Tuesday, October 31, 2006

And now a moment of clarity for the events of the day

And how they have been covered by the media and the powers that be.

*clears throat*

And begin...


We now resume our regular programing. Thank you for your attention.

Memory Lane

Oh wingnuttia, and the broadcast media going on about Kerry misspeaking...remember this (just one of hundreds of examples)

"Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."

President George Bush, August 5, 2004.

Because it's Halloween Dammit!!!!!

If you see anything like this tonight

Just keep quiet and hand over all your candy.

Bush celebrates Halloween

With the new class of Congressional Pages.

Original from here.

Can you Feel The Love?

Premier George Walter Bush and his Vice Premier Lon Cheney dish it out:

SUGAR LAND, Tex., Oct. 30 -- President Bush said terrorists will win if Democrats win and impose their policies on Iraq, as he and Vice President Cheney escalated their rhetoric Monday in an effort to turn out Republican voters in next week's midterm elections.


Cheney, meanwhile, said in an interview with Fox News that he thinks insurgents in Iraq are timing their attacks to influence the U.S. elections.

"It's my belief that they're very sensitive of the fact that we've got an election scheduled," he said. Cheney said the insurgents believe "they can break the will of the American people," and "that's what they're trying to do."

Good lord what these people won't do and say. Just think about how ridiculous those comments are and what they say about the electorate. Sad.

Emission Accomplished

I know that Anne Applebaum will tell you that Bush isn't responsible even for the doody in his pants, but for some reason I live in a world where the "leader" who starts a war is responsible for it's results, so I'm going to put this on (and the flaming bag o' crap) his doorstep this Halloween:

Seventy percent of the Iraqi police force has been infiltrated by militias, primarily the Mahdi Army, according to Shaw and other military police trainers. Police officers are too terrified to patrol enormous swaths of the capital. And while there are some good cops, many have been assassinated or are considering quitting the force.

"None of the Iraqi police are working to make their country better," said Brig. Gen. Salah al-Ani, chief of police for the western half of Baghdad. "They're working for the militias or to put money in their pocket."

And General Casey is either clueless, or much more likely just covering up for Bush and hoping for a miracle (which is by now clearly the GOP strategy for 'electoral' victory):

The top U.S. military commander in Iraq, Gen. George W. Casey Jr., predicted last week that Iraqi security forces would be able to take control of the country in 12 to 18 months. But several days spent with American units training the Iraqi police illustrated why those soldiers on the ground believe it may take decades longer than Casey's assessment...

And those actually doing the training of the Iraqi police say,

Sitting in the battalion's war room with four other members of his team, Moore estimated it would take 30 to 40 years before the Iraqi police could function properly, perhaps longer if the militia infiltration and corruption continue to increase. His colleagues nodded.

"It's very, very slow-moving," Estes said.

"No," said Sgt. 1st Class William T. King Jr., another member of the team. "It's moving in reverse."

I remember when this blog used to be funny man...

The Vikings have caused much agita, so here is some snark from the past until I wake up.

NOTE: As a special shout out to King Feature Syndicate Lawyers, this is NOT an actual Family Circus caption.

No Osama tape yet

But thanks to this latest desperate lunge, there will undoubtedly be one from Al Zawahiri soon.

And there is still time.

Angry Voters

Put Bush into a "death spiral", not seen -- the turnbuckle.


Which reminds me of an old, badly photoshopped favorite...

Monday, October 30, 2006

People get ready

To be sick, the newest addition to the 2007 GOP: Character Counts Calendar.

And here is the last addition before that.

Watertiger and I would appreciate your feedback, or chatisement. Twisted minds like ours thrive on commentary.

The Fat and Happy Elites

Not just Republicans, but really the mainstream media, happy with the status quo and access to the halls of power, they aren't doing their job. A press that does its job, that is at least part of what we are fighting for. Greenwald has it right on the money in this post which I quote in part:

This overt assault on press freedoms internationally is consistent with the administration's incremental attacks on the American media domestically -- attacks which have been met with virtual silence from most of the national media. In that regard, perhaps this exchange is the most revealing part of the latest AP article:

Rosemary Goudreau, editorial page editor of The Tampa Tribune, asked AP Executive Editor Kathleen Carroll what papers like hers could do.

"You run an editorial page, as I recall," Carroll said.

Just as astonishing as the Bush administration's attack on the work of journalists is the almost total acquiescence of the American media to those attacks -- so much so that AP is forced to explicitly beg their fellow journalists to editorialize against the administration's lawless and dangerous detention of one of its journalists. If -- as has been the case to an astonishing extent -- American journalists are unwilling to defend their press freedoms, who is going to?

What we are fighting for? How about for starters a press that takes its job seriously, a meaningful opposition, a press that gives a shit. It is shocking that the story told in the quote is not only not bigger news, but isn't news at all. Until the media elite starts acting more like journalists and less like fat cat prognosticators, we are fighting an uphill battle. And the story that Greenwald tells of the AP photojournalist is scary not just because it is true, but because it is in all likelihood just the tip of the iceberg.

Enough about "Sisters"

Where is Lynne Cheney's even more obscure literary masterpiece?

I have no idea what it's about, cover is too subtle.

Wow, just wow

First of all, "listening to too much Limbaugh" is a disease that is hard to quantify, for one would need an electron microscope to observe the portion that qualifies as the "too much" line. I believe that listening to "too much" Limbaugh is the equivalent to the ascertainable dimension's of Rush's Wang during a Haitian Viagra Groove.

But enough about the trials and tribulations of Daryn Kagan, a woman so gone she thinks she can make money on the internet via her brand of 'Happy Talk' (the World is a "good place", but Bush tells me it's a "scary place"?). I imagine Ms. Kagan dated Limbaugh because she has a fetish for being laid like tar, because rutting around with Rush would be the equivalent of being driven over by a steam roller (only the Steam Roller smells better and wheezes softer).

But I digress:

Digby noted this statement from the Wyoming "slapper":

Down in Wyoming, U.S. Rep. Barbara Cubin got into some hot water when, after a debate, she threatened Libertarian candidate Thomas Rankin, who has multiple sclerosis and uses an electric wheelchair. She reportedly said to him, "If you weren't sitting in that chair, I'd slap you across the face."

She later apologized, saying she may have been influenced by listening to too much Rush Limbaugh. Last week, Limbaugh said he would slap actor and Parkinson's disease sufferer Michael J. Fox, "if you'd just quit bobbing your head."

Wow, talk about the dumb leading the stupid. There is so much psychological impairment in that highlighted paragraph it may take months to dissect word by word...and who is that kind of glutton for gluttonous punishment?

Oh, yeah, Daryn Kagan.


I had a reflection on the Doughy Pantload's conceding defeat (without explicit acknowledgment) by Juan Cole a few weeks ago. Today, Cole does a summary of two Iraqi-ignorant pundits who attacked him PERSONALLY as opposed to his fact two plus years ago, neither of whom have apologized. Goldberg and Jeff Jarvis:

But it was never about Iraq. It was about the all-purpose punditocracy, the vicious jab, the smearing of those with whom one disagrees, in the service of the rich and powerful. It is about the cheapening of our democracy, the termite-like boring at the pillars of our republic. Goldberg began by attacking me for saying that the 1997 elections in Iran were more democratic than the January 2005 election in Iraq. He did not critique my reasoning in saying this. He just attacked me. It turns out that he didn't even know anything about the 1997 elections in Iran. Likewise, Jarvis did not actually present any arguments about my coverage of Iraq, he just accused me of spinning it negatively. It is easy to make such an accusation, but hard to do the research and engage in the years of study it would require to address the substance of my weblog.

It isn't about Iraq. It is about the way our discourse was debased by Bush administration triumphalism.

There's much more, but the above is an accurate summation. The important thing for right-wing pundits is to be "RIGHT" not be right.

Attaturk's "mancrush" on Joe Galloway

Joe Galloway, is the author of "We Were Soldiers Once...And Young" (a fine work, and not a bad movie, despite Mel Gibson and its status as a porno for young Freepers). Galloway is also perhaps the nation's most venerable and respected war correspondent, as it says about him in his biography, General H. Norman Schwarzkopf has called Galloway "The finest combat correspondent of our generation -- a soldier's reporter and a soldier's friend."

So what does Galloway say now?

So we're going to stay put in Iraq; going, in fact, to stay the course all the way to victory. We aren't going to be drawing down our troops, who are square in the middle of a burgeoning Iraqi civil war. In fact, we might even send more troops over there if the president can find any to send from an Army and Marine Corps already stretched so thin that you can read your morning paper through them.

The president says that there'll be tough fighting to come, which is hardly news to a military that's already suffered more than 2,800 killed and 22,000 wounded; a military so ground down that it won't be able to man the next annual deployments without once again reaching out and activating thousands of Army National Guard and Reserve troops that have maxed out their active duty availability.

Oh yes. One other bit of news: the White House that says nothing is too good for our troops has turned its back on a plea by Army leaders for a $25 billion increase in its 2008 budget so it can carry out the missions the administration has assigned to it.

The White House Office of Management and Budget rejected Army chief Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker's extraordinary plea by for the additional funds to pay for repairing and replacing thousands of worn out and blown up tanks, Bradley fighting vehicles and Humvees.

Instead of the $25 billion that Schoomaker says the Army needs just to keep doing what it's been doing with spit, adhesive tape and baling wire for the last five years, the Pentagon says the Army can have $7 billion.

The president declared himself confident that Republicans would sweep to victory and maintain their stranglehold on both houses of a Congress that's done nothing but rubberstamp Bush's war policies and Republican efforts to enrich their fat-cat donors and themselves, of course.

If he's right and that's the result of the Nov. 7 elections, then the American people will finally have fulfilled H.L. Mencken's prophecy that we'd continue choosing the lowest common denominator until, in the end, we get precisely the government we deserve.

Meantime, Vice President Dick Cheney confirmed that some of the senior al-Qaeda terrorists in our custody have been subjected to "water-boarding," a torture that brings the victim within a hair of drowning and suffocation. Cheney declared that it was a "no-brainer." My thoughts exactly: Only people with no brains opt to torture a captive in violation of domestic and international law.

This unseemly circus and its clowns in Congress can't go away fast enough and with enough dishonor and disgrace to suit the circumstances. Their place in America's history is secure: They will go down as the worst administration and the worst Congress we've ever had. Period.

They deserve to lose both the House and the Senate on Nov. 7, and the White House in 2008. They bullied their way into a war that they thought would be a slam-dunk and then so bungled things that the only superpower left in the world has been humbled and hobbled in a world that they've made more dangerous for us.

Thanks, guys. You've done a heckuva job. We won't forget it.

Via Talking Points Memo.


If the Bush Administration had been handling all of our wars, we'd never have gotten past George Washington on a gibbet.

The American military has not properly tracked hundreds of thousands of weapons intended for Iraqi security forces and has failed to provide spare parts, maintenance personnel or even repair manuals for most of the weapons given to the Iraqis, a federal report released Sunday has concluded...

... The answers came Sunday from the inspector general’s office, which found major discrepancies in American military records on where thousands of 9-millimeter pistols and hundreds of assault rifles and other weapons have ended up. The American military did not even take the elementary step of recording the serial numbers of nearly half a million weapons provided to Iraqis, the inspector general found, making it impossible to track or identify any that might be in the wrong hands.

Exactly where untracked weapons could end up — and whether some have been used against American soldiers — were not examined in the report, although black-market arms dealers thrive on the streets of Baghdad, and official Iraq Army and police uniforms can easily be purchased as well, presumably because government shipments are intercepted or otherwise corrupted.

But I bet most of us can guess the answer as to whether they have been used against American troops...or to kill innocent civilians through death squads.

I thought that seemed off

I saw up on the internets (using the Google) that the LA Times yesterday wrote a puff piece on "the Mighty Rove". As I think "the Rove" is going to get his "the Ass" kicked next week I was rather surprised to find such a fallating piece headlined this way:

"GOP at a loss? Karl Rove has an 11th-hour plan to win"

Well, as Daily Kos diarist James B3 points out, the article is a gross piece of journalist propaganda and non-disclosure, per Hotline.

This piece does not mention that the authors of this piece also have a book titled "One Party Country The Republican Plan for Dominance in the 21st Century."

This article is their last gasp to make their "supreme" political guru hats seem better than everyone else's.

By mid-November their next work will be entitled, "Why Karl Rove really sucks".


It's bizarre (and not particularly funny) to watch George Will on television go through the motions of being a conservative, while in print displaying nothing but disillusion.

I think Cokie is a more loyal Republican than Will anymore.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

When Cruel Treatment happens to Cruel People

The latest entries in the 2007: GOP Character Counts Calendar.

A world of their own

While K-Lo runs around with the "Rick Santorum's gonna win" fantasy, the rest of the intersection of Banality Street & Insanity Drive isn't much better. The bulk of their posts today are for some fucking reason not about the election or Iraq, but of the Duke Rape case. A real current and heavy topic of conversation through the political blog world.

And there there is this...

Another Studio 60 Prediction [Jonah Goldberg]
The moment it's cancelled, some Huffington Post-style liberals will start whining about it as if it was too good for America. They'll talk about it the way sci-fi types talk about Firefly. There will even be talk about how HBO should pick it up so "Sorkin can be Sorkin"
Posted at 12:37 PM

I can honestly say I haven't watched, nor given one fucking second of my life to watching this show, what network is it even on? Nor do I recall any other progressive blog doing so either.

In fact, the only place I ever visit where it is discusses is, you guessed it, at the Corner and coming from the Pantload.

Jonah, if you don't mind, I'll do what you don't and talk about the fuckin' clusterfuck of a war your boy started wrongly and proceeded to fuck up worse than any sentient being ever could.


"One-third of us are dying,
one-third of us are fleeing
and one-third of us will be widows"

Again, I dispair at our collective inability to universally realize what a gigantic crime we have enabled, allowed, and/or perpetrated (pick your modifier) in Iraq -- generations will curse us for it. Despite the fact that I opposed the war, and have consistently opposed its execution, I still feel and share in the collective guilt. It is a stain upon the United States. Such is what we have done...here is Pulitizer Prize winning reporter Anthony Shadid having arived back in Baghdad:

It had been almost a year since I was in the Iraqi capital, where I worked as a reporter in the days of Saddam Hussein, the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, and the occupation, guerrilla war and religious resurgence that followed. On my return, it was difficult to grasp how atomized and violent the 1,250-year-old city has become. Even on the worst days, I had always found Baghdad's most redeeming quality to be its resilience, a tenacious refusal among people I met over three years to surrender to the chaos unleashed when the Americans arrived. That resilience is gone, overwhelmed by civil war, anarchy or whatever term could possibly fit. Baghdad now is convulsed by hatred, paralyzed by suspicion; fear has forced many to leave. Carnage its rhythm and despair its mantra, the capital, it seems, no longer embraces life.

"A city of ghosts," a friend told me, her tone almost funereal.

Other White House Explanations of What Cheney meant

In the wake of "Dunking their head in water" not equalling water boarding...

Saying he endorses:

"Forcible Body stretching" does not equal using "the rack"

"Extreme Manicure" does not equal finger nail removal.

"A jolt to the balls" does not equal electrodes to the testicles.

"Asian liquid discomfort" does not equal Chinese Water Torture.

Thank you.

American Troops Dying so that Bush & the GOP can be saved...and for no other reason

Frank Rich:

There is no new American plan to counter the apocalypse now playing out in Iraq, only new packaging to pacify American voters between now and Nov. 7. And recycled packaging at that: President Bush had last announced that he and Mr. Maliki were developing “benchmarks” to “measure progress” in Iraq back in June...

...One way or another the various long-shot exit scenarios being debated in the capital will be sorted out: federalism and partition; reaching out somehow for help from Iran and Syria; replacing Mr. Maliki with a Saddam-lite strongman. There will be some kind of timeline, or whatever you want to call it, with enforced benchmarks, or whatever you want to call them, for phased withdrawal. (Read “Out of Iraq: A Practical Plan for Withdrawal Now” by George McGovern and William R. Polk for a particularly persuasive blueprint.) In any event, the timeline will end no later than Inauguration Day 2009.

In keeping with the political cynicism that gave birth to this war and has recklessly prolonged it, the only ones being kept in the dark about this inevitable denouement are our fighting men and women. They remain trapped, dying in accelerating numbers in a civil war that is now killing so many Iraqi civilians that Mr. Maliki this month ordered his health ministry to stop releasing any figures.

Our troops are held hostage by the White House’s political imperatives as much as they are by the violence. Desperate to maintain the election-year P.R. ruse that an undefined “victory” is still within reach, Mr. Bush went so far at Wednesday’s press conference as to say that “absolutely, we’re winning” in Iraq...

...The ultimate chutzpah is that Mr. Bush, the man who sold us Saddam’s imminent mushroom clouds and “Mission Accomplished,” is trivializing the chaos in Iraq as propaganda.


I'm not hear to give detailed book reviews. I like to read, I like to write, I don't like to write about what I read. I'm just funny that way.

Nevertheless, I just finished "Imperial Life in the Emerald City" by Rajiv Chandrasekaran and am now about a quarter through "Fiasco" by Thomas Ricks.

All I can say is, it is stunning to me how one individual in this nation can cast a vote for anything affiliated with George W. Bush. James Buchanon and Franklin Pierce are looking better and better.

If there is any justice in this world, a notion that the last decade or so has found me truly doubting (not a good trend in a lawyer, let me tell you) the Republicans would look 230 house seats and every Republican up for reelection. I cannot describe to you how deep the level of incompetence is that emerges when you read those two books back-to-back.

LBJ at least, at the end, found some decency within and took responsibility for his fuck ups -- even Nixon did to some extent. Bush never will. His hand will have to be forced, and it will not be forced by any Republicans. Calling its critics defeatest while they have taken every conceivable step to fight wars that should not be fought and then fuck them up as badly as possible, leaving everything worse then it was before is a level of consistent imbecility that will hopefully never again be matched.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Sums it up

By the way, O'Reilly completely lied AGAIN (I should be surprised when he doesn't):

Letterman: But why didn't we stay in Afghanistan? Why didn't we stay in Afghanistan. It seems to me that Afghanistan was more directly the source. I mean there has been no tie proven between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda, the Taliban, anything. Why didn't we stay there?

O'Reilly: You know what Ansar-al-Islam, do you know what that is? You don't. And I'm not saying this in a condescending way, I'm really not. Okay? I'm not going to call you a bonehead or a pinhead?


O'Reilly: Ansar-al-Islam was the al Qaeda affiliate in Northern Iraq who tried to poison the British water supply with Ricin. They operated with Saddam Hussein's okay. Again, complicated, but it isn't so black and white, Dave. It isn't we're a bad country, Bush is an evil liar.

Letterman: I didn't say we were a bad country,

O'Reilly: That's not true.

Letterman: I didn't say he was an evil liar. You're putting words in my mouth. Just the way you put artificial facts in your head.


O'Reilly: We're really friends. Gimme one artificial fact.

Okay, Bill,

Your Ansar-al-Islam claim is an artificial fact:

The Senate Intelligence Committee writes on pages 71-72 that Saddam had virtually no control over the northern Kurdistan region of Iraq, that there were flaws that "undermined confidence in the reporting" of such a relationship and that Ansar al-Islam that was not "a branch of al Qaeda." Furthermore, Saddam's regime had no contact with the group other than to possibly infiltrate it to gather intelligence. The report concludes on page 110: "Postwar information reveals that Baghdad viewed Ansar al-Islam as a threat to the regime and that the IIS attempted to collect intelligence on the group."

In other words, not only does Bill grasp at straws to justify the unjustifiable — namely, a working relationship between Saddam Hussein and terrorist groups that legitimized invasion — he mischaracterizes a relationship that is highly dubious at best and completely non-existent at worst to do so. It's amazing that Bush-supporters still try to use these unsubstantiated claims in order to somehow validate the all-out, guns-a-blazing, disastrous war we have waged.

By the way, he doesn't publicize it, but over the last several years Letterman (and Leno too I should add) has made several USO trips.

Like an Osama tape

Every couple years Camille Paglia shows up to try to put a turd in a punch bowl.

I have to admit, upon hearing she had written some article in her typically disconnected, wiser-than-thou manner (like Rummy), my first reaction was, "She's still alive?"

Friday, October 27, 2006


The Mrs. Iselin of real-life Lynne Cheney was on CNN today in a ridiculous performance that firmly establishes her 'Hall of Fame for Harpies' bona fides.


She screeched liberal bias so often that Mark Halperin needed a whole drawer of old socks to wipe the jism out of his pants.

The Perfect Grenade for the 'War on Christmas!"

The "2007 GOP: Character Counts Calendar"

I sense a continuing patter of subversion from the authors.

Oh this will be fun, fun, fun

I love Olbermann too, but I grew up in the age of Dave. Forget Page Six's usually snide and irrelevent sarcasm, it's clear Bill Orally gets the royal flush from the real King of Late Night.

October 27, 2006 -- ANY lingering doubts that David Letterman detests Bill O'Reilly will be laid to rest tonight, when the gap-toothed funnyman has the conservative Fox News powerhouse on his CBS "Late Show" and machine-guns him with insults.

In a tape previewed by Page Six, things go downhill fast as O'Reilly sits down and jokingly presents the liberal-leaning host with a plastic sword to do battle and holds up a plastic shield to defend himself.

An irritated Letterman cracks, "Oh, that's nice, that's cute, you come out with toys . . . Am I right about one thing: You guys over there at Fox and guys like Rush Limbaugh, you guys know it's all just a goof, right? You're just horsing around. You're doing it 'cause you know it'll be entertaining?" Letterman adds he's never seen O'Reilly's show because, "I dial up Fox and it's always 'The Simpsons.' "

O'Reilly tries to lighten the mood by telling the audience he and Letterman are "on the same bowling league" and asks whether he'd appear on "Dancing With the Stars."

"Bonehead!" snaps Letterman, who then starts shaking his fist and waving his arms at O'Reilly as the subject turns to the war in Iraq. "Let me ask you a question - was there more heinous, more dangerous violence taking place [before America invaded] Iraq, or is there more heinous, dangerous violence taking place now in Iraq?"

"Oh, stop it," O'Reilly scolds the host. "Saddam Hussein slaughtered 300,000 to 400,000 people, all right, so knock it off . . . It isn't so black and white, Dave - it isn't, 'We're a bad country. Bush is an evil liar.' That's not true."

"I didn't say he was an evil liar," Letterman shoots back. "You're putting words in my mouth, just the way you put artificial facts in your head!"

Letterman admits he hasn't read O'Reilly's new book, "Culture War," because "I looked at it. I said, 'What is it, a book on sailing?' "

Checking his watch to signal an end to the insult-a-thon, Letterman sarcastically quips, "Oh, gosh, where has the time gone?" He adds: "I have no idea what I'm talking about - but I don't think you do, either."

I'll set the VCR.

Rush Limbaughts, "Great Drug Trips through American History"

Boy, I can hardly wait...

For Bill O'Reilly, Lynne Cheney and Scooter Libby to be asked about the lurid fictional scenes in James Webb's fictional book.

Nor John McCain for that matter.

Memory Lane

This quote from Ninkasi at D.U. is a pretty accurate summation of how the right-wing (and to an extent the press) approaches a guy with a horrible illness who dares oppose them politically:

Come with me, fellow Dems, down Memory Lane. Remember, when the Senate was questioning Samuel Alito, during his confirmation hearings for sitting on the Supreme Court? Martha, his wife, broke into huge tears, and fled the room, because we hateful Dems were daring to question some of his rulings, which pointed to him being a bigot.

Democratic senators were ripped to shreds by the conservative media, who shrilly demanded to know how we could have been so nasty as to make his delicate spouse flee the room in tears.
The same conservative pundits, who were up in arms over confirmation hearings, which would determine the supreme law of our country for many years to come, now are attacking an actor afflicted with Parkinson's disease.

Mrs. Alito was subjected to an afternoon of tears. Michael J. Fox is subjected for the rest of his life to a cruel disease which will take away more and more of his ability to live his life fully, from now on. He upset Limbaugh, and the others, by daring to suggest that stem cell research would be a godsend to him, and other sufferers of diseases like his, and like the damage done to Christopher Reeves, who died as a result of his injuries.

I am constantly amazed by the utter viciousness and brutality of the right wing. Nothing to them is off limits. They will slander, and savage, anybody who has the nerve to question them, or oppose them. I believe that it's no coincidence that after so long of having them in control of Congress, our country now uses torture, has suspended habeas corpus, and rewarded the wealthy, who don't need it, and removed social services for the children, the elderly, and the poor, who do.


January 11, 2006:
When Graham Apologized... [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
...Mrs. Alito left the room in tears. Bringing a SCOTUS candidate's wife to tears in the hearing room is going to do wonders for the Senate's popularity ratings.
Posted at 5:36 PM

October 25, 2006:
Rush on Democratic Victims [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
More on the Fox ad, and its precursors.

(The visual version: .)
Posted at 6:38 PM

Ass Whuppin'

I'd like to have a NICE even yeared November for a change. Maybe it will happen:

Less than two weeks before the Nov. 7 election, the latest Associated Press-AOL News poll found that likely voters overwhelmingly prefer Democrats over Republicans. They are angry at President Bush and the Republican-controlled Congress, and say
Iraq and the economy are their top issues.

At the same time, fickle middle-class voters are embracing the Democratic Party and fleeing the GOP — just as they abandoned Democrats a dozen years ago and ushered in an era of Republican control.

"I don't think the Republican Party represents what I stand for. The guys I golf with, we're in the middle class, we're getting hurt," says Joseph Altland, 73, a retired teacher in York, Pa. He is a registered Republican but says he is considering becoming an independent.

The AP-AOL News telephone poll of 2,000 adults, 970 of whom are likely voters, was conducted by Ipsos from Oct. 20-25.

In it, 56 percent of likely voters said they would vote to send a Democrat to the House and 37 percent said they would vote Republican — a 19-point difference. Democrats had a 10-point edge in early October.

"I don't care if I vote for Happy the Clown, just so it's not who's there now," said Mary Nyilas, 51, an independent voter from Cologne, N.J. She said she would do everything she could to "vote against the powers that put us in this situation" in Iraq.

Well, I'm sorry Ms. Nyilas, James Trafficant is not running this year, but the GOP still has it's share:

On Thursday, House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., dismissed talk of a sour outlook for the GOP and cited signs of a strong economy. "Things are looking pretty good, and I don't think anybody would really want to change that at this time," he said in Aurora, Ill.

That's not his package, it's his hamster-like food storage scrotum

We're depriving you of your liberties over there, so you don't miss them when you are back over here!

The latest gift of freedom to American troops from Premier George Walter Bush.

You cannot read left-oriented blogs.

At first I thought, "eh, big deal"

But then I realized thanks to people like Matt Drudge people can no longer tell the difference between fact and fiction.

I then I started imagining a young japanese girl poking a bear with a stick and realized I agreed with Josh Marshall, okay George, since your a fan of literature, let us see those closed divorce records.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

In the interest of enlightenment and balance

Let's send Tim Graham to live the life of a reporter in Iraq:

The Agenda-free Pacifist? [Tim Graham]

Thursday's Howard Kurtz Washington Post puff piece on NBC Baghdad correspondent Richard Engel has a real clash of perspectives. First, NBC anchor Brian Williams claimed Engel "is the most agenda-less person I've met in our business." Then Engel declared "I think war should be illegal...I'm basically a pacifist." Williams also loves Engel’s courage, that he’s “completely unbothered by any Web site that may have problems with his reporting while he's over in Iraq dodging bullets.” Earth to media critics: if a reporter dodges bullets, even propaganda-Pez-dispensers like Peter Arnett (or today, CNN’s Michael Ware), the media elite believes they are unassailable against those pajamas-media types back home.

I believe Richard Engel has been remarkably gloomy from Baghdad (he claims he has no “abacus” to count good news vs. bad news stories.) But the story included no critics of Engel's reporting of any persuasion, just glowing praise from Williams, CBS colleague Lara Logan, and Engel's mother. That’s mighty cozy.
Posted at 2:31 PM

Okay, tough guy. Your belief is based on?....

How about we start up a fund to send you over there to hang out with Michael Ware or Richard Engel and lead the life they live. You tell us your good fucking news of the day...

"Day 5, finally stopped shitting my pants
- Tim Graham"

Everyone's entitled to their own opinions, but not to their own facts

Talk about making your own reality:

In defending his "PREEMPTIVE" war on Iraq to a group of conservative columnists Bush said:

I believe when you get attacked and somebody declares war on you, you fight back. And that's what we're doing.

I don't remember Iraq launching any assaults against the eastern or western seaboard; shooting up the Gulf of Mexico, nor any invasion through Canada nor Mexico. Not even on FoxNews.

Must have been one of those things you can find on "the Google".

The BEST reporter in Iraq

Is Michael Ware, here he is yesterday after Bush's press conference:

Blitzer: "The president flatly said today the United States is winning. . . .

"From your point of view, does it look like the U.S. is winning right now?"

Ware: "The president's remarks are absolutely striking, Wolf.

"I mean I would very much like to ask President Bush how he defines winning, because on the ground here, it looks like anything but.

"Given the state of chaos, given the near civil war, given the rising tempo of the Sunni insurgency, given the increasing influence, as Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad pointed out, of Iran and, to a lesser degree, Syria, I would like to know how the president defines victory.

"So far in this war, what we have seen with the way things have developed is that two of America's greatest enemies are the only beneficiaries of this conflict -- al Qaeda, which 16 U.S. intelligence agencies say has become stronger, not weaker, as a result of this war. So the very thing the president says he came here to prevent, he has fostered.

"And the other one is Iran. Iran's sphere of influence once stopped at Saddam's border. Now, they have great sway not only in southern Iraq, but within the central government, arguably, more sway than the United States."

Bush Visits Iowa

Premier George Walter Bush is visiting Des Moines today to help a local multi-millionaire trust fund boy unseat a semi-popular Democratic congressman (Leonard Boswell). They're charging $100 for the local intelligentsia to come out from under their rocks with drool buckets in tow (it really is amazing to see how they handle the buckets while using their knuckles to help propel them forward) to cheer for the worst premier in the history of the republic.

On local news this morning Tony snow, you know the official campaign spokesman for the Republican election machine, gives an interview to two smiling morons that don't want to ask the man a serious question. Some of Snow's better unchallenged bromides: 1. let's not forget why we're in Iraq...(um, wouldn't that be nuclear and chemical weapons that were an immediate threat to the US and A?...unchallenged) 2. Creating a stable democracy in the middle-east will allow freedom and the american way to spread throughout the region...(seriously, he said that)...3. We're changing hearts and minds...(no mention of the collective judgment of the intelligence agencies in the recently published NIE saying that being in Iraq is having the opposite effect).

Seriously, I was waiting for the disclaimer at the end: paid for by the National Republican Campaign Committee who paid for the content of this ad.

Make this scene come true

The early evening of November 7, 2006

Sean Hannity: Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the refreshment room here at the White House. My name is Sean Hannity and I'm your enabler for tonight. You know, once in a while it is my pleasure, and my privilege, to be welcomeed here at the White House, and talk about some of the truly great international statesmen of our time. And tonight we can discuss one such man.

About 8:30 p.m. eastern November 7, 2006

Ladies and gentlemen, someone whom I've always personally admired, perhaps more deeply, more strongly, more abjectly than ever before. A man... well, more than a man, a god, a great god, whose personality is so totally and utterly wonderful my feeble words of welcome sound wretchedly and pathetically inadequate.

About 11 p.m. eastern November 7, 2006

Someone whose boots I would gladly lick clean until holes wore through my tongue, a man who is so totally and utterly wonderful, that I would rather be sealed in a pit of my own filth than dare tread on the same stage with him! Ladies and gentlemen... the incomparably superior human being, George Walker Bush!

Man: [from offstage] The GOP lost the mid-terms!


Sean Hannity: Never mind, he's not all he's cracked up to be.

Much better original found here.

One last thing about the interview with the enablers

Bush has, in the past, had his people lie about how many books he had read as of the end of August ("60", altogether now "riiiiiiiiiiight"). It is comforting to know that with all the "hard work" he's doin' Bush has so much free time on his hands. And yesterday, another enabled lie via Barrone:

On the way out the door, I asked him what he had been reading lately. The answer: Andrew Roberts's A History of the English-Speaking Peoples Since 1900 (an advance copy, apparently).

Yes, I'm really sure he's reading that book -- he's pretending to read it so he can get tools like Barrone comparing him to Churchill -- yet again.

God forbid, President Asshole read (oops, pretend to read) any histories of Islam, the Middle East, or the nations he occupies, or plans to so occupy should he continued to scare enough cowards to keep his party in power.

By the way, in 1942 FDR's Democratic Party lost 45 congressional seats. Wonder how that turned out -- we'd have won that fucking war if he hadn't.

The Bubble of Incompetence

The Chimperor Disgustus did his part for "Conservative Fellatio Week" by deigning an hour of his "hard workin' time" to a group of conservative shills. And they don't get much shillier than those named in this article: Byron York, Larry Kudlow, and Mark Steyn.

York who wrote the article is paid his endowment bones by seeming like the voice of sanity while editing columns to such a degree that non-conservatives are made to look like chumps and conservatives the voice of sanest moderation and good cheer. Somehow this still counts as non-fiction.

But even in the pompadoured world of Byron York, it doesn't take much analysis to discern from this article that George Bush has no effin' clue what he is doing and it is all about spin. Iraq is lost, and all that is left is bad fiction -- and no amount of editing can dispel that fact.

This section is rather long but it adequately elucidates Bush's tenuous hold on either current or past reality:

It would be fair to say that no one fully knew the answer to that question. At times during the conversation, the president seemed vexed — not beaten, not downcast, but vexed — by conditions in Iraq. Bush didn’t say so, but from his words it seemed hard to deny that in some significant measure the insurgents and the sectarian killers are in control in the country, and that the fate of the American mission is in their hands. “The frustration is that the definition of success has now gotten to be, how many innocent people are dying?” the president said. “And if there’s a lot dying, it means the enemy is winning.” He paused. “That doesn’t mean they’re winning.”

But what does it mean? NRO and CNBC's Larry Kudlow asked, “How can you measure winning? The last couple of years, there just don’t seem to be any signals or signs that we’re winning.”

“This is the significant disadvantage we have in this war because the enemy gets to define victory by killing people,” Bush answered. In World War II, Bush said, progress, while hard to gain, was easier to describe. One could point to ships sunk, and battles won. “We don’t get to say that — a thousand of the enemy killed, or whatever the number was,” Bush said. “It’s happening. You just don’t know it.”

So if the U.S. chooses not to reveal how many of the enemy it has killed — and if, in any event, that death toll is not stopping the sectarian violence — then how does one assess what is going on? “I’ve thought long and hard about this, because it is precisely what is frustrating most people,” Bush said. “A lot of people are just saying, ‘You’re not doing enough to win. We’re not winning, you’re not doing enough to win, and I’m frustrated, I want it over with, with victory.’ And I’m trying to figure out a matrix that says things are getting better. I think that one way to measure is less violence than before, I guess…”

But that, of course, leads back to the president’s statement that the enemy gets to define victory by killing people. If the sectarian forces are able to keep up the killing, then they will determine who wins in Iraq.

The latest plan to retake the offensive on defining victory is the so-called benchmark. “The idea is to develop with the Iraqi government a series of benchmarks — oil, federalism, constitutional reform, there’s like 20 different things — and have that developed in a way that they’re comfortable with and we’re comfortable with,” Bush said. Progress toward those goals would give the administration new ways to point toward overall progress in Iraq.

Beyond that, the president seemed to be considering a plan to refine the country’s governmental structure in a way that would accommodate the Shiite, Sunni, and Kurd populations without dividing the country. “We’ve had a lot of people out there saying, split up the country,” Bush said. “That’s not going to work. But there are ways to achieve a more balanced federalism from what some people think is going to happen to them. There could be more — like Texas, we always want less federal, more state. And that’s the way — this balance can be achieved through negotiations. That’s what they’re trying to do.”

Illogic backwards, then forwards and ultimately saying nothing. First of all, his intelligence reports surely tell Bush by now that Al Qaeda is not the major problem in Iraq -- rather, they are saying "hello again" in Afghanistan. Iraq is now, as facilitated by ourselves and Al Qaeda, a nightmare of sectarian violence that has little to do with the latter and at best inadvertently maintained by the former. Sectarian violence is maintained both by a sense of entitlement and a sense of debasement -- and the Americans being there perpetuates both. Having just finished "Imperial Life in the Emerald City" one thing is certain, whatever the Bush's Administration has done it has done in precisely the worst way possible. The contempt his administration has, the demeaning way in which they view the culture, oozes from their pores. It appears in virtually every decision they make. Invading and occupying the country was itself the biggest mistake, but it has been systematically compounded each and every day by errors in how to approach the problem. Iraqi's made the mistake of believing the Bush Administration's propaganda before the invasion which explains, in part, why they are so incredibly pissed, if not outright violent, now. We having relatively less stakes in the matter (as Bush wanted) get demonstrably less pissed.

Bush may have occasional perfunctory meeting with so-called middle east experts (as opposed to giving conservative shills a good chunk of the day), but the ones that make the decisions, and are actually listened to, are the ones who have made the mistakes originally. Their world view being disproved each and every day, rather than reforming their world view, they have blamed it on unexpected externalities, or just not noticed at all.

Cognitive Dissonance -- we all have some degree of this, for example I'm sure that George Allen doesn't think he's in any way a bigot; I'm sure that Mark Foley thought he was just being really friendly and supportive of those young pages; I'm sure Byron thinks that hairdo is really manly and that the Mr. Brady-Cut is the very edge of fashion. But that doesn't change the objective reality for bigots, perverts, and morons. In small degrees cognitive dissonance is embarrassing, but it doesn't get anyone killed. For example, she may have dumped your sorry ass, but if you want to say it was a "mutual" decision to save face, go ahead it doesn't really change reality too much, your friends still know you're a loser.

However, unlike most, Bush's cognitive dissonance is getting thousands of people killed. He is not capable of facing up to it, perhaps for the reasons Steve Gilliard has laid out repeatedly. So someone has got to impose reality upon him. And those who do are the voters -- at least those who don't look at a TV commercial and say "Oooooooh, Jeebus and Raymond's wife are speaking to me in aramaic" and applaud, like when Barb Bush dangles shiny keys in front of her son, but just out of reach.

Bush needs, and the country desperately needs to apply to him, a ballot box pimp slapping, forcing him kicking, screaming, and of course, drooling, into the real world where one cannot manufacture their own reality.

UPDATE: According to fellow "invitee/fluffer" Michael "I'll be right someday" Barrone:

The others were Tony Blankley of the Washington Times, Daniel Henninger of the Wall Street Journal, Charles Krauthammer of the Washington Post, Lawrence Kudlow of CNBC, Kathleen Parker of the Orlando Sentinel, Mark Steyn of the Chicago Sun-Times, and Byron York of National Review–all conservatives of various stripes.

Various stripes, yet of one voice when it comes to enabling the Chimperor. This is what it's come to, it's all about the base. Not one person actually challenging Bush but setting him up with softball after softball. And, as always, their usual line, "he's so much better when we interview him than he is in public", which is a polite way of saying, "I know he looks, talks, and acts, like a moron -- but trust me and the money I am paid to say this to you, he isn't quite as big an idiot as your lying eyes tell you."

Trust me, because you know it is true, if somehow Bush holds on to both houses, and perhaps only one, he will state one thing and one thing only:

"The American people have ratified our policy in Iraq (and now that the election is over I can say) that policy is STAY THE COURSE!"

It won't matter what James Baker says, it won't matter what John Warner or Lindsay Graham say (they'll just roll over anyhow), it won't matter no matter what anyone says. GEORGE BUSH WILL CONTINUE TO FUCK UP ON THE SAME PATH HE'S FUCKED UP THE LAST SIX YEARS. He won't change, he won't admit failure.

There's only one way to get that message through to him, or at least force his hand, and that is to toss as many of his enablers (virtually all Republicans and Joe Lieberman) out on their collective asses.

Hey, Ramadan is over

So how come we are still losing 5 troops a day?

Oh, I'm sorry, I forgot the Neal Cavuto theory, the insurgents are killing them for the Democrats.

So what's the theory on November 8? They are killing them for Thanksgiving?

"Iraq an unbelievable clusterfuck, good news for Bush?"

As of 6 a.m. eastern though, don't tell CNN, they're all caught up in the greatest hits of executed prisoners without word of these other deaths.

Singing while being lethally injected...why can't 'American Idol' work this way?

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

I'm starting to worry about us

And this "GOP Character Counts Calendar".

But I cannot stop giggling about it.

"He heh heh Stretch, did you say losing a war and Congress?"

"Well, make mine a double!"

(AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)

The Bastards who govern you:

Froomkin in a WaPo on-line chat today:

Delmar, N.Y.: In your "White House Briefing" column today you note a conversation between Vice President Cheney and a radio host in which the VP admitted that we used the technique of waterboarding against some detainees. He also said that this technique does not constitute torture. It is interesting that Mr. Cheney's alleged boss, President Bush, has refused to answer the question as to whether we have ever used waterboarding on the grounds that if we revealed our interrogation techniques "the enemy" could adapt. (How? By practicing holding their heads under water?) I wonder why this item has not gotten more attention?

Dan Froomkin: Yeah, I probably buried that. But maybe it will get some pickup now.

First, Cheney tacitly agreed to describing waterboarding a suspect as "dunking a terrorist in water," -- and then he called it a "no-brainer."

That was in this radio interview yesterday.

And yes, given Bush's refusal to acknowledge that waterboarding continues, this should be taken as an official administration position until or unless it's clarified or denied.

And here's the particular section:

And terrorist interrogations and that debate is another example. And I've had people call and say, please, let the Vice President know that if it takes dunking a terrorist in water, we're all for it, if it saves American lives. Again, this debate seems a little silly given the threat we face, would you agree?


Oh ho ho, sadisms fun!

We are sooooooooooooooo much better than them aren't we Dick?

"Don't talk about the war..."

Basil Fristy:

CONCORD, N.H. - Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist says if Republican candidates want to succeed on Election Day, they should turn their focus away from the Iraq war.


For some insane reason the White House keeps thinking if they throw the Chimp out there to fling shit at us, we will suddenly decide he's a great leader -- as opposed to a primate with poor bathroom habits.

He's holding yet another ineffectual news conference at 10:30 a.m. eastern today. I know the news will be only a couple hours old, but after he gets done talking about another corner turned will anyone in the press ask him about the following?

BAGHDAD, Iraq - U.S. and Iraqi forces on Wednesday raided Sadr City, the stronghold of the feared Shiite militia led by radical anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, but Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki disavowed the operation, saying he had not been consulted and insisting "that it will not be repeated."

The defiant al-Maliki also slammed the top U.S. military and diplomatic representatives in Iraq for saying Iraq needed to set a timetable to curb violence ravaging the country.

"I affirm that this government represents the will of the people and no one has the right to impose a timetable on it," al-Maliki said at a news conference.

Guaranteed to drive Limbaugh back to a Haitian underaged Prostitute

In no time...

These ads are running against opponents of stem-cell research across the country.

Suck on it.

TBogg's place was the first time I'd seen one.

A Short Story in Pictures

Top picture: (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

"Actually for once Phillip was right...

This IS the kind of head I wanted."

(AP Photo/Steve Parsons, Pool)

Am I on the right blog?

Oh, that's right the other one is being used to push a calendar (now updated).

The White House Staff is in a quandry

trying to figure out who will tell Bush he has a Pringles coming out of his nose.

REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

I tell ya' I am outraged

That I am responding to outrageous commercials alluding to miscegnation against Hrold Ford by putting up pictures of Tennessee Republican Bob Corker's daughter sharing a soul-kiss with another young blonde...

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to need a few minutes alone to express this outrage.

I just wish John Sweeney (R-NY) had been there to keep them in line!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


For what it's worth here are my predictions for the "Last Stand of the GOP"

October 30: OSAMA TAPE, FoxNews notices how much he sounds like Howard Dean.

November 5: Saddam Sentenced...to live in Iraq.

November 6: Cruise Missile Strike in Northern Pakistan, CIA claims it took out Osama, Zawahiri, Mullah Omar, and the HEAD-ON voice-over lady.

November 7: Election Day.

November 8: That cruise missile strike turns out to have just blown away a Pakistani Kindergarten. Oopsy!

Stop the Madness

Some guy filling in for Bill Press just described the Michael J. Fox commercial in Missouri, sympathetically, as "him being off his meds".

This is fucking ridiculous. Parkinson's is quite sadly NOT a rare illness, something similar has made its presence felt in my extended family (the even more virultent 'Huntington's') so its something I have some familiarity with.

If Michael J. Fox, has advanced Parkinsons, but for the medication he could not even fucking talk. The twitching is pronounced BECAUSE of the medication.

What you are seeing on the video is side effects of the medication. He has to take that medication to sit there and talk to you like that. ... He's not over-dramatizing. ... [Limbaugh] is revealing his ignorance of Parkinson's disease, because people with Parkinson's don't look like that at all when they're not taking their medication. They look stiff, and frozen, and don't move at all. ... People with Parkinson's, when they've had the disease for awhile, are in this bind, where if they don't take any medication, they can be stiff and hardly able to talk. And if they do take their medication, so they can talk, they get all of this movement, like what you see in the ad.

Five minutes of edu-mah-cay-shen on "the Google" wouldn't hurt before you go on the air and sound like an idiot.

It's like Denny told him to sleep on the couch...

Seen your career pass before your eyes Mr. Palmer?

(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Is Blogger Burning?

It isn't looking very good right now.

If this somehow gets posted, tell me about what you think of my work with the Pussycat Dolls -- I've tried to give them class.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Just in Time for the Holidays

A very special, "Character Counts" GOP 2007 Calendar. The countdown begins.

I Guess Stay The Course Won't Work Anymore

Now they get it, all they have to do is set standards so low to declare success that even a non-functioning factionalized government can meet them.

But Bartlett sought to downplay reports that the administration was developing a timetable for the government to show progress, insisting that it was drawing up "benchmarks and milestones."

"The complicated aspect of the strategy right now is that we have to press upon the new Iraqi government to take more responsibility, but we have to do it in a way that doesn't crater the government or make it weaker as a result," Bartlett said on Fox News.

Rumsfeld said he thought the Iraqis were in "general agreement" with the US approach.

It is "a way ahead so that their parliament, their government can have a set of tasks that they need to do to get prepared to assume the responsibility for governing their country, and for providing security for their country," Rumsfeld said.

He said specific dates were unlikely to be attached to the tasks, but "you might find a month or you might find a spread of two or three months or a period when they think they might be able to do it."

Rumsfeld said everyone would like the process to move more quickly.

"But I think people have to be realistic," he added. "Our hope is we can assist them, the coalition can assist them, in assuming responsibility for their country sooner rather than later."

Sooner rather than later? WTF? I was kinda thinking we could just spend a few hundred billion more dollars and ruin the lives of thousands more Iraqi and American families. So we don't have to call it stay the course, how about gigantic money blood sucking shithole soon-to-turn to victory?

Self-hatred is the only hatred

that the conservatives hide.

The Spokesman Review and the Idaho Falls Post Register (none too liberal in either case) are carrying bylined reports today of about a gay blogger who claims that conservative republican Idaho Senator Larry Craig is gay. Craig denied the story to the Corey Taule, the reporter for the Idaho Falls Post Register, who caught up with the Senator near Boise on Thursday. The Columbia Journalism Review weighed in with an article full of source links. CBS television is running the story.

For its part CBS editors worried about an argument against running the story is that it enables unsubstantiated assertions made on blogs and talk radio to become legitimized in the mainstream press. They ran it as did the two papers here in the intermountain West. Full text of the CBS story follows below.

Craig has been a right wing wacko on a number of political issues in the past, but has moderated his politics somewhat in recent years as he gained seniority on the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee. As the chairman of the subcommittee on energy, Craig has access to the "chairman's mark" which allows him to direct pork dollars to his pet projects and those of his colleagues.

Craig is not up for re-election which is significant in terms of the timing the of blogger's report so close to the November election. That seems to be a coincidence. What is not a coincidence is that the odious details of congressional sexual abuse of interns are filling the television airwaves, e.g., CNN, suggesting this may be an effort to tar Craig with the brush of a homosexual scandal elsewhere. The reason why remains to be seen.

The Spokesman Review story is behind a paid subscription firewall as is the one for the Idaho Falls Post Register. However, this report from CBS news is linkable.

What happens when...

Conspiracy theorists have their conspiratorial concerns confirmed?

Conspiracy theorists are so plentiful in Idaho and Utah that you sometimes have trouble telling them apart from the mutated jack rabbits and nuclear sage brush. That is what makes the story of censorship -- even if the author is a crackpot -- all the more interesting. Not since a Pocatello, ID, TV weatherman was fired last Fall for saying hurricane Katrina was the work of Japanese gangsters with a secret Russian weather machine has a major employer in region taken action against one of its own for holding forth in public with wacko ideas.

Brigham Young University in Provo, UT, the flagship educational institution of the LDS church, this week essentially forced one of its tenured faculty into retirement for publishing "research" that the 9/11 destruction of the twin towers of the World Trade Center was the result of U.S. government explosives and not hijacked jet airliners crashing into them.

This is not the first time the LDS church has come down on people who attack the credibility of the U.S. government. In 1995 the church ran off James "Bo" Gritz by denying him membership in his local church organization after he advocated tax resistence along with the rest of his anti-government conspiracy and Christian Identity political rhetoric.

The Idaho Falls Post Register runs this version of the AP wire service story on the BYU firing. You can find additional coverage via Google News.

I was arrogant and stupid, when I said I was arrogant and stupid, to say we were arrogant and stupid

*Sigh*, no doubt that will be the statement in a forthcoming book.

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A senior State Department diplomat apologized Sunday for having told the Arab satellite network Al-Jazeera on Saturday that there is a strong possibility history will show the United States displayed "arrogance" and "stupidity" in its handling of the Iraq war.

"Upon reading the transcript of my appearance on Al-Jazeera, I realized that I seriously misspoke by using the phrase 'there has been arrogance and stupidity' by the U.S. in Iraq," Alberto Fernandez said in an e-mail sent to reporters by the State Department and attributed to him.

"This represents neither my views nor those of the State Department. I apologize," the statement said.

I'm reading "Imperial Life in the Emerald City", I've actually followed the news the last three and a half years.

In regard to Iraq the United States was demonstrably "arrogant" and "stupid" there is no doubt about it.

Fantasy Land

"Not only are we gonna hold the House"

"We're gonna hold the Senate too"

"In fact, we're gonna increase our margins"

"We are going to win EVERY SEAT!"

"All 47,300 of 'em"

"And then I will ascend into heaven"

"And be given the 'Son of the Year' award by my higher father."

"Take that Jesus!"

Meanwhile, in Fantasia...

Same ol' Same ol':

* BAQUBA - A bomb blast and an ambush by gunmen on a convoy of buses near Baquba killed 13 police recruits and several more recruits were kidnapped, a local official said. Another 25 recruits were wounded in the ambush on the buses which were taking the recruits to Baghdad from a base attacked by insurgents using mortars and rifle fire on Saturday. There were 80 casualties, including many dead, from Saturday's attack, the official said.

* BAGHDAD - The Interior Ministry said 50 bodies had been found in Baghdad over the past 24 hours.

* MOSUL - Three bodies were found in Mosul, a hospital source said.

SALAHEDDIN PROVINCE - A U.S. soldier was killed and three more wounded as a result of enemy action in Salaheddin Province, the military said.

ANBAR PROVINCE - A U.S. Marine was killed in combat in western Anbar province on Saturday, the U.S. military said on Sunday, bringing to 79 the number of U.S. military deaths in October, the deadliest for American troops this year.

BAGHDAD - A suicide bomber killed six people and wounded 20 on Palestine Street in central Baghdad, police said.

HADITHA - Four people were killed and five wounded in clashes between U.S. forces and gunmen in Haditha, west of Baghdad, police said.

BAGHDAD - A bomb under a vehicle killed three people and wounded six in a market in Al Rashid street in central Baghdad, police said.

Actually between yesterday morning and the present, the total number of reported American deaths has gone from 2791 to 2798 2799 -- not that you have heard much of it on the chat shows.

Meanwhile, 'The Worst & The Dimmest' are still running around like chickenhawks deprived of their heads, as Billmon summarizes:

anyone who's thinking of a military coup as the solution to our problems in Baghdad has a brain the size of a pin. Which is why I worry that there may be some truth behind the rumor.

Likewise the loose talk about "partition." Even assuming it wouldn't turn into sectarian bloodbath, (estimated death toll in the 1947 partition of British India: 200,000 to a million) how, exactly, is the United States supposed to order a sovereign nation to tear itself apart? This raises all the same practical and propaganda problems as a military coup made in Washington, except the U.S. Army could well find itself in the middle of a civil war between Sunni and Shi'a and between pro- and anti-partition Shi'a militias. It would probably also shatter the Iraqi Army, turn the contested city of Kirkuk into a battlefield and bring Turkish intervention in Kurdistan.

Some fun, huh?

None of this babbling makes any sense, in other words. Nor is it remotely in scale with the size of the Cheney administration's failure in Iraq. Part of me thinks it's all being driven by the need of beltway journalists and think tankers alike to have something new to say about Iraq, something that isn't a variation on: "Yep. We're still fucked." But there's obviously a hard edge of real desperation -- if not despair -- behind this. America's ruling elites have had things largely their own way for the past couple of decades. But now they're looking at a bottomless quagimire that may have a much bigger disaster (like loss of access to Persian Gulf oil) hidden somewhere in the mud. And they don't have a clue about what to do. They've lost control, which is the last thing any ruling elite can afford to admit.

Small wonder then, that the policy "debate" has now crossed the line into complete fantasy -- like a long piece of dialogue from Waiting for Godot. The realists have turned into surrealists. Baker now sounds almost as naive and deluded as Bush.

As a veteran anti-establishmentarian -- no, let's be honest here, I despise the motherfuckers -- I should be enjoying the hell out of all this. And if it weren't for the hundreds of thousands who have died, and the many more who will die as this fiasco goes even further south, I'm sure I would be.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

When do you know you are in the presence of lameness?

When an editorial begins this way:

WAS IT a mistake to go to war in Iraq? The latest voice to say so is that of conservative commentator Jonah Goldberg, National Review Online's shrewd editor-at-large...

Yeah, "shrewd" that's the word that immediately comes to mind with a guy who picks a fight on the Middle East with a Professor of Middle East history.

And related to that, so we do not forget, is what "Shrewd" Jonah Goldberg said, February 5, 2005 regarding Cole and Iraq:

Anyway, I do think my judgment is superior to his when it comes to the big picture. So, I have an idea: Since he doesn't want to debate anything except his own brilliance, let's make a bet. I predict that Iraq won't have a civil war, that it will have a viable constitution, and that a majority of Iraqis and Americans will, in two years time, agree that the war was worth it.

Well, here we are 20 months later, how's that one on the "big picture" lookin' Mr. Shrewd?


Watertiger noticed this on ABC this morning:

During an interview today on ABC’s This Week, President Bush tried to distance himself from what has been his core strategy in Iraq for the last three years. George Stephanopoulos asked about James Baker’s plan to develop a strategy for Iraq that is “between ’stay the course’ and ‘cut and run.’”

Bush responded, ‘We’ve never been stay the course, George!’

Behold the power of videotape:

Think Progress has even more examples.

Bush's Dream Legacy

At the other blog, you know, the dirty place, I encouraged photoshoppers to go to work imagining a picture using two variables.

Much to my surprise, reader Mr. Hedley Bowes has managed to create one that can be published here at a family blog (as long as you are a twisted co-dependent family).

Of course, it is still sacrilege:

There are bad rants and good rants

This, from Gilliard, is a great rant. Pretty much strips Bush of any covering and reveals the metaphorical marshmallow center.

Bush is a bully and a coward at heart. Iraq was chosen because Iraq would be easy, and then the rest of the Middle East would follow. It was the easy way to solve our problems, not our real problems, but our emotional pain, the unresolved conflict over being attacked. And Bush would resolve his lifelong lack of success.

Bush will not leave Iraq, not because he thinks we can win, or he thinks it's part of the war on terror. But because he cannot face another failure. Which is why Scowcroft and Baker have had no influence on him. They are his father's men, veterans, despite their politics, realists. Bush is not and never has been. When he wasn't hiding from his failure with booze and coke, he hid from it with Jesus. Now he has Henry Kissinger whispering in his ear, telling him what he wants to hear. He doesn't want advice, he wants support and only support. Those who do not support him, are diminished, then banished.

This is a man who has never honestly looked himself in the face and said I have failed. He has always been protected from failure.

Read it all, you'll be glad you did.

The New York Times

Editorial Page goes beyond a chair and drops the Kitchen, Dining Room, office and all of the living room furniture on to Bush:

The generals who told President Bush before the war that Donald Rumsfeld’s shock-and-awe fantasy would not work were not enough to persuade him to change his strategy in Iraq. The rise of the insurgency did not do the trick. Nor did month after month of mounting military and civilian casualties on all sides, the emergence of a near civil war, the collapse of reconstruction efforts or the seeming inability of either Iraqi or American forces to secure contested parts of Iraq, including Baghdad, for any significant period.

So what finally, after all this time, caused Mr. Bush to very publicly consult with his generals to consider a change in tactics in Iraq? The president, who says he never reads political polls, is worried that his party could lose some of its iron grip on power in the Congressional elections next month...

But the way this sudden change of heart has come about, after months in which Mr. Bush has brushed off all criticism of his policies as either misguided, politically motivated or downright disloyal to America, is maddening. For far too long, the White House has looked upon the war as a tactical puzzle for campaign strategists. The early notion of combining Iraq and the war on terror as an argument for re-electing Republicans robbed the nation of any serious chance for a bipartisan discussion of these life-and-death issues. More recently, the administration seems to have been working under the assumption that its only obligations were to hang on, talk tough and pass the problem on to the next president...

The way the Bush team is stage-managing the president’s supposed change of heart about “staying the course” is unfair to the Americans who have taken him at his word that real progress is being made in Iraq — a dwindling but still significant number of people, some of whom have sons and daughters serving in the conflict. It is a disservice to the troops, who were never sent to Iraq in sufficient numbers to protect themselves or the Iraqi people. And it is a disservice to all Americans, who have waited so long for Mr. Bush to act that all that is left are a series of unpleasant choices.

And it is happening in the midst of a particularly ugly, and especially vacuous, election season. There is probably no worse time to begin a serious discussion about Iraq policy than two weeks before a close, bitter election. But now that the discussion has begun, it must continue, as honestly and openly as possible. It is time for the American people to confront all the things that the president never had the guts to tell them about for three and a half years.


This would be the age group from which insurgents are made:

WASHINGTON - Majorities of Iraqi youth in Arab regions of the country believe security would improve and violence decrease if the U.S.-led forces left immediately, according to a State Department poll that provides a window into the grim warnings provided to policymakers.

The survey — unclassified, but marked "For Official Government Use Only" — also finds that Iraqi leaders may face particular difficulty recruiting young Sunni Arabs to join the stumbling security forces. Strong majorities of 15- to 29-year-olds in two Arab Sunni areas — Mosul and Tikrit-Baquba — would oppose joining the Iraqi army or police.

The poll has its shortcomings; regional samples are small and the results do not say how many people refused to respond to questions. The private polling firm hired by the State Department also was not able to interview residents of al-Anbar, a Sunni-dominated province and an insurgent stronghold.

So it probably undersampled the areas of strongest opposition? Great.

What a fucking nightmare.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Too tired to write comedy

So I'll just do this (sorry Pansypoo)

I guess Canada can handle this commercial, but the Family Research Council can't in this country.

And this one is simply hilarious...

Well, We Know Bill O'Reilly's weekend plans

An exhibitor presents erotic toys at the 10th 'Venus-Berlin' erotic fair October 20, 2006. The event representing the erotic business in the German capital is open until October 22. REUTERS/Tobias Schwarz (GERMANY)

Strangely enough

This is less a newsphoto, than a portrait of Bush's brain at work.

(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Media Imbecility

For far too long the media, to the extent it pays attention to the economy at all, has only paid attention to the stock market. I suppose as a business model broadcasting a stock market ticker with a clown show is a way to attract those with disposable income, but how the Dow Jones does is not a reflection of how the economy is working for most people.

Recent polling suggests an overwhelming number of people consider the GOP far too wedded to the business class. Which just goes to show you, if you wait a century or so, even the American public can catch on to the obvious.

Even though I have my own investment portfolio (I've put most of my money into the urinal cake industry), I've always considered a slavish tracking of the stock market to be a waste of time and a gross dereliction of understanding the economy as a whole, where workers are treated like chattel.

And don't even get me started on "day trading" which seems to me to be an activity done by middle aged white guys when they are too tired to beat off to web porn.

"The Lord hath delivered him into our hands"...

Yesterday, I speculated that the October Surprise would be Bush agreeing to modify his Iraq Policy before the elections.

I don't know what I was thinking, applying some sense of rationality upon Dear Leader. Admitting error, no matter how obvious and long since noted, is just not in the Constitutional make-up of Jeebus, Jr. To him, the admission of personal error long ago surpassed his concern for others, even if they are putting their asses on the line because he wanted to be a "War President".

In fact, Bush is more afraid of error, than anybody is of Bin Laden, as they are about to find out.
President Bush conceded Friday that "right now it's tough" for American forces in Iraq, but the White House said he would not change U.S. strategy in the face of pre-election polls that show voters are upset.

With Republicans anxious about the potential loss of Congress — and with conditions seemingly deteriorating in Iraq — Bush addressed the question of whether he would alter his policies.

The White House calculus seems to be that being stupid but stubborn outweighs being flexible (i.e. flip - flopping) in the name of better policy.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Even I don't think this is quite right

But I can't help myself...

"You know great place you got here...

"...I love watermelon."

(AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

By the way, somebody should have moved that little girl out of the way, she's downwind.

Meanwhile, earlier in the day...

Does he know that is ice cream and not cocaine?


Also, he needs to "fine-tune" his Mark Foley impersonation a tad.

Bush talks about his relationship with Lieberman

Yesterday on the stump:

In an interview Thursday, President Bush said he had not done anything “dirty” but that there had been intimate contact.

“Once maybe I touched him,” he told the television station. “It’s not something you call, I mean, rape or penetration or anything like that, you know. We were just fondling.”

The President added, "Heh, heh, heh, heh."

I think we've learned

That Rumsfeld wants his own men to be promoted high in the military.

I just didn't think those officers were to be "kept men", because what a fucking bit of fluffing this is:
MIAMI (AFP) - The top US general defended the leadership of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, saying it is inspired by God.

"He leads in a way that the good Lord tells him is best for our country," said Marine General Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Rumsfeld is "a man whose patriotism focus, energy, drive, is exceeded by no one else I know ... quite simply, he works harder than anybody else in our building," Pace said at a ceremony at the Southern Command (Southcom) in Miami.


But, according to Woodward, Rumsfeld made sure that the two men who he has chosen to be chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff - Air Force Gen. Richard Myers and Marine Corps Gen. Peter Pace - were people who would not directly challenge him.

Woodward writes that just before Pace was named chairman he was visited by an old friend, Marine Corps Gen. Jim Jones, the NATO commander. Jones expressed chagrin that Pace would even want to be chairman. "You're going to face a debacle and be part of the debacle in Iraq," he said. U.S. prestige was at a 50- or 75-year low in the world. He said he was so worried about Iraq and the way Rumsfeld ran things that he wondered if he himself should not resign in protest.

And, he told his friend, according to Woodward: "You should not be the parrot on the secretary's shoulder."

To be fair to Pace, he doesn't appear to be a parrot on Rummy's shoulder. Rather, he seems attached, well, let's be diplomatic out of respect to Pace's service...he seems attached at the hip.

Mr. Pace has obviously not read this...

"For once, I can honestly say...

...I'm smarter than somebody. Heh heh heh heh."

REUTERS/Jason Reed

*sigh*, "Yes, it has come to this"

(AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

I've got an idea as to where to stick that thumb

Here is the blurb next to that picture (with some editorial comment)

US President George W. Bush speaks at the Science Museum (ed. HA) of Virginia in Richmond, Virginia. Bush insisted that US troops would not pull out of Iraq before "the terrorists are defeated," a day after acknowledging a possible parallel between violence there and a key Vietnam War offensive.(AFP/Mandel Ngan)

He is not changing unless he is forced to.

Vote his Party Out!!

Vote for a Democrat

It's the only way to force Bush's hand to alter his ruinous policies.

The growing doubts among GOP lawmakers about the administration's Iraq strategy, coupled with the prospect of Democratic wins in next month's midterm elections, will soon force the Bush administration to abandon its open-ended commitment to the war, according to lawmakers in both parties, foreign policy experts and others involved in policymaking.

Senior figures in both parties are coming to the conclusion that the Bush administration will be unable to achieve its goal of a stable, democratic Iraq within a politically feasible time frame. Agitation is growing in Congress for alternatives to the administration's strategy of keeping Iraq in one piece and getting its security forces up and running while 140,000 U.S. troops try to keep a lid on rapidly spreading sectarian violence.

But the only real way for Bush's policy to be altered is for his policy to be demonstrably repudiated at the polls. Without it, he'll never fucking change. It will never happen by choice. And what evidence is there that Republicans EVER will stand up to him?