the prevailing MSM attitude is "Let them get away with it." Or at best it's "One scandal at a time, please. We're reporters." But as the invaluable E.J. Dionne inquires, "Is the U.S. attorney scandal actually a small part of a larger story about how politicized the Justice Department has become over the past six years?"

From Dionne:

To investigate Clinton -- even his Christmas card list -- was God's work. To investigate Bush is "to head down the partisan road of issuing subpoenas and demanding show trials," as the president put it this week.

Please read both articles. If you only have time for one, read Dionne.

Along with the Repugs they've been blowing since '94 and sucking hard since '01, the MSM's day is coming.

Boo! Boehner, Yay! Richardson

I am holding a revolver (Smith & Wesson Military & Police, Hand Ejector, Second Change, in .38 Special, mfd. in 1914 and left to me by my Dad) to my typing finger to make it link to F** Noise, but this time I think it's OK.

House Minority Leader John Boehner was booed on Wednesday at a construction workers' union legislative forum for saying the United States needs to fight the war in Iraq or face terror attacks at home.

But seriously, folks:

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson also won a standing ovation by pledging that if he is president, he will appoint a union leader to the top of his administration.

He also rallied the audience by saying that in 1992 unions turned out 19 percent of the vote and Bill Clinton won the presidency. "In 2000, unions turned out 25 percent of the vote and Al Gore won," Richardson said.

He also pushed his foreign policy credentials as a representative to the United Nations who negotiated the release of American soldiers being held by Cuba's Fidel Castro and Iraq's Saddam Hussein.

"Clinton used to say, 'send Richardson. Bad guys like him.' I have the experience," Richardson said. "I'm not a rock star but I'm the best candidate for president."

I watched part of Governor Richardson's speech on C-Span. He said that New Mexico has strict laws regarding building contractors, and that if anyone violates them he "will face a fine, or even a jail a 100% union-built jail!"

I like the guy, and lest I forget:

Bill Richardson For President

He was on "The Daily Show" last night too.

Tell Karl Rove: Testify Under Oath

Act For Change

Mr Rove, I urge you to voluntarily testify, under oath, to Congress regarding your role in the decision to fire eight U.S. Attorneys. After all, if you have nothing to hide and are willing to tell the truth, there should be no reason for you to fear sworn testimony before Congress.

To which I would add "and lie yer ass off like you do so well so we can lock you up".

Go sign it.

"What we call the news"

JibJab video. Too close to the truth for a 'liquid alert'.

Heroic Secret Service Agent Takes Question Intended For Bush

The Onion

WASHINGTON, DC - White House Secret Service Agent Anthony Panucci is being called a hero after intercepting what could have been a critically damaging question aimed directly at President Bush during a press conference in the Rose Garden Tuesday.

According to eyewitnesses, the press conference began with Bush fielding routine questions about March Madness and the dedication of a World War II memorial near his home in Crawford, TX. However, approximately seven minutes into the event, a lone reporter somehow managed to maneuver to the front of the press corps group and fire off a loaded, highly charged question concerning Bush's role in the controversial dismissal of eight federal attorneys last year.

"I just followed my training and did what I was supposed to do - put myself between the president and irreparable harm," said Panucci, who is credited with safely deflecting the attack away from Bush, as well as acting before the reporter had a chance to get off a follow-up question at close range. "And let's not forget my colleagues who rushed the president from the scene."

"These potential character assassins are getting smarter, swifter, and bolder, and it's cause for alarm," Sullivan said. "So far, we've been able to prevent most of the blunt, obvious queries from getting anywhere near President Bush, but you never know when a seemingly harmless inquiry will contain hidden barbs or corrosive implications, or even poisonous little crystals of embedded truth."

The reporter who aimed the pointed question has been positively identified as Walter Pincus of The Washington Post. He was pronounced dead at the scene after being shot more than 140 times by Secret Service agents, FBI sharpshooters, and D.C. police.

I read this with a straight face and just nodded my head at the last paragraph. It wouldn't surprise me very much if such a thing actually happened.

Satire is edging ever closer to truth in the kool-aid reality of this administration.

Every last goddamn one of yas ...

We always say 'IOKIYAR' or 'it's ok if you're a Republican' around here because for the past 6 years, not one Republican stood up and questioned any of the White House policies and fascist dictates. And I'm not just talking about those in Congress but every last one of you who, up until a couple months ago were all happy they were 'in charge'.

I've been hearing a lot of 'I might have voted Republican, but I don't support what they've done' lately from the average 'man-on-the-street' Rethug voter. One of the downsides of my job, being a progressive blogger to boot, is dealing with the general public in the 'reddest' county in NY. Know what, fuck you all.

You were the ones, and I mean you man-on-the-street Rethug, who were all happy about going to Iraq and 'killing ragheads'. Not you, of course. You were content to sit back and take your hundred grand a year while you cheered other people's kids on into the meat grinder. You were content to let the government pick through Americans' emails, folks like you saying, 'if you got nothing to hide, you've got nothing to worry about'. You didn't care about the government outsourcing our warfighting capabilities to dishonorable mercenaries like Blackwater and DynCorp and were outraged when 4 of them got strung up in Fallujah. It'd have been nice to see a little outrage after 3200 of our kids came home in body bags, but you wanted to see us 'kick ass' regardless of the price. You didn't care when no-bid contracts were awarded to Rethug cronies like Halliburton, as long as they didn't draft your kid, or your ass itself. You couldn't be bothered and you echoed the Fox 'News'/Party Line to anyone who would listen because you were too lazy to think for yourselves. Go fuck yourselves now, big tough motherfuckers.

90% of you would shit yourselves (literally) if I pointed a pistol at you, yet you can talk tough and have your little beat off session watching the Military Channel. Fucking buncha pussies. And now, after standing by your man, and Party, while the going was good, you're all leaving like rats from Titanic, post iceberg. I have even less respect for you now.

You see, folks, I've heard a lot of guys talk tough, but none of them have run to the recruiters'. Paraphrasing Bill Maher: If you've got a big cock, you don't have to run around telling everyone; those who need to know, do. Same thing with tough.

I love watching all the little pricks now, when they see how all the Rethug policies they've cheered on, the wars, 'homeland security', and others, have become proven failures. They're looking around, trying to find someone to blame for the failures of their Party. This time though, unlike earlier Rethug scapegoat fests, we're here. Everything we warned you about, everything we predicted, has come to pass and this time it's on the record. Right here at the Brain (3 years worth here) and the thousands of blogs that make up Left Blogtopia (y!sctp!). You can't blame 'The Left' anymore, assholes. Time to look in the mirror and accept that American Conservatism is an exercise in failure.

We told you so. Now shut up and let us fix this.

I leave you with Digby:


At some point you have to look past the leadership and ask why people were so willing to follow them over the cliff. It wasn't the system that failed --- it was every single Republican (like Iglesias) who looked the other way because their boy was on top and they wanted to be in the winners circle. Many of them knew that something was very wrong and yet they said nothing. They need to think about that.


Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Legacies ...

You know how the Chimp is always worried about his 'legacy', that history will judge him well, even though we all think he's a moron (apologies to morons)? The Kitchen Window Woman is starting to write history now.

Jarheads or Boy Scouts?

The Jarheads are cracking down on big tattoos. According to our good pal Deuddersun, even mine (pictured below) wouldn't be allowed. Ol' D puts it best:

If you want a tattoo larger than the illustration above in a place visible in your "workout shirt", you may be out of luck! These guys may be going off to die, leave them alone ferchrissake! The article claims that HQMC says large tattoo's are disruptive to the image of the Corps! What?

We are Bad-asses! We are trained to be Bad-asses! This is body-art to these guys! It's their War Paint! Stop treating the most efficient killers in the world like a bunch of Alter Boys, willya? [his em, he was yellin']

Indeed, my friend. I'm starting to wonder about the Jarheads. That four-star at JCS sure ain't much of one, not compared to the Marines I know, and this stupid shit takes the cake. What are they gonna do to the guys who've got 'em already? How are they gonna know when a guy got his? This is a clusterfuck waiting to happen. Just make sure they can shoot straight and follow orders and don't worry about their body art. The scars they get from live rounds and shrapnel look worse.


Tangentially related to this and Gord's post. Nicole at C & L gives me the link to this piece by Gen. McCaffrey:

The Iraq war has left the U.S. military "in a position of strategic peril," retired Army Gen. Barry McCaffrey has warned in the wake of a recent trip to Iraq.


"Stateside U.S. Army and Marine Corps readiness ratings are starting to unravel," he writes. "Ground combat equipment is shot in both the active and reserve components. Army active and reserve component recruiting has now encountered serious quality and number problems .... Our promotion rates for officers and NCOs have skyrocketed to replace departing leaders. There is no longer a national or a theater U.S. Army strategic reserve."

Noting that the Army "will be forced to call up as many as nine National Guard combat brigades for an involuntary second combat tour this coming year," he adds that [m]any believe that this second round of involuntary call-ups will topple the weakened National Guard structure – which is so central to U.S. domestic security."


The military is a fucking mess and they're worried about the Marines' tattoos. Good. God.


I was just eating lunch and watching CNN. They were discussing the current fleet exercise and war games going on in the Persian Gulf and how they might relate to the capture of the Brit sailors and Bootnecks. I've got no links or cites for this, but I thought it was so funny I damn near blew Hungry-Man Beer-Battered Chicken out my nose. I paraphrase from memory:

Emcee(?): How much planning goes into these war games?

Retired Old CNN Military Analyst General: Oh, a whole bunch!

I wish I could make up stuff like that!

Oh yes you did, Johnny boy!

Following up on Fixer's post, from Think Progress:

Yesterday, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) told CNN that that President Bush's escalation in Iraq is going so well, "General Petraeus goes out there almost every day in an unarmed humvee." On Monday, he told radio host Bill Bennett that there "are neighborhoods in Baghdad where you and I could walk through those neighborhoods, today."

This morning, during an interview with McCain, CNN's John Roberts rebutted McCain's assertions, stating, "I checked with General Petraeus's people overnight and they said he never goes out in anything less than an up-armored humvee." He added that a new report by retired Gen. Barry McCaffrey "said no Iraqi government official, coalition soldier, diplomat reporter could walk the streets of Baghdad without heavily armed protection."

Faced with overwhelming evidence that he was wrong, McCain denied he'd ever said it: "Well, I'm not saying they could go without protection. The President goes around America with protection. So, certainly I didn't say that." Watch it:

I guess McCain doesn't quite understand videotape yet!

CNN's Baghdad correspondent Michael Ware, who has lived in Iraq for four years, said military sources greeted McCain's comments yesterday with "laughter down the line."

Update, links, comments at the site. To quote one comment:

Goodbye, John.

Butter'n jam him. He's toast.


Got ta thinkin' about it, and maybe McCain was talkin' about this Bagdad. Pretty safe to walk around in, unless you're afraid of ghosts.'ll find a large tree set back about 200 feet from the road on the right side. At this point you're standing in downtown Bagdad.


Go see Welcome to Pottersville.

Right about now, George W. Bush probably fancies himself Leonidas, the leader of the vastly outnumbered Spartan army, defiantly bucking the odds as those sturdy old Persian warlords Leahy and Conyers bellow, "Our subpoenas will blot out the sun!" Because this generation's mentally- and morally-crippled answer to Leonidas petulantly responds with, "Then we'll do our finaglin' in the shade... like we always do." However, Bush is no King Leonidas, the tax-hating man credited with winning the Persian War. He's more like that wily and treacherous con man Themistocles.

That the Gang That Can't Think Straight suffers from memory lesions when it comes to who attended what meeting, when, what was discussed and who pushed the button to out this agent or fire that attorney.

But the same gang remembers (and never in the proper context) which attorneys Clinton fired and when and what brand of panties Monica was wearing the night of the Cumshot Heard 'Round the World.

Iran-Contra? Isn't that some new hippity hop group? Help me out here, Mommy.

The major difference between the actual Themistocles and his latter day counterpart is that the real thing only pretended to commit treason.

Bush is for damn sure not like Leonidas, a man of honor who sacrificed his band of Spartans to allow other Greeks to escape and regroup so they could fight again. Bush would have run behind his mommy's skirts to get out of danger.

A Wiki-history of The Battle of Thermopylae if you're interested. Shorter: the Greeks lost the battle but eventually won the war.

Bush isn't going to.

Democracy Haters

Go read David Sirota. The last paragraph:

The cop-out for progressives is to declare a pox on Capitol Hill and give up. That's what the anti-democratic zealots in Washington want us to do, and why their attacks on the majority of Americans become ever more shrill. But the louder they squeal, the more we know we are closer to our goal. If the progressive movement perseveres and picks its targets carefully, Congress will be forced to end this war.

We go to war with the system we have, not the system we wish we had. It's starting to work, and we're going to win against the Bush moronarchy.

Mex, Lies and Idiot Ape

A one-liner from Don Davis. I just wanted to put that title up!

"Firing those eight prosecutors was as justified as our invasion of Iraq."

Every bit as justified.

Which truth do I tell 'em, boss?

Josh Marshall has a post about Ms. Goodling and taking the 5th. His money line:

Just watching this from the outside, it looks as though that is the bad act she's afraid to testify about or -- and somehow I find this more believeable -- she's afraid of indictment for perjury because she has to go up to Congress and testify under oath before the White House has decided what its story is. And yeah, I'd feel like I was in jeopardy then too.

Methinks Mr. Marshall may be onto something.

And from BuzzFlash:

For Democrats, it will be like Christmas and Hanukkah
If Republicans are done in by someone named Monica.

Irony is not dead...

Bush's war

I can't wait for Bush to veto the Iraq War bill when he gets it. The timetable for withdrawal stayed in the Senate version of the bill so now it's up to the Chimp whether he vetoes the money he needs to continue this war, or accepts the timetables and signs it. He's backed into a corner and he knows it.

On another note, I haven't said anything about the Brits who were captured by the Iranians. The reason I haven't is because my bullshit detector has pinned the needle. Somehow, this happens now, at a time when the Chimp is looking for an excuse to pick a fight with the Iranians. And we all know how Tony Blair will roll over and give his ass up for Bush. I don't trust the situation in light of the Chimp's recent problems with Congress. It doesn't help when Iran's President Ahmedinejad is as fucked up as our resident moron. Let's not forget that reformers made great gains in Iran's elections in February and Ahmedinejad is feeling the same pressure Bush is.

The thing that worries me is both are getting desperate enough to do something really dumb.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Personnel decisions ...

I always kid my boss Harry that he is a great boss, but his personnel decisions suck out loud; just look at the assholes he hires. He's a genius compared to the Chimp:

Last night I noted that Monica Goodling, Alberto Gonzales' senior counsel and white house liason graduated from Pat Robertson's Regent Unicersity law school. Apparently, she did her undergraduate work at someplace known as Messiah University, so it's pretty clear that this 33 year old is a dyed in the wool social conservative who was likely hired for that reason. Apparently, the Bush Emerald City hiring practices were more systemic than we thought: there are more than 150 graduates of Regent University serving in the Bush Administration.


Links galore over at Digby's.

Quote of the Day

CNN's Michael Ware via Crooks & Liars:

"Honestly, Wolf, you'll barely last twenty minutes out there. I don't know what part of Neverland Senator McCain is talking about when he says we can go strolling in Baghdad."

If you listened to McCain with Wolfie this afernoon, you gotta think he's got Alzheimer's or something. Watch the video.

Veterans Day

Probably light blogging today. Mrs. G finally took her day off for Veterans Day. She had to use it before the end of the month or lose it.

We had plans to go out for breakfast today, but it was delayed a little. We got a foot of snow last night and by the time I cleared the driveway I was hungry enough to eat the hind end out of a wino through a park bench!

Luckily, for me and the wino, I didn't have to. We went to the Squeeze In and had omelets. I had one with pastrami, avocado, and cheddar with sour cream and mushroom sauce, or in Squeeze In parlance, a #56. They have 62 kinds. Their site here.

The Squeeze Inn, right in the middle of Truckee's main drag, serves a wild and unruly assortment of omelets. They also serve lunch and other breakfast items, but that doesn't matter. What does matters are the omelets: Big, man-sized omelets--omelets larger than the hearts of eight dead elk, omelets loaded with fresh ingredients like bell peppers and avocado, omelets with catchy names like "Jeremiah" and "Racy Tracy."

They've also got one called the "Dirty Dick", and believe it or don't, I knew the guy it was named for. He was, too.

Anyway, I'm kinda slugged out from the big breakfast so I got no idea where the day will take me. Burp.

Punditry ...

Since we've crawled up the "Beltway pundits'" collective ass this week, I figured I'd talk a little bit about it this morning. If your Sunday morning is spent like mine, watching Lil' George, Timmeh, McLaugh-in, and Wolfie, you might have noticed something this week. The subtle change in the conservative pundits' verbal diarrhea (well, except for that load Tony Blankley).

They're beginning to eat their own. That overstuffed whore bag Terry Jeffrey on Wolfie's:

It's not good, apparently her lawyer is trying to suggest they're building a perjury trap for people in the Justice Department. But the truth is, Wolf, Congress - its Judiciary Committees - they have oversight over the Justice Department. It is inexcusable for people in the Justice Department to take the 5th amendment to avoid testifying in Congress. People there must go testify. There's no question about it.

Or that professional suckup Rich 'We're Winning' Lowry (and check out the Novakula quote at the link too):

[Bush] has made a few key bad decisions about policy and personnel, compounded them by not reacting quickly enough when things go wrong, and failed to create a sense of accountability in his government ...

Jeez, fellas, it was just a few short weeks ago when these issues were 'non-issues'. What changed? Could it be you've realized that kissing White House ass might be counterproductive to a long career? Could it be you've realized how gullible, moronic, and downright stupid you sound pushing the 'alternate reality' now that the majority of Americans are starting to figure out how badly they've been snowed? Are you afraid the American people might just figure out how you willingly helped perpetuate the lie and you too might be put up against the wall when the revolution comes? Or is it that the payments are getting smaller?

Say whatever you want now, but your die has been cast. Change your tune, jump ship for all I care, but your credibility is shot. It's too late, especially now in this age of internet blogging, because we're never gonna let the public forget. At least I won't. Since '93 you've been recorded, in print and on video, spreading the lie and thanks to things called Google and YouTube, your archive of propaganda can be brought to the fore at any time. Good luck rewriting your resumes, boys and girls. Thanks to the interwebs, you can't lie and equivocate your way out of past statements. If I have anything to say about it, your enabling this fascist takeover of the United States will dog you until you retire or die, whichever comes first. You are all part of the White House propaganda machine, you are all culpable, and you should all be in jail.

And a special note to James Carville: Dude, what did you know and when did you know it? Don't tell me you had no clue what your wife and her boss were up to during the past 6 years. It just can't happen, I don't care how separate you claim to keep your personal and professional lives. Mrs. F and I try to do it and it's almost impossible. You had to have known, you can't convince me otherwise, and that is one of the main reasons I'm leery of voting for Hillary. I don't trust you, Mr. Carville, not as far as I can piss into a force nine gale. You knew, and said nothing. You put your self-interest ahead of the good of your country and for that I cannot forgive you. Sins of omission are still sins, sir.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Our media elites

Too good to pull a quote, Greenwald has the best treatise on the media elite mindset, complete with video.

So ...

We do have something to hide:

The senior counselor to Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales will refuse to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee in the unfolding U.S. attorneys scandal, invoking her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, her attorneys said today.

Monica M. Goodling -- who is on an indefinite leave of absence from Gonzales's office -- also alleges in a sworn declaration that a "senior Department of Justice official" has admitted he was "not entirely candid" in his Senate testimony and has blamed Goodling and others for not fully briefing him.


Keep shaking the trees and you never know what falls out.

Great thanks to SP @ C & L.

Readiness ...

Or the lack thereof. Looks like I'm swimming:

WASHINGTON -- If Long Island were hit with a major hurricane, debilitating shortages of equipment could potentially slow response by the New York Army National Guard and put lives in jeopardy.


Five years after grueling deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, the Guard in New York, as elsewhere in the country, is under huge strains balancing warfighting, guarding the homeland and responding to natural disasters.

A report by the Government Accountability Office in January found that states had about 50 percent of their authorized trucks, generators, radios, and medical gear available for domestic use. The GAO said it could not determine whether the Guard was equipped to respond to a terrorist attack or a Katrina-style natural disaster.


So tell me how "fightin' them over there instead of fightin' them over here" is making us safer.

Sounds like my "Dance of Joy"!

From Pam's House Blend via ThinkProgress:

-- U.S. Army recruiter Sgt. Marcia Ramode, using her military email address to respond to Jersey City resident Corey Andrew, after Ramode learned Andrew was gay.

Is this the General Peter Pace policy at work?

More at Freedom To Serve.

In related news, Pvt. Ramode has been awarded a dull paring knife and 16 tons of potatoes. Not for her outstanding attitude as a recruiter, but for getting caught at it.

I made the last little bit up.

The Beeb does it again

Go watch an Iraqi lady and a distinguished Limey tear John "Brownshirt" Bolton a new one.

Ignorance Is Repuglican Bliss

Information Week

A little under one-third of U.S. households have no Internet access and do not plan to get it, with most of the holdouts seeing little use for it in their lives, according to a survey released Friday.

Park Associates, a Dallas-based technology market research firm, said 29 percent of U.S. households, or 31 million homes, do not have Internet access and do not intend to subscribe to an Internet service over the next 12 months.

I think that helps explain the remaining support for Bush. If these folks have to climb up on the roof to rotate the antenna when they change channels, they probably just leave it tuned to FOX Noise, so all they know is what the White House would like all of us to only know.

More Richardson

MyDD has an interview with Bill Richardson. Excerpts at the link along with audio and/or download of the full interview.

Treasonable Doubt

Oh, the irony...

Ironic Times

U.S. Military Non-Combat Efforts Now Include Building Schools, Hospitals
Got idea from Hezbollah.

Pet Owners' Ability to Sue Pet Food Companies for Damages Depends on Breed, Cost of Pet
Just like for humans.

Supreme Court Hears "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" Case
Expected to rule similarly to last year's "Crack Pipes 4 Christ" case.

Many more.

Quotation and Comment

(in "Third Man") Harry Lime (Orson Welles) says, "You know what the fellow Italy for thirty years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love, they had five hundred years of democracy and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock."

Based on that theory the United States is due for an artistic renaissance the likes of which the world has never seen.


A tip of the Jersey Stetson to Mrs. Jersey for the idea.

NPR gets it

From TRex:


So, imagine my surprise on Thursday when "All Things Considered" kicked off with a refreshingly unbiased, downright laudatory story about the role Josh Marshall and Talking Points Memo have played in the unravelling of the Abu Gonzales justice department. Most of us know the story of how Marshall and his readers have been on this case for months now and the tale of the now-fabled 3000 page document dump and subsequent all-night data mining expedition. TPM staff and people all across the blogosphere joined forces to drill through the stacks of PDF's in record time, neatly sabotaging the administration's stall-tactic.

Oh, how I wish I could have been a fly on the wall in Karl Rove's little crisis command center when they came in the next morning and announced that a bunch of liberal bloggers had read every single document in less that 24 hours and wanted to know what the hell happened to the crucial missing 18 days of emails around the actual firings. They thought they had bought themselves some time, heh, and it woulda worked to, if it hadn't been for us meddling kids.



Indeed. The Friday afternoon document dump doesn't work so well when the bloggers are waiting like hungry sharks to dissect them. At this point, you know somebody will find whatever the administration is trying to hide.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Our Big Night Out

I was kinda quiet around here yesterday because we got invited out by our friends Bev and Bentley to go listen to The Del McCoury Band at John Ascuaga's Nugget casino in Sparks, Nevada. The last time we were there was fifteen years ago when we went to a stop-smoking hypnotism deal. It worked on Mrs. G.

Our friends had bought their tickets weeks ago, and then got involved somehow with putting up posters for the show around Lake Tahoe where they live. Their payoff was two free tickets. Bentley said we were the third couple they asked to go, but later 'fessed up that it wasn't so. That kinda stuff passes for humor amongst us simple hill folk.

Anyway, we not only had to do our usual Saturday stuff but also had to get ready to go: trim Mrs. G's hair, round up town clothes (no holes, zipper works, two matching socks, etc.), get the Satiddy Nite Bath done early, stuff like that. That's a lot easier since we got the pump right inside the house!

They picked us up at 5 o'clock and we went a-bilin' down outta these hyar hills at high speed in their RAV4. The thing had an odd vibration at about 80 per, and I was gonna ask about it, but Bentley volunteered that they still had their studded snow tires on. I certainly don't fault him for that since we're still in snow season, but if we'da had a stud puncture, guess who was the only mechanic in the car and who woulda got to change the tire! There's always the old "gee, I thought it was a boomerang, how come it didn't come back?" trick with the lug wrench...

Oddly enough me'n Bentley both wore Grateful Dead tee shirts. His was way cooler than mine, but he's a lot younger than I am. Guys don't give a shit about stuff like like that, thank goodness, but I am gonna get one like his.

We had a nice dinner at The Steakhouse Grill in the casino. Kinda nouvelle but plenty enough to eat and I had a damn good blackened ribeye steak. The joint was kinda like fine dining, and since I had volunteered dinner as my treat, I'll remember the nice dinner at bill payin' time fer a coupla months. That's OK.

We had to pick up our tickets at the door to the showroom. I think Bev got a kick out of being on the band's guest list. Serendipitously, as they had assigned seating, our seats were all together. We were about ten feet from the stage at table 62. Perfect.

The opening act was a local Reno band, "Moonlight Hoodoo Revue". There's an explanation of the name at the link. Noodle around a little. We met their mandolin player, Zeke, before the show as he knew Bev and Bentley. Northern Nevada is kinda a small pond, and all the bluegrass fans are members of the Northern Nevada Bluegrass Association and pretty much know one another. B & B had "The Saddlerash Bluegrass Band" for years and the band people are even tighter.

Hoodoo started off with a couple of straight bluegrass numbers to get warmed up and by the the time they did the old John Prine tune, "Angel From Montgomery", they were sizzlin'! A coupla more numbers and their 20 minutes were up and to quote Hee Haw, "Pfft! They wuz gone". They're a real good band and that was a treat.

Then came the headline act. The Del McCoury Band is probably the hottest bluegrass band goin' right now. An 'overnight success' that was about 40 years in the making. Mr. McCoury has a beautiful old-time 'high lonesome' singing voice. All the band members, including two of his sons (saves money!), can sing, and all of 'em can pick like the blazes. I think a good part of their current success is that they play any kind of music, country, rock, blues, etc. in the bluegrass style using bluegrass instruments and amazing musicianship. Oh yeah, they play reg'lar ol' bluegrass too.

They played a couple of tunes, and then called for requests and pretty much played the rest of the set from the requests. The band has a vast repertoire. The crowd hollered the most for Richard Thompson's "1952 Vincent Black Lightning" which the band covered on an album a little while back. Go hear their version. Then go hear
Richard Thompson's version. Compare. Discuss. Not exactly traditional bluegrass, but they do it very well. They did Hank Williams, Roger Miller, and some traditional and bluegrass tunes. They also played "Evangelina", an old Hoyt Axton tune which was really cool because Bev worked for Mr. Axton for several years and they were good friends. They played for an hour and a half and it was a great show.

Just to show what a family-oriented group this is, when Mrs. G bought a CD after the show, she handed her money to Mrs. McCoury. I'm a little surprised they weren't dealin' 'em outta the trunk of their car, but there probly wasn't room to pull it into the casino. The joint was packed.

On our way out, Mrs. G played a slot machine. Now, it used to be that you would put your quarter (high rollers that we are!) in the machine, pull the bandit's arm, and get to listen to your vast winnings clatter into the metal box, which you then went and turned into folding money and got the hell out of there. Not any more. The 25¢ machines don't take coins any more. You put a dollar bill in for credit, then push a button. Mrs. G won big on her dollar. Nothing came out. She pushed another button and got a cash voucher which yours truly then cashed in at the cashier. Seems like a lot of trouble to go through for eight bucks, but I guess it keeps people throwin' money in the damn things longer. It sucks. Either time is marchin' on or I gotta get to town more often. Probably both.

Then we piled back in the Toyota and vibrated back up inta the hills. A good time was had by all and we were home by 11PM.

I didn't even have to use my patented Designated Driver line: "Look, officer, who wouldja rather have behind the wheel of this thing, these three drunks or sober me with no driver's license?" Works every time. We usually get a ride home with the tow truck driver.

You can probably tell from this post that we don't get out much, but it makes it special when we do.

It speaks for itself ...

Click to embiggen

Great thanks to Mr. H.

Cement Overshoes For Fredo?

Go read Daddy Frank:

President Bush wants to keep everything that happens in his White House secret, but when it comes to his own emotions, he's as transparent as a teenager on MySpace.

On Monday morning he observed the Iraq war's fourth anniversary with a sullen stay-the-course peroration so perfunctory he seemed to sleepwalk through its smorgasbord of recycled half-truths (Iraqi leaders are "beginning to meet the benchmarks") and boilerplate ("There will be good days, and there will be bad days"). But at a press conference the next day to defend his attorney general, the president was back in the saddle, guns blazing, Mr. Bring 'Em On reborn. He vowed to vanquish his Democratic antagonists much as he once, so very long ago, pledged to make short work of insurgents in Iraq.

Yeah, like that worked. Let's hope it works as well again.

Mr. Gonzales's career has been laced with such narrow escapes for both him and Mr. Bush. As a partner at the Houston law firm of Vinson & Elkins, Mr. Gonzales had worked for Enron until 1994. After Enron imploded in 2001, reporters wanted to know whether Ken Lay's pals in the Bush hierarchy had received a heads up about the company's pending demise before its unfortunate shareholders were left holding the bag. The White House said that Mr. Gonzales had been out of the Enron loop "to the best of his recollection." This month Murray Waas of The National Journal uncovered a more recent close shave: Just as Justice Department investigators were about to examine "documents that might have shed light on Gonzales’s role" in the administration's extralegal domestic wiretapping program last year, Mr. Bush shut down the investigation.

Ah, it is good to be King! Except for the fact that we don't do kings in this country. Wrongamundo, G, we're gonna do this pretender...

[...] But in other instances, incriminating evidence coalesces around a familiar administration motive: its desperate desire to cover up the corruption that soiled what was supposed to be this White House's greatest asset, its protection of the nation's security. [...]

Please read the rest. Like always, Pop's all over this like a cheap suit.

Osama won

The goals of the terrorists on 9/11 have been achieved beyond expectations. Zbigniew Brzezinski via X:

The "war on terror" has created a culture of fear in America. The Bush administration's elevation of these three words into a national mantra since the horrific events of 9/11 has had a pernicious impact on American democracy, on America's psyche and on U.S. standing in the world. Using this phrase has actually undermined our ability to effectively confront the real challenges we face from fanatics who may use terrorism against us.

The damage these three words have done -- a classic self-inflicted wound -- is infinitely greater than any wild dreams entertained by the fanatical perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks when they were plotting against us in distant Afghan caves. The phrase itself is meaningless. It defines neither a geographic context nor our presumed enemies. Terrorism is not an enemy but a technique of warfare -- political intimidation through the killing of unarmed non-combatants. [my em]


Your 'Sunday morning read'.

Truth hurts

Not saying I wouldn't vote for Hillary or would vote for Obama (there are others whom I'd vote for before either), but it's close to the way I look at Hillary.


The brilliant-all-the-time Jill:

... This country is either going to stand for learning, education, and inquiry or it's going to stand for blind acceptance of what someone tells you ...