Saturday, September 30, 2006

"Quality Media"

Newsweek's cover botch -- now Time's incredible soft-shoeing of the Foley scandal:

Opinion may be divided over whether the e-mails Florida Representative Mark Foley sent a teen-age male congressional page last year were inappropriate or even constituted outright sexual harassment. But most observers would agree that what was almost as surprising as the allegations themselves was how swiftly the six-term Republican congressman from West Palm Beach quit a thriving career on Capitol Hill after the e-mails were aired Thursday night on the ABC evening news.

Apparently, the time Correspondent Tim Padgett didn't watch the entire ABC News report, which contained the following (Foley chatted as Maf54):

Thanks to AmericaBlog.



Republicans were aghast at Clinton's behavior, with many saying it showed he had lied and abused his power.

"It's vile," said Rep. Mark Foley, R-West Palm Beach. "It's more sad than anything else, to see someone with such potential throw it all down the drain because of a sexual addiction."

Found through Raw Story (you see Raw Story, that's how it's done)

Now, it's pronounced "BONER"

Washington Post last night:

House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) told The Washington Post last night that he had learned this spring of some "contact" between Foley and a 16-year-old page. Boehner said he told House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), and that Hastert assured him "we're taking care of it."

Roll Call:

Boehner strongly denied media reports late Friday night that he had informed Hastert of the allegations, saying "That is not true."

Revised Washington Post this morning:

Boehner later contacted The Post and said he could not remember whether he talked to Hastert.

Well it isn't exactly news...

Booby Culpa:

In Bob Woodward’s highly anticipated new book, “State of Denial,” President Bush emerges as a passive, impatient, sophomoric and intellectually incurious leader, presiding over a grossly dysfunctional war cabinet and given to an almost religious certainty that makes him disinclined to rethink or re-evaluate decisions he has made about the war. It’s a portrait that stands in stark contrast to the laudatory one Mr. Woodward drew in “Bush at War,” his 2002 book, which depicted the president — in terms that the White House press office itself has purveyed — as a judicious, resolute leader, blessed with the “vision thing” his father was accused of lacking and firmly in control of the ship of state.

Snark, ever the revealer of truth.

Our "buddies" in the War on "Terror"

It sure is good to have such a deft and adaptable intellect on the tiller of the ship of state:

Pakistan's intelligence agency was behind the train blasts in Mumbai in July that killed 186 people, Indian police say.

The attacks were planned by the ISI and carried out by the Islamist militant group Lashkar-e-Toiba, based in Pakistan, Mumbai's police chief said.

AN Roy said the Students' Islamic Movement of India had also assisted.

Pakistan rejected the allegations and said India had given no evidence of Pakistani involvement in the attacks.

"We have solved the 11 July bombings case. The whole attack was planned by Pakistan's ISI and carried out by Lashkar-e-Toiba and their operatives in India," Mumbai (Bombay) police commissioner AN Roy told a news conference.

Better send Hastert to the Vatican

As Ambassador, where he can hang out with Cardinal Law. gluttony a mortal or venal sin?

House Majority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) told The Washington Post last night that he had learned this spring of inappropriate "contact" between Foley and a 16-year-old page. Boehner said he then told House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.). Boehner later contacted The Post and said he could not remember whether he talked to Hastert.

Yet Foley retained his subcommittee chairmanship overseeing isses of child exploitation during this entire period.

In summary:

"Surf & Turf night at the 'Old Country Buffet'?" -- Denny is on it.

"Calling Democrats terrorist appeasers?"
-- Denny's first action every morning, before retiring for 3 hours to evacuate his bowels.

"Learning the words to the national anthem?" - Why? I pray to Jesus.

"Chairman of subcommittee on child exploitation, exploiting children?"
- Let's keep that under wraps.

Surely, Representative Foley was simply exercising the "James Dobson" method of youth instruction.

The Equation

Step 1:

Bush Lies

Step 2:

Democrats demonstrate that Bush Lied

Step 3:

Al Zawahiri says Bush is a liar

Step 4:

Right-wing drug addict says Democrats sound like Al Zawahiri




Friday, September 29, 2006

An unexpected message from Virginia

The bravest thing a Republican ever does

Nowadays is stand down wind of the First Flatulator.

(AP Photo/Joe Songer, Pool)

Sorry, but all I can really generate today (so far) are fart jokes. Scanning the snark-o-sphre I can see I'm not alone.

I did do something the other day at "Rising Hegemon: After Dark" though that many of you may not have seen.

*sigh* woo, fucking, hoo.

Um, yeah...

That's nice...

The Democratic vote in the Senate on Thursday against legislation governing the treatment of terrorism suspects showed that party leaders believe that President Bush’s power to wield national security as a political issue is seriously diminished.

You know what would have been more impressive?

Fucking killing this abomination!

I mean god forbid they do the "right thing" in addition to the political thing. How hard did they try to get those six votes to get a filibuster?

Look there's no doubt who the better of the two parties is (the question really is, do Americans want to lose the "war" and lose "themselves" at the same time or would they rather do neither?). Bush is a sociopath, a liar, and the greatest disaster as President since James Buchanan took his cocked head back to his Pennsylvania bachelor pad. Meanwhile, his party is his greatest enabler. DO NOT FUCKING FORGET THAT in your ire at the Democrats. Nevertheless, it is true that a little more spine and a little less calculation is what we, your fucking base, want.

I'm a liberal and I'm a Democrat, but most of all, I'm an American. And for this American this bill is the lowest moral & legal moment for the price of political expediency since Korematsu v. United States. And while far too many Democrats just folded on this, let's not forget the main agents of this botch. THE REPUBLICAN PARTY!

There is only one way to stop this shit and that is to kick the GOP out of control of Congress -- to some extent they need to be to save themselves as well. It won't solve everything, of course, but at a minimum it will curtail this shit.

Hagiography, it ain't what it used to be

I'm so pissed off over yesterday's tragedy that I fear I'm going to have to change my name to "Urine Stouffer". So I need to try to channel my anger into more productive activities.

Like blogging.

The book describes an exchange in early 2003 between Lt. Gen. Jay Garner, the retired officer Mr. Bush appointed to administer postwar Iraq, and President Bush and others in the White House situation room. It describes senior war planners as having been thoroughly uninterested in the details of the postwar mission.

After General Garner finished his PowerPoint presentation — which included his plan to use up to 300,000 troops of the Iraqi Army to help secure postwar Iraq, the book says — there were no questions from anyone in the situation room, and the president gave him a rousing sendoff.

But it was General Garner who was soon removed, in favor of Mr. Bremer, whose actions in dismantling the Iraqi army and removing Baathists from office were eventually disparaged within the government...

...The fruitless search for unconventional weapons caused tension between Vice President Cheney’s office, the C.I.A. and officials in Iraq. Mr. Woodward wrote that Mr. Kay, the chief weapons inspector in Iraq, e-mailed top C.I.A. officials directly in the summer of 2003 with his most important early findings.

At one point, when Mr. Kay warned that it was possible the Iraqis might have had the capability to make such weapons but did not actually produce them, waiting instead until they were needed, the book says he was told by John McLaughlin, the C.I.A.’s deputy director: “Don’t tell anyone this. This could be upsetting. Be very careful. We can’t let this out until we’re sure.”

Mr. Cheney was involved in the details of the hunt for illicit weapons, the book says. One night, Mr. Woodward wrote, Mr. Kay was awakened at 3 a.m. by an aide who told him Mr. Cheney’s office was on the phone. It says Mr. Kay was told that Mr. Cheney wanted to make sure he had read a highly classified communications intercept picked up from Syria indicating a possible location for chemical weapons.

The bolded portion sure sounds like what they continue to do.

Cheney up at 3 a.m. That is an outrage, no sane person is up at that time of day.

Aw, Golly who would ever think Karl Rove is a slimy bastard?

Another one of those "leakers" letting out information before the election. As Jon Stewart said tonight, how dare people be given "information" in which to make decisions before an election:

Mr. Rove has described Mr. Abramoff as a “casual acquaintance,” but the records obtained by the House committee show that Mr. Rove and his aides sought Mr. Abramoff’s help in obtaining seats at sporting events, and that Mr. Rove sat with Mr. Abramoff in the lobbyist’s box seats for an N.C.A.A. basketball playoff game in 2002.

After that game, Mr. Abramoff described Mr. Rove in an e-mail message to a colleague: “He’s a great guy. Told me anytime we need something just let him know through Susan.” The message was referring to Susan Ralson, Mr. Abramoff’s former secretary, who joined the White House in February 2001 as Mr. Rove’s executive assistant.

Ms. Ralston, who did not return phone calls seeking comment Thursday, was lobbied scores of times by Mr. Abramoff and his partners, the report found, and was instrumental in passing messages between Mr. Abramoff and senior officials at the White House, including Mr. Rove and Ken Mehlman.

Mr. Mehlman, now chairman of the Republican National Committee, was then a senior White House political strategist. A national committee spokeswoman, Tracey Schmitt, said Thursday that in Mr. Mehlman’s White House job, “it was not unusual” that he “would be in contact with supporters who had interest in administration policy.”

In October 2001, the report said, Mr. Abramoff asked the White House to withhold an endorsement from a Republican candidate for governor of the Northern Marianas Islands, an American commonwealth in the western Pacific where Mr. Abramoff had clients; Mr. Abramoff was backing another candidate.

On Oct. 31, 2001, the report said, Ms. Ralson sent an e-mail message to Mr. Abramoff that read: “You win :) KR said no endorsement.”

The revolution will not come through "smileys".

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Just a Comma

From Ann Telnaes

The New Anthem

My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of chimpery, in ball vice I sing:
Land where waterboarding's fine, land of the torturin' kind,
From ev'ry cat o'nine let victims scream!

It's just a matter of time before I disappear I guess:

Here's just one example of what's in the bill that few people are aware of. Yale professor Bruce Ackerman writes in a Los Angeles Times op-ed: "Buried in the complex Senate compromise on detainee treatment is a real shocker, reaching far beyond the legal struggles about foreign terrorist suspects in the Guantanamo Bay fortress. The compromise legislation, which is racing toward the White House, authorizes the president to seize American citizens as enemy combatants, even if they have never left the United States. And once thrown into military prison, they cannot expect a trial by their peers or any other of the normal protections of the Bill of Rights.

"This dangerous compromise not only authorizes the president to seize and hold terrorists who have fought against our troops 'during an armed conflict,' it also allows him to seize anybody who has 'purposefully and materially supported hostilities against the United States.' This grants the president enormous power over citizens and legal residents. They can be designated as enemy combatants if they have contributed money to a Middle Eastern charity, and they can be held indefinitely in a military prison."

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightening, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!
cries she
With silent lips. Give me your tired, your
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me.
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

How un-Bushamerican.

Torture that bitch.

Mustache Rider

Obviously a student of History that John Bolton. Responding to a UN report that supports the NIE in that Iraq has increased terrorism and opened new training vistas for Al Qaeda, our unambassador stated:

U.S. Ambassador John Bolton said it was natural that war would lead to more violence, citing as an example Japan's World War II attack on Pearl Harbor and the U.S. response.

"If you said after the attack on Pearl Harbor that the American response had increased the violence in the Pacific, you would be right, wouldn't you? Because violence did increase after the attack and after our response," he told reporters.

"We are in conflict with international terrorism and the nature of that conflict is playing out in Iraq," he said.

So, the invasion of Iraq naturally led to increased violence.

Did John Bolton just compare the United States to Tojo?

Read it again, he did indeed.

More Progress

Why didn't they have the Menards' guy build it? He could have gotten it done, done it better, "saved big money" and given everyone a lovely too-tight blue sweater!

A $75 million project to build the largest police academy in Iraq has been so grossly mismanaged that the campus now poses health risks to recruits and might need to be partially demolished, U.S. investigators have found.

The Baghdad Police College, hailed as crucial to U.S. efforts to prepare Iraqis to take control of the country's security, was so poorly constructed that feces and urine rained from the ceilings in student barracks. Floors heaved inches off the ground and cracked apart. Water dripped so profusely in one room that it was dubbed "the rain forest."

"This is the most essential civil security project in the country -- and it's a failure," said Stuart W. Bowen Jr., the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction, an independent office created by Congress. "The Baghdad police academy is a disaster."

That's not urine, it's raining freance!

(AFP/Jim Watson)

I used to try do this with Lara Flynn Boyle

But the restraining order stated I had to stay 100 yards away from her purging room.

Amanda Congdon visits the man in the grey turtleneck who bravely defends blogger and declared an "Open Thread" during this interview. No doubt under the orders of Generalissimo Commandante Supremo Presidente Maximo Kos.

Kevin Costner & Ashton Kutcher in the same movie?

The Guardian, acting surpassed only by Jackass 2!

Which I remind you starred; Johnny Knoxville, Steve-O

and of course, John Podhoretz and Ramesh Ponnuru.

Photo via Paramount Pictures

Another day in paradise

Ah, progress:

The bodies of 40 men who were shot and had their hands and feet bound have been found in the capital over the past 24 hours, police said Thursday.

All the victims showed signs of torture, police Lt. Thayer Mahmoud said. They were dumped in several neighborhoods in both eastern and western Baghdad, he said.

The top U.S. military spokesman in
Iraq, Maj. Gen. William B. Caldwell, on Wednesday said murders and executions are currently the main cause of civilian deaths in Baghdad.

Why can't they talk about the good news. Like all people having their bodies dumped near the schools that were painted three years ago?

Speaking of which, it's been six weeks since we've seen a post from Riverbend.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

What is the Difference?

What is the difference between "legal" and "illegal" immigration?

It appears, not much.

An investigation of so-called "legal" immigration by the Portland Press Herald uncovers strange happenings, rampant deception, irregularities, fraud, and a federal bureaucracy most notable for looking the other way.

So why is the "coyote" who leads immigrant workers across a southern dessert vilified and hunted down, while businessmen with fine suits, making respectable salaries, and with seemingly unlimited expense accounts, accomplishing essentially the same thing by similarly devious means, are ignored by the government?

Follow links for the full series.

Right Wing Bullying101

Watertiger has the details of just how disgusting the NY Post can be. God forbid they allow feedback.


Tony "Mooney Money" Blankley on the NIE:

Blankley: Because its not the end of the war yet! Because at this point, we're engaging the enemy. They're coming to the sound of our guns. We're fighting, they're rallying their side, we're trying to rally ours.

Matthews: What about Recruitment.

Blankely: Of course there's recruitment. You get more troops. As the war progresses, and then at some point you hope you that you overwhelm them - in this case a combination of ideas and struggle over a generation. But you can't measure the success of a war by stopping in the first few moments of it and say "there's more of the enemy."


What the fuck?!!!!

We have been in Iraq for more than 1,293 days by my count (and feel free to check my math, it is 4 a.m. as I write this). From Pearl Harbor to the Japanese saying "uncle" was 1,343 days (August 14, 1945). Our disastrous war in Iraq will last longer than our involvement in World War II, if one goes to September 1st, the day of the "formal" surrender near the 55th anniversary of Pearl Harbor (December 4/December 7).

Were the Japanese creating more fighters those last 50 days Tony? (If one want's to county from 9/11/01 BTW that's 550 plus days more, so Tony's at minus nearly a year and a half)

Generally the World War analogies are inapplicable, but on this score they are more than appropriate.

Who's sexy America?

Stephen Colbert that's who:

Is Stephen Colbert the hottest thing in TV news? Almost, according to a list compiled by editors at

Colbert, the 42-year-old anchor of Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report," placed second on the list of "TV's Sexiest News Anchors," posted on Maxim magazine's Web site. Melissa Theuriau, anchor of French TV news magazine "Forbidden Zone," is No. 1.

Sexier than Katie's colon that man is.

The rest of the list I've included for one important point:

Kiran Chetry of Fox News is No. 3, followed by Suzy Kolber of ESPN; Melissa Stark of NBC/MSNBC; Bobbie Thomas of Fox Sports; Sharon Tay, former host of "MSNBC at the Movies"; TV personality Lisa Guerrero; Cinnamon Stouffer of CNN Headline News; and Lara Logan of CBS News.

Cinnamon Stouffer?

I admit I never watch CNN:Headline News for fear of a Glenn Beck or Nancy Grace siting, but there's a person on earth who chose to go by the name Cinnamon Stouffer and she's a news anchor and not a porn star (or a microwave pastry)?

Get the fuck out!


I just had a great idea, and I expect Time-Warner to compensate me when it is implemented. Anyone who has flown is aware of "CNN:Airport". Let's make Ms. Stouffer the lead anchor and change her name to....

CinnaBon Stouffer!

It's synergy dammit!!!

Questions I would like to see asked

Enough of "do you favor or disfavor" the War (in Iraq, Afghanistan, or the way too general "war on terror")

I would like to see this question:

"Do you support the way in which (fill in your war) is being conducted?"

THAT I would like to see. To a certain extent there are questions that address that, but I would like to see it put starkly, without the words "Bush". I would bet the numbers would be appalling regarding Iraq, the "I don't knows" would be stunning on Afghanistan, and without the "polarizing" effect of Bush educational on the policy on the war on the concept.

Fucked up

Read the whole of Larry Johnson's analysis of the NIE, but this portion from Ray Close, who served as the top CIA official in Saudi Arabia, struck me as a noteworthy thing for reporters to ask (so naturally THEY WON'T -- what exactly is journalism school for if it produces this kind of reporting where obvious questions are not asked?)

A National Intelligence Estimate is just exactly what the title says it is. An NIE isn't issued every day. It sometimes takes weeks to write and coordinate. Even the decision to prepare an NIE in the first place is a painstaking one. It is a BIG DEAL, in other words. An NIE is not a single report from a single agency, but represents the considered judgment of the entire intelligence community (16 different agencies, in theory) on a subject deemed to be of vital significance to makers of national security and foreign policy.

If key members of Congress (like Majority Leader Bill Frist, who claimed ignorance of this report), and neither the House nor the Senate intelligence committees, have seen the document since it was produced in April, then we have to ask ourselves whether the White House and Congress take any serious interest in the most important products of America's enormous (and extremely expensive) intelligence empire. Are we to conclude that the "brains" of the United States Government (presumably those who formulate and carry out national policy) are simply not interested in making use of the best information and advice available to them? That seems to confirm the growing impression that policy is influenced today more by considerations of ideology and political expediency than by painstaking and objective study of the world situation.

No shit. Maybe someone like TIMMAH could bring this up? Maybe David Broder can put down the "Hai Karate" and inquire about it?


What it all means...

As the New York Times Editorial Page states:

It’s hard to think of a president and an administration more devoted to secrecy than President Bush and his team. Except, that is, when it suits Mr. Bush politically to give the public a glimpse of the secrets. And so, yesterday, he ordered the declassification of a fraction of a report by United States intelligence agencies on the global terrorist threat.

Mr. Bush said he wanted to release the document so voters would not be confused about terrorism or the war when they voted for Congressional candidates in November. But the three declassified pages from what is certainly a voluminous report told us what any American with a newspaper, television or Internet connection should already know. The invasion of Iraq was a cataclysmic disaster. The current situation will get worse if American forces leave. Unfortunately, neither the report nor the president provide even a glimmer of a suggestion about how to avoid that inevitable disaster.

Despite what Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and John Negroponte, the director of national intelligence, have tried to make everyone believe, one of the key findings of the National Intelligence Estimate, which represents the consensus of the 16 intelligence agencies, was indeed that the war in Iraq has greatly increased the threat from terrorism by “shaping a new generation of terrorist leaders and operatives.”

This is the Bush Administration, if the parts it actually allowed to be released -- no matter how its lobotomized apologists try to frame it -- are this bad, imagine what the other 26 or so pages are like. Hell, imagine how bad the "virtual" NIE about Iraq in particular is since they are trying to hold it until after the try to fool people beyond the first Tuesday in November.

A David Sanger states:

Three years ago, Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld wrote a memo to his colleagues in the Pentagon posing a critical question in the “long war’’ against terrorism: Is Washington’s strategy successfully killing or capturing terrorists faster than new enemies are being created?

Until Tuesday, the government had not publicly issued an authoritative answer. But the newly declassified National Intelligence Estimate on terrorism does exactly that, and it concludes that the administration has failed the Rumsfeld test...

...Portions of the report appear to bolster President Bush’s argument that the only way to defeat the terrorists is to keep unrelenting military pressure on them. But nowhere in the assessment is any evidence to support Mr. Bush’s confident-sounding assertion this month in Atlanta that “America is winning the war on terror.’’

While the spread of self-described jihadists is hard to measure, the report says, the terrorists “are increasing in both number and geographic dispersion.”

It says that a continuation of that trend would lead “to increasing attacks worldwide’’ and that “the underlying factors fueling the spread of the movement outweigh its vulnerabilities.’’...

...“I guess the overall conclusion that you get from it is that we don’t have enough bullets given all the enemies we are creating,’’ said Bruce Hoffman, a professor of security studies at Georgetown University.

...As a political matter, at least for the next few weeks, the intelligence findings will only fuel the argument over Iraq on both sides. Mr. Bush has grown increasingly insistent that nothing he has done in Iraq has worsened terrorism. America was not in Iraq during the first World Trade Center attack in 1993, he said, or during the bombings of the U.S.S. Cole or embassies in Africa, or on 9/11.

But that argument steps around the implicit question raised by the intelligence finding: whether postponing the confrontation with Saddam Hussein and focusing instead on securing Afghanistan, or dealing with issues like Iran’s nascent nuclear capability or the Middle East peace process, might have created a different playing field, one in which jihadists were deprived of daily images of carnage in Iraq to rally their sympathizers.

I wonder who could have possibly forseen such consequences?

To occupy Iraq would instantly shatter our coalition, turning the whole Arab world against us and make a broken tyrant into a latter-day hero… assigning young soldiers to a fruitless hunt for a securely entrenched dictator and condemning them to fight in what would be an unwinnable urban guerrilla war. It could only plunge that part of the world into even greater instability.
- George H.W. Bush, in A World Transformed, 1998.

"Historical" Deceit

Here's something else that Chris Wallace has never asked Condi Rice. Perhaps now someone will.

From the NY Post for Chrissakes (I should note they could have asked this of Rice withing the last couple days when she came there to lie about getting a "plan" for Al Qaeda from the Clinton Administration):

Condoleezza Rice's office gave final approval to the infamous Environmental Protection Agency press releases days after 9/11 claiming the air around Ground Zero was "safe to breathe," internal documents show.

Now Secretary of State, Rice was then head of the National Security Council - "the final decision maker" on EPA statements about lower Manhattan air quality, the documents say.

Scientists and lawmakers have since deemed the air rife with toxins.

Early tests known to the EPA at the time had already found high asbestos levels, the notes say. But those results were omitted from the press releases because of "competing priorities" such as national security and "opening Wall Street," according to a report by the EPA's inspector general.

Perhaps if these toxins had been a danger to shoe leather...

Thanks to Spocko

The man who saved the World

Now that the cold-war is over perhaps we can give a shout out to a former "commie" (as long as he or she is not a former "islamo-pinko"):

On 26th September 1983 the hero of the day, Colonel Stanislav Yefgrafovich Petrov, clocked on for work as normal. Petrov was in charge of the Soviet Union’s satellite warning systems and this was the height of the cold war. Everyone was on edge because NATO was carrying out its annual tactical exercises and two weeks before the Soviets had shot down a Korean airliner that had wandered into the wrong airspace.

Meanwhile in the wider picture Ronald Reagan was publicly calling the Soviet Union an ‘Evil Empire’, the warm up man at a UK Conservative party rally had opened with the call to “Bomb Russia” and we had Andropov, a former leader of the KGB, as the current ruler of the Kremlin. Things were, to put it mildly, on a hair trigger...

...Anyway, at 40 minutes past midnight on the 26th Petrov looked up and saw a missile launch from a United States silo had been detected by one of his satellites. Now you might expect panic at this point but missile command tends to attract the serious, sober type, probably the type of people who smoke a pipe and sew leather patches on their jackets, and Petrov kept his head.

He knew the satellite had been reported as suspect and decided to hold off on informing the high command. Then a second missile launch was picked up, and shortly after another, and another and another. Petrov knew that if he waited until he could confirm the launches with ground radar it would be too late for his country, he and his family would die and the Yankees would win the Cold War.

Thankfully for us he thought before acting. He reasoned that it was illogical for a surprise attack to launch missiles one after the other – instead you’d launch everything you had and hope to wipe out the enemy before they reacted. He left the launch button alone and thankfully the missiles proved to be ghosts.

Myself and millions other slept peacefully in our beds that night, blissfully unaware of how close we came to fiery death or a worse existence than we could imagine if we had lived. Had the missiles flown Britain would, according to government war plan projections, currently be at a medieval level of technology in most places, having lost 90 per cent of its population.

Petrov was reprimanded and now lives in the scientific community of Fryazino in Russia. He was honoured this year in a ceremony at the United Nations and has been honoured with two World Citizen Awards. So take some time out today and say your private thanks to the man who saved the world.

Many of you may have never heard of this guy, though some of you, like me may have heard of the incident. This man is one of the great heroes of human history. Naturally, in the old Soviet military system he was reprimanded. For all I know there is likely a similar story in our Armed Forces. Hopefully they weren't reprimanded too.

Imagine if a Soviet version of Richard Perle or Dick Cheney had been there? I think we can be pretty sure, Bush would not have been able to pass the exams to have the job, but he'd certainly be there to watch the launches.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Help him out

If I can use the run of visits I've gotten on this blog to help NTodd get 500k then I can say to myself that I've helped someone obtain a totally meaningless objective, instead of doing good.

Lazy again

Ms. "Historical Document" Herself:

"We were not left a comprehensive strategy to fight al Qaeda," Rice said in a transcript of her comments released by the State Department.

Naturally, the broadcast media doesn't spend 30 seconds googling:

One such meeting took place in the White House situation room during the first week of January 2001. The session was part of a program designed by Bill Clinton's National Security Adviser, Sandy Berger, who wanted the transition between the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations to run as smoothly as possible. With some bitterness, Berger remembered how little he and his colleagues had been helped by the first Bush Administration in 1992-93. Eager to avoid a repeat of that experience, he had set up a series of 10 briefings by his team for his successor, Condoleezza Rice, and her deputy, Stephen Hadley.

Berger attended only one of the briefings—the session that dealt with the threat posed to the U.S. by international terrorism, and especially by al-Qaeda. "I'm coming to this briefing," he says he told Rice, "to underscore how important I think this subject is." Later, alone in his office with Rice, Berger says he told her, "I believe that the Bush Administration will spend more time on terrorism generally, and on al-Qaeda specifically, than any other subject."

The terrorism briefing was delivered by Richard Clarke, a career bureaucrat who had served in the first Bush Administration and risen during the Clinton years to become the White House's point man on terrorism. As chair of the interagency Counter-Terrorism Security Group (CSG), Clarke was known as a bit of an obsessive—just the sort of person you want in a job of that kind. Since the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole in Yemen on Oct. 12, 2000—an attack that left 17 Americans dead—he had been working on an aggressive plan to take the fight to al-Qaeda. The result was a strategy paper that he had presented to Berger and the other national security "principals" on Dec. 20. But Berger and the principals decided to shelve the plan and let the next Administration take it up. With less than a month left in office, they did not think it appropriate to launch a major initiative against Osama bin Laden. "We would be handing [the Bush Administration] a war when they took office on Jan. 20," says a former senior Clinton aide. "That wasn't going to happen." Now it was up to Rice's team to consider what Clarke had put together.

Berger had left the room by the time Clarke, using a Powerpoint presentation, outlined his thinking to Rice. A senior Bush Administration official denies being handed a formal plan to take the offensive against al-Qaeda, and says Clarke's materials merely dealt with whether the new Administration should take "a more active approach" to the terrorist group. (Rice declined to comment, but through a spokeswoman said she recalled no briefing at which Berger was present.) Other senior officials from both the Clinton and Bush administrations, however, say that Clarke had a set of proposals to "roll back" al-Qaeda. In fact, the heading on Slide 14 of the Powerpoint presentation reads, "Response to al Qaeda: Roll back." Clarke's proposals called for the "breakup" of al-Qaeda cells and the arrest of their personnel. The financial support for its terrorist activities would be systematically attacked, its assets frozen, its funding from fake charities stopped. Nations where al-Qaeda was causing trouble—Uzbekistan, the Philippines, Yemen—would be given aid to fight the terrorists. Most important, Clarke wanted to see a dramatic increase in covert action in Afghanistan to "eliminate the sanctuary" where al-Qaeda had its terrorist training camps and bin Laden was being protected by the radical Islamic Taliban regime. The Taliban had come to power in 1996, bringing a sort of order to a nation that had been riven by bloody feuds between ethnic warlords since the Soviets had pulled out. Clarke supported a substantial increase in American support for the Northern Alliance, the last remaining resistance to the Taliban. That way, terrorists graduating from the training camps would have been forced to stay in Afghanistan, fighting (and dying) for the Taliban on the front lines. At the same time, the U.S. military would start planning for air strikes on the camps and for the introduction of special-operations forces into Afghanistan. The plan was estimated to cost "several hundreds of millions of dollars." In the words of a senior Bush Administration official, the proposals amounted to "everything we've done since 9/11."

And that's the point. The proposals Clarke developed in the winter of 2000-01 were not given another hearing by top decision makers until late April, and then spent another four months making their laborious way through the bureaucracy before they were readied for approval by President Bush. It is quite true that nobody predicted Sept. 11—that nobody guessed in advance how and when the attacks would come. But other things are true too. By last summer, many of those in the know—the spooks, the buttoned-down bureaucrats, the law-enforcement professionals in a dozen countries—were almost frantic with worry that a major terrorist attack against American interests was imminent. It wasn't averted because 2001 saw a systematic collapse in the ability of Washington's national-security apparatus to handle the terrorist threat.

The point isn't that Clinton (or Bush I & Reagan) couldn't have done more, it's that the Bush Administration and the Right-Wing are, as Olbermann said, trying to re-write history and selling it to the ignorant. It is the press's job, including televisions, to see some sense of reality be infused with their history.

An Army of None

It isn't just the retired generals, who spoke yesterday before a special hearing that required the Democrats to call it, but inside as well.

Fred Kaplan reports it is Army Chief of Staff Peter Shoomaker:

The trumpet sounded last month, when Schoomaker refused to give Rumsfeld a detailed Army budget proposal for fiscal year 2008. The Air Force and Navy met the Aug. 15 deadline for submitting their program requests. But Schoomaker—in an unprecedented move—said he preferred not to...

...It's not just the repair depots that are overworked. Friday's New York Times reported that the Army is so bogged down in Iraq and Afghanistan that just two or three active-duty combat brigades—7,000 to 10,000 soldiers—are fully ready to deal with a crisis that might erupt elsewhere in the world.

And among the units cycling in and out of Iraq, troubles are brewing. The 3rd Infantry Division, which so quickly roared up the desert to Baghdad at the outset of this war, is scheduled to head back to Iraq soon for its third tour of duty. Yet, according to a story in today's New York Times, two of the division's four brigades aren't ready to go. They have none of their armored vehicles and only half of their troops.

Units throughout the Army are so strained, generals say, that they're going to have to rely even more on the National Guard and Reserves, which are wildly overwhelmed themselves.

Meanwhile, to meet enlistment targets, the Army has raised the maximum age of recruits to 41, lowered their required aptitude scores, and—in another recent gulp—relaxed moral and disciplinary standards.
Why it's almost as if they are begging Jonah Goldberg to enlist!


We are, however, quite fucked.


Found at Mark Evanier's blog, who has a habit of discovering these things. Star Trek, Python, other than that there are no other words for this video -- other than it's fucking awesome.

Thank you Mr. Olbermann


Just wow!

Originally from Crooks & Liars.

I expect the Bush-enablers to be coming for Mr. Olbermann's show today. But you can thank him.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Stay tuned for your parting gifts

Larry Sabato, of all people, may have dealt a death blow to George Allen, a seat the GOP once thought safe is about to be lost to the Democrats.

Too bad huh?

And now the NY Times has noticed. Josh Marshall is hinting that something even more explosive is coming out.

If you want to know why the Media is fucked up

And why Jon Meachem is justifiably facing my ire this morning then look at this.

Look no further than Newsweek's cover this week by geographical region:

A cover story about Annie Leibovitz. Nothing personal against her, but JEEBUS!!

I thought after the Clenis "blowjobs" were verbotten

But Peter Baker of the Washington Post indicates otherwise.

If he does not show that publicly, it's in keeping with a White House practice of not drawing attention to the mounting costs of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, which have killed more than 3,000 U.S. troops and tens of thousands of civilians. Advisers worry that sending the wrong signal would further sap public will and embolden the enemy and Bush's critics. Aides say that Bush does not attend military funerals because the presidential entourage would disrupt solemn events and that the media have been banned from photographing coffins arriving at Dover Air Force Base out of respect. But they also know it would draw unwelcome attention to the price of the president's policies.

Bush is less reticent about public displays of grief for victims of Sept. 11. During the recent events marking the fifth anniversary of the attacks, he teared up several times and at one point had to concentrate just to finish a speech. "Your heart breaks for somebody who suffered," he later told Charles Gibson of ABC News. "Tears can get contagious as far as I'm concerned."

For those who have suffered losses in the wars he initiated, Bush prefers to offer comfort in private. He writes letters to families of those killed, visits soldiers at military hospitals and meets with relatives of the dead. Altogether, according to the White House, Bush has met with 1,149 relatives of 336 dead service members. These sessions generate little attention because the White House bars journalists, but some relatives have described them.

As fucked up as Vietnam was, at least we know Johnson really fucking suffered (good!) I find it far more disturbing that we have articles using anonymous White House aides and grieving families for which Bush puts on the "show" to demonstrate this sociopath who described all these needless deaths and maimings as "a comma" as credible sources.



President Bush announced the attack in a four-minute television speech to the nation. "On my order, coalition forces have begun striking selected targets of military importance to undermine Saddam Hussein's ability to wage war," he said. "These are the opening stages of what will be a broad and concerted campaign."

Minutes before the speech, an internal television monitor showed the president pumping his fist. "Feels good," he said.


Obviously, as it is less than a half-hour old I don't have the transcript but Jon Meachem of Newsweek was just interviewed by soul-sucking Don Imus and described the Clinton interview on FoxNews thusly. I'm paraphrasing:

"The whole thing showed the good and bad of Bill Clinton and how self-obsessed he is. It is really Bill Clinton's fault that when he took action against Al Qaeda or bin Laden we accused him of wagging the dog. It really is a shame that he is so delusional and self-centered as to know that he is to blame for the press corps reaction."

It was actually even worse than that. When the transcript goes up I'll post it and I'll do it after lunch for my bulemic readers.

I'm not one to criticize Hereditary Despots too much but...

Seriously, dude, where's the bling?

Now, Baby Doc, there was a Dictator with style.


I was thinking of a musical number

To parody Bush's latest inappropriate analogy, but you know I never liked (and that's mild) Culture Club and consider Karma Chameleon their worst song, so I'll be damned if I am going to parody it.

So let me just defy the man who believes "Strunk & White" over the "National Intelligence Estimate" by stating:

F,,, Bush


Command that Commander Comma and his minions release the NIE!

Josh Marshall is right:

Call up your representative and senators -- Republican or Democrat, it doesn't matter -- and tell them you want the April National Intelligence Estimate ("Trends in Global Terrorism: Implications for the United States") released to the public. Now. Before the election. So the public can know what the White House has been keeping from them...

...For the last six weeks and, in fact, the last six months, the White House and the president have been engaged in a coordinated campaign to convince the public that despite the setbacks and mistakes, the war in Iraq is a critical component of fighting the War on Terror. Making that argument is their plan for the next six weeks until the election. All the while, they've been sitting on a report that says that's flat wrong, a lie and that precisely the opposite is the case.

That's a cover-up in every meaningful sense of the word, a calculated effort to hide information from and deceive the public. And it's actually a replay of what happened in late 2002, when the White House kept the Iraq WMD NIE's doubts about Iraqi weapons programs away from the public.

The president has made very clear he wants the next six weeks to be about Iraq and the War on Terror. By all means, let's do it. But first the president has to come clean about what he's keeping hidden from the public -- the fact that the people he has fighting the War on Terror are telling him that what he's telling the public about Iraq and the War on Terror flat isn't true.

Late word from the White House is that the Times report is "not representative of the complete document." Well, then, by all means, let's get a look at the whole thing so the public can get the big picture and find out who's telling the truth.

So pick up the phone and tell your reps and senators what you think. Then ask them whether they support releasing the April Iraq/Terrorism NIE to the public before the November election. Yes, or no. You may hear excuses that it can't be released because it's classified. But that's plain bull. Reports like this are routinely and without much difficulty released in redacted versions which remove any specific information that might reveal what intel types call 'sources and methods'

Sunday, September 24, 2006

It's 1:59 a.m. and 'last call' at the Watering Hole

And David Broder is a dozen highballs down and looking at the pretty woman with the stubble and the smell of Aqua Velva (although Broder may not be able to smell it because he's still using his 40 year old jug of 'Hai Karate').

He's as pathetically delusional in his milquetoast way as Krauthammer. Did you notice your "brave" so-called Republican centrists (HA!) caved this week Broder? Of course not.

I forgot that Broder is 'Hai Karate's' former spokesmodel.

Photo from TV

Personal Responsibility

It's what should be coming in November. I mean, isn't it about time some folks got held responsible for their mistakes - given that they refuse to take responsibility for it themselves?

A 30-page National Intelligence Estimate completed in April cites the "centrality" of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, and the insurgency that has followed, as the leading inspiration for new Islamic extremist networks and cells that are united by little more than an anti-Western agenda. It concludes that, rather than contributing to eventual victory in the global counterterrorism struggle, the situation in Iraq has worsened the U.S. position, according to officials familiar with the classified document.

"It's a very candid assessment," one intelligence official said yesterday of the estimate, the first formal examination of global terrorist trends written by the National Intelligence Council since the March 2003 invasion. "It's stating the obvious."

The NIE, whose contents were first reported by the New York Times, coincides with public statements by senior intelligence officials describing a different kind of conflict than the one outlined by President Bush in a series of recent speeches marking the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

Yet Bush, Cheney and virtually every major Repubulican says they would have done things pretty much the same. You know the Washington Post has some pretty good reporters out there. Fred Hiatt out to consider reading his own paper on occasion.

So Mr. & Ms. non-delusional American, how can you possibly trust the Bush Administration and it's enablers from John McCain to Joe Lieberman? to do the right thing about this nightmare -- or anything -- in the future? They have, after all, just managed to give themselves carte blanche to torture people.

I wrote yesterday of the NY Times version of this same story, and Glenn Greenwald is spot on when he says this:

If I were shaping the Democrats' election strategy, I would create a television commercial where someone reads the following four paragraphs -- from a new report in the NYT today -- and then I would air it over and over and over every single day as much as possible until November 7:

A stark assessment of terrorism trends by American intelligence agencies has found that the American invasion and occupation of Iraq has helped spawn a new generation of Islamic radicalism and that the overall terrorist threat has grown since the Sept. 11 attacks.

The classified National Intelligence Estimate attributes a more direct role to the Iraq war in fueling radicalism than that presented either in recent White House documents or in a report released Wednesday by the House Intelligence Committee, according to several officials in Washington involved in preparing the assessment or who have read the final document.

The intelligence estimate, completed in April, is the first formal appraisal of global terrorism by United States intelligence agencies since the Iraq war began, and represents a consensus view of the 16 disparate spy services inside government. Titled “Trends in Global Terrorism: Implications for the United States,’’ it asserts that Islamic radicalism, rather than being in retreat, has metastasized and spread across the globe.

The report “says that the Iraq war has made the overall terrorism problem worse,” said one American intelligence official.

Numerous sources told the NYT about the contents of NIE, which "are the most authoritative documents that the intelligence community produces on a specific national security issue, and are approved by John D. Negroponte, director of national intelligence." So this assessment -- that the war in Iraq has increased the terrorist threat to the U.S. -- is from the Bush administration itself and is the consensus of the same intelligence community which the administration purged of all dissidents.

The Iraq invasion was Katrina with better photo ops.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Assume Osama is dead...

Death by natural causes. No capture, no trial, no real punishment. Ultimately brought to his more than timely demise by the classic ancient killer of centuries past, typhus, or some other such ailment. At the not terribly ripe old age of 49. Deprived of this singular moment of him being brought to justice via capture or a well-placed bomb what real satisfaction is there, other than, well good riddance?

I just cannot picture how this is "good news for Bush?" as Cavuto would say. Appropriate or not, he has become, no matter how much the Bush Administration has tried to build up others, as the singular villain of 9/11, and here the American people are with only the butcher's bill and no filet minion of bin Laden on a gibbet.

So half-a billion trillion dollars, tens of thousands dead and all we have left is a more dangerous world thanks to our bad investment strategy. For, oh yes, it has been one terrible "strategery".

A stark assessment of terrorism trends by American intelligence agencies has found that the American invasion and occupation of Iraq has helped spawn a new generation of Islamic radicalism and that the overall terrorist threat has grown since the Sept. 11 attacks.

The classified National Intelligence Estimate attributes a more direct role to the Iraq war in fueling radicalism than that presented either in recent White House documents or in a report released Wednesday by the House Intelligence Committee, according to several officials in Washington involved in preparing the assessment or who have read the final document.

The intelligence estimate, completed in April, is the first formal appraisal of global terrorism by United States intelligence agencies since the Iraq war began, and represents a consensus view of the 16 disparate spy services inside government. Titled “Trends in Global Terrorism: Implications for the United States,’’ it asserts that Islamic radicalism, rather than being in retreat, has metastasized and spread across the globe.

An opening section of the report, “Indicators of the Spread of the Global Jihadist Movement,” cites the Iraq war as a reason for the diffusion of jihad ideology.

The report “says that the Iraq war has made the overall terrorism problem worse,” said one American intelligence official.

On The Great Compromise

The MSM has for days now been spewing nonsense about the great compromise reached between the Cheney administration and three principled senators who had the courage to stand-up to the White House. No writer has said it better than Digby (Attaturk links below), who probably says exactly what most of us are thinking: once we begin debating just how much torture is acceptable, the debate is already over and lost. Here they talk as if compromise is always a good end, kind of like Joe Lieberman uses the word "bipartisan". There are times when the act of compromise is not a good outcome, when looking for middle ground is not a desirable end. Generally that is when we are talking about accepting a diminution in the principles and ideals that separate our society from those we could never imagine we could become.

There are times that winning an election is secondary to speaking the truth, though I do not see that the two are mutually exclusive. That the Democrats have yet to utter a word about the damage the Republicans are doing to the foundation of our society is more than disappointing, it is as bad as the compromise itself.

You know I spend a lot of time on an easy mark

Calling Bush a moron, a dupe, a fool, socially awkward, a gigantic fucking doofus, a baby, a whiner, a spoiled brat, a shallow cad, stupid, arrogant, petulant, horrible, disastrous, crazy, callow...

You know I could go on for a while and though I would enjoy it, it takes away from my point.

I spend all this time on Bush's intellectual vacuity being a huge problem, but I rarely do with Cheney, the real power broker in the White House. Oh sure, I call him evil, twisted, heartless and a tool all the time -- and those are all more than just debasing, they are quite fair.

But let's face it, Bush's shallowness only allows Cheney's stupidity to really shine through. Dicky Boy is no Bismark, that's for sure. In fact, he is as stupid and foolish as they come -- all while being incredibly power mad.

I have made my share of Chauncey Gardner jokes about Bush, but to be fair to the Chimperor, there is not a lot of evidence he watches anything on television other than baseball and football. And while neither of those things are edifying, there are only so many times John Madden can say the three things he says before you catch on to the act (talk about a good gig, how much has that guy made from saying "boom"?), watching sports is generally harmless and not confused with what "you" can do.

Cheney, however, seems to watch a LOT of television. From his contracts mandating the television be pre-set to FoxNews (undoubtedly for both vanity and translational purposes), when he has watched quality television he seems unable to distinguish between what he sees on television and reality.

For example, there is now a well-known story (at least on the blogosphere) of how during the First Gulf War Cheney sent both videotapes and military strategy suggestions based on the PBS classic documentary "Ken Burns: The Civil War" to General Schwartzkopf:

Following one White House meeting at which he'd asked for more time and more troops, Stormin' Norman reports, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Colin Powell called to warn the Desert Storm commander that he was being loudly compared, by a top administration official, to George McClellan. "My God," the official supposedly complained. "He's got all the force he needs. Why won't he just attack?" Schwarzkopf notes that the unnamed official who'd made the comment "was a civilian who knew next to nothing about military affairs, but he'd been watching the Civil War documentary on public television and was now an expert."

And then, twenty pages later, Schwarzkopf casually drops the information that he got an inspirational gift from Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney right before the air war finally got under way. Cheney was presenting a gift to a military man, and he chose something with an appropriate theme: "(A) complete set of videotapes of Ken Burns's PBS series, The Civil War."

But that wasn't the only gift that Dick Cheney had for Norman Schwarzkopf. Having figured out that the general was being too cautious with his fourth combat command in three decades of soldiering, Cheney got his staff busy and began presenting Schwarzkopf with his own ideas about how to fight the Iraqis: What if we parachute the 82nd Airborne into the far western part of Iraq, hundreds of miles from Kuwait and totally cut off from any kind of support, and seize a couple of missile sites, then line up along the highway and drive for Baghdad? Schwarzkopf charitably describes the plan as being "as bad as it could possibly be... But despite our criticism, the western excursion wouldn't die: three times in that week alone Powell called with new variations from Cheney's staff. The most bizarre involved capturing a town in western Iraq and offering it to Saddam in exchange for Kuwait." (Throw in a Pete Rose rookie card?) None of this Walter Mitty posturing especially surprised Schwarzkopf, who points out that he'd already known Cheney as "one of the fiercest cold warriors in Congress."

So Cheney & his staff (i.e. Scooter Libby, David Addington) constantly come up with shit-headed schemes straight out of the movies or analogies to long over wars far different than modern warfare ... all because they saw it on "the tee bee".

This comes to mind again because what is the latest scheme for the wild and dark "fictionalized" world of Dick Cheney?

Why torture, and how it is necessary under the "ticking time bomb" scenario. You need that info NOW! goddamit! So you have to beat it out of the guy.

Now, I cannot be the first blogger to notice this, in fact, I'm sure I've seen it before, but this little nugget says something about the why the White House wants to torture:

One of the favorite shows among White House aides has been "24," the Kiefer Sutherland counterterrorism cliffhanger drama. White House aides regularly swap stories about their favorite Sutherland shoot-outs with foreign agents, terrorists and generally bad guys.

This is the fantasy world that Dick Cheney views as reality.

Look, this is rather scary. My grandmother on my father's side was a real tough lady, who lived a long difficult life. I remember her for her classic Minnesota taciturness; her love of making "shake & bake" chicken and church gossip involving people you did not know; if you told her you liked something once, she'd have it for the next 20 years when you visited; and she maintained a substantial collection of decades old stale candy. However, she also thought that the events on "As The World Turns" were real. That the actors were really heartless cads and vile sluts.

Now in her own way, she was a good grandmother and though she never said such things you knew she enjoyed being around us and we loved her in spite of it all.

But I think everyone that knew her would agree, she should NOT be making policy decisions, especially in regard to our relations with "Oakdale".

Dick Cheney is just like my grandmother, only evil; he probably even has the support hose.

UPDATE: It looks like the NY Times New York Review of Books is doing a thorough analysis of "Mr. Snarly, Mumbly, Fuck-Up"

We'll see

But I guess the Bush Administration, if this occurred (BIG IF), will declare this a victory somehow...

Report that Bin Laden died of typhus...aka "natural (fucking) causes".

"Un-Americans" like me would call it escaping justice.


And this time we will be really, really, really fucked.

The "October Surprise" is going to be bombing Iran. The hope being people rally 'round the government for what seem like short-term gains. While our the out and out disaster starts in November. People keep thinking the Bush Administration isn't "crazy" enough to do this. I have little doubt they are, and mixed up with a deep level of incompetence.

As reports circulate of a sharp debate within the White House over possible US military action against Iran and its nuclear enrichment facilities, The Nation has learned that the Bush Administration and the Pentagon have moved up the deployment of a major "strike group" of ships, including the nuclear aircraft carrier Eisenhower as well as a cruiser, destroyer, frigate, submarine escort and supply ship, to head for the Persian Gulf, just off Iran's western coast. This information follows a report in the current issue of Time magazine, both online and in print, that a group of ships capable of mining harbors has received orders to be ready to sail for the Persian Gulf by October 1...

...The Eisenhower had been in port at the Naval Station Norfolk for several years for refurbishing and refueling of its nuclear reactor; it had not been scheduled to depart for a new duty station until at least a month later, and possibly not till next spring. Family members, before the orders, had moved into the area and had until then expected to be with their sailor-spouses and parents in Virginia for some time yet. First word of the early dispatch of the "Ike Strike" group to the Persian Gulf region came from several angry officers on the ships involved, who contacted antiwar critics like retired Air Force Col. Sam Gardiner and complained that they were being sent to attack Iran without any order from the Congress.

"This is very serious," said Ray McGovern, a former CIA threat-assessment analyst who got early word of the Navy officers' complaints about the sudden deployment orders. (McGovern, a twenty-seven-year veteran of the CIA, resigned in 2002 in protest over what he said were Bush Administration pressures to exaggerate the threat posed by Iraq. He and other intelligence agency critics have formed a group called Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.)

Colonel Gardiner, who has taught military strategy at the National War College, says that the carrier deployment and a scheduled Persian Gulf arrival date of October 21 is "very important evidence" of war planning. He says, "I know that some naval forces have already received 'prepare to deploy orders' [PTDOs], which have set the date for being ready to go as October 1. Given that it would take about from October 2 to October 21 to get those forces to the Gulf region, that looks about like the date" of any possible military action against Iran.

I hope I'm wrong.

It's not just that you should read Digby

This time you must:

People and societies don't just wake up one morning to find they no longer recognize themselves. It's a process. And we are in the process in this country of "defining deviancy down" in ways I never thought possible. We are legitimizing torture and indefinite detention --- saying that we will only do this to the people who really deserve it. One cannot help but wonder what "really deserves it" will mean in the years to come as we fight our endless war against terror.

Sure, right now it's just a bunch of foreigners and I guess we don't feel foreigners are entitled to basic human rights. They must not be human --- or at least not as human as "we" are. In fact, it not even "we." Right wingers make millions of dollars writing books about how liberals are godless, death-loving, traitors within. Many people who read those books probably believe these liberals are only one step away from being sub-human too ---- they are, after all, godless traitors.

How some major paper doesn't offer Digby a big wheelbarrow of cash to right editorials I don't know. Oh that's right, progressive. Must have Bobo Brooks instead.

Well knock me over with a feather

I had no idea John Podhoretz & Ramesh Ponnuru were in "Jackass 2"

Photo via Paramount Pictures

Friday, September 22, 2006

Worst Decade Ever! (until the next one)

Who ever heard of paying for the privilege of falling on a grenade?

Reminder [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Only $75 for a once-in-ten-years night!
Posted at 11:23 AM sex...again.

For all of my Jewish Friends, especially the Jewish ones

Happy last day of the year, soon you people will start to atone for all the suffering the Christians and Muslims have afflicted upon you. It's a good thing so many of you are into fatalism, because man I tell you, when Jesus & Mohammad give you a pass on doing shit, as long as you can give a meaningless apology it sure does tell you how religion has evolved. I mean, you folks still have to mean it!

And a special shout-out to Paul Wolfowitz, talk about
hard work, you sure do have a LOT of shit to atone
for. What's the Hebrew word for "perpetual atonement"?

And George Allen, the Jimmy Dean people have shipped
your Yom Kippur order via UPS.

Sorry Charlie

This week, Chuckles Krauthammer decides to pile on the muslim world by stating, western civilization had given up religious wars a long-time ago:

However, the inconvenient truth is that after centuries of religious wars, Christendom long ago gave it up.

Oh jeebus -- jeebus -- jeebus -- jeebus.

It seems just like seven days ago, someone wrote this:

Against millenarian fanaticism glorying in a cult of death, deterrence is a mere wish. Is the West prepared to wager its cities with their millions of inhabitants on that feeble gamble?

In other words, we have to bomb those islamafascist bastards in Iran.

I'm so glad that "they're crazy" and "we're not" -- that always works out well doesn't it?

Okay, let's take stock of the matter...

It is okay to have the Geneva Convention, as long as we torture under a different law.


It is SHAMEFUL that Madonna uses a crucifix as a symbol?

Now I am no biblical scholar, but don't you think that "the Jesus" would draw the line a little further down than crucifixions?

I mean when he said render unto Caesar what is Caesars, I took that as a statement about taxes, as opposed to allowing the state to actually "render" you.

I mean, I'm just taking a stab in the dark (or with a roman spear) here, but I'm going to assume that Bush-Cheney has at least drawn the line at crucifying "suspected" Al Qaeda guys right?

Maybe not Democrats, but at least Al Qaeda guys?

And nooooooo, it is no defense to reply "but look at how over the top some Muslims are" any more than it is acceptable for Bush to get a free pass for killing civilians because Al Qaeda kills 'em too.


You know that quality "historical" drama is truly coming when a movie is promoted as coming from the producers of "The Patriot" & "Independence Day".

After all there's no more realistic history than a single guy winning the Revolutionary War, when even George Washington couldn't make that claim by a long shot; and well, let's just say I was disappointed in how the alien invasion of earth was presented as it seemed to get most of the actual history wrong.

Some movies, you can tell, are disasters just in the commercials.

In "Flyboys", World War I dog fights are made to appear almost as realistic at video games, and a guy is shown, I'm not fucking kidding, running on top of a zeppelin that is on fire and is in the midst of becoming 'blow'd up real good'.

Um, yeah, that's how it happened. That and James Franco stopped the Germans by "out pouting" them.

Again, I haven't seen the movie, but I do believe that this review likely is accurate:

Near the start of Flyboys, the squadron's grizzled vet hands suicide pistols to the new pilots, to be used if they find themselves in a no-win situation. Unfortunately, the audience is offered no such option.

Mission Accomplished...

May 1, 2003

October 8, 2003:
"Iraq is free of rape rooms and torture chambers. Iraq is free of a brutal thug. America did the right thing."

Here's what we have accomplished:

Torture may be worse now in Iraq than under former leader Saddam Hussein, the UN's chief anti-torture expert says.

Manfred Nowak said the situation in Iraq was "out of control", with abuses being committed by security forces, militia groups and anti-US insurgents.

Bodies found in the Baghdad morgue "often bear signs of severe torture", said the human rights office of the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq in a report.

The wounds confirmed reports given by refugees from Iraq, Mr Nowak said...

..."What most people tell you is that the situation as far as torture is concerned now in Iraq is totally out of hand," the Austrian law professor said.

"The situation is so bad many people say it is worse than it has been in the times of Saddam Hussein," he added.

The UN report says detainees' bodies often show signs of beating using electrical cables, wounds in heads and genitals, broken legs and hands, electric and cigarette burns.

Bodies found at the Baghdad mortuary "often bear signs of severe torture including acid-induced injuries and burns caused by chemical substances".

Many bodies have missing skin, broken bones, back, hands and legs, missing eyes, missing teeth and wounds caused by power drills or nails, the UN report says.

Victims come from prisons run by US-led multinational forces as well as by the ministries of interior and defence and private militias, the report said.

The most brutal torture methods were employed by private militias, Mr Nowak told journalists.

Well that's fantastic

In the last six years, we've lost First Amendment rights, Fourth Amendment rights, Eighth Amendment rights, and now international treaty obligations get gutted by an unpopular president...but hey, the Second Amendment has been expanded, so I can buy myself a gun and walk around town with it.

Sadly, I'm just not fond of the things.

...and it gets called a compromise.

Who's the "beacon on the hill" now?

At the moment, it certainly isn't us.

But hey, at least as we march down the road to despotism David Broder's precious clubby bi-partisanship is kept -- within one party.

Huzzah for you, you fucking jackass.

Oh look at me, wanting this country to be again -- makes me quite the 'murica hater.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Lucy in the sky

With Bosom.

A new "After Dark" post.

New Books

I have to admit my schedule has made me slow to get around to Bob Hoffman's "The Challenge" until recently. Having started it, I really regretted not having gotten to it earlier. It is outstanding, I apologize for not getting immediately absorbed into such a great novel. If you like page turning mystery novels, with realistic (if only slightly fictional) conspiracies this is a hell of a novel. Buy it, and thanks Bob.

I have to admit, I picked it up only after a friend looked at it on my "to read" pile and picked it up and got sucked into it. She finished it and said, this book is really "spell-binding" and it was really clever.

So I guess it's fair to say 2 out of 2 reviewers I know hightly recommend it!

Bill Scheer was kind enough to send me his new book to review and I plan on doing it over the weekend. It's gotten some nice reviews already.


Oh, please!

Now, "T-Bag" works for me. Let's go with that one.

We Don't Need No Steenkin Fence

As our government takes on more and more characteristics of its totalitarian predecessors, I'm starting to think the fence may be more about keeping us in. Just sayin'.

picture from here

Let the Word go forth

They have been lying...and people have been dying (in our name) for years, and years, and years. This is especially the case since December 2001 when they allowed bin Laden to escape from Tora Bora and has been virtually uninterrupted four years and nine months later.

From Crooks & Liars:

In an exclusive interview today, President Bush told Wolf Blitzer that he "rejects the notion that [Iraq] is in civil war" and that he "can’t learn it from the newscasts" and instead trusts "the commanders on the ground" for their assessments. Soledad O’Brien, sitting in for Paula Zahn, asks Baghdad Correspondent Michael Ware how he perceives the situation on the ground. Ware, who always tells it like it is, finds it laughable that Bush cites General Casey and Ambassador Khalilzad as reliable sources for honest assessments, saying that: "These are men who could not be more divorced from the Iraqi reality.

Here is the video:


(AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)

While Condi maintains a pre-reacharound lookout

Josh Bolton takes a mental picture for his "alone time".

REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Fuck shit damn

Cock cunt tit ass fuck fuckity fucking fuckily fuck. Piss, whore, screw, boobs, dick, David fucking Broder.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Dear President Chavez

I'm not really religious, but I truly resent your insinuation that the current President of the United States is the Devil.

I know from my pop-cultural experience that the Devil is:

A. Eloquent
B. Competent
C. Persuasive
D. Cunning
E. Bloodthirsty
F. Comes in the guise of a foul-mouthed little girl
G. A real bastard

George Bush is only three out of seven.

The sulphur smell is just because he's gassy and likes to share.

Stand by for the next round of "I'm notta jew!"

George Allen, he's the master of mishegoss:

Speaking with The Times-Dispatch, Allen said the disclosure is "just an interesting nuance to my background." He added, "I still had a ham sandwich for lunch. And my mother made great pork chops."


I can see it now this Friday:

"I saw 'Fiddler on the Roof' but I didn't enjoy it. Harvey Feirstein was good though...D'oh!"

Monday, September 25:

"Yes, when I was young I took part in a pogrom, but I made it a point only to beat on the old and infirm...D'oh!"

Tuesday, October 3:

"My favorite movie candy is juju bees but that doesn't mean I think they are made out of the blood of Christian babies...D'oh!"


The internet's mistress of snark, foot fabulist Watertiger, sent me this link and got me thinking about certain things.

"Presidential Doodles," just released by Basic Books, a member of the Perseus Books Group, collects the random sketches and drawings of Hoover and most of his fellow commanders in chief, from Hoover's elaborate shapes and swirls to the isolated squiggles of Abraham Lincoln. The book expands upon an issue of Cabinet Magazine, a quarterly of "Arts & Culture" that featured the jottings of eight presidents.

"Just as our dreams and little Freudian slips can mean something about us, doodles can be indicative of the person and issues and things that he is dealing with," says Cabinet editor-in-chief Sina Najafi.

I don't want to elaborate too much on this, because it just so happens I was also sent, by an inside source, Bush's most recent doodle yesterday at the UN (now that he knows the bathroom rules):

Click picture to enlarge.

Papal Bull****

A special message from the Holy Father to Islamic People everywhere:

Dear followers of the Qoran:

Recently, while in Germany I quoted a passage from a 15th century Byzantine emperor who had a negative review of your Prophet Mohammad. From this there has been a great deal of anger at me over slandering one of the world's great faiths. It has been a real time of difficulty for me, I don't know how to say it in a series of squiggles (I mean, that language of yours, what up with that?) but in my native tongue we have a phrase, "mein kampf".

I now appreciate that we have differences in how our respective cultures view things, other than that whole "Q" thing. And I should have thought that I don't quite have the clout of my predecessor who had the misfortune of stepping in front of an islamically fired bullet. Though back then it was the commies fault - so now you folks moved up the villain chain while we Germans moved down. Sucks be you, as the bishop said to the alterboy.

Meanwhile, you folks have taught me that quoting somebody talking about Muslim's having a propensity for violence will cause you people to be violent. So I better apologize for saying so.

But look, aren't we both just spinning our wheels here? Oh, sure, we've had a disagreement or two over the last 1400 years, but are there not things we have in common?

We are both people who believe in one God (we just recognize he has a split personality); we have Paul and you have Mohammad so we both were spread by guys who should have been on epileptic medication. We had a guy who said he was the son of God, you had a guy who thought angels told him what God wanted and occasionally took him flying -- so really being grounded in reality has always been "big" for our faiths.

With all these commonalities shouldn't we find something that we can both agree on that will unite us?

Why do we fight with each other? The Jews, Gays, and liberated women are still out there you know.

Tell you what, as a gesture of peace, I'll toss in a bitchin' hat!!!



Good work needs affirmation

Go see this from Morse.

Half an F.U.

Bush's (non-agressive Democrat halved) bi-partisan "Eye-Rack" Study Group (you know the kind of thing you should have BEFORE you invade a country) has stated that country has 3 months (half a Frieman!) to get their shit together.

Let's see, there's September, then there's October and then Novemnber.

Ah, I see, the final unit of measurement comes AFTER the elections.

Oh, for once, let me say gentlemen, "good plan"!

I have to agree with Juan Cole's summary on this, we are planting the seeds of an appropriate "fall guy" for our failure -- and SURPRISE! it won't be Bush, or even an American (at least non-Democratic ones): come Iraq only has one armored division, and how come its army only has 78 old Hungarian tanks? How can you control Iraq with lightly armed and poorly trained infantry? Saddam had 8,000 tanks at his height.

And, nobody can get elected prime minister in today's Iraq except by getting the support of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq and the Sadr Movement, both of which have militias. So then how can the PM crack down on the paramilitaries that brought him to power, with an army that doesn't seem willing or able to take them on?...

The bipartisan Iraq Study Group also said that the Iraqi government must act quickly and decisively to prevent the crisis from deteriorating.

So, I fear I think that the American officials in Baghdad are trying to make Maliki a scapegoat and take the spotlight off their own failures. They are the ones with the tanks and helicopter gunships and trained troops, and they haven't been able to restore security. How can Maliki?

Let me help the right-wing bloviators get their talking-point shit together for Christmas 2006:

None of this would have happened, of course, if the Clenis hadn't invaded Iraq and then put a guy like Maliki in charge!


And a lack of understanding flows across extremism of all stripes. Shockingly, sockpuppetress Michelle Malkin who is four-square behind Bush sending muslims to their death without having rudimentary trial procedures is suddenly outraged when the shoe is on the other foot for people who did.

Glenn Greenwald gives the specifics:

According to the article to which Michelle linked, the complaint is that the Terrorists "were convicted by a trial riddled with illegalities, like witnesses who were not listened to and evidence that was rejected by the court." Wow -- a trial where the witnesses are not listened to and improper evidence was used. What kind of country would convict someone of terrorism using procedures like that? And what kind of disgusting barbarians would be opposed to having "the International Criminal Court in Geneva," pursuant to an international "human rights convention," demand greater legal protections for terrorists?

This post writes itself. For instance, I thought (from having read Michelle's blog) that people who were concerned about due process for Terrorists are themselves pro-terrorists. I wonder what it is about this case that makes Michelle and Gateway Pundit so concerned for the Rights of Terrorists when normally they mock those who express such concern? What's different here? Do Malkin and her comrades want to protect terrorists more than innocent people? Sure seems that way. And just look at how brutal and inhumane Muslims are -- convicting people of terrorism despite evidentiary irregularities in their trial. That is the Evil we are battling in our War of Civilizations.

Malkin and her ilk are "American Exceptional Exceptionalists" meaning the United States never can do anything wrong, even when it is doing things that they criticize other countries for or worse...unless of course, a non extreme-right Republican is doing it.