Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Moonie Times cares not for Objectivity

Just two weeks after WAPO pulled its affiliation with a much criticized and controversial -- maybe even Pro-War -- Pentagon march to commemorate 9-11, The far right-wing and Moonie owned Washington Times is taking WAPO's place.

The Washington Times' offer of free advertising is "a very reasonable thing to do in terms of public service," said general manager and vice-president Dick Amberg. Defense Department officials "have not responded to the offer, and it is unclear if it will be accepted." In explaining its decision to pull out of the America Supports You "Freedom Walk," which includes a concert by Clint Black, the country musician who wrote the pro-war song "Iraq and I Roll," The Washington Post said its policy is to "avoid activities that might lead readers to question the objectivity of The Post's news coverage."

Ouch. One could infer from the WAPO statement that the Moonies-owned WATI does not care about its objectivity. I don't know about you but I am not surprised.

So-called Neutrality of the Press

Ted Koeppel ended his "Nightline" show last night (August 30) with pictures of the devastation in New Orleans and then followed the pictures with a long, sober comment about how this is what a U.S. city would look like after a terrorist attack. He then closed with an imperious statement that it is just a matter of time before such an attack occurs.

Don't just take my word for it:

Aug. 30, 2005: Being Prepared
Nightline Closing Thoughts

We don't like anticipating disasters. It suggests pessimism and America is largely a nation of optimists.

But when you look at the damage inflicted by an accidental storm, you have to think about the sheer havoc that an intentional terrorist attack may produce one of these days.

We want to believe that no one will ever use a weapon of mass destruction against one of our cities. But it's almost inevitable that someone will. We don't like to hear that; we certainly don't want to contemplate the consequences. But we need to talk about it and we need to plan for it.

The very worst thing you can do when confronting a potential disaster is to take the position that it'll never happen to us.

Well, I guess journalists have become nothing more than corporate mouthpieces and shills for the political establishment that they are supposed to investigate and thus create respect and accountability for the American public. Bah, that is gone now, completely gone.

But no matter, now they have some pictures to make the FEAR of terrorism all the more PALPABLE, all the more REAL to the minds of the American people. Anyone think that a republican ad campaign is coming on? Its not like they need one, right? After all they own or are connected to all the major media outlets.

But we can list a simple checklist of republican problems in addition to the debacle in Iraq: gas reaching record levels which will have a devastating ripple effect of increasing prices throughout the economy, insane amounts of death in Iraq, economic instability increasing for those who are not super-rich, poverty levels increasing in the United States with children and the very poorest Americans being abandoned by the "pull yourself up" crowd (poverty was 12.7% according to a report released yesterday), increasing numbers of Americans with no health insurance (16% across the country)... and we can go on and on.

So, the president (although we really don't have one, do we?) and congress (they must be fearing the mid-term elections right about now) could call for a massive campaign of infrastructure investment much like other leaders have led us through struggles and challenges before (going to the moon, the civil war, world war II, etc).
No. We are seeing these cowards for what they truly are... Opportunists of the worst order who are taking a tragedy such as this and diverting it into a call for more police state policies and military misadventures. And they say that the media is "leftist" and unfair to conservatives.

Just what planet do these people live on?

Some Fun from The Onion

Its funny because it is true.

CRAWFORD, TX—President Bush concluded his summer vacation by holding an informal press conference Monday to address grieving mother Cindy Sheehan, saying "her damn dead son ruined my whole summer vacation."

Bush addressed Mrs. Sheehan, who was not present, by saying "a mother should not have to bury her son this way, by which I mean allowing her son's death to destroy his commander-in-chief's one chance to relax and unwind."

Sheehan, whose son Casey died in Iraq in April 2004, has led a vigil outside of Bush's Crawford ranch since early August, urging the immediate withdrawal of troops from Iraq and demanding a meeting with Bush.

"This is a terrible tragedy," Bush said. "If this dead soldier of a son had the ounce of sense he needed to keep his worthless ass alive, my last few weeks might have been peaceful. I mourn the loss of the beautiful August mornings, and the sweet afternoons that could have been spent on the porch swing listening to the songbirds. All Americans mourn this loss."

When asked why he has refused to meet with Mrs. Sheehan, Bush said, "Listen, I came here to relax. I want to fish, go biking with Lance Armstrong, play with my dogs, chainsaw some brush, and get back to nature. 'Course, it's hard to do that when you have to constantly listen to the mother of some dummy who didn't have sense enough to stay out of a damned war zone."

Bush added: "I'm more exhausted today than I was when I started this vacation."

I bet he really feels this way, what do you all think?

This Just In

Looters hitting pet stores.

While All Hell Breaks Loose

President Bush cuts a month-long vacation a couple days short and the press thinks it is a big deal. He may be disciplined in getting his R&R but he's just a lazy mother-fucker to me.

Bush originally was to return to the White House on Friday, after spending more than four weeks operating from his ranch. But after getting updates on the devastation, he decided to fly back to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to personally oversee a massive federal emergency assistance program.

"The president's preference is to manage the response efforts from Washington, and that's why he made the decision to return," said White House press secretary Scott McClellan.

Returning to Washington ahead of schedule also could insulate the president from criticism that he was on vacation during the crisis, and the return could be seen as a symbolic gesture to hurricane victims.

"I don't think that's necessarily the way to look at it," McClellan told reporters. "The devastation is enormous. The destruction and loss of life is very sobering. Our focus remains on saving lives and making sure that we're prioritizing the relief efforts to get assistance to those who are most in need right now."

The president, upon his return to Washington, planned to chair a meeting of a White House task force set up to coordinate the federal efforts to assist hurricane victims across more than a dozen agencies.

Without the target-rich environment of Eye-Rack to bomb the shit out of, when Bush goes to button-hole some poor schlepper in an adjacent hallway after the meeting, whose head is he going to ask for? That mullah that runs Eye-ran maybe?

While matters in Iraq worsen, while the Mississippi delta is in ruin, let's not forget the souls of the departed wealthy, they leave behind their own ruins that need sheltering from taxation. Count on President mother-fucker and his merry band of Republicans to take good care of them. Cue up Lee Greenwood.

More Bad Photoshopping...

With a purpose. Take it away Mr. Townshend.

I'm going to make an assumption here...

That this would not have happened if we'd been welcomed as liberators, if "We're Winning" or if we were "making progress":

BAGHDAD, Iraq - About 650 people — many of them women and children — were killed in a stampede Wednesday when panic engulfed a Shiite religious procession after rumors spread that a suicide bomber occupied the bridge they were crossing, officials said.

Scores jumped or were pushed to their deaths into the Tigris River, while others were crushed in the crowd in what appeared to be the single biggest loss of life in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003.

Tensions already had been running high in the procession in Baghdad's heavily Shiite Kazamiyah district because of a mortar attack two hours earlier against the shrine where the marchers were heading. The shrine was about a mile from the bridge.

One survivor said panic ensued when a rumor spread that a suicide bomber was in the crowd.

Interior Ministry spokesman Lt. Col Adnan Abdul-Rahman said 648 were killed and 322 injured. Most of the dead were women and children, he said. Survivors were rushed in ambulances and private cars to several hospitals and officials were scrambling to compile an accurate figure

Meanwhile, on the Syrian Border the policy of overwhelming force scores another hugh propoganda victory -- for the insurgents:

Air strikes have flattened insurgent safe houses used by militants linked to al Qaeda in western Iraq, the U.S. Marines told CNN Tuesday.

The air attacks near the Syrian border killed at least seven militants, the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force said.

A top operative called Abu Islam was among the dead, the force said.

Police in Baghdad reported that 56 civilians were killed in the strikes.

They said police contacts in the region told them 40 civilians died in one house and 16 in another. Two children survived, they added.

I'm also going to go out on a limb here as well and guess that neither of these are going to help things get better.


Stay Away from New Orleans...

This tune is more about anger, then it is about comedy, so if it's bitter and caustic, so be it.

To "The Battle of New Orleans". You can listen to the tune while going through the new lyrics.

Well, in Two-aught oh-five we had a mighty storm
but missing was Dearest Leader, as is now the norm.
We took a lot of flooding and had to survive on our means,
Yes we caught the bloody hell in the town of New Orleans.

Katrina blew its gusts and the water it kept a'comin.
There was more suff'ring through all as ever long ago.
It blew much more than once and we began a dying'
But Preznit Bush, he wouldn't come near the Gulf of Mexico...

Well, Bush flew down to Phoenix and he flew to San Diego
And he ran from the weather like a cowardly a-hole.
He ran so fast the storm couldn't catch 'em
away from the Mississippi and the Gulf of Mexico.

We asked for help but the Chimp kept a runnin'.
Til there wasn't as many as there was a while ago.
We died and drowned but the Chimp kept a runnin'
for a Photo-Op and away from the the Gulf of Mexico.

Quotes of the NEAR future...

"If you criticize the President during a time of natural disaster you are supporting and encouraging future Hurricanes to attack America!"

I got an Email from Ken Mehlman

Who writes to me, from time to time, and calls me...BEN?

I have no idea why to be honest, I never signed up to receive his garbage.

Nevertheless, Mehlman managed to say that politics should be "out of this".

Wonder why?

Now, there will be a reckoning, but as stated below, many on the right and many in the major media (as well as the fringe) will imply that this is the fault of people because of poverty and even more implicitly because of skin color.

However, there are question of funding and priorities on preventative measures that were chosen by government officials. To a certain extent the "crapshoot" nature of preventative measures is somewhat understandable, but nonetheless when that gamble fails, it is also logical and understandable that those who failed citizens through their gambles be held to account.

But there is also the measure of how the suffering can be alleviated. This is where the National Guard plays its best known, and most traditional role in our country, and there is a giant elephant in the room that cannot be emphasized enough as thousands of survivors suffer in hot, humid, dirty, and toxic New Orleans:

More than 6,000 Guard members were mobilized in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida when the storm struck on Monday, with the number rising to 8,000 yesterday and hundreds more expected to be called to active duty, National Guard officials said yesterday.

"Missing the personnel is the big thing in this particular event. We need our people," said Lt. Andy Thaggard, a spokesman for the Mississippi National Guard, which has a brigade of more than 4,000 troops in central Iraq. Louisiana also has about 3,000 Guard troops in Baghdad.

Mississippi has about 40 percent of its Guard force deployed or preparing to deploy and has called up all remaining Guard units for hurricane relief, Thaggard said. Those include the Army band based in Jackson, Miss. "They are mustering transportation to move them south," he said. Soldiers who have lost their homes are exempt, he said.


Capt. Richard Locke of the Guard's 1st Battalion 167th Infantry headed toward Mobile yesterday with a force of 400 soldiers cobbled together from four units because the rest of the battalion is in Iraq.

Carrying M-16 rifles and 9mm pistols, the soldiers are assigned to control traffic at unlighted intersections, and patrol in Humvees and on foot to prevent looting.

Recruiting and retention problems are worsening the strain on Guard forces in hurricane-ravaged states. Alabama's Army National Guard has a strength of 11,000 troops -- or 78 percent of the authorized number. "We're just losing too many out the back door," Arnold said.

People in this country are going to die because of national guard personnel being over in Iraq, supposedly to "fight them there instead of fighting them here". Thanks to Bush's Iraqi invasion, this disaster is going to cause more to die OVER HERE as well as OVER THERE as surely as a major terrorist hit!

And now I'll Strum a few Bars of

"House of the Rising Sun" heh heh heh

This is President NERO yesterday (note the Presidential Seal -- everything must be monogramed), while a major American City drowned.

Steve Gilliard had the same reaction.

A Point that Cannot be Repeated Enough

Pandagon itself is a pretty successful blog and Atrios picked this up so it will do better than this blog could ever push it. Nonetheless it should be repeated ad nauseum by those of us who decry racism...and mean it! New Orleans is all-in-all a poor town economically, take away the tourism. Well that's not there at present and will not be for a while. The reason so many people could not get out is because they could not afford the gas (and the way gas prices will go if there is another hurricane this year, that will be repeated with even more people). An overwhelming number of those people, judging by the video are African-American.

What I fear is that underlying racism is going to come into this, hell it already is even in the non-FoxNews media and Amanda summed this up quite well:

The victims of the flood will be portrayed via racist stereotypes as criminals and idiots. This will predispose the audience to disliking them. Then, after everything settles down, a few right wingers will start implying that the dead brought their own fate on themselves by being too stupid and/or criminal to evacuate. This focus will distract the pundits from discussing the real issue at hand, which is why the fuck we didn't have the resources on hand to evacuate a city that has Hurricane Target written all over it. Before you know it, it'll be a wingnut bonaza of people both gleefully indulging in the most racist tendencies while simultaneously claiming that the only reason one might end up dead in a hurricane is because one doesn't have "personal responsibility". But my guess is that the people who are dead mostly didn't have transportation out of the city. Watch the media bury the truth of what happened so fast it'll make your head spin.

And this dynamic was self-evident watching the poor and overwhelmingly black pushed into the Superdome for what will be days, if not weeks of misery. A disaster far less comfortable, far slower developing and ultimately far more staggering than 9/11 IMO.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Krazy Kentucky Governor Fletcher: The Republican Pass It On

In another move meant to show how fair he is and no less than right before a scheduled appearance before a grand jury -- are there any other kinds? Hell... I just fancy me a trip to see a grand jury, not one of those wee lesser juries --Kentucky Governor Ernie Fletcher issued blanket pardons to members of his administration who have been charged -- as well as those who could be indicted later -- in a state hiring investigation. I can only imagine that all this attention being paid to how corrupt that governor to the north of him must have added to his interest in showing that he could be corrupt and just as tactless and stupid as Mr. Taft.

You really have to worry about corruption and insider shenanigans when a governor insists that he would not pardon himself. No, he will just pardon his cronies and then other republicans will pardon him. It is the republican cover ass maneuver; it is their version of Pass-it-On.

But, of course, it gets even better, while on television, Krazy Mr. Fletcher said that he never "knowingly violated any laws" and is only using his superhuman powers (ok, I cannot confirm that he really feels that way, sheesh) to pardon to bring an end to "what appears to be a political investigation" that has diverted the attention of government. "Thank Jeebus that this whole Hurricane thing happened to further divert attention from what piss poor managers we republican governors are," said an obviously relieved Fletcher. Please note that the last quote was for fun, but doesn't it just feel real, hmmmmm?

"I cannot allow state government to continue to be consumed by this game of political 'gotcha,'" he really said. Aw, come on. All of these assertions of innocence, from a republican who praised all of the extreme efforts to throw gasoline on the political investigation of whether or not Clinton lied about a stained dress. Doesn't that seem like such small potatoes now that Mr. Bush's failed policies have killed so many Americans and Iraqis?

And it gets even better yet. Members of the republican machine in Kentucky that will more than likely have to manufacture a pardon for Mr. Fletcher called his actions "admirable." Yeah… easy for those who want the Republican Pass-it-On for them if their bad dealings and illegal actions come to the light of day, ain’t it?

Of course, the democrats and independents -- yes, Kentucky does have them -- have issued strong statements against the extreme over reach of power by Fletcher. The have called for him to resign and repudiate his evil ways. Oops, sorry but can’t you just picture that too?

Fortunately, the Kentucky Attorney General Greg Stumbo is continuing to examine the situation, calling the investigation, "far from over." We can only hope but if anyone is discovered having committed crimes we all know that republicans protect their own. Maybe it is in their blood?

Is this how Mr. Bush is going to make them streets safer?

Bush to Detroit: "Heh, heh...You vote democrat, you pay the fiddler!"

Ok, he really didn't say that but it sure seems like it. And I don't know about you but I picture Jon Stewart doing his "Bush impersonation" when I read that. Or this picture:

The Detroit Police Department will lay off at least 150 police officers and rearrange Detroit's twelve precincts into six district stations in a surprise move to reorganization all police services in the city and cut spending in the department by $20 million!

Police Chief Ella Bully-Cummings said the department will cut desk jobs and deploy about 100 more officers to street patrols daily, reports the Detroit News. It will eliminate some other divisions, bye bye horsies.

The $20 million savings is $34 million less than City Council ordered cut from the Police Department, however, and raises new questions about Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick's overall plan to get rid of a $300 million budget deficit. Community activists were divided on the impact of the move. Ron Scott, a member of Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality, said the mayor's plan was a step in the right direction. "It's a mess," said Ilka LaPeer, president of Brightmore Concerned Citizens. "And response time is supposed to get better?"

Oh No Jonah!

Dear Leader is one percent more disliked according to Rasmussen today! Whatever will you do?

P-r-o-g-r-e-s-s in Action

Last week I put up a post about how long Dear Leader has been using the mantra of "we are making progress".

Well here is the progress in action from Corporal Thomas Strickland as of August 13, 2005, found via RawStory...

The insurgency is on the rise in our area, with a most impressive coordinated assault on one of my sister FOBs (St. Joe) under their belt. Apparently they have enough folks and sophistication in my back yard where they can simultaneously place accurate mortar rounds on three seperate locations (at least 30k apart) to tie up any ground mounted quick reaction forces, as well as offer up multiple RPG strikes on the guard towers at Joe. These RPG attacks really bring out the QRF who face their own ambush as they come out the gate, at least 12 insurgents occupying buildings with an overwatch position to Joe's only entrance armed with more rpg's and small arms. The only possible responses are tanks or Apaches. Luckily we have both on call. 12 dead insurgents, destroyed buildings, a compromised FOB, sustained, accurate and unaswered indirect fire and lots o unanswered questions later... I'm here.

What the fuck has my chain of command been doing? We were winning somewhat when I left. And now we're being pinned down in our own fucking homes? Insurgents are pushing locals out of their homes and taking over my area at will? What kind of fucktarded plan have we been half-assedly executing? Obviously the kind that neglects sound contact with locals. Obviously the kind that gives further distance to unbridged gaps between soldiers and locals. Obviously the kind that has shown enough weakness when confronted by the insugency that it has been encouraged to grow.

Back home (the USA kind) I have no home, no job, and my commander in chief is on vacation (he's about 20 days behind Ronald Reagan right now in the race to become the most vacationing president ever. Hey W! we all got our fingers crossed! Here's to you and two more years of vacationing!).

And here's the kicker, three days later. While Dear Leader was on vacation...

A Douglas County soldier has been reported killed in Iraq.

Corporal Thomas Strickland, 27, of Fairplay, was a member of the Army’s 48th Infantry Brigade (Mechanized), according to Wes Tallon, county communications director.

Strickland’s family was notified Monday, Tallon said.

You got to be fuckin' kidding me?

Where did Bush go to tout his accomplishments yesterday?

A place called El Mirage.

The jokes, sadly, write themselves.

Tomorrow, perhaps Soy Estúpido?

The Most Pressing Issue of the Day?

Dogs and Cats who watch TV...

I've frankly never had a dog that appeared to give a shit about television. I've had a cat or two that did. But I've never thought anything of it. But oh, there's a study!

Dodman says that, in general, dogs will sit and watch things that canines are interested in, like other dogs, and cats will be drawn to things that move quickly across the screen — anything from butterflies to tennis balls.

Dogs also seem to enjoy programs about horses and Jack Russell Anja is no exception. She is also an avid NASCAR racing fan, and double checks her own front door every time someone knocks or rings the doorbell on a TV program.

Back in Flemington, N.J., Sandra Campbell, pet parent to tabbies Ralph and Riley, says that she knows exactly when they are really interested in a particular program. Campbell watches the pope’s weekly audience on her computer and Ralph will immediately materialize to join her.

"I’ve noticed that when the pope speaks in Italian, French or English, Ralph will lie and nap but the moment he switches to German he sits up and concentrates on the screen. He does this every week without fail.”

Teutonic Tabby?

And there are DVD's catering to dogs and cats...

The latest in feline entertainment, the Couch Potato Kitty DVD, caters to feline predatory instincts with butterflies and hamsters in wheels, while canine entertainment, like the Pooch TV DVD, is filled with dogs playing and exploring. It also features the odd turkey for amusement.

As a rule, most cats and dogs like to be in the company of their owners. So for an increasing number of pets, it’s the people on the couch that is the main attraction. In fact 87 percent of people surveyed in the AKC-Iams study said their pets curl up with them or at their feet when they watch TV.

Not to be left behind, savvy marketing executives are now selling TV snacks for pets. There’s everything from Woofy Pop popcorn, nachews (doggy tortilla chips), bacon-, peanut butter- or cheese-flavored rawhide chips, ice cream, canine yogurt cups (strawberry flavored), and old-fashioned feline and canine treat packs.

You know, maybe we have jumped the shark as a civilization. You know what entertains my dog?

Garbage. She's old school.

Speaking of Morons

Me thinks Rasmussen is jussssssssssssssssst a bit sexist?

Who the fuck polls with questions like this?

In a hypothetical match-up for the 2008 Presidential Election, Democrat Hillary Clinton leads Republican Condoleezza Rice by six percentage points--44% to 38%.

Six months ago, Clinton was ahead by seven percentage points--47% to 40%.

The Rasmussen Reports survey also found that the former First Lady leads the current First Lady by ten percentage points, 47% to 37%. Laura Bush has never held public office and never given any indication that she could ever be a candidate.

Nor, for that matter has Rice.

So, naturally if Hillary Clinton is the nominee of the Democratic Party (something I am not particularly enthusiastic about at the moment) she naturally must be matched up against Republican women, including the farcical notion that either of these novices, especially Laura Bush would be candidates?

Nice use of resources there. What kind of a patronizing boob do you have to be to contemplate these as the sort of polls that are needed?

Aim Low

Now as he tumbles to 56% disapproval in Gallup (and lower in others) one ponders whether Bush can surpass the lowest ratings of some of is predecessors (including Dad).

By the way, he is WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY below the lowest depths of Clinton's Presidency.

Bruce Reed at Slate sums up why Bush has a good chance, even in these polarized times:

Can Bush break the record? The experts say it's nearly impossible in a political climate so much more polarized than the one the men he's competing against faced. To increase his disapproval ratings among Republicans, Bush would have to lose a war, explode the national debt, or preside over a period of steep moral decline. Moreover, as his friends have learned, it's a lot harder breaking records when you have to do it without steroids.

Bush v. History: But don't count Bush out—he thrives on being told a goal is beyond his reach. The president is an intense competitor and stacks up well against the historical competition:

* Reagan was old and amiable; Bush is young, vigorous, and has a smirk in reserve.

* Both Carter and Bush 41 were one-term, rookie presidents with no clear plan to gain disfavor and who had to rely entirely on external events going south. Bush 43's chances don't depend on luck: He has a proven strategy to fail at home and abroad.

* Nixon had to achieve his disapproval ratings almost entirely through scandal, with little help from the economy or world events. The Bush White House is much more versatile: They won't let scandal distract them from screwing up foreign and domestic policy. Already, 62 percent of Americans believe the country is going in the wrong direction—the highest level in a decade—even before the Bush scandals have begun to take a toll.

* Truman might seem tough to beat, because Bush has no popular generals to fire. But Truman had several historic achievements under his belt that kept his unpopularity down, such as winning World War II and presiding over the postwar boom. Bush's record is free of any such ballast. In a pinch, the Bush camp can also make a good case that polling on Truman was notoriously unreliable, and that Bush deserves a share of the modern-day record if he reaches Nixon's level.

The Worst Is Not, So Long as We Can Say, This Is the Worst: Best of all, Bush has a luxury that unpopular presidents before him did not: time.

I would note that the falling popularity of the Chimperor has led to some hilarious jujitsu at the Imbecile Junction as they cling with desperate glee Rasmussen daily polls that show ONLY as little as 50% of the country disapproves of Bush. This displays all the intellectual rigour you expect from idiots calling Cindy Sheehan the "Grand Wizard" of the modern Klan, or an Anti-Semite.

While New Orleans drowns

The First Lounger takes on more light duty.

Let them eat cake? Nah, I'm having this bad boy by myself.

Oops, sorry, just trying to re-write history to make it better.

"Get me away from the crazy person in underwear...give her a cigar and a beer and she'd be mom"

In another clever Bush idea that didn't work out after wishing the best to the people of New Orleans, Bush's song in the round failed in the early going as the President forgot the words to "Row, Row, Row your boat"

Monday, August 29, 2005

Why I don't trust Psychoanalysis

I was watching a cable program on terrorism and then a psychoanalyst said:

"Violent fundamentalism is motivated by the need to eliminate badness through fighting the bad outside (of oneself). What is required now is to eliminate the heretical, impure, inimical elements, that is, killing the infidels who do not believe in (my/our) God. A destructive counterpart is created to the killing of "God’s enemies": it is the killing of oneself. Obviously the killing of oneself in the effort to kill the impure part of oneself, amounts to the total failure – or total grim success – of the process of purification."

What a very assertive if strange statement from a supposed “expert.” How about we try to say something constructive about religious fundamentalism and extremism instead of some pseudo-knowledge? Most of this ignorance results from an unwillingness to know basic political science and sociology. I am not outright opposed to psychoanalysis until I come across the damage that bad psychoanalysis can cause... consider all of the people running around the United States talking about everything from an international Satanic conspiracy to UFO Abductee survivor therapy.

Terrorism is special only if one maintains that it is fundamentally different from warfare. But that is a political distinction, not a scientific one and has very little meaningfulness when tied to psycho-babble. Special cases are the murder-suicides of the backpack bombers, and to get an understanding of suicide bombers, one should start there.

We have no idea of actual suicide/suicide attempt rates in Islamic countries, and they may well be underreported. In any case, individuals with suicidal ideas and a tendency to complete the suicide (young males in most countries) may well be the primary candidates, and there may be instances when suicide is brought to its sad completion by a host of factors: Depression, loneliness, hopelessness -- such as the inability to visualize alternative futures, not to consider the cultural and religious factors; combine those with political and economic interests.

Bear in mind that suicide is forbidden in Islam (a deadly sin), which is why it may be underreported. And there is no good data on what people are thinking without any outward signs. Suicide bombing is believed to be a method of killing, not suicide. I guess it is not too hard to see how individuals with suicidal tendencies and the organizers of suicide bombings might find each other.

Granted, what I am saying here is speculative, but it is clearer than some notion that "killing the impure self." Maybe that is what truly bothers me about the psycho-babble, there is little empirical investigation of what is known about motivational processes in warfare and other forms of strife. We need to know a lot more, but the connecting of the speculative dots into a Freudian knot, is not helpful at all. When all is said and done, there is something to be said about scientific method, despite its weaknesses and the fallibility of its practitioners.

I know psychoanalysts are still a respected profession in many quarters. But to this humble observer it is built on faith, not reality.

Soldiers Dying and Liberty

Today on TOTN discussion about Cindy Sheehan and families of the fallen. Unfortunately I did not get to hear the whole discussion, coming in at the tail end as Neal Conan asks one grieving mother whether she feels her son died for a reason. You've got about a 50/50 shot of being right on this one. This mother's response was that her son died fighting for a noble cause, because (I paraphrase here) people in other parts of the world deserve the same freedoms we have.

Now I don't happen to blame a parent who has had to bury a child for wanting to have some sense of purpose in it all. My gripe is with the warmongers who exploit that kind of simple thinking to achive their results. If people didn't engage in this kind of flawed thinking we probably wouldn't have our asses stuck deep in the sands of Eye-Rack.

It just makes me cringe when I hear people say that others "deserve" our freedoms. Do they deserve them at gunpoint? Do we have the right to march into the capitol of any nation in order to bring democracy to a country near you? Do the people want democracy, such as it is, more than sufficient food, work, shelter, medical care, and power? Do we have the right to make that decision for those people?

I have sympathy for all the grieving families but we have the duty to correct the flawed logic now being used to support the colonialization of the middle-east.

Easy to Criticize from Afar huh?

Debra Johns, whose son is serving in Iraq and who has been used as a tool by the right in slandering Cindy Sheehan finds out just what the Anti-War Memorials are all about.

It is easy for these heartless bastards to play "Risk" having never had anything to actually risk themselves, but this picture says it all in regard to Ms. Johns reaction to the memorials set up by Ms. Sheehan and others -- they hate America so much they don't want Americans to die.

Debra Johns (C) is comforted by friends after paying her respects at a makeshift memorial set up along the roadside by anti-war demonstrators near U.S. President George W. Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas, August 27, 2005. Authorities reported little trouble from the several thousand people that descended upon Crawford to demonstrate for and against the Iraq war. (Jeff Mitchell/Reuters) Email Photo Print Photo


"Hit, once again you sank my battleship Mr. President. Can we talk about the Hurricane now?" (via AFP)

The enthusiasm of the Idaho National Guard for the Iraq War and love for Dear Leader was palpable evident subtle(?). (via AP)

Hope this isn't too subtle. (via AP)


Just in time to be ignored because of a Hurricane and the so-called Iraqi Constitution is this story.

A top Army contracting official who criticized a large, noncompetitive contract with the Halliburton Company for work in Iraq was demoted Saturday for what the Army called poor job performance.

The official, Bunnatine H. Greenhouse, has worked in military procurement for 20 years and for the past several years had been the chief overseer of contracts at the Army Corps of Engineers, the agency that has managed much of the reconstruction work in Iraq.

The demotion removes her from the elite Senior Executive Service and reassigns her to a lesser job in the corps' civil works division.

Ms. Greenhouse's lawyer, Michael Kohn, called the action an "obvious reprisal" for the strong objections she raised in 2003 to a series of corps decisions involving the Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg Brown & Root, which has garnered more than $10 billion for work in Iraq.

Dick Cheney led Halliburton, which is based in Texas, before he became vice president.

"She is being demoted because of her strict adherence to procurement requirements and the Army's preference to sidestep them when it suits their needs," Mr. Kohn said Sunday in an interview. He also said the Army had violated a commitment to delay Ms. Greenhouse's dismissal until the completion of an inquiry by the Pentagon's inspector general.

Carol Sanders, spokeswoman for the Army Corps of Engineers, said Sunday that the personnel action against Ms. Greenhouse had been approved by the Department of the Army. And in a memorandum dated June 3, 2005, as the demotion was being arranged, the commander of the corps, Lt. Gen. Carl A. Strock, said the administrative record "clearly demonstrates that Ms. Greenhouse's removal from the S.E.S. is based on her performance and not in retaliation for any disclosures of alleged improprieties that she may have made."

Known as a stickler for the rules on competition, Ms. Greenhouse initially received stellar performance ratings, Mr. Kohn said. But her reviews became negative at roughly the time she began objecting to decisions she saw as improperly favoring Kellogg Brown & Root, he said. Often she hand-wrote her concerns on the contract documents, a practice that corps leaders called unprofessional and confusing.

Blatent targeting for criticizing the corruption of the Cheney Administration. There is no room for ethical government in Chimpy's world.

This should be a HUGE story because it goes hand-in-hand with the lies and gross negligence associated with the start of the war to the gross negligence and war profiteering of its prosecution.

Of course, it will likely not be. But oh lord, if this was the Clenis!

Stupid and Stupider


Hurricane Whores prattling on...right now Anderson Cooper is giving us a tour of a tree stump...


Praising this document as the greatest thing since, "We the People..."

We the sons of Mesopotamia, land of the (messengers), prophets, resting place of the holy imams, the leaders of civilization and the creators of the alphabet, the cradle of arithmetic: on our land, the first law put in place by mankind was written; in our nation, the most noble era of justice in the politics of nations was laid down; on our soil, the followers of the prophet and the saints prayed, the philosophers and the scientists theorized and the writers and poets created...

Rolls right off the tongue doesn't it? Sounds like the best possible preamble for product placement...

"We who do not take American Express, but love Visa;"

"Enthusiastic drinkers of 'Coke Zero' the greatest beverage since Tab;"

"Users of Mentos, the Freshmaker;"

"Giver of four-stars to the '40 Year-Old Virgin';"

"Enjoyers of Family Matters on Baghdad 5 at 5, we love us some Urkel;"

"Baba Booey;"

Maybe it sounds better in Arabic.

Moving right along...

Article (2):

1st -- Islam is the official religion of the state and is a basic source of legislation:

(a) No law can be passed that contradicts the undisputed rules of Islam.

Surely this last clause is the fault of Hugo Chevez!

Piling Cliche upon Cliche

Only the Bush Administration could spin in such a comical manner.

Bush is hyperresolute about the situation in Iraq according to advisers. "One of the things that's real consistent about this President is that he doesn't spook," says Bush's media advisor Mark McKinnon.

Bush doesn't spook?

Right, and Ann Coulter isn't terrified of flying pies.


Dear Leader and his enablers have been busy calling the draft Iraqi Constitution the functional equivalent of the American Constitution of 1787.

I consider that 3/5ths of a bad joke.

Billmon puts it in a lot better detail of just what a joke this is, in, even by his lofty standards, an exceptional post.

But even taking the analogy at face value, the objectives sought by the dominant parties in Iraq are the opposite -- in almost every way -- of those pursued by the majority of the delegates in Philadelphia.

Our framers sought a solution to the seemingly intractable problems of a weak, decentralized confederacy of semi-independent states: precisely the kind of government the ruling coalition of Kurds and Shi'a Islamists now want to create in Iraq, with the apparent blessing of the Cheney administration. What the American founders feared most -- the decomposition of the union into three or four mutually hostile regional confederacies -- is now the official goal of U.S. policy...

...By contrast, the Baghdad experiment (think of Frankenstein and his monster) is about consolidating the gains of the victors from the American invasion and sticking it to the losers. Maybe such a result was inevitable, given Iraq's tortured history and the hovering presence of the global hegemon. But it means that instead of a peace treaty, the resulting document looks more like a declaration of war -- a war which American dollars will have to fund, and American soldiers will have to fight...

...The boys of 2005 (and their American sponsors), on the other hand, are just pygmies pretending to be giants. And the Iraqi people are going to be footing the bill for those pretensions -- in blood -- for a long time to come.

Go read the rest of it.

Good Luck Gulf Coast

Let's hope the weakening of Katrina goes apace and a huge disaster is averted. Nevertheless, it sure looks bad.

If you wish to help out, here's the Red Cross donation line.

Oh, and somebody get Chad McChad some coffee, he just had a snit-fit on CNN when besweattered Carol Costello attempted to interrupt his weather porn.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Why Is Our Soldiers Dying?

Rarely is the question asked, one of our favorite prefaces to the oft-used punchline that is Dear Leader's daily mauling of the English language. Lots of bad news out of our colony currently headquartered in Baghdad, including this:

The new constitution is rejected by the second largest ethnic population in the colony.

Others warned of dire consequences should the draft become the law of the land.

"If the constitution is passed against the will of the Iraqi people, it will increase the violence," said Salih Mutlaq, a Sunni Arab negotiator on the constitutional panel.

Sunnis released a statement calling upon the Arab League and United Nations to intervene.

"The circumstances in which it is written are not good," said Ismail Zair, editor of the Sabah Jadid, a daily newspaper. "The constitution will face a severe campaign from the Sunni groups. I think they will be able to foil the constitution then violence will start."

Celebrations broke out today in Iraq's heavily Shiite south and in Sadr City, the Baghdad slum where millions of poor Iraqi Shiites live. Other Iraqis were filled with dread.

"Someone should have gotten up and said we're stalemated," said an Iraqi official with extensive knowledge of the constitutional process, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of his position in the government. "We cannot have a referendum on a document without the agreement of people we said represented the second largest group in the country."

Meanwhile, Bush spreads manure to a fawning press corps:

But the president sought to dispel any fallout from the failure to meet U.S. goals.

"Of course, there's disagreement," he said. "We're watching a political process unfold, a process that has encouraged debate and compromise — a constitution that was written in a society in which people recognize that there had to be give and take."

The U.S. Constitution, he noted, was not unanimously received.

"Some Sunnis have expressed reservations about various provisions of the constitution," Bush said. "There are strong beliefs among other Sunnis that this constitution is good for all Iraqis, and that it adequately reflects compromises suitable to all groups."
Despite the problems, Bush said the Iraqi people "have once again demonstrated to the world that they are up to the historic challenges before them.

"Their example is an inspiration to all who share the universal values of freedom, democracy and the rule of law," he said. "This is a document of which the Iraqis and the rest of the world can be proud."

He may not want to deal with the truth, choosing instead to expel little more than hot air. I'd rather he just fart when asked how things are going in Iraq. It is more honest and meaningful than what he normally produces.

Just so the King knows, some of his fellow travellers have figured out the cause of all the turmoil and what is getting our men and women killed over a constitution of which we can all be proud: gays.

The Rev. Fred Phelps, founder of Westboro Baptist in Kansas, contends that American soldiers are being killed in Iraq as vengeance from God for protecting a country that harbors gays. The church, which is not affiliated with a larger denomination, is made up mostly of Phelps' children, grandchildren and in-laws.

The church members carried signs and shouted things such as "God hates fags" and "God hates you."

About 10 church members protested near Smyrna United Methodist Church and nearly 20 stood outside the National Guard Armory in Ashland City. Members have demonstrated at other soldier funerals across the nation.

Beautiful, isn't it? I know they aren't in the mainstream, but I hold accountable the chimp for all the hate and venom he spews in the furtherance of spreading his agenda.

Calling for a HIGHER level of skill - A Contest

Than my feeble photoshopping skills can muster.

This ridiculous image came out in the wake of 9/11 and has persisted through Operation Clusterfuck.

Please feel free to show what Mr. Washington (First in War, First in Peace, Fist to the Jaw of El Chimperor) and Mr. Lincoln (The Great Chimpacitinator) would actually be doing to Bush if they could.

The best entries will get the kind of recognition that can only be provided by a blog with 2,000 visitors a day.

Please feel free to email your suggestions to me at ""


One City at a Time

Imagine a situation where you and your friends want to remake the world. You lust after remaking the world in your image or more correctly in the image of your God.

You are convinced that you are right, that you have devine guidance... why or why is it that religious extremists always believe that everyone else is wrong yet they are perfectly correct? Where is that much vaunted compassion? But times are tough for these zealots as there are many people opposed to your truth... so instead of trying to change policies, practices, and society through targeting national government you turn local.

Perhaps, think local, act global is the mantra for these folks. I am not talking about his imperial Bushness and the follies of his administation, I am not talking about "extremists" in Iraq but members of the religions nut whack here in the good ol' U.S. of A..

Strategizing a Christian Coup d'Etat

A group of believers wants to establish Scriptures-based government one city and county at a time.

August 28, 2005

GREENVILLE, S.C. - It began, as many road trips do, with a stop at Wal-Mart to buy a portable DVD player.

But Mario DiMartino was planning more than a weekend getaway. He, his wife and three children were embarking on a pilgrimage to South Carolina.

"I want to migrate and claim the gold of the Lord," said the 38-year-old oil company executive from Pennsylvania. "I want to replicate the statutes and the mores and the scriptures that the God of the Old Testament espoused to the world."

DiMartino, who drove here recently to look for a new home, is a member of Christian Exodus, a movement of politically active believers who hope to establish a government based upon Christian principles.

At a time when evangelicals are exerting influence on the national political stage - having helped secure President Bush's reelection - Christian Exodus believes that people of faith have failed to assert their moral agenda: Abortion is legal. School prayer is banned. There are limits on public displays of the Ten Commandments. Gays and lesbians can marry in Massachusetts.

Christian Exodus activists plan to take control of sheriff's offices, city councils and school boards. Eventually, they say, they will control South Carolina. They will pass godly legislation, defying Supreme Court rulings on the separation of church and state.

"We're going to force a constitutional crisis," said Cory Burnell, 29, an investment advisor who founded the group in November 2003.

"If necessary," he said, "we will secede from the union."

It's about MORE than Competence

Frank Rich hits both Bush and, importantly, the pusillanimous Democrats who, unlike the blogosphere, are unable to publicly step forth and strongly announce a plan for "Operation Get us the Fuck outta There!"

Man do I miss Wellstone, you know he would have been out with one months ago, if not years. Russ Feingold is virtually alone in this.

But it is not enough to just watch Bush go up in smoke, it is time to show responsibility and come up with a plan. Stop being, as Digby accurately pointed out, trapped by Vietnam. We fuckin' lost that war and the "DOVES" were fucking right. It has been the stabbing in the back of those who cannot admit they are wrong that remain the problem even today. The DLC "Republican Lite" chorus.

The Democrats are hoping that if they do nothing, they might inherit the earth as the Bush administration goes down the tubes. Whatever the dubious merits of this Kerryesque course as a political strategy, as a moral strategy it's unpatriotic. The earth may not be worth inheriting if Iraq continues to sabotage America's ability to take on Iran and North Korea, let alone Al Qaeda.

As another politician from the Vietnam era, Gary Hart, observed last week, the Democrats are too cowardly to admit they made a mistake three years ago, when fear of midterm elections drove them to surrender to the administration's rushed and manipulative Iraq-war sales pitch. So now they are compounding the original error as the same hucksters frantically try to repackage the old damaged goods.

Well, fuck 'em!

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Thoughts on Payola

With discussions about music payola still greatly influencing popular music comes these thoughts from musician David Byrne at his blog. Scroll down to the July 3oth entry. Read it. Then tell yourself you only love the music that you choose...

Bush and Company hates Truth

Not news you say? But the extent to which BushCo is willing to redefine truth and fire people who disagree dwarfs any previous administration. Just imagine how these same people would be howling if Clinton had done something like this. I wish to remind them that fair for the goose is fair for the gander.

Democrats in Congress are calling for the reinstatement of a Justice Department official who objected to his supervisors' demand to play down the findings of a report on racial profiling, reports the New York Times.

The White House is replacing Lawrence Greenfeld, director of the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), after he complained that senior political officials were seeking to distort publicly the findings of the statistical report by his agency. The report found that blacks and Hispanics were much more likely to have their vehicles searched or be subjected to the use of force once they were stopped.

Greenfeld objected to efforts by superiors at the Justice Department to delete references to the racial or ethnic disparities from a planned news release. In a letter yesterday to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, six Democrats called for Greenfeld's reinstatement. The letter said the Justice Department must "be forthcoming about these troubling statistics" from the report and that it was "essential that all data and statistical conclusions be free from political manipulation."

The incident points to the need to kill a provision of the 2001 USA Patriot Act that restricts BJS independence, Alfred Blumstein of Carnegie Mellon University, a former president othe American Society of Criminology, told Crime & Justice News. The clause requires BJS to clear grants and publications with an Assistant Attorney General.

The Greenfeld case, Blumstein says, "highlights the importance of the independence Congress mandated years ago when it was shown that research and statistics were under excessive control" by political appointees. The Justice Departmement has stressed that the police-stop report was posted on the Web without a press realese. Responds Blumstein: "What the public learns is predominantly what shows up in the press release. It is important that information given to the public not be distorted for political reasons."

Closeted White Supremacist or...?

what is Donald wildmon doing with a banner ad on this site? Or is this a razor perception that cuts just a little too deep?


Swoopa points out the moment of surrender from Bush probably happened yesterday with little notice.

Remember, this is what all the blood and all the treasure led to:




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NPR Finally Admits It Has Been Bought and Paid For By RNC

Normally in the post 8:00 a.m. (at least here in fly-over country) news slot with Scott Simon on NPR is Daniel Shorr. I think Mr. Shorr is going a little soft in his old age but he is a respected presence in the Washington press corps. I must also confess that my feeling that Shorr is going soft is only because he isn't tough enough in his criticism of the current administration; he is, like so many other journalists, infected with that need to be perceived as being "fair". It leads to too much blah, blah, blah.

But today, proof that the last relatively (I emphasize the word "relatively") news source has finally given in and joined in on the collective Bush,Cheney,Rove,Rumsfeld, Rice teat suck. Simon's news analyst guest: Jonah Goldberg. Honestly, what could they have been possibly thinking? Asking Jonah how the war in Iraq is going and why the constitutional process doesn't seem to be going too well is like asking Karl Rove why Bush is such a brilliant tactician.

What a terrible way to start the day.

The world must be coming to an end.


While George Bush "kicks back" at the Ranch and invites the press over for a fawning cookout, the long line of tragedy of his policy continues...

For the parents of Army Spc. Toccara Renee Green at Arlington National Cemetery (From the AP)

It is for the soldiers that we demand policies that are well-thought out and comprehensible.

That they are not wasted.

The kind of thing one would want to use their "pretty mind" to consider.


Billmon has what I think is the best analysis out there of Crazy Pat Robertson and not so crazy -- but leftist populist Hugo Chavez.

The irony here is that Chavez's brand of Huey Long-style socialism is being paid for by the enormous windfall revenues now being pumped out by the county's oil industry -- which in turn are a product, at least in part, of the insatiable U.S. thirst for imported crude. No wonder the Venezuelan oligarchy (the same creole elite that has owned Latin America since the conquest) hates his guts. Instead of looting the oil El Dorado for their benefit, he's milking it for the benefit of the country's impoverished mestizo majority. (And if some of that loot has also found it's way into Hugo's offshore bank accounts, or those of his political and military cronies, well ol' Huey would have understood. Populists aren't required to take a vow of poverty after all.)

But how Robertson's own interests fit into the picture is not clear. In this case Pat may be following his ideological obsessions, not his financial ones. He certainly isn't the first Southern ultraconservatives to show a sentimental weakness for Latin American-style fascism. I remember, for example, Jesse Helms's father-son relationship with Roberto D'Aubusson -- the Salvdoran death squad leader who ordered the hit on Archbishop Oscar Romero. Let's hope Lucifer gives Jesse a few extra pokes in his fat white ass for that one.

Chavez is guilty of one thing. Governing in South America while not letting the United States -- or American Corporations turn him and his country into supplicants.

Both Digby and Billmon have been on fire this week.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Support the Troops, Don't Waste them in Your Fucked Up War!!!

A KOS diarist discusses a new AP-Ipsos poll that gives a few swift kicks to C+ Augustus cocaine shriven gonads.

Do you approve or disapprove of the way the Bush administration has conducted the war in Iraq? (IF APPROVE/DISAPPROVE, ASK:) Is that strongly or somewhat?(Results from June 2005 in parentheses)

--Strongly approve, 20 percent (26)
--Somewhat approve, 16 percent (15)
--Somewhat disapprove, 13 percent (11)
--Strongly disapprove, 45 percent (45)
--Not sure, 5 percent (3)

TOTAL APPROVE -- 37 percent (41)
TOTAL DISAPPROVE -- 58 percent (56)


Has the military action in Iraq ...

(Results from April 2004 in parentheses)

--Increased the threat of terrorism in the world, 50 percent (47)
--Decreased the threat of terrorism in the world, 20 percent (25 percent)
--Had no effect on the threat of terrorism, 28 percent (25 percent)
--Not sure, 3 percent (3 percent)


Do you have a friend, colleague or family member who has served in the military effort in Iraq at any time since March 2003?

--Yes, 54 percent
--No, 45 percent
--Not sure, 1 percent

WHAP!! --- Getting harder to lie, now that most people have heard a first hand report of the reality and not the propanga of "PROGRESS"

And finally...

Do you think it is OK for people who oppose the war in Iraq to express their opposition publicly, or not?

--Yes, 87 percent
--No, 12 percent
--Not sure, 1 percent

THWACK!!! The American Legion Head is "out of the mainstream!"

Freedom on the March, Civil War on the Horizon...

The devolution of the Smirk.

We're seeing progress, Iraq is more secure (August 8, 2003)

"I see steady progress." (October 4, 2003)

Progress (November 17, 2003)

President Bush said Friday the United States is making progress in stabilizing Iraq a year after he stood before a "Mission Accomplished" banner

We're making progress (August 24, 2004)

"Our strategy is succeeding" (September 15, 2004)

Progress (March 8, 2005)

"I believe we're making really good progress in Iraq" (April 29, 2005)

Progress (May 31, 2005)

Progress (June 28, 2005)

He insisted progress was being made in Iraq (August 5, 2005)

"We're making progress" (August 23, 2005)

Oh, look how we're progressing:

Iraq on brink of meltdown

The credibility of Iraq's political process was in danger last night as parliament again failed to vote on a draft constitution which a Sunni politician said was "fit only for the bin".

The government had earlier announced plans to bypass parliament in an attempt to push through the document.

But as the final hours ran out before the deadline for approving the constitution, Hajim al-Hassani, the speaker of the parliament, appeared to overrule the country's leaders by insisting that negotiations would continue today, meaning that the deadline would be missed for the third time.

The impression of growing crisis in Iraq was reinforced when a new front erupted in the violent rebellion, with Shia Muslims fighting each other with guns and rocket-propelled grenades.

Ibrahim al-Jaafari, the prime minister, made an emergency television appeal for peace and sent two police commando units to Najaf where the fighting had started.

Throughout the day in Baghdad, politicians bickered over how to proceed with the constitution without driving the country to civil war.

As night fell, the government's official spokesman, Laith Kubba, announced that a final version of the document had been decided and compromise reached on three issues, although he did not say which. Sunni leaders said that no consensus had been reached.

Oh Jiminy Bejeebus this is funny

Bill O'Reilly pompous windbaggery has ballooned to such mammoth proportions that even famously conservative papers are calling him a crazed moron.

Look at the lineup on their opinion page for instance when we see this smackdown:

Our position on the Lunsford Act was perfectly clear. It is, simply, that the attorney general should study it before anyone decides that this specific law is the one New Hampshire should adopt. O'Reilly took that position and twisted it into something wholly unrecognizable, as a baboon would demolish a lump of Play-Doh.

His and his legal expert Wendy Murphy's suggestions that we oppose getting tough on child rapists, after we told O'Reilly's staff multiple times that we were concerned the Lunsford Act might be too lenient on them, is incomprehensible and in no way supported by the editorial or the statements we gave him after he began his Cro-Magnon ravings.

Most curiously, O'Reilly apparently began reading from our statement on the air, then stopped after two words. Instead of reading our statement or the original editorial, he just called us cowards. Nice. Way to face the facts and engage in an honest debate, there, Bill.

O'Reilly has not responded to our attempts to correct the misstatements. Must be a coward.

O'Reilly is trumpeting the Lunsford Act as the only possible way to get tough on sexual predators who prey on children, which of course is nonsense. He loves to mention the act's mandatory 25-year minimum sentence for anyone convicted of child rape. While we are all for mandatory minimums for sexually abusing a child (which O'Reilly knows), the Lunsford Act, at more than 80 pages long, contains a lot more than those mandatory minimums. O'Reilly's simplistic attempt to portray us as against tough punishments for sex offenders just because we want to see everything that is in the bill is childish and contemptible. But then, one could say the same of Bill O'Reilly himself.

Soooooooo, O'Reilly goads the publisher on to his show and the guest just makes O'Reilly look like a bigger goob than ever.

Crooks and Liars has the deliciousness.

Friday Miscellaneous Lifeform Blogging

This week we salute all the good Republicans who inhabit Fox (or other networks) and who must always be paired with a liberal (actually usually a moderate) to repeat the talking points the White House transfers wirelessly through an incredibly strong MIMO network.

In the old days of "basic cable" this used to be done naturally and instead of your Ann Coulters, your Sean Hannitys, your Rush Limbaughs, you had a different technique.

Heckle & Jeckle the Reagan White House Mynah Birds...

"Mr. Heckle as an advisor to President Reagan on domestic issues you must work very hard, nonetheless you are looking good today."

"I am a pretty boy, a pretty boy. A pretty boy because of wealth trickling down, yes trickling down. Tax Cuts, Tax Cuts, stay the course...stay the course."

Ambassador Jeckle, what is the President's plan when meeting with the Party Secretary?

"Trust but verify, trust but verify, trust but verify"

You see, technology may advance, but you can never really do it better than mother nature.

I'd just like to add

The modern Republican Party sure likes to use our kids to launch wars...too bad it doesn't know not only WHEN to fight, but how to fight as well -- other than through verbal thuggery.

I agree with Armando and Digby.




No meeting for Cindy, but let's try to build a chin for Dana Bash!

All the kewl kidz get some vittles and some pretty-face time with Dear Leader and Lump.

Oh man I used so many monikers in that last sentence it is a crime against humanity.

The casual affair of fried catfish, potato salad, coleslaw, homemade cheese and chocolate-chip cookies followed a tradition in which Bush and his wife, Laura, have the press covering his annual August vacation out to the their ranch in central Texas as a sort of thank-you.

The event was not held last year because of the busy campaign season. The invitations to the reporters were issued on the condition that they not discuss conversations at the event.

Thank you press, for doing my bidding.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Behold the Power, er, Dammit just behold!

It has been rough going for me lately, what with the Pat Sajak blog closed down.

But praise Jeebus, we've still got Pat Boone around.

Now, get off his lawn!

Here's a picture of Pat all excited to see Jeebus (DO NOT CLICK AT WORK!!! -- IN THE NAME OF ALL THAT'S SACRED DO NOT CLICK AT WORK!)

Desperate, Sad, Pathetic...

Is there nothing they will not scream at the top of their lungs and lie about?

Apparently not.

Plame Game Update

The L.A. Times (Subscription, but it's free) has an extensive article along with a fine timeline. My favorite section:

Wilson's accusations were based on an investigation he undertook for the CIA. But he was seen inside the White House as a "showboater" whose stature didn't warrant a high-level administration response. "Let him spout off solo on a holiday weekend," one White House official recalled saying. "Few will listen."

In fact, millions were riveted that Sunday as Wilson — on NBC's "Meet the Press" and in the pages of the New York Times and the Washington Post — accused the administration of ignoring intelligence that didn't support its rationale for war.

Underestimating the impact of Wilson's allegations was one in a series of misjudgments by White House officials...

...In public, the White House was predicting that weapons of mass destruction would be found. But behind the scenes, officials were worried about the failure to find those weapons and the possibility that the CIA would blame the White House for prewar intelligence failures.

Wilson seemed a credible critic: His diplomatic leadership as charge d'affaires in the U.S. Embassy in Iraq just before the 1991 bombing of Baghdad had earned him letters of praise from President George H.W. Bush.

That made him dangerous to the administration.

The Bush White House:

UNDERESTIMATED (or Misunderestimated?)

Experienced African and Iraqi based Diplomat criticizes quality of data on a White House claim relating to WMD.


Well known liar named "Curveball" and every WMD claim.

Nice going.

Read the rest of it, it has lots of info.


Our "Liberal" Media, from the article:

Cooper did not ask Rove for a waiver, in part because his lawyer advised against it. In addition, Time editors were concerned about becoming part of such an explosive story in an election year.

Thanks for being so "honest" and forthright with your readers in pursuit of the truth.

A New Stumbling Block in the Iraqi Constitutional Process was announced...

As thanks to its draft provision it is now illegal to cast the Seven Brides in this year's Musical Production.

Yes, Bush's speech to the National Guard was nearly an hour long, but remember he disappeared for like 45 minutes during the speech to go the dentist.

I don't want to Bogart other bloggers schtick

Especially when it comes to America's Worst Womb. So I'll just note this statement and let somebody else fill in the punchlines, but I'm guessing "thumbsucking" comes to mind...

RE: FETAL PAIN [Meghan Cox Gurdon]
Just had a sonogram, myself, today, and almost wept at the sweetness of the sight of daughter #4 SUCKING HER THUMB. Had heard this happens but have never seen it. Also she was yawning. Admittedly, she's not at the coarse, unfeeling age of 20 weeks; she's 34 weeks, so clearly she's MUCH more evolved, yet still, naturally, not quite human enough for pro-choicers to think worth saving...

But I digress.
Posted at 08:05 PM

Well, off to discuss the gaggle.

They say this cat TAFT is a bad mother...

Having a little too much fun with that podium Gov'nah?

Memo to Ohio GOP, don't sell a contributor down the river and think he won't pull you in with him.
Taft has maintained that he did not know of Noe's investments until reading newspaper reports about them in April of this year, and a spokesman for the governor reiterated that Wednesday.

"The governor wants to say again that Tom Noe did not tell him personally about the coin investment," spokesman Mark Rickel said.

Among the documents Wilkinson released is a public record showing that Noe, a prominent Republican fundraiser, was appointed as a fund manager for the workers' comp bureau in 1998.

In addition, Noe's 2003 public ethics disclosure form _ required because of his former position on the Ohio Turnpike Commission _ shows his affiliation with the coin funds, Wilkinson said.

Noe also bought scores of newspaper ads between 2003 and February of this year, publicizing his company by touting investments on behalf of the state.

"To our way of thinking, the most powerful way to disprove an allegation of concealment of a fact is to demonstrate that it was publicized," Wilkinson said.

One of Noe's newspaper ads boasts of his 30 years of knowledge in the coin industry.

"In fact, Tom is so successful, he was selected to manage two multimillion dollar coin funds on behalf of an Ohio state agency," the ad reads.

I believe that Taft's approval rating before he copped a plea to four misdemeanors was 17%. He's virtually in Alan Keyes territory by now.


Meanwhile, the head of Taft's security detail has recently attempted both the Neil Bush Sex Tour and the Neil Young Sex Tour.

Is Brooks even a sentient being?

In flailing about in desperate support for "Dear Lounger" Bobo manages to dig up two apologists for alternatively, the Kurds and BushCo and tries to present us with a turd and call it chocolate. But the topper is this line:

The constitution also exposes the canard that America is some imperial power trying to impose its values on the world. There are many parts of this constitution any American would love. There are other parts that are strange to us.

We FUCKING invaded a country, toppled its government, installed its current regime, and occupy it you goddamned moron! You don't get more of an "imperial power" than that. Jeebus, what a fucking goon!

When Bush's gross distortions (at best) about WMD, Al Qaeda ties, etc. were exposed -- they turned to promising "Freedom" and how it was marching and that the Iraqi people would set up a strong SECULAR land providing equal rights for all their people.

The fact that it is all going to shit, just shows that imposing systems from above through military means is extremely unlikely to succeed -- especially when it is done by Baffoons [which, by the way when done by choice is almost a 1:1 relationship]

Freeance and Peeance

Obviously off watching FoxNews...or something

Oh, look somebody is coming...

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

That's Mighty Big of Ya'

Ernest T. Bass, ESQ notes that Chimp's pelt is more flea-bitten than ever and proceeds to wonder (ok, it's Insta-Cracker -- not wonder, "link") whether they can get back on message after labor day like usual [Yes, 9/11 does follow labor day doesn't it?]

But my favorite part of the post was its conclusion:

I think everyone is tired. I was tired of the war before the invasion of Iraq and my involvement has been rather more peripheral than GWB's. But it's a good point.

I bet you're glad you did your part in criticising it back then huh?

You know who is really FUCKING tired of the war Glenn?

The childless parents, the parentless kids and the widows and widowers!

Billmon's absolutely right

As the woman who called Bush her "liberator" realizes that the U.S. has enabled the Shiites and the Kurds sell her the fuck down the river.

A yes...the purple fingers.

"Heh, Heh, you boys are usin' the wrong finger"

Word Serendipity

Just got this from a Word-A-Day folks:

malversation (mal-vuhr-SAY-shuhn) noun

Corrupt behavior in public office.

[From Middle French malversation, from malverser (to embezzle), from Latin maleversari (to behave badly), from male (ill) + versari (to behave), from vertere (to turn). Ultimately from Indo-European root wer- (to turn or bend) that is also the source of words such as wring, weird, writhe, worth, revert, and universe.]

Today's word in Visual Thesaurus

With the actions, legal violations, and God knows what else the Bushies have been up to, getting this word in the ol' email quite timely.

"Summertime Clues"

I prefer the Who version to the original Eddie Cochrane version, but YMMV.

Well, I'm gonna fight a war
I'm gonna spend your dollars
I know kids dyin' is a bummer

But keep a drivin' that hummer

Well, time I called up Condi
Try to get a date
Pickles says, "No dice George

You ball scratchin' ape!"
Sometimes I wonder
What I'm a gonna do

But there ain't no cure
For not havin' a clue

Oh, well my Mom done once told me, son
You've gotta make some money

If you want to use blow and
Avoid servin' every other Sunday
Well I didn't go to work
Told Karl Rove I was sick, he said
"Well you can ride your bike
as you never work a lick"
Sometimes I wonder
What I'm a gonna do

But there ain't no cure
For not havin' a clue

Well it's been a few weeks

Time to go on vacation
I'm gonna appoint this A-hole

To the United Nations
Well I called my father
And he said, "Whoa

I'd like to help you George
But you're such a fuckin' dope"
Sometimes I wonder
What I'm a gonna do

But there ain't no cure
For not havin' a clue


If there is a MOST sickening group of the large illness that is the chest-thumping, xenophobic, American Right, it is the the group that sees America as the "Shining City on a Hill" which naturally gives it a right to do whatever the fuck it wants.

Including committing murder.

Robertson is just the public voice of those who believe that ANYTHING in America's political interests, short or long-term, is okay, even if it runs counter to what we as a nation purport to stand on.

In the post World War II era both parties were rife with this thought. The Democratic Party to its credit, and political detriment, purged itself of this line as being acceptable at about the same time the Dixiecrats went to the GOP.

The Washington Post has the rundown.

The sad fact is that many right-wingers detest Robertson's language, but more than approve of the idea -- the idea of killing for imperial purposes as being moral.

How is that morally superior to the idea killing on the basis of race, religion, gender, or orietation?

Gunga Din

Tom Legg, found this lovely story:

A military intelligence interrogator was sentenced Tuesday to two months in prison after he admitted abusing an Afghan detainee who later died.

He admitted that he stood by as former Sgt. Selena M. Salcedo lifted a detainee known as Dilawar by his ear and as former Spc. Joshua R. Claus made another detainee roll around on the floor and kiss Walls' boots.

Walls also admitted to pushing Dilawar against a wall during the interrogation in which Salcedo abused him. Dilawar's death has led to charges against a number of service members.

Walls apologized for not stopping the other soldiers from abusing detainees and for assaulting Dilawar.

"I'm sorry because ... it was my duty to stop it and by not doing so I've embarrassed my unit, I've embarrassed the Army," Walls said in a soft voice. "It was humiliating. It was just wrong. I should have stopped it."

Salcedo, a military intelligence interrogator who worked with Walls at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan, pleaded guilty to similar charges earlier this month. Salcedo, who tearfully apologized for her conduct, told a military judge that Walls was with her when she mistreated Dilawar and that Walls pushed Dilawar.

Salcedo will be demoted, given a letter of reprimand and ordered to forfeit $250 a month for four months.

Dilawar died in December 2002, the same month he was detained...

...The most serious charges in the case were levied against Pfc. Willie V. Brand, a reservist and military police officer, who initially was charged with Dilawar's death. A military jury convicted Brand last week of assault, maltreatment, maiming and making a false official statement. The same jury spared Brand jail time, instead ordering that he be reduced in rank and pay to a private, the Army's lowest rank.

Though I've beaten you and flayed you
Until you joined the God that made you
I'll barely be punished for it Gunga Din

Finally, a true Defense Against Terror

Score another one for the veterans.

Feel bad for New England Though


Sometimes her taut lipped mien frustrates me, but she pulled out the chair and wacked it over Dear Lounger's noggin (five times Jon Gibson?) today.

The main point of writing a constitution was to move Sunnis into the mainstream and make them invested in the process, thereby removing the basis of the insurgency. But the Shiites and Kurds have frozen out the Sunnis, enhancing their resentment. So the insurgency is more likely to be inflamed than extinguished.

For political reasons, the president has a history of silence on America's war dead. But he finally mentioned them on Monday because it became politically useful to use them as a rationale for war - now that all the other rationales have gone up in smoke.

"We owe them something," he told veterans in Salt Lake City (even though his administration tried to shortchange the veterans agency by $1.5 billion). "We will finish the task that they gave their lives for."

What twisted logic: with no W.M.D., no link to 9/11 and no democracy, now we have to keep killing people and have our kids killed because so many of our kids have been killed already? Talk about a vicious circle: the killing keeps justifying itself.

Just because the final reason the president came up with for invading Iraq - to create a democracy with freedom of religion and minority rights - has been dashed, why stop relaxing? W. is determined to stay the course on bike trails all over the West.

The lack of reality within the Bush Administration is getting so bizarre it's starting to resemble Downfall, only instead of ranting himself, Bush goes out and rides bike to see if he can find Army Group Steiner. The ranting he saves for his droids on the chat shows.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

What does a lack of Criticism mean?

I was channel surfing this evening and I come across CNN and what should my wandering eyes see but three right-wingers who seem to be having a real problem condemning Pat Robertson. Scary.

So let's recap, Pat Robertson called for the asassination of the president of Venezeuala, saying that taking him out would prevent a long and protracted war. His statement was condemned by the US state department, but judging by the inability of some of his far right ilk, his sentiments are sadly shared by more than I would like to imagine.

Where is that damn mothership to beam me aboard? I am ready to leave.

Is it all about Economics?

Recently some friends and I have been arguing about whether there are clear economic interests in control of Mr. Bush's folly of a war.

It has often been said that war is an extension of politics, and I would add that politics is an extension of economics, which makes war an extension of economics. See, one plus one is two!

I think human history pretty much speaks for itself in that respect. But war is rogue economics at best as it tends to destroy whatever economic equilibrium there may be which results in outcomes that are much worse than the initial conditions. The people of Iraq are experiencing that nightmare right now. Saddam was evil yet the economy functioned.

To be against war is practically almost always justified. (I have little doubt that the Gulf War in the the early 90's was initiated by the US, not by Saddam, who got suckered into making some ill advised moves). And yes, if there are any right-wingers reading this -- this is not to say that Saddam was a good guy... he did bad things, etc etc...

These days a lot of time, talk, and tension exists around whether criticism of a poorly planned and executed war policy equals attacks on "the troops." To be against armed forces (and their recruitment) is a different matter entirely. The good ol' U.S. of A. is not the only (economic) bully on this planet, and a weakening of American forces would also destroy economic equlibrium yet again, with an outcome worse than the initial conditions, including the follies of wars that we have witnessed in recent memory.

This kind of thinking may be abhorrent to a peace activist, but whatever changes one argues for, one also has to face up to the consequences. This is why I am concerned about the corporate interests that are moving the strings of their political puppets like Mr. Bush behind the scenes.

Corporate actions is serious, because corporations like stability and try to prevent major power global shifts, like say destabilizing a region of the world. But every activity that is taken away from governments, every tax reduction, every bit of privatization and outsourcing, every bit of deregulation, diminishes the control people have over their lives. Corporate control destroys individual autonomy every time.

Corporations operate by their own, intrinsic and often unquestioned logic, not by human values or needs, not even simply greed. Greed is merely to be exploited and is a by-product of corporate actions. By surrendering to the assumed unquestionable corporate rule (say like the activities of Merck or Halliburton) and we are surrendering to machines or machine-like systems that have no souls which do not care about how we "feel" or how clean are food and water systems are.

We should bear in mind that all forms of government have been creations of economic interests that leave the majority of us out in the cold, even our current forms of so-called democracy here in the U.S. and the last vestiges of the welfare state that the right-wing have not deconstructed yet: they were creations of capitalists in defence against supposed dangers like socialism or vast apathy.

I still have trouble getting people to accept that they are not paying taxes in the way that they think. The truth is that the employer is putting money on the paycheck that is channeled to government to provide certain services to business (not to people). It gives the people an illusion of control and autonomy, and a little bit of real control from time to time... but very little. This is the direction in which we are marching at present; corporate and business welfare, fuck the people.

Clearly, business is using the military for its own interests (and a hired army made it easier), but it still does not have full control. By weakening the military, business would create its own solutions and alternatives (again Halliburton comes to mind), over which people have no control whatsoever. I think the ideal conditition of business is a borderless globe, with corporations in running everything. It is a scary thought.

"You will respect it, respect it!"

This past May, the U.S. Department of Education announced that all educational institutions receiving federal funding must observe the holiday of Constitution Day, celebrating the September 17, 1787 signing of a document that we are talking about a lot these days... the Constitution. No, not that Constitution, our Constitution.

According to the guidelines released by the Department of Edumacaation, educators in elementary and high schools are free to design "Constitution Day programming that best addresses the needs of their students." I wonder what they mean by "needs of their students." I picture Homer Simpson shaking his fist and saying in a menacing tone of voice that only Homer Simpson has: "respect it... respect it!"

Homer J. Simpson, Constitution lover