Sunday, May 31, 2009

Operation Rescue's Enablers of Murder

Police have arrested a Scott Roeder for the killing of Wichita, Kansas Ob-Gyn George Tiller.

Mr. Roeder was a supporter of Operation Rescue and here's his contribution to plans, two years ago, to once again hold a prayer-off outside Tiller's facility to make womens' an even bigger hell-on-earth.

Now they've killed yet another Ob-Gyn in their interpretation of "God's Mercy".

This is terrorism, plain and simple. And these folks are America's Taliban.

If you go to Free Republic or some other right-wing sight it will make you sick. Or you can just look at these twitter outrages DeDurkheim referenced in our twitter feed.

Date Night

The Obamas have a simple Saturday night date and both the RNC and the NYT show why they don't get it.

The RNC yips about Obama being "out of touch". RNC, what you don't get is this -- people like the Obamas. Try coming up with a health care plan, a serious budget, or an idea to generate a few million new jobs. Then again, don't. Because if you continue down this route, we'll never have to suffer through a Republican president again in my lifetime.

The NYC covers the RNC's whining. NYT, what you don't get is this -- your phony "balance" schtick was always bullshit, but never moreso in a human interest article about a presidential date. Try covering stories in a substantive way absent any your special brand of false equivalence. Better yet, try reporting the news without asking Karl Rove for permission.

By the way, Blue Hill, the restaurant where the Obamas ate, is terrific.

Oh my goodness, and it's in the WaPo

So I guess, David Broder will never hear of it. Richard Clarke's article on how Bush & Cheney fucked up and are still fucked up in what they did post 9/11 is a must read.

Yes, we went for days with little sleep, and we all assumed that more attacks were coming. But the decisions that Bush officials made in the following months and years -- on Iraq, on detentions, on interrogations, on wiretapping -- were not appropriate. Careful analysis could have replaced the impulse to break all the rules, even more so because the Sept. 11 attacks, though horrifying, should not have surprised senior officials. Cheney's admission that 9/11 caused him to reassess the threats to the nation only underscores how, for months, top officials had ignored warnings from the CIA and the NSC staff that urgent action was needed to preempt a major al-Qaeda attack.

Thus, when Bush's inner circle first really came to grips with the threat of terrorism, they did so in a state of shock -- a bad state in which to develop a coherent response. Fearful of new attacks, they authorized the most extreme measures available, without assessing whether they were really a good idea.

Oh, and there was also, as Clarke explains, the little matter of that completely unnecessary war.

Bush incompetence

Cheney's pathetic act failed to discuss this - and as usual so has most of the press -- via Frank Rich:

The reality is that while the Bush administration was bogged down in Iraq and being played by Pervez Musharraf, the likelihood of Qaeda gaining access to nuclear weapons in a Taliban-saturated Pakistan was increasing by the day. We know that in the month before 9/11, bin Laden and al-Zawahri met with the Pakistani nuclear scientist Sultan Bashiruddin Mahmood. That was the real link between 9/11 and nuclear terror that the Bush administration let metastasize while it squandered American resources on a fictional link between 9/11 and a “nuclear” Saddam.

And where are we now? On the eve of Obama’s inauguration, David Sanger reported in The Times that military and nuclear experts agree that if “a real-life crisis” breaks out in Pakistan “it is unlikely that anyone would be able to assure an American president, with confidence, that he knew where all of Pakistan’s weapons were — or that none were in the hands of Islamic extremists.”

Funny how that always seems to happen.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

I'm no professional movie critic

But I think "UP" is the first movie I've seen that makes you cry in its first 5 minutes and then laugh the last 85. Best transmission of "dog thoughts" ever too by the way.

Right up there with 'WALL-E'.

Five fezzes.


Haven't changed much:

Meanwhile, there's Gordon Liddy (what is she's menstruating?) , Limbaugh (she's David Duke!) and there's Pat Buchanan (She's a traitor to her affiliated race!).

And there's Newt Gingrich, apparently from Treblinka declaring confirming Sotomayor would be like re-fighting the Civil War -- which is what I've always thought Newt wanted anyway.

Four morons that bring "pasty" to another level.

Friday, May 29, 2009

When Carson retired

It was a huge moment.

When Letterman finally goes, it will be similar, slightly diminished all-in-all because there are now so many late-night shows. But Letterman really shaped the sense of humor of people my age.

But this is Leno's last night on the Tonight Show, he's essentially been winning the ratings for nearly 15 years and yet...

How many people really care? Is anyone going to miss him?

I know he'll be back at 10 eastern in a few months or so, but other than low-overhead that's more a reflection of the death of network television than some sort of real measure of cultural gravitas.

All I know is that guy used to be rather funny, especially when Letterman boosted his career in the Late Night days, and now his major accomplishment seems to be that he's an inoffensive hack.

A comedic Perry Como.

"Of course, she wants me"

What she is actually thinking, "My God, those implants are still hideous."

(photo found here)

Somewhere Peter King & John Madden are Twittering

Their plans to make sure Fran Tarkenton cannot besmirch their beloved Brett Favre again.

They are going to head down to Atlanta and take Francis on a last scramble in the Madden Cruiser, then BOOM!


(photo from here)

You know where this is going

The last paragraph of David Brooks latest drivel that improves when compared to Krauthammer and Gerson, but then again short of Mein Kampf & The Turner Diaries what doesn't?

Right-leaning thinkers from Edmund Burke to Friedrich Hayek understood that emotion is prone to overshadow reason. They understood that emotion can be a wise guide in some circumstances and a dangerous deceiver in others. It’s not whether judges rely on emotion and empathy, it’s how they educate their sentiments within the discipline of manners and morals, tradition and practice.

The more you look at this paragraph in the context of the asinine attacks on Sotomayor and "identity politics" the more it stops being harmless and like a Uriah Heep compliment starts to fit into the meme.

John Cole certainly noticed:

It’s a slippery slope from empathy to emotion. And I think we all know how emotional Latinas are, right? I wonder if we’re going to see suggestions that Sotomayor lets her spicy, fiery Latin temperament cloud her judgements.

And here's the non-editorial part of the NY Times abetting the stupid stereotype.

"Summa Cum Laude on my face"

I know this is a big come down from the crazy train that is "Rush Limbaugh is Jesus" (a matter of rare debate) but still this is pretty damned crazy:

BENNETT: Summa Cum Laude, I don’t think you get on affirmative action. I don’t know what her major was, but Summa Cum Laude’s a pretty big deal.

BARNES: I guess it is, but you know, there’s some schools and maybe Princeton’s not one of them, where if you don’t get Summa Cum Laude then or some kind of Cum Laude, you then, you’re a D+ student.

Yeah, Summa Cum Laude is so easy to obtain at any university.

Barnes, is a true lover of the thematic proclamation that George W. Bush is a "rebel", the genetic super result of Yale super-intellect Poppy Bush and Smith College strongman Barbara Bush -- Fred's love can be seen in the shots of Bush he favors. Which makes me pretty sure that the latter half of Cum Laude distracts from Fred's actual Bush-inspired obsessions.

And meanwhile, about that Moonie Times declaration that Sotomayor get's reversed "a lot" -- meet Sammy "empathy is alright with me" Alito's 100% reversal rate.

[posted with far less disgusting caption at Firedoglake]

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Immaculate Love Handles

Erick Erickson of Red State is staking a claim for worlds greatest unintentional comic.

Rush is apparently Jesus (Virgin Girth), which means that "The Last Temptation of Christ" can be found at The Old Country Buffet.

They're really gonna have to reinforce that cross.

Are you PERMANENTLY SETTLED on this position?

Accurate summary by the good Roger Aisles:

Charles Krauthammer thinks it's dangerous when "concern for certain ethnicities override[s] justice."
Which is why we have to bomb Iran preemptively -- just to be on the safe side.

I hear that Newt Gingrich

Is going to call Barney Frank a disgusting Hetero-phobe from Buchenwald today.

Upcoming Schedule via Newt's Blackberry:

May 29: Treblinka - Tweet about Obama's anti-shower bigotry.

May 30: Dachau - Pull out the Twitter and express regret George Soros isn't there.

May 31: Bergen-Belsen - Decry the blatent infidelity of so many Democrats, but especially Clinton.

June 1 - Chelmno: Tweet his third-wife and say he's dumping her for this woman he met that looks just like Magda Goebbels.


I'm certain that David Broder has not read the "supposedly" controversial decision of the 2nd Circuit on firefighters that the Right Wing demand EMPATHY for poor oppressed whitey (soon to be seen on Larry Johnson inspired video):

In the New Haven, Conn., firefighters' case pending before the Supreme Court, Sotomayor was part of a three-judge panel that upheld a lower court decision voiding a promotion test in which no black firefighter scored among the winners. It appears, on the face of it, to be an extreme application of affirmative action doctrine, and she will undoubtedly be pressed to explain and justify her decision.

Do just ONE of you talking heads want to actually read and review the case and how it was presented by the parties JUST FUCKING ONE?

And then it's time for Ol' Davey to trot out his world of Washington, as real as the Chronicles of Narnia:

I have to believe that many Republican senators will seize the opportunity Obama has provided and prove they are not as narrow-minded as their most extreme backers. And then hope that, like some mirror image of Souter, Sotomayor will surprise the world with some of her votes.

So to summarize:

1. Broder thinks the GOP is not ruled by its "rump" and

2. Broder hopes that Sotomayor isn't liberal or even moderate, but a big ol' sloppy wet conservative like Sam Alito.


Nice Party you got there...

Some GOP moron is upset that Sotomayor likes ethnic food as showing her "dangerous activism":

"[S]ome Republicans...muse privately about whether Sotomayor is suggesting that distinctive Puerto Rican cuisine such as patitas de cerdo con garbanzo -- pigs' tongue and ears -- would somehow, in some small way influence her verdicts from the bench."

I guess she won't be an impartial judge unless she discusses her love of washing down pubic hairs with a can of coke.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

All freakin' class

It takes one hell of twisted personality to start tweeting that Sonia Sotomayor is a "racist" while you are in the midst of visiting Auschwitz.

But those are apparently the priorities of one Newt Gingrich.

If only he could wear Cheney's classy green parka.

As I was saying a few posts below

Pairing with Watertiger and her photoshop skills these are now available at CafePress.

Get it on shirts, mugs, buttons, etc. The full capitalist-pig panoply. Take right-wing talking points and let us make the profit in mock form -- Really, it's like Iraq, only nobody dies and Blackwater doesn't get shit.

Okay, it's completely unlike that and inappropriate to compare it at all.

But still...


(no pressure though)

The Internets, YOU'RE DOIN' IT WRONG!

Tucker Carlson determined to fail at every major communications medium!

“Pundit Tucker Carlson publicly announced Tuesday that a right-leaning news site resembling the Huffington Post he’s been planning will go live within weeks … ‘Tell the truth, and be accurate,’ Carlson said of the venture’s goals.

Wow, failed in the first sentence.

Thanks to Fark, here's a still of Tucker seeing his career swirl down the drain while Jon Stewart was handing the former his own retentive ass.

Three-Year Olds Temper Tantrum Continues

Stamp your feet louder:

North Korea announced Wednesday that it is no longer bound by the 1953 armistice that halted the Korean War, the latest and most profound diplomatic aftershock from the country's latest nuclear test two days earlier.

North Korea also warned that it would respond "with a powerful military strike" should its ships be stopped by international forces trying to stop the export of missiles and weapons of mass destruction.

Naturally, erstwhile Benjamin Spock-impersonator Bill Kristol has stated the appropriate response to a three-year old's tantrum is to bomb Iran.

As predictable as the sunrise

Yeah, she's just like that -- exactly!

Powerline...asks: is Sotomayor "Che Guevara in robes?"

Dammit, I'm claiming that Sonia Sotomayor black on red T-shirt market at right now!


Those without empathy are either psychopaths or Republican nominees for the Supreme Court.

Too bad Ted Bundy is no longer available, he was very talented at applying swift and dispassionate rulings completely lacking in empathy. Plus it gave him a boner.

He sounds like a real dreamboat of a Republican Justice.

By the way, I think John Cole may have deduced one of Jeffrey Rosen's anonymous sources (with an axe [and soon many teeth] to grind).


Speaking of boners & sociopaths, John "the President can crush a child's balls if he wants" Yoo decries empathy in judges, or I would guess, human being entirely.

You get the feeling Yoo was potty-trained via the "lit cigarette on the scrotum" method and that it happened in his early 30s.

The Harriet Meyers card

This is the ultimate in hilarity. Some right-wingers apparently believe that because both Harriet Miers and Sonia (not Maria) Sotomayor have a v-jay jay they are IMMEDIATELY comparable.

You know, just like Clarance Thomas and William J. Brennan both had junk and are therefore, virtually twins.

Occasionally embellishing the findings of Economaniac, a Great Orange Satan diarist, they really are quite a comparable match:

Sotomayor Princeton summa cum laude : Miers Southern Methodist University (no honors), well, did "place" in beer-bong olympics.

Sotomayor Yale law review : SMU law school(no honors), graduating from the home of the NCAA "death penalty" is honor enough.

Sotomayor Prosecutor for Morgenthau : Miers no criminal law experience, but much experience with fellow unindicted co-conspirators.

Sotomayor 6 years as Federal District Court Judge : Miers No judicial Experience, although competent at writing "hand-crafted bedazzled gift cards" and
scrolling for, finding, and printing appropriate picture captions at "Daily"

Sotomayor 10 years on 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals : Meirs No judicial Experience, but has memberships at "CostCo", "Sams Club" and "BJ's" (Bush got
her that last one and was disappointed when he found out what it was)

Sotomayor adjunct professor NYU School of Law : Miers advisory board SMU law school, but hey, she helped get that "George W. Bush Lie-Berry" embedded on campus, so there's that -- SO SUCK ON IT BAYLOR!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Shorter Mike Huckabee

"I have no problem with any hispanic justice being a woman as long as they are played by Natalie Wood."

Oh and by the way, no filibusters applies only to white men.

Lou Dobbs unhinged

President (Name Withheld) nominates (Hispanic Name Withheld) who will immediately be branded ("Too Liberal"/"Too Tokeny"/"Too Empathetic"/"Too Hungry for Fetus Fricassee") for a lifetime appointment where she will probably overturn the decision in "Polk v. Santa Ana".

Kitty Pilgrim is going to have to break out the massage oil.


You know next to a Sally Quinn column, nothing has the moral hypocrisy of Richard Cohen going after people on issues of infidelity and sexual morals.

And it's strange how these columns never get written about Newt Gingrich or Cohen's favorite Boy Toy John McCain isn't it?

America's Concern Troll fails to mention how he broke up the late Peter Jennings' marriage by having an affair with the latter's wife.

Oops, but Richard Cohen knows "fidelity" like he knows "comedy".


God Bless the U-S-A!

Patricia Ingalls is the clown who Wheeling Police arrested for drunken driving late Friday after they said she left the scene of an accident.

Ingalls talked with NEWS9 Sunday and said that she's sorry that the children she went to entertain witnessed her get taken into custody.

"I'm not aloud to drink in costume
and I should have never went because I was too upset," said Ingalls.

She blew a .252 on the Breathalyzer. Which is truly doin' it clown style.

Take THAT, Kim Jong-Il!

Mel Manopause

Funny how all that "religiosity" goes out the window when there's no more Jesus-based snuff-film to promote.

Looking relaxed and clean-shaven in jeans, a white shirt and a blue jacket, actor and director Mel Gibson gamely answered questions about his relationship with musician Oksana Grigorieva and confirmed her pregancy during his 21st guest appearance on NBC's Tonight Show, airing Monday night.

I think Gibson is still technically married.

This doesn't sound all "old-school Catholic". It doesn't even sound all that socialist or secular humanist either.

Wonder what Mel's position is on "same-sex marriage" now.

Dear America, It's Memorial Day

Not Veteran's Day.

Just for future reference.

Monday, May 25, 2009

I am Forty-Two Pages into THE POWER BROKER

I've finally started reading Robert Caro's The Power Broker, a hardbound edition of which has been sitting on my shelf since about 1993. I have a feeling I'm going to enjoy it, but no way, no how, no where am I carting a five-pound, 1,200+ page hardcover book on the subway (and, no, Jeff Bezos, I'm not interested in your Kindle). So it's going to take a while to finish this one. My goal is to be done by Independence Day. We'll see.

Meanwhile, I just finished The Elegance of the Hedgehog, which was the best novel I've read in a long, long while, although I really would have to classify it as a chick book (although definitely not crappy Nanny Diaries-Devil-Wears-Prada type "Chick Lit").

And in other lit-tra-chure news, is there really a controversy at Oxford over twenty-seven year-old sexual harassment allegations at an unrelated institution on another continent? Christ, the only politics more annoying than corporate politics are academic politics. Somewhere, Phillip Roth is smiling.

Best News I've Heard All Day

NRCC spokesman Ken Spain:
"[Newt] is a solution-oriented conservative whose proven leadership from the time he was elected in 1978 to the Republican takeover he led in 1994 has earned him a prominent place in the history and the future of our Party." [emphasis mine]

Happy Memorial Day

"You can't say that civilization don't advance, however, for in every war they kill you in a new way."

Will Rogers, 1929

Somebody wants some Attention!

North Korea, the three-year old of international society:

North Korea delivered on its threat Monday, conducting a second nuclear test that angered governments around the globe.

The North had threatened to do so unless the U.N. Security Council apologized for imposing sanctions on it following a rocket test on April 5.

The secretive communist state also apparently test-fired a short-range missile on Monday, the White House said.

Bill Kristol calls for bombing Iran in retaliaion in 3...2...1...

Sunday, May 24, 2009

A Message especially for Conservatives

I think it was in the heady days of early 2005 when George Bush's popularity ratings were in the low 40s, when National Review Online started regularly posting the latest line of Iranian Daily News trying to justify bombing until the rubble bounces.

Sadly, for once, despite the efforts of Michael Ledeen, George Bush managed not to do "the stupid thing". Which underlines the irony of the last five years or so of the Bush Administration -- his base ALWAYS took the few opportunities to point out he could do EVEN worse.

And here's the latest example.

Iranians aren't suicidal. In an interview last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described the Iranian regime as "a messianic, apocalyptic cult." In fact, Iran has tended to behave in a shrewd, calculating manner, advancing its i when possible, retreating when necessary. The Iranians allied with the United States and against the Taliban in 2001, assisting in the creation of the Karzai government. They worked against the United States in Iraq, where they feared the creation of a pro-U.S. puppet on their border.

But ultimately, they Iranians stepped back and calmly reaped the rewards of Operation Clusterfuck. Even when they lose, they win bigger.

And therein lies the real thing that pisses Likud Republicans off. The Iranians are not so much a demonstrative threat, as they are strategically infinitely more powerful in realpolitik because of our own stupidity -- and Israel's. Every move Bush has made, and every military effort of the Israelis has had the effect of benefitting Iran's strategic position -- and the worse the Washington-Tel Aviv connection has done, the angrier they get -- and the more impotent they appear.

Congratulations Neo-Cons, they won -- and you're dumber than ever.

Welcome to the worst "Carbon Footprint" day on earth

It's not just the car traveling.

It's the world's biggest F1 race; the Indy 500 and then NASCAR having a 600 mile race.

Somewhere, Al Gore is crying in his Prius.

What this day needs is a big race between 737s.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

If Montel Williams & Kaiser Wilhelm II had a lovechild

With a withered left-hemisphere, it would be National Review writer Peter Kirsanow.

Next to the ol' Dolph 'stache, who the hell suggests a right-winger adopt that look?

Dear Mike Bloomberg,

Why have you spent millions of dollars to send me four-color glossy campaign self-mailers every single day this week when you are running virtually unopposed?

As an Atriot said last night, "[You] could give the money [you're] spending on mail to the MTA, be the hero of the city, and win the election with 99% of the vote."



Continuing the village tradition of "blowjob" is a crime against humanity.

But violating the Geneva Convention and applying torture, well, that is just a "serious" policy "worthy of debate", never mind the paranoia and lies that caused it and the the fact that from beginning to end we were lied to about it. Nevermind, that five years ago, Cheney ultimately lost the debate even within the Bush Administration.

Nope, not a big deal, as long as you appear "serious".

Broder would have been great in the early 40s kissing Ernst Kaltenbrunner's ass*. Hell, he probably was. After all, Kaltenbrunner was certainly serious about his job.

*yes, I know that's an overstated cheap shot, alert the Godwin Police

Mein Dick

It's good "bidness" to cater to the Ann Coulter-mass bulk buy crowd of right-wing think tanks.

With his sustained blitz of television appearances and speeches, former Vice President Dick Cheney has established himself as perhaps the leading Republican voice against President Obama.

Not a bad time, then, to be in the market for a multimillion-dollar book contract.

The only question is, will he don the black cocktail dress?

Friday, May 22, 2009

Yes quasi-Judy Miller - but first you gave the perpetual undying talking points to FoxNews

Yesterday Elizabeth "Can I say I was proved fucking right first?" Bumiller reported that 1 in 7 released Guantanamo detainees became "terrorizers".

Thus allowing the right-wing blogs to do what they always do when not vigilantly questioning the patriotism of blacks, latinos, muslims, and white Democrats and Independents...made Memeorandum, their awesome beyatch.

So it is worth noting, that this claim which will flow everlastingly and ever more loudly from the screamining "morans" is pretty much bullshit as even Bumiller admitted:

"there is some debate about whether you should say 'returned' because some of them were perhaps not engaged in terrorism, as we know -- some of them are being held there on vague charges."

Of course they are, and what is one of the unfortunate hang-ups of releasing innocent detainees? That their home governments either don't want them or will immediately find some bogus reason to imprison them (see Chinese Uyghurs).

Which is why your story in the NY Times said:

1 In 7 Detainees Rejoined Jihad, Pentagon Finds

Nice that Judy Miller and Fred Hiatt are working at the Times...or is it simply that Michael Gordon is writing both Bumiller's columns and headlines?

Two books I'll have to add to the list

For no other reason than maybe someone will send me, an important (and incredibly self-delusional) blogger free copies (but I'll probably buy actual copies first):

1. Idiot America: How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free.

By the always eloquent yet pithy Charles Pierce. Nice quotes:

Question: What is the difference between stupidity and glorifying ignorance?

Charles P. Pierce: Stupidity is as stupidity does, to quote a uniquely stupid movie. It has been with us always and always will be. But we moved into an era in which stupidity was celebrated if it managed to sell itself well, if it succeeded, if it made people money. That is “glorifying ignorance.” We moved into an era in which the reflexive instincts of the Gut were celebrated at the expense of reasoned, informed opinion. To this day, we have a political party—the Republicans—who, because it embraced a “movement of Conservatism” that celebrated anti-intellectualism is now incapable of conducting itself in any other way. That has profound political and cultural consequences, and the truly foul part about it was that so many people engaged in it knowing full well they were peddling poison.

Question: While writing Idiot America, what story or incident made you the most incensed?

Charles P. Pierce: Without question, it was talking to the people at Woodside Hospice, who shared with me what it was like to be inside the whirlwind stirred up by people who used the prolonged death of Terri Schiavo as a political and social volleyball to advance their own unpopular and reckless agenda. There are people—Sean Hannity comes to mind—who, if there is a just god in heaven, should be locked in a room for 20 minutes with Annie Santa Maria, the indomitable woman who works with the patients at the hospice. Only one of them would come out, and it wouldn't be him.

Question: With the election of President Obama, is Idiot America coming to an end? Or, will there always be a place for idiocy in America?

Charles P. Pierce: Look at the political opposition to President Obama. “Socialist!” “Fascist!” “Coming to get your guns.” Hysteria from the hucksters of Idiot America is still at high-tide. People are killing other people and specifically attributing their action to imaginary oppression stoked by radio talk-show stars and television pundits. That Glenn Beck has achieved the prominence he has makes me wonder if there is a just god in heaven.

2. Harry Truman's Excellent Adventure: The True Story of a Great American Road Trip by Matthew Algeo

On June 19, 1953, Harry Truman got up early, packed the trunk of his Chrysler New Yorker, and did something no other former president has done before or since: he hit the road. No Secret Service protection. No traveling press. Just Harry and his childhood sweetheart Bess, off to visit old friends, take in a Broadway play, celebrate their wedding anniversary in the Big Apple, and blow a bit of the money he’d just received to write his memoirs. Hopefully incognito.

In this lively history, author Matthew Algeo meticulously details how Truman’s plan to blend in went wonderfully awry.

This has got late 2011 movie release written all over it, but first the book.

Every mumbled "and" & "the"

Well, here's something everyone could have anticipated, but as usual, other than bloggers it seems only Warren Strobel and John Landay of McClatchy reported:

Former Vice President Dick Cheney's defense Thursday of the Bush administration's policies for interrogating suspected terrorists contained omissions, exaggerations and misstatements.

Well, this column is apparently going to be as long as a Leon Uris novel, but here is a selection that seems remarkably DFH bloggeresque:

_ Cheney said that the Bush administration "moved decisively against the terrorists in their hideouts and their sanctuaries, and committed to using every asset to take down their networks."

The former vice president didn't point out that Osama bin Laden and his chief lieutenant, Ayman al Zawahri, remain at large nearly eight years after 9-11 and that the Bush administration began diverting U.S. forces, intelligence assets, time and money to planning an invasion of Iraq before it finished the war in Afghanistan against al Qaida and the Taliban...

Oh, you damn dirty hippies -- being all right and not serious like Dick Cheney. Because David Broder and his ilk know serious, and only serious can be appreciated. Especially in the form of needlessly dead soldiers and civilians in a third-world country (no pictures though).

[cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Dump Vitter 2010

Best news I've heard all day: porn star Stormy Daniels Announces Formation of Senate Exploratory Committee.

You can donate here.

This ought to be fun.

I'm sure it is a fine book

Eric Bohlert is a great and insightful writer.

But the really important question is...

Am I mentioned in it?

Outright Thievery

In regards to Cheney's speech today after Obama, Josh Marshall sums it up so well I'm just going to lift a whole goddamned section:

This is an extremely gullible man who has just come off being the driving ideological force in an administration that most people can already see produced more fiascos and titanic, self-inflicted goofs than possibly any in our entire history. By any standard the guy is a monumental failure -- and not one whose mistakes stem in some Lyndon Johnson fashion from tragic overreach, but just a fool who damaged his country through his own gullibility, paranoia and bad judgment. Whatever else you can say about the Cheney story it ain't Shakespearean.

So as we see the big reporters trying to put him on some sort of equal footing with President Obama today, let's remember that the great majority of Americans see Dick Cheney, accurately, as a clown. And mockery isn't just the most effective but also the most morally apt response to the man.

But he's a heroic figure to David Broder.

Peter King would like to take this opportunity be a gratuitous dick:

Concerning the arrest of the 4 XXX-treme anti-Semites in New York yesterday:

“This was a very serious threat that could have cost many, many lives if it had gone through,” Representative Peter T. King, Republican from Long Island, said in an interview with WPIX-TV. “It would have been a horrible, damaging tragedy. There’s a real threat from homegrown terrorists and also from jailhouse converts.

Now, I've scanned the Complaint. And aside from the fact that a cooperating witness was once on a 5-year probation all of their plotting appears to have been done at their "Honeycomb Hideout" in Newburgh, New York, a residence, not a penitentiary. It's possible there's more to the story, but not so far.

So nice dropping of the latest "piss your pants" talking point about closing Guantanamo Pete.


The Village is a very screwed up place, wired for Republican talking points, observe David Broder damning those dirty effing hippies:

In every instance, Obama heeded the advice of his uniformed and civilian defense leaders and in each case but Afghanistan, he abandoned a position he had taken as the Democratic presidential candidate.

The predictable result has been the first sustained outcry from the left, angry denunciations from leaders of constituencies that had been early supporters. They feel betrayed as they watch him continuing, with minor modifications, the policies and practices of his Republican predecessor.

Yes, because those policies were so AWESOME!

Broder modestly (but just modestly) over-simplifies Obama's policies for to get to his real point, going after those damn liberals for being right again. We opposed Vietnam and were right; we opposed a segregated military and were right; we opposed Iraq and were right; we oppose torture and were and still are right we opposed Iraq and we were right; and yes, Broder, we oppose discrimination against gays, including those who wish to serve in the military. And guess how that one will end up eventually? How do you score Davey?

But we're just not serious people -- the serious people that managed to give us Vietnam, Iraq, 183 waterboardings on one guy in a month, and post-hoc torture to justify illegal wars. And to what end? So David Broder can gloss it over, and say it's all good. Yes, those military guys are always right.

"God help this country when someone sits at this desk who doesn't know as much about the military as I do."
- Dwight Eisenhower

God nothing, David Broder is what matters, just ask him.

[cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

How the Village works

It's not about policies, it's about enabling assholes.

Both CNN and MSNBC will be carrying Cheney’s speech live tomorrow, in addition to carrying Obama’s, spokespeople for both networks confirm to me, barring the intrusion of some major news event. Fox News will certainly be all over the Cheney speech tomorrow — a major cataclysm couldn’t tear them away from such a big moment. So that means roadblocked cable coverage for Cheney.

Obama is set to deliver his big speech on national security at 10 A.M. Cheney’s is set to follow at 10:45. Politico framed the story of tomorrow’s speeches in advance in a piece called: “Barack Obama, Dick Cheney plan dueling speeches.”

FoxNews is unmentioned. Probably because they are only covering Cheney's speech.

When was the last time something like this got news coverage?

Oh, yeah. Never.

Dear RNC,

Thanks so much for the $865 Vuitton Montorgueil GM lunch bag.

I am the envy of Wasilla Grammar School.



Here's something for those offended by Obama appearing at Notre Dame because of the "teachings of the Church" ...clean your own goddamned house:

A fiercely debated, long-delayed investigation into Ireland's Roman Catholic-run institutions says priests and nuns terrorized thousands of boys and girls in workhouse-style schools for decades — and government inspectors failed to stop the chronic beatings, rapes and humiliation.

Nine years in the making, Wednesday's 2,600-page report sides almost completely with the horrific reports of abuse from former students sent to more than 250 church-run, mostly residential institutions...

The report, unveiled by High Court Justice Sean Ryan, found that molestation and rape were "endemic" in boys' facilities, chiefly run by the Christian Brothers order, and supervisors pursued policies that increased the danger. Girls supervised by orders of nuns, chiefly the Sisters of Mercy, suffered much less sexual abuse but frequent assaults and humiliation designed to make them feel worthless.

"In some schools a high level of ritualized beating was routine. ... Girls were struck with implements designed to maximize pain and were struck on all parts of the body," the report said. "Personal and family denigration was widespread."

This lasted well into the 1990s (if it ended then).

And key to what is going on in this country, efforts to "move on" and "ignore" this whole episode were constant for years.

Excellent News

I'll be able to bring my loaded Glock when I visit Yellowstone this summer!

If by "excellent" I mean, "utterly insane".

So I'll avoid exorbitant hidden fees and stealth interest rate spikes on credit cards, only to get shot in the ass by some gun-toting wingnut who gets excited at his first sight of Old Faithful.

Democrats: you don't have to kowtow to these freaks.

Obama: don't sign this thing unless the gun provision is stripped out.

Oh, the GOOGLE

People are really going to piss off OCD, DSM-IV Sub-Category hogger K-Lo now and her disdain of all things Google.


The internet.

The link is to a Kos diary of someone who apparently spends all their time being angry at someone.

Although there is a bit of a dust up there (oh, I know, what a shock!) about some 9-11 Truthers being suspended/banned. Many, Some, A few, are up in arms about it.

If a 9-11 truther mated with an Obama birther, would they produce someone that denied the existence of the "Mile-High Club"?

Ignore Scarborough

Always good advice.

Watch this instead:

Galactic Center of Milky Way Rises over Texas Star Party from William Castleman on Vimeo.

via Elliott at Oxdown.

Always angry about something

I figured I'd wade into this stupid non-controversy about three days after it mattered. Late to the party again -- just call me Michael Gerson with slightly more talent (still little talent at all).

Apparently, someone one with the unfortunate, but perfect Galt-ian name of "Gunlock", has spewed forth at National Review that some food kitchen had the AUDACITY to actually style up and make decent (yet cheap) food for the hungry.

This apparently, is the worst thing ever -- LET THEM EAT GRUEL! is apparently the mantra for the unfortunate at NRO.

No wonder Republicans are so beloved.

When will FoxNews give it a show -- endorsing Creationism?

Scientists have unveiled a 47-million-year-old fossilised skeleton of a monkey hailed as the missing link in human evolution.

The search for a direct connection between humans and the rest of the animal kingdom has taken 200 years - but it was presented to the world today at a special news conference in New York.

Now, I'm just guessing that the reporter in this story for Sky News (Rupert!) may be adding a bit of drama to the findings ("missing link in human evolution" -- drama major buddy?) , but there was still was something truly stunning and little reported.

It was found holding what appeared to be teabags.


Here's some actual analysis of what is, still, a major find from PZ Myers.

[cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Looks like David Addington has found a new occupation

Torture a hallmark of Phoenix's drug kidnappings

Torture? Please CNN, it's not torture -- you say so yourself -- they are ENHANCED PROFIT TECHNIQUES!

Follow up

About the dubious Sy Hersch story yesterday, Hersch denies saying what it is claimed he said.

Seymour Hersh on Monday contradicted news reports being published in South Asia that quote him as saying a “special death squad” made by former US vice president Dick Cheney had killed Benazir Bhutto. The award-winning journalist described as “complete madness” the reports that the squad headed by General Stanley McChrystal – the new commander of US army in Afghanistan – had also killed former Lebanese prime minister Rafique Al Hariri and a Lebanese army chief. “Vice president Cheney does not have a death squad. I have no idea who killed Mr Hariri or Mrs Bhutto,” Hersh said. “I have never said that I did have such information. I most certainly did not say anything remotely to that effect during an interview with an Arab media outlet.” He said Gen McChrystal had run a special forces unit that engaged in “high value target activity”, but “while I have been critical of some of that unit’s activities in the pages of the New Yorker and in interviews, I have never suggested that he was involved in political assassinations or death squads on behalf of Mr Cheney, as the published stories state.”


No transcript or video yet, but...

David Ignatius on PBS with Charlie Rose. Defending the use of torture by the administration, he said that "we would not have used torture if it had not been effective" and saying without any proof that the use of torture helped to prevent further attacks on the US.

Oh yes, "effective" -- no proof, just your "buddies" would not have done something if it wasn't effective. Morality doesn't matter, EFFECTIVENESS does.

You know what else was "effective"?

Babi Yar you immoral fuck!

Yes, it's terrible

That Rumsfeld took notice of the weak-mind of George Bush and comforted him through war crimes with Bible quotes.

But it could have been worse, I guess:

John Hannah takes his Dick to a Cockfight

The Washington Post under Fred Hiatt continues its policy of allowing uncontested access to its editorial pages for the purposes of starting new wars. Here's former Bush insider John Hannah today:

History's lesson for the Obama administration seems straightforward: Short of regime change or military attack, the method most likely to persuade an anti-American, terrorist-sponsoring state such as Iran to cease its nuclear weapons program is credibly threatening the regime's hold on power.

Here's John Hannah 2006:

Hannah and [David] Wurmser's boss, [Dick Cheney], talks freely about the need for a military showdown with Iran to destroy its alleged nuclear program.

And 2007:

Some senior administration officials still relish the notion of a direct confrontation. One ambassador in Washington said he was taken aback when John Hannah, Vice President Cheney's national security adviser, said during a recent meeting that the administration considers 2007 "the year of Iran" and indicated that a U.S. attack was a real possibility.

Thank goodness these folks rarely have their viewpoint countered at the WaPo. Good job, Fred Hiatt.

(pic from Think Progress)

[cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Monday, May 18, 2009

Hard to believe

Having Liz Cheney appear on the Sunday talk shows isn't working very well:

This just in from Bay Buchanan:

"I'd tap that ass"


Let's make it a ménage à wanks":

- Sylvia Kristol

(Appreciative Fez Tip to Watertiger for helping with the last image)

Everybody could have predicted

But we cannot have a moderate liberal on the court, nosiree:

In every major case since he became the nation’s seventeenth Chief Justice, Roberts has sided with the prosecution over the defendant, the state over the condemned, the executive branch over the legislative, and the corporate defendant over the individual plaintiff. Even more than Scalia, who has embodied judicial conservatism during a generation of service on the Supreme Court, Roberts has served the interests, and reflected the values, of the contemporary Republican Party.

So fuck empathy.

Uh, what?

Let's see where this one goes, I think this one is a little dubious -- but I've rarely been right in underestimating Darth's ability to engage in evil or stupid:

Former prime minister of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto was assassinated on the orders of the special death squad formed by former US vice-president Dick Cheney, which had already killed the Lebanese Prime Minister Rafique Al Hariri and the army chief of that country.

The squad was headed by General Stanley McChrystal, the newly-appointed commander of US army in Afghanistan. It was disclosed by reputed US journalist Seymour Hersh while talking to an Arab TV in an interview.

McChrystal, of course, was just appointed the General in charge of the Afghanistan military operation, targeting Al Qaeda & Taliban more than in deal making and place-holding in the country -- at least that's the idea.


Worry about the Pakistani government can keep control of its nuclear arsenal?

Never fear, they'll just make the pile big enough to keep track of...or something:

Members of Congress have been told in confidential briefings that Pakistan is rapidly adding to its nuclear arsenal even while racked by insurgency, raising questions on Capitol Hill about whether billions of dollars in proposed military aid might be diverted to Pakistan’s nuclear program.

Yes, that makes sense.

And how many of the billions we give them directly, or indirectly (by freeing up resources) are allowing this. And come to think of it, how about this stops?

5 plus years

And I've managed not to be accused of plagiarism.

Sometimes it pays to not be hooked up right (ed. or too popular).

MoDo, by the way, was really out there in the early portions of the 1988 election getting all huffy about Biden and Neil Kinnock. She played a big role in that whole debacle. So there's some justice in this.

Biden was speaking extemporaneously in a debate ... not in a column and with an editor. Furthermore, while speaking is an important part of being a politician/legislator/executive it's not the only thing (as Obama's far less eloquent critics constantly and inelegantly point out).

While being a columnist, well, the writing is pretty much the thing. Though for some, appearing on cable news appears to be the main point anymore.

Maybe it's time MoDo apologize to somebody? (well, add another to apologize to)

But that won't happen of course.

They laugh alike, they walk alike, At times they even talk alike

Cheney and Rumsfeld, what a crazy pair.

In addition to the Jack Chick-level proselytizing about invading a Muslim Country, Rummy got his mitts deep into the disaster that was Katrina:

- Two days after Hurricane Katrina made landfall in New Orleans—and the same day that Bush viewed the damage on a flyover from his Crawford, Texas, retreat back to Washington—a White House advance team toured the devastation in an Air Force helicopter. Noticing that their chopper was outfitted with a search-and-rescue lift, one of the advance men said to the pilot, "We’re not taking you away from grabbing people off of rooftops, are we?"

"No, sir," said the pilot. He explained that he was from Florida’s Hurlburt Field Air Force base—roughly 200 miles from New Orleans—which contained an entire fleet of search-and-rescue helicopters. "I’m just here because you’re here," the pilot added. "My whole unit’s sitting back at Hurlburt, wondering why we’re not being used."

This while the Coast Guard was working tirelessly, with limited resources, rescuing people. The military helicopters were not being used because Don Rumsfeld was engaged in a turf war.

Even the tragically clueless George Bush saw the damage to his poll ratings and figured that out.

"Rumsfeld, what the hell is going on there? Are you watching what’s on television? Is that the United States of America or some Third World nation I’m watching? What the hell are you doing?"

[cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Seriously creepy

Via Frank Rich in this mornings NY Times Op-Ed -- as creepy as I always thought Rumsfeld was (he's getting lost in the creepiness of his chum Cheney at present) this is seriously fucked-up:

on the morning of Thursday, April 10, 2003, Donald Rumsfeld’s Pentagon prepared a top-secret briefing for George W. Bush. This document, known as the Worldwide Intelligence Update, was a daily digest of critical military intelligence so classified that it circulated among only a handful of Pentagon leaders and the president; Rumsfeld himself often delivered it, by hand, to the White House. The briefing’s cover sheet generally featured triumphant, color images from the previous days’ war efforts: On this particular morning, it showed the statue of Saddam Hussein being pulled down in Firdos Square, a grateful Iraqi child kissing an American soldier, and jubilant crowds thronging the streets of newly liberated Baghdad. And above these images, and just below the headline secretary of defense, was a quote that may have raised some eyebrows. It came from the Bible, from the book of Psalms: “Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him…To deliver their soul from death.”

This mixing of Crusades-like messaging with war imagery, which until now has not been revealed, had become routine. On March 31, a U.S. tank roared through the desert beneath a quote from Ephesians: “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” On April 7, Saddam Hussein struck a dictatorial pose, under this passage from the First Epistle of Peter: “It is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men.”

It gets worse. Starting off updates and slideshows on the progress of a military operation in a Muslim country by quoting the Christian Bible -- and then using words like "crusade" to describe the operation publicly.

Not just fucked up, but unbelievable tone deaf and offensive.

Talk about manufacturing reality.

The whole GQ article by Robert Draper is here.

The photo show with these actual briefing covers is here.

What really pleases the Villagers

Isn't policy, it's looking like you're "serious" about policy. Which means always treating "the left" as hopelessly naive and "unserious" (and to be fair the base-right as dumb, but at least they've earned it recently -- the left is "unserious" because "the left" was "right" about shit like, oh, Vietnam and Iraq and really, how fucking dare they).

"Serious" policy means being a dick. Oh, how they love the idea of big-bad-powerful America [in which they, the Villagers, get to hob nob, after all the frivolous people -- everyone else who isn't filthy rich or famous -- don't live there] compromising on moral idealism, like the people's right to know what it is the government has done, y'know since they're ostensibly the boss. Or that our centuries old legal system is just too fucked up to handle policies that came that way, no what we need is a "serious" person to just whip up something that doesn't rest on some centuries old time-tested system. Why that would be comically unserious.

It's so "serious".

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Brand Republican

Make him a face of the downward spiraling party, too. Why? Because like him, him, and him and him and him* and him and him, he's a creepy fossil.

And as a bonus, he's got a name straight out of Dickens.

*Nice sweater, dude.


It's raining again and I don't feel like doing much of anything, so I'm cleaning out my hard drive and deleting things I'd bookmarked, probably because I wanted to see how whatever prognosticating this particular person was performing would play out. I just came across this from June 2005:
Most of the other potential Democratic presidential nominees are also woefully inadequate. John Kerry could not successfully make the case against an incumbent who was an abject failure. John Edwards could not successfully make the case against the most corrupt vice president in American history. Russ Feingold and Barack Obama have about as much chance of being elected president as they have of becoming Imperial Klan Wizard. Evan Bayh is a Democrat only because the Republicans consider him too conservative. And then there is Joe Biden, who is the choice of those nostalgic liberals yearning to relive the 1984 Mondale campaign.
I also found an article by David Brooks about the bloody civil war into which the GOP would descend if Bush lost the 2004 election. The article's basically on target. Brooks was just four years early.

Update: Oh gawd, here's another one, this time from nutty Peggy Noonan during the height of the Republican Schiavo Clown Show:
A final note to the Republican leadership in the House and Senate: You have to pull out all the stops. You have to run over your chairmen if they're being obstructionist for this niggling reason and that. Run over their egos, run past their fatigue. You have to win on this. If you don't, you can't imagine how much you're going to lose. And from people who have faith in you.

Bill Frist and Tom DeLay and Jim Sensenbrenner and Denny Hastert and all the rest would be better off risking looking ridiculous and flying down to Florida, standing outside Terri Schiavo's room and physically restraining the poor harassed staff who may be told soon to remove her feeding tube, than standing by in Washington, helpless and tied in legislative knots, and doing nothing.

Issue whatever subpoena, call whatever witnesses, pass whatever emergency bill, but don't let this woman die.

Frist. DeLay. Sensenbrenner. Hastert. All but Tex ... gone and out of our hospital rooms, bedrooms, and lives. Forever.

I bet she's savoring that one, too.


If there's a more clear example of the moral depravity of the beltway outside of a Broder column than this, I haven't seen it.

Barack Obama warned Democrats in Congress against making a partisan cause out of the Bush administration's harsh interrogation tactics.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is ignoring him — loudly — and the party, from the president on down, may pay the price.

The whole column is that 'yeah bad shit happened' but it's time to move along, and besides when it all ends we'll make sure it's really the Democrats' fault.

Besides, nobody got a nob job in the Oval Office and that's what's really important.


What a lucky ducky I am. Being in my mid-40s, I missed out on "free-love" and decent drugs (okay I missed Vietnam too, but play along would you?), so I could worry about paraquat and AIDS scares.

And now this:

IN this recession, it is better to be old. Being young has some advantages, too.

But being in the middle of the spectrum — in your 30s or 40s — seems to be the worst place to be.

Of course, I should note that this particular age group is the MOST Republican. So you can't say as a whole we didn't earn our own fucking over.

Good job fellow peers!


Well, now we're really starting to get into Nazi-esque atrocity territory [Alert the Godwin Police] Some of these revelations are coming through the prosecution process in Spain (which despite the usual quality reporting of our media is still on-going):

...the Immediate Reaction Force or Emergency Reaction Force, but inside the walls of Guantánamo, it is known to the prisoners as the Extreme Repression Force...

The IRF teams "were fully approved at the highest levels [of the Bush administration], including the Secretary of Defense and with outside consultation of the Justice Department," says Scott Horton, one of the leading experts on U.S. Military and Constitutional law. This force "was designed to disabuse the prisoners of any idea that they would be free from physical assault while in U.S. custody," he says. "They were trained to brutally punish prisoners in a brief period of time, and ridiculous pretexts were taken to justify" the beatings...

Deghayes was eventually moved to Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, where he was beaten and "kept nude, as part of the process of humiliation due to his religion." U.S. personnel placed Deghayes "inside a closed box with a lock and limited air." He also described seeing U.S. guards sodomize an African prisoner and alleged guards "forced petrol and benzene up the anuses of the prisoners."

"The camp looked like the Nazi camps that I saw in films," Deghayes said.

A few years ago I would have looked skeptically on such reports, but I've learned to no longer doubt their possibility, if not probability. I don't have any doubt despite an Executive Order many abuses are still on-going -- if nothing less than out of habit.

So far we haven't "intentionally" gone and made an entire village of Muslims go out into the countryside and dig their own graves, strip down and lay in rows so we could sardine them (large scale bombings or missile launches on wedding parties and sleeping villagers excepted) but it may be a matter of time.

Of course, that's an over-exaggeration, but it's far too close to accurate for a nation's moral comfort.

Build more rails

No, not Atrios' beloved "supertrains", but more "third rails" of things that you cannot do out of complete and total fear. Thanks to the combination of the GOP loving the military irrationally and the way military spending is loved by all parties you cannot even slow the growth of the beast without accusations of being a wimp.

And, of course, that's not the only rail. You have to duly love the Jeebus; you have to love Social Security Reform --- but not too much; you have to hate drugs, but love drug companies.

And now, thanks to Bush, but not exactly being run away from by Obama, you really have to dislike those GITMO detainees.

Digby has a great post on all this -- the way the villagers just fall in line for supporting Dear Leader, no matter who Dear Leader is, making sure rights get limited -- how a legal system centuries old seems to be preordained without any evidence or logic to be unsuited as a trail court over whatever ad hoc shit the President can throw together, etc.

But the real reason is, politically, whoever is in power, thanks to Bush/Cheney rhetoric, is terrified we've created a bunch of folks who may not have originally been guilty of anything into resentful people who how REALLY hate America and will some day lash out against the country.

And woe to the politician who let that person get an actual day in court which absolved them from whatever trumped up crime we originally held them for.

12-dimensional chess, 12-dimensional chess!!

Actually more checkers-level sophistication but still rather humorous. Obama has identified one of the few sane and rational Republicans who might have run in 2012 and shipped him off to China.

President Barack Obama plans to name Utah Gov. Jon M. Huntsman Jr., a rapidly rising star in the Republican Party, as ambassador to China, a senior administration official said.

The move is freighted with political intrigue. Huntsman, who speaks fluent Mandarin Chinese, quickly emerged after November as one of the leading moderate GOP voices.

Huntsman is often mentioned as a potential Republican presidential candidate in 2012, although some of his advisers think the party primary voters will be more prepared to accept his moderate views on the environment and gay rights in 2016.

Yeah, as for those last two things, you might want to think in terms of Chinese Years and apply them to the "A.D." format before that will happen.

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Besweatered Co-Dependent


This is just sad:

Yeah, he's a real temperate fellow.

You think Joe had Mika undue that last button before airtime in linked picture? Oh yes, I think so.

(thanks to commenter Beefhart Liberal at FDL for reminding me of the "Iron my shirt" reference)

So, what will happen first?

Dick Cheney goes back into hiding...


Someone in the mainstream media actually has the temerity to ask him whether he ordered the torture of individuals to get post-hoc coerced false confessions justifying the Iraq invasion?

I'm guessing it will be the former, because there are too many unanswered questions about whether Nancy Pelosi signed off on waterboarding Miss California...or something.


Early in my youth I was for a few months, like many boys, a Cub Scout. I had the blue uniform and the yellow kerchief and the upside down wolfcub button that got righted when I took some silly oath (or something like that, I was 7 for cryin' out loud). It all seemed rather cool at the time. It was some boyhood ritual that you went through with your dad, only less frightening than when he taught you to ride a bike (thanks for the push straight into that tree old man!) or swim (tossed straight into the deep end with shouts of encouragement such as "live boy, live!"). But the best part was getting into Kansas City Royals games for cheap (well, everything's cheap when you're a kid and don't have to pay), the most pressured-filled part was remembering it was a "TWO" fingered salute (actually, that may have been dad's problem).

But after the baseball season ended, that was pretty much it for me and scouting. I never made it to Boy Scout and to his credit, my dad didn't really mind or push it on me. Blame it on Amos Otis (I still love that name all these years later) or something (probably moving to Minnesota).

So I've watched with more disdain than usual as I've seen the scouts become some sort of a freak organization that hates gays while simultaneously not having anything as delicious and overpriced as the girl scouts' cornered market on cookies (damn you, Tagalongs!)

But this, this is the final Rubicon.

The Explorers program, a coeducational affiliate of the Boy Scouts of America that began 60 years ago, is training thousands of young people in skills used to confront terrorism, illegal immigration and escalating border violence — an intense ratcheting up of one of the group’s longtime missions to prepare youths for more traditional jobs as police officers and firefighters.

You used to be able to do a simple test of America by saying Germany had the "Hitler Youth", we have the "Boy Scouts".

The gap used to be a hell of a lot wider.

Serve it cold Hillary

The irony is almost as thick as the ugliness and stupidity...almost:

Savage is seeking help from an old nemesis: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The San Fransisco Chronicle’s Rich Lieberman reports that “[l]awyers for Savage are formally asking [that] she call on the British Government to withdraw its ban.” It’s interesting that Savage is now turning to Clinton for help, considering what he has had to say about her in the past. Some examples:

– “Hillary Clinton, the most Godless woman in the Senate.”

– Regarding one of Clinton’s speeches: “That’s rubbish. That’s Hitler dialogue. Goebbels would be proud of you, Hillary Clinton. I know Mao Zedong would have been proud of you.”

– “[Clinton has] destroyed the war effort against terror. And if, God forbid, a suitcase bomb goes off you’ll know who to blame.”

– On Clinton’s run for the presidency: “[She would] stir up a race war, a civil war in the country to get that hag, that harridan elected.”

Savage also once suggested that Clinton had something to do with the death of John F. Kennedy Jr. so she could run for U.S. Senate in New York.

I'm reminded of Rush Limbaugh getting help from the ACLU to stay out of jail (or was to march in Skokie?)

Moral Monster

Charles Krauthammer took the Hippocratic Oath. But spelled it wrong. The psychiatrist wrote in September 2006 that we needed to bomb Iran within one year or they'd bomb us. How'd that moral shortcut work out? He's also had a long-time chubby for torture.

Moral monster.

So why change? Krauthammer says the "ticking timebomb" scenario exists, and here's the totality of his defense:

On Oct. 9, 1994, Israeli Cpl. Nachshon Waxman was kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists. The Israelis captured the driver of the car. He was interrogated with methods so brutal that they violated Israel's existing 1987 interrogation guidelines, which themselves were revoked in 1999 by the Israeli Supreme Court as unconscionably harsh. The Israeli prime minister who ordered this enhanced interrogation (as we now say) explained without apology: "If we'd been so careful to follow the [1987] Landau Commission [guidelines], we would never have found out where Waxman was being held."

So is Krauthammer forgetting anything? Yeah, the bottom line:

Israeli forces located Wachsman in a West Bank house, which they stormed in an effort to free him, but his captors killed him as the raid began. One Israeli soldier and three kidnappers were also killed.

So the only example Krauthammer can come up with is one that failed. Well, a lot of people died, including the hostage, but I guess as long as there's death, mission (and emission no doubt) accomplished. Furthermore, the torture Krauthammer loves so much is still illegal in Israel, there is no "ticking timebomb" exception. Naturally Krauthammer also ignores the Bush Administration torturing people post-hoc to justify the deaths of thousands of people by coercing false confessions.

Moral Monster.

(pic via Sadly, No)

[cross-posted at Firedoglake]