Sunday, September 30, 2007

Holy Shit

The Kagan's are multiplying...and they are even changing their spelling.

I mean this is frightening...and then as you'll see it is even MORE frightening -- in fact it's downright horrendous.

Britsh MPs visiting the Pentagon to discuss America's stance on Iran and Iraq were shocked to be told by one of President Bush's senior women officials: "I hate all Iranians."

And she also accused Britain of "dismantling" the Anglo-US-led coalition in Iraq by pulling troops out of Basra too soon.

The all-party group of MPs say Debra Cagan, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Coalition Affairs to Defence Secretary Robert Gates, made the comments this month.

It's spelled with a "C" but it's pronounced "K"agan.

And, straight out of Dr. Strangelove, here is "Debbie":

Winner "Transvestite Knight's Cross 3rd Class with Clusters"

Ann Coulter only wishes she was this masculine.

Fez Tip to Res.


She should be denying Harvey Korman a fruit cup.

Sunday Art -- No, Architecture -- Blogging

Santiago Calatrava

"Turning Torso"

Malmö, Sweden -- 2005


I sure am happy we picked a guy with such a mature level of reflection and lack of bitterness to a life-time term.

In his new book, My Grandfather’s Son, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas writes that “he had grown up fearing the Ku Klux Klan’s lynch mobs but ‘my worst fears had come to pass not in Georgia, but in Washington, D.C., where I was being pursued not by bigots in white robes but by left-wing zealots draped in flowing sanctimony.’”

Yeah, Emmett Till had nothing on YOU Clarence. After all being accused of being a hypocritical sexual harasser is sooooooooooooooooo much worse than being beaten to death, burned, or lynched.

What a pathetic asshole.

Who's the Phony?

Army of Dude has a response to Anal Cyst boy.


Funny how Broder writes four straight favorable columns about GOP Presidential candidates, never associates them with Bush's unpopular policies -- OR POLICIES FOR THAT MATTER; writes a column about Bush's unpopular policies without mentioning any of the GOP Presidential Candidates; and now writes a column about Hillary Clinton being evasive on issues.

I guess only Democrats actually have to address policy concerns in the Dean's World.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Upon Further Review

Limpballs is a more pathetic coward than previously believed...hard as that is to conceive. But like the Bush Administration, there's always yet another unseen level -- and let's face it, Rush is nothing if not multi-layered.

Limbaugh parroted the line on the air yesterday, telling his critics, "I never said what you think I said." As part of his explanation about being literal, and not metaphorical, Limbaugh cited Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) as one of the veterans who deserves the "phony" label. That would be the same Murtha who earned the Bronze Star with Valor device, two Purple Hearts, the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry, and the Navy Distinguished Service Medal.

That would be the Vietnam War...the war Limbaugh escaped, literally through a case of Ass-Acne.

If, God forbid, Rush Limbaugh was a turn of the 20th Century Frenchman, he would have ended the 19th Century demanding Dreyfus rot on Devil's Island as a "filthy Jewish traitor", found a way to chicken out of WWI by wearing a dress, lasted long enough to cheer the Nazi's marching into Paris, and ended his life demanding the exoneration of Klaus Barbie.

But lucky us, we have him in our time now.

Forgive the Repeat

But thanks to the ever "deep" McDoughbob Loadpants, the intersection of Idiot Street & Safe-Word Avenue is having a weekend devoted almost exclusively to Star Trek.

Naturally, this again calls for this exercise in bad photoshopping (I'd repost the whole thing, but 'Dammit Jim, I'm a Bad MS-Paint user, not a War Criminal!')

It is a very bad sign

For all of us, if Al Qaeda in Iraq has found a way to create a race of zombies.

Yesterday, the U.S. military announced that it had recently killed Abu Usama al-Tunisi, billed as “one of the most senior leaders of al Qaeda in Iraq.”

ThinkProgress noted yesterday that there was evidence to suggest al-Tunisi may have been killed a year ago.

So they'll be able to go at Freepers Zombo a Zombo.

The Profundities of the Stupidities

Wow, McCain just gets more desperate and pathetic each day:

A recent poll found that 55 percent of Americans believe the U.S. Constitution establishes a Christian nation. What do you think?
I would probably have to say yes, that the Constitution established the United States of America as a Christian nation.

George Washington, your opinion?

"As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion..." Treaty of Tripoli, 1797.

Naturally, it goes without saying that the modern GOP would call that George Washington was the original General Betrayus.

And believe it or not, McCain becomes even more pathetic:

For years, you've been identified as an Episcopalian. You recently began referring to yourself as a Baptist. Why?
[It was] one comment on the bus after hours. I meant to say that I practice in a—I am a Christian and I attend a Baptist church. I am very aware that immersion is part—as my wife Cindy has done—is necessary to be considered a Baptist. So I was raised Episcopalian, I have attended the North Phoenix Baptist Church for many years and I am a Christian.

What prevents you from taking that final step of undergoing the baptism?

I've had discussions with the pastor about it and we're still in conversation about it. In the meantime, I am a practicing Christian.

So the baptism is something you still might do?
Oh, sure, yeah. But, some of the factors haven't got so much to do with religion as they have to do with just—I'm in conversations with [my] pastor about it, as short a time ago as last week. But I would not anticipate going through that during this presidential campaign. I am afraid it might appear as if I was doing something that I otherwise wouldn't do.

I'm going to have to stop now as one of my eyes has literally rolled itself right out of my head.

Did you know...

It you add 1 + 1 and 9 it comes to 11? Rudy Giuliani just discovered this.

Other things Rudy has discovered discovered because of 9/11:

1. Brush teeth after meals
2. "Bald" is beautiful
3. Sympathy Discounts
4. Taco Tuesdays
5. Tossed Salads
6. Senior Discounts
7. Honorariums
8. Bernie's strong arms
9. He dislikes children
10. The Sacrifice of missing the occasional Yankees game.
11. Puppies

He certainly hasn't learned as much as the media seems to think he has. Which explains a hell of a lot.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Imperial Numbnuts

So the United States Senate voted its endorsement of a permanently divided Iraq.

Excuse me, and that includes you in particular Mr. Biden, but having gotten on the Bush Administration from the beginning for its imperial pretensions, who the fuck are we to once again tell the Iraqis what to do?

We're NOT going to solve a fucking thing over there, THEY will. The sooner we figure that out (and by that I mean those of you in Washington, most of the rest of the country already has) the better.

"Yugoslavia" is NOT a good model.


10 QUESTIONS from BushCo federal immigration authorities' newly designed civics test for would-be American citizens:

1. Who is Hillary Clinton? (a) Junior senator from the state of New York; (b) The reincarnation of Hitler; (c) Satan in a black pants suit; (d) Republicans' worst fucking nightmare

2. What was President George W. Bush doing when the first plane hit the World Trade Center on September 11th? (a) Reading The Pet Goat to schoolchildren; (b) Reading The Pet Goat to Jenna and Not-Jenna; (c) Petting his own goat; (d) Figuring out ways to smear the CIA briefer to whom he'd said, "All right, you've covered your ass now" upon being presented with the August 6, 2001 "Bin laden determined to strike in U.S." PDB.

3. There are four amendments to the U.S. Constitution that address who can vote. Describe one of them: (a) Black people shall be prevented from voting; (b) Young people shall be prevented from voting; (c) Anyone who might conceivably vote Democratic shall be prevented from voting; (d) Your vote doesn't count, because we are stealing it anyway.

4. What stops one branch of government from becoming too powerful? (a) Nothing, apparently.

5. Which is not U.S. territory: (a) Guam; (b) Puerto Rico; (c) Northern Mariana Islands; (d) the House of Saud.

6. Who is Al Gore? (a) Former Vice President of the United States; (b) Winner of the 2000 presidential election; (c) Random fat guy who, as it turns out, was right about pretty much everything; (d) All of the above.

7. What are two rights reserved exclusively for United States Citizens? (a) The right to build fences on U.S. borders; (b) The right to shriek incoherently about recent immigrants with poor English skills; (c) The right to exploit illegal immigrants for cheap labor? (d) The right to take up arms, don little army costumes, and patrol the border in an effort to keep non-U.S. citizens from working minimum-wage jobs in chicken processing plants.

8. Which branch of the government has the power to declare war? (a) The President; (b) The Congress; (c) The Judiciary; (d) The American Enterprise Institute.

9. What do the 13 stripes on the U.S. flag represent? (a) The thirteen original colonies; (b) The thirteen years it will take to pay off the deficit run up by the Bush administration; (c) The age at which the Bush administration will begin to draft U.S. citizens if this war runs on much longer; (d) President Bush's I.Q.

10. What is "welfare?" (a) A program that provides a source of temporary income for indigent people; (b) A program that provides a source of permanent income for lazy, otherwise unemployable Republican pundits, bloggers, columnists, and other bloviators.

Judah Benjamin Lives!

Truly, Michael Medved, the sterling standard by which right-wing morons must be measured.


Yeah, that pretty well sums it up:


Sometimes it seems that the only way to make sense of the Bush administration is to imagine that it’s a vast experiment concocted by mad political scientists who want to see what happens if a nation systematically ignores everything we’ve learned over the past few centuries about how to make a modern government work.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Conga On (and on and on)

Yet another demented GOP doll shakes her ass in The Neverending Wingnut Harpy Conga Line. ™ The Line™ as it stands:

Peggy Noonan, Kate Ole 60 Grit O'Beirne, Phyllis Schlafly (mother(fucker) of them all), Lynne Cheney (Sister for Life), Barbara Comstock, Mona Charen, Barbara Olsen (added post-humously), Mary Matalin, Coulter, Michelle Madingaling Malkin, Ann BanAlthouse, Laura Ingraham, Kathleen Parker, K-Lo, Pamela "Atlas Shrugs Please Look at My Jugs" Oshry, Michelle Bachman (Bush devotee, conspiracy theorist, all-around freak, Marcia Blackburn (R - Wingnuttia), Debbie Schlussel (Does she look like a Rachel Dratch in a fright wig, or what?) Liz Cheney (like Sister mother, like daughter), Laura Schlessinger, Marie Jon, Karen "Man Hands" Hughes, Melanie Morgan, Megan Cox Gurdon, Monica Crowley, Bay Buchanan, Mary Katherine Ham, Amanda Carpenter, Karen Hanratty, Danielle Crittenden, Barbara Amiel, Cokie "Oh, my - I hope Democrats Don't Overplay Their Hand" Roberts, Kimberly War-in-the-Blood Kagan, Alicia Colon, Tammy Bruce...

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Modern Algonquin Roundtable!

"Get 'r Dumb"

Fez Tip to Sadly No!

"I have a message for you Mr. Bush"

"Mandela says you can go fuck yourself."

REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

AP Photo/Seth Wenig

Chip East/Reuters

Something about this picture reminds of Chimpy's Junior Prom.

Oh yeah.

Hey criticize Bush all you want, but at least he scored during his Junior Prom.*

*Please don't vomit on your monitor.

"Are we really doing the Lord's work here at Focus on the Family?"

"If only we could have a sign?"

Focus on the Family announced Monday that it is laying off 30 employees and reassigning 15 others...

Most of the layoffs are in the organization's Constituent Response Services department that answers mail and telephone requests.

Oh Golly,

The Doughy Pantload never heard of me.

Gosh, that's too darned bad.

Last week some boob blogger I'd never heard of reposted some e-mail I posted without comment three years ago about Wesley Clark.

He's as elegant with a diss as he is with a chili-dog.

Apparently forces beyond Jonah's control make him choose which random e-mails he gets to publish. It must be the same forces that make his fly open up in public.

Latest Debate

I didn't watch one freakin' moment of it.

And it was therefore, the best debate experience ever.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


That's the amount the White House wants YOU the American Taxpayer to spend on the Iraq war by the end of 2008 -- You've already spent $450 Billion so far. Once again, they manage to miss their earlier estimates by more than $40 Billion.

So, since there are 150 million American taxpayers are so, that $4,000 each and every one of us have paid if distributed equally.

I'm sure you'll all agree it's been one hell of a goddamn value.

You could have bought 2 or 3 big screen high-def televisions, or paid off a credit card so you could go out and max it out again.

But nooooooooooooooooooooooooooo, you got this quality war that will probably end up costing about five times that $600 Billion when you add up the fact that it will never apparently fucking end, Bush seems to think Iran could be a make good on the original fuck up, etc.

Wow, that's like paying $100 for a bad hand job without release AND still somehow getting the clap.

Typical Bush

Bush's UN Speech had little about his favorite topic, browbeating strawmen into invasion opportunities.

But it wasn't for lack of lies and hypocrisy.

For example,

"...[T]he United Nations must answer this challenge to conscience, and live up to its promise to promptly deploy peacekeeping forces to Darfur."

How that is to be paid for by an organization that can't just pretend it doesn't have debt (like the Bush Administration treats the Iraq-War funding) is a mystery. This is especially true considering the Bush Administration's budget proposal underfunds it's U.N. funding obligations for PEACEKEEPING by $1 Billion.

This is a failure in regards to Darfur that our punditry never notices when it hails Bush for mouthing nice words about Darfur.

And then, there is this:

"[T]he mission of the United Nations requires liberating people from hunger and disease. Article 25 of the Universal Declaration states: "Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food and clothing and housing and medical care." Around the world, the United Nations is carrying out noble efforts to live up to these words."

The gross hypocrisy of Bush stating this as he threatens to veto a domestic measure to provide those minimum requirements to millions of American Children is stupifying ...i.e. par for the course from Bush.

I have learned one thing on the internets this early morning

I am not the only blogger, whose abilities in Spanish, suck. Something that many should consider before trashing those immigrants who manage to speak English a hell of a lot better than they speak Spanish.

Apparently this in Al Pais is full of Bush nuggets just before the Iraq invasion showing him to be consistent in stupidity with his prior desires to shoot missiles into Al Jazeera in Qatar and other nonsense.

Via Corrente here is a translation through Google...although it may have its limitation:

Four weeks before the invasion of Iraq, that took place at night from the 19 to the 20 of March of 2003, George W. Bush maintained in public its exigency to Sadam Hussein in the following terms: disarmament or war. Behind closed doors, Bush recognized that the war was inevitable. During one it releases conversation deprived with then Spanish president, Jose Maria Aznar, celebrated Saturday 22 of February of 2003 in the farm of Crawford, Roofing tiles, Bush made clear that the moment had arrived for undoing of Sadam. “They are left two weeks. In two weeks we will be militarily ready. We will be in Bagdad at the end of March”, said to him to Aznar.


Okay, just a this a translation error, or did Bush actually put the "Spanish-Speaking" Prime Minister to work putting new shingles up on his ranch? Did George Bush think that all Spanish-speakers MUST perform manual labor?

Why yes, yes he did. Along with (get this!) Mexican President Vicente Fox.
I bet he stiffed them and paid in cash too -- and then failed to report it. Probably drove them off the ranch when they were finished by making them both sit in the cab of his pick up truck too.


Okay, now I'll take notice of the fact, Bush didn't give two shits for diplomacy.

But making Aznar and Fox work on his roof? Jesus ("hey-zeus!") on a Shingle!


Apparently it IS a translation error according to Susanna -- but I really prefer the snark of the error.

Just when you've heard enough conspiracy theories

About Cheney, he does something like this?

Vice President Dick Cheney will speak to a super-secret,conservative policy group in Utah on Friday during his second trip to the state this year.

Cheney will address the fall meeting of the Council for National Policy, a group whose self-described mission is to promote "a free-enterprise system, a strong national defense and support for traditional Western values."

The organization -- made up of few hundred powerful conservative activists -- holds confidential meetings and members are advised not to use the name of the group in communications, according to a New York Times profile of the group.

The Council for National Policy is a secretive forum that was formed in 1981 by Tim LaHaye as a networking tool for leading US conservative political leaders, financiers and religious right activist leaders.

Tim LaHaye, of course, is a co-author of the Left Behind series, aka, "Jesus of the Rings" or "The Books that Made Kirk Cameron do unspeakable things to a Banana".

Something tells me that Cheney is going there for the "Mexican Baby's Blood Buffet".

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

FoxNews, 350,000,000 B.C.

With Primordial John Gibson:

(AP Photo/University of Washington)

Species name Albino Ratfish.

Snark's accuracy, 100%

Wingnut Harpy Crashes & Burns

Watch David Schuster smack the taste out of Marsha Blackburn's (R - Wingnutta) ugly mouth.

Stay with it through Blackburn's blather about the MoveOn ad. The best part of Schuster's smackdown is at the end of the segment.

David Schuster: Recognize.

Athwart Sanity

As Thers points out, Dick "Dickie von Dickberg" Cohen actually wrote this paragraph:

The main virtue of the Biden-Gelb plan is that it does not stand athwart history. It enlists it. The volcanic eruption of nationalism and sectarianism that drenched the 20th century in blood -- the Holocaust above all -- has not yet run its course. The farmer and the rancher, to put things in Rodgers and Hammerstein terms, will not be friends.

I think we all remember the time in 'Oklahoma' when Curly invaded Ali Hakim (poor Eddie Albert).

There's a bright, golden haze on the meadow
There's a bright, golden haze on the meadow.
I am as high as that Tommy Chong guy
And my anger is rising toward the ji-had-diiiii!

Oh, let's torture this Mornin'
Let's waterboard Ali today.
I've got a beautiful feelin'
We'll Bomb Iran for denyin' their gay.


If you are going to be a self-proclaimed foreign policy expert -- at least demonstrate a modicum of expertise (yes, I'm just a Don Quixote at heart). But this is a sucker's request with Anne Applebaum:

Ahmadinejad's agenda, though, differs from that of the traditional autocrat.

For the millionth time, Ahmadinejad may be many flavors between eccentric and nutty, but he's no autocrat. Autocrat's are the power, not the elected front-man for theocrats.

More sentient beings writing for the Post please.

Monday, September 24, 2007


I actually approve of Scott Adams' snark.

What is going on in the world?

The worst of the worst is that Ahmadinejad's country is helping the Iraqis kill American soldiers. If Iran ever invades Canada, I think we'd agree the best course of action for the United States is to be constructive and let things sort themselves out. Otherwise we'd be just as evil
as the Iranians. Those fuckers.

Those Iranians need to learn from the American example. In this country, if the clear majority of the public opposes the continuation of a war, our leaders will tell us we're terrorist-humping idiots and do whatever they damn well please. They might even increase our taxes to do it. That's called leadership.

If Ahmadinejad thinks he can be our friend by honoring our heroes and opening a dialog, he underestimates our ability to misinterpret him. Fucking idiot. I hate him.

Better yet is the fact that Adams had to make it clear to his readers it was snark.

You need smarter readers, Dilbert.

Every picnic needs bad Potato-Salad

Good to see Bush drawing that line in the sand by inviting 'Free Republic' folks to picnic on the White House lawn where they could all worship Iraqi Jesus in their own inimitable manner. NO ONWARD TO IRAN!

Aw, they're so cute

When they believe what we say:

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki condemned the Iranian's arrest, saying he understood the man, who has been identified as Mahmudi Farhadi, had been invited to Iraq.

"The government of Iraq is an elected one and sovereign. When it gives a visa, it is responsible for the visa," he told The Associated Press in an interview in New York. "We consider the arrest ... of this individual who holds an Iraqi visa and a (valid) passport to be unacceptable."

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, a Kurd, also demanded the Iranian's release.

The U.S. military said the suspect was being questioned about "his knowledge of, and involvement in," the transportation of EFPs and other roadside bombs from Iran into Iraq and "his facilitation of travel and training in Iran for Iraqi insurgents." The military said no decision had been made about whether to file charges.

Oh, and Blackwater is stayin' too!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Sunday Art Blogging

Richard Serra -- "Torqued Ellipses"

Photo: Denis Doyle for The New York Times


Oh, this is rich:

Young people respond when they are treated seriously -- and when their involvement in politics produces results that are real. Come to think of it, adults want the same things.

That must be why you thought Bush was the comeback kid, or that compromise on Republican terms just for the sake of compromise is the right thing, even when the public overwhelmingly wants Democrats to stop those policies.

Yeah, Broder, you're a real man of the people. A real serious man of the people.

Hillary overdose

Hillary Clinton will do all five-talk shows in one day.

That's a lot of triangulating.

Shailagh Murray will cherry-pick a poll to that says that's too many appearances.

"Who does she think she is, appearing on talk shows all the time, Joe Lieberman?"

Saturday, September 22, 2007

The Continuing Adventures of Rudy & Judy

JUDY: "Rudy, Donatella made this handbag: the $43,000 one. If that thing isn't in my suite by 5 PM, I'll be on the phone to Raoul Felder faster than you can say, 'Christine Lategano.'"

RUDY: "Yes, dear."

JUDY: "And I wanta Donatella to do the inside of a jet for me, too. And fuck you if you don't like what it costs. Get those cocksuckers at the NRA to donate the money."

RUDY: "Yes, dear."

JUDY: "And where is my coat? Lagerfeld promises me a one-of-a-kind mink that I could wear to the Columbus Day parade. What do you think I'm gonna do, Rudy? Parade down Fifth Avenue in some schmata with your Guinea Dago Wop friends looking like some piece of trash from Bumfuck, USA?"

RUDY: "But you are..."

JUDY: (to assistant) "OMYGOD! Get me Raoul Felder NOW!"

RUDY: "Okay, honey. Settle down now."

JUDY: "And by the way, with regard to Father's Day ... I don't care if it's Father's Day. I don't care if you're their father. And I don't care that you're running for president. I won't spend one more minute with those miserable brats of yours than I have to."

RUDY: "But Judy ..."

JUDY: "No. No. NO. That daughter of yours. Going to Harvard. I bet she thinks she's better than me. Does she have a $43,000 Versace handbag? Does she have the best plastic sur -- oops! I mean the best doctor on Park Avenue? Does she have ..."

RUDY: "Judy, they're my k..."

JUDY: "I don't care what they are! Look how you've upset me! You've given me a splitting headache! You've given me esophageal cancer! You've given me crotch-rot! I need my dogs now! I need some Cristal! I NEED MY OWN JET, GODDAMNIT!"

RUDY: "But Judy, I gave you a tiara! A tiara. Do you know how much hay they're making with that damn thing?

JUDY: (snorts) "A tiara! A tiara, he gave me! Who cares about a goddamned tiara? Every third yenta in the Beltway has tiara and he says, 'I gave you a tiara.'" What have you given me lately, you fucking pipsqueak? WHAT?!"

RUDY: (utterly defeated) "I...I gave you ... I took you ... I..."

JUDY: "You gave me nothing. You took me nowhere. And I have to watch that Wal-Mart trash Jeri Thompson, with those Home Depot boobs prancing all over the place while you tell me, 'No Judy, you stay home. We've got some bad press lately." Well, fuck you, Rudy. I'm going shopping. IN ITALY."

Well this will shock nobody

Except the usual suspects who will claim "no one could have anticipated it":

Federal prosecutors are investigating whether employees of the private security firm Blackwater USA illegally smuggled into Iraq weapons that may have been sold on the black market and ended up in the hands of a U.S.-designated terrorist organization, officials said Friday.

I admit it, I'm jealous

I've called George Bush a dumbass (and worse) plenty of times and James Taranto never grunted out a literary turd about me!

Damn Pony Boy!

Next thing you know Taranto will tell me Caufield really isn't really a gangly, cynical post-pubescent, just kicked out of prep school.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Unbeliebably fucked up

But we still must apparently spend $12 Billion a month on Bush's no-win War. But then again he did get a B C minus in economics.

More than one-third of the people in the United States under the age of 65 had no health insurance for some or all of 2006 and 2007, according to a study released Thursday by Families USA, an advocacy group for the uninsured.

The 89.6 million individuals identifying themselves as lacking insurance for at least a month, according to the advocacy group, was almost double the number of uninsured reported by the Census Bureau for 2006.

This is disgraceful.


Following up on the MacLean's related posts from Michael Hirsh of Newsweek:

As anyone who has been in Iraq (like me) knows, on the ground the unspoken rule of Bush’s counterinsurgency efforts over the past four years has been that almost all Iraqis, at least the males, are guilty until proven innocent. Arrests, beatings and sometimes killings at the hands of security firms and sometimes U.S. military units are arbitrary, often based on the flimsiest intelligence, and Iraqis have no recourse whatever to justice except in a few cases like Haditha. Imagine the sense of helpless rage that emerges from this sort of treatment. Apply three years of it and you have a furious, traumatized population. And a country out of control.

And now we have the awful absurdity of U.S. diplomats going out to make allies among Iraqis and build civil society—winning “the battlefield of the mind,” Marine Maj. Gen. Douglas Stone told The Washington Post—surrounded by security guards who operate in an amoral universe and are hated by Iraqis. The Blackwater phenomenon undermines the Petraeus surge, which applies counterinsurgency principles that require winning over the local population, and isolating the bad guys from them. Instead, Blackwater is seen by Iraqis as the face of a malignant occupation. Remember the scene at the beginning of the movie “Braveheart,” when the evil English lord claims droit du seigneur—the right to deflower Mel Gibson’s bride—over the powerless Scots? Well, that medieval reality is something like what Iraqis are living with today. This is the “model” George W. Bush will bequeath to the world.

There's a lot of great, depressing shit out on the infobahn today.

And all I've got is coffee.

And one more very special thing

The extent to which we continue to allow, and more importantly how the AMERICAN press allows itself to continue to be duped (it's almost like they want to be duped he wrote naively) about the all-shadowy "Al Qaeda in Iraq":

America’s other main enemy is al-Qaeda in Iraq, which is to Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda what a cheap watch is to a Swiss timepiece—effective, easily reproduced, and disposable. Al-Qaeda did not exist in Iraq before the invasion, but today it, along with Iran, are the two strongest arguments the U.S. makes for “staying the course.” Al-Qaeda in Iraq is essentially a religious criminal gang that kills anyone who threatens its power or differs from its Salafist views on establishing a perverse form of an Islamic state. Its death squads and enormously destructive truck bombs have killed thousands of Shias, but Sunnis, too, have suffered al-Qaeda’s violent nihilism. Car bombs, assassinations and “religious punishments,” including decapitations and cutting off the fingers of smokers, have put Sunni Iraq under a Mordor-like shadow of terror and justified collective punishment from the Shias. In his testimony to Congress, Gen. Petraeus pointed out the lethal threat of al-Qaeda. But this should come as no surprise to an American general—because the U.S. Army helped create al-Qaeda in Iraq...

The American role in the promotion of the terrorist organization is not some mad conspiracy theory, but a well-documented attempt by the U.S. government to demonize the insurgency and make it appear to be the central front in the war on terror. This was as great a mistake as disbanding the Iraqi army, which the U.S. did in May 2003, or perhaps even greater, since it led to the sectarian downward spiral that has destroyed the country.

When the insurgency started in the summer of 2003, it was made up primarily of the same class of alienated Sunnis who are now part of the tribal Anbar Awakening. The insurgents I spent time with in 2003 and 2004 were, in essence, nationalists who didn’t like the U.S. Army driving around their villages, kicking down their doors and shooting their cousins at checkpoints. They were also deeply suspicious of American plans for democracy, because they feared it would lead to Iran taking over the government. Some hated Saddam, some liked him, but Saddam wasn’t the issue. For want of a better term, they are the equivalent of rednecks who believe in God, their country, and the right to bear arms.

But rather than come up with an intelligent counter-insurgency policy, reach out to traditional tribal social structures and try to understand why American soldiers were getting killed, U.S. military leaders did what Americans have gotten very good at doing in the last few years. They made up a story, which they repeated on the news for U.S. domestic consumption—and then started to believe themselves. In this story, evil foreign terrorists led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a chubby Jordanian freelance terrorist, were setting upon the popular U.S. Army. AMZ, as the U.S. Army jauntily called him, existed, but he was a minor figure unlikely to get much of a following on his own in Iraq. Jordanians are not greatly respected by Sunni tribal Iraqis, who tend to view them as the metrosexuals of the Middle East. I used to watch the nightly news with insurgents—they called themselves the “resistance”—and they would laugh at what U.S. spokesmen were saying about the insurgency and Zarqawi’s prominence. But from the U.S. perspective, “tribal freedom fighter,” as the former Sunni insurgents are described today, does not sound as good as “foreign terrorist” or “anti-Iraqi fighter” when you are trying to demonize people fighting your occupation.

The ploy backfired. As AMZ (he was killed in June 2006) got more and more airtime, he gained more and more legitimacy, money and volunteers. It was as if Japanese whalers were mounting a “Save The Whales” campaign on television. Thanks to the Americans, al-Qaeda in Iraq became the Greenpeace of the jihadi world.

AMZ’s foreign fighters were never more than a tiny percentage of the insurgency, but they got all the credit, especially when their car bombs began killing civilians.

Read this

It's from MacLean's (oh mah gawd it's Canadian!) and it paints a sober and devastating picture of how things really are ... it also paints this disturbing but increasingly accurate picture:

It’s unclear whether the additional 30,000 troops that make up the surge have had much effect on the Anbar Awakening. But watching Gen. Petraeus, I was struck by how familiar his words sounded. The general talked like every Sunni I’ve ever met in Iraq—hell, he sounded a bit like Saddam. The old tyrant would have had one of his characteristic chest-heaving guffaws watching Petraeus as he intoned the old Baathist mantra about the dangers to Iraq: Iran, Iran, Iran…It seems that Petraeus and Bush have come to the same conclusion as Saddam: the main enemy is Iran, and you can’t govern Iraq without the Sunni Arab tribes, even as you encourage anti-Iranian nationalism among the Shia. This is what Saddam did during the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s, and what Washington is trying to do now. One of the main problems with this strategy is that both the Sunni tribes and Shia nationalists are profoundly anti-American and don’t trust each other—a potential recipe for further disaster.

Remember how right after the invasion and the WMD's failed to appear, and after the "No more Rape Rooms" story because tragically ironic, all the right-wing had was this..."Saddam stole nearly $10 billion in the UN Oil-for-Food program!!!"

Sadly, the world we've created:

At least US$10 billion has been embezzled, according to Iraq’s Commission on Public Integrity, which is itself underfunded (12 of its members have been murdered). After a U.S. report surfaced detailing how the prime minister blocked the commission’s investigations of corrupt officials, Maliki accused the head of the commission of corruption and threatened him with arrest. Luckily the man was already out of the country. Corruption in the Oil Ministry—Iraq’s nationalized energy sector is its only real source of revenue—has resulted in shortages that have only increased the long lineups for gasoline in a country brimming with oil. Senior Iraqi army officers complain that when they organize raids on Shia militias, they are stopped on orders from the prime minister’s office. Iraq was a disaster under Saddam, but it has turned into Nigeria.

And about the deaths being down in Baghdad, this is an old theme here, but it's true:

Instead of polls and data mining, the governing Shia parties have taken control by using militias to “sectarian cleanse” Baghdad, a retaliation against al-Qaeda’s spectacular car bombing campaign. By one estimate, Baghdad was once 65 per cent Sunni; today it is 75 per cent Shia. Deaths from sectarian killings are reportedly down, in large measure because there are few mixed neighbourhoods left. Almost the entire Sunni middle class lives in Jordan or Syria. If you are named Omar, a traditional Sunni name, chances are you are dead or living abroad. Under Saddam, no one on the streets of the capital ever uttered the word mukhabarat, mean­ing the feared security police. Today, no one says maktab, meaning “office,” but in fact referring to radical Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army’s bases from which members control neighbourhoods. Their preferred method of torture is the electric drill.

And then there is this:

Iraq, Iran’s neighbour to the west, is Tehran’s self-declared security zone. Iran has already been attacked once from Iraq—by a then-American ally, Saddam—and won’t let it happen again. Nor do the Iranians want, as the West does, a secular Iraqi government that could destabilize their own theocracy. For them, Iraq is a survival issue. U.S.-led invasions have conquered not only Iraq but Afghanistan on Iran’s eastern flank. The U.S. Navy is floating off Iranian shores. Every few weeks, Washington debates whether to bomb Iran. How could Iran afford not to be involved in Iraq? Following the American example, the Iranians have learned that it’s bet­­­ter to fight the U.S. on the streets of Baghdad than the streets of Tehran.

Now THAT'S "Return on Success".

The new third rail

According to Micheael Gerson is apparently looking with any manner of critical eye upon policies when they are advocated by groups that have some jewish members or advocates.

You apparently cannot criticize policies, if those that perpetuate those policies happen to include people who happen to be jewish.

Unless, of course, they are George Soros...because "you know how 'those' people are with money".

Because if you criticize their policies you are a religiously intolerant bigot. Now shut up and help us kill Iraqis in order to give those people freedom to practice their faith, 'no matter how many of them muslim sonsabitches we have to kill'. Because to criticize the policy when someone who favors those policies happens to be jewish makes the baby Jesus cry. So the policy must continue, even if it isn't a good policy, because if you try to change it, well you must be the next Hitler.

In American political discourse, you can of course, talk trash about Islam all you want (but lay off in the cartoons); or even on occasion certain Protestants or Catholics, especially the liberal ones who don't like killing more than they don't like gays. But nobody can criticize AIPAC or Likud -- because then you must be a raving anti-semitic asshole. And every right-winger or enabling ex-officio member knows that nobody loves Jesus and the Second Coming more than those who don't yet believe in the First one. In fact, AIPAC just made General Petraeus an honorary member so that should immunize him from those awful MoveOn.Org people, even though they are not people, but liberals.

Oh no, I just used snark on matters that peripherally touch upon policies that are supported by some people, some of whom, also happen to be jewish. I am not only the only person in this room, why I'm also the biggest anti-semitic in it!

Thanks Michael Gerson for bringing back the the Bobo Brooks' classics.

Thursday, September 20, 2007


Oh yes how dare anyone mock General Petraeus.

There have been plenty of posts about this laughable event and how once again when the right wing screams loud enough they get attention like a five year old with grape juice near your white couch. But the hypocrisy is hard not to laugh usual.

Exhibit A: As Always the Doughy Pantload now amongst the outraged at the MoveOn ad against a general.

But back in January 2004 he posted with approval the following diatribe against Wes Clark and Generals in, well, general:

A Military View On Clark, Generals Etc [Jonah Goldberg]

From a reader:

Good morning, Mr. Goldberg. My name is [Name withheld] and I've enjoyed your columns for about a year now (also managed to catch your spot on The Daily Show. Keep up the good work). Anyway, just wanted to give a perspective on Wesley Clark from the active-duty side of things. I'm currently a major in the U.S. Air Force (flying special ops helicopters in [withheld], if you're curious) and nothing that Clark has said or done has surprised me in the least. Why? Because he acts just like the vast majority of general officers that it has been my displeasure to deal with during my 16 years in the U.S. military. Generals are, for the most part, a gigantic pain in the ass and we usually accomplish our military objectives despite their chaos-inducing presence. There are a few good generals here and there but most of them are an embarrassment. Here's a couple of reasons why that is so:

- Generals are ambitious in the same way that wolverines are aggressive. It's their defining trait. A few years ago, the Army Command and Staff College ask during an informal survey "Would your division's commanding general throw his own mother under a bus if it would get him promoted?" 60% of the majors and colonels replied "Not only yes, hell yes!" I know that running for President pretty much demands a nauseating degree of ambition but this kind of hyper-careerism can't be healthy, in my opinion.

- Generals are dull. I don't mean this in the cant-tell-a-good-joke kind of way. I mean the anti-intellectual, zero-curiousity, hasn't-read-a-real-book-in-years kind of dull. Wesley Clark obviously had (and still probably has) no freakin' idea who Michael Moore is or what he stands for. All he knows is that Moore is famous and other Democrats like him. Hell, Clark doesn't even know anything about CAPPS II, the system he was supposedly advocating as a board member! I could go and on on this theme. Take it from me, most generals are as sharp as a bowling ball and Clark is no exception.

- Generals are arrogant. Generals truly believe that they are completely right 100% of the time and woe to those underlings who demonstrate that this isn't so. This trait is what makes generals so dangerous. They will ignore sound advice and do the stupidest things imaginable, all because "Well, I'm a general, dammit, I know what I'm doing and. . . ugh, what was the question again?" Generals can be damn near unreasonable when they get their minds made up and it's almost impossible to get them to see an alternative way of doing things. Scary stuff to see in the flesh. Hopefully I'll never have to experience the Wes Clark brand of hubris.

- Generals are dishonest. This is a tricky charge to throw out, but it's the sad truth. I've seen more out-and-out lies from general officers than any other people in the military. In a weird way, they are just like professional politicians in this regard. They act like the main character from "Memento", they can't remember a @#$% thing they said or wrote older than 15 minutes ago. If it wasn't so frustrating, it might be funny. Once again, just compare anything Clark says now to anything that came out of his mouth one year ago. Weird, huh?

That's all for me. Pet Cosmo for me, take care of yourself and keep up the good fight. The troops are behind you guys at NRO all the way!

[Name/location withheld]

But NOW oh my God MoveOn.Org so evil for not being even as big an asshole as I was against the military brass in January 2004!

And just on time for another wiretap bill...

A new Bin Laden tape appears.

Well whaddya know?

Not much you?

For the, oh, thirteenth or fourteenth time Bush lies, causes Democrats to cave, and we end up with even less rights than before (and by the way once you lose 'em you hardly ever get 'em back).

Republicans and the Bush administration used a 'bogus' terror threat that raised specific fears of an attack on the Capitol to scare lawmakers into adopting a dramatic temporary expansion of the government's spy powers last month, a former top intelligence committee Democrat said Wednesday...

"That specific intelligence claim, it turned out, was bogus; the intelligence agencies knew that," Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA) said at a forum on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act organized by the Center for American Progress in Washington. However, lawmakers did not learn of the claim's unreliability until "the day" they approved the FISA expansion, she said.

Let us symbolize it for you, I think you can guess the respective roles:

If David Broder was in a VERY special episode of "MATLOCK:Afterdark"

With special guest stars Bob Novak, Fred Thompson & Alan Greenspan.

Don't blame me, Stony Pillow made me do it.

Alert Captain Renault

He'll be shocked, SHOCKED!

In another sign of U.S. struggles in Iraq, the target date for putting Iraqi authorities in charge of security in all 18 provinces has slipped yet again, to at least July.

The delay, noted in a Pentagon report to Congress on progress and problems in Iraq, highlights the difficulties in developing Iraqi police forces and the slow pace of economic and political progress in some areas.

It is the second time this year the target date for completing what is known as "Provincial Iraqi Control" has been pushed back. The Pentagon report submitted to Congress on Monday hinted at the possibility of further delays.

And hey, what about all that training, y'know the stuff that Laurence er David no, JESUS of Iraq was in charge of?

The Pentagon report cited a litany of problems with the police. For example, it said as few as 40 percent of those trained by coalition troops in recent years are still on the job. Also, due to combat loss, theft, attrition and poor maintenance, a "significant portion" of U.S.-issued equipment is now unusable.

Surely, somebody needs to shake up the snow globe again, because this fictional world is not to the Decider's satisfaction.

And speaking of the Decider -- and to move to a different point, I saw this over at Digby's from a recent Sidney Blumenthal column about the recent Robert Draper Bush bio -- it's quite comforting:

Bush's deployed his fetish for punctuality as a punitive weapon. When Colin Powell was several minutes late to a Cabinet meeting, Bush ordered that the door to the Cabinet Room be locked.

Suddenly Bush is Chloris Leachman's Nurse Diesel in High Anxiety and Powell is Harvey Korman being denied his fruit cup. I just hope that's the only similarity.

And then there is this:

Every morning, Josh Bolten, the chief of staff, greets Bush with the same words: "Thank you for the privilege of serving today."

You can literally see Bolten already in the next room masturbating.


David Broder with what I believe is the FOURTH consecutive Republican Reacharound in his latest column where he says...

In the years since I first met him in 1974, I have learned that it's wise to take Newt Gingrich seriously.

For many with age comes wisdom, but all that's passing from Broder is gas. Naturally, he and gasbag Gingrich get along just great. Oh, and I love that Broder loves Gingrich's tax dodge think tank because it is (I kid you not) "nominally nonpartisan".

So lets summarize Broder's last four columns:

McCain Finds His Footing -- And how has he found his footing? By saying "the surge is working" -- Oh the Beltway, it so has its finger on the pulse of the "people" doesn't it Davey? A rousing 25% approve of Bush's Iraq policy NOW...the same as before.

Romney's Master Plan -- Mitt Romney master artisan of business management, Broder like all those who have never really been in "business" loves the smell of money almost as much as power. Especially from a party of authoritarians that smell of Panteen & Authoritarianism. Funny that Broder didn't hop in the Mitt-Mobile and judge blueberry pies with the Non-Fightin' Romney Brothers.

Lindsey Graham's Realism -- Oh yes, Lindsey Graham asked a question, he asked a question, Davey couldn't love the realism MORE! Of course, Lindsey Graham voted to bloc the restoration of Habeas Corpus...wouldn't even allow a vote; did the same with balanced deployments. But oh he asked a question of David Petraeus that said this was tough, calling on the non-suffering chattering classes to manly continue their non-suffering over the nobility of the non-war-supporting masses that and those that will have to do the suffering. But he asked a question! Bravo, Lindsey, Broder was so excited he piddled on one of your rugs -- good thing it only cost ya' a buck.

And now "Newt's Vision Thing".

Next up, Tom Tancredo's Magic Fence; Fred Thompson's Active Relaxation; Rudy Giuliani's Tough Love.

And of course, "How Harry Reid is worse than Hitler".

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


Oh this is too fucking rich...not quite a week ago, George Bush told American military personnel in Iraq they could leave Iraq when they manage to accomplish his ill-founded impossible mission -- calling it "return on success". In other words, I fucked up, now you stay and fix it.

So today, Senator Mel Martinez of Florida (naturally) and also the Chairman of the Republican National Committee had this lofty statement in opposing Jim Webb's amendment to give them parity between the theater and home:

"I think we would demean their service if we were to say to them that there had to be a parity between the time in service out of the country and the time at home."

There's how much the GOP loves the troops in a nutshell.

The Banality of Evil

A fascinating and disturbing find. A cache of photographs of SS Officers recreating and being disturbingly blase at Auschwitz in 1944 (the camp was liberated in January 1945). This period covered the rush to exterminate Hungarian Jews. The Holocaust Museum has a more full display of photographs including an on-line juxtaposition of these cogs in the Nazi killing machine relaxing against the horrific events that were going on at the same time at the same place.

It is incredibly mundane and chilling at the same time. And yes, many of the infamous are there. Hoss, Kramer, Mengele.

UPDATE: (I wrote this in a hurry before I left the office today -- and BOY did it show -- edited to make it understandable -- sorry)

Poor Bastards

I mean Bush & Laura of course, remember according to the first lady, when it comes to Iraq, "No one suffers more than their president and I do."

So some of these whiny bastards better suck it up and remember how tough Bush & his wife have it. Like this inconsiderate person:

Kelly Bridson's husband, Joe, calls every day from Iraq, where he’s serving a 15-month deployment. If he doesn’t call it’s because he can’t: phone access is suspended whenever a member of the company is injured or killed until the next of kin is notified, leaving Kelly wondering if Joe is the casualty.

Well that's all fine for you and your family Kelly, but really if you become a widow and your child fatherless, remember how much more your President and his Wife suffer than you do.

Get over yourself.

The nerve of some people.

Talk like a Pirate Day

So how about a Pirate Shanty for our times?

(to "Drunken Sailor")

What shall we do with a drunk decider?

What shall we do with a drunk decider?

What shall we do with a drunk decider?

Late in his tenure??

I-ran, bombs a droppin'
I-ran, bombs a droppin'
I-ran, bombs a droppin'

"Oh I hope with little warnin'"

Put him in Crawford until he's sober

Pull out the bong and smoke and wonder

Put him in GITMO and with the Koran dump on him

Heave to him his latest and lowest pollin'

Tie him to the taffrail what the hell is that I wonder?

Forget Bush, suddenly I want to visit NFL Films.

This Blog is WAY too Shrill!

Paul Krugman has a blog.

It's free of images of Randian sex with Alan Greenspan.

Unlike this blog.

I'm waiting for Maureen Dowd to start blogging about the important stuff in her life, like how E-Harmony is ripping her off.

I also suggest the Washington Post's Robert Samuelson start a blog, so he has two places on the internet that no one, be they right-wing or left-wing, ever reads.

And of course, there is David Broder's "Homepage".


Last April, Glenn Greenwald called ABC News and its investigative reporter Brian Ross to account over some rather far-reaching claims, it set off a series over a few days that continued here, here and here. Their reaction was, predictably, disparaging of a blogger...not named Drudge; who after all is accurate enough in reporting other people's campaign garbage that respectable news organizations can then talk about in the cable news bloviating roundtable segments [How John McLauglin & Tim Russert ruined Journalism 101], for example the completely bogus "Kerry had an affair" story from 2004.

Well, even at the time unbeknownst to Greenwald (or to most of us of course, especially those of us who just write little skits, do captions, and scream without using all caps) there was a big problem at ABC News that is coming to light in a MUST READ story.

Many reporters, analysts and diplomats, in Washington and New York have been suspicious of Debat. How could it be that none of their conversations ever reached ABC News's finest sleuths? Stéphane Dujarric, the UN spokesperson who disputed the accuracy of Kofi Annan's interview, used to work for ABC News.

Within the investigative unit at ABCNews, Alexis Debat was some times nicknamed "Pepe Le Pew". The Frenchman was under the wing of star journalist Brian Ross within a unit custom-made for him. Ross was allotted exceptional latitude and considerable resources after the attacks of 9/11. The decision by ABC News, at least on its website, to let Ross cover the Debat fiasco appears odd, to say the least, since the Frenchman was de facto reporting to Ross.

Here are a couple of his wanks in the last few years:

On September 2nd on the Sunday Times of London, he revealed secret plans of the Bush administration to bomb Iran "in three days". Four years ago at the height of French-American tensions on Iraq, he explained how Uday Hussein, son of Saddam, forced two French students on a trip in Baghdad to have sex at gunpoint while being videotaped. Surfing on the ambient francophobia, he said that according to a cable he saw, the French government covered up the incident. "I mean, after all, this is Saddam Hussein's son!"

So he heightens tensions and suspicions of Iran...and bloviates about pending war, much of which has probably been fed and filtered into the mill that leads us to suspect Bush of bombing Iran any day now (which may or may not be true, and our suspicion of Bush Administration motives and past action makes this easy to believe anyway). And before that he helps spread rumors about the beastiality of Saddam's sons much in the way that the Iraqi National Congress did -- [and I have no doubt they were gigantic assholes but some of the stories verge, like much of the justification for the war, on a cartoon-level of credibility].

And somehow this guy just rises, and rises, and rises doing more substantial damage by swimming and enabling the tide of "beltway wisdom" and "punditry" like an extra suave Uriah Heep. Considering the consequences of his acts, it is much worse than Jason Blair. It is right up there with Judy Miller -- or a more sophisticated conduit Michael Gordon, only with them, they're just cherry picking their evidence (it's still evidence, perhaps not presented with skepticism but evidence nonetheless).

ABC in its ass-covering wisdom has appointed TA-DA! Brian Ross to investigate any erros that Brian Ross may have made.

Which is a little like asking John Stossel to investigate anything.

Quality, not job one at the Mouse.

A day (and a window) into Life in Baghdad

From some of the last true journalist, McClatchy:

[S]urvivors of Sunday's shooting at a busy Baghdad traffic roundabout said Tuesday that security guards for a State Department convoy opened fire without provocation, contradicting assertions by the guards' U.S.-based employer, Blackwater USA, that they were responding to enemy fire...

...Sami Hawas Karim, 42, a taxi driver who was shot in the hip and side, said he, too, had stopped for the convoy when he saw the guards suddenly open fire on a car bearing a man, a woman and a small child. The guards then opened fire on maintenance workers in the square, the car in front of him, the car behind him and a minibus full of girls.

When he felt the pain of his two wounds, he opened the door of his car and fell to the ground; his 13-year-old son in the car with him wasn't harmed.

"I thought about my family and my five kids," he said. "I remembered my two brothers who were killed, and I said to myself, 'I'm going to be the third.'" ...

His statement makes sense especially when viewed in light of this recent report (which will probably receive NO PLAY in the United States media so we so don't feel all "icky" about ourselves):

A startling new household survey of Iraqis released last week claims as many as 1.2-million people may have died because of the conflict in Iraq -- apparently lending weight to a 2006 survey in the Lancet that reported similarly high levels...

The estimates, extrapolated from a sample of 1 461 adults around the country, were collected by a British polling agency, ORB, which asked Iraqis how many people living in their household had died as a result of the violence rather than from natural causes.

Previous estimates, most prominently collected by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, reported in Lancet in October 2006, suggested almost half this number, 654 965, as a likely figure in a possible range of 390 000 to 940 000.

Although the household survey was carried out by a polling organisation, rather than by epidemiological researchers operating under the discipline of scientific peer review, it has again raised the spectre that the 2003 invasion of Iraq has caused a far more substantial death toll than officially acknowledged by the US or UK governments or the Iraqi Ministry of Health.

Someday people may be able to go around Iraq without private security contractors either preventing their being added, while simultaneously adding others to, the death rolls and actually come up with a precise count of the dead since March 2003. When that happens...

Well, the Japanese will be justified in asking when the hell we are going to apologize for what we've done? Of course, we just ignore that person from Vietnam or Cambodia who is already asking, so there's that. Plus every decade or so "the Juice" goes on a crime spree and that, along with pantyless celebretarts is truly what is incredibly important.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


It's finally here!

The United States on Tuesday suspended all land travel by U.S. diplomats and other civilian officials throughout Iraq, except in Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone. The move follows a weekend incident involving private security guards protecting a diplomatic convoy in which a number of Iraqi civilians were killed.

Yes, the situation has so AWESOMELY IMPROVED that the only way to travel out of the green zone is by helicopter.

Ah, memories!

An Infected Organism

I fear it will take generations to undo the damage done to our government by the likes of Karl Rove (and his predecessor Lee Atwater), the Gingrich congress, and it successor, and of course BushCo, if it can be undone at all. The zero-sum, win at any cost, politics of cynicism, government of the people is bad but for the elite and military-industrial complex is good has been perfected and completely swallowed by our beltway elite. It has infected not just the beltway media establishment but reaches out into every state. It is starting to be unraveled through hearings involving the attorney general and the firing of the US attorneys but it appears that is just the tip of the iceberg. Look at this piece at Harper's by Scott Horton, one of the clear voices out on the intertubes about these dangerous times. Horton writes about the political prosecution of Democrats by Republicans in Mississippi. Only a coincidence? I think not; Republican teat-sucker Haley Barbour is involved.

The Diaz case reflects another astonishing example of highly partisan justice, timed, presented and calculated to boost the electoral prospects of Haley Barbour. Diaz was acquitted twice, but the major objective of the prosecution—the election of Haley Barbour—was achieved. Barbour become governor, ousting Musgrove. As November 2007 approaches, Mississippians find Barbour seeking a second term.

One of the striking aspects of the case is the extremely heavy hand of Noel Hillman, who personally monitored and managed the case. In the past the presence of Public Integrity was taken as a guarantor of “no politics,” but in this case in Mississippi, like the Siegelman case in Alabama, Hillman’s involvement amounted to “politics 24/7.”

But most clearly, the case was an example of discriminatory prosecution. An investigation occurred which was directed with laser-like precision against the major donors of the Democratic party. No comparable investigation occurred which examined Republican party funding and campaign operations. The message that the prosecutors–by which Hillman should be singled out–delivered is simple: those who fund Democrats will be targeted and fly-specked. But those who fund Republicans have nothing to worry about. So the prosecution served a double function. Democrats were discredited and humiliated, during an election cycle, for the benefit of their political opponents. But in addition to this, their campaign resources were dried up, so that the Republicans secured a further unfair advantage in future elections. These tactics are a pernicious corruption of the political process by politically appointed Justice Department officials posing as its guardians.

Nobody cares about the justice system until it needs to work for them. The criminals in the Bush administration had better hope they get a better shake than they have given Democrats.

So over

It would be nice to see realization that while the GOP grasped at straws and went apeshit over a rhyming ad polemic, the rest of the country heard "blah blah Betrayus blah return on suc-blah."

Not only, remarkably, did Bush literally have fewer viewers on the cable news networks than the "always" exciting Democratic Response, Petraeus' testimony and Bush's new catch phrase that troops can return home once they accomplish the impossible have done absolutely noting to change the public's mind one iota.

Oh, I suppose it may have made David Broder swoon, it certainly made him want to share a couple quail with Lindsey Graham in a mountain cabin (where Lindsey can display his "Matlock" impression), but the rest of the country -- known as "the people" want this to be over.


Increased -- 6%
Kept same -- 21%
Reduced -- 39%
Remove all troops -- 29%

Pre-speech, 9/4-8/2007
Increased -- 11%
Kept same -- 19%
Reduced -- 35%
Remove all troops -- 30%

By the way, on the Michael Ledeen "Real Americans versus UnAmericans" front...

President Bush’s overall job approval rating remains at 29 percent, similar to what it was a week ago. His rating on handling the war in Iraq is holding at 25 percent.

A Day in the Life of Michael Ledeen

Crazy and Crazier, oh what a lovely scene:

Flyover Country [Michael Ledeen]

Barbara and I went to Indianapolis for a Toby Keith concert, where we partied with something like 25,000 happy rednecks, most of them young, most of them wearing boots and cowboy hats (and cheering Keith's great song "I Should Have Been a Cowboy"). It's a great show, and he's a wonderful performer, not least because of his deeply moving patriotic songs like "American Soldier," "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue," and " The Taliban," etc.

It's great to get out of the Washington culture of narcissism and spend some time with the rednecks, a.k.a. real Americans. And it's simply great, as the encores end, and a downpour of red, white and blue confetti covers the crowd, to see Toby say "don't ever apologize for your patriotism," and then lift the middle finger of his right hand to the skies and say, "F*** 'Em!"

Which, after a week of disgusting anti-Americanism in Washington, nicely summed up our feelings.

You ought to try it. Does wonders for the spirit.

Ah yes...

"REAL AMERICANS" who in Michael Ledeen's world approve of the Magical Iraq War for the Pony at a clip of 62 to 34 believe it was a mistake; and at a clip of 60 to 36 believe the Bush Administration misled them about the War. However, when they express this via the First Amendment are DISGUSTING ANTI-AMERICANS!

Oh, you know who else is of that view?

Toby Keith.

But wait, he isn't done yet...

Fresh on the heels of outrage over words that rhyme with Petraeus (and let's have mutual vapors right Dicky Cohen?) good ol' Ledeen decides to slime a different American General for speaking out against his dream war.

So to sum up, in Michael Ledeen's world you cannot commit the crime of a play on words with Petraeus' last name, but YOU CAN CALL 2/3rds OF THE COUNTRY TRAITORS.

Yes, it is the wacky world of Michael Ledeen. Now, Onward to Iran.

Call me old fashioned...

But no matter whether it's a Democrat or a Republican, or whatever the affiliation or ideology of the speaker, being disruptive or stubborn after a time might justify having you physically removed.

But tasered?

That's fucking ridiculous and atrocious.

And I'm sure that we are all so terribly shocked that Michelle Malkin somehow takes this opportunity to demand that illegal aliens be tasered.

Monday, September 17, 2007


The ONLY part of the Emmys worth watching. The Variety/Comedy Show Writing Awards. I think Letterman's show started this years ago, but now they all do prefilmed skits and it's always among the best part of the show.


The adventures of Thers & NTodd.

And the "TIMELY" news award goes to...

Walter Pincus. As you know, Blackwater Security personnel escorting State Department personnel in Baghdad decidedly to subtly eliminate threats by mowing everybody the fuck down.

This did not sit well with the Iraqi Interior Ministry pulling their license.

This coincides with this Pincus Article in the Post (on A-17 naturally) and it relates to the Petraeus OVER-Report from last week -- indicating once again, WE'RE FUCKED.

A week ago today, Gen. David H. Petraeus started his rounds on Capitol Hill, reporting that security in Iraq was improving to the point that a small number of troops could begin coming home by year's end.

But 10 days ago, his commanders in Baghdad began advertising for private contractors to work in combat-supply warehouses on U.S. bases throughout Iraq because half the soldiers who had been working in the warehouses were needed for patrols, combat and protection of U.S. forces.

"With the increased insurgent activity, unit supply personnel must continue to pull force protection along with convoy escort and patrol duties," according to a statement of work that accompanied the Sept. 7 request for bidders from Multi-National Force-Iraq.

This would clearly also seem to cover those Blackwater Personnel that gunned folks down in a panic while on escort duty.

Via Talking Points Memo.

Morning Joker

Dear Joe Scarborough,

First of all, when did it become okay to use the word "scumbag" on television, even if it is on your morning cable crapfest?

Second, Hillary Clinton not responding (at Republicans' behest) to a MoveOn ad is not analogous to John Kerry being forced to defend words he used thirty years earlier because, well, those were his words. Do you see the difference?

I thought so. Which is why it's confusing that you should make such an analogy.

Oh wait, no it's not. Mendacious hack.


P.S. It's not slander for your Wikipedia entry to include information that an intern died in your office when an intern did, in fact, die in your office, Asswipe.

It's our surge and it's our Country too

You know, I've played my share of "Risk" in my time -- oh, not as much as Victor Tiberius Hanson or Fred Germanicus Kagan but I know that when you learn all your tactics from a Board Game, or "Herodotus for Dummies" you may lose track of how actual counter-insurgency works.

And, well looky-here the Manual on CounterInsurgency by Petraeus et al says...

1-85. In almost every case, the counterinsurgent faces a populace containing an active minority supporting a government and a similar militant faction opposing it. To be successful, the government must be accepted as legitimate by most of that uncommitted middle, which also includes passive supporters of both sides. Because of the ease of sowing disorder, it is usually not enough for a counterinsurgent to get 51 percent of popular support; a solid majority is often essential.
- Army Counterinsurgency Field Manual (Pg 24 or 242)

Which means that by their own "Manual" in Anbar WE ARE FUCKED!

In a survey conducted Aug. 17-24 for ABC News, the BBC and NHK, the Japanese broadcaster, among a random national sample of 2,212 Iraqis, 72 percent in Anbar expressed no confidence whatsoever in United States forces. Seventy-six percent said the United States should withdraw now — up from 49 percent when we polled there in March, and far above the national average.

Withdrawal timetable aside, every Anbar respondent in our survey opposed the presence of American forces in Iraq — 69 percent “strongly” so. Every Anbar respondent called attacks on coalition forces “acceptable,” far more than anywhere else in the country. All called the United States-led invasion wrong, including 68 percent who called it “absolutely wrong.” No wonder: Anbar, in western Iraq, is almost entirely populated by Sunni Arabs, long protected by Saddam Hussein and dispossessed by his overthrow.

And it's not like the population there supports the local authorities either:

Anbar’s tribal leaders may have any number of motivations for their alliance with the United States. It’s been reported that the United States government has provided them arms, matériel and money, as well as undertaking more than $700 million in reconstruction projects in the province.

But it seems clear that popular sentiment in Anbar is another matter entirely. Indeed, one other result from our poll may be of particular interest to Anbar’s tribal leaders and the United States military alike: Just 23 percent in Anbar expressed confidence in their “local leaders”; 77 percent had little or none. That’s better than it was in March — but still nearly the lowest level of confidence in local leaders we measured anywhere in Iraq.

Confidence in local leaders, as it happens, is lower only in Diyala — the other province Mr. Bush mentioned in his speech as a focal point of progress in Iraq.

It would be nice if a few enterprising reporters (as opposed to us wild-eyed crazy fuckin' bloggers) would compare the Counterinsurgency Manual Petraeus is said to have written and the actual dynamics of Iraq -- other than say Michael Ware.

Murdoch begins the Alterations at the Wall Street Journal

Here we go:

Modified from Princess Sparklepony.

Sign of the Times

It's like "I ♥ the 90s" on cable news. Tired of Britney, Lindsey, and Paris stories, it is time for a cameo from the ultimate in moronic celebrities.

Ladies and Gentlemen, O.J. Simpson...oh, if only for a gratuitious shot of him not wearing panties!

(I think this has something to do with Vick & Belichick horning in on his action myself)

And, unless there is some further comedy to mine, this will be the last O.J. post from me for a while. Some people just can't crawl under a rock.

Who needs Al Qaeda or Car Bombs

When WE can do shit like this:

BAGHDAD, Sept. 17 -- A U.S. State Department motorcade came under attack in Baghdad on Sunday, prompting security contractors guarding the convoy to open fire in the streets. At least nine civilians were killed, according to Iraqi officials.

The shootout occurred in the downtown neighborhood of Mansour at midday after an explosion detonated near the convoy, police said. In response, the security contractors "escalated the force to defend themselves," a U.S. Embassy official in Baghdad said...

...A Washington Post employee in the area at the time of the shooting witnessed security company helicopters firing into the streets near Nisoor Square in Mansour. Witnesses said they saw dead and wounded people on the pavement.

The U.S. Embassy official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the incident was under investigation and that he could provide no further details.

The incident punctuated a day of violence that left at least 40 people dead across Iraq, police said.

Return on Success indeed.

UPDATE: We'll see how enforceable and real this turns out to be, but it was Blackwater USA contractors and they have had their license pulled.

Happy Constitution Day

George Bush will celebrate this day by having a tremendous bowel movement and bike ride, hopefully not at the same time.

Speaking of...

Greenspan, Krugman, an economist of no small repute (sorry Freepers but it is true) has this example of the former's now decrying the Bush Tax Cuts when he is no longer in position to do anything about them...

If anyone had doubts about Mr. Greenspan’s determination not to inconvenience the Bush administration, those doubts were resolved two years later, when the administration proposed another round of tax cuts, even though the budget was now deep in deficit. And guess what? The former high priest of fiscal responsibility did not object.

And in 2004 he expressed support for making the Bush tax cuts permanent — remember, these are the tax cuts he now says he didn’t endorse — and argued that the budget should be balanced with cuts in entitlement spending, including Social Security benefits, instead. Of course, back in 2001 he specifically assured Congress that cutting taxes would not threaten Social Security.

In retrospect, Mr. Greenspan’s moral collapse in 2001 was a portent. It foreshadowed the way many people in the foreign policy community would put their critical faculties on hold and support the invasion of Iraq, despite ample evidence that it was a really bad idea.

And like enthusiastic war supporters who have started describing themselves as war critics now that the Iraq venture has gone wrong, Mr. Greenspan has started portraying himself as a critic of administration fiscal irresponsibility now that President Bush has become deeply unpopular and Democrats control Congress.

The whole fucking establishment in this country lost it's ability to critically reason after 9/11, Greenspan too. Those that didn't are still outside the Beltway looking in.

Nobody loves the turd in the punchbowl of "kickin' ass" but the continuing mindlessness of the Fred Hiatt's of the world is the true "BETRAY-US" in this country.

"It was a War for Oil..."

The initial reports were bad enough about Alan Greenspan, but he decided to twist the knife in his own gut a tad more...

"It was a war for oil and I was all for it!"

Clarifying a controversial comment in his new memoir, former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said he told the White House before the Iraq war that removing Saddam Hussein was "essential" to secure world oil supplies, according to an interview published on Monday.

So like everyone else who has circled the wagons around Bush, it was not only morally wrong, but had, as everything else touched by Bush, the exact opposite effect.

Sunday, September 16, 2007



This Week (ABC): Def. Sec Robert Gates & Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) on Iraq & Petreus report; roundtable of NYT's Thomas Friedman, Newsweek's Fareed Zakaria, ABC's Martha Raddatz and George Will

Oh, Dear...

What fictional outrage will Michelle Malkin come up with this year? I'm guessing "pooping on the Iwo Jima Memorial"? But we'll find out soon enough.

Organizers estimated that nearly 100,000 people attended the rally and march. That number could not be confirmed; police did not give their own estimate. A permit for the march obtained in advance by the ANSWER Coalition had projected 10,000.

I'm guessing less than 100,000, but not much less. Props to all those I know who went to the march.

AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais


About 13 blocks away, nearly 1,000 counterprotesters gathered near the Washington Monument, frequently erupting in chants of "U-S-A" and waving American flags.

Retired Air Force Lt. Col. Robert "Buzz" Patterson, speaking from a stage to crowds clad in camouflage, American flag bandanas and Harley Davidson jackets

I'm sure Michelle Malkin will estimate this crowd at many thousands...but then again, Jesse has also convinced her it's really eight inches...