Thursday, May 31, 2007

"Here's a $20, American Currency has Uncle Pennybags on it, really"

AP Photo/Sgt. Curt Cashour, US Army, HO

Y'know if I had a group of armed men surrounding me when I shopped I could get free crap too!

I will not make an Arte Johnson joke...
I will not make an Arte Johnson joke...
I will not make an Arte Johnson joke...

AP Photo/Sgt. Curt Cashour, US Army, HO

Oh fuck the Gods of Rhetorical Excess

John McCain:

McCain says there can be no consideration of a Plan B, an alternative to the current U.S. occupation of Iraq.

“I believe that Gen. Eisenhower didn’t have a Plan B at Normandy, and I don’t think that Gen. Grant had a Plan B when he decided to take Richmond,” McCain told The Associated Press on Sunday.

Actually both Eisenhower and Grant had many "Plan Bs" handy you idiot.

First of all, you cannot compare "D-Day" to "the Surge", one happened, as defined "in one day" and on that day, 4 of the 5 beaches were in hand quickly and on the last and most difficult "Omaha" both Bradley and Eisenhower considered Plan B very carefully, before the initiative of individual soldiers broke the stalemate and allowed success. And at the conclusion of "D-Day" virtually all of the first-day objectives were not reached, leading to one "Plan B, C, D, through Z" after the other. Anyone familiar with the battles in the hedgerows knows that there was plan after plan after plan to break out.

From there, in the following days, weeks and months, there were many strategic, tactical and political considerations that occurred over 9 months until Hitler was gone and Germany defeated.

Also, unlike Eisenhower, there is no gigantic army facing us with another gigantic army on its tail.

And that is just the 30-second rebuttal.

As for Grant, McCain purposefully plays stupid, because he thinks you are stupid, about the nature of Grant's 1864 Spring Offensive. That was one goddamned "Plan B" after another until the seige of Fredricksburg Petersburg began.

Retire off to an island with David Broder sir.


Here's something Joe Lieberman ignores, the latest bit of progress:

It was one of the most brazen attacks on a government building in Baghdad. More than 40 men in police uniforms drove up in a convoy of 19 government-issued SUVs, to the technology and information directorate of the finance ministry. They sealed off the building, set up roadblocks outside it, walked into a hall where a British consultant was giving a lecture on computers, and shouted: "Where are the foreigners?" The consultant and his four British bodyguards were led away by a man in a police major's uniform, without a shot being fired.

The security guards at the compound either knew the abductors or were too frightened to challenge them. If coalition forces require any reminder about how deeply the Shia militias have infiltrated the Iraqi police, the latest abduction has rammed home the message. Iraq's foreign minister, Hoshyar Zebari, a Kurd, admitted yesterday that the interior ministry's police, security units and forces were "corrupt and penetrated". That is not how senior US officials have been talking recently, with claims that 135,000 Iraqi policemen have been trained. As what? Policemen or militia gunmen?

These sorts of stories have been out there for at least two-years now. We've been training less an Iraqi Army, than sectarian military squads [Under the initial watchful eye of John Negroponte so what a surprise, eh?]. Here, in the midst of "the Surge" where the full weight of the Surge has just hit, a brazen attack like this occurs, openly and without a hitch for the militia.

Pair this with the NY Times article of an American soldier observing a U.S. trained Iraqi soldier planting an I.E.D. in the road with the purpose of killing Americans and you get the full picture of the nightmare.

Dear National Review

I don't mean to tell you how to run your own railroad, but when you post stuff like this it is a bad sign.

The Editors’ Challenge [Kathryn Jean Lopez]

Today we issue an invitation to the editors of the WSJ editorial page. It should be an easy "yes" for them, since we're irrational. See you in D.C. next week?

05/31 05:21 AM

When the Wall Street Journal Editorial Page calls a conservative "irrational" it should be the equivalent of an intervention.

And what kind of "challenge" could K-Lo compete in?

I'll leave that rhetorical.


In David Broder's World:

Opposing the war and trying to change direction in Iraq as a Democrat?

Why you are just a cynical opportunist.

Support Bush with every outrageous stunt that causes yet more needless death, destruction, and waste like Mitch McConnell and you are "supremely realistic". Only Republican John Warner "has an acute awareness of the price America's fighting men and women are paying for the policy mistakes there." As opposed to say, the unmentioned other Virginia Senator James Webb (also a former Navy Secretary) who has a son fighting in Iraq...and who actually fought in shit while John Warner was behind a desk during Vietnam.


Broder & David Ignatius apparently had the same intern write their columns today.


Why doesn't Lieberman just marry McCain at Mitt Romney's house and get it over with?

Lieberman walked in, wearing a pair of sunglasses newly purchased from an Iraqi market that the military had taken him to in southeast Baghdad. He'd been equipped with a helmet and flak vest when he toured the market, which he described as bustling.

Earlier, Lieberman had met briefly with Iraqi soldiers and Iraqi police at a Joint Security Station; there are 31 throughout the city now. The senator, who's steadfastly supported the Iraq war along with the current surge of more than 28,000 additional American troops, said things were better...

Meanwhile, the soldiers who met with him had questions they may or may not have had a chance to ask:

Spc. David Williams, 22, of Boston, Mass., had two note cards in his pocket Wednesday afternoon as he waited for Sen. Joseph Lieberman. Williams serves in the 82nd Airborne Division from Fort Bragg, N.C., the first of the five "surge" brigades to arrive in Iraq, and he was chosen to join the Independent from Connecticut for lunch at a U.S. field base in Baghdad.

The night before, 30 other soldiers crowded around him with questions for the senator.

He wrote them all down. At the top of his note card was the question he got from nearly every one of his fellow soldiers:

"When are we going to get out of here?" ...Williams missed six months of his girlfriend's pregnancy when he was given six days' notice to return to Iraq for his second tour. He also missed his baby boy's birth. Three weeks ago, he went home and saw his first child.

"He looks just like me," he said. "I didn't want to come back. . . . We're waiting to get blown up." ...

Next to him, Spc. Will Hedin, 21, of Chester, Conn., thought about what he was going to say.

"We're not making any progress," Hedin said, as he recalled a comrade who was shot by a sniper last week. "It just seems like we drive around and wait to get shot at."

But as he waited two chairs down from where Lieberman would sit, Hedin said he'd never voice his true feelings to the senator.

"I think I'd be a private if I did,
" he joked. "It's just more troops, more targets." ...

Spc. Kevin Krasco, 20, of Medford, Mass., and Spc. Kevin Adams, 20, of Moosup, Conn., chimed in with their dismay before turning the conversation to baseball.

"It's like everything else in this war," Adams said, referring to Baghdad. "It hasn't changed." ...

The soldiers smiled and greeted him, stood with him for pictures and sat down to a lunch of roast beef and turkey sandwiches. It was unclear if they ever asked their questions.

As Lieberman walked out, he said that congressionally mandated withdrawal would be a "victory for al-Qaida and a victory for Iran."

"They're not Pollyannaish about this," he said referring to the young soldiers he ate lunch with. "They know it's not going to be solved in a day or a month."

It isn't clear whether Williams mentioned the last line on his note card, the one that had a star next to it.

"We don't feel like we're making any progress," it said.

Within the next couple weeks, Holy stylin' in his blood money sunglasses

Think Progress

will write yet another fictional editorial in either the Washington Post or Wall Street Journal (hell, why not both) where he will talk about two or three anonymous officers and one of Tom Friedman's random Iraqi who will proclaim the great success we are making for the first time...much as he did six months ago, and six months before that, and six months before that.

Joe Lieberman is a tool, a war-loving, blood-loving sociopath. Fuck him and the DLC he rode in on. He has cheerleaded and excused this disaster at every possible step.

He can fucking live with this on what passes for his conscience for the rest of his wasted and squandered life.

Not to get too 90s geeky here

But they still sell successors to the Old Zip Drives?

I have like a dozen zip disks of 100 MB each that I must have spent $200 on.

Just in time for their obsolescence.

Not to mention the not very well-loved CLICK OF DEATH!

You can buy a 750 GB external drive for less than $300 a 4 GB flash drive for $40, why would anyone buy removable media like this?

Wednesday, May 30, 2007


One of the criticisms I've heard of Fred Thompson the political candidate (and as a Senator) is he is not known as a particularly hard worker, especially as a campaigner.

It looks like Fred wants to let others do the heavy lifting in his own campaign:

In an interview with USA TODAY, however, the former Tennessee senator not only makes it clear that he plans to run, he describes how he aims to do it. He's planning an unconventional campaign using blogs, video posts and other Internet innovations to reach voters repelled by politics-as-usual in both parties.

In other words, "I'm going to sit on my ass as much as possible."

Yeah, that'll work.

XDR TB Guy Speaks

“I’m a very well-educated, successful, intelligent person. This is insane to me, that I have an armed guard outside my door, when I’ve cooperated with everything other than the whole solitary-confinement-in-Italy thing.”
--TB Guy, who flew to Europe despite being advised not to fly by Fulton County (GA) health officials

Um, no, according to the NYT and CNN, you have not cooperated with everything other than the whole solitary-confinement-in-Italy thing. In fact, you flew to Europe despite being advised not to fly by health authorities. Then you took a couple of flights within Europe. Then, you flew home via Canada because (you say) you thought you'd be on a no-fly list. (Is it possible, though, that you thought the CDC would ask you to stay put in Italy because you have XDR TB, a strain of the disease that is "often fatal and [which] had become a growing public health threat in many countries?") Then you drove to New York. So instead of only people in Georgia being exposed to you, now people en route to France, in France, en route to Canada, in Canada, and in New York were exposed to you. And that doesn't even count whoever you exposed to TB on all those flights within Europe.

Note to TB guy: the fact that you are a "well-educated, successful, intelligent person" does not exempt you from following the rules, even if they come in the form of "advice." And even if all you received was "advice," wouldn't a person as terribly well-educated and intelligent as you claim to be think flying all over the planet with TB was a pretty lousy (and selfish) idea? Sheesh.

Update: Now CNN is reporting that this clown wants to fly to Denver for treatment and that he went to Prague, too.

Orwellian Chestnuts

“You’ve raised this to a level that frankly I find offensive.”
--Lou Dobbs, when confronted on his leprosy (and other) bullshit by NYT reporter David Leonhardt

11 Angry Men

The GOP Presidential field, if Fred Thompson gets involved, might as well be the 1970 Alabama Crimson Tide with the Democrats cast as Sam "Bam" Cunningham.

You would think the GOP could get Alan Keyes or some random Tweety GOP-Minority Slot-Level Republican to run just to go against type. Bring on Ron Christie, just don't expect him to focus.

Vanessa Williams' Yorkie is Missing!

It's summer and this year, coyotes are the new sharks:
The pet Yorkie belonging to actress-singer Vanessa Williams is missing. Enzo disappeared from her Chappaqua yard Monday, becoming the second pooch of a high-profile owner to go missing from northern Westchester since Mother's Day.

While Williams raised concerns that there's some sort of dognapping ring, Mount Pleasant Police Chief Louis Alagno suggested another theory: Coyotes are snatching the bite-size pets.
Every time I turn on local news radio (WCBS 880 in NYC) there's another damned "Coyotes Attack!" story. From tony Chappaqua1 to nice New Brunswick, coyotes are chomping Yorkies and Chihuahuas.

Look, I like little dogs as much as the next jailbird heiress (well, sort of), but I think the news should just can it with the wild-dog-bites-dog stories. After all, there is a much worse fate that could befall these pooches: they could fall into the clutches of that Graspy Little Tiara-Loving First Lady Wanna-be, Judy Nathan.

1Chappaqua is the home of the Clintons! I wonder if Hillary and her damned ambition are involved in this plot to destroy small dogs and the families who love them?

Ever get the feeling no matter the issue

It's just CUT & PASTE for Joe Lieberman?

Lieberman Sees Progress In Senate For A Second Sub

Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., said Friday that the funding for an increase in submarine production in the defense authorization bill represents a “turning point” in the Senate's consideration of the attack-submarine program.

I've seen those key phrases before.

And before...and before...

November 15, 2005:

I want to say that the debate about the war has become much too partisan in our time. And something is happening here tonight that I believe, I hope, I pray we will look back and say was a turning point and opened the road to Republican and Democratic cooperation, White House and congressional cooperation, to complete the mission...I like the way in which the Warner amendment recited again the findings that led us to war against Saddam Hussein and, quite explicitly, cited the progress that has been made...

March 27, 2007:

Mr. President, Congress approaches a decisive turning point in the history of our engagement in Iraq—a moment that will have repercussions not only for the future of that country and our presence there, but for our security right here in the United States....In the past two months, Prime Minister Maliki has allowed U.S. forces to sweep into Sadr City. He has worked with General Petraeus to ensure that all the Iraqi Army units required by the new strategy are available. He has flown to the heart of Anbar province to meet with Sunni leaders.

His cabinet has approved a new oil law—one of the key benchmarks for political progress



CNN reports that Lieberman is on an unannounced "surprise" visit to Baghdad. Paula Hancocks followed Lieberman around. She talked to Lieberman and reported, "He said he was happy with the progress. He was devastated by the fact that May was turning in to the deadliest month since November 2004. But he said he did believe that this surge eventually would pay off and it would start to break the insurgency."

Damned Ambition

I expect Republican operatives to gin up fake controversies. I expect cable news outlets to pack interminable hours of airtime with fake controversies. I expect Tweety to shout himself hoarse about fake controversies until the last Friday flight leaves D.C. for Nantucket.

What I don't expect is one of Josh Marshall's outfits to accept the frame of a fake controversy.

TPM's Election Central:
We've just received our copy of Carl Bernstein's new book on Hillary, and something leaps right out at us.

Specifically: Bernstein's reporting directly contradicts one of the more important and more damning allegations about Hillary and Bill that is made by former Timesman Jeff Gerth and current Times reporter Don Van Natta in their big forthcoming Hillary book. ...

The charge in question in the Gerth-Van Natta book -- which is called Her Way -- is that just after Bill's election in 1992, he and Hillary were already plotting two terms for her in the White House. This revelation, among others, was a key one used to bolster one of the book's central themes -- the long-term ambitions harbored by Hillary.
Why is Hillary Clinton's ambition a "damning allegation?" Why is the allegation that she is ambitious any more "damning" than such an allegation about say, Mitt Romney? Wouldn't anyone seeking the most powerful position (and arguably the most difficult job) on the planet have to be at least somewhat ambitious (our current president notwithstanding)? Did Richard Nixon lack ambition? Did Jimmy Carter? Does Tom Tancredo? What about Barack Obama? He seems pretty darned ambitious. Is Obama's ambition a negative? Why does Hillary "plot", where others "plan?" Isn't a presidential campaign a plan by definition? And just what's wrong with a plan, anyway? FDR's entire young life was a plan for greatness (as was his cousin Teddy's). JFK's future was plotted by his father, whose original plan to guide son Joe Junior to the presidency was thwarted when Joe was killed in combat. Even Al Gore was merely "groomed for power."

I know that TPM's point is that (shock) someone (either Jeff Gerth, Don Van Natta, or Carl Bernstein) has their "facts" wrong, but why write this story in a way that accepts the Republican frame of the issue ("OMG! Hillary Clinton's ambition is out of control. Stop her now!")
Of course, it's conceivable that Hillary was privately scheming to run for President while telling her best friend she had no interest in elected office.
This reminds me of the real photo caption controversy about white people "finding" and black people "looting" food or other supplies in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Newt Gingrich? Planning a presidential campaign. Rudy Giuliani? Exploring a presidential run. Fred Thompson? Considering all his options. Hillary Clinton? Power-mad bitch salivating over her secret scheme to take over (first) the country (then) the world. No wonder David Brooks compares her to Eva Peron and Tweety's panel laughs.

Shame on you, TPM, for accepting Hillary's ambition and long-term planning (if true at all) as a "damning allegation." All you had to do was re-write that first sentence:
Specifically: Bernstein's reporting directly contradicts one of the more important and -- in the eyes of her critics and opponents -- more damning allegations about Hillary and Bill that is made by former Timesman Jeff Gerth and current Times reporter Don Van Natta in their big forthcoming Hillary book.
Now I'm going to return to my monumentally ambitious double-secret private scheming and plotting to take over the local chapter of Drinking Liberally. Sheesh.

What have the Kagans been Wrong about Now?

Episode, four, or is it five?

I dunno, it's hard to keep track, but at some point Donald Kagan turns into Nerf Vader! ("Fred, I am your father! Come experience the power of the fried foods!"). But I digress:

Though you may be getting the opposite impression from news reports, the sectarian violence that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi had unleashed by destroying the Samarra Mosque in February 2006 has subsided. Measured weekly, sectarian killings are down by almost two-thirds since the start of the Baghdad security plan.

Um, Yay?

Gunmen in police uniforms and driving vehicles used by security forces kidnapped five Britons from an Iraqi Finance Ministry office Tuesday, and a senior Iraqi official said the radical Shiite Mahdi Army militia was suspected.

Compounding the fresh evidence of chaos in Iraq, the U.S. military announced that a total of 10 American soldiers were killed in roadside bombings and a helicopter crash on Memorial Day, making May — at 113 fatalities — the third deadliest month of the war.

Across the country Tuesday, police and morgue officials contacted by The Associated Press reported a total of at least 120 people killed or found dead. All of the officials refused to allow use of their names fearing they could be targeted by militants.

The Finance Ministry kidnappings, if the work of the Mahdi Army as asserted by Iraqi officials, could be retaliation for the killing by British forces last week of the militia's commander in Basra.

The raid also was reminiscent of an attack by the Shiite militiamen, dressed as Interior Ministry commandos, who stormed a Higher Education Ministry office Nov. 14 and snatched away as many as 200 people. Dozens of those kidnap victims were never been found.

Yeah, that fuckin' surge is workin' out just great there Fred. Have another "Twinkie" and a beer, because you are a "Real Man of Genius, Mr. Military War Planner".


Hey, that advertisement submitted to Move-On in a contest back in 2004, that the right-wing so freaked out about, may have been on to something.

I only wish Orwell was alive to write about it (oh, and to slap Christopher Hitchens silly, but that's another matter).

Gross but Accurate

DeLay Explains How His Adultery Was Different Than Gingrich's

Why explain when you can demonstrate?

Delay.........................................Gingrich (some enhancement from ILM)

Ah, Jeebus

Give it a fucking rest already...

Jihad Victory [Mark Krikorian]

We shouldn't let May 29 pass without noting the anniversary of one of the great tragedies of history, the Fall of Constantinople in 1453. Sure, the Byzantine Empire was already finished at that point, but its final snuffing out by the Turks was an important milestone in the jihad we continue to face. See more here and here and here .

05/29 10:55 PM

If nothing else, these people have given a new birth to the "Know Nothings" of the 1850s. And these idiots scoff at 9/11 conspiracy theories.

Now they're doing it...

Not to go all NTodd and flail my pants around in the air, but I read and reviewed "The Italian Letter" nearly two months ago.

Where's my pony?

Compare & Contrast

Bush Enablers as Doomsday Cult:

Lengthy, I know:

Leon Festinger and his associates read an interesting item in their local newspaper headlined "Prophecy from planet clarion call to city: flee that flood." A Chicago housewife, Mrs. Marion Keech, had mysteriously been given messages in her house in the form of "automatic writing" from alien beings on the planet Clarion, who revealed that the world would end in a great flood before dawn on December 21. The group of believers, headed by Mrs. Keech, had taken strong behavioral steps to indicate their degree of commitment to the belief. They had left jobs, college, and spouses, and had given away money and possessions to prepare for their departure on the flying saucer, which was to rescue the group of true believers.

Festinger and his colleagues infiltrated Mrs. Keech's group and reported the following sequence of events:[1]

* Prior to December 20. The group shuns publicity. Interviews are given only grudgingly. Access to Mrs. Keech's house is only provided to those who can convince the group that they are true believers. The group evolves a belief system—provided by the automatic writing from the planet Clarion—to explain the details of the cataclysm, the reason for its occurrence, and the manner in which the group would be saved from the disaster.

* December 20. The group expects a visitor from outer space to call upon them at midnight and to escort them to a waiting spacecraft. As instructed, the group goes to great lengths to remove all metallic items from their persons. As midnight approaches, zippers, bra straps, and other objects are discarded. The group waits.

* 12:05 A.M., December 21. No visitor. Someone in the group notices that another clock in the room shows 11:55. The group agrees that it is not yet midnight.

* 12:10 A.M. The second clock strikes midnight. Still no visitor. The group sits in stunned silence. The cataclysm itself is no more than seven hours away.

* 4:00 A.M. The group has been sitting in stunned silence. A few attempts at finding explanations have failed. Mrs. Keech begins to cry.

* 4:45 A.M. Another message by automatic writing is sent to Mrs. Keech. It states, in effect, that the God of Earth has decided to spare the planet from destruction. The cataclysm has been called off: "The little group, sitting all night long, had spread so much light that God had saved the world from destruction."

* Afternoon, December 21. Newspapers are called; interviews are sought. In a reversal of its previous distaste for publicity, the group begins an urgent campaign to spread its message to as broad an audience as possible.

Festinger stated that five conditions must be met, if someone is to become more fervent in a belief even after its disconfirmation:

1. A belief must be held with deep conviction and it must have some relevance to action, that is, to what the believer does or how he behaves.

2. The person holding the belief must have committed himself to it; that is, for the sake of his belief, he must have taken some important action that is difficult to undo. In general, the more important such actions are, and the more difficult they are to undo, the greater is the individual's commitment to the belief.

3. The belief must be sufficiently specific and sufficiently concerned with the real world so that events may unequivocally refute the belief.

4. Such undeniable disconfirmatory evidence must occur and must be recognized by the individual holding the belief.

5. The first two of these conditions specify the circumstances that will make the belief resistant to change. The third and fourth conditions together, on the other hand, point to factors that would exert powerful pressure on a believer to discard his belief. It is, of course, possible that an individual, even though deeply convinced of a belief, may discard it in the face of unequivocal disconfirmation. We must therefore, state a fifth condition specifying the circumstances under which the belief will be discarded and those under which it will be maintained with new fervor.

AND, in addition, The individual believer must have social support. It is unlikely that one isolated believer could withstand the kind of disconfirming evidence we have specified. If, however, the believer is a member of a group of convinced persons who can support one another, we would expect the belief to be maintained and the believers to attempt to proselyte or to persuade nonmembers that the belief is correct.

Now compare the above, to Captain Ed (ir)rationalizing his way through the fact that Valerie Plame has been unquestionably demonstrated to be a COVERT CIA Operative.

And tell me how it's all that different?

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Hey Byron York, Victoria Toensing, Clifford May, and Kit Bond

If you had souls, you'd be fixing to apologize right now:

An unclassified summary of outed CIA officer Valerie Plame's employment history at the spy agency, disclosed for the first time today in a court filing by Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald, indicates that Plame was "covert" when her name became public in July 2003.

The summary is part of an attachment to Fitzgerald's memorandum to the court supporting his recommendation that I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Vice President Cheney's former top aide, spend 2-1/2 to 3 years in prison for obstructing the CIA leak investigation.

The nature of Plame's CIA employment never came up in Libby's perjury and obstruction of justice trial.

The unclassified summary of Plame's employment with the CIA at the time that syndicated columnist Robert Novak published her name on July 14, 2003 says, "Ms. Wilson was a covert CIA employee for who the CIA was taking affirmative measures to conceal her intelligence relationship to the United States."

Plame worked as an operations officer in the Directorate of Operations and was assigned to the Counterproliferation Division (CPD) in January 2002 at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia.

The employment history indicates that while she was assigned to CPD, Plame, "engaged in temporary duty travel overseas on official business." The report says, "she traveled at least seven times to more than ten times." When overseas Plame traveled undercover, "sometimes in true name and sometimes in alias -- but always using cover -- whether official or non-official (NOC) -- with no ostensible relationship to the CIA."

After the Novak column was published and Plame's identity was widely reported in the media, and according to the document, "the CIA lifted Ms Wilson's cover" and then "rolled back her cover" effective to the date of the leak.

Look, it is in PDF form and everything!

Since you will not apologize, or admit error, and continue to draw a paycheck while never being challenged for your incredible wankitude, here's a little something for you...

Hmmmm, it's close, but I still prefer "Free Mumia"

I was turned into a Newt once, I got better.

This ad was posted at, where frankly an advertisement and link saying "Give us $50 and we'll give you Syphilis" probably would get more hits.

Let me be Diplomatic about this....

F-U-C-K Y-O-U!

Texas is a Better Place [Michael Ledeen]

Here follows a letter from a woman who recently attended the Texas funeral of her nephew, KIA in Iraq. In many places around the country, members of the Sheehan-Reid-Obama-Clinton cult disrupt military funerals, but I doubt they would attempt to perform their disgusting ritual in a fine place as described here.

Human shit-bag Fred Phelps is hardly a member of this Ledeen-fabricated "cult". As for Sheehan, she had to attend one funeral for sure, HER SON'S!

I sincerely doubt this has happened even ONCE! anywhere in this country from a progressive anti-war group. I can only imagine the screaming 48-pitch headlines that would have been up from Michelle Malkin or Drudge. However, professional liar Michael Ledeen continues to draw a paycheck and treated like a rational conservative.


Commenter Robert DSquared finds out the letter Ledeen refers to is true, but is 4 YEARS OLD and involves the same unit as Jessica Lynch. It goes downhill in credibility from there as Ledeen treats it like a recent event.

Best News I've Heard All Week

(Okay, I know it's only Tuesday, but still ...)

Dan Da Vinci Code Brown has writer's block.

Here's a shocker to no one

From the L.A. Times:

Iraq likely to miss goals set by U.S.

U.S. military leaders in Iraq are increasingly convinced that most of the broad political goals President Bush laid out early this year in his announcement of a troop buildup will not be met this summer and are seeking ways to redefine success.

In September, Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top American commander in Iraq, is scheduled to present Congress with an assessment of progress in Iraq. Military officers in Baghdad and outside advisors working with Petraeus doubt that the three major goals set by U.S. officials for the government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki will be achieved by then.

I'm going to guess that a whole new series of the usual suspects will be trotted out to demand SIX MORE MONTHS!

Allow me to just "cut & paste" Joe Lieberman's Fall 2007 WaPo & WSJ editorials now:

"I've seen remarkable progress in Anbar Province"

"For the first time, we are making real progress against Al Qaeda"

"Our fighting forces are upbeat and optimistic that the job is being done"

"Now is not the time to begin pulling out troops"

"We must give our military leaders in Iraq, even more troops to complete the job"

And who should appear in this non-shocker of the latest achievement of absolutely nothing except more blood and more treasure lost?

Why "Neck Enhanced" omnipresent FRED KAGAN!


Frederick W. Kagan, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research and early advocate of the troop buildup, said the military would have few major political accomplishments to report by September. "I think the political progress will be mostly of this local variety," said Kagan, who recently visited Iraq and met with American commanders.

Which is strange because Freddy's wife and apprentice Kim just wrote:

MAY 7, 2007:

Sectarian violence fell dramatically in Diyala in February 2007, as al Qaeda and other extremist groups fought coalition and Iraqi forces. But the terrorists are gradually losing control, local government is beginning to function once again, and the local population is turning against al Qaeda and toward cooperation with coalition forces in a manner similar to what has occurred in Anbar.

And this "local" progress in Diyala province turned out to be bullshit!

The Perfect Gift for your Republican Dad

Comes with "Eternal" Contract, allowing calls to all other "Friends & Family Members" from Hell!

Emission Accomplished

When they build the statue of George Bush in Baghdad, like Richard Perle predicted, I think it would be proper -- though ironic considering biological reality -- if they simply made it a giant prick.

Back home in Iraq, Umm Hiba’s daughter was a devout schoolgirl, modest in her dress and serious about her studies. Hiba, who is now 16, wore the hijab, or Islamic head scarf, and rose early each day to say the dawn prayer before classes.

But that was before militias began threatening their Baghdad neighborhood and Umm Hiba and her daughter fled to Syria last spring. There were no jobs, and Umm Hiba’s elderly father developed complications related to his diabetes.

Desperate, Umm Hiba followed the advice of an Iraqi acquaintance and took her daughter to work at a nightclub along a highway known for prostitution. “We Iraqis used to be a proud people,” she said over the frantic blare of the club’s speakers. She pointed out her daughter, dancing among about two dozen other girls on the stage, wearing a pink silk dress with spaghetti straps, her frail shoulders bathed in colored light...

For anyone living in Damascus these days, the fact that some Iraqi refugees are selling sex or working in sex clubs is difficult to ignore.

Even in central Damascus, men freely talk of being approached by pimps trawling for customers outside juice shops and shawarma sandwich stalls, and of women walking up to passing men, an act unthinkable in Arab culture, and asking in Iraqi-accented Arabic if the men would like to “have a cup of tea.”

By day the road that leads from Damascus to the historic convent at Saidnaya is often choked with Christian and Muslim pilgrims hoping for one of the miracles attributed to a portrait of the Virgin Mary at the convent. But as any Damascene taxi driver can tell you, the Maraba section of this fabled pilgrim road is fast becoming better known for its brisk trade in Iraqi prostitutes.

Way to go Georgie!

Project Much Bobo?

The man who once said that if we didn't lie back and "think of Freedom" when the Neocons invaded Iraq we were anti-semitic, has the audacity to say this:

But, hey, nobody ever died from contact with pomposity, and Al Gore’s “The Assault on Reason” is well worth reading. It reminds us that whatever the effects of our homogenizing mass culture, it is still possible for exceedingly strange individuals to rise to the top.

Um, Bobo, I've been watching George W. Bush and his cronies the last six and a half years, you may not be fully familiar with the definition of strange...nor incompetent for that matter. I'll take Gore on this clusterfuck in January 2003 over you or any Bush Administration official.

I suggest you look in the mirror a while.

You may have to get a stool.


I see Richard Cohen spent the Memorial Day Holiday with his bong:

Years ago, someone coined the term "neoliberal." I was never sure what it meant, and it has since fallen into disuse, but whatever the case, I'd like to revive (and mangle) the term and apply it -- brace yourself -- to George W. Bush. He's more liberal than you might think.

After this editorial, Cohen went on and on about how cool his hands were.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Appetite for Destruction

A paean to just one of the men who caused this Memorial Day to be all the more meaningful to 3,455 sets of parents, collections of friends, and groups of loved ones:
What is striking about Bolton is the homicidal intent that shows through the patter.

Listening to that conversation was a grim experience that was not unlike being trapped with the Kevin Spacey serial killer character from "Seven."

It wasn't just that Bolton's arguments were bizarre and illogical to the point of insanity, such as his description of Humphrys and the millionaire philanthrophist George Soros as members of the 'extreme left'. Or his ludicrous assertion that the invasion of Iraq has laid the basis for a more stable and peaceful Middle East. It wasn't even his fanaticism, his arrogance and his utter contempt for the opinions of the non-American world. What is striking about Bolton is the savagery and homicidal intent that shows through the statesmanlike patter.
and later ...
[Richard] Perle, Bolton and co often pontificate on the unique moral evil of terrorism. But in their contempt for human life and their appetite for war they are not that different from Osama bin Laden. Unlike Osama, they will not be found in the Hindu Kush carrying a Kalashnikov. They are war trolls, endlessly manipulating the public from TV studios. In this sense they are more like the Roman senators who grew rich and fat while the legions went out to 'create a wasteland and call it peace', as Tacitus once put it.
Please read the rest.

/via Wolcott

Memorial Day


I'm sure frozen desert franchise fancier NTodd has, or will have, this up in it's entirety, Krugman is especially powerful today:

Future historians will shake their heads over how easily America was misled into war. The warning signs, the indications that we had a rogue administration determined to use 9/11 as an excuse for war, were there, for those willing to see them, right from the beginning — even before Mr. Bush began explicitly pushing for war with Iraq.

In fact, the very first time Mr. Bush declared a war on terror that “will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated,” people should have realized that he was going to use the terrorist attack to justify anything and everything.


But the nation, brought together in grief and anger over the attack, wanted to trust the man occupying the White House. And so it took a long time before Americans were willing to admit to themselves just how thoroughly their trust had been betrayed.

And so here we are. The 'Cult of Personality' worshipping conservatives still have difficulty coming to the reality of the monumental mistake -- and those that at least are in the neighborhood of knowing we fucked up, insist on turning the mistake to '11'!.

Here’s the way it ought to be: When Rudy Giuliani says that Iran, which had nothing to do with 9/11, is part of a “movement” that “has already displayed more aggressive tendencies by coming here and killing us,” he should be treated as a lunatic.

When Mitt Romney says that a coalition of “Shia and Sunni and Hezbollah and Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda” wants to “bring down the West,” he should be ridiculed for his ignorance.

And when John McCain says that Osama, who isn’t in Iraq, will “follow us home” if we leave, he should be laughed at.

But they aren’t, at least not yet. And until belligerent, uninformed posturing starts being treated with the contempt it deserves, men who know nothing of the cost of war will keep sending other people’s children to graves at Arlington.

Bill Kristol, Fred Kagan, and Doug Feith all still draw a paycheck. Don't get too optimistic.

Maximum Wanker

William Kristol and Fred Kagan ladies and gentlemen, together in what can only be described as the ickiest long-term companionship ever!

Congressional battles calling into doubt our commitment to winning in Iraq have been the major threat to progress since the president began pursuing the right strategy in January. The president, supported by congressional Republicans, has beaten back that threat. Now he needs to deal with his own administration, which has not made up its collective mind to support the president's strategy wholeheartedly. Mixed messages from Bush's advisers and cabinet undermine the efforts of our commanders in the field.

No matter what happens, these two monumental, geniuses, who pushed this clusterfuck from the beginning will manage to blame everyone but themselves. THEY WILL NEVER CONCEDE ERROR.

So fuck 'em.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

Not content to have the debacle that is Iraq as their legacy, Tony Blair's government wants one more shot at leaving their mark on Britain. Guardian:
British police could be given powers to stop and question anyone for the first time throughout the UK under new anti-terror laws being prepared by the Home Office, officials said.

The measure - so far used only in Northern Ireland - is set to be part of a new package being prepared by Home Secretary John Reid as he prepares to quit the Cabinet next month.

Anyone who refused to co-operate could be charged with obstructing the police and fined up to £5,000, according to reports.

A Home Office spokeswoman said: "We are considering a range of measures for the Bill and 'stop and question' is one of them."

At present, officers may stop and search individuals on "reasonable grounds for suspicion" they have committed an offence but have no rights to ask for their identity and movements.
("Reasonable grounds for suspicion" is roughly our standard for a "stop and frisk" search.)

How long until Wrecks decides that "stop and question" is a terrific new "wartime power," too?

Get ready for your future, Bush War Criminals

This is what you will have whenever you don't handpick your audience:

Close enough for Cable News...

I had no idea how "broadly" CNN defines words. I thought I had heard this too while channel surfing, but here's confirmation:

Maybe it's a small thing. Just a single word. But this quick report by the alleged journalists at CNN managed to epitomize the stupidity that infects so much of the mainstream media and our political institutions. In the short news brief, the anchor reported that Scooter Libby will soon be sentenced for "allegedly lying to investigators." Allegedly? Is that the word CNN now uses to describe a criminal conviction? This was a straight-up, 30 second, news update on the Libby case. I don't think it was a mistake. It think it reflects the core of CNN's false-balance reporting model, where facts, no matter how obvious, must compete with spin. The fact of Scooter Libby's conviction must be balanced with the claims of right-wing propaganda artists. And in CNN's world, each deserves equal weight. Thus Scooter only "allegedly" lied.

This is CNN, reporting like they are Byron York. Thanks "most trusted name" in cable news.

Deadly Mays

Just heard on the local news radio station:
This month is likely to be one of the deadliest Mays in Iraq in years.
I don't know about you, but I find the construction of that sentence extremely screwed up ... and extremely telling. This is our fifth May in Iraq. How many more Mays will there be?

Saturday, May 26, 2007

If you've ever read anything linked to here...

Please read THIS!

Parents who lose children, whether through accident or illness, inevitably wonder what they could have done to prevent their loss. When my son was killed in Iraq earlier this month at age 27, I found myself pondering my responsibility for his death.

Among the hundreds of messages that my wife and I have received, two bore directly on this question. Both held me personally culpable, insisting that my public opposition to the war had provided aid and comfort to the enemy. Each said that my son's death came as a direct result of my antiwar writings.

This may seem a vile accusation to lay against a grieving father. But in fact, it has become a staple of American political discourse, repeated endlessly by those keen to allow President Bush a free hand in waging his war. By encouraging "the terrorists," opponents of the Iraq conflict increase the risk to U.S. troops. Although the First Amendment protects antiwar critics from being tried for treason, it provides no protection for the hardly less serious charge of failing to support the troops - today's civic equivalent of dereliction of duty.

What exactly is a father's duty when his son is sent into harm's way?


Memorial Day orators will say that a G.I.'s life is priceless. Don't believe it. I know what value the U.S. government assigns to a soldier's life: I've been handed the check. It's roughly what the Yankees will pay Roger Clemens per inning once he starts pitching next month.
Money maintains the Republican/Democratic duopoly of trivialized politics. It confines the debate over U.S. policy to well-hewn channels. It preserves intact the cliches of 1933-45 about isolationism, appeasement and the nation's call to "global leadership." It inhibits any serious accounting of exactly how much our misadventure in Iraq is costing. It ignores completely the question of who actually pays. It negates democracy, rendering free speech into little more than a means of recording dissent.
This is not some great conspiracy. It's the way our system works.
In joining the Army, my son was following in his father's footsteps: Before he was born, I had served in Vietnam. As military officers, we shared an ironic kinship of sorts, each of us demonstrating a peculiar knack for picking the wrong war at the wrong time. Yet he was the better soldier - brave and steadfast and irrepressible.
I know that my son did his best to serve our country. Through my own opposition to a profoundly misguided war, I thought that I was doing the same. In fact, while was he was giving all, I was doing nothing. In this way, I failed him.

Please read the rest.

A good summation

Maher's final New Rules does put the events of the week into proper perspective.

Commander in Prick

We might as well have Jim Inhofe be President as regressive as the load of cretin's we have ruling us at the moment.

The United States has rejected Germany’s proposal for deep long-term cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, setting the stage for a battle that will pit President Bush against his European allies at next month’s meeting of the world’s richest countries.

In unusually harsh language, Bush administration negotiators took issue with the German draft of the communiqué for the meeting of the Group of 8 industrialized nations, complaining that the proposal “crosses multiple red lines in terms of what we simply cannot agree to.”

“We have tried to tread lightly, but there is only so far we can go given our fundamental opposition to the German position,” the American response said.

Germany, backed by Britain and now Japan, has proposed cutting global greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent by 2050. Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, who will be the host of the meeting in the Baltic Sea resort of Heiligendamm next month, has been pushing hard to get the Group of 8 to take significant action on climate change.

Is there anything this ass hasn't done to put us in an untenable position?


The Sacred Scent of ...


Res Ipsa Loquitur sent this over to me.

ORANGE, CA (April 3, 2007) – The world’s first spiritual perfume – Virtue® – was Premiered this week by IBI, a niche fragrance company in Orange, CA. Based upon an inspired Biblical formula, the perfume is designed to be a reminder of God, Christ, spiritual self and soul.

Smelling like Christ makes Jim Bob Duggar want to join the Mile-High Club.

Virtue®’s subtle blend includes top notes of apricot (the real “forbidden fruit”), pomegranate and fig that transition to a gentle heart of iris, warming to a golden base of rich, exotic woods of frankincense, myrrh, aloe, and spikenard.

Well, for some of us Apricot really is a forbidden fruit as I'm allergic. Apparently I'm possessed by the Devil. Which, if I was wearing Virtue®, would give a new, and unwelcomed meaning to the phrase, "get thee behind me Satan".

“The Bible documents that fragrance was associated with Christ and many of the ancient saints, including last century’s Padre Pio, gave off a fragrance that was associated with virtue,” explains Larimore. “Almost every religion and spiritual system worldwide acknowledges that many individuals of high spiritual attainment give off a fragrance attributed to their virtue.”

For example, in the King James Version of the New Testament, virtue is recognized as both, a power and a presence. When the lady touched Christ’s robe it says, “And Jesus, immediately knew in himself that virtue had gone out of Him, turned Him about in the press and said, who touched my clothes?” (Mark 5:30) Christ understood virtue’s power and presence – and knew when some of it left him.

Bad Touch Jesus?


Sorry about being AWOL. The days leading up to vacation were so busy there was no time to do much save push paper on behalf of The Man. Now I've got a week off, with plans to do nothing save loll around, take walks, and check out a few museum shows. Last night I saw the Stephen Shore show at the International Center of Photography. I liked the photographs in general, but one really stuck out: a close-up of two ping-pong paddles on a worn, green wooden ping-pong table. I looked around the internets for an image, but couldn't find one. Then again, I think you'd probably need to see a bigger print to appreciate the textures and saturated colors of the photograph. In any case, here's another photograph from the show

Photograph: Stephen Shore

Friday, May 25, 2007

My fucking GOD!

Back in 2003 Bushophiles told us the Iraqi's would welcome with flowers and sweets.

On May 25, 2007, with Americans occupying the country, Iraqis in Najaf...

An emotional crowd surged forward and showered Sadr with candies when he arrived at the western gate of Kufa mosque, surrounded by bodyguards, to deliver the midday sermon for the first time in more than four months.


"Osama wants to kill YOUR children David."

This from an emailer at Andrew Sullivan's blog sums the next few months up, especially the "magic" month of September:

Bush said today that we should expect an escalation of violence in Iraq because the enemy know that September is a key date for political opinion. So, let me get this straight: if there is less violence, it obviously means the surge is working, and if there is more violence it means the enemy is desperate to get us out and the surge is working. And the two people who get to decide if the surge is working are the architect of the surge (Petraeus) and the man who gave the surge the go-ahead (Bush). What are the odds we’ll hear in September that the surge is not working?

The odds are...well (less than?) nil. It's like this guy is inside Fred Kagan's head (or, more likely his neck).

Meanwhile, the bottom-line is


Two final thoughts on yesterday's temper tantrum

1. Bush sure likes talking about somebody's kids being killed. That wasn't creepy at all.

2. Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, who has eluded a U.S. manhunt, is plotting against the United States but has been isolated and driven into hiding, President George W. Bush said on Thursday.

"He's not out there traipsing around. He's not leading many parades," Bush told a news conference after being asked why bin Laden had not been caught. "He's not out feeding the hungry. He's isolated, trying to kill people to achieve his objective."

So, how many hungry people has Bush been feeding lately?

At least we know Jimmy Carter isn't actually Osama bin Laden. Not so much Dick Cheney.

But "leading many parades"?

That's right I forgot...the whole Grand Marshall thing and the theme of the 2001 Tournament of Roses Parade.

Original picture modified from here.

Only this time the boombox is playing "Big Time"

Sadly, this picture isn't accurate. Not just because of the lack of a Lexus but because you just know Wolfowitz prefers Phil Collins.

Summing up Iraq

I'm pretty sure this wasn't a regular "feature" of the Hussein regime:

BAGHDAD - A bomb hidden in a parked car struck the funeral procession of a Sunni tribal leader who was gunned down earlier Thursday, killing at least 26 mourners as al-Qaida appeared to turn up its campaign of frightening its growing opposition into submission.

Meanwhile, the U.S. military announced the deaths of six U.S. soldiers in separate roadside bombing and shooting attacks across the country. The deaths raised the American death toll for May to at least 88, putting it on pace to be one of the deadliest months for U.S. troops here in years. Last month, 104 U.S. troops were killed in Iraq.

No wonder Bush isn't having a "signing ceremony" this time.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Oh Shit!

There is one way to get me to think more highly of George Bush.

Put him next to Dick Cheney.

This should scare us the fuck to death!

Osama's comin'

To kill "your children"

And then "your children"

And your kids, oh he'll kill 'em twice and make a, um, a house out of 'em.

He'll kill that one, and that one, and that one.

I'm sorry, has Bush taken over Al-Zawahiri's job?

Photos form REUTERS/Larry Downing, AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, REUTERS/Larry Downing, Yuri Gripas/Reuters

I have a feeling

Abu once told the cops "I was just helping the sheep over the fence, officer." This is quite tender and completely unbelievable:

The Justice Department responds to Monica Goodling’s “damning revelation” that Alberto Gonzales may have tried to “shape” her testimony:

Brian J. Roehrkasse, a Justice Department spokesman, said in a statement that Mr. Gonzales “has never attempted to influence or shape the testimony or public statements of any witness in this matter, including Ms. Goodling. The statements made by the attorney general during this meeting were intended only to comfort her in a very difficult period.

I think most of us are left wondering.

Did the "comfort" apply itself over the "Ralph" or over the "Lauren"?

Or perhaps both?

And again... "What have the Kagans been Wrong about Now?"

This is a bit of a repeat, but just to drive the point home:

Fred Kagan, Surge Author/SCA Chapter President, wrote in the New York Daily News on Monday:

Though you may be getting the opposite impression from news reports, the sectarian violence that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi had unleashed by destroying the Samarra Mosque in February 2006 has subsided. Measured weekly, sectarian killings are down by almost two-thirds since the start of the Baghdad security plan.

Meanwhile, in reality:

More than three months into a U.S.-Iraqi security offensive designed to curtail sectarian violence in Baghdad and other parts of Iraq, Health Ministry statistics show that such killings are rising again.

From the beginning of May until Tuesday, 321 unidentified corpses, many dumped and showing signs of torture and execution, have been found across the Iraqi capital, according to morgue data provided by a Health Ministry official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release the information. The data showed that the same number of bodies were found in all of January, the month before the launch of the Baghdad security plan.

These people should be pointed toward and laughed at the rest of their lives.

So, for Fred...

No change.


Thank goodness we are still biting our nose to smite our face...

Lawmakers who say the military has kicked out 58 Arabic linguists because they were gay want the Pentagon to explain how it can afford to let the valuable language specialists go.

Seizing on the latest discharges, involving three specialists, members of the House of Representatives wrote the House Armed Services Committee chairman that the continued loss of such "capable, highly skilled Arabic linguists continues to compromise our national security during time of war."

One sailor discharged in the latest incident, former Petty Officer 2nd Class Stephen Benjamin, said his supervisor tried to keep him on the job, urging him to sign a statement denying that he was gay. He said his lawyer advised him not to sign it, because it could be used against him later if other evidence ever surfaced.


Out of the of babes

Washington's Maternity Wards demonstrate their feelings on Dick Cheney being nearby:

AFP/File/Miguel Alvarez

And they deserve it...

Olbermann chews out more than just Bush.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Oh, Goody

We've gotten our Iraq is Vietnam analogies covered now, as Baghdad becomes Dien bien Phu:

Well that's one reason to like Edwards

Whoever professional campaign loser Bob Shrum doesn't like in the Democratic Party, I'm more favorably disposed toward.

Hey Ladies!?

Look who's back on the market...

Try to restrain yourselves.

It's Monica Goodling Day!

And Now another edition of "What have the Kagans been Wrong about Now?"

The Unblemished Family Record Continues

Fred Kagan, the designer and chief advocate of the "SURGE" recently returned from Iraq where he frightened the natives with his TNMD* and damned if while surrounded by military officers at "Camp Victory" proclaims his legacy assured...

Though you may be getting the opposite impression from news reports, the sectarian violence that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi had unleashed by destroying the Samarra Mosque in February 2006 has subsided. Measured weekly, sectarian killings are down by almost two-thirds since the start of the Baghdad security plan.

Yeah, darn those news reports from people who actually have to report outside of a protective cocoon!

Sectarian Violence Rises in Baghdad

Filed at 12:52 a.m. ET

BAGHDAD (AP) -- A car bomb exploded Tuesday at an outdoor market in a Shiite area of Baghdad, killing 25 people and wounding at least 60 -- the deadliest in a string of attacks that stoked sectarian tension in and around the capital.

The blast occurred in Amil, one of a cluster of neighborhoods in southwestern Baghdad where Sunni-Shiite tension is running high three months after the start of the U.S.-led security crackdown.

Following the blast, terrified survivors ran through the streets hauling buckets and pots of water to try to put out fires in shops that were shattered by the bomb. Volunteers tore through the rubble, searching for survivors...

But wait...Fred's preternatural ability to diagnose the scene like "Quincy:Cartoon Coroner" gets even better!

He said...

Security is improving across Baghdad, even in traditionally bad areas.

D'OH, reality says...

There were other signs Tuesday that Sunni-Shiite tensions are again rising after they eased last winter following the start of the Baghdad security operation Feb. 14.

In north Baghdad, gunmen wearing army uniforms stopped a bus carrying college students to a Shiite neighborhood, entered the vehicle and sprayed the passengers with gunfire, police said. Eight students were killed and two were wounded.

At another fake checkpoint near Baqouba, 35 miles northeast of Baghdad, gunmen killed six people from one family -- a woman, her 5-year-old son and four men -- and stole their car, police said. It was unclear whether the victims were Sunnis or Shiites.

In Baghdad, mortar shells struck a college in the mostly Sunni neighborhood of Azamiyah, killing four people and wounding 27. Four rounds landed around the office of prominent Sunni politician Adnan al-Dulaimi, causing no casualties but destroying three cars, his staff said.

Gunmen in two vehicles ambushed a car in the mostly Sunni neighborhood of Khadra carrying three plainclothes police officers from the major crimes unit, killing two and wounding the third, police said.

Another officer was killed when a roadside bomb exploded next to a police patrol driving through an eastern Baghdad neighborhood, police said. Three other officers were wounded.

In all, at least 100 Iraqis were killed or found dead nationwide Tuesday, according to police. They included 33 people found shot execution-style -- presumably by sectarian death squads -- and their bodies scattered across Baghdad.

And, "YOU BET" that I haven't forgotten events that have happened in the four hours since this report...

BAGHDAD - A suicide bomber wearing an explosive belt blew himself up inside a coffee shop east of Baghdad on Wednesday morning, killing 15 people and wounding 20 others, police and medical sources said.

*Turkey Neck of Mass Destruction

Not a goddamned clue

Gore writes a book about the inherent shallowness and cynicism in the American political process driven by media vacuousness.

Bring in Maureen Dowd to prove his point.

"Mah invasion of Iraq was incredibly stupid and ah can prove it!"

He's the Fuckuperer!

The bulletin, which warned that bin Laden had enlisted Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, his senior operative in Iraq, to plan potential strikes in the United States, was described at the time as credible but not specific. It did not prompt the administration to raise its national terror alert level.

Bush, who is battling Democrats in Congress over spending for the unpopular war in Iraq, will highlight U.S. successes in foiling terrorist plots and use the intelligence to argue that terrorists remain a threat to Americans, said Frances Fragos Townsend, the White House homeland security adviser.

Sorry Francis, but the argument isn't that terrorists are not a threat, but that Bush has managed to create for himself a new terrorist playground by invading and then incompetently occupying Iraq.

And as this memo demonstrates, MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

It's been well-known (and easily ascertained) that Bin Laden wants to use Iraq as Afghanistan was used against the Soviets. The fact that he "wants" this, is hardly evidence (a) that he can accomplish it without a willing and foolish American Accomplice; and (b) hardly a reason to dictate American policy.

He wants us there because he wants to kill Americans. It isn't that difficult. Now, if the media could find a way to lift a goddamn finger to point out this long-known fact, it would be nice.

But there's little hope that will happen.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Tuesday Not-My-Dog Blogging

I never get to do Friday pet blogging posts because, well, I don't have a pet. But I'm doing one today (well, a Tuesday pet blogging post) in honor of Charlie, a Frenchie to whom my friend D. belonged until recently when Charlie departed this earth for Elysium.

D has a lot of pets, but Charlie was a favorite, and I'll bet you can see why.


This is a great post explaining what is happening in Lebanon now from retired Colonel Patrick Lang:

Standing on the sidelines, there are the 200,000 odd permanent Palestinian refugees in Lebanon. They are not Lebanese citizens. They have no political vote, are overwhelmingly Sunni, are excluded from good jobs, and therefore good housing. They are excluded from many Lebanese schools. They and those who came before them have been living in those camps on a kind of "dole" from the UN for a long time, many of them for 50 years. They have no prospects, zero. People who have no prospects are dangerous.

So, they are susceptible to the takfiri jihadi message and influence drifting on the winds of the internets and in the minds of returned fighters from Iraq. Not surprisingly some of them have accepted the call, the call to drive foreign, kaffir influence out of the Lebanon, the call to vent their rage against a political system that offers them nothing...

The 24/7 news networks were hard at work today trying to make Syria responsible for the Sunni zealots in the camps. The statement was being made today that these groups were connected to AQ. No evidence was offered, but the assertion was repeatedly made based on the "possibility" that had supposedly been voiced by some nameless person in the Lebanese government. Various Lebanese were asked that question - "Is this Al-Qa'ida?" Nobody could be found who was willing to say that there was an organizational link to Al-Qa'ida, but the question was asked over and over again. This question was paired with another - "Is Syria controlling and "behind" this group?" Nobody could be found who would say that either, but the question was asked over and over again.

Now, think about it, folks Al-Qa'ida is a virulently anti-Shia Sunni group. Everyone "knows" how much Syria supports Hizbullah, a virulently anti-Sunni Shia group. So, which is it? Which side does the syrian government support? Does the Syrian government support both at the same time? If you believe that, then you really are a sucker for propaganda.

It would be interesting to know who sets the agenda for the content of 24/7 news. Very interesting. pl

The press continues to be mindless stenographers of right-wingers who scream "Al Qaeda" for ANYTHING that isn't in lock-step with their "good news" blackout. It is the most shallow and erroneous reporting going on from the talking heads in Washington -- and everybody knows it is also not only what the Bush Administration wants to say -- it is also the ONLY thing they ever want to hear.

It's poisonous, it's self-defeating, it's tragic, and it WON'T FUCKING STOP!

I've sent mine off...

Shouldn't we all?

Au contraire

Doughy Pantload sucking up more enabling money:

If in 2002 I had written that by 2007 Democrats would be singing Ashcroft's praises as a man of integrity and sound temperament, I would have been laughed out of the room. Right now, predicting a rehabilitation of George W. Bush elicits similar guffaws from the crowd. But the fact is if Ashcroft can be rehabilitated, anyone can.

Oh, Pantload, were you to enter a room the first thing I would do is unleash a bug-bomb. We don't need you physically in our presence to laugh at you.

How are those Iraq predictions working out?

Well this is uplifting

Niall Ferguson, a historian who I often take with a grain of salt (not on accuracy - but interpretation), is this time disturbingly accurate I fear:

The mistaken identity in the tragedy of King George was that of the real enemy in the post-9/11 war on terror. It is almost certain that the hijackers hailed from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Lebanon. The chief architect of the plot, Osama bin Laden, also was a Saudi. Contrast this list of countries with the "axis of evil" identified by Bush in his 2002 State of the Union address: North Korea, Iran and Iraq. Bush was right to target Afghanistan in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 because the Taliban regime was sheltering Al Qaeda's leadership. But the decision to overthrow Hussein was one of history's great non sequiturs.

The real enemy in the global war on terror is not the "axis of evil" but the "axis of allies." Today, the countries most likely to produce another 9/11 are not Iran, much less North Korea, but countries long regarded as (after Israel) America's most reliable allies in the greater Middle East. Step forward, Saudi Arabia (almost certainly still the biggest source of funding for radical Islamists) and Pakistan (definitely their one-stop shop for nuclear weaponry).

There is, in short, a twist in this tale. Before the curtain can fall on "The Tragedy of King George," we need at least three more scenes to decide the fates of three crucial characters: the only principals left standing aside from King George himself.

First, we need a scene in Israel. Since the failure of the war against Hezbollah in Lebanon, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's popularity has been in free fall. His current approval rating is about 2%, by comparison with which King George is a pop idol. Somehow, Olmert is clinging to political life. But he surely cannot last much longer. What happens next will be crucial; if Benjamin Netanyahu returns to power, the probability of a military confrontation with Iran goes above 50%. Remember, Netanyahu compared Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Hitler. "It is the year 1938", he recently declared, "and Iran is Germany."

Then we need a scene in Saudi Arabia. Here the key figure is Prince Bandar bin Sultan, who, as Saudi ambassador to the United States, was one of the leading advocates of the invasion of Iraq. Since October 2005 he has been in Riyadh as secretary-general of the National Security Council, where he is said to be lobbying hard for another attack: This time — you guessed it — on Iran.

Finally, the action needs to shift eastward to Pakistan, where it is the future of President Pervez Musharraf that hangs in the balance. After eight years of military dictatorship, Pakistan's democratic forces are stirring. But watch out — these include the Islamist coalition known as the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal.

You thought this play was nearly over. But Act V has only just begun. With war looming between Iran and Israel, and Pakistan on the brink of an upheaval that could well end with Islamists in power, the worst bloodshed has yet to come.

The shit will only get deeper unless we resist.

Propoganda Central

Watch the American media pick up on this story, planted in the British press, instead of stories like say -- the Downing Street Memos.

Look at the sourcing, it's entirely from anonymous American sources:

Iran is secretly forging ties with al-Qaida elements and Sunni Arab militias in Iraq in preparation for a summer showdown with coalition forces intended to tip a wavering US Congress into voting for full military withdrawal, US officials say.

"Iran is fighting a proxy war in Iraq and it's a very dangerous course for them to be following. They are already committing daily acts of war against US and British forces," a senior US official in Baghdad warned. ...

"Iran is perpetuating the cycle of sectarian violence through support for extra-judicial killing and murder cells. They bring Iraqi militia members and insurgent groups into Iran for training and then help infiltrate them back into the country. We have plenty of evidence from a variety of sources. There's no argument about that. That's just a fact," the senior official in Baghdad said.

Cheney's minions. They want their war and they NEVER WANT TO LEAVE. This is all the beginning of the dodge as to why Petraeus's report is not supposed to matter.

They're never going to leave as long as they are in power. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER. And while their at it, they want to roll the dice and go after Iran.

For if we "leave" we'll be surrendering to either a Sunni extremist group...

...or, of course, in the alternative, a Shiia government.

Both of which, I guess will follow us home.

UPDATE: Juan Cole agrees with me (I'm going to pretend okay?)

I suppose I have to link to this silly article by poor Simon Tisdall in of all places, The Guardian, whom someone is using to push a sinister agenda. Yes, its sources are looney in positing a coming offensive jointly sponsored by Iran, the Mahdi Army and al-Qaeda. Anyone who reads IC regularly will see immediately holes in this story. At a time when Sunni Arab guerrillas are said to be opposing "al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia" for its indiscriminate violence against Iraqis, including Shiites, we are now expected to believe that Shiite Iran is allying with it. And, it claims that the Iranian Revolutionary Guards are shelling the Green Zone. The parliament building that was hit to day by such shelling is dominated by the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council and its paramilitary, the Badr Organization. Who trained Badr? The Iranian Revolutionary Guards. And they are trying to hit their own guys . . . why? By the way, the US has 16,000 suspected insurgents in custody. Tisdall should ask how many of them are Iranian. (Hint: close to none. What, do they just run faster than the others?) The article even traffics in the ridiculous assertion that Iran is backing hyper-Sunni, Shiite-killing Taliban in Afghanistan. Why not just cut to the quick and openly say that Supreme Jurisprudent Ali Khamenei is in reality . . . Satan! It really is discouraging that Tisdall didn't report instead on what crazy things the US military spokesmen in Iraq told him. US military spokesmen have been trying to push implausible articles about Shiite Iran supporting Sunni insurgents for a couple of years now, and with virtually the sole exception of the New York Times, no one in the journalistic community has taken these wild charges seriously. But The Guardian?

Kicking it, Castro-Style!

Reality check required: am I crazy, or is Nutter Noonan's latest man-crush intimating that in a Thompson administration, filmmakers who displeased Ole Law 'n Order Fred would be involuntarily committed to a mental institution?

Monday, May 21, 2007

"You can get rich or you can get elected.”

Actually, I think Ed Koch is wrong about that, but the rest of this NYMag Intelligencer item is interesting:
The secretive [Houston-based Bracewell & Giuliani law] firm also reps scandal-plagued Tom DeLay, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., and Citgo, the oil company controlled by Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez. Barely a year after the Dubai Port World’s deal to take over U.S. ports was scotched over security fears, the firm is also planning to open an office in Dubai. Ed Koch, no friend of Giuliani’s, is quick to predict it’s a problem. “You’re vulnerable when you are receiving income from a firm that’s lobbying for a company that’s perceived as damaging our civilization. You can get rich or you can get elected.”
I'd rather see Rudy in Dubai than the White House. And God knows graspy little Judy Nathan would just loooooooove Dubai. After all, the place is crawling with rich guys to keep her in the tiaras she loves, and as dogs are not highly thought of in Arab culture, there won't be too many around for her to kill.


John "Have you stopped beating your Girlfriend?" Fund on the immigration bill: be blunt, the senators don't trust the American people to make sound judgments on such emotional issues as family reunification and national sovereignty. But the proper response to this is to engage the public in the discussion, not to short-circuit the deliberative process. One of the reasons the American people are cynical about government is that they don't believe its officials take the time to discharge their duties properly.

Of course, John Fund, makes no such reliance on American public opinion when it comes to the glorious failure that is Iraq where he wants us to stay and stay and stay forever!

Compare & Contrast

Morgan Pozgar of Claysburg, Pennsylvania, uses a phone to send a text message as she competes in the LG National Texting Championship, 21 April, at the Roseland Ballroom in New York. Pozgar, who is 13-years-old, won texting the message: "Supercalifragilisticexpialidoucious! Even though the sound of it is something quite atrocious. If you say it loud enough you'll always sound precocious", without abreviations.(AFP/Stan Honda)


Bush locked himself out of his truck at his fake-ranch...again. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

This is why

Rising Hegemon: AFTER DARK was created. I couldn't possibly have this sort of "erotica" at mildly disreputable blog.

"How Un-American"

Someone is just a defeatocrat:

In a pessimistic assessment of the strategy designed to pull Iraq back from all-out civil war, Alastair Campbell, the outgoing defence attaché at the British Embassy in Baghdad, claimed that extra US forces were not achieving the desired drop in violence.

Mr Campbell, whose remarks may cause embarrassment to Downing Street and anger in Washington, said that the casualty figures for April - in which 1,500 civilians are believed to have been killed - provided no "encouraging" evidence.

Speaking on the record last week to a public audience at Chatham House, the London-based foreign-policy research institute, he said: "The evidence does not suggest that the surge is actually working, if reduction in casualties is a criterion. The figures in April were not encouraging."

Actually, I believe the criterion is to play out the string. Come September 2 less Sunni and a Shia will have been killed with a nail-gun, dremel, and/or drill and ignoring the dozen more killed than before in explosions the signs of progress will have been just encouraging enough for us to give the ol' plan another six months.

Blather, rinse, repeat.

Only a minimum of another 1,500 to 2,000 dead American soldiers; only a minimum of another $200 billion or so in supplemental appropriations...after this one. All before we finally give up the ghost.

And, hey, the world's biggest mortar target and future Iranian embassy is coming along swell! The rest of the country, not so much.