Saturday, June 16, 2007

Bluegrass Alert!

KVMR-FM is streaming The 32nd Annual California Bluegrass Association Father's Day Festival from Grass Valley CA for the remainder of the weekend. I think it goes 'til 11PM tonight and all day tomorrow. Enjoy.

When I tried to link to the station it was jammed up. Give it a Google. I'll try again later.

Speak English or get out ...

Atrios sums it up exactly and succinctly.


The fact is that "immigrants not learning English" is only a problem for people who are offended by the stray sounds of Spanish. The children of immigrants do learn English. There just is no identifiable "problem" here. Sure older immigrants may not become fluent in The President's English, but who cares? [my em]

As someone who grew up in a neighborhood consisting of off-the-boat Italians, Polish, and Germans, I can attest to that. 80% of my friends had at least one parent who spoke no, broken, or English with an accent (both my parents fell into that category and I spoke German before I spoke English). All of us grew up speaking English without a hint of our forebears' ethnicity in our voices. You damn well know we're from Lawn Guyland though. Heh ...

Now my neighborhood is Latin American, Indian, Afghani, Chinese, and Korean. Same shit, just more chickens.

And another thought. Though I never spoke a word of Italian or Polish, I sure knew when the old ladies were pissed about something we did. Heh ...

A whore by any other name ...

It's Saturday and that means another chapter of my novel The Fourth Estate is up at The Practical Press.

Don't fence me in...

That picture makes me wish for a souped-up cattle prod with a handle long enough to reach right up under the tail...

Robin Olds 1922-2007


Retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Robin Olds, a World War II ace fighter pilot who later commanded an Air Force wing that shot down seven Communist MIGs over North Vietnam in the biggest air battle of the Vietnam War, has died. He was 84.

Please go read the obit of a true American hero. Not everybody in a flight suit is a phony.

Smothers Brothers Diplomacy


Meanwhile, there's a rumor circulating in Baghdad and in some Washington circles that the CIA, in order to help the Bush Administration find a face-saving way to get out, is bribing Iraqi parliamentarians to vote for an end to the American troop presence. I have absolutely no reason to believe this is anything more than a rumor, but the very fact that it is being discussed indicates just how desperate the military (and political) situation is in Iraq.

I think that's a smokin' good idea, which means it probably ain't happening.

And we can't leave without the oil, anyway. Bush's masters have spoken.

Back in the early-1970s, when the war in Vietnam was hopelessly bogged down, Tommy and Dickey Smothers proposed during their Comedy Hour that the United States simply declare that it had won and pull out. It may come to pass that the Bush Administration turns to Smother Brothers diplomacy as a way to get out of Iraq.

That was a great show. I remember once when they were talking about the benefits of using condoms, unheard of on TV in those days, and Tommy said in his deadpan way that he was wearing one right then and there and holding it on with duct tape.

America in a nutshell ...

Kate Harding at Shakesville:

... There you have it, folks. Losing the “last 15 pounds” is a bigger priority than not crapping your pants. ... [em in orig]

I could see it ...

If she were a white, Southern woman, but one thing I never got about Michelle Malkin (not that I really go too far to increase my understanding of that loon) is why she's so racist. Has she ever looked in the mirror? If the wingnuts are ever capable of putting their 'grand plan' into practice, she'd be one of the first in the camps or up against the wall.

Gotta take the Mrs. to the airport. Later ...

Friday, June 15, 2007

Quote of the Day deux

I just want to go on the record as saying that I believe it to be an absolute travesty of justice that Scooter Libby is being sent to jail without DeLay.


Go see our pal CAFKIA and our role model SouthKnoxBubba (R. Neal) at KnoxViews.

Bush and Clueless Joe drop pants Gay Bomb


The Pentagon confirmed, that the US military sought to build a “Gay Bomb” which would turn enemy soldiers into homosexuals. President Bush and Joe Lieberman unleash the weapon on a pack of terrorists

I wish they'd build it. It oughta cut down on 'friendly fire' (awful term) incidents. First one of those, they'd have to drop the 'don't ask, don't tell' policy. Especially after 'film at 11'. Heh.



Fred Thompson Is the Paris Hilton of Politics

I sorta like the sideways reference to "locked up", but PUH-LEEZE! no video of him having sex! Probably with Chris Matthews. Must. Bleach. Brain.

We need a Big Push

I won't link to this wingnut gasbag, but if you want to read it (Lose a bet? Heh.) you can go to BuzzFlash and find it:

Conservative Columnist: "Bush Push On Immigration Would Lead To GOP Self-Destruction."

PUSH HARDER, dammit! Or should I say EMPUJE!

Cultural Learnings of Albania for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Americastan

Financial Times via MSNBC:

Prime minister Sali Berisha accurately captured the national mood in his effusive welcoming comments towards Bush when the pair staged a joint news conference. But he also sounded remarkably like Borat, the spoof Kazakh journalist created by comedian Sacha Baron Cohen. "Today is a beautiful day," he said. "Today is a great day, historic for all Albanians. Among us is the greatest and most distinguished guest we have ever had in all times, the president of the United States of America, the leading country of the free world, George W. Bush [and] his lady, Mrs. Laura Bush.""

Bush looked to be struggling to maintain his composure as the press corps sniggered in the front row.

"For me, it's a great honour, and a special pleasure to thank them with gratitude and extend the most heartfelt welcome, in this historic visit, the first visit ever of a United States president in Albania," he continued. Still he was not finished, adding: "thank you heartily, Mr president, from the bottom of our hearts, fulfilling ardent and long-awaited wish of all Albanians to have a special guest in their home."

If Baron Cohen was not involved, surely Ashton Kutcher, star of a well-known MTV practical joke series, was about to jump out and tell Bush "You've been Punk'd"? But as the two leaders proceeded to talk seriously about Kosovo and Albania's mooted entry into Nato it became clear the adulation was serious. Sitting in the audience, Karl Rove, the White House political adviser, must have been thinking how much easier the last two presidential elections would have been had the US taken seriously an Albanian proposal in the 1990s to be declared the 51st US state.

Once a Red state, always a Red state, I guess.

Before boarding his limo, Bush put an arm on top of the vehicle and lifted himself up to wave farewell, as his fans chanted "BOOSHY, BOOSHY". It looked for a moment like he would emulate Michael Jackson, who famously climbed atop his SUV to salute fans outside a courthouse where he faced criminal charges in 2003. Bush would have been forgiven for not wanting the moment to end. But he eventually disappeared into the limo and sped off towards the airport, with only one more stop in Sofia on Monday before returning to political reality in Washington.

Return to political reality? Bush? Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha!

I'm sure he likes "The Gloved One" comparo too! Heh.

Of course the best part of that whole deal is that the Chimp let the adoring Albanians actually get up close and personal with him, something he would never dare do here because someone'd clean his clock for him, and then one of 'em gleeped his cheap-ass bling right off his wrist. Fuckin' priceless!

Whether or not his watch really got swiped is unclear, but I saw the video and I don't think it was. The press sure made a big deal out of it. At least the prick had the good sense not to wear the Rolex he probably wears to meetings with his big-time corporate cronies. Or maybe he got it off the street in NY from one of Fixer's friends and it actually says 'Relax' on its face. Hell, Bush can't read well enough to tell the difference.

In defense of cheap-ass bling, I wear a Timex as well. The watch was made in the Phillipines, the band in China, it cost $35 at Target, it looks good, keeps good time, lights up at night, and I got it from Mrs. G as a birthday present. Who could ask for more?


Bush gets his watch back!

Kokesh gets General Discharge, fights on

At Truthout with a 'must see' video.

Marine commander Lt. Gen. John Bergman today announced he had endorsed a review board recommendation that Cpl. Adam Kokesh get a "general discharge under honorable conditions."

Bergman levied the penalty on Kokesh for his actions in a March war protest and his subsequent obscene communication with a superior officer. With the sanction, Kokesh will keep his veterans' benefits.

But the corporal, who is now a student at George Washington University, said he'll appeal.

"We can't drop this," he said. "No precedent has been established. The Marine Corps got away with something in this case."

His attorney, Michael Lebowitz, said he'll take the case to the Navy Discharge Board, and then to federal court if necessary.

Lebowitz said even though the appeal will continue, the general discharge was a good outcome for his client: "I want to stress that we did beat them back on the other-than-honorable (discharge)."

Kokesh said he wanted to continue to argue the case for other servicemen and women; that way, he said, "the next Marine who faces harassment and intimidation will have something to stand on."

If Cpl. Kokesh was indeed "protecting our rights" by his service as the brass and the pols pay lip service to, then he earned the right to say whatever he wants to once off active duty.

As far as wearing his uniform while saying the things the administration told the Corps' brass not to like, gimme a break! According to this article he was wearing wearing his desert utes with the military insignia removed. Are they gonna downgrade all the discharges of Vets who are living under bridges and that's all they have to wear? That doesn't make the administration look very good either. Oh, that's right, they're not on TV sayin' shit the brass don't like where the public might actually see them.

A General Discharge is a slap on the wrist compared to an 'other than honorable' discharge, but it's still a slap in the face. It's a punitive response to a good Marine doing what good Marines do - standing on their hind legs telling the truth in the face of an immense machine designed to keep them quiet through intimidation. Downgrading his discharge because he pissed someone off is the absolute definition of 'chickenshit'.

I'm not very proud of my Marine Corps right now because of their reprehensible reaction to this deal, but then I never liked officers very much anyway. As a class, that is. Some of 'em were OK, mostly Mustangs.

Note to Cpl. Kokesh: You keep fightin' this, bro. You're right and they're wrong. Damn the odds, keep pullin' that trigger. Semper Fi, Marine.

"Semper Fidelis" is something the brass better go back and try and remember the meaning of. It refers to your fellow Marines and our nation, not faithfulness to a criminal regime.

I call on the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Conway, to put a stop to this shit. This isn't going to go away until you do, and you know it's the right thing to do. You're embarassing all of us that ever wore Marine green.

Note to Sergeant Major Kent: kick Conway's ass a little until he shapes up. You know how to do it. You've done it to junior officers, it's time to do it to a senior one.

Corporal Kokesh is a better Marine than any of the officers who participated in this travesty. He deserves an Honorable Discharge. Period.


Froggy channels Marvin Gaye and explains to congressional Dems why their approval ratings suck as bad as the Chimp's:


The pundits and professionals want to attribute the decline in congressional popularity to a variety of factors, and especially the immigration bill, but that's just not it.


Off to the shop ...

Qualifications ...

Well, after hearing all of Gord's complaints about his Rethug congressman, Do Shit Do Nothing Doolittle, I can see why they can't find a qualified crook director for the California Rethuglican Crime Family Party:

The California Republican Party has decided no American is qualified to take one of its most crucial positions -- state deputy political director -- and has hired a Canadian for the job through a coveted H-1B visa, a program favored by Silicon Valley tech firms that is under fire for displacing skilled American workers.

Christopher Matthews, 35, a Canadian citizen, has worked for the state GOP as a campaign consultant since 2004. But he recently was hired as full-time deputy political director, with responsibility for handling campaign operations and information technology for the country's largest state Republican Party operation, California Republican Party Chairman Ron Nehring confirmed in a telephone interview this week.

In the nation's most populous state -- which has produced a roster of nationally known veteran political consultants -- "it's insulting but also embarrassing ... to bring people from the outside who don't know the difference between Lodi and Lancaster ... and who can't even vote," said Karen Hanretty, a political commentator and former state GOP party spokeswoman.


Hey, they work cheaper than Americans, don't they?


Steve Benen alerts us to the fact they can't find a qualified American to run the shakedown squad party operations either.


Wait, it gets funnier. Matthews was hired by Michael Kamburowski, the state GOP’s chief operations officer, who is ... wait for it ... an Australian citizen.


Quote of the Day

Shakes, at her 'Quote of the Day':


Yeah, right. The closest that douchebag ever got to the frontlines was the day he dressed up like a flyboy and got flown to the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln off the coast of San Diego (to the tune of about $1 million in taxpayers’ money), to stand underneath a banner announcing “Mission Accomplished” and prematurely (by four years and counting) assert that “major combat operations” in Iraq had ended. Wevvy wevver wev.


Her response to Tony Blow-job's statement that the Chimp is on the front lines of the war in Iraq. Well said, darlin'.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

So long, Scooter ...

Definitely not work safe.

Killing people

It's easy if you don't like 'em.

Yes, I realize it's a 'duh' thing, but hear me out.

For instance, say I'm somewhere in South America. Say I'm up in the Andes, in Colombia, me and a squad of Jarheads or Green Berets. Say we're there for a week, watching this little dirt airfield that has a buncha out buildings on the property surrounded by acres and acres of fields. Say I have intelligence telling me this place is a harvesting, processing, and transport location for some big Colombian coke dealer. Fine.

I don't like these guys. I don't like the guys fueling and loading the R4D that's sitting there, I don't like the guys working in the buildings, and I don't like the guys working in the fields in this valley between the peaks. They're drug dealers. They're the enemy.

Now just say I happen to make radio contact with a flight of Navy F-14s or Marine A-6s who just happen to be doing some combat air patrol drills just offshore in the Pacific and ask for their 'assistance'.

The lead pilot is going to ask me for coordinates. Now, am I going to give him a vector that will bring him in over the airfield and destroy just that or am I going to bring him in at the far end of the valley and let him bomb everybody in the valley, field workers, mechanics, and hangers on?

Of course, I'm gonna kill everybody. Why? Because I have no attachment to them. They're the enemy, whether or not they make any money from the drug trade, whether or not they even knew exactly who they were working for. They're the reason I'm sitting in this bug-infested, snake-infested hidey hole for a week. I don't care because our actions are part of the 'War on Drugs', and these people are working for the enemy. So long and good night, let the fireworks begin, take it up with your god when you get there.

Why do I relate this little story? The Vietnam guys know. It's the reason we didn't win there and the reason we won't win in Iraq. It's the reason we ain't winning the War on Drugs.

The grunts hate the Iraqis.

After the 3rd and 4th deployments, with no light at the end of the tunnel except the oncoming train of more deployments, the grunts have had it. They're angry at their situation and they're gonna blame the people whom they see to be keeping them there. The Iraqi people.

They see the Iraqi police, or army, or whatever you want to call them, not showing up for missions, running out on missions. They see the insurgency, gunmen who come out of nowhere to harass them and then melt into the crowd. They are beginning, thanks to the insurgency, to look at every Iraqi as a possible enemy. They are beginning to dislike the Iraqis.

So now I ask. You're a grunt in Iraq on your 3rd deployment and you gotta clear a house. There's a buncha folks in that house, some enemy some not, maybe. Are ya gonna go in on full automatic?

It's an easy decision to make if you don't like 'em.

How far we've fallen ...

4 years ago it was 'greeted as liberators', 'dead or alive', and 'last throes'. Today it's 'making deals with the enemy':

The US military has embarked on a new and risky strategy in Iraq by arming Sunni insurgents in the hope that they will tackle the extremist al-Qaida in Iraq.

The US high command this month gave permission to its officers on the ground to negotiate arms deals with local leaders. Arms, ammunition, body armour and other equipment, as well as cash, pick-up trucks and fuel, have already been handed over in return for promises to turn on al-Qaida and not attack US troops.


But they promised. Oy gevult. Didn't anyone explain to these idiots that the first casualty of war is the 'plan', then comes 'truth', with 'promises' falling right behind.

Think about this. The supposedly-unbeatable U.S. military, the same ones who marched to Baghdad in 3 weeks, is now desperate enough to make deals with a ragtag bunch of insurgents to finish the job.

Just askin' the MAC-V and Green Beret guys, how'd that work out in Vietnam? Yeah, thought so.

Great thanks to Steve Benen at C & L.

Marine to the rescue

A friend of mine from my recent HS reunion sent me this tale of heroism:

[To share with your U. S. Navy buddies...
U.S. Marine Saves The Life of an Navy Chief During Horse-Back Riding Mishap
Sacramento, CA., May 17, 2007

A Navy Chief narrowly escaped serious injury recently when he decided to try horseback riding, even though he had no lessons or prior experience. He mounted the horse, unassisted, and the horse immediately sprang into action. As it galloped along at a steady and rhythmic pace, the Chief began to slip from the saddle. In terror, he grabbed for the horse's mane, but could not get a firm grip. He tried to throw his arms around the horse's neck, but he began to slide down the side of the horse anyway!

The horse galloped along, seemingly impervious to its slipping rider. Finally, losing his frail grip, the Chief attempted to leap away from the horse and throw himself to safety. Unfortunately, his foot became entangled in the stirrup, and he was now at the mercy of the horse's pounding hooves as his head struck against the ground over and over and over.

As his head was being battered against the ground and he was mere moments away from unconsciousness, to his great fortune a Marine Master Gunnery Sergeant shopping at Wal-Mart saw him and quickly unplugged the horse.]

If I get material like that, I'm going to more reunions!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Quote of the Day


... Congress finds dusty box of testicles up in the attic ...

Surviving War, Slowly Dying at Home

IPS on homeless Veterans:

"These are guys who are pretty much going straight from deployment to the streets," added Rachel Feldstein, associate director of New Directions, a residential care centre for homeless veterans inside the VA complex in West Los Angeles. She says veterans of the Iraq war are becoming homeless much more quickly than Vietnam vets (my em).

While about half of the estimated 400,000 homeless veterans served during the Vietnam years, Feldstein said most did not usually become homeless until nine to 12 years after their discharge.

Already, she said, Iraq war vets are living on the streets of Los Angeles, getting seriously addicted to drugs and falling into criminal behaviour, she said.

Firm estimates of the number of homeless Iraq war veterans are hard to come by. In June 2005, the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans reported the number of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan) veterans seeking assistance from community-based homeless services providers had exceeded 400.

The group Veterans for America, formerly the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation, estimates that 10,000 veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan are now living on the street.

Activists concerned about increases in the number of homeless veterans argue for greater federal investment in affordable housing and social services. Of particular concern is the wait for mental health care, which can run as long as six months.

A recent study by Harvard's Kennedy School of Government found that by the time the Iraq and Afghanistan wars end, there will be at least two and a half million vets. Because of that, the Harvard study concluded, Congress will have to double the VA's budget simply to avoid cutting services.

Not to increase services to the level needed, but simply to avoid cutting them.

Unacceptable and unconscionable.

I wonder if there are directions printed on servicemen: "Use as necessary until used up, then throw away."

Genocide with deniability

Tom Hull on how the U.S. is starting to use the same tactics in Iraq it used against our Indians. Hey, it worked...

It's getting hard to think of things that could go wrong for the US in Iraq that haven't already gone wrong. New York Times hack John Burns is reporting that the US is arming Sunni Arab groups in Iraq, mostly ex-Baathists, on the promise that they'll use those weapons against Al Qaeda. No doubt they will, but also no doubt they'll use those same weapons against US troops, Iraqi troops, Shiite militias, each other, and anyone else who happens in the way. Burns was on PBS tonight talking about how this sort of strategy has been tried in the past and doesn't have a very good track record. He mentioned Vietnam, for instance, but didn't mention the one case where it did work: arming Indians on the old west frontier. The strategy is actually older than the US: Samuel Champlain did it when the French first arrived, and he may not even have been the first. The European settlers then, like the Americans today, were comfortable in the superiority of their arms, so they had few worries about the blowback their arms dealing might cause. Rather, they saw the big advantage of playing each side off against the other. The result was genocide with deniability, which is pretty much where Iraq is heading. Indeed, the new deals with Sunnis are dividends from previous US deals arming Shiite death squads.

It's often said that those ignorant of history are doomed to repeat it; here it looks like the Americans are hoping that works based on utterly misapplying their historical analogies. Last week Tony Snow looked into his crystal ball and discovered Korea as a hopeful model for Iraq. Exactly what makes Korea a success story isn't all that obvious. The war started 57 years ago, degrading quickly into a stalemate, with a ceasefire that has held for 54 years, despite the near-complete isolation and immiseration of the North, still controlled by a regime that periodically feels the need to threaten mass mayhem just to get the occasional handout of rice or oil. Even if Snow was just trying to point to hanging tough for 57 years and counting as an accomplishment, that's a pretty lame definition of success. Otherwise, the similarity is impossible to find. But it might make sense if you view North Korea as an Indian reservation -- not exactly subjugated, but pretty tightly contained. Now if we can only get those Iraqis packed away safely into a few reservations.

We did learn something from the old days. This time, we won't put the rez right on top of the oil like they did in Oklahoma.

If not now, when?

I mean, I'm a progressive blogger. I've been pretty well aware, for the past few years, that the Chimp (in the giuse of Karl Rove) has 'cronyized' every government agency ('heck of a job' and all that). Why is it, after being played for fools since November 2000, the press is just getting it now?

WASHINGTON -- The head of the main federal contracting agency, a longtime GOP supporter, should be "punished to the fullest extent" for violating a ban on political advocacy on government time, a watchdog agency concluded.

The Office of Special Counsel, in a letter to President Bush released late Monday, said General Services Administrator Lurita Doan engaged in "the most pernicious of political activity" banned by the 1939 Hatch Act when she asked, at a meeting of General Services Administration political appointees, how they could help Republican candidates.


2 years ago, this wouldn't even have been reported, at least not where anyone could find it.

Every federal institution has been taken over by neocon cronies, either as a way for the WH to ensure their complete control over the process or as a payoff to a campaign supporter.

Thanks to Larisa Alexandrovna for the link.


Pach at FDL on more cronyism in high places. As always, the lowest common denominator is Rove:

... And guess what? This path leads back to Rove. I know. I’m stunned as well ...

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Moses is on his way down the mountain holding the tablets, hesitates, shakes his head and turns toward heaven saying, "The Arabs are going to get all of the oil and we are going to cut off the tips of our what?


Post-traumatic Iraq syndrome


The war is lost. Americans should begin to deal with what that means.

By Christopher J. Fettweis, CHRISTOPHER J. FETTWEIS is assistant professor of national security affairs at the U.S. Naval War College. These opinions are his own.

I think tomorrow Mr. Fettweis will be referred to as former assistant professor. Truth doesn't play too well with the bunch in power.

The endgame in Iraq is now clear, in outline if not detail, and it appears that the heavily favored United States will be upset. Once support for a war is lost, it is gone for good; there is no example of a modern democracy having changed its mind once it turned against a war. So we ought to start coming to grips with the meaning of losing in Iraq.

The battle for interpretation has already begun, with fingers of blame pointed in all directions in hastily written memoirs. The war's supporters have staked out their position quite clearly: Attacking Iraq was strategically sound but operationally flawed. Key decisions on troop levels, de-Baathification, the disbanding of the Iraqi army and the like doomed what otherwise would have been a glorious war.

The American people seem to understand, however - and historians will certainly agree - that the war itself was a catastrophic mistake. It was a faulty grand strategy, not poor implementation. The Bush administration was operating under an international political illusion, one that is further discredited with every car bombing of a crowded Baghdad marketplace and every Iraqi doctor who packs up his family and flees his country.

Hopefully at some point during the recriminations to come, the American people will seize the opportunity to ask themselves a series of fundamental questions about the role and purpose of U.S. power in the world. How much influence can the United States have in the Middle East? Is its oil worth American blood and treasure? Are we really safer now that Iraq burns? Might we not be better off just leaving the region alone?

Perhaps at some point we will come to recognize that the United States can afford to be much more restrained in its foreign policy adventures. Were our founding fathers here, they would surely look on Iraq with horror and judge that the nation they created had fundamentally lost its way. If the war in Iraq leads the United States to return to its traditional, restrained grand strategy, then perhaps the whole experience will not have been in vain.

Either way, the Iraq syndrome is coming. We need to be prepared for the divisiveness, vitriol, self-doubt and recrimination that will be its symptoms. They will be the defining legacy of the Bush administration and neoconservatism's parting gift to America.

I have nothing to add, except - is there any nation we dislike well enough to re-gift?

Outraged viewing public demands a different ending for 'The Bushpranos'


Polls indicate that before the lights go out on the Bush administration, this is the final image most folks wanna see on their tubes:

Five Pillars of Bush, with apologies to T.E. Lawrence

Democratic Underground with today's 'recommended read'. Nothing really new, but a nice neat package.

A tremendous amount of damage has been done to our country since George Bush took office, and consequently we now find ourselves in a perilous crisis, with our Constitution in tatters, our treasury being depleted by rampant militarism, our international reputation at an all time low, and with a broken election system. Therefore, Americans would do well to carefully consider prior to the next election the five pillars of George Bush's Republican Party. This is a description of five groups of people, the first four which overlap to a great extent, who lead, support, and vote for today's Republican Party.

The economic royalists (Quotes from FDR and Al Gore)

The militarists


There are several causes and components of this rampant militarism. One primary cause overlaps with the economic royalists: Wealthy corporate friends of the Bush administration have made billions from their no-bid contracts associated with the Iraq war, as billions of dollars have gone missing; we have built several permanent military bases in Iraq; and now we are insisting upon and intimidating the Iraqi government to gain control of their oil.

That word, 'oil', seems to be cropping up a lot lately for some reason...

For millions of Americans who support the rampant militarism of George Bush's Republican Party, fear and racism undoubtedly play a major role. Constant fear mongering by the Bush administration causes many ordinary Republicans to be so fearful for their own safety that they are willing to have their Constitution and the rule of law in their country destroyed in return for George Bush's promises to protect them. The fact that most of the victims of George Bush's cruel and inhuman policies are Muslims of Middle Eastern descent and dark skin undoubtedly makes that bargain more palatable to many of his followers.

The paper Bush's 'promises' are written on should be kept on a roll next to the toilet.

The propagandists and destroyers of our First Amendment rights

The crooks

AKA the 'con men'. Not enough bandwidth.

The gullible

AKA the 'marks'. The largest group of Repuglican'ts.

Despite all their money, the support of most of the corporate news media, and widespread election fraud, Republicans nevertheless must still rely on many millions of gullible Americans to push them over the top. They must convince many millions of Americans to buy into the absurdity that their economic policies are not weighted heavily in favor of the rich and powerful; that George Bush and his associates didn't know that Iraq posed no threat to us whatsoever when he went to war against them; that the tough talk and excessive eagerness of Republicans to pull their country into war is a manifestation of courage; and finally, many millions of Christians buy into the absurd idea that George Bush and the Republican Party is the party of Christian values.


That is the essence of the Constitutional crisis we have today. Many of our Democratic representatives feel that if we wait it out for another year and a half and elect a Democratic Congress and President in 2008 we will get back on the right track. My great fear is that it will be too late by then. A solid precedent will have been set that says that it is ok for our President to be above the law, like a King, rather than a servant of the people. I don't see how we’re going to reverse that precedent if we don't take aggressive steps to remove George Bush and Dick Cheney from the offices they have so greatly abused, while we still have the chance.

Hear, hear. Go read.

The new guy ...

We added another car guy to the staff over at Fixer & Gordon. Stop over and say hi to Bustednuckles (many of you will recognize him from the comments sections here), who also has his own blog. Another pissed off mechanic. Heh ...

Scopes ...

I saw that idiot Huckabee on Noball last night and Ol' Tweety actually said something worthwhile. Paraphrasing: "It's 2007 and we're retrying Scopes."

I touched on this during the first Rethug debate a couple weeks ago. Listen to me.

Any candidate who is running for elective office who believes every human on Earth is a direct descendant of Adam and Eve (I guess they never saw Deliverance or read the history of the Hapsburgs), who believes every spieces of animal is derivative of those aboard Noah's Ark, who believes the Earth is 6000 years old, and who believes God actually did create Life, The Universe, and Everything in 6 days, not only should you lose the election but should be laughed at and shamed from public life.

I am fucking tired of people with double-digit IQs being allowed to shape the national discourse. I'm fucking tired of morons being treated as credible just because they put on a suit and speak for a political party. Shut the fuck up.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Thank god ...

After growing up with crooked, dysfunctional, connected, Ginzo assholes, I for one am glad The Sopranos is over. I see nothing good about glorifying criminals and now another generation of Ginzo assholes think being a wiseguy is something to aspire to.

Heck of a job

In these days of administration corruption, incompetence, and outright blatant criminality, I'm almost nostalgic for Movement Conservatism. It went a little overboard, but it never threatened to sink the ship like the Repugs are now.

Good op-ed at The Dallas Morning News:

In this late winter of our discontent – bordering on, let's be honest, black depression – conservatives' minds turn to the ways the promise of a new era of rightist government has turned to ashes by the Republican Party's incompetence and corruption.

Heck of a job, the lot of you. You and your congressional Republican abettors have done a splendid job routing conservatism, and making it seem not like a plausible governing philosophy and approach to public life, but instead indecent drapery swaddling ambition in silken phrases, and incompetent hackery in velvety ideals.

Being conservative used to mean that you stood for certain political ideas, but it also meant that you stood for certain virtues, especially personal responsibility and old-fashioned honor. After these last six years, it's hard to know what conservatives stand for, except never having to say you're sorry.

There's no love lost between me and conservatives. Conservatism and Liberalism used to be two sides of an ongoing national debate. Both sides had good points and bad, both sides went overboard sometimes, and both sides traded the upper hand back and forth from time to time. That was all right. Looking back, it was a Hell of a lot better than what we have now.

Since conservatism has been carjacked by the current crop of Repugs, conservatives are tarred with the brush of the neocons, warmongers, big money fascist cronyism, the phony god squad, and general all 'round evil bullshit. 'Twas ever thus, but it's worse now.

Serves 'em right. They gotta be more careful who they let usurp the reins. The current crop of Repug presidential candidate clowns shows how far they've fallen. And they can't get up. Good. Maybe in a generation or so they'll get their bearings again and our country can go back to the give-and-take of actual democracy.

I was glad to read that op-ed. I'm glad conservatives are finally starting to realize the damage that has been done to them by themselves in their flawed and fatal power grab, the last gasp of a failed philosophy. I hope more conservatives come to those same conclusions and go away and re-think their raison d'être to arrive at a more fair and balanced (heh) philosophy. I won't hold my breath.

As a matter of fact, I think it would be entirely fitting if it is a team of consies who drop the trap door out from under the evildoers who destroyed them in their own name. I hope they stay destroyed for a good long time as well.

Planning Libby's Pardon

Berkshire Eagle

BUSH (in the Oval Office with his top aides): OK, we're agreed. We strip Michael Moore's citizenship, label him an "enemy combatant," and let him enjoy the free health care at Guantanamo Bay. Next issue: The process for Scooter Libby's pardon. How we gonna do this?

DICK CHENEY: Just do it, sir. Do it now. Right now! To hell with anyone who complains. Just sign this paperwork and it's done. (He hands Bush a document.)

BUSH: This says, "Presidential Authorization to Attack Iran with Nuclear Weapons."

CHENEY: Oh, sorry. (He hands Bush another document.)

BUSH (confused): This says, "Resignation Letter of George W. Bush."

CHENEY (laughing nervously): Ha! Just a little joke, sir.

BUSH: How about I sign an executive order that makes lying a good thing? And telling the truth a bad thing? Then Scooter's conviction would have to be overturned!

There's more...

Oh, the irony...

Ironic Times

White House Adds Five Lawyers to President's Legal Office
Each claims it won't interfere with day job on Supreme Court.

Plot to Blow Up Major Landmarks Thwarted
By same undercover agent who thought it up.

Gates Cites Progress in Afghanistan
Most Taliban fighters now busy with poppy harvest.

Oh good! I like poppy-seed rolls...

Bush Addresses Pope as “Sir”
Pope addresses Bush as "schmuck."

In German, Italian, and Latin!

Google's "Street View" Raises Some Privacy Issues
Like: that person leaving the Ecstasy Motel looks an awful lot like you.


America's Lords and Masters: The Trust-Fund Babies

Good rant at The Progressive Daily Beacon on the sad state of affairs in this country and our ruling class. Caution: Paris alert.

All his life, George W. Bush was able to get by simply by being "George H.W. Bush's boy." Like Paris Hilton, George didn't need to study in school. Why bother? Success isn't something a person works for - not in their world, anyway. Success is a birthright. "They're special" by virtue of breeding and breathing --- no talent, no skill, no ability required. The George and Paris class are taught from a very early age that they are not bound by any of the rules applicable to the "common people." And, they live their lives letting everybody else know that they know it.

Neither Paris Hilton nor George W. Bush has any clue whatsoever what life is like for the average person. And, don't think for a moment these mollycoddled brats give a damn either.

They grew up in gated communities where the grass is always green, the lawn forever perfectly manicured, nannies are the norm; someone else does the cleaning, cooking, driving, bed-making, and garbage removal...George and Paris did the taking and Mommy and Daddy did the paying.

Hilton's pretty harmless, but we're all paying for Bush's upbringing, or lack thereof.

Yet, these are the people who would "lead" America. People whose entire life experience can be contained within the walls of Mommy and Daddy's gated estate and paid for with a credit card. These are a people who've come to believe that every issue and any problem can either be bought off or made to go away, if only someone can figure out whose palms to grease. Also, these are the people who get to play dress-up military in the National Guard and when they get bored with it, just walk away knowing Daddy's friends will take care of it. And, yes, the Paris Hilton and George W. Bush's really do think it is someone else's job to clean up their messes or to fight, bleed and die for their ideas and ideals.

How proud she and George have made America's trust-fund families. With such "character" and "dignity" they've represented America's ruling-class-by-birthright.

They must be proud indeed of their class's clueless spawn.

One more reason I like Bill Richardson


WASHINGTON - Democratic presidential hopeful Bill Richardson said Sunday he wanted a total withdrawal of U.S. forces in Iraq and that American troops are targets in a civil war.

"I would leave no troops in Iraq whatsoever," Richardson said. "The difference between me and the other candidates is, they would leave troops there indefinitely, and I would not."

Richardson says U.S. troops should be redeployed by the end of the year to Afghanistan and the Persian Gulf. [...]

Tienes huevos, amigo.

Papal Bull, Meet Texas Bullshit...

Pensito Review

Bush Disses the Pope to His Face - Twice

Why would Bush deliberately insult the pope?

It’s also possible Bush heard the rumors that John Paul was said to believe he is the Antichrist.

For once, I'm not going to fault the Chimp for being his usual, boorish, clueless, obnoxious self. I think he was awed to be in the presence of a truly world-class scam artist, the spiritual leader of a billion suckers instead of just a few million here at home like Bush is. I'm sure Turdblossom asked Dubya to quiz the Pontiff on how he does it.

Another possibility is that Bush is a little jealous that the Pope is also claiming to be God's right-hand man on Earth, and does a way better job of the con.

Do no harm?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that part of the hypocritic Hippocratic Oath? Yeah, right, not if you're a neocon Rethug. SteveAudio:

... Much has already been written about GWBush’s seemingly tone-deaf nomination of Dr. James W. Holsinger, Jr., for Surgeon General. From Think Progress:

But as BarbinMD points out, Holsinger’s nomination to be “America’s doctor” is troubling. He has a long history of prejudice toward gays and lesbians. Some examples:


Another crony-in-high-places hiring by the Chimp. If FEMA, Iraq, the Justice Department (need I go on?) are any indications, they'll be pushing blood letting and 'the healing touch' soon. Good. God.

Gotta take the Mrs. to the airport. See yas in the afternoon ...

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Which begs the question ...

TIRANA, Albania, June 8 — The highlight of President Bush’s European tour may well be his visit on Sunday to this tiny country, one of the few places left where he can bask in unabashed pro-American sentiment without a protester in sight.


What the fuck are the Albanians smoking and where can I get some?

Relevancy ...

Craig Crawford hits it on the head:

George W. Bush remains relevant in Washington only because he is running a war ... Indeed, Bush's standing among GOP politicians raises a serious question about his ability to govern effectively during his remaining 19 months in office.


It's why I keep saying the only way we leave Iraq is when a Democratic President gives the order in 2009. Bush won't do it because it's the only thing keeping him out of jail.

Link via HuffPo.

Are you wearing those boots with that rifle?

MoDo asks the burning question:

Be honest. Who would you rather share a foxhole with: a gay soldier or Mitt Romney?

She came up with the same answer I did:

A gay soldier, of course. In a dicey situation like that, you need someone steadfast who knows who he is and what he believes, even if he’s not allowed to say it out loud.

The Republican field seems stale and out of sync. They should have listened to the inimitable Barry Goldwater, who told it true: You don’t have to be straight to shoot straight.

Believe me, I am 100% behind (is that gay?) this Repuglican't field! They are the Dems' best chance to wrest us away from incompetence, intolerance, and insanity. Even with them we're still in trouble, but maybe less of it.

Little Warlords

Seems some maggotized Marine company commander got a problem with the body armor given to his troops:

The body armor that West Seneca’s American Legion Post 735 bought for Marines in Iraq is gathering dust somewhere in dusty Anbar province, thanks to Marine Corps orders preventing its use.


It’s asinine,” said Mark McMahon, whose purchase of the body armor for his son and two of his buddies prompted the Legion post to buy 20 sets for the West Seneca Marine’s entire unit.

“That body armor that’s sitting around somewhere could possibly save someone from serious injury or save a life,” said Charles “Phil” Kordos, the post commander.


And why isn't this stuff being given to the Marines?


McMahon’s father said the company commander decided that the body armor could not be used, even though many Marines consider it to be more protective than what the Marine Corps issued. [my em]


Listen to me. It's unconscionable as it is that Americans have to run bake sales and ask for donations for equipment the troops should have had before they deployed. For a commander to deprive his unit of the best protection available, especially when it is sitting in-theater, is criminal. Who the fuck is this asshole to decide, arbitrarily and without directive from above, to deny his troops this stuff?

Great thanks to Cookie Jill for the link.

Surprise! Surprise!

Brother deuddersun sucked me in on this one:

What should you be in the military?


You scored as a marine, being a marine is a very honorable position, and are highly respected, you maybe one of the most common sodliers (sic - don't call ME no fuckin' sodlier! - G), but are known for getting the job done and you kick some some F'in terrorist ***!! oooraahh!

First try, too, although I take the more romantic view:

It was easy - I just checked all the boxes with "Oorah!" or "never leave yer buddies behind". It has to be easy for Marines to do it...f'rinstance I had to c&p this by the each instead of snaggin' it whole with nice borders'n all like deuddersun did. I think he was smart enough not to get to be in the grunts...

Take the quiz yerself. Note to AF weenies: there's no questions about which fork to use or the proper military alignment of yer sock drawer.

Pecker Checker

There is nothing I could possibly say about The Disgruntled Chemist's post that would do it justice. Just go...

Chickenhawks in training ...

Seems the progeny of the Mittster have their own blog. Via Res at Dr. Attaturk's place we get this:


Five Brothers was launched on April 12, and the Romneys post entries, load photos and videos several times a week. The blog is edited by the campaign communications staff, and comments and questions are allowed, though answers are not guaranteed.

A query such as, "Being a Mormon, does Romney campaign on Sunday?" gets a reply -- yes, Romney tries to make it -- while something like, "Have any of the five Romney brothers, all healthy heterosexuals well under 42, considered volunteering for military service in the Global War on Terror?" is ignored. [my ems]


But of course. It is because the children of our 'ruling elite' only know how to send other people's children to war. I'm still waiting for Jenna and Not Jenna to do something to support the troops. At the very least, do some work for the USO, for crying out loud.

Screwing NOLA ...

And everybody thought it was over. Our pal Scout Prime:


Then on to the post by Matt at Fix the Pumps for details. First he states..."The report is stunning in its breadth and depth. Things are way worse than I knew. [...] The amount of crap this investigation uncovered is breathtaking." Matt then details what is wrong with the pumps among other things. There is this regarding what has been known...


Thanks to cronyism and corruption, NOLA is just a pump failure away from flooding again.


This story is just not going away, as much as elements of ACE would like it too. It shouldn't. If the pumps fail, New Orleans floods.Yet as with too many NOLA stories it is not being heard.


Either through design or incompetence, the NOLA story has fallen off the radar (the way the Bush family wants it to, by the way). Scout is doing a masterful job documenting this atrocity and it would behoove you to scroll through the posts over at First Draft and get a sense of what's been done to these poor people. And then write some letters.