Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Molly Ivins

I know you have already seen it like me, linked by atrios, but I just have to throw in here. Molly Ivins accomplished what so many of her brothers and sisters in the craft (do you hear me Broder, Cohen, Dowd, Friedman, blah, blah, blah) could not: speaking to readers from the heart in a smart way without condescending. I don't bother mentioning her brothers and sisters on the other side of the divide (Brooks, Ignatius, York, Lowry, D'souza, Sowell, Noonan, Krauthammer, etc.) it is obvious whatever heart any of them had was sold to the highest bidder. Molly Ivins was a liberal's liberal. She did leave the world a better place and unfortunately, voices like hers don't come around very often. We will miss her.

Suggested new FOX & FREUNDE theme song

Picture yourself
watchin’ the hotel TV
With only 12 channels
Ten are FOX News, oh my

SportsCenter has hockey
So you change channels slowly
A dude so white did he die?

Fine thinning hair and
A face scrubbed beyond clean
Blustering that libruls are
Not supporting the troops

Look at the girl with the lust in her eyes
And she's gone...

Doocy on TV with assholes
Doocy on TV with assholes
Doocy on TV with assholes

Follow him down to
The gutter a wankin’
Where fucking crazed bloggers
Spew Right-wing fed lies

Everyone smiles as
You drift past the real world
Jeebus, these
Assmunches are high

Crackpots of Murdoch
Are on C-SPAN to abhor
Just spanking
And wanking away

Taking it asswise
With your head hitting the wall
And you're gone...

Doocy on TV with assholes
Doocy on TV with assholes
Doocy on TV with assholes

Picture yourself watching

JPod wax his back
You clutch at the toilet,

And barf up black hair pies
Suddenly someone is
There spewing nonsense
It’s Malkin’s cooter agape
And feigning surprise

Doocy on TV with assholes
Doocy on TV with assholes
Doocy on TV with assholes

Doocy on TV with assholes
Doocy on TV with assholes
Doocy on TV with assholes

Doocy on TV with assholes
Doocy on TV with assholes
Doocy on TV with assholes

Thanks to my frequent criminal confederate Watertiger for assisting in portions of this effort.

Doocy & Kilmeade pics from here.

Sounds overqualified for a Bush Appointee

Spencer Ackerman:

I'm working on a quick piece on this right now, so more later, but I just got back from Admiral Bill Fallon's hearing to head Central Command, and I've never heard a military officer testify for nearly four hours and fail to exhibit an understanding of even one issue he's about to grapple with. Anyway, as they say, more TK.

Not exactly comforting -- but on the other hand, usually Bush Administration officials have no fucking clue what they are talking about, and exhibit no understanding of an issue -- but that never stops them from saying they know EXACTLY what the answer will be.

About as reliable as the latest Bush Administration Talking Point

So FOX must be involved.

Paula Abdul is too erratic and unreliable. We should replace her. Say, you know who would be more reliable and sane?

Courtney Love!

That's a little like saying:

You know that Cheney is always lying and is clearly evil, you know who we should replace him with?

Duke Cunningham!

Serious Discourse

Glenn Greenwald is a fine writer, who, as is his wont, posts a well-considered, persuasive, take down of conservatism. This includes an excellent consideration of the merits and demerits of Andrew Sullivan.

I on the other hand, handle the matter thusly:

It's really just a difference in style.*

*And talent and effort.


Last night NBC started reporting Pentagon spin that the attack in Karbala last week was too sophisticated to be a local deal and must have involved I-R-A-N.

I have a feeling that pretty much every person watching that report on NBC spent their time emitting record-setting decibel-level guffaws.

Josh Marshall condenses the scenario down to this:

A few quick points just to make a go of it. The possibility is being looked at because of the sophistication of the attack and the level of coordination. So, not likely that any native Iraqis could have pulled off this attack. Check.

And it's possible that the attackers were Iranian or "Iranian-trained". Again, just for the sake of conversation -- our current angle in Iraq is to cozy up to SCIRI (the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq) as the moderate Shi'a grouping over and against the al-Sadr and possibly al-Maliki, the current prime minister. SCIRI's paramilitary is the Badr Brigade. They were formed in Iran and by Iran from pro-Iranian Iraqi Shia. They fought alongside the Iranian army during the Iran-Iraq war. Before we toppled the Hussein government, they were still headquartered in Tehran.

So Bush is kissing up to the same organization that we know, and accept, getting help from the Iranians...all for the purpose of using them to blame the Iranians. This is a lack of nuanced bullying befitting Kaiser Wilhelm II.

I'll continue this tour of early 20th century european monarchs at a later date

Clap Harder

"I do, I do, I do believe in fairies."

(AFP/Brendan Smialowski)

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The Beginning of the End

I have been watching the dispatched from the Libby trial, not as closely as I would like due mostly to life responsibilities, but through the witnesses that have testified it seems to me Libby is in a WORLD of hurt. So what gives? Libby didn't take this turd to trial not knowing the risks and knowing that he didn't undertake this operation on his own, he could have easily taken a dump all over his boss or any of the other slimes that he worked with in the West Wing. But he didn't. He is expecting a pardon but he may have miscalculated how fast things are unraveling--so fast his helpers may be gone before the last day in the white house pardon list is issued. We'll see, but I am taking great pleasure in seeing the beginning of the end. Oh, and I agree completely with the analysis of Steve Gilliard.

Even without the Libby trial, and I csn't imagine him keeping his job if he testifies, Cheney is a very sick man He has fallen asleep in public. Part of his dogmatic nature is due to his ill health. He is on at least 10 different drugs for his heart and related illnesses.

It is a shock he has lasted this long.

However, if Cheney goes, Bush will be soon to follow. He has been his buffer.

If Cheney is eased out, be sure that health will be the cover.

I think when people start investigating, the conspiracy to hide Cheney's health problems will stun them.

I don't mean to be overly concerned


He's like congenitally on the Nyquil, you shouldn't put him near heavy machinery.

REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Bart Gets Famous

You said that Mr. Libby came to you at the beginning of this investigation and said, I didn't do it.

Wasn't that a catchphrase of Bart Simpson?

That sinking feeling of dread...

"You're expecting me to read this aren't you?"

REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

When are they going to tell us just to "lie back and enjoy it?"

"Let's see, how can we still make me the Dictatorer?"

Let's put those "signing statements" into effect.

As Digby says:

The 58% of the country who just want the Bush presidency to be over with are in for a rude awakening. Bush and Cheney are racing to rape and pillage the country as much as they can until they are term limited out. They just don't give a damn what the people want, never have, and they know full well that nothing will happen to them. In fact, performance in office is now completely irrelevant.

I made a crack about this yesterday at the Crack Den in comments, but I think it has a bit of legitimacy.

I'm no professional historian, but I've stayed at a Holiday Inn Express, and if I was to think of past historical figures that Bush and Cheney ultimately remind me of, it isn't the easy, intellectually shallow, and easy to discredit Hitler. Bush is pretty damn bad, especially by American historical standards, but Hitler was in a class all his own, with Stalin, Mao some distance behind, and a whole host of murderous thugs like Tamerlane somewhere in the rear view mirror.

No, Bush and Cheney remind me of the last of the Romanovs.

Bush has the shallow, unintellectual stubbornness of Nicholas II. He distrusts and even mocks people who are intellectually on a higher plane or actually make an effort to be intellectually curious. Like Nicolas II, he believes he has been ordained by God to be "the Decider" and therefore any decision is God's decision.

Cheney, on the other hand, has the narrow-minded haughtiness of the Empress Alexandra, along with the refusal to tolerate those who don't bow down to his small-focused ideals of good and evil -- and inability to consider any decision or statement he makes is not correct by that fact alone.

They also, have managed to create a militaristic Administration that goes looking for Tsushimas and Tannenbergs, only in slow motion.

And if you look at the Richard Perles, Paul Wolfowitz's, Laurie Myolries, and every blowhard at FoxNews, you have no shortage of Rasputins.

The one telling difference between our two autocrats and the two Russian ones, seems to be the latter at least possessed some degree of authentic personal warmth. Oh, and BushCo manages not to be anti-semitic, but rather have their minions take every possible opportunity to baselessly accuse their opponents of possessing that quality.

Say what you want, but that Cheney is the face that could launch a thousand ships...of people fleeing the country.

UPDATE: Stu brings us more confirmation of this analogy:

Nicholas's intellectual limitations and restricted social outlook might not have mattered so much had he relied on some of the talented and far-sighted nobles and bureaucrats who gained prominence during the last decades of the Russian Empire. But as often happens with weak leaders, Nicholas distrusted individuals brighter and abler than himself. Instead he dependended on relatively incompetent advisers and officials who mirrored his own conservative opinions.

Although occasionally charming and by nature gentle and kindly, [okay, it isn't an exact fit, but keep reading] Nicholas was weak-willed and stubborn. He often acted from instinct and intuition and then stuck to his position even when proven wrong, a trait that resulted in erratic decision making.

You must sacrifice for field position

Richard Lugar (R-Sane but Ineffective) doesn't want to vote for a watered-down resolution calling Bush a dumbass, no jerkoff, no poopyhead, no mistakerer, no ill-advised, no victim of circumstance.'

Funny considering he describes Bush's surge as follows:

Some commentators have compared the Bush plan to a "Hail Mary" pass in football -- a desperate heave deep down the field by a losing team at the end of the game. Actually, a far better analogy for the Bush plan is a draw play on third down with 20 yards to go in the first quarter. The play does have a chance of working if everything goes perfectly, but it is more likely to gain a few yards and set up a punt on the next down, after which the game can be continued under more favorable circumstances.

Alright, soldier I want you to get out there and set up that punt!

As usual

Despite first reports out of Iraq, upon reflection we are truly and horribly fucked in Iraq, of course, when has this not been true?

Iraqi forces were surprised and nearly overwhelmed by the ferocity of an obscure renegade militia in a weekend battle near the holy city of Najaf and needed far more help from American forces than previously disclosed, American and Iraqi officials said Monday...

...The Iraqis and Americans eventually prevailed in the battle. But the Iraqi security forces’ miscalculations about the group’s strength and intentions raised troubling questions about their ability to recognize and deal with a threat.

The battle also brought into focus the reality that some of the power struggles in Iraq are among Shiites, not just between Shiites and Sunnis. The Soldiers of Heaven is considered to be at least partly or wholly run by Shiites.

Among the troubling questions raised is how hundreds of armed men were able to set up such an elaborate encampment, which Iraqi officials said included tunnels, trenches and a series of blockades, only 10 miles northeast of Najaf. After the fight was over, Iraqi officials said they discovered at least two antiaircraft weapons as well as 40 heavy machine guns.

That really is the question, how the hell was this group allowed to set up such an elaborate defensive position without anybody having any fucking idea what was going on?

The Najaf area, of course, is not an area the "surge" is going to cover. It is, however, an indication that the insurgency can easily spread out from Baghdad during the surge and make shit as bad as possible.

Somebody is going to try to get Sistani again, probably with redoubled efforts. And clearly, the Iraqis have no real capacity to know what the hell is going on in areas they control, or no real desire to do much unless they stumble upon stuff. And even then, they have little ability to out gun anyone.

This is pathetic.

Naturally, before the reflection showing Iraq's army continues to grossly underwhelm the "Decider" stated this blatant falsehood:

Bush was asked in a National Public Radio interview about an Iraqi raid Sunday, backed by U.S. helicopters, on a heavily armed Shiite cult that Iraqi officials said was poised to assassinate the country's Shiite religious leadership. "This fight is an indication of what is taking place, and that is the Iraqis are beginning to take the lead," Bush said. "So my first reaction on this report from the battlefield is that the Iraqis are beginning to show me something."

Somebody get the Shepherd's Crook.

The Winner

We've known this for a while, but it is still important that it is pointed out in papers of record -- like this one at the Washington Post by Pulitzer Prize winner reporter Anthony Shadid [Fred Hiatt should try reading his stuff sometime]:

Four years after the United States invaded Iraq, in part to transform the Middle East, Iran is ascendant, many in the region view the Americans in retreat, and Arab countries, their own feelings of weakness accentuated, are awash in sharpening sectarian currents that many blame the United States for exacerbating.

Iran has deepened its relationship with Palestinian Islamic groups, assuming a financial role once filled by Gulf Arab states, in moves it sees as defensive and the United States views as aggressive. In Lebanon and Iraq, Iran is fighting proxy battles against the United States with funds, arms and ideology. And in the vacuum created by the U.S. overthrow of Iranian foes in Afghanistan and Iraq, it is exerting a power and prestige that recalls the heady days of the 1979 Islamic revolution, when Iranian clerics led the toppling of a U.S.-backed government.

"The United States is the first to be blamed for the rise of Iranian influence in the Middle East," said Khaled al-Dakhil, a Saudi writer and academic. "There is one thing important about the ascendance of Iran here. It does not reflect a real change in Iranian capabilities, economic or political. It's more a reflection of the failures on the part of the U.S. and its Arab allies in the region."

Added Eyal Zisser, head of the Middle Eastern and African Studies Department at Tel Aviv University in Israel: "After the whole investment in democracy in the region, the West is losing, and Iran is winning."

Only the shabbiest level of attention was given to the fact that as atrocious as Saddam may have been, he was not just a bulwark against Iran, he WAS the bulwark against Iran and all of his duplicity in regard to WMD had a great deal to do with not letting Iran know what the hell he had.

In their stupidity, Iran has found in its most overtly declared foes George Bush & Dick Cheney the greatest allies it could ever have, and it's greatest supporters. Not only has their overt imperialism and war mongering strengthened the hand and status of an unpopular theocratic regime, it has accomplished strategic interests for them that the Iranians could never have dreamed of achieving.

George Bush, Iran's greatest benefactor.

Monday, January 29, 2007

The Great Writ

Not much has been said all over the internets about Abu Al's testimony last week to the Senate Judiciary Committee in which he said that nothing in the constitution guaranteed individuals the writ of habeas corpus. This is absolutely foundational in my humble opinion, like the principle of separation of powers, like the principle of judicial review. Our form of government collapses without it. Since matters of law are of some interest to some of us here on this bloggity blog I thougt it was worth giving this article by David Bromwich a well deserved shout.

The Grinder

Lately we have been getting snips of what Iraq really looks like and I confess as against the war as I always have been, as much of an antagonist of the administration and its sycophant brigade as I attempt to be, without the real images and stories getting out, it is difficult to relate. Now with stories like the one by Lara Logan suppressed by CBS, like the videos recently posted, one of Iraqi soldiers beating the shit out of Iraqi civilians while American soldiers look on act like they are watching a video game, like the image of an American Humvee barreling through the streets (presumably of Baghdad) ramming into every vehicle that gets in its way on a heavily trafficked boulevard. These are the images that show us reality and it is most certainly not pretty--actually it looks to be nightmarish.

From yesterday's NYT (via Juan Cole) comes an essay by reporter Sabrina Tavernise who has given us another glimpse of a tattered and torn country. It sure makes you wonder what "winning" means to the people debating whether we can still accomplish such a goal.

"Dear Mr. President...

...I'm a flowering pistil...

Please come be my stamen."

Boy, that Michele Bachmann sure is getting ready for Valentine's Day.

Modified from AP Photo/Xinhua, Xiong Ping

30% Job Approval?

"Thanks a lot Jesus!"

REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

It'll go out on K-Street

How sweet, apparently the 109th Congress at the last minute commissioned a memorial statue to commemorate the era of GOP-Control.

"I shall call it the 'Hogwash Memorial'"
AP Photo

The Washington Generals

The Liz Cheney editorial was so unsuccessful that the White House decided to double-down on the "really, really, white scale" and have Stephen Hadley do an Op-Ed. I seem to recall Stevie-boy wasn't exactly a big fan of Maliki.

This will not end well.

Upon reflection

Maybe Bush & Cheney are building a gigantic detention camp out of one country, all for the sake of making Michelle Malkin happy?

Because it appears that the Iraqi government, such as it is, realizes which of the two American political parties are reality based and which are flatulence-based:

The Shiite Muslim leadership has informally recommended to ministerial and parliamentary delegations heading to Washington that they cultivate closer relationships with Democrats as well as Republicans.

"They have to see people from both sides, because they are both taking part in the administration of the country," Adeeb said. "Whoever is a decision-maker in America, we have to have relations with."

Many pointed out advantages to the Democrats' increased sway over Iraq policy. Government officials said they had generally found the Democratic position on handing over security to Iraqi forces sooner rather than later closer to theirs. Almost all agree on Democratic Party initiatives, squashed when Republicans controlled Congress, to prevent the building of permanent U.S. bases here. They note news reports of Democrats acknowledging the suffering of the Iraqi population.

"I see that the Democratic ideas are more related to reality," said Ammar Tuma, a lawmaker who serves in Maliki's ruling Shiite coalition. "They talk about the real problems that the Iraqis are facing every day."

So much for that statue Richard Perle predicted you'd have by now.

I remember

That the Japanese used to regularly claim they sank carriers by the Bushel, when, in fact, they hadn't even destroyed one.

So, let's just say I'm skeptical about the details of this battle outside Najaf. Especially since no one seems to know whether there are claims the group involved are Sunni, and there are claims they are Shiia. Word of 250 to 300 insurgents killed also seems rather dubious, though it undoubtedly helps the killin' when you can call in air support.

But as of this morning Sistani is still upright and I guess that's something.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Dirty Fucking Hippies

Allowed to appear in our nation's capitol instead of being sent directly to GITMO.

It's like they think the First Amendment applies to them or something.


The TRIfecta

McClatchy reports another helicopter down:

BAGHDAD, Jan. 28 - A U.S. helicopter was shot down early Sunday afternoon near the provincial capital Najaf during a pitched battle with fighters described as religious fanatics.

A McClatchy Newspapers correspondent from Najaf, Qasim Zen, observed the helicopter lose control and crash to the ground in flames after it appeared to have been struck by rocket fired from the ground. The correspondent had been observing the battle from a safe position about half a mile away from the fight in the village of al Zarga. Al Zarga is about 5 miles from Najaf and about 80 miles south of Baghdad.

No information on U.S. casualties was available. Military public affairs officials in Baghdad said Sunday afternoon they were unaware of the helicopter downing.

That is three in one week.

I don't immediately recall three helicopters being downed in total for the whole prior 3 years and 10 months...though I could be off a bit.

That's certainly an "augmentation" to the situation isn't it?

It's also the little things

That keep an imperial power from being "loved" by the nations it occupies.

I'm sure these soldiers are doing what is necessary and what is instructed for them to do.

But contemplate what all these things add up to to the occupied population.

It isn't pretty -- and it summarizes, with all the other things we see and which are rarely, if ever, reported on in that country that we don't know. The kind of things the Kagans of this world never contemplate during their think-tank supported bloviating.

(found at Sully's blog)

Mount Douchemore

Perhaps "MOUNT" is particularly inadvisable to use in association with the above crew?

Many, many thanks to TBogg for capturing this image, a rare photograph of the ever-growing, yet ever elusive, K-Lo, the "Nessie" of the wank-o-sphere.

If only Kate O'Beirne was as camera-shy.

And one of the shufflin' crew, Michell Malkin, is perhaps the dumbest person in history. No small accomplishment when you consider her confederates.

I imagine so...

The quality editing of "The Cornhole" lets the truth shine through:

Jonah, Mark Steyn, Rob Long

are really pretty scary together on stag. Remarkably funny. But scary.

01/28 03:38 AM

They were just helping the deer over the fence officer.

The Other White Bleat

For the Kagan family, military history is something to be written about as if it were a giant Risk game, as opposed to actual people losing actual lives. Today, the other Neo-Con war freak Robert gets a place in the Washington Post (along with Dinesh D'Souza -- what a fucking twofer!). It was THIS Kagan that gave Joe Lieberman the laughable moniker of "The Last Honest Man".

Kagan, who hasn't gotten his bulk by eating MRE's writes:

In Iraq, American soldiers are finally beginning the hard job of establishing a measure of peace, security and order in critical sections of Baghdad -- the essential prerequisite for the lasting political solution everyone claims to want.

Because the past, nearly four years, have been a vacation.

I'm sure that "BOB" foresaw such difficulties...

January 1998, after missile strikes on suspected Iraqi WMD sites, Kagan with a co-Author (who's this Bill Kristol fella?) wrote:

He has survived them before, and he is confident he can survive them again. They will not succeed in forcing him to abandon his efforts to obtain weapons of mass destruction. The only way to remove the threat of those weapons is to remove him, and that means using air power and ground forces, and finishing the task left undone in 1991.

We can do this job. Mr. Hussein's army is much weaker than before the Persian Gulf war. He has no political support beyond his own bodyguards and generals. An effective military campaign combined with a political strategy to support the broad opposition forces in Iraq could well bring his regime down faster than many imagine. And Iraq's Arab neighbors are more likely to support a military effort to remove him than an ineffectual bombing raid that leaves a dangerous man in power.

Does the United States really have to bear this burden? Yes. Unless we act, Saddam Hussein will prevail, the Middle East will be destabilized, other aggressors around the world will follow his example, and American soldiers will have to pay a far heavier price when the international peace sustained by American leadership begins to collapse.

Oh look and it's from the Project for a New American Century. They've never been wrong about ANYTHING!

Why should anyone listen to him now?

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Rock and Roll Wealth

Who made the most money last year in rock and roll?

I'm assuming that this list is top money earners over the last fiscal year or two. I read an article that for years, Paul McCartney was the richest musician (at just over a billion in wealth), but then Bowie passed him a couple of years ago. Apparently the 'Bowie Bonds' put him over the top.

But I remain concerned about some of the totals: Bon Jovi $75 million? Nickelback $74 million? The article spills into links with slideshows and, if it's your cup-o-tea, you can watch a slide show with the industry's richest women (some music makers and some from other fields).

I think this list ought to scare the pants off the music industry (I know, nasty image). You have The Stones - who are the legends that they are - three country acts, Madonna/Celine/Streisand, Bon Jovi, Nickelback and Dave Matthews.

Where is the viable, relevant contemporary rock here? The Stones are making it with a dinosaur tour (and I say that with all respect to them - they're part of the founding British generation, but they haven't been relevant for centuries). Dave Matthews is an established jam act but what is he doing to make innovative music?

Where are the bands who are moving rock FORWARD? Where are the truly innovative and original? Well, obviously there are plenty of creative young acts out there, but they have been entirely unhitched from the revenue machine. If I were a record exec at a label, this would keep me up at night. Oh, wait a sec... no it would not because if I were a label exec I would be brain dead already.

In part I also blame the audiences. I don't see the Foo Fighters or Green Day or My Chemical Romance making the top dollars. Why? Because audiences haven't turned new acts into icons with their purchasing dollars. They are either going to safe standbys like The Stones and Madonna or flocking to safe newbies like Nickelback and Dave Matthews. The labels aren't the ones putting the acts on tour. The labels aren't the ones making people go (or not) to rock shows.

So, who determines what acts draw the biggest audience at concerts? Is the problem simply the promoters who gauge audience supply and demand? Or is the problem audiences themselves for attending the same tired old dinosaurs? Concert sales isn't simply about the music or who's getting the push from their label. If 45,000 people showed up outside the Whiskey A-Go-Go one night to see a sneak preview show by, say very different acts like Fountains of Wayne or bland Sugar Ray or smirk humor wizard Weird Al you can bet there would be a promoter making these acts into stadium fodder the very next day at $150 to $250 a seat.

So, in the end, is it any surprise which acts are so wealthy?

Yeah, they have some values...

Why is it that right-wingers always claim to be acting on higher values and purer motives? Why do they think that they are so morally superior?

One of the right-wing immigration groups, Families First on Immigration, claim to be advancing what they call "religiously grounded positions" on immigration and have attracted several high level names attached to it, including former presidential hopeful Gary Bauer. Bauer of the pancake flip now heads up a group called American Values.

Other members of Families First include former Bush advisor to Catholic voters, Deal Hudson of the Morley Institute for Church & Culture and Paul Weyrich who is widely considered one of the founding fathers of the modern conservative movement and the head of the Free Congress Foundation.

Now m0re than ever we need to demonstrate why people need to stop listening to these right-wing loopers like Hudson or Bauer. None of these right-wing whack-a-doodles should be claiming to represent family values. If they ever did.

Yip, Yip, Yip

The Poodle (who is having the longest retirement ceremony in history), still awed by the Decider.

DAVOS, Switzerland - British Prime Minister Tony Blair on Friday offered strong support for President Bush's new plan for Iraq and said he believes the Iraqi prime minister can meet the benchmarks the United States has set.

All this while the Brits take steps to reduce their military force in Iraq.

Signs of tension between the US and Britain over London's plans to withdraw some of the 7,000 UK troops in southern Iraq from this spring emerged yesterday. Speaking on the day that the foreign secretary, Margaret Beckett, said she remained confident that British troops would start to be withdrawn from Basra in the spring, the US ambassador in Baghdad, Zalmay Khalilzad, said he wanted Britain to keep its troops at its current level.

It all reminds me of this:

“Asked by Cherie Blair what Americans thought of her husband, McAuliffe responded that ‘most people think you’re a lap-dog for President Bush.’ Cherie Blair then elbowed her husband and said ‘See, Tony, I told you so.’”

Nobody swallows their pride

Like Ricky Gervais:

My poor poor nipples

Just when I thought they'd never have to worry so about chafing again, along comes this:

White House anxiety is mounting over the prospect that top officials—including deputy chief of staff Karl Rove and counselor Dan Bartlett-may be forced to provide potentially awkward testimony in the perjury and obstruction trial of Lewis (Scooter) Libby...

Plus Ari Fleisher testifies early next week. I better stock up on the Lubriderm.


In addition to their gross incompetence, many of us lose track of how the Bush Administration's zealousness leads them to just be assholes. Witness the case of Maher Arar this is shameful. They should be impeached for no other reason than running a third-world dictatorship in a land that declares itself to be a beacon of freedom.

And why? Less to keep "you safe" and more to enable them to kill:

This was the case that caused Pat Leahy to have a genuine and intense outburst of rage after Alberto Gonazles placidly recited his mindless buzzphrases to defend the administration's conduct here. It is hard to see how anyone doesn't have a similar burst of outrage when thinking about what our government has done, and continues to do, to Maher Arar (of course, the purposeful dehuminization of Arabs and Muslims allows us to not only bomb them free of any regrets, but also to subject them to treatment of this sort).

At least the Canadian Government seems to be run by people with a minimal sense of conscience and decency. The contrast with our own government, in this case at least, is depressingly glaring.

And finally, via Crooks & Liars we find out just how low the "beacon-on-the-hill" has sunk in the eyes of its closest neighbor:

A Canadian Commission on the extraordinary rendition case of Maher Arar has recommended that the RCMP withold information from countries with "questionable human rights records". That's right, folks, the former shining beacon of democracy is now considered by Canada to have a questionable human rights record. How proud our Founding Fathers must be.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Bush marvels at the advances in digital video

"Is there a place for the Li'l Decider, or are you gonna just bend over Baldy?"

AP Photo/Gerald Herbert

The Blue Dress of Integrity

The conservative, fantasy lovers, are going to be all over this bit of blowing from Nibras Kazimi.

January 26, 2007:
Last October, my sources began telling me about rumblings among the insurgent strategists suggesting that their murderous endeavor was about to run out of steam. This sense of fatigue began registering among mid-level insurgent commanders in late December, and it has devolved to the rank and file since then. The insurgents have begun to feel that the tide has turned against them.

October 25, 2006:
Iraq is succeeding because the Iraqi state has weathered the worst of the insurgent storm and survived, and because the Sunni insurgency is fatigued. "What about all the bodies? What about all the bombings?" Indeed, it's the worst it has been, but not the worst it can be. I see many hopeful signs that cannot be dismissed.

August 6, 2006:
The battle for Baghdad can be won by the Iraqi government and Coalition forces in three weeks. There is a one month opening until mid-September to convince Iraq's middle class — the people who run the country and keep it together — that the state is still salvageable. Otherwise, with the summer drawing to a close, they will have to decide whether their exile and hiding is going to be of a more permanent nature and will plan ahead accordingly. The good news is that Sunni insurgency is exhausted and there is plenty of internal chatter questioning just how long they can keep up the pace of the violence.

June 16, 2006:
[After Zarqawi's death] Strategically, there is some more good news for Iraq. The jihadists will get increasingly frustrated with the Iraqi battlefield, and will seek out greener pastures. For any talented leader craving the limelight as the No. 1 Terrorist, the jihad in Iraq will always be associated with Zarqawi's name, and none other will eclipse this dark legacy. Such a wannabe will need to find somewhere else in the Middle East to make a name for himself.

Just who is this guy and why would he write the same stuff over and over and over?


Nibras Kazimi is a visiting scholar at the Hudson Institute. He also writes a weekly column on the Middle East for the New York Sun. Previously, he directed the Research Bureau of the Iraqi National Congress in Washington DC and Baghdad, and was a pro-bono advisor for the Higher National Commission for De-Ba'athification, which he helped establish and staff.

Golly, what a sterling record of accuracy and achievement...if that means American Tax-Payer subsidized bullshit that has completely fucked up everything it has ever touched except for the blowhards who made money off the deal. Oh well, maybe he has the office next to this pillar of "integritude".

No axe to grind here.

Meanwhile lookie here:

One of the Iraq government's critical tasks to pacify the country is to rein in the excesses of de-Baathification.

The man in charge of the effort is Ahmad Chalabi, the controversial Iraqi Shiite ex-patriate who formerly headed the Iraqi National Congress, lobbied hard for regime change, and was a key link in the chain of inaccurate intelligence about Saddam Hussein's alleged weapons of mass destruction program.

A top State Department official told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Thursday that Chalabi's de-Baathification committee is not making the changes needed to ease the economic and political restrictions on former Baathists.

Don't you love it when fucked up plans keep coming together?

Too tragic to laugh

But when your puppets are calling you out, it's time to simply admit that Bush and Cheney's brains are even smaller than their penises.

"Iraq was put under occupation, which was an idiot decision," Mahdi said at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Saying the wrong decision, the stupid decision is like putting out the "Bat Signal" to Bush.

Thursday, January 25, 2007


To build upon the video that Champollion linked to earlier (and if you haven't seen it, please to so) comes this video from Channel 4 in the UK. More information available at Raw Story where this was found.

State Run Media

Not surprisingly CBS is apparently censoring the news coming out of Iraq. You gotta see Lara Logan's reporting of the mean streets of Baghdad not two miles from the green zone to believe it. I wouldn't have expected the street and house-to-house fighting would be this rampant but, alas, it is. While I am certain everyone reading this has already seen it over at eschaton, if you haven't go there or to the original link and watch. It speaks for itself and certainly completely discredits Lon Cheney's characterization of the success we are enjoying and supports Senator Hagel's characterization of Iraq as a "grinder".

Dumber than Shit

No other way to describe this:

Victory is Barren Without A Secure Peace [Jonah Goldberg]

Now, this Eisenhower sounds a bit different than Senator Webb's.

Whereupon the Doughy Pantload plays this video from 1946 (when we were involved in no actual military conflicts, though the Berlin Airlift was occuring) of Eisenhower:

Of course, Webb discussed Eisenhower's decision to END the Korean War (a war which started despite a draft and vigilance) with a truce in 1953. We're not even talking about Eisenhower's statement on his way out of the White House in January 1961, the "Military Industrial Complex Speech".

But the thing that is hilarious is this: recall Jonah bloviating about why he cannot serve in a war he constantly supports (as long as others fight it) pay particular attention beginning about 35 seconds in.

From 60 years in the past there Jonah, still service -age eligible Jonah, IKE IS SPEAKING DIRECTLY TO YOU AND FINDS YOU TO BE A COWARD!

In Case we Forget...

like most of the media has, we have to remember the shenanigans that accompanied both "elections" of this misanthrope of a president.

Two election workers were convicted Wednesday of rigging a recount of the 2004 presidential election to avoid a more thorough review in Ohio's most populous county.

Jacqueline Maiden, elections coordinator of the Cuyahoga County Elections Board, and ballot manager Kathleen Dreamer each were convicted of a felony count of negligent misconduct by an elections employee. They also were convicted of one misdemeanor count each of failure to perform their duty as elections employees.

Prosecutors accused Maiden and Dreamer of secretly reviewing preselected ballots before a public recount on Dec. 16, 2004. They worked behind closed doors for three days to pick ballots they knew would not cause discrepancies when checked by hand, prosecutors said.

Ohio gave President Bush the electoral votes he needed to defeat Democratic Sen. John F. Kerry in the close election and hold on to the White House in 2004.

Maiden and Dreamer will be sentenced Feb. 26.


This guy cannot even meet the standards of a stopped-clock:

VICE PRESIDENT CHENEY: Well, Wolf, if the history books were written by people who have -- are so eager to write off this effort, to declare it a failure, including many of our friends in the media, the situation obviously would have been over a long time ago. Bottom line is that we've had enormous successes, and we will continue to have enormous successes.

Meanwhile, in the reality that is NOT manufactured:

A huge explosion rocked central Baghdad just be for sunset Thursday and a massive plume of black smoke was rising into the air along the east bank of the Tigris River.

The blast occurred shortly after two heavy mortar shells slammed into the heavily fortified Green Zone.

The public address system inside the zone, where the U.S. Embassy is located, could be heard warning in English that people should take cover, "this is not a drill."

I miss Kathryn Harris

Though it appears she WON'T GO AWAY.

Nevertheless, we appear to have a quality replacement in Michele Bachmann, who love her Bush long time. (Not safe for work, unless you are a Goya-collector)

"They all think we're bloodthirsty, war mongering liars, what'll we do?"

"Hmmmm, let's turn it to eleven"


I guess it's my inner geek, but I find a comparison of "high-definition" feeds from the various networks for the State of the Union compelling (and the reason they did it was it was a unique time to do real quality comparisons of the networks with the same material).

First, it demonstrates that, not surprisingly, FOX manages to sell "sheep" a lower quality product.

Second, it leads to this question, surely this is the last thing you ever want high-definition television for.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Preznit Chimpy's Rx

1. More war.
2. Less diplomacy.
3. Tax breaks for the wealthy.
4. Medical liability reform.
5. Immigration reform.
6. Or a combination of 4 and 5: Immigliability reform.


Hagel and Webb are making quite the pair. Today in regard to the surge, Hagel, who must be retiring from politics because he plainly cares about stating things with actual "straight talk" said this:

“There is no strategy,” he said of the Bush administration’s war management. “This is a pingpong game with American lives. These young men and women that we put in Anbar province, in Iraq, in Baghdad are not beans; they’re real lives. And we better be damn sure we know what we’re doing, all of us, before we put 22,000 more Americans into that grinder.”

A Vietnam veteran, he lectured fellow senators not to duck a painful debate about a war that has grown increasingly unpopular as it has gone on. “No president of the United States can sustain a foreign policy or a war policy without the sustained support of the American people,” Hagel said.

That's a tasty sound-bite.

Shortest Review of Bush 'State' Speech

It Blew.

And so it begins...

The presidential campaign, complete with racial smears, is just getting underway. A magazine owned by the moonie run Washington Times -- quite humorously called Insight -- reported that as a child in Indonesia, Mr. Obama had attended a Madrassa, a school that teaches a radical version of the Muslim faith.

Of course, for anyone truly paying attention -- Mr. Obama, who spent a few years in Jakarta as a boy, is a Christian not a Muslim... Hmmmmm... wonder why they got that so wrong? I just wonder...

Adding to the political volatility of the report was the attribution of the news to "researchers connected to" Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. Wow, a two-fer for the right-wing smear machine. Someone just peeped himself at the Wash T.

Representatives of Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton denounced the Insight report, calling it false and an effort by a conservative publication to smear two Democratic contenders at the same time.

The Fox News Channel discussed the report on two of its programs. It was also picked up by The New York Post, which shares ownership with Fox News, and was discussed by several conservative talk-radio hosts.

Yesterday, a spokesman for Mrs. Clinton, Howard Wolfson, said in an e-mail message: "This is a textbook example of how the other side works. A right-wing rag makes up a scurrilous charge and prints it with no real attribution. The smear gets injected into the atmosphere and picked up by talk radio. In this case both Senator Obama and Senator Clinton were victimized."

A spokesman for Mr. Obama had previously been quoted in The Washington Post as calling the report "appallingly irresponsible."

On its Web site yesterday, Insight defended its report, saying, "Our reporter's sources close to the Clinton opposition research war room confirm the truth of the story."

The New York Times picked up the story, but only after CNN went after its arch rival Fox news over the original report. Aw, behold the press...

Living with Quotes

Let me just say, I find nothing more amusing than denizens of the intersection of Banality Street & Idiocy Avenue try to use quotes against people. It is, as they say, a pitch right down the center of the plate:

Richard Brookheiser, one of the more sane, if irrelevant and ignored, members of the Wankhole notices Jim Webb quote Theodore Roosevelt in his rebuttal and says this:

What can he thinks of this?
"Jefferson Davis was an unhung traitor. He did not, like Benedict Arnold, receive money for his treachery, but he received office instead. The difference is one of degree, not of kind. The two men stand on an evil eminence of infamy in our history." Roosevelt to George McClellan Harvey, Sept. 19, 1904

Golly, I don't know Dicky-poo (I'll lay off the usage error, I've made my share), but what do you think of drawing a paycheck contributing to a publication that has said stuff like this?

The central question that emerges . . . is whether the White community in the South is entitled to take such measures as are necessary to prevail, politically and culturally, in areas in which it does not prevail numerically? The sobering answer is Yes – the White community is so entitled because, for the time being, it is the advanced race. It is not easy, and it is unpleasant, to adduce statistics evidencing the cultural superiority of White over Negro: but it is a fact that obtrudes, one that cannot be hidden by ever-so-busy egalitarians and anthropologists.
- Unsigned National Review Editorial 1957

And, of course, of more recent vintage (August 2005) when you were drawing that paycheck:

Attn: Superdome Residents [Jonah Goldberg]

I think it's time to face facts. That place is going to be a Mad Max/thunderdome Waterworld/Lord of the Flies horror show within the next few hours. My advice is to prepare yourself now. Hoard weapons, grow gills and learn to communicate with serpents. While you're working on that, find the biggest guy you can and when he's not expecting it beat him senseless. Gather young fighters around you and tell the womenfolk you will feed and protect any female who agrees to participate without question in your plans to repopulate the earth with a race of gilled-supermen. It's never too soon to be prepared.

08/29 10:05 AM

Mmmmmmmm, that wingnut welfare money so nice, so enabling of writing books about long-dead white dudes. Not that writing books about long-dead white dudes doesn't have its place (myself, I just cannot get enough of reading about dead white dudes) but that's a mighty fine glass house you are living in there Dick.

The Most Damning Thing about the State of the Union

"Baby-friggin'-Einstein" mentioned as heroic.

New Orleans and it's peoples suffering, the countless heroes of that still ravaged and virtually intentionally ignored city, totally ignored yet again.



How much does Tom Friedman get paid again to spout out inanities like this?

How could it be that Danish cartoons of Muhammad led to mass violent protests, while unspeakable violence by Muslims against Muslims in Iraq every day evokes about as much reaction in the Arab-Muslim world as the weather report? Where is the Muslim Martin Luther King? Where is the “Million Muslim March” under the banner: “No Shiites, No Sunnis: We are all children of the Prophet Muhammad.”

This is so patently banal I cannot let it pass.

As bad as "Jim Crow Laws" and bigotry were in the South, as well as economic injustice in the north there was a hell of a big difference between modern day Iraq and 1950s & 60s America. As long as there is a third party occupation force, using military means -- and in particular overwhelming power -- against the native population ANY such figure is going to be portrayed as a tool of the "Imperial United States". Further, even in that United States, King was portrayed by J. Edgar Hoover and publications like The National Review (never changes does it?) as a Communist, or a Communist (read Soviet) Dupe.

Such a figure today in Iraq would have a life-span of about one-half of a speech outside the Green Zone, let alone have no influence upon native Iraqis.

As long as there is an intervening power perceived, even as a biased broker, in the Middle East people will naturally focus on any effort that would benefit that power as being because that intervening power is behind it. It isn't that complicated. You know Tom it doesn't take an deep understanding of world history to realize that is normally the case.

Gandhi certainly wasn't telling folks that they had to remain pliable and part of the British Empire and even his circumstances were a world of difference from what exists in Iraq now, and his position was the opposite of what you are proposing. Gandhi made an effort to kick the British out in advance of trying to settle divisions in India (and of course we all know how long he lasted when that became his primary purpose). What would we, the United States, do to an Iraqi Gandhi anyhow? If they were not killed by an Iraqi or us, we'd certainly have that person in Guantanamo by now. Because they would be directly working against the Bush Administration's interests.

As long as we are there in force, as long as we dictate and are seen as dominating their affairs, the longer such efforts will be delayed, if not outright thwarted.


I just watched, via the magic of videotape (suck it TIVO!), former Maryland Lt. Governor Michael Steele plead ignorance on energy efficient automobiles saying words to the effect "Well, I just got done being Lieutenant Governor for several years so I haven't driven for a while."

Wait a minute, Lieutenant Governor's have chauffeurs?

The Hell?

Tough year

When you have to do your own lifting and separating.

Jason Reed/Reuters

More Congrats to Spocko

He made the USA Today Today -- and not as a colorful chart or graph.

H/T El Gato Negro.

The Current Liz Cheney you're an idiot like your father

Count is 116 and growing out of yesterday's Wank-o-torial as of this moment.

"Oh Yeah..."

I sure hope the MILF police were in town.

AP Photo/Charles Dharapak

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Did it ever dawn on you

To just, on occasion, SHUT THE FUCK UP?

the Downside of a Spirit of Bipartisanship [Kathryn Jean Lopez]

Well, putting aside the policy packages that could ultimately come together.... Tony Snow promises that tonight there will be "a nice discussion of Nancy Pelosi," first woman Speaker. I wish Kate O'Beirne were president. She could begin the State of the Union explaining how many of the women in Congress make the world worse.

01/23 05:50 PM

Yeah, Ol' 60-Grit* as President. That would certainly hold down the MILF fantasies of our nations octagenarians. Did it ever dawn on you that not even conservatives give a shit about this kind of idiocy. In the world you and Kate O'Beirne would want women would barely be able to take part in the work force and have absolutely no autonomy over their bodies, careers, or prospects.

No thank you.

And on behalf of the 95% of the country that isn't dealing with the pangs of never getting laid...


*Phrase created, I believe, by Jane Hamsher.


All those faithful, Bush lovin', right-wingers who gave to the Scooter Libby Defense Fund:

``They're trying to set me up. They want me to be the sacrificial lamb,'' Wells said, recalling the conversation between Libby and Cheney. ``I will not be sacrificed so Karl Rove can be protected.''

BWA followed by many, many HAs!


Lack of "Insight"

Whenever I hear the title of the Moonie-owned "weakly" INSIGHT (the insane version of Time & Newsweek) I think of the sexual performance pill ENZYTE. Mostly because of Bob and his wife in the Enzyte commercial appear to be as braindamaged as a typical member of the Unification Church -- or Tony Blankley.

Having pushed the Obama Madrassa story without any credible evidence they have been called out by every reputable news source checking their story. Meaning Rupert Murdoch, Inc. hasn't been included.

But their justification is perhaps alternatively the funniest and lamest I have ever heard:

The New Media—including Insight—is surging forward in readership, influence and clout (that’s why our story was picked up by FOX News and talk radio).

Um, yeah.

That's sort of like me proving I had sex with Phoebe Cates because as a Freshman at a Small Midwestern University I wrote Penthouse Forum under a pseudonym.


If you cannot grow up and differ from your parents on something, doesn't it say something about your own intellectual weakness?

I don't posit this just because I'm the liberal child of FoxNews viewers, but "Jeebus and the Daisy Chain" there are a lot of conservative sponges. From Bush on down. Although at least the Bushs (and for once I will say something moderately nice) actually run for office, as opposed to simply collecting wingnut-welfare. I mean they do the latter too (do they ever) but at least some of them diversify into winning, or being declared as winning, an election of two.

Speaking of which let us consider the other Cheney daughter: the uninteresting one, Elizabeth -- Poor, dowdy, fecund, colorless, automatonic, timely conceived and draft deferment conveying Elizabeth -- who I cannot say takes more after either parent because how do you separate their bad traits from their evil tendencies?

Today, being the child of a conservative (the hereditary Podhoretz, Goldberg, Kristol, Kagan slot) gets to write an editorial supporting each and every one of her daddy's positions all while Crashcart is still in office loading lie upon fantasy again and again and again.

Read it and weep, because I agree with Josh Marshall's assessment, it reads like a 7th Grade term paper, using the "World Book" for research or perhaps the conservative on-line resource "". Check out it's conclusion:

America deserves better. It's time for everyone -- Republicans and Democrats -- to stop trying to find ways for America to quit. Victory is the only option. We must have the fortitude and the courage to do what it takes. In the words of Winston Churchill, we must deserve victory.

We must be in it to win.

And with that Liz and her child-bearing hips jumped up and about and made a milk-shake for the latest spawn (no doubt a future columnist for the New York Sun).


The on-line comments to this editorial are quite entertaining. Read them while you can.


According to CBS.

Bush is now down to his immediate and extended opportunistic family (except Noelle who is a definite "No Opinion"); the Cheneys; Mitch McConnell and spouse; two-thirds of NRO's the Corner; half of Little Green Morons and the Duggar family.

But he could go lower as Jeffrey, Jimmy, Jimmy Bob, Jimmy Jeffrey Bob, and Jimmy James Jerry Jeffrey Jimmy Duggar are wavering; as they are not sure about even fighting the war of ideas over here rather than fighting over there.

"U Suck America"

I'm guessing we'll end up fighting them here because they're tired of us fighting them over there:

The World Service survey, conducted in 25 nations including the US, found that three in four respondents disapproved of how Washington had dealt with Iraq.

The majority of the 26,381 respondents also disapproved of the way five other foreign policy areas had been handled.

The poll, released ahead of President Bush's State of the Union speech, was conducted between November and January

The number of those who said the US was a positive influence in the world fell in 18 nations polled in previous years.

In those countries, 29% of people said the US had a positive influence, down from 36% last year and 40% two years ago.

Across the 25 countries polled, 49% of respondents said the US played a mainly negative role in the world.

Heckuva job Bushie!


It is silly in the scheme of things how much sports matter. But when all around you turns to shit and everybody but your neighbors forgets, or seems to, the emotional attachment is palpable.

So much in professional sports is canned, and this was something real, something spontaneous and pure. Through a neighborhood they drove, down a winding, dark road to a private terminal where the team's charter would land. Cars parked, one after another, the headlights looking like that scene from "Field of Dreams." Fans brought coolers and bottles of wine, standing in the pouring rain, giving something back to the team that gave them so much.

"Two miles, 'til the end of the road, it's bumper to bumper," said Saints fan Colin Ross, pointing at the people lining up near the runway. "There's little kids down there yelling 'Who Dat?' on the hoods of cars."...

In New Orleans, they had a little time to think about the year. Some cried. Karen Porche wiped a tear away and laughed a bit at herself. Most know it's crazy to care so much for a team. You had to be there, on the side of the road in a rainstorm, to understand.

"They brought us a lot of hope," she said.

"We had six feet of water in our house," her husband, Charlie, said, "and they helped."

Thanks to Scout Prime.

BTW, First Draft is making their own contribution to New Orleans if you are interested.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Well, that's one way of putting it

The front page of MSNBC at this moment:


Purple Fingers

I don't know about yous guys, but I sure am looking forward to lots of purple fingers in this year's state of speech to the nation. Clowns.

One reason why the music industry sucks

This excellent story about The Dresden Dolls demonstrates the struggles that bands without the legal-pop machine behind them face. We all know about the machine's creation of false pop stars (ala Ashlee Simpson) who are front and center on Mtv and radio (I am certain that the concentration and increasing vertical integration of the industry has nothing to do with these sad state of affairs).

Of course, the exploitation of musicians and artists within the music industry is nothing new. Simon Garfield's classic, Money for Nothing, demonstrates how musicians and some of the best known bands have been taken advantage of by recording companies that are more interested in making money and controlling musicians rather than making great music.

Mistakes Online? Really?

Readers near and far might be interested in a further report on how the youth oriented website rockthevote managed to mistakenly link to a hate web site. It is an interesting discussion of the "deus ex machina" phenomenon of Google and search engine technology at work.

This explanation does not excuse the people at rockthevote from accountability for the mistake. They have apologized profusely and hopefully will be more careful in the future.

I love power ballads

Well, not really.

Palate Cleanser

Just to make you feel better -- or ickier

Sums it up for me EXACTLY

If Hillary Clinton is the nominee in 2008 I'll vote for her. But until then, she is absolutely my last choice among the announced candidates.

It has a little something to do with her constant triangulation, a trait of her husbands that also drove me nuts. I also don't want a President just to the left of Joe Lieberman. But that is not the main reason.

Mostly it is this, and I know it is seemingly petty but nevertheless in the long-run I think it is important.

We are supposed to be a democracy not an oligarchy (or at least we should pretend to be the former). I know that is naive, but nonetheless I think we should at least keep the appearance. I simply cannot abide the United States going Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton. It's disturbingly anti-democratic looking if nothing else. This from David Kurtz sums up my thoughts exactly (apparently it is Talking Points Memo day here):

I think you may have touched on this before, but I'd like to reiterate the single biggest mental block that currently makes me think I will not cast my vote for Clinton. It makes my stomach hurt to think that in twenty or thirty years I could look back at a list of presidents that includes "Bush, Clinton, Bush, Clinton." This country is far too great to have to rely on two families for so much presidential leadership. Think about it: a two-term Hillary would be TWENTY-EIGHT years of Bush and Clinton. It's petty, but like I said it's a mental block, and I'm just not sure how I can get over it.

On the Democratic side I would vote for anyone but Hillary Clinton for the nomination, unless Joe Lieberman or Zell Miller enters the race. It's nothing about her capabilities, rather it is a block I cannot get over. There are many other candidates available of both sexes available that I would gladly vote for over Ms. Clinton.

Besides people, do you really want to enable another Bush to run in 2012?


Another day in Neocon Paradise

It must be a day of the week:

At least 67 people were killed and at least 142 wounded after two nearly simultaneous bombs struck a predominantly Shiite commercial area in central Baghdad Monday, said Deputy Health Minister Hakim al-zamili.

And now a few moments to consider a true international tragedy

The perils of high-definition porn:

“The biggest problem is razor burn,” said Stormy Daniels, an actress, writer and director.

The Brazilian burns down the forest.

This is also a major problem for Jenna Bush.

Sam Brownback

Well I'm running for Preznit on a Jesus-Horse with no name
It feels good to be without a brain
Republicans they will remember my name
'Cause there ain't no one else runnin' so lame
La, la ...

All you need to know

About the Bush Administration and its constant lying and criminal negligence can be discerned from this paragraph:

Soon after that story was posted, six U.S. senators called for a new NIE on Iraq, and in August the Senate passed an amendment demanding that one be prepared. I've just learned that—months later and to the immense frustration of Congress—the new NIE is still not ready.

The situation came to a head last week, during a closed-door session of the Senate Armed Services Committee. This committee expected to be briefed on the long-awaited NIE by an official from the National Intelligence Council (NIC), which coordinates NIEs by gathering input from all of the nation's various intelligence agencies. But the NIC official turned up empty-handed and told the committee that the intelligence community hadn't been able to complete the NIE because it had been dealing with the many demands placed upon it by the Bush Administration to help prepare the new military strategy on Iraq. He then said that not all of the relevant agencies had contributed to the NIE, which has made it impossible to put together a finished product.

Apparently these “dog ate my homework” alibis were badly received by both the Democrats and the Republicans on the Committee, and those in attendance now believe that senior intelligence officials are stalling because an NIE will be bleak enough to present a significant political liability. Given the Bush Administration's “surge” policy and the extraordinary danger faced by U.S. troops in Iraq (27 U.S. service members died there this weekend), the need for a new NIE is urgent. The intelligence community is doing the nation a disservice by making Congress wait for the truth.

Christ on a cracker!

You'd think they'd have used something like an NIE when at least coming up with evidence justifying spin. But that level of competence and propriety is far too much to expect from this bunch of fucknuts.

H/T to Josh Marshall & Echidne.

That Sound coming from the Midwest

Yesterday was the sound of weights falling from a lot of collective backs.

I was rooting for only one team yesterday really, and that was the Saints. Still I'm happy that a lot of people who have been dogged a lot recently (Rex Grossman & Lovie Smith) and over a long period of time (Peyton Manning & Tony Dungy) were successful.

But I woke up this morning and noticed that my bank balance is not improved and we're still at this clusterfuck of a war and well, I'm glad at least they can be happy.

The Passive-Aggressive Hamster

Not only is "Mr. Straight-Talk" a pathetic automaton of a liar in his insatiable quest to be President, he's an unconscionable boob when it comes to going after people who have been forced into the intellectual prison of carrying out George Bush's impossible policy.

George Casey was not the guy who came up with the "too few troops" policy that George Bush insisted on until well-after the time in which they would no longer be of practical use. Casey was forced to do the best he could with what he had (the army he had). So McCain is now making Casey a scapegoat.

Said Sen. McCain: ""I have very serious concerns about General Casey's nomination. I'm concerned about failed leadership, the message that sends to the rest of the military."

'Failed leadership' here, of course, is code for toeing the Bush line for the last two years and then resisting the new effort to dig the US even deeper into the mess of Iraq. In other words, Casey becomes the lamb in whose blood the sins of the Iraq War dead-enders (Bush, McCain, et al.) are washed clean.


Sunday, January 21, 2007

Non-Self-Made Men

Greenwald articulates something many of us have noticed, that so many of the neo-cons (and let's face it, conservative pundits in general) are somebody's kid operating in the same environment as their parents and propelled by the same people.

Depressing, but not so surprising when it happens in an age governed by the failed son of a lesser failed President who came from a line of genetically propelled elites.

Naturally, most of these people act as if they made it on their own talent.

UPDATE: This post involves Glenn Greenwald so why shouldn't there be an update?

For those of you who forgot how the Doughy Pantload came to be thrust upon us, here are the origins of the ascent of the person I will charitably describe as a talentless prick. Further, Sadly, No is doing a series on Wingnut Welfare, naturally including people like those we have mentioned in this post.

We live in murderously stupid times.

Looks like I picked the wrong time to live in the Northern Hemisphere

My God, what a comet!

There she goes... : The McNaught comet is seen early morning from Pucon, Calafquen Lake sector, Chile. (AFP/David Lillo)

Tell me this is a time-exposed picture or I'll really cry.

Looks like I have to cry:

The McNaught Comet is seen from Dunedin in New Zealand January 18, 2007. The comet, named after Australian astronomer Robert McNaught who discovered it last year, is 124 million kilometres from Earth and is the brightest comet in 40 years, sparking mistaken calls to fire and police authorities around New Zealand that something was falling from the sky. Picture taken January 18, 2007. REUTERS/David Curtis (NEW ZEALAND)

Frank Rich in "fair use" portions

Pretty much sums it up:

The president’s pretense that Mr. Maliki and his inept, ill-equipped, militia-infiltrated security forces can advance American interests in this war is Neville Chamberlain-like in its naiveté and disingenuousness. An American military official in Baghdad read the writing on the wall to The Times last week: “We are implementing a strategy to embolden a government that is actually part of the problem. We are being played like a pawn.” That’s why the most destructive lie of all may be the White House’s constant refrain that its doomed strategy is the only one anyone has proposed. Administration critics, Mr. Cheney said last Sunday, “have absolutely nothing to offer in its place,” as if the Iraq Study Group, John Murtha and Joseph Biden-Leslie Gelb plans, among others, didn’t predate the White House’s own.

In reality we’re learning piece by piece that it is the White House that has no plan. Ms. Rice has now downsized the surge/escalation into an “augmentation,” inadvertently divulging how the Pentagon is improvising, juggling small deployments in fits and starts. No one can plausibly explain how a parallel chain of command sending American and Iraqi troops into urban street combat side by side will work with Iraqis in the lead (it will report to a “committee” led by Mr. Maliki!). Or how $1 billion in new American reconstruction spending will accomplish what the $30 billion thrown down the drain in previous reconstruction spending did not.

All of this replays 2003, when the White House refused to consider any plan, including existing ones in the Pentagon and State Department bureaucracies, for coping with a broken post-Saddam Iraq. Then, as at every stage of the war since, the only administration plan was for a propaganda campaign to bamboozle American voters into believing “victory” was just around the corner.

Rich also straight out calls the assministration liars.

How many assholes can you tear in an Asshole?

Greg Djerejian seems determined to find out.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

A Must See?

The most ambitious and likely to be the most influential film ever made on the politics of abortion will have its U.S. premier on January 28th, during the Santa Barbara International Film Festival.

Lake Of Fire, by film maker Tony Kaye has been in the works for more than 15 years. The film was a hit at the Toronto film festival last fall, getting many strong and positive reviews,in papers like the Miami Herald and trade publications such as Variety.

Kaye sought to be an exceptionally even-handed in the treatment of the subject. By everything I have, read so far, it looks like he may have succeeded. A New York Times reviewer said: "it serves as a prime candidate for the definitive abortion documentary."

I haven't seen it yet, but I may not have to wait too much longer. The film will be released this year by THINKfilm, a major film distribution company. Then after seeing it, we will see if the reviews are justified.

Well it's already a crap day for me

For various non-blog related reasons.

But it could be worse, and it truly was for the people of Louisiana in the early Fall of 2005.

Not that Joe Lieberman gives a shit about stuff like this:

Party politics played a role in decisions over whether to take federal control of Louisiana and other areas affected by Hurricane Katrina, former FEMA director Michael Brown said Friday...

Brown said he had recommended to President Bush that all 90,000 square miles along the Gulf Coast affected by the hurricane be federalized, making the federal government in charge of all agencies responding to the disaster.

"Unbeknownst to me, certain people in the White House were thinking we had to federalize Louisiana because she's a white, female Democratic governor and we have a chance to rub her nose in it," he said.

Brown declined to say who in the White House had argued for only taking control of Louisiana, but said that he'd later learned of the situation through Blanco's office and from other officials on the federal level.

Blanco reacted sharply on hearing what Brown had said.

"This is exactly what we were living but could not bring ourselves to believe. Karl Rove was playing politics while our people were dying," Blanco said through a spokeswoman, referring to President Bush's top political strategist. "The federal effort was delayed, and now the public knows why. It's disgusting."

But again, this mostly affects people of color in Joe Lieberman's world. Any investigation into the callousness of the Bush Administration would be yet another roadblock thrown in the way of Joe Lieberman and George Bush's effort to kill people of color in another country half-a-world away. And it is clear that as he is living his life now, there are no people of color that Joe Lieberman will not step on to advance his status as a person of influence.

Yes, once again, I am calling the Joe Lieberman of TODAY a straight out racist. There is little current evidence to the contrary.

Of course you know, this means war

From the NY Times:

Iran’s outspoken president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, appears to be under pressure from the highest authorities in Iran to end his involvement in its nuclear program, a sign that his political capital is declining as his country comes under increasing international pressure.

Just one month after the United Nations Security Council imposed sanctions on Iran to curb its nuclear program, two hard-line newspapers, including one owned by the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, called on the president to stay out of all matters nuclear.

Members only man weakened in Iran.

If all goes according to form, the Bush Administration rather than taking advantage of this opportunity will squander it and rattle the saber and allow Ahmadinejad to regain any lost ground.

It's just the kind of reptilian aggressiveness we've learned to expect.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Friday Eelpout Blogging

"Kiss my airbladder."

Hey, wait a minute:

Who's poutier? Let's call him "Pouty-Pout"

Right up Richard Cohen's ally

What a bunch of gutless knobs...and could the White House Correspondent's Dinner be any more ass-kissing or lame?

But then we read this (huge h/t to occasional reader Phoenix Woman). The cowardice of these people -- who sat there on mute for months while the president made plans to start a war under false pretenses -- is astounding. Little now says he has an understanding not to bash Bush or mention the war:

Little said organizers of the event made it clear they don't want a repeat of last year's controversial appearance by Stephen Colbert, whose searing satire of President Bush and the White House press corps fell flat and apparently touched too many nerves.

"They got a lot of letters," Little said Tuesday. "I won't even mention the word 'Iraq.'"

Little, who hasn't been to the White House since he was a favorite of the Reagan administration, said he'll stick with his usual schtick -- the impersonations of the past six presidents.

"They don't want anyone knocking the president. He's really over the coals right now, and he's worried about his legacy," added Little, a longtime Las Vegas resident.

OK, free speech means you also have a right NOT to say anything or criticize anybody. But for the White House press corps to instruct Little not to "knock" the president smacks of a kind of censorship, from the very people that we've placed in the front line trenches of free speech.

Mark Evanier suggests that Little show a little guts and open with his impression of Stephen Colbert.

After this year's lame-ivities, Bush has one more White House Correspondent's Dinner to go before he gets the fuck out of our lives forever. At this rate, I'm guessing next year's entertainment will be Shields & Yarnell ... or the corpse of Red Skelton as Freddy the Freeloader or Clem Kadiddlehopper -- nah that will make Fredo cry.


If you can't enjoy a subtle taking down, then observe this YouTube from last evening's Colbert (thanks to Raw Story). Pay particular attention between 1:05 and 1:21.

Good news

About Jane Hamsher. I've never met, nor do I know her, but it's still nice to know she's doing as well right now as can be hoped.

Naturally, this leads us to a point about the other kinds of people as summed up succinctly by TBogg.

Media World

Especially the world of John Solomon-types has a mantra that goes like this:

If you are wealthy and you talk about assisting the poor and middle class YOU are a PHONY.

If you are poor or middle class and talk about assisting the poor or the middle class, YOU are not worth a goddamn anyway you fucking prole.

99% of the United States, you suck!


At this moment, granted not a hell of a lot is happening, but MSNBC has at the top of its banner:

Gates makes surprise visit to Iraq

Is anyone surprised?

The only surprise is that whenever a Bush Administration arrives in Iraq to look like they are doing something the media still says it is a "surprise".

Please insert the words, "YET ANOTHER".

Thank you.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

I don't know if you've noticed this about Alberto Gonzales

But he's kind of a boob.

He sort of makes me miss the thorough incompetence of Ed Meese.

Presidential Bona Fides And Nuance

The shifting landscape and power centers in politics were proven in the last election when netroots candidates performed better than all of the mavens in Washington thought they would. As has been well documented across the blogosphere, the old-time power brokers and thinking class are running scared. Bush would not have "won" the first and absolutely would not have won his second term but for that same class of people telling the candidates to dive to the center. What do we end up with? Candidates who stand for absolutely nothing---does anyone remember I was for it before I was against it?

And so it is, on this meaningless little rag that I will say the main reason I will not support Hillary Clinton as she scratches for votes in the primary season is because of her support for the Iraq war before she was against it. Now I know she isn't alone and that many of the candidates have mixed records on how they voted and where they stand now. I know she had to prove herself a serious military and foreign policy thinker before she could make this run, but as Kerry proved in the last election, nuance doesn't sell well. I'm sorry, but I ain't buyin'.

Oh, and for the record, here is the roll call vote in the Senate on the Authorization for the Use of Military Force in Iraq. Read it and weep.