Saturday, March 31, 2007

"The Language of Living in a Ghetto"

Please God, let him run:
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich equated bilingual education Saturday with ''the language of living in a ghetto'' and mocked requirements that ballots be printed in multiple languages.


'The American people believe English should be the official language of the government. ... We should replace bilingual education with immersion in English so people learn the common language of the country and they learn the language of prosperity, not the language of living in a ghetto,'' Gingrich said to cheers from the crowd of more than 100.
More than 100, eh? Wow. Newt really knows how to pack those halls.

Since Newtie prefers English, I'll assume he won't understand enough of the following to be offended:

Va te faire foutre, Newt!

or this ...

Va' Fanculo, Newtie!

or this ...

Vete a la chingada, Newt!

and finally...

Gehen Bumsen sich, Newt!

(Feel free to add more in comments.)

I wonder if BanAlthouse or Madingaling will howl that I am "uncivil?"
In the April Vanity Fair, Michael Wolff writes:
In his recent, parting comments as head of the Republican National Committee, Ken Mehlman, one of the key brand managers of the Bush presidency, said that the party is cooked in '08 unless it identifies itself with the nation's domestic concerns (most of which are traditional Democratic issues). What he means is that the party has to find a branding alternative to the war. Likely, too, what he means, more personally—this is also what Frank Luntz means—is that it's important for him as a Republican marketer to get as far as possible from having been involved in selling the war. That's going to be the lasting crime: who sold us this mess?
NYT today:
The Bush administration, in a major escalation of trade pressure on China, said Friday that it would reverse more than 20 years of American policy and impose potentially steep tariffs on Chinese manufactured goods on the ground that China is illegally subsidizing some of its exports...

...The step also reflected the shift in trade politics since Democrats took control of Congress. The widening American trade deficit with China, which reached a record $232.5 billion last year, or about a third of the entire trade gap, has been seized upon by Democrats as a symbol of past policy failures that have led to the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs.
I don't know how this news is going to play with the free trade crowd (although if they were consistent, they would go ape-shit). I also don't know if the two things -- Ethel Mehlman's warning and the sudden interest in the trade deficit -- are related. I did want to say that I hope Democrats do two things: first, do not stop hanging the war around the necks of the Republicans, and second, do not allow Republicans to own deficit reduction (or any of your issues), when they created the deficit.

You know that Republicans have the balls to brag that they cleaned up the house they trashed. Don't let them do it. You own this issue. Make sure Americans remember that.

Al Gore: Still Fat

Down Under edition:
Australia will suffer more droughts, fires, floods and storms due to global warming and its famous Great Barrier Reef will be devastated by 2030, according to leaked extracts Friday of a UN report.
No worries, mate.

Dear Leader Leads

The White House Flack:

We worked hard to find time on the President's schedule where he could spend three hours up there, which he's going to do today, visiting not just the patients, but the workers who -- the medical workers and the staff up there that provide the support to the soldiers.

Our Chimperor:

Journalists were allowed to take pictures and watch for only a few minutes before being ushered out, though not before Bush told photographers to take pictures of Sgt. Mark Ecker's tattoo of a naked woman. Reporters were not allowed to interview patients in Abrams Hall, hospital officials said, citing logistics. The hospital instead made available two doctors, who spoke glowingly about the president's visit and had no information to provide about the facility's problems...

As the president wrapped up his visit an hour earlier than scheduled...

"Hope ya' enjoy this..."

"Because if you become a democrat we're belittling it."
(AP Photo/The White House, Eric Draper)

(thinking) "Why can't I be the pirate?"

"When I was pinning on medals earlier, I pricked my finger pretty bad."
AP Photo/Gerald Herbert

"So I took one of those purple hearts."
REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

"I'm sure that private and his family won't mind."

"It really stung."
REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Bada Bing!

Oh, those pesky U.S. Attorneys! Looks like they are annoying Bernie Bada Bing with a couple of possible charges

1. Tax evasion
2. Conspiracy to commit wiretapping (on behalf of former N.Y. Senate and/or Attorney General Wannabe Jeanine Pirro -- a woman with her own Bada Bing! problem), and
3. Filing false information to the government as part of his nomination for Homeland Security director.

But the WaPo article mentions something I hadn't heard before:
About a year earlier, Pirro, then the Westchester County district attorney, ordered the A&P supermarket chain to hire the Giuliani-Kerik security firm as part of a settlement agreement in a case involving underage alcohol sales. The security firm was ultimately paid $43,000, according to a knowledgeable source who spoke about the terms of the contract on the condition of anonymity.
Of all the security firms in all the towns in all the world, she just happens to order them to hire Bada & Bing, Inc? It would be interesting to hear more about these settlement negotiations -- from A&P, not from Pirro.


Though I can understand it, with the thin hand they have, that defenders of Bush keep talking about how U.S. Attorneys "serve at his pleasure".

Even though that phrase either further solidifies their impression of Bush as the Chimperor Disgustus or alternatively, creeps them out.

However, one of the victims of the purge, Bud Cummins, replaced for a Rove Protege in Arkansas (just in time for Hillary Clinton's run) points out the obvious:

Put simply, the Department of Justice lives on credibility. When a federal prosecutor sends FBI agents to your brother's house with an arrest warrant, demonstrating an intention to take away years of his liberty, separate him from his family, and take away his property, you and the public at large must have absolute confidence that the sole reason for those actions is that there was substantial evidence to suggest that your brother intentionally committed a federal crime. Everyone must have confidence that the prosecutor exercised his or her vast discretion in a neutral and nonpartisan pursuit of the facts and the law....

You only get one chance to hold on to your credibility. My team, which holds temporary custody of the Department of Justice, has blown it in this case. The Department of Justice will be paying for it for some time to come. Lots of sound investigations and convictions are now going to be questioned. That is a crying shame, because most of the 110,000 employees to whom the attorney general referred in a recent news conference, are neutral, nonpartisan public servants and do incredible work. A lot of President Bush's political appointees have done a lot of great work, too. Sadly, because of the damage done by this protracted scandal, which the administration has handled poorly at every turn, none of that good work is currently being recognized. And more ominously, the credibility of the Department of Justice may no longer be, either.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Separated at Birth?

Yes or No?

So Long...

Tracy Flick.

From 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.

But Will She Wear Her Tiara?

Remember the s#$tstorm that ensued back in '92 when Bill Clinton, alluding to Hillary, said that by electing him America would get "two for the price of one?"

I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for a simliar s#$tstorm to erupt following this announcement:

Former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani told ABC News's Barbara Walters that he would welcome his wife, Judith, at White House Cabinet meetings and other policy discussions if he were elected president next year.

My only question about the prospect of Judy Nathan at a Cabinet meeting is, "Will she wear her tiara?"

"My Base"

Missed this in yesterday's NY Times:

Income inequality grew significantly in 2005, with the top 1 percent of Americans — those with incomes that year of more than $348,000 — receiving their largest share of national income since 1928, analysis of newly released tax data shows.

The top 10 percent, roughly those earning more than $100,000, also reached a level of income share not seen since before the Depression.

While total reported income in the United States increased almost 9 percent in 2005, the most recent year for which such data is available, average incomes for those in the bottom 90 percent dipped slightly compared with the year before, dropping $172, or 0.6 percent.

The gains went largely to the top 1 percent, whose incomes rose to an average of more than $1.1 million each, an increase of more than $139,000, or about 14 percent.

The new data also shows that the top 300,000 Americans collectively enjoyed almost as much income as the bottom 150 million Americans. Per person, the top group received 440 times as much as the average person in the bottom half earned, nearly doubling the gap from 1980.

Those are numbers that reflect why, while we are focusing on Iraq and it's disaster, we cannot lose sight of the other disaster this Administration has wrought. Couple that with the abuse of civil rights and liberties and you get the "Worst President Ever" equation.

Let's get that minimum wage bill out before Larry Kudlow does another kilo!

"I'm fresh...

...but am I springtime fresh?"

AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast


What level of idiot do you have to be to mispronounce "Tuskegee" over and over and over?

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."

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.

Things that won't be ending any time soon

K-Lo jokes:

And about Rush Limbaugh. The man is a national treasure. And, actually, an international treasure, considering the work he does to explain the world, day after day, in his clear and honest and entertaining way. Rush Limbaugh is funny, confident, conservative.

Yep, a thrice-married, drug-abusing, mule using, racist who loves those trips to the Dominican Republic and it's vibrant underaged prostitutes of indeterminate gender.

Truly a bi-national treasure.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Not content with mere lying sacks of shit

FoxNews decides to bring on even more full-time sociopaths:

Marsden, a statuesque Canadian who dissects the news with as much Coulter-esque zeal as she can muster while rolling her eyes at her male counterparts. But in the Duke exchange, any viewer who knew anything about Marsden, whom Fox is clearly grooming for brand-name pundit stardom, might have felt a fleeting moment of sympathy for her. That's because the 31-year-old columnist is already well known in her native Canada as an oft-accused and once-admitted stalker who made questionable rape charges of her own 10 years ago, in a case that eventually cut short the career of a university president and changed the tenor of harassment cases all over Canada. In 1999, a professor at the same university went to the police with charges Marsden was stalking him, and in 2004 she pleaded guilty to criminally harassing a former Vancouver radio host.

She seems a tad underqualified to be in broadcasting, but well-qualified to work for NewsCorp.

The Most Exasperating Topic in The World

(No, not the Israel-Palestine conflict.)


Just a fly-by, but in reading the February ABA Journal this morning (yes, I am still behind on my magazines) I came across this article about the aftermath of the defeat of the South Dakota abortion ban.

The cheerful little gist of this story is that the ban (and its repeal) exposed a rift between the anti-choice zealots. One side wants a total ban with no exceptions; the other thinks that that incremental assaults on female bodily autonomy (e.g., parental notification, requiring fake "counseling" before the procedure, etc.) are the way to go.

That these two groups are in conflict is good news. Given how conservative South Dakota is, the fact that 56% of the state rejected the total ban is encouraging. It's a radical position and Americans are not radicals. But it's the incrementalists that have been ascendant in recent years. Perhaps the fact that there is very vocal group who will accept nothing less than a total ban -- and who Americans are, it seems, prepared to reject -- will make them think twice about some of their radical tactics.

Either way, I'd like to see them waste resources fighting each other, instead of trying to control bodies and lives that aren't their own.

Americans Want To Win!

Over at kos, our exalted overlord reminds us about the crazy wing of the Democratic party:

Democrats have been notching headlines like this one of late:

Democrats Are Building on Unity Over Iraq Pullout

A good thing, right? Well, not if your part of the increasingly isolated Liebercrat wing of the party. Like Harold Ford and his organization without a constituency:

Former Rep. Harold E. Ford Jr., the new chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC), yesterday said he does not agree with efforts by Congress to set a deadline for U.S. military withdrawal from Iraq.

"I think most Americans want to win, they don't want to see us leave early, and if we leave prematurely, we may create a broader set of conflicts and invite a bigger problem in that region than before leaving," Mr. Ford said.

(He can "think it" all he wants, the polls are unmistakable -- people want the hell out.)

How many times do we have to revisit Mission Accomplished? I say we do what comes naturally--declare victory and beat feet outta there. It is utterly amazing that people like Lieberschmuck, Ford, McCain, and countless other Republicans, that loyalty to dear leader is more important than 1) doing the right thing, or 2) doing what 7 out of 10 people want you to do, which also happens to be the right thing.

"That's not chocolate frosting...

and it's from Barney."

REUTERS/Jason Reed

You expect Frank Oz's hand to be up his ass

Could Jabba the Rove have more chins?
REUTERS/Jason Reed

I enjoy this shot...

AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

Because it allows this:

Pearl Forrester

TBogg gives us a revealing look into life after MST3K.

I hope she's stocked up on Chicken-in-a-Biscuit. Makes Pamela Oshry ("Atlas Shrugs") look like David Lean.

You know, seriously Althouse is "this close" to becoming the "Crazy Cat Lady of Madison".

Or is she already there?

More "Bullshit Express"

Now this is to an extent politicians of one party giving a story about a politician of another -- but I have to say, I cannot remember a story like this about a person running for President other than those that really did switch parties (for example, John Connally). It appears that McCain was damn close to leaving the GOP in 2001 and though calling himself Independent caucusing with the Democrats.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) was close to leaving the Republican Party in 2001, weeks before then-Sen. Jim Jeffords (Vt.) famously announced his decision to become an Independent, according to former Democratic lawmakers who say they were involved in the discussions.

In interviews with The Hill this month, former Sen. Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) and ex-Rep. Tom Downey (D-N.Y.) said there were nearly two months of talks with the maverick lawmaker following an approach by John Weaver, McCain’s chief political strategist.

Democrats had contacted Jeffords and then-Sen. Lincoln Chafee (R-R.I.) in the early months of 2001 about switching parties, but in McCain’s case, they said, it was McCain’s top strategist who came to them.

Oh man, Daschle is often referred to as a Casper Milquetoast-type, but not as dishonest (at least by politician standards).

But who is the real Casper Milquetoast now? Sucking up to the war-loving, non-serving base of the Bush Party.


How many post captions could have that title for the Bush Administration?

Yesterday, Bush quoted "two bloggers" who are actually pretty much two tools from the enabling "Iraq the Model". Two dentists who have been servicing for the Bush Administration for several years...

That's right two Dentists (seen here collaborating), Omar and not-Omar, DDS who've been huffing the gas and shooting the 'cane since they first came online:

This is how far he, and his argument for continuing the slaughter in Iraq, have fallen: President Bush today was reduced to quoting two anonymous bloggers from Baghdad.

He cited them as evidence that his surge/escalation is working. One problem: their posts were written weeks ago, and re-published in the Wall Street Journal on March 7...

Then he quoted two of them: "Displaced families are returning home, marketplaces are seeing more activity, stores that were long shuttered are now reopening. We feel safer about moving in the city now. Our people want to see this effort succeed."

Only hours later did the White House reveal that the bloggers were brothers, Mohammed and Omar Fadhil, and these supposedly little-known average Joes had met Bush in the Oval Office in 2004. They are dentists and write an English-language blog from Baghdad called, also available via Pajamas Media.

The White House admitted that Bush had plundered the lines from an op-ed that the brothers wrote for The Wall Street Journal way back on March 5. The White House couldn't even get the date right, as it turned out it actually appeared on March 7.

Howard Kurtz interviewed the brothers more than two years ago during their visit to the U.S. and quoted Mohammed Fadhil in a Dec. 20, 2004 column: "Now we want to say in a loud and clear voice that we welcome American troops and consider this a liberation, not an occupation." Fadhil added: "People outside Iraq are more worried than the Iraqis themselves."

As Greg Mitchell goes on to point out, more recent posts even from the Al-Molars shows the importance of flossing and rinsing (and also sucks ALL the snark out of this post):

March 18:
Every time I tell myself that my next blog will be a pleasant story of days of old, I am confronted with a different story that needs to be told.

A friend of mine called me to tell me the bad news. Her brother had been kidnapped, and the ransom set at $100,000. For any Iraqi, such an amount spells disaster.

Selling all they could sell, the whole extended family pitched in to save the poor man. They told the abductors that they couldn’t manage more than 20,000. Surprisingly, the criminals said “OK, have a woman bring the money to …..”. After leading her on a merry dance, a boy of sixteen or seventeen approached her, took the money and said, “We will contact you”. And that was the last they saw of them...

[Later] “We found his picture! We have his number! His face was all bruised and there was a hole drilled in his forehead! Oh, Sahar! He died in pain! His hands were tied above his head!”

They went to the wilderness that was being used as burial ground, on the outskirts of the city of Nejef. But there was no trace of Hani’s grave. They inspected each and every grave, each and every headstone for his number. But it was not there. They looked in all the graveyards, not just this one, but the number was not to be found.

What do you say to a nation that Bush's stupidity, arrogance, and incompetence has brought on?

We know what Bush says, a lie.


The latest Broderific OpEd is like an olive-flavored creme broulet. It sucks but at least it isn't substantive.

Broder just can't contemplate that maybe Bush won't fire Gonzo because the former enjoys being a prick.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

NOBODY fucks with the Jesus!

Anyone who deviates in the slightest, even those who are victims, are open for smears in Bushworld.

They are swiftboating David Iglesias in New Mexico now, using Heather Wilson's minions.

On Their Own

My friend J. just called, very frustrated. She'd just finished reading George Packer's recent New Yorker piece, Betrayed, about Iraqi men and women who enthusiastically signed on to help America rebuild their country after the fall of Saddam. When you have time, be sure to read the entire article, which is especially infuriating given all of St. McCain's recent "Everything is ducky in Iraq" pronouncements. Here is a taste:

Ali initially worked the night shift at a base in his neighborhood and walked home by himself after midnight. In June, 2003, the Americans mounted a huge floodlight at the front gate of the base, and when Ali left for home the light projected his shadow hundreds of feet down the street. “It’s dangerous,” he told the soldiers at the gate. “Can’t you turn it off when we go out?”

“Don’t be scared,” the soldiers told him. “There’s a sniper protecting you all the way.”

A couple of weeks later, one of Ali’s Iraqi friends was hanging out with the snipers in the tower, and he thanked them. “For what?” the snipers asked. For looking out for us, Ali’s friend said. The snipers didn’t know what he was talking about, and when he told them they started laughing.

“We got freaked out,” Ali said. The message was clear: You Iraqis are on your own.

This guy was helping the U.S. by serving as an interpreter, people.

File under "How To Win Friends and Influence People: Republican Edition."

"Et tu, Oil Daddy?"


RIYADH (AFP) - Saudi King Abdullah, whose country is a close US ally, on Wednesday slammed the "illegitimate foreign occupation" of Iraq in an opening speech to the annual Arab summit in Riyadh.

"In beloved Iraq, blood is being shed among brothers in the shadow of an illegitimate foreign occupation, and ugly sectarianism threatens civil war," Abdullah said.

He also said that Arab nations, which are planning to revive a five-year-old Middle East peace plan at the summit, would not allow any foreign force to decide the future of the region.

Showing Him The Way

Remember this? Here is my favorite passage from Senator James Webb's (D - VA) response to Wrecks' state of the union address:
On both of these vital issues, our economy and our national security, it falls upon those of us in elected office to take action.

Regarding the economic imbalance in our country, I am reminded of the situation President Theodore Roosevelt faced in the early days of the 20th century. America was then, as now, drifting apart along class lines. The so-called robber barons were unapologetically raking in a huge percentage of the national wealth. The dispossessed workers at the bottom were threatening revolt.

Roosevelt spoke strongly against these divisions. He told his fellow Republicans that they must set themselves "as resolutely against improper corporate influence on the one hand as against demagogy and mob rule on the other." And he did something about it.

As I look at Iraq, I recall the words of former general and soon-to-be President Dwight Eisenhower during the dark days of the Korean War, which had fallen into a bloody stalemate. "When comes the end?" asked the General who had commanded our forces in Europe during World War Two. And as soon as he became President, he brought the Korean War to an end.

These Presidents took the right kind of action, for the benefit of the American people and for the health of our relations around the world. Tonight we are calling on this President to take similar action, in both areas. If he does, we will join him. If he does not, we will be showing him the way.
Well, what do you know? Here is the Senate, showing Wrecks the way.

The Young and the Bravely Non-Serving

In, what for me, serves as the ultimate reflection of what "The Politico" is all about they run a series of glossy photos for a recent "Staffer Birthday Bash". The line-up (you may notice there seems to be something missing from the Party -- other than real-world experience):

Birthday boy Brad Dayspring, from the Republican Study Committee, smiles happily with fiancee Jessica Armstrong.

Ed: I look like an arrogant prick over here, so folks without connections can get blow'd up over there. Much of this may be due to the fact that everybody loved Brad's brother Raymond.

photo by: The Politico's John Shinkle

Chris Taylor, of the RNC, and Rachel Bauer from the office of Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va) know how to party!

Ed: But they don't know how to find an enlistment form. By the way, are we sure Chris isn't actually Jeffrey Ross?

photo by: The Politico's John Shinkle

Chad Scarborough, of the House Committee on Homeland Security, and Nicole Sacco take a minute to pose.

Ed: Someday they hope to pose like Dear Leader. Not mentioned, Scarborough actually works for Republican Peter King (NY). A little googling reveals Nicole is also a Republican operative.

photo by: The Politico's John Shinkle

Kyle Downey from the office of Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), with Ashley Listopad.

Ed: Kyle looks like a "Jarhead", but, I'm guessing has the military service record of "Jughead".

photo by: The Politico's John Shinkle

John Goodwin from the office of Rep. Peter J. Roskam (R-Ill.) and Kim Olive from the office of Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) smile brightly for the camera!

Ed: Why they are just too damn cute to wear fatigues!

photo by: The Politico's John Shinkle

And that's it in the totality.

All so 20ish, all so Republican, I'm guessing all so Iraq War supporting, all so service age eligible, all so not-serving.

UPDATE: Just to avoid confusion these are Congressional Staffers, NOT staffers of "The Politico".


If Fred Thompson gets into the race he'll only have two marriages to throw down as evidence of his family values.

That's below par. The average of the GOP top 4 presently is 2.25 wives a candidate.

In fact, I, Atta J. Turk, renaissance man (y'know like the Borgias) believe that "the Wikipedia" should add a new section to the bottom of their biography pages. It will fit right in.

For example, with Rudy Giuliani they can add this box:

After the GOP nomination race is over and Mitt Romney is officially "thanked for his participation" (K-Lo's reaction) I suggest a new reality show for the FX Channel or SPIKE.

Mitt Romney marries Giuliani's & Gingrich's ex-wives in an Old School Mormon wedding. We'll call it "LATTER DAY WIFE SWAP".

I expect some form of renumeration when this idea makes it on to the air.

The Woodshed

Juan Cole determines (accurately) John McCain as having "Rumsfeld Disease":

The greatest fallacy of all is in McCain's assumption that short-term changes in the Baghdad security environment, produced by deploying an extra US division there, can necessarily be translated into long-term gains. It is much more likely that guerrillas are just lying low and will come right back out when the Americans draw back down (the US can't keep an extra division in Iraq forever.)

McCain is typical of the hawks of his generation, which lost the Vietnam War. For many of them, a war on Iraq promised vindication and restoration of pride. It had all the delights of a Rambo movie, but the advantage of being real. The problem is that in both cases, Vietnam and Iraq, the US fought local nationalisms dressed up in universal ideologies (Communism, Islamism & Baathism). It is a losing proposition, for the most part. Local nationalisms mostly win out these days.

The Surge -- how it works

In reality:

Remember this timeless hit?

March 20, 2006:

Fact Sheet: Strategy for Victory: Clear, Hold, and Build

RSS Feed White House News

Today's Presidential Action

Today, President Bush Discussed The Strategy For Victory In Iraq And Profiled The Northern Iraqi Town Of Tal Afar. Once a key base of operations for Al-Qaida, Tal Afar is a concrete example of progress in Iraq.

Tal Afar Shows How The Three Elements Of The Strategy For Victory In Iraq - Political, Security, And Economic - Depend On And Reinforce One Another. By working with local leaders to address community grievances, Iraqi and Coalition forces helped build the political support needed to make the military operation to drive terrorists out of that city successful. The military success against the terrorists gave the citizens of Tal Afar security, and this allowed them to vote and rebuild their city. The economic rebuilding taking place is giving Tal Afar's residents a real stake in the success of a free Iraq - and further marginalizing the terrorists...

The Coalition Adopted A New Approach - Clear, Hold, And Build. The ability of al-Qaida and its associates to retake Tal Afar was a problem seen elsewhere in Iraq, and the Iraqi government and Coalition adopted a new approach. Instead of coming in, removing the terrorists, and then moving on, Iraqi and Coalition forces pursued a strategy of clearing a city of terrorists, leaving well-trained Iraqi units behind to hold the city, and working with local leaders to build economic and political infrastructure.

Of course, that is "The Surge" in a nutshell.

How's that workin' out in Tal Afar now a year later?

Let's put it this way, Tal Afar is the Theresienstadt of Bush overstatements and lies.

March 27 (CBS/AP) Two truck bombs struck markets in Tal Afar on Tuesday, killing at least 63 people and wounding 150, and suspected Sunni insurgents tried to ambush ambulances carrying the dozens of wounded in the second attack on the predominantly Shiite city in four days.

The bombings in Tal Afar, about 90 miles from the Syrian border, highlighted the resurgent violence in a city President George W. Bush held out as a symbol of U.S. success a year ago.

And then...

March 28 (Reuters) - Gunmen stormed a Sunni district in the northwestern Iraqi town of Tal Afar overnight, killing dozens in apparent reprisal for truck bombings in a Shi'ite area, Iraqi officials said on Wednesday.

Police, military and health officials said as many as 50 men were killed in the attack on the Sunni district of al-Wahda in the volatile town, whose residents are a mixture of Shi'ites, Sunni Arabs and Turkmen, near the Syrian border,

"I wish you can come and see all the bodies. They are lying in the grounds. We don't have enough space in the hospital. All of the victims were shot in the head," a doctor at the main hospital told Reuters by telephone.

"Not less than 45 people were killed," he said.

The gunmen on the killing spree?

Off-duty police. We (Americans) trained those people don't we?

Why, yes we did.

And what's more, this whole thing is like an anniversary of the first time the Tal Afar example was demonstrated to be pure and utter bullshit.

Yeah, this is going to work out just great.


And now:

Army troops later moved into the Sunni areas to stop the violence and a curfew was slapped on the entire town, according to Wathiq al-Hamdani, the provincial police chief and his head of operations, Brig. Abdul-Karim al-Jibouri.

Tal Afar, located 260 miles northwest of Baghdad, is in the province of Ninevah, of which Mosul is the capital.

"The situation is under control now," said al-Hamdani. "The local Tal Afar police have been confined to their bases and policemen from Mosul are moving there to replace them."

"You killed 45 people, YOU ARE SO GROUNDED!"

Meanwhile, probably a pretty good chance of a bad day in Mosul.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Bullshit Express

McCain's pathetic lying about Iraq is about a my deep in manure by now. I saw him on CNN just lie his ass off:

McCain told Wolf Blitzer that the latter needed to "get up to speed" on all the great things the surge has accomplished and to stop reporting three-week-old news. He then went on to proclaim "THE SURGE IS WORKING: and the streets of Baghdad are safe for Ameicans to go out for a stroll, in fact General Patreus goes out in unamored humvees.

Sadly for McCain, and fortunately for those of us basing or decisions on reality and without political expedience there is Michael Ware:

It's Hard

The old throne is losing it's luster...

Why it's not even fun to have the codpiece buffed anymore.

REUTERS/Larry Downing


All of us here, okay me especially, are snarky-smartasses. But though I find his politics and association in this Administration to say the least unfortunate, word of Tony Snow's cancer spreading to his liver is very sad indeed. Last week, as you know, he had very kind words -- as a fellow cancer sufferer -- about Elizabeth Edwards.

Best wishes to he him and his family, as to the Edwardses.

U.S. Attorneys at Everyday Low Prices?

Here's another example of the potential reach of the U.S. Attorney scandal.

In this week's New Yorker, Jeffrey Goldberg examines Wal-Mart's efforts to get right with liberals. The first part of the article catalogs Wal-Mart's multitude of sins. In addition to paying abysmal wages, busting unions, and squeezing suppliers, Wal-Mart operates a "Threat Research and Analysis" division.1 An employee of that unit was recently fired for eavesdropping on the phone calls of a NY Times reporter who covers Wal-Mart.

So far, so good, right? Not so fast: the employee -- acting within the scope of his employment with Wal-Mart -- may have committed a crime: a federal crime. Who prosecutes federal crimes? U.S. Attorneys -- in this case, the U.S. Attorney for Arkansas, where Wal-Mart is headquartered. According to the article, the U.S. Attorney is investigating the incident.

Who is the U.S. Attorney for Arkansas? Well, as of December, he's none other than Timothy Griffin "a former opposition researcher for the Republican Party and an aide to (Karl) Rove..."

Why is Griffin's political affiliation important independent of the U.S. Attorney scandal? It isn't: political affiliation is at the heart of the U.S. Attorney scandal. U.S. Attorneys were fired because they refused to selectively prosecute Democrats for bogus voter fraud charges absent actual evidence thereof.

According to the New Yorker, Wal-Mart is "traditionally a Republican-leaning company," that has given more seventy-five percent of its political donations to Republicans since 1992. (Guess they didn't much care for their former governor.)

Do you think Mr. Griffin will follow through on allegations of eavesdropping by Wal-Mart? He very well may. We don't know if the political affiliation of targets who are not politicians will factor into who is -- or is not -- prosecuted. But given what we know about the U.S. Attorney scandal already, is it within the realm of possibility?

1 WTF? Is this Bentonville -- or Langley?

The Surge of the Wank Brigade

By Alfred Lord Lieberman

Half a year half a year,
Half a year onward,
All in the valley of Death
Let's watch "The 300":
'Forward, the Wank Brigade!
Charge for the blogs' he said:
Into the valley of Death
Let's watch "The 300".

'Forward, the Wank Brigade!'
Was there a man dismay'd ?
Not tho' the soldier knew
Some one had blunder'd:
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs lets others do & die,
Into the valley of Death
Let's watch "The 300".

Sunni to right of them,
Shiia to left of them,
Car bombs in front of them
Volley'd & thunder'd;
Storm'd at with shot and shell,
Boldly they stayed and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell
Man we love "The 300".

Flash'd all their smart bombs bare,
Legs and arms turn'd in air
Killings the kids hid there,
Surging an army while
All the world wonder'd:
Plunged in the battery-smoke
Right thro' till budget broke;
Don't ask & Don't tell
Reel'd from the cheering-mob,
Shatter'd & sunder'd.
Then they came back, or not
Awesome "The 300".

Sunni to right of them,
Shiia to left of them,
Belt bomb in front of them
Storm'd at with shot and shell,
Boldly they stayed and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell
They that had fought so well
Came thro' the jaws of Death,
Stay there at mouth of Hell,
All that is left of them,
We watched "The 300".

When can their glory fade?
O the wild Surge they made!
All the world wonder'd.
Honour the Surge they made!
But fuck the Wank Brigade,
Watching "The 300"!

More Proof That Al Gore is Fat

And getting fatter:
The American Southwest has been warming for nearly 30 years, according to records that date to the late 19th century. And the region is in the midst of an eight-year drought. Both developments could be within the range of natural events.

But what has convinced many scientists that the current spate of higher temperatures is not just another swing in the weather has been the near collapse of the sky islands and other high, formerly green havens that poke above the desert.
"Near collapse?" Collapse? No worries. I'm sure James Inhoffe (R - Dumbfuckistan) will see the snow in the slide show that accompanies the article and pronounce the entire phenomenon yet another in a long line of monstrous, malicious, mendacious liberal lies.

Slightly modified

To fit actual reality. Good name for the Bush Library though.

(AFP/File/Paul J. Richards)

Meanwhile, it looks like faux Mary Tyler Moore married actual Ted Baxter:

REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

There really should be

A battle of wits (well that's certainly the wrong word, but it rhymes with "wits") between Althouse & Atlas Juggs at some point. I'd pay to have someone else see that.

Apparently, I am mistaken Althouse wasn't involved with this at all. Rather this debate was between Honey Huan and Pearl Forrester.

Draw Lucky

With Monica Goodling we are all reminded that yes indeedy, Pat Robertson got hisself a law-talkin' school. Where in a logical fashion, their graduates get one-third the education given by most institutions, but a lodestar on being an asshole.

Apparently at the Pat Robertson Law School one learns the Fifth Amendment means one need not talk to the forces of secular Zod.


According to Atrios, Scarborough Country was lacking the presence of Pat Buchanan tonight.

I thought Buchanan was ALWAYS in Scarborough Country.

Is it time for Bay Buchanan's hormone shots?

Meanwhile, I was really touched last evening when I read this poem by our generations' version of "The Charge of the Light Brigade".

Thers not to make reply,
Thers not to reason why,
Thers but to do & die

Monday, March 26, 2007


Pete Williams lets Abu off the hook.

Here's a shorter Abu:

1. I was not involved in the deliberation process for deciding who would and would not be asked to resign.

2. I know why I asked them to resign.

3. My reasons were not improper.

This is the cat's paw theory: a bad actor hides behind a group decision to shield the decision-making process from scrutiny. The group can't make an illegal decision if the bad actor doesn't tell it what the real motive is. So Al is hiding behind a phony wall. But how can he be so sure if he was so insulated from the deliberation process? He's stuck with the bad motives of the White House whether he likes it or not, but I don't believe for a minute that he wasn't well aware of why the USA 8 were asked to resign.

Our Fifth drinking Fourth Estate

14. Do you think Congress should -- or should not -- investigate the involvement of White House officials in this matter?

2007 Mar 23-25

Yes, should investigate 72

No, should not investigate 21

No Opinion 7

That's the American public's opinion. And what do our great pundits say?

What embarassments.

Hope I Die Before I Get Old

Did you read this?

Why is every aspect of our health care system an utter disgrace? What a blessing and a curse modern medicine is. We live longer than ever, but with constant worry about how we will care for ourselves. And trying to maintain a sense of dignity along the way? Forget it.

I had lunch with a former colleague today. He's a smart guy: BS and MBA from top schools. Professionally accomplished. Nice family. Not a wingnut. Sensitive. Amiable. Kind.

And clueless.

We talked about the sub-prime mortgage situation for a few minutes. He expects a recession later this year. I told him that I would not welcome it, for obvious reasons, but that a recession (on top of everything else) ought to rid us of Republicans for the foreseeable future.

"But who will the Democrats put up?" he said. We discussed the pros and cons of the usual suspects and he said, "They want national health care? Take a look at Walter Reed. That's national healthcare."

Like I said: my former colleague is a smart guy. But after all this time, he still doesn't get it. The Republicans hate government. They don't think government should be in the business of paving roads let alone providing health care. Of course Walter Reed is a debacle. If you don't think you should be in that business, one way to get out of it is to royally fuck it up, howl that it's an insurmountable problem that government has no business addressing, and then give up.

Walter Reed wasn't an accident. Walter Reed was the natural outgrowth of a philosophy that says, "You're on your own pal."

Read the article. These people are on their own, too. I don't know if the Democrats can craft a national health care policy that makes everyone happy; but I'm willing to bet they can do better than what the poor people in this article are dealing with. And I know they can do better than Walter Reed.

"Too Clever By Half"

We're going to need more popcorn.

A lot more.

If The Effect Is "Slight," Then Why Even Mention It?

The NYT jump-starts Round WhateverWe'reUpTo in the Mommy Wars with today's article on a "long anticipated" (by whom?) report that reveals that even a year in day care increases the likelihood that your little darling will drive his grammar school teacher bats.
The effect was slight, and well within the normal range for healthy children, the researchers found. And as expected, parents’ guidance and their genes had by far the strongest influence on how children behaved.

But the finding held up regardless of the child’s sex or family income, and regardless of the quality of the day care center. With more than two million American preschoolers attending day care, the increased disruptiveness very likely contributes to the load on teachers who must manage large classrooms, the authors argue.
You know, I'd take a study funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development a lot more seriously if it wasn't funded by, well, the "National" anything. We know that virtually every federal government function is politicized thanks to BushCo, from the hiring (and firing) of U.S. Attorneys to the creation of a Baghdad stock exchange. Why should this be any different?

Read the piece. Then, take a look at this Common Dreams post from way back in 2001. See any familiar names? How about this Salon post? At least one of the researchers appears to have an agenda that is not incompatible with that of the "family values" crowd. To be sure, this is circumstantial evidence that the study's conclusuions are questionable, but given what we know about BushCo, why should anyone take seriously a thing that comes out of the government's mouth (or courtesy of its pocketbook) until sometime on the afternoon of January 20, 2009?

A writer of some note

Larry Gelbart:

For nearly six years, from the rabbinical Wolf Blitzer to the rabid Chris Matthews, I have been assaulted 365/12/52/24/7 by the never-ending exploits of a gang of flag-clad thugs, avid proponents of an Imperial Vice-Presidency; a gang that cannot shoot straight (except at one another or at the U.S. Constitution). Too busy to keep up with all the blogging, I am sustained chiefly by my fix of Frank Rich's weekly essays, his valiant (and brilliant) reminders that a counter-Coulter does in fact exist.

Six hundred and sixty-six days more -- 666. When you leave the Oval Office, sir, be careful not to get your tail caught on the door.

George Will is shocked, SHOCKED at the anger.

The Gentleman's Deal

Attaturk posts below about the New York Times' nonsense editorial regarding the potential for a Libby pardon. The NYT misses the bigger point, a point most of us conspiracy theorists on this side of the blogosphere have seen since, well since the Chimp took office. Well now we have proof that really these people are worse than we thought they could have been. They are more cynical, conniving, and craven than we would allow ourselves to believe. And they are worse than the most corrupt administrations in history, not just in their malevolence, but in the damage they have done to American interests around the world, not to mention the Constitution.

Libby is getting a pardon because that is the deal he made. He did exactly what he was told to do; now Bush will do what Cheney told Libby Bush would do if the trial ended with a conviction. Josh Marshall has it quite right I believe on the similar scandal which is now unfolding regarding Gonzalez:

For some, it is a matter of outrage that President Bush has renewed his support for Alberto Gonzales even after new evidence has emerged that the Attorney General has repeatedly lied about the US Attorney Purge. Myself, I see it more as a matter of confirmation and almost a welcome one in that it confirms the nature of the debate we're having.

This isn't a case where Alberto Gonzales has fallen short of the president's standards or bungled some process. This is the standard. The Attorney General has done and is doing precisely what is expected of him.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg. When you factor in the FBI scandal involving NSLs and the now hot again inquiry into the OPR investigation being shut down for obviously political reasons we have major scandals brewing, but more important, light being shed on the way this administration does bidness, or as Josh Marshall writes:

Of course he's fine with it. Because it comes from him. None of this is about Alberto Gonzales. This is about the president and the White House, which is where this entire plan was hatched. Gonzales was just following orders, executing the president's plans. This is about this president and this White House, which ... let's be honest, everyone on both sides of the aisle already knows.
We are connecting all the dots and the pattern is just as we suspected, not that it smells any better now. So expecting a pardon isn't cynical, it is just recognizing the obvious. Libby has a deal, just like Gonzalez has a deal. It is just that simple.

"It Stinks"

(To the Mystery Science Theatre Theme)
In the all too current future,
Sadly every fucking day

We were lead by Dearest Leader,

Not as smart as a lump of clay

He got the job his Daddy had,

Behaves like an ass and is always mad
He went and shat all over, a disgrace,

"But Dick Cheney wants his oil,

Let's invade this fucking place!"

"We'll say they had WMDs

Mushroom Clouds of make believe (la-la-la)
We'll have to stay and fuck 'em all,

'Cuz we'll never ever leave" (la-la-la)

Now keep in mind George can't control,

Where reality starts and fiction ends (la-la-la)
Because he blew every ounce of sanity,

With a lot a coke from Daddy's friends

Asshole Roll Call: (Come on, let's go)

Lump (Celeron)

Condi (historical)

His Fredo (What a fuckup)

ROOOVVEE!! (he's a traitor)

If you're wondering how he thinks and rules,

He just leaves a stink(la-la-la)
Then repeat to yourself, "Just two more years,

"I could really use a drink".

Rose Colored Glasses

Nice try by the New York Times:

Mr. Libby may escape prison time, but if he accepted a pardon, he (and Mr. Bush) would have a hard time continuing to insist that he was an innocent victim of a vengeful prosecutor. It would also undermine the claim that the Plame investigation was a partisan ploy to discredit the White House, and leave another stain on Mr. Bush’s legacy.

Here’s why: If Mr. Libby were to accept a traditional presidential pardon — a “full and unconditional” grant of clemency — he would be admitting that he was guilty of the crimes of which he was convicted: obstructing justice, perjury and lying to the F.B.I.

If this became the accepted story across the board that would be one thing.

But how many Republicans agree that Cap Weinberger and Elliott Abrams who accepted pardon from Bush the First agree that they were guilty of what they were charged with ?

Not many. In fact, Abrams got to come back and help fuck up ALL OVER AGAIN!

What's more Libby was CONVICTED of multiple felonies. Nixon, Weinberger & Abrams were at best only charged or about to be charged.

There is NO LEGITIMATE REASON for a pardon, none.
Katie Couric:
"Some have suggested that you're capitalizing on this."

John Edwards:
"Here's what I would say about that..." *

*Not actually what John Edwards said about that.

Defining Deviancy Down

By defining what is deviant, we are enabled to know what is not, and hence to live by shared standards. --Emile Durkheim, The Rules of Sociological Method, 1985
Given the amount of attention we've given to the US Attorney Purge, there's been no end of right-wing nutjobs who've written in asking just what the big deal is. In most cases, these are just attacks dressed up as questions. And I do my best -- not always successfully -- to ignore them. But interspersed in that mess of emails are a few who seem to be asking, genuinely, what the big deal is. Perhaps they're critics of the president or conservatives who genuinely don't see it. --Josh Marshall, Talking Points Memo, March 25, 2007

Sunday, March 25, 2007


White Baby Brains


If it expects to be the boss of me it’s gonna have to earn that

If this week hasn't made you admire John & Elizabeth Edwards more, you are an idiot.

Although both Mr. and Mrs. Edwards professed surprise at the attention their decision has received, they said they saw a bright side: a national discussion of the ability of patients to live with cancer and of how people need to live their lives under the shroud of mortality.

“We made the choice to live,” Mrs. Edwards said. “We don’t want to do it surrounded by a veil of tears.”

Shorter George Will

Just lie back and think of England.

Samuel Francis

Perhaps, someone should tell Representative Duncan that Samuel Francis is a white supremacist? His work was often published in anti-semetic magazines and he worked with the Council of Conservative Citizens.

From the website of Rep. John J. Duncan, Jr.

Paying Tribute to Samuel Francis, a Brilliant and Brave Writer

March 8, 2005
United States House of Representatives

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to a fellow Tennessean, but a man whom I never had the privilege of meeting. Samuel Francis was a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist and a leading voice of traditional conservatism. He passed away several days ago, just after the Congress had gone into recess, at the too-young age of 57 from complications after heart

No two people, not even husbands and wives or best friends, agree on everything; and I did not always agree with Sam Francis. But I admired his courage. He was politically incorrect on almost everything, which made him right on most things, but also very controversial. He was a leading critic of neo-conservatives, Big Government conservatives who really are not very conservative at all.

Raised in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Dr. Francis had a bachelor's degree from Johns Hopkins and master's and Ph.D. degrees from the University of North Carolina. Sam Francis did not believe in world government and multiculturalism. He was a patriotic American who put his own country first and was a brilliant and brave writer.

What does this tell us about Representative Duncan?

Saturday, March 24, 2007

With God on Our Side?

Check this out from Underneath Politics. This is how the President responded when asked about the lack of progress in Iraq. I think we're in serious trouble. Of course, the statements below are nothing new. And Bush regularly expects the support of the Almighty in elections. And good years for Bush. Not to mention that the divine supposedly tells Bush what to do.

“Semantics,” the President said. “We could all nitpick everything everyone did, but until the American people start looking at elected officials as ‘God like,’ and not question their actions, we will never be a truly great nation.”

The whack-a-noodle of an executive also maintains that because his actions are directed by God, there is little or nothing to question.

“God tells me what to do and I do it,” the President says. “If that’s not good enough for the progressive’s in this country then I am at a loss. Perhaps the fact that some in America trust the likes of Howard Dean over God displeases Him, and that is the reason things are not going well in Iraq. If that is the case, which I strongly suspect, I should not be held responsible.”

Bummer for Bush

The other Bush. No, not dad... the other Bush... Jebby.

The University of Florida President Bernie Machen said Friday he was “tremendously disappointed” with the school’s Faculty Senate vote to deny former Gov. Jeb Bush an honorary degree.

The Senate voted 38-28 Thursday against giving the honorary degree to Bush, who left office in January.

“Jeb Bush has been a great friend of the University of Florida,” said Machen, adding that the Senate’s action is “unheard of.” Some faculty expressed concern about Bush’s record in higher education.

“I really don’t feel this is a person who has been a supporter of UF,” Kathleen Price, associate dean of library and technology at the school’s Levin College of Law, told The Gainesville Sun after the vote.

Bush’s approval of three new medical schools during his tenure has diluted resources, Price told the newspaper.

Bush has also been criticized for his “One Florida” proposal, an initiative that ended race-based admissions programs at state universities. Machen maintains, however, that Bush has benefited the university, such as by providing the funding to attract nationally recognized faculty.

Machen also pointed to Bush’s First Generation Scholarship program, modeled after a University of Florida effort to help high school students at risk of not making it to college.

University officials said they could not recall any precedent for the Senate rejecting the nominees put forth by the Faculty Senate’s Honorary Degrees, Distinguished Alumnus Awards and Memorials Committee. The committee determines whether nominees deserve consideration according to standards that include “eminent distinction in scholarship or high distinction in public service.”

Subpeenee Power

Dan Froomkin highlights something that hasn't hit the bigtime yet in the MSM handling of the USA purge. According to a report in the National Journal, Rove and his other flying monkeys like to use their RNC email and domain for "convenience":

Alexis Simendinger writes in a National Journal story (subscription required): "White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove may have forfeited potential claims of executive privilege over the dismissals of eight U.S. attorneys-- if he communicated about the latter outside the White House e-mail system, using his Republican National Committee e-mail account or RNC equipment. Or at least that's a legal possibility posed by rapidly advancing electronic technology and the evolving work habits of busy White House officials. . . .

"According to one former White House official familiar with Rove's work habits, the president's top political adviser does 'about 95 percent' of his e-mailing using his RNC-based account. Many White House officials, including aides in the Political Affairs Office, use the RNC account as an alternative to their official government e-mail addresses to help keep their official and political duties separate. Although some White House officials use dual sets of electronic devices for that purpose,

Rove prefers to use his RNC-provided BlackBerry for convenience, the former official said. . . .

"Some White House officials, including Rove, use the RNC's e-mail domain (an abbreviation for George W. Bush 43). Communications originating from that RNC domain written by White House political affairs aide Scott Jennings to officials in the Justice Department appeared in the first batch of e-mails given to the House and Senate Judiciary committees last week. The Jennings e-mails stamped with the RNC domain, as well as e-mails from then-White House Counsel Harriet Miers and her deputy sent through the official White House system, were captured on Justice Department servers. . . .

"White House and RNC spokespeople did not respond to National Journal questions about Rove's use of the RNC e-mail system and the preservation of communications he created on its equipment."

Well shit and shoved in it, I declare, tut-tut and all that. Convenience. Convenience! Convenience?

So a couple thoughts come to mind. First, with Rove there is absolutely, and I mean 100% absolutely, no difference between his "political" and his "official" duties. All he does is politics all the time. For Rove, every strategical decision is itself a zero sum game in which he wins and Democrats lose.

Given that reality it makes sense that there is gold in that email server at which I suspect Rove and his minions use so that those communications are outside oversight capability of congress, and not just a matter of Conyers, Waxman, Leahy, etc. just sending a letter to the White House saying give us all emails between Rove and so and so.

I don't know how they are going to open that can of worms, but this one could get very interesting.

Well, Michael Jackson does have Talent

This is a must see! And proof that YouTube is cool.
Enjoy. Oh, points for anyone who can watch the entire video.
Got to love the dancing... Tandori Jacko, anyone?

Bill Maher New Rules 3/23

Maher really came down on Bush and Cheney last night like a ton of bricks -- and all conservatives trying to make light of the outing of Valerie Plame.

Uploaded by this person.


I submit that the story of Pat Tillman's death, used to fan the flames of uber nationalism during the first real difficulty in Iraq* using the story of the noble sacrifice of the military's most famous recruit killed by the terrorists.

Even though they knew it was bullshit at the time...they needed to use Pat Tillman as a prop for their Iraq War and beat the drum.

And then we found out the truth.

Golly, what does that seem like a story that pretty much sums up every major policy decision in the Bush Administration?

*Tillman, of course was actually killed in Afghanistan, but his death was used as a prop during a period when how fucked up Iraq really was became evident (on the heels of Fallujah)


How long is the Chimperor Disgustus going to put up with the Original George, the Lower Father of the Country looking down on him like that?

(Larry Downing/Reuters)

Friday, March 23, 2007

"The Right's Michael Moore"

Making my way through the magazines that have been piling up since January, I finally got to the New Yorker piece about "24" creator Joel Surnow and the Vanity Fair piece about ex-Hollywood-agent-turned-pro-war-documentarian Pat Dollard. (Unfortunately, the Vanity Fair piece, which was in the March 2007 “Hollywood” issue, is not online, but you can read a little about “The Right’s Michael Moore” in this WaPo article.)

The thing that sticks out about both of these clowns is that when they make their “art,” the law of unintended consequences takes over, only the consequences aren't confined to Hollywood. It’s entertainment industry-generated blowback.

The first half of the New Yorker piece describes the role that torture plays in every episode of “24.” (I don’t watch the show, so this was all news to me). Then the article shifts to efforts by the dean of West Point and officials of human rights organizations to clue the “24” staff into the fact that (a) torture doesn’t work and (b) that their glamorized weekly depictions of it are making it difficult to convince the people in the military that torture is, you know, not okay. From Jane Mayer's New Yorker piece:

Finnegan, who is a lawyer, has for a number of years taught a course on the laws of war to West Point seniors – cadets who would soon be commanders in the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan. He always tries, he said, to get his students to sort out not just what is legal, but what s right. However, it had become increasing hard to convince some cadets that America had to respect the rule of law and human rights, even when terrorists did not. … “The kids see it and say, ‘If torture is wrong, what about “24”?’”
Surnow could give a shit. As far as he’s concerned, he’s the victim: “Conservatives are the new oppressed class,” he joked in his office. “Isn’t it bizarre that in Hollywood it’s easier to come out as gay than as conservative?” (BTW, the picture of Surnow at the link speaks a thousand words.)

Then there’s Pat Dollard who's going to, you know, balance all the anti-American war documentaries out there. You need to get your hands on that March Vanity Fair article, because when Dollard’s little “pro-war documentary” comes out – woo boy! – we are going to have some fun. The article is chock full of vivid descriptions of Dollard’s, um, "colorful" character and wretched excesses (with cocaine, alcohol, and meth, among other delights). Author Evan Wright:
Somewhere between the Roman orgy and the mental ward [Dollard] became a staunch supporter of George W. Bush's.
Makes perfect sense to me. Tough-guy Dollard, who also whines about being a victim of big bad liberal Hollywood, was embedded with the Marines in Iraq and his antics (believe me, “antics” is a kind word to describe what Dollard was up to over there) result in a gunfight, looted liquid valium, and commander complaints about how hard it is to get the troops to do their jobs when he’s making a general pest of himself in their war zone. Somewhere along the line he shoots a bunch of footage that he turns into a movie and when it’s released, I think the family values crowd is really going to love it.

John "Torture Memo" Yoo digs "24." Ann "Faggot" Coulter loves Dollard.

The company you keep...


Bush just accused the Democrats of engaging in an "act of political theatre"

Having delayed his statement for 15 minutes so he could round up veterans so...


Once Again

Bush reacts to the vote in the House to set a withdrawal date:


Certainly not perfect, but it's a start. Congrats to Nancy Pelosi.

Bush will pitch a hissy-fit at 1:45 p.m. Eastern after more than four years of getting a free pass and promising success is around the corner only to produce shit.

A Special Message to Fred Hiatt


Found at The Horse's Mouth.

Disingenuous Post of the Day

You cannot be this patently stupid, but you probably can be this bad a liar:

You Want to Talk About a Surge? [Andy McCarthy]

Here is a real eye-popper from that FPM symposium Stanley and Derb have discussed. It comes from the excellent Steve Schippert: "[T]he Taliban-al-Qaeda alliance is believed to have amassed combined-forces strength of about 200,000 fighters throughout the FATA and NWFP region [of Pakistan]."

Let that sink in — 200,000.

There are about 40,000 NATO troops in Afghanistan (20,000 U.S.).

Meanwhile, we are arguing over a temporary addition of up to 30,000 troops on top of the less than 150,000 in Iraq. Democrats want to wind all of it down, sooner rather than later.

Anybody want to guess what happens in the region if we leave Iraq too soon?

I dunno Andy pants but I don't see many Democrats saying we need to leave Afghanistan, so I don't know what "REGION" you are referring to. In fact for more than five years now many Democrats have been calling for more attention and more troops to be placed in Afghanistan and more more efforts to be made over the border in Pakistan.

And time after time they've been called "weak" and "wrong" and those are amongst the nicer things. When John Kerry correctly pointed out that the Bush Administration had committed serious errors at Tora Bora and Osama bin Laden had escaped Bush and his minions called him a low-down dirty liar. Of course, he was exactly the opposite of this and in your heart of hearts you know this.

You also know the obvious, that we could put a hell of a lot more troops into Afghanistan if we were not bogged down on a created war that is an unmitigated disaster in ever possible way.

And you know this too.

Unless you are an idiot.

Which I am not calling you.

So you know what that leaves.

GOP Indeterminate Songs of Love

(To "Falling in Love Again")

Falling in love again,

I never wanted to

But what am I to do,

I can't help it

Love's never been my game,

sex for it I pay

I was made that way,

I can't help it

Girls flutter to my money Clinton's fault proclaimed

And if the Dems are burned, I am not to blame

Falling in love again, I never wanted to

But what am I to do, I can't help it