Thursday, June 30, 2005

Bring back the ORANGE alert

'Cause Chimpy's the suck!
President Bush’s televised address to the nation produced no noticeable bounce in his approval numbers, with his job approval rating slipping a point from a week ago, to 43%, in the latest Zogby International poll. And, in a sign of continuing polarization, more than two-in-five voters (42%) say they would favor impeachment proceedings if it is found the President misled the nation about his reasons for going to war with Iraq...

...A large majority of Democrats (59%) say they agree that the President should be impeached if he lied about Iraq, while just three-in-ten (30%) disagree. Among President Bush’s fellow Republicans, a full one-in-four (25%) indicate they would favor impeaching the President under these circumstances, while seven-in-ten (70%) do not. Independents are more closely divided, with 43% favoring impeachment and 49% opposed.

Gee, what a surprise. I guess there was not enough "spontaneous" applause.

Do Not feed the Derbyshire

Obeying restraining orders as usual.

World Net Daily Story of the Even Nearer Future

Internet blogger magazine publisher taken into custody for heavy-handed, not particularly funny satirical article.

As he was being taken away by the police, the un-American liberal writer could only be heard screaming "Wolverines!" for no particular reason.

World Net Daily Stories of the Future

Attractive White Teenage Female, who had pledged abstinence to the Christian God, eaten by sharks -- sharks trained by Al Qaeda -- off the coast of Florida.

Here is a picture of the attacker!

Jeb Bush refuses to declare dead, keeps shark scat connected to food tube, orders Boyfriend, a registered Democrat investigated for encouraging swimming only one hour and fifty-three minutes after eating.

Recruiting Shananigans

That's right, I CALL SHANANIGANS!!!

From Kos and Swopa actually:

Early last month, the Army, with no public notice, lowered its long-stated May goal to 6,700 recruits from 8,050. Compared with the original target, the Army achieved only 62.6 percent of its goal for the month.

Army officials defended the shift on Tuesday, saying it was not uncommon to change monthly goals at midyear. They said that the latest change reflected the reality that the Army was not going to meet its May goal, and that it made more sense to shift some of that quota to the summer months, traditionally a better season for recruiters to attract new high school graduates.

"We typically reallocate monthly goals during the course of the year," said Lt. Col. Bryan Hilferty, an Army spokesman, who said that the Army still expected to meet its overall annual goal of shipping 80,000 new recruits to boot camp. "The summer is relatively easier for recruiting."

Remember this when there is trumpeting about meeting their goals. The Summer is supposed to make recruiting easier.

With a Chair!

Molly Ivins:
The vote on invading Iraq was 77 to 23 in the Senate and 296 to 133 in the House. By that time, some liberals did question the wisdom of invasion because: A) Iraq had nothing to do with 9-11 and B) it looked increasingly unlikely that Iraq actually had great stores of weapons of mass destruction, since the United Nations inspectors, who were on the ground, couldn't find any sign of them -- even though Donald Rumsfeld claimed we knew exactly where they were.

Since my name is Molly Ivins and I speak for myself, I'll tell you exactly why I opposed invading Iraq: because I thought it would be bad for this country, our country, my country. I opposed the invasion out of patriotism, and that is the reason I continue to oppose it today -- I think it is bad for us. I think it has done nothing but harm to the United States of America. I think we have created more terrorists than we faced to start with and that our good name has been sullied all over the world. I think we have alienated our allies and have killed more Iraqis than Saddam Hussein ever did.

I did not oppose the war because I like Saddam Hussein. I have been active in human rights work for 30 years, and I told you he was a miserable s.o.b. back in the '80s, when our government was sending him arms.

I did not oppose the war because I am soft on terrorists or didn't want to get Osama bin Laden. To the contrary, I thought it would be much more useful to get bin Laden than to invade Iraq -- which, once again, had nothing to do with 9-11. I believe the case now stands proved that this administration used 9-11 as a handy excuse to invade Iraq, which it already wanted to do for other reasons.

It is one thing for a political knife-fighter like Karl Rove to impugn the patriotism of people who disagree with him: We have seen this same crappy tactic before, just as we have seen administration officials use 9-11 for political purposes again and again. But how many times are the media going to let them get away with it?

The first furious assault on the patriotism of Democrats came right after the 9-11 commission learned President Bush had received a clear warning in August 2001 that Osama bin Laden was planning a hijacking.

Batten down the hatches: This is the beginning of an administration push to jack up public support for the war in Iraq by attacking anyone with enough sense to raise questions about how it's going.

God wouldn't let his "other" son down...

In the wake of the Bush Administration's shameful lack of funding for the Veterans Administration to deal with war casualties, Digby reminds us of one of the most incredible claims about Dear Leader:
Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson says he warned President Bush before U.S. troops invaded Iraq that the United States would sustain casualties but that Bush responded, "Oh, no, we're not going to have any casualties."

White House and campaign advisers denied Bush made the comment, with adviser Karen Hughes saying, "I don't believe that happened. He must have misunderstood or misheard it."


Robertson, in an interview with CNN that aired Tuesday night, said God had told him the war would be messy and a disaster. When he met with Bush in Nashville, Tenn., before the war Bush did not listen to his advice, Robertson said, and believed Saddam Hussein was an evil tyrant who needed to be removed.

"He was just sitting there, like, 'I'm on top of the world,' and I warned him about this war," Robertson said.

"I had deep misgivings about this war, deep misgivings. And I was trying to say, 'Mr. President, you better prepare the American people for casualties.' 'Oh, no, we're not going to have any casualties.' 'Well,' I said, 'it's the way it's going to be.' And so, it was messy. The Lord told me it was going to be, A, a disaster and, B, messy."

Now, of course, both of these scrotum tuggers (feel free to use that one in your own posts) are delusional, as each thinks God communicates with them directly. But if Robertson is telling the truth, what an incredible statement -- and considering who it comes from, it is still shocking that more coverage wasn't given to this incredible bit of naivete, so profound that it would almost require committment papers.

Unleash the Blogs of War!

Dear Leader gives some red meat to the 101st Keyboarders in the London Times (the paper right-wingers love, except when it comes to the Downing Street documents):

Perhaps most revealing is his response to a question about Iran. His words are polite but the President’s body language is eloquent. As I read him a quote from the latest rantings of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian President, and remind him that the Iranian President was a leader of the students who took Americans hostage in Tehran in 1979, he is visibly agitated. He glances at his advisers with a look of disgust that suggests that the chances of a diplomatic solution to the Iranian nuclear crisis are remoter than ever.

War, huh, what is it good for?
Well my ratings for somethin'
Good gawd y'all

Bank of America buying MBNA

According to MSNBC.

I hope Joe Biden is comfortable with his new custodial parent.

Your President Ladies and Gentlemen

From AFP:

June 28, 2005

President George W. Bush might be celebrating his 59th birthday at next week's G8 summit in Scotland, but he will politely rebuff attempts to mark the event with the country's culinary delicacy, haggis.

"Yes, haggis, I was briefed on haggis," Bush said in an interview with Britain's Times newspaper when asked if he was tempted to try the dish, a concoction of chopped meat and oatmeal wrapped in a sheep's stomach, adding: "No."

August 6, 2001

"Bin Laden Determined to Strike U.S.?. Meh, I'm staying on vacation."

"Enough of this briefing. Dammit...

It's been 15 minutes, where the hell are my SpaghettiOs?!"

For those of you wondering whether economics makes you age gracefully.*

"Hmmm, what'll it be tonight, missionary, doggy-style, or trapeze act?"

Cloning goes too far, with Mini Powell, and Colin Hulk. "Grrrrr, Colin Mildly Angry, must gesticulate and act all disdainful, bend paperclip...grrrr"

*Chicago School only


Gee, being a main player in the greatest election scandal in more than a century, if not ever, sure doesn't come with all the perks she bargained for:

Frustrated with the White House and a key Republican, supporters of Rep. Katherine Harris' (R-Fla.) 2006 Senate campaign lashed out at the administration yesterday for seeking to convince another prominent GOP official to enter the race.

"It's unimaginable that the White House folks and the National Republican Senatorial Committee would be so disloyal to Katherine Harris, especially after all she has done for the Bush family and the Republican Party," a Florida political operative who supports Harris said. "It's unconscionable and a stab in the back."

Perhaps if she worked for Halliburton the payoff would be better.

There is hope

For nearly forty years Spain along with its neighbor Portugal, was under the yoke of the last of the fascist Dictatorships, the long-dying Francisco Franco. Under Franco Spain was if nothing else the most outwardly catholic and conservative of nations -- a veritable Opus Die Fantasy Camp. Among the things that were illegal were:


Perhaps not surprising in a nation that had a history of conservative repression, think "Spanish Inquisition", mixed with foreign intervention from the Moors to Napolean. The left and right in Spain engaged in a death struggle in the 30s, with the Republic (the left) eventually losing out to the Nazi-backed Franco.

Thirty years ago, Franco died and Spain has grown more and more progressive in return.

Yesterday, Spain, following on the heels of Canada, approved Gay Marriage.

This was despite the strong opposition of the Catholic Church.

Telling are the polls which show that 7 out of 10 spaniards supported legalizing Gay Marriage.

This movement cannot be stopped, the right-wing surge is going to recede and this, and other progressive steps will come.

Let's hope it starts in 2006, I think it will.


Dear Popenfaust;

Well, it appears your appeal to the Spanish to tell those gay folks to continue to live in doubled sin did not work too well. And then, the Canadians, who I noticed you did not say frippin' squat about, came out and allowed those with "the gay" to marry too.

I guess my first question is, do you care more about Spain than Canada? Why would that be? Is it because efforts at the "Canadian Inquisition" never got beyond the famous battle over "slashing" versus "high-sticking"?

Second, if "living together" without marriage is also a sin, which is worse, heterosexuals living "in sin" or gay people living in sin, and if you don't allow gay people to marry, are you not propogating sin one way or the other?

My final question is, where is your magic pope-machine going to go next?

And next time, could you maybe think about condemning war a little bit more please?

Guten tag.

Sweet Deals

Nice use of tax dollars, I'm guessing they were a major contributor to Chimp 2000 and 2004.

The money was spent in the name of improving security at the nation's airports:

· $526.95 for one phone call from the Hyatt Regency O'Hare in Chicago to Iowa City.

· $1,180 for 20 gallons of Starbucks Coffee -- $3.69 a cup -- at the Santa Clara Marriott in California.

· $1,540 to rent 14 extension cords at $5 each per day for three weeks at the Wyndham Peaks Resort and Golden Door Spa in Telluride, Colo.

· $8,100 for elevator operators at the Marriott Marquis in Manhattan.

· $5.4 million claimed for nine months' salary for the chief executive of an "event logistics" firm that received a contract before it was incorporated and went out of business after the contract ended.

Those details are contained in a federal audit that calls into question $303 million of the $741 million spent to assess and hire airport passenger screeners for the newly created Transportation Security Administration after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

I'm familiar with Iowa City, there is nothing worth calling there for $527, Kirk Ferentz is simply not much of a talker.

$8,100 for elevator operators? I guess that's a nice way of saying $100 each for 81 hookers.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Lyin' Sacks o' Crap

From Think Progress we learn that the Bush Administration and their lackeys even lie about Bono....NOoooooooooooooooooooo!

A State Department release from Monday doctored remarks from U2’s Bono, twisting his quote to mean the very opposite of what he apparently believes. Here’s the State Department paragraph, two graphs below the lede [excerpt appears exactly as published]:

Bono, lead singer of the Irish band U2 and longtime activist for aid to Africa, echoed Geldof’s praise for President Bush as he told an American television interviewer June 26, “[Bush] has already doubled and tripled aid to Africa .… I think he has done an incredible job, his administration, on AIDS. 250,000 Africans are on anti-viral drugs; they literally owe their lives to America.”

In fact, Bono only said the latter half of that quote during his appearance on Meet the Press last Sunday. The first part — “[Bush] has already doubled and tripled aid to Africa” — is deceptively transplanted from an interview Bono did with Time magazine that Tim Russert quoted on the show, and the State Department has taken it entirely out of context. Here’s the full quote:

Question: Which of the G8 leaders do you think remains the toughest nut to crack?

Bono: The most important and toughest nut is still President Bush. He feels he’s already doubled and tripled aid to Africa, which he started from far too low a place. He can stand there and say he paid at the office already. He shouldn’t because he’ll be left out of the history books. But it’s hard for him because of the expense of the war and the debts.

Lie 8.

"I looked into his eyes and saw his soul"

No wonder Dear Leader gets along with Vlad:

Russian President Vladimir Putin walked off with New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft's diamond-encrusted 2005 Super Bowl ring, but was it a generous gift or a very expensive international misunderstanding?

Following a meeting of American business executives and Putin at Konstantinovsky Palace near St. Petersburg on June 25, Kraft showed the ring to Putin -- who tried it on, put it in his pocket and left, according to Russian news reports.

It wasn't clear if Kraft, whose business interests include paper and packaging companies and venture capital investments, intended that Putin keep the ring.

A Call to Snark

Apparently the recent Supreme Court decision on eminent domain has triggered more than a few efforts of developers to take action making a political statement. One such developer wants Justice David Souter's land. Which is sad, because frankly its not like Souter has much of a life outside of the court other than his family home. But mostly it's kind of funny.

But why stop there? If the new standard is private property can be seized by private developers through the government if it serves a public benefit there is only one thing to do.

Calling on George Soros and a wide variety of progressive investors, I suggest we apply to the McLennan County, Texas zoning board for the commercial use of 2,000 acres for a public benefit of substantial need.


Sure it might end up depriving Dear Leader of the Western White House, but dammit, this is science and it would employe so many, many people. It would be good for Crawford, Texas; Good for McLennan County; Good for Texas; Good for America.

I'm sure Mr. Bush won't mind, is he an america hater?

And now for the Entertainment

I could not help but notice at the intersection of Cheerleader Street & Conscientious Enabler Avenue this little exchange from K-Lo:

Also from the inbox: "K- Lo, This is about the fourth time I have written to you and Jonah about the spelling of 'occasionally.' Notice the number of "es's." I count one. How many do you count?"
Posted at 05:49 AM

Ah, yes, the spelling police, run with a flabby fist by Lopez. Of course, this came before the lecture:

Or we were talking about Bush, Canada gave same-sex "marriage" and embrace.
Posted at 10:59 PM
(emphasis added)

Holy Shite!

Jim Nicholson is a GOP shill who has been known to tell a lie or two to say the least. And I think there is a solid lie within this as well, but still WOW, just WOW, this is disturbing:
As the numbers of U.S. war injured in Iraq and Afghanistan soared, the Bush administration admitted to lawmakers on Tuesday it had underestimated funds to cover health care costs for veterans and Congress would have to plug a $2.6 billion hole.

"The bottom line is there is a surge in demand in VA (health) services across the board," said Veterans Affairs Secretary James Nicholson.

The Veterans Administration assumed it would have to take care of 23,553 patients who are veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan but that number had been revised upward to 103,000, Nicholson told a House of Representatives panel.

Nicholson told a House Appropriations subcommittee that his agency's estimate of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans in need of health care services was now four times greater than thought.

The updated figures underscored how the costs of the Iraq war, approaching $300 billion, were rippling through other parts of a federal budget already under tight spending limits.

Nicholson's testimony, coming after his assurance to Congress in April that veterans' health programs were being adequately funded, angered some lawmakers.

They estimated 23,000 in APRIL 2005 --- Two months later it turned out to be 103,000!!! The lie of Nicholson is undoubtedly the "accross the board" reference to the use of services. It's unlikely that Vietnam and peacetime vets are running to the VA in a huge surge.

I'm not a conspiracist on the unreported deaths issue -- but something unreported is obviously going on when it comes to "wounded". Sure would be nice if the media looked into this before Atrios has to call for another conference on blogger ethics.

Nobody ever sings, "Take me out to the Douchebags"

From Sally Jenkins at the Washington Post on some GOP reaction to George Soros being part of a group making a bid on the Washington Nationals:

You can't help wondering what's behind the outrageous attack on Soros, who isn't even a major partner in the bid for the Nats. (Local entrepreneur Jon Ledecky is the real bidder.) Isn't it strange that rival bidder Fred Malek, the head of the Washington Baseball club, just happens to be a very big GOP fundraiser? And isn't it strange that, in a telephone interview, Davis went out of his way to praise Malek's bid? And isn't it strange that these attacks on Soros from Republicans came on the very day that Ledecky and his partners were being interviewed by MLB?

Davis doesn't bother to hide his agenda. He says straight out that baseball needs to cultivate some good will on Capitol Hill at the moment, given the steroid investigations, and that selling the team to billionaire Soros, a critic of President Bush and a massive financial supporter of liberal causes, would anger him...

...But Davis has another problem with Soros, too. He's an "out of towner." Listening to Davis, you wonder if he's next going to say Soros's Hungarian accent is too thick.

"I mean, to me, Soros is the guy who has so much money and wants to buy the world," Davis said. "I mean that's not what baseball's about. This is above all a fan sport. This is the Nationals, and they're going to give it to some multinational?"...

Read the whole article, it is quite the smackdown. Typical that today's sports columnist are better at addressing the GOP's incredible imbecility than political columnists.

Apparently, this is how things have progressed

Bush's speech last night demonstrated we've gone from:

Clap Louder,


Please clap a little.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Pop Music Link(s)

My friends in these dark times of faux leadership from the feckless wonder, the one and only declarin' victory bag o' crap, mission accomplished lying douche bag (an insult to hygiene products to be sure) George W. Bush, we need occasional fun and enjoyment to take our minds off this tragedy.

To that end I recommend playing around with the selections from the Rock Snob's Dictionary at the Rock Snob website. You can also get a look at the rock snob term of the day.

But the most terrifying thing about the rock snob site is the sheer number of entries I was able to identify, which only confirms my worst fears about myself!

Although while I am at it, check out this Music Map site. It is also fun. Put in the name of a band and watch the map spread out. It almost makes you forget who much of screw up dear leader is. Almost.

The next Roves?

From Max Blumenthal at the nation, we learn about the next generation of Karl Roves and right wing jihadists. And its not pretty. I can't imagine that anything having to do with holy war training grounds known as the college republicans would be anything resembling civility.

As I settled in my seat for an afternoon of speeches at the College Republican National Convention, I felt something crunch. It was an empty can of Busch Light, one of many strewn across the paisley-carpeted floor of the banquet hall in northern Virginia's Crystal City Gateway Marriott.

All around me sat the Republican Party's future leaders: fresh-faced, nondescript white guys in blue suits, and slender blond girls in miniskirts and snug-fitting blazers, some with halter tops underneath. Later, these conservative cadres would vote for the next chairman of the College Republican National Committee (CRNC). It was the closest race since 1973, when a bespectacled boy genius named Karl Rove was elected.

On June 24 conventiongoers were treated to speeches from conservative stars like House majority leader Tom DeLay; antitax zealot Grover Norquist, who called Senator John McCain a "nut job" for compromising on Bush's judge picks; and black right-winger Jesse Lee Peterson, who announced that "most black people--not all, but most--can't think for themselves."

The high point of the day, however, belonged to the movement's favorite red-diaper baby, David Horowitz. Horowitz reminded his fawning audience that he could "be sitting at home in the coastal mountains of California, watching horses and rabbits run across my neighbor's yard." Instead he chose to appear for free before a bunch of College Republicans because, as he told them, "The future of the free peoples of the world depends on the Republican Party--and ultimately it depends on you."

Don't ask what you can do for your country, ask what you can do for the republican party.

Tweety, even worse than I imagined

I didn't watch much, but talk about your "Fair and Balanced", getting reactions to Dear Leaders speech at an Evangelical Baptist Church.

Oh, yeah, that will give you a good "cross-section" of the populace.

Same old, Same Old

This was a poor rehash of old sloganering. It had two cardinal sins.

1. It failed to deliver a "PLAN";

2. It was B-O-R-I-N-G!!!

There was a strange moment, 25 minutes in, where for the first time the crowd applauded (politely) ... like they turned on a sign, or somebody gave them an order (more than likely someone wanted to stay awake and the rest followed).

The final count,


September 11th............. 5



Bin Laden.................. 2

Zarqawi.................... 2

Obviously, I'm biased (does thinking Bush a criminally incompetent boob and stooge make me biased or discerning?) but this speech is going nowhere.

Apparently ABC News is reporting the awkward applause was initiated by a White House advance team member, Kelly O'Donnell on NBC confirms.

Oh, gawd, that's funny...and pathetic.


Chris Albritton, who is actually in Iraq -- doing journalism -- as opposed to say Sean Hannity, puts the smackdown to Bush Administration happy talk...and how (but mostly its just awful):

Since returning, it feels like I'm listening to the same record I've been listening to for a year, only with the volume turned up. Donald Rumsfeld, the American Secretary of Defense, says U.S. is winning the war and that the media are focusing too much on bad news. I know this because the press releases from the American Forces Information Network tell me so:

Progress in Iraq Takes Back Seat to Violence in Media, Rumsfeld Says
By Petty Officer 3rd Class John R. Guardiano, USN
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 26, 2005 – The “solid progress” being made in Iraq seldom gets the same level of media attention as terrorist killings and beheadings there, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said today...

...The secretary said the American people can be optimistic about a good outcome in Iraq, but the optimism must be tempered with an understanding of reality. “We have to recognize that it's a tough, tough, tough world, and there are going to be bumps in the road between now and then,” he said.

“Bumps in the road”? Just earlier today, presumably before the Iraqi journalist was killed, an Iraqi member of parliament was killed in a car bomb attack. I can't even begin to tell you how many Iraqis have been killed in the weeks I was away. And how many more Iraqis, journalists or otherwise, will die because the Americans can't tell who's friend or foe? Those aren't “bumps in the road.” Those are signs that you went off the road without a map a long time ago.

Where do you even begin combatting the head-in-the-sandism, brazen propaganda and revisionism of the above release. (By the way, it's about the fourth or fifth one I've received in the last few days touting the same theme, apparently in concert with President Bush's push to let Americans know that everything is going hunky-dory.)

News flash: Iraq is a disaster. I've been back one day, and the airport road was the worst I've ever seen it. We had to go around a fire-fight between mujahideen and Americans while Iraqi forces sat in the shade of date palms on the side of the road, their rifles resting across their laps. My driver pointed to a group of men in a white pickup next to me. “They are mujahideen,” he said. “They are watching the Americans.” Indeed, they were, and so intently that they paid no attention to me in the car next to them. We detoured around two possible car bombs that had been cordoned off while Iraqis cautiously approached.

Rumsfeld's assessment of “good progress” on the constitution is not accurate, as the committee to draw it up still hasn't completely agreed on how the Sunnis will take part.

When I was in Ramadi, I found the morale to be lower than expected. It wasn't rock-bottom among the Marines of the 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, but it wasn't great. Most of the ones I talked to weren't confident they were doing anything worthwhile, and were instead focused on getting home alive. If a few Iraqis had to die to make that happen, well, war is hell.

I'm not sure who's winning this war, the Americans or the insurgents. But I know who is losing it: the Iraqi people. Those bumps in the road are their graves.


I had to read that story about the airport road a few times to make sure it was as awful and bizarre as it reads...and it is.

One Year Ago

One reason Dear Leader speaks tonight is that he can falsely brag about one-year of Iraqi sovereignty. Here's a part of a post I did on June 28, 2004:

Going through more photos from today, it does appear that not just Iraq but the entire world is as usual FUBAR.

George Bush adjusts Pickles "Stepford" circuitry, successfully hitting the "more smilin'" button.

John Negroponte takes a preemptive oath in Baghdad, swearing he will not know anything about any civilian deaths that happen in the next several months.

Dear Mr. President, please get me the fuck out of this shithole. Sincerely, Paul.

Not seen on this letter. "P.S., Take out Garbage, pick your socks up off the floor, put the toilet lid down. P.P.S. I think Pickles knows."


Via Holden, who I am sure will have more details later, little Spanky McSpokesman is laying out the whopper today...a whopper I have no doubt Bush will try to slip into his address tonight.


When asked if the president is willing to admit that there is no specific Iraqi link to what happened on 9/11, McClellan responded that Iraq was a state sponsor of terrorism and that Iraq shared the ideology of those that participated in the 9/11 attacks.

Of course, someone actually managed to get Chimpy to state plainly in September 2003:

"No, we've had no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved with September the 11th."

Watch for the not so subtle attempts to imply Saddam was involved in 9/11 tonight. Count on it!

Shelby Foote RIP

Noted Southern writer and even more noted Civil War Historian, Shelby Foote has died.

Many of you remember him as the backbone of Ken Burns "The Civil War" documentary. I read Foote's civil war trilogy and liked it very much, an excellent companion to James McPherson's "Battle Cry of Freedom" in that Foote writes from a southern perspective, but not as an apologists.

On the other hand, I could be wrong about that last sentence.

Outline for the Preznit

Naturally, it will all be written out in crayon on the teleprompter, but I'm guess the structure will be...

I. Stay the Course

II. 9/11

III. Freedom on the March

* Wait for Mandatory "H00-ah" *


IV. They Hate our Freedom

V. Times are tough, more must die to make me look better.

VI. Things will get better.

VII. Stay the Course

VIII. 9/11

IX. Who else here hates Iran?

* Again, wait for pre-ordered "Hoo-ah" *


X. Stay the Course

XI. 9/11

XII. Don't be a Freedom Hater

XIII. God Bless America


"Shit, we forgot Fredo!"


I predict these will be the statements of Chris "Tweety" Matthews right after Bush finishes malapropalooza:

"Well there you have it. A very forceful and confident sounding George W. Bush, before the troops of the 82nd Airborne at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. I thought this was Bush at his best tonight. He obviously is very comfortable with the troops, and gains strength from their presence, and they seem to like him very much. No wonder Bush does so well in all the current polling."

That's my prediction, it will be just that sickening. And to anyone who actually watches it, it will seem a ridiculous thing to say. But that's Tweety.

I won't be watching MSNBC, but those who do, let me know how my prediction comes out.

We may not have enough troops in Iraq...

But you know Dear Leader will be able to summon enough of them to use as props tonight. After all, in explaining the war, who could be more compliant than those ordered to give the appropriately timed "hoo-ahh".

Worked swell for the thes guy on the far left:

Of course, Dear Leader will get to stand on a platform so he is always higher than the troops.

This will likely work about as well. Especially given what he is allegedly going to talk about:
Faced with polls showing public doubts that the situation in Iraq is improving, President Bush will emphasize in an address on Tuesday night that there is a "clear path to victory" and urge Americans to maintain their resolve, the White House spokesman, Scott McClellan, said Monday.

Mr. Bush will speak to the nation at 8 p.m. from Fort Bragg, N.C., before an audience of hundreds of troops. ABC said it would carry the address live. CBS and NBC said they had yet to decide. Tuesday is the first anniversary of the formal transfer of sovereignty to the Iraqis after the American-led invasion.

Mr. McClellan suggested that Mr. Bush would not signal any change in military or diplomatic strategy. Instead, he said, the president will emphasize that Iraq is making progress despite the mounting loss of life, and that the United States cannot allow the understandable concern about the violent insurgency to deter it from completing the job.

Mr. McClellan said Mr. Bush would "be talking in a very specific way" about his strategy of training and equipping Iraqis to defend themselves while encouraging them to move ahead with the writing of a constitution and the establishment of a stable democracy....

I'm betting when they say in a "very specific way" we will hear lie after lie, and that's about it as far as specifics go.

The Wounded Army

Yes, Kerry has an editorial in the NY Times today...and its more worthwhile than John Tierney's vomitus. The Board also has a solid editorial of what Bush should say. However, this is the editorial you should read, from Lucian Truscott IV on the Army's pending loss of experienced junior officers, looking too much like his class, the class of 1969:

...the honor code broke down before our eyes as staff and faculty jobs at West Point began filling with officers returning from Vietnam. Some had covered their uniforms with bogus medals and made their careers with lies - inflating body counts, ignoring drug abuse, turning a blind eye to racial discrimination, and worst of all, telling everyone above them in the chain of command that we were winning a war they knew we were losing. The lies became embedded in the curriculum of the academy, and finally in its moral DNA.

By the time we were seniors, honor court verdicts could be fixed, and there was organized cheating in some units. A few years later, nearly an entire West Point class was implicated in cheating on an engineering exam; the breakdown was complete.

The mistake the Army made then is the same mistake it is making now: how can you educate a group of handpicked students at one of the best universities in the world and then treat them as if they are too stupid to know when they have been told a lie?

I've seen the results firsthand. I have met many lieutenants who have served in Bosnia, Afghanistan and Iraq, practically back to back. While everyone in a combat zone is risking his or her life, these junior officers are the ones leading foot patrols and convoys several times a day. Recruiting enough privates for the endless combat rotations is a problem the Army may gamble its way out of with enough money and a struggling economy. But nothing can compensate for losing the combat-hardened junior officers.

In the fall of 2003 I was embedded with the 101st Airborne Division in northern Iraq, and its West Point lieutenants were among the most gung-ho soldiers I have ever encountered, yet most were already talking about getting out of the Army. I talked late into one night with a muscular first lieutenant with a shaved head and a no-nonsense manner who had stacks of Foreign Affairs, The New Yorker and The Atlantic under his bunk. He had served in Bosnia and Afghanistan, and he was disgusted with what he had seen in Iraq by December 2003.

"I feel like politicians have created a difficult situation for us," he told me. "I know I'm going to be coming back here about a year from now. I want to get married. I want to have a life. But I feel like if I get out when my commitment is up, who's going to be coming here in my place? I feel this obligation to see it through, but everybody over here knows we're just targets. Sooner or later, your luck's going to run out."...

...The problem the Army created in Vietnam has never really been solved. If you keep faith with soldiers and tell them the truth even when it threatens their beliefs, you run the risk of losing them. But if you peddle cleverly manipulated talking points to people who trust you not to lie, you won't merely lose them, you'll break their hearts.

Perhaps this is a problem calling for Private Jonah?

An Amazingly Unpopular President

From CNN:

The number of Americans disapproving of President Bush's job performance has risen to the highest level of his presidency, according to the CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll released Monday.

According to the poll, 53 percent of respondents said they disapproved of Bush's performance, compared to 45 percent who approved.

The margin of error was plus or minus 3 percentage points.

The 53 percent figure was the highest disapproval rating recorded in the CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll since Bush became president in January 2001.

Well, look what we have here...

Just in time for the last malaprop laden flop from Bush (sure to be referred to by Chris Matthews as 'the President at his best!') a nice little summation on the FRONT page of the Washington Post:

Behind the scenes, British officials believed the U.S. administration was already committed to a war that they feared was ill-conceived and illegal and could lead to disaster.

The documents indicate that the officials foresaw a host of problems that later would haunt both governments -- including thin intelligence about the nature of the Iraqi threat, weak public support for war and a lack of planning for the aftermath of military action. British cabinet ministers, Foreign Office diplomats, senior generals and intelligence service officials all weighed in with concerns and reservations. Yet they could not dissuade their counterparts in the Bush administration -- nor, indeed, their own leader -- from going forward.

Therein lies the beginning of a substantial article about the documents known as the Downing Street Memos (though its really more than a half-dozen documents from several months before the war). The article states it was substantiated by several officials on both sides, none of whom questioned the documents' authenticity (that one is especially for you Cap'n).

British concerns over the direction of Iraq policy began long before July 2002. By the end of January of that year, officials said, the British Embassy in Washington informed London that U.S. military planning for an invasion of Iraq had begun...

The article is more tilted toward the British view of the matter with Washington natureally, but it reveals that Washington was determined to have their little war, and myopic with their plans for afterward. In other words, the usual Bush Administration Bullshit.

Monday, June 27, 2005

For those who give a shit

I write this only in disgust.

According to the worst executed idea for a television show ever...

Ronald Reagan is a "greater" American than:

...Abraham Lincoln
...Martin Luther King
...George Washington
...Benjamin Franklin

And everyone else who was ever an American in history, including but not limited to, Franklin or Theodore Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Gertrude Stein, Thomas Jefferson, Dwight Eisenhower, Harriet Tubman, George Marshall, U.S. Grant, Sojourner Truth, Fredrick Douglass, John Adams, and, of course, and especially, you.

May I be the first to barf?

Another Lie

It seems just like last month that Newsweek was in trouble over Korans and toilets.

Numerous Republican congress people made statements like all these people are killers who want to destroy the U.S.

Except of course, these fellows:

Seventeen former prisoners at Guantanamo Bay who were detained on their return home to Pakistan were freed, with many alleging they had witnessed the desecration of the Koran at the US jail.

The men came back to Pakistan around nine months ago after being cleared by US authorities. They were finally released from a Pakistani jail after promising not to take part in militant activities.

"American soldiers have been committing desecration of the holy Koran at Guantanamo," Haifz Ehsan Saeed, 27, told AFP as he emerged from the central jail in the city of Lahore.

"There were various incidents. Once I saw them throw the Koran in a bucket full of urine and faeces," he said.

Saeed said he was arrested four years ago in Afghanistan on charges of having links with the Al-Qaeda terror network. He was kept in a jail run by brutal Afghan warlord Abdul Rashid Dostam and then shifted to Guantanamo.

"The Americans declared me innocent but yet I have been in prison for about nine months in Rawalpindi and Lahore after being released from Guantanamo Bay," he said.

Oh, well.

Speak Judy, Bark like a Dog

No Supreme Court review of CIA Leak case.

So, with thanks to Dudehisattva we can dream of this:

Hmmm, doesn't seem bloated enough.

Last Throe

Apparently, when Dick "Chuck Hegel is a Traitor" Cheney speaks of last throes he is talking "geological time". How this concept plays with the evangelical "young earth" crowd we will have to see.

Rummy yesterday:

Rumsfeld, addressing a question about whether US troops levels are adequate to vanquish the increasingly violent resistance, said, "We're not going to win against the insurgency. The Iraqi people are going to win against the insurgency. That insurgency could go on for any number of years. Insurgencies tend to go on five, six, eight, 10, 12 years.

"Coalition forces, foreign forces are not going to repress that insurgency," the Pentagon chief told "Fox News Sunday."...

...At the same time, Rumsfeld defended Vice President Dick Cheney's description of the insurgency as being in its "last throes." Rumsfeld said the US commander in the Middle East did not contradict Cheney when he told the Senate last week that the insurgency was as strong as it was six months ago.

"If you look up 'last throes,' it can mean a violent last throe," Rumsfeld said on ABC's This Week.

The insurgency led by Jordanian Abu Musab al-Zarqawi "may very well continue to or get more violent because they have so much to lose between now and December," he said.

Iraqis are supposed to vote in December on a government to be outlined in the constitution.

Did you see the new "magic" benchmark -- December 2005.

How many of us believe that the "Last Throe" will outlast Cheney?


Attaturk is going to be travelling the Nation's Interstate Highway System, where he will be both coming home and monitoring the progression of "The Chicken of Tomorrow". So rich, so flavorful, so Republican.

With my good friend, and mentor Merlin, I am in a Winnebago, and wnen I yell "Shazam!" I get a really campy outfit. Not bad work really.

But relatively light posting today.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Social Scientists have No Ethics says the Lying Bush Administration

You know we have hit a new low when this mistaken-administration is telling us that all social and behavioral scientists lack ethics. Isn't that like listening to a debate on morality from Hitler? (Yea, I got an inappropriate and extreme Hitler reference into the blog... Does this mean that I will have to apologize in a few days? Because other bloggers who make Nazi references will come down hard on me? -- Oh, sorry a bit of confusion and discretion there... Make that right-wing bloggers... But ok, sorry about the wee bit of fun there.)

According to Neil A. Lewis (Interrogators Cite Doctors' Aid at Guantanamo Prison Camp) in The New York Times: "Bryan Whitman, a senior Pentagon spokesman, declined to address the specifics in the [torture] accounts. But he suggested that the doctors advising interrogators were not covered by ethics strictures because they were not treating patients but rather were acting as behavioral scientists."

Because of the controversy over claims about prisoner treatment at Guantanamo (not to mention Iraq, Afghanistan, and more), perhaps social scientists and their professional associations' knowledge, expertise, and research could be used to protect this country. Once these scholars, activists, and associations agreed to assist they could help in the creation, testing, and administration of quality social science reseach designed to create appropriate policies and procedures that collect intelligence in a successful humane fashion. Haven't these people ever heard that sometimes you catch more flies with honey?

Of course, we know the reason why such help has not been solicited... Because true scientists let the evidence lead to conclusions. And in this mistaken-administration where you "FIX" the facts to the conclusions that you want, true objectivity is not an asset!

What is this situation? The hit 'em until they crack brigade? Sheesh. Competent criminal justice, political science, criminology, and sociology professionals have shown for years how that approach simply DOES NOT WORK. It especially does not work against folks who have been trained to hate modernity and America. By acting this way -- engaging in torture -- you are simply confirming the worse rumors, myths, and hostility toward the United States. Way to go idiots, you made the problem worse.

One has to wonder why no criminologists and criminal justice experts have been used by this administration in creating Prison, interrogation centers, and more if we really wanted to make this country safer. Such activities and assistance are consistent with professions which involve significant public service to the community. Besides, having experts involved would mean actually trying to do some good rather than just beating the shit out of someone because it makes you feel better.

Hmmmmmm... maybe that's why the mistaken-administration is casting dispersions at behavioral and social scientists. They think the world works like Cops and CSI.

'Not Guilty' Verdict in Aryan Espionage Case

This story made headlines in winter 2003 because it linked allegations of espionage with the Aryan Nations compound in Idaho. The case came to a conclusion this week with a jury verdict of acquittal for both defendents on the espionage charges. However, one of the defendants was found guilty of lying to the government. Deborah Communings was found guilty of lying to the FBI when she claimed she did not know attorney Kirk Lyons.

This case matters as it demonstrates the connections and inroads made by the extreme racist right wing into the military and possibly more.

The SPLC notes in a seaprate article that Deborah Cummings was linked to Kirk Lyons, an attorney involved in many extreme right wing cases.

[begin SPLC snip]

FBI agents testified in January (2003) that an old acquaintance of Lyons', Deborah Davila, sent a box of highly sensitive military information in 1999 to what was described as Lyons' organization — presumably, the North Carolina-based Southern Legal Resource Center. The documents, with classified material that the agent said would "have a huge interest to militia and terrorist organizations," allegedly had been stolen by Davila's ex-husband, Rafael, a former military intelligence officer with ties to the radical right.

The investigators' report indicated that Lyons' organization subsequently mailed $2,000 in cash to Davila. But though the indictment of the Davilas mentions Lyons, he was not charged in the case.

[end SPLC snip]

The Wolves and the Pretext for War

Or just substitution mass confusion inside their heads?

Apparently as our friends at BuzzFlash point out, the farthest among the right wing hawks in the Bush mistaken-administration are pro-fundamentalism in Iraq. Does that really come as a surprise to anyone?

These people are not pro-war "hawks," you know what they are? They are "Wolves." That is: A group looking to hunt down and attack people, bomb countries, persecute beliefs that don't agree with, and confront ideologies that are different than their own even if in the rare instance that they are humane and successful. These Wolves profit from the Bush regime creation of perpetual war either through the making and advanement of their careers or the billions lining the pockets of their corporate masters. Are you listening Dick Cheney?

They remain convinced of their correctness from a combination of extreme religious belief, sociological ignorance, and geopolitical meglamania. And you cannot prove to them that they are incorrect regardless of the power of the evidence that you muster. They are Wolves not Hawks. And, no Mr. President -- it is not a good thing.

We need new terminology for these people for whom war is a full time occupation and enjoyment (clearly they relish doing it). That is why I call them Wolves. It is so unfortunate that they have forgotten the wise words of soldiers gone-by who proclaimed to their last number that war was to remain the final measure and last instance rather than the first or convenient pursuit. Yes, that means you should not go to war just because your hungry for higher poll numbers, want to establish a military base, or to clean up daddy's mess, or just because maybe you like killin'.

You are a wolf.

I was going to post about Bush Negotiating

With the "insurg-terrorists" as pretty much the end of Macho McFlightsuit. But I'm sort of on a semi-vacation, plus Billmon does it so much better than I would have anyway. So go there and read what he says.

Well, that's logical I guess

If I can pretend to be Josh Marshall for a moment and write obsessively about all things "Duke" Cunningham.

...first let me enjoy the feeling of being cool and compensated for a minute...

Ah, that's better.

Anyhoo, it appears that the same contractor that allowed the "Duke" to make a killing on the housing market gave a good chunk of change to help out the "Capital Hill snuggler."
A defense contractor under federal investigation gave Rep. Katherine Harris, a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, about $42,000 during the 2003-04 election cycle.

MZM Inc., a Washington company that does millions of dollars of work for the federal government, has been in the news for its role in a deal with Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham, R-Calif. Cunningham sold a house to MZM founder Mitchell Wade, who lost money on it after putting it back on the market almost immediately.

Harris, R-Sarasota, got $10,000 from the MZM political action committee, and another $32,000 from MZM employees, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks campaign money.

Granted Harris has had her own extensive construction projects.



Saturday, June 25, 2005

File under Fuck You

This sure reads like a promotional piece or damn close to a "how to" survive while on the run manual for other right wing fanatics.

Bomber Rudolph writes about life on lam
Article posted on militantly anti-abortion Web site

(CNN) -- An article apparently written by Eric Robert Rudolph and published on a militantly anti-abortion Web site offers new details about how the confessed Southeast bomber survived and evaded federal agents for five years in the mountains of North Carolina.

The chapter-long account centers on how Rudolph gathered, stored and cooked his food while trying to avoid a massive law enforcement manhunt that began soon after a January 1998 bombing at a Birmingham abortion clinic and ended with his arrest in May 2003 when a deputy found him foraging through a garbage bin in Murphy, North Carolina.

Rudolph, in a deal to avoid the death penalty, pleaded guilty in April to the Birmingham attack and three others, including the 1996 Olympics bombing, a 1997 double bombing at a suburban Atlanta abortion clinic and an Atlanta gay and lesbian nightclub. The attacks killed two people and wounded more than 110 people. He will be sentenced next month.

The Web site -- -- features graphic images of aborted fetuses and pays tribute to people who have been convicted of attacks on abortion clinics and physicians who have performed abortions. The publisher, Rev. Donald Spitz of Chesapeake, Virginia, was a self-described spiritual adviser to Paul Hill, who was executed in Florida for murdering a doctor who performed abortions.

While Spitz has not returned CNN's phone calls, the page said the story was "recently transcribed from a handwritten copy he (Rudolph) sent."

An investigator familiar with Rudolph said the story looks to have come from the bomber.

"Based upon the information contained in this, there's no doubt it was written by Eric," said Charles Stone, a former member of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation who was one of the supervisors of the Rudolph investigation and manhunt.

Two close calls

The account described two close calls Rudolph had in the fall of 1999 with hunters who stumbled across his efforts to steal corn, wheat and soybeans from a silo near Andrews, North Carolina.

In the first incident, Rudolph said a squirrel hunter walked up on where he was boiling a soybean meal. He quickly ran for a ridge, expecting federal agents to follow, but the hunter apparently never reported the sighting, he wrote.

"The FBI headquarters was less than three miles from where I was spotted. It should take them less than an hour to get their stuff together and start a systematic search. Where were they? Where were the choppers?"

In the early morning hours several days later, a truckload of coon hunting dogs and their masters pulled up as Rudolph was perched on top of the grain silo. A speeding car ran over and killed one of the dogs, diverting the hunters just before they might have spotted Rudolph, he said. Rudolph named his story "Lil," the name of the unfortunate coon dog.

Living on stolen grain

The 5,000-word article opens with two sentences mimicking the opening of Charles Dickens' "Tale of Two Cities" to describe his daily diet of boiled and fried corn, wheat and soybeans.

"It was the best of foods. It was the worst of foods," Rudolph wrote.

It detailed how Rudolph systematically salvaged used garbage bags from a McDonald's garbage container, washing them in a river for use in transporting and storing stolen grain. He also took four plastic garbage cans from stores in Andrews and used them to carry the bags of grain.

Rudolph wrote that he climbed to the top of the grain silo dozens of times over several weeks, tediously dipping out five gallons at a time until after a number of days he had filled the cans with two tons of stolen grain.

The story ends before he reveals how he carried out his plan to steal a pickup truck from a nearby used car lot to move the grain closer to his mountain camp site.

But in what was apparently a tease to interest the reader in a future installment, he concluded:

"But just wait until you hear about the time the cops took me to get some gas for my stolen truck. Maybe next time."

Clean Air? We don't need no stinkin' clean air...!

Its true according to recent court decisions. And remember that the courts have not been packed with Beltway insiders or conservatives or neocons or crazies or Big corporate whores or idiots (name which Republican appointee goes with each comment, it would make for an excellent drinking game).

Personally I can't wait until we get the three eyed Simpsons fish in our lakes and rivers.

Wear me or just vote Republican?

Hate the environment? Buy the three eyed Fish Shirt! And you will feel much much better. Really. Naw, but at least you will be unidentifiable standing next to Bush

An Insider's Take on Friedman

This posting from "riverbend," a blog written by an Iraqi woman in Baghdad,one of the best observers of the scene there, analyzes Thomas Friedman's take on the situation. Her commentary is at Riverbend from May 29th. Anyone interested in Friedman, pro or con, should look at this. One cannot deny the perspective of a knowledgable insider... unless you are in any way connected or paid off by this current Bush mistaken-administration.

Scum now call it treason

Wow, these are quite the poll results for feckless leader as laid out by MyDD.

Among Republicans (36% of adults registered to vote in the survey), 84% approve of the way Bush is handling his job and 12% disapprove. Among Democrats (38% of adults registered to vote in the survey), 18% approve and 77% disapprove of the way Bush is handling his job. Among Independents (26% of adults registered to vote in the survey), 17% approve and 75% disapprove of the way Bush is handling his job as president.

As Kos points out, no wonder Rove is now out there playing the "treason card" -- it is a desperate measure for a group that known things aren't getting better. Only by getting their GOP corps to yell loud and long (and last night this was being acted upon by the Foxnews follies) about traitors and treason can Bush have clout -- circle the wagons baby.

Problem is, there is plenty more bad news coming that means being a decent fucking human being will make you a traitor.

Like this for instance:

Washington has for the first time acknowledged to the United Nations that prisoners have been tortured at US detention centres in Guantanamo Bay, as well as Afghanistan and Iraq, a UN source said.

The acknowledgement was made in a report submitted to the UN Committee against Torture, said a member of the ten-person panel, speaking on on condition of anonymity.

"They are no longer trying to duck this, and have respected their obligation to inform the UN," the Committee member told AFP.

"They they will have to explain themselves (to the Committee). Nothing should be kept in the dark."

UN sources said it was the first time the world body has received such a frank statement on torture from US authorities.

I suppose this can be discounted by the press as "something we already know".

Oh, and soon there are, by court order, going to be made available many other pictures of the torture scenese enabled and encouraged by Bush & Al Gonzales.

Chalk up another one for Bush

No matter how much he wants to bitch about it, the message in the Iranian elections was clear -- Bush hasn't lost his magic touch.

But Ahmadinejad's landslide win over Rafsanjani, who was largely seen as the front-runner, marked a remarkable comeback.

Ahmadinejad had not been expected to even make it into the runoff, but he managed to pull off a surprising second-place finish in last week's balloting, putting him into the showdown with Rafsanjani.

Polls closed in the presidential runoff about 11:30 p.m. Friday (3 p.m. ET) after several extensions were issued to allow late voters to cast ballots.

Many analysts say Ahmadinejad's victory will deal a blow to those throughout the country who have fought for democratic and economic reforms -- even if supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khameinei has the last word in matters of state.

The race between Rafsanjani and Ahmadinejad set up a striking choice for Iranians.

Rafsanjani had softened his stance in recent months, calling for improving Iran's strained ties with the West -- including the United States, which has had no formal diplomatic ties with the country since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Another defeat obtained from the jaws of victory by C-plus Augustus.

I don't know about you...

But I like the new look Daily Kos. However, it does make me hunger for a dreamsickle.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Last Throes

Damn Vietcong:

Dawn had yet to break and Baghdad's biggest police station, like the rest of the city, was quiet. About 80 officers dozed inside the fortress, leaving just a few sentries guarding the walls, razor wire and concrete barriers.
It started with mortars. A series of whooshes from north and south followed seconds later by explosions inside the perimeter. Figures emerged from the gloom and knelt in the middle of Hi al-Elam and Qatar Nada streets, pointing rocket launchers.

More figures materialised on rooftops overlooking the station to spray gunfire and lob grenades. Dozens of gunmen, guerrilla infantry, swarmed from houses and alleys. It was just after 5.30am and the station was surrounded.

The defenders heard engines rev and guessed what was next: suicide car bombers. Baghdad's biggest battle in months - and possibly the boldest yet by insurgents - had begun.

They struck on Monday but details of the assault on Baya'a, a vast police complex in the southern suburbs, emerged only yesterday when American and Iraqi officers opened the station to reporters. Bullet holes and debris testified to a synchronised and audacious strike by up to 100 rebels in what is supposed to be a locked-down capital.

The combination of heavy shelling, diversionary feints, infantry thrusts and suicide vehicles - the "precision-guided" equivalent of tanks - left parts of the district of Hi al-Elam a smoking ruin. If the objective was to overrun the station and free its prisoners the offensive failed. The attackers retreated after two hours, leaving dozens dead and captured. But if the objective was to send a message of power and determination it succeeded.

Photo thanks to the Gully.

And Now a Short Message from Christopher Hitchens...

"I'm not drinking to excess...

...I'm having a VISION-QUEST"

And now an even shorter message from Christopher Hitchens liver.


Ah, satire.

But Kofi Annan once looked squirrely at a White Republican (sorry for the redundancy)

While trying to fluff the meat pillows of the U.N. Oil-for-Food Scandal, naturally conservatives as usual pretty much loaded up on tax payers...they just did it in Iraq this time (sorry, again the usual).

The United States handed out nearly $20 billion of Iraq's funds, with a rush to spend billions in the final days before transferring power to the Iraqis nearly a year ago, a report said on Tuesday.

A report by Democratic Rep. Henry Waxman (news, bio, voting record) of California, said in the week before the hand-over on June 28, 2004, the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority ordered the urgent delivery of more than $4 billion in Iraqi funds from the U.S. Federal Reserve in New York.

One single shipment amounted to $2.4 billion -- the largest movement of cash in the bank's history, said Waxman.

Most of these funds came from frozen and seized assets and from the Development Fund for Iraq, which succeeded the U.N.'s oil-for-food program. After the U.S. invasion, the U.N. directed this money should be used by the CPA for the benefit of the Iraqi people.

Cash was loaded onto giant pallets for shipment by plane to Iraq, and paid out to contractors who carried it away in duffel bags.

Oh, please let this be videotaped!

Contractors were told to turn up with big duffel bags to pick up their payments and some were paid from the back of pick-up trucks.

One picture shows grinning CPA officials standing in front of a pile of cash said to be worth $2 million to be paid to a security contractor.

Rep. Christopher Shays of Connecticut, a Republican, said the photograph disturbed him. "It looks a little loose to me," he said, of the smiling officials.

"I share your concern," said Bowen.

Citing documents from the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank in New York, Waxman said the United States flew in nearly $12 billion overall in U.S. currency to Iraq from the United States between May 2003 and June 2004.

This money was used to pay for Iraqi salaries, fund Iraqi ministries and also to pay some U.S. contractors.

In total, more than 281 million individual bills, including more than 107 million $100 bills, were shipped to Iraq on giant pallets loaded onto C-130 planes, the report said.

Wow, its like a Heritage Foundation party.

Friday Miscellaneous Lifeform Blogging I

Item one today, is whatever the hell it is that is between Tom Friedman's upper lip and nose.

Today's column manages to pretty much bash the French (for being pretty damn smart if you look at what is being mocked) and the Democrats in detail while once again generally making offhand general whining about Bush without particulars.

The usual.

A Short Phone Call from the Oval Office

*phone rings*

General Myers: Hello, Richard Myers.

Mr. Preznit: Is this Batman?

General Myers: No, Mr. President, once again, this is not Batman.

Mr. Preznit: I was noticing, I have not seen a "bat signal" against the night sky. I think that would be cool -- don't you think that would be cool General?

General Myers: Um, sure, I guess Mr. President. I suppose I could look into it.

Mr. Preznit: And I'd like it with one of those special extra bright search light things, and make sure its a really bad-ass bat thing, looking real tough. And when it flashes, I'll take the motorcade over, and people will know that George W. President is Batman, not Bruce Wayne.

General Myers: Yes sir.

Mr. Preznit: Bruce Wayne, sounds like the name of a liberal, some secularist wussy boy. Like John Forbes Kerry. Sounds like a defeatest 'murica hater.

General Myers: Ok.

Mr. Preznit: And see that we get a nice Orange and green suit for Dick Cheney will you General.

General Myers: Yes sir.

Mr. Preznit: But that is not the main reason I called.

General: What can I help you with sir?

Mr. Preznit: Well, General, Rummy brought me over some letters that the troops in Eye-rack that he said were written to me. But a lot of them seem to be addressed to somebody over at that there Big Building you work in, what's it called?

General: The Pentagon sir.

Mr. Preznit: Now, general I don't need to here any of that pagan crap. Anyhow, do you have, I guess he is known formally as, a "Commander Richard Weed"?

General: I'll check my records, although I don't know why a mid-level naval officer would get a lot of mail. ... I don't see one Mr. President.

Mr. Preznit: 'Cause there's an awful lot of letters that start out, Dear Commander Dick Weed, or just Hey Dick Weed. Frankly, I am also surprised at their punctuation problems too. Anyway, I'll send them back over to you.

General: Very good Mr. President.

Say, did I mention that Bush is a spectacularly unpopular President?

From A.R.G.:

Bush Job Approval Ratings 6/22/2005

Overall ......42%.......53%..... 5%
Economy ....37%...... 59%..... 4%

Perhaps you should write Karl Rove and tell him that the ONLY way to save his President, and thus God's chosen Chimperor on Earth is to resign.

Freeper Base

Then again, I suppose attending with Bolton is like going to a party with the Pope...although the swinger sex would be better.

The president will not attend Sunday's celebration of the 60th anniversary of the signing of the U.N. charter in San Francisco. The White House rejected requests for the president or a high-ranking surrogate and is scheduled to send Sichan Siv, the U.S. representative to the U.N. Economic and Social Council.

Pair this with Karl Rove's statements, the nomination of Bolton and the other douchebaggery of the rest of his term, Bush's symbol for international relations is best expressed on the tire flaps on our nations highways.

An incredibly unpopular and increasingly loathed President, but not loathed enough

"President Bush’s approval rating has plummeted to 44%—the lowest numbers of his presidency."
Although, still WTF!?

Americans would now vote in equal numbers for Democrat John Kerry and President George W. Bush



Pounds head against wall...

A Digby Post all should read

About slithering Karl Rove and the banality of small minds making even smaller minds cower.

The guy is a behind the scenes Joe McCarthy and full out sociopath.

He is just someone who has no limits. And he has a client and a party that are willing to do as he advises. That is a powerful thing, but it is not genius. It is useful in elections, but it is a disaster in governance, as we are seeing. Brute force cannot accomplish every task, as any plumber or mechanic can tell you.

But barring a total meltdown, which is unlikely, Rove is going to be running the Republican party for some time to come. We need to start looking at this man realistically. The key is that the Republicans think he's magical too.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

General Bobo

Really quite the profound column today. Let me sum it up.

"An experienced armchair generalissimo, like me, knows that what you see is not what you see and what you hear, is not what you hear. I know sitting here in my office that things are better in Iraq than you see from the actual evidence. Maybe. Ok, maybe not, but perhaps if you clapped louder it would help."

"Fixed" versus "Neutered"

Yesterday we made us some fun of Hitchens. But he repeated one of the more ridiculous assertions about the word "fixed" from the Downing Street Minutes.

Never mind for now that the English employ the word "fix" in a slightly different way—a better term might have been "organized."

This has become a reach of the "neocon". Here is Neocon Emerit(ass) James Woolsey:

"I think that's not what fixing means in these circumstances. I think people are not listening to British usage. I don't think they're talking about cooking the books."

Well, what does the journalist, Michael Smith, think of this definitional parsing?

Not much:

"There are a number of people asking about 'fixed' and its meaning. This is a real joke. I do not know anyone in the UK who took it to mean anything other than fixed, as in fixed a race, fixed an election, fixed the intelligence. If you fix something, you make it the way you want it. The intelligence was fixed...the head of MI-6 has just been to Washington. He has just talked with George Tenet. He said the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. That translates in clearer terms as the intelligence was being cooked to match what the administration wanted it to say to justify invading Iraq."

Thanks to Daily Dissent.

I guess I assumed it was well-known, but commenter Monkeyfister is right, I should point out Smith is a "British" jouralist working for the "Times of London" owned by Rupert Murdoch.

Monkeyfister? Sounds like a S&M night with the Bush family.

Iraq in Microcosm from Iowa to all of us

A few days ago the Washington Post wrote about 224th Combat Engineer Battalion which headed to Ramadi in late February with 31 soldiers. Six weeks later it was down to 25. The article was specifically about a young specialist who was killed by a sniper. It was a heart rending story.

It continues for this battalion of Iowa National Guardsman, both in Iraq and in Iowa.

First one for "Private Jonah"

Sgt. Casey Byers, 22, of Schleswig never got to meet his 5-month-old daughter, Hailey, before he died in Iraq.

"If there's any regrets — you didn't get to see, hold and touch your precious daughter Hailey," the soldier's father, Bill Byers, said in a statement read by the Rev. Chris Burtnett at the funeral on Wednesday.

Casey Byers was with the Iowa National Guard's 224th Engineer Battalion, which arrived in Iraq in January. His daughter was born in Ames shortly thereafter. Byers died June 11 south of Ramadi, Iraq, when a bomb detonated under his armored Humvee. He was the 28th Iowan to die in Iraq since the war began in March 2003.

And then there is one for Dick Cheney and his "last throes" brigade and Dear Leader who once infamously said there'd be "no casualties" out of Iraq. There are tragedies from Iraq to Iowa:

Spc. Justin "Paul" Byers, 19, wrote a letter he was going to read at his older brother's funeral. But he died before he could read the note. Officials say he committed suicide when he was hit and killed by a truck Monday night.

Why did he commit suicide, undoubtedly being destraught played a part, but in another story in the same paper came this:

Distraught over his older brother's death in Iraq and his own deployment this fall to the war zone, Justin "Paul" Byers purposely stepped in front of a pickup truck Monday night, ending his own life, officials said.

About an hour before Sgt. Casey Byers' funeral began Wednesday morning, Crawford County's medical examiner said he had ruled Justin Byers' death a suicide.

Two brothers dead...both from Bush's War!

I hope some of the right-wing reads this and realizes that this is what they are doing to these young people...

I suppose they can find solace in their car magnets.


Shocking to see one Republican portray the sliminess of another isn't it? Not that McCain doesn't have good reasons to dispise Jack Abramoff.

Lobbyist Jack Abramoff and his partner created tax-exempt groups to funnel money to themselves from Indian tribes trying to build political support for their casinos, according to documents released at a Senate hearing Wednesday...

...In a 2001 e-mail, Abramoff divvied up an expected contribution the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians planned to make to the center.

"I am going to try to get us $175 K. $100 to Ralph; $25K to contributions ($5K immediately to Conservative Caucus); rest gimme five," Abramoff wrote. Ralph referred to Ralph Reed, former Christian Coalition leader whose name also shows up in other e-mails...

...Documents released by the committee also shed light on Abramoff's relationship with Reed, currently a candidate for lieutenant governor in Georgia. The committee included Reed in its investigation after learning that Abramoff and Scanlon paid him to lobby the Texas Legislature to close the Tigua tribe's casino in El Paso. The Tigua tribe had paid Scanlon roughly $4 million to help it win back a casino license.

"On the political front, did Ralph spend all the money he was given to fight this — or does he have some left?" Scanlon asked Abramoff in an e-mail, the subject of which is blacked out on the documents released by the committee.

"That's a silly question! He `spent' it all the moment it arrived in his account. He would NEVER admit he has money left over," Abramoff e-mailed Scanlon. "Would we?"

So leaders of the religious right get caught up with bilking native americans. How typical. Baby-faced Ralph Reed, no doubt he'd be a real badass in a Federal Prison.

Democratic "Leadership": Stop Being Pussies

Opposing amendments like "Flag Burning" is easy.

1. It's a political stunt.
2. It only accomplishes more flag desecration.
3. It is Republicans once again, limiting rights, not expanding them.
4. There are higher priorities of course, but this LIKE SCHIAVO is pure stunt.
5. The public, by and large, supports there being NO Amendment and sees it as a stunt, so call the GOP on it.
6. They'll blow up and fuck things up if you are strong. After all, the Senate is led by Bill Frist -- it is what he is good at.

Grow some nads.

Thank you, that is all.

"Douchebag Number 1-A"

It is rare that Karl Rove crawls out of his sensory deprivation tank, but he recently did slither into New York for a talk.

This may surprise a few people, but Rove seems to have a white/black view of the world and engage in simplistic comparisons. He also, most shockingly, appears to be somewhat of a, oh, I don't know, JERK.
"Liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers," Rove said. "Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 and the attacks and prepared for war." ...

..."Conservatives saw what happened to us on 9/11 and said we will defeat our enemies. Liberals saw what happened to us and said we must understand our enemies."

Jesus, could their talking points be any more simplistic?

I really like the last paragraph for its devinely insipid evilness.

How's that "defeating our enemies" thing coming Karl?

Iraq may prove to be an even more effective training ground for Islamic extremists than Afghanistan was in Al Qaeda's early days

Oh, that's right.

Al Qaeda isn't the enemy.

We are.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Fun with Words...

dissemble (di-SEM-buhl) verb tr., intr.

To hide true feelings, motives, or the facts.

[By alteration of Middle English dissimulen, from Latin dissimulare, from simulare, from similis (similar).]

From The Devil's Dictionary: Dissemble, v.i. To put a clean shirt upon the character.

Today's word in Visual Thesaurus.


Thanks to A.Word.A.Day for the information.

Fun with Words Again

mendacious (men-DAY-shuhs) adjective

Telling lies, especially as a habit.

[From Latin mendac-, stem of mendax (lying), from mendum (fault or defect) that also gave us amend, emend, and mendicant.]

Today's word in Visual Thesaurus.

From The Devil's Dictionary:
Mendacious, adj. Addicted to rhetoric.


Thanks to A.Word.A.Day for the information.

Want some Toast???

So... Not Guilty for Michael Jackson has now been discussed and debated ad nauseum! I am sure those words brought relief, jubilation yet frustration and disgust in proportionate amounts to all people transfixed to the Michael Jackson trial.

I am not a great fan of the man myself, but have the will to see through the facade that was his trial and acknowledging that the rats of society will manipulate and exploited his child-like state of mind for money and an almost narcissistic will to see his demise.

Although the animosity evoked by the perpetrators on both sides of the argument, being this Jackson or Arvizo, the omnipotence that Jackson retains through the stubborn ignorance of fandom is unquestionable... During my frequent fishing trips for useless but quaintly quirky material on the Internet, I stumbled upon a source that dually addresses my above point.

Either Michael Jackson is omnipotent? And that is frightening! Or his fans are as insane as he is! See what you think.

Slices of toast with the star's likeness and slogans such as "not guilty" have appeared on internet auction site eBay.

Vendors claimed the slices were not faked - but popped out of their toasters before or during the verdicts.

Toast said to look like the Virgin Mary sold for $28,000 (£15,400) last year.

That appears to have sparked a craze for novelty toast on eBay.

Toast said to resemble the Virgin Mary hit the headlines in November Slices currently on sale carry pictures of people ranging from Elvis Presley to Yoda, with a sideline in toast depicting jars of air breathed by Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.

One Michael Jackson fan promised: "This is a wonderful memento of this historic day that you will cherish for years to come."

Another said: "As I was watched the jury's verdict being announced on June 13, 2005, my toast popped up just as Michael was acquitted."

One vendor said a slice with "not guilty" written on it popped up just before the verdicts.

"I was shocked, so I saved it and waited, and then today at 4.30pm my time it came on the news, and there it was - Michael Jackson is found not guilty," they wrote.

How Big a Liar is Ed Klein?

Pretty damned big apparently, so he is well-suited to be part of the Right-Wing noise machine.

From the daughter of the late Senator Pat Moynihan.

Ed Klein, author of the book in question, The Truth About Hillary, alleges that New York’s late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan "despised" Mrs. Clinton, that he once hid in a cloakroom to terminate a conversation with her. Nonsense. I think I know Senator Moynihan better than Mr. Klein, because he was my father. Mr. Klein also claims firsthand knowledge of a meeting between my parents and Mrs. Clinton that took place in their apartment in Washington. It was during this meeting that Mrs. Clinton, then the nation’s First Lady, discussed the idea of running for the seat my father was about to vacate.

Mr. Klein puts quotes around statements that were never uttered. I can confirm this because the only other persons present during this meeting were myself and our Tibetan cook, who speaks about 10 words of English. Mr. Klein has now gone on the record to say that he spent "several hours interviewing Mrs. Moynihan." Puzzling indeed, in that Mrs. Moynihan—my mother—hasn’t seen Mr. Klein in over 20 years. I’d like to see the transcripts or hear the tapes of his on-the-record talks with Mrs. Moynihan. And it would have been difficult for him to interview Senator Moynihan, because he’s dead.

I too would like to see Mr. Klein show us his notes.

What a turd.

Found via Atrios.

I'm glad he's okay and all, but

after years of this exploitive media coverage, the painfully honest headlines should pretty much always be...

White Child Found after massive media onslaught...TV Movie Deal Pending.

Black Child missing, photo unavailable

Less Craven, More Stupid

That's E.J. Dionne's conclusion about the Bush Administration:

The assertion of the "Downing Street Memo" that "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy" of invasion has understandably become a rallying point for the war's opponents. But in some ways more devastating are other recently disclosed documents in which British officials warned that "there was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action." The British worried at the time that "U.S. military plans are virtually silent" on the fact that "a postwar occupation of Iraq could lead to a protracted and costly nation-building exercise."

The most damaging document supporting this claim is not secret, and remains one of the most important artifacts of the prewar debate. It is the transcript of "Meet the Press" from March 16, 2003, in which Vice President Cheney gave voice to the administration's optimistic assumptions that have now been laid low by reality.

Host Tim Russert asked whether "we would have to have several hundred thousand troops there" in Iraq "for several years in order to maintain stability." Cheney replied: "I disagree." He wouldn't say how many troops were needed, but he added that "to suggest that we need several hundred thousand troops there after military operations cease, after the conflict ends, I don't think is accurate. I think that's an overstatement."

Russert asked: "If your analysis is not correct, and we're not treated as liberators but as conquerors, and the Iraqis begin to resist, particularly in Baghdad, do you think the American people are prepared for a long, costly, and bloody battle with significant American casualties?"

Cheney would have none of it. "Well, I don't think it's likely to unfold that way, Tim, because I really do believe that we will be greeted as liberators. I've talked with a lot of Iraqis in the last several months myself, had them to the White House. . . . The read we get on the people of Iraq is there is no question but what they want [is to] get rid of Saddam Hussein and they will welcome as liberators the United States when we come to do that."

Russert: "And you are convinced the Kurds, the Sunnis, the Shiites will come together in a democracy?"

Cheney: "They have so far." And the vice president concluded: "I think the prospects of being able to achieve this kind of success, if you will, from a political standpoint, are probably better than they would be for virtually any other country and under similar circumstances in that part of the world."

Was Cheney disguising the war's costs for political purposes? It's more likely that he believed every word he said. That suggests that the administration was not misleading the American people nearly so much as it was misleading itself.

I think the truth lies somewhere in between.

If in between means they are both craven and stupid!

They cherry-picked their evidence to justify their pre-fabricated conclusions; lied to us and lied to the world about what the state of the evidence was as well as their own self-professed desire to avoid war; and then deluded themselves as to what was to occur.

I pointed it out in an earlier post, but remember the Nelson Report from early this year, as reported by Atrios and others:

Bush makes clear that all he wants are progress reports, where they exist, and those facts which seem to support his declared mission in Iraq...building democracy. "That's all he wants to hear about," we have been told. So "in" are the latest totals on school openings, and "out" are reports from senior US military commanders (and those intelligence experts still on the job) that they see an insurgency becoming increasingly effective, and their projection that "it will just get worse."

Our sources are firm in that they conclude this "good news only" directive comes from Bush himself; that is, it is not a trap or cocoon thrown around the President by National Security Advisor Rice, Vice President Cheney, and DOD Secretary Rumsfeld.

There is absolutely no reason, given the Downing Street documents, that Bush did exactly the same thing before the war -- no doubt assisted by having "Cheney Wormtongue" whispering in the weak-minded Dear Leader's ear.

And, now, as posted below, we are in far worse shape for the future than we were on September 10, 2001.

Nice job.