Saturday, June 30, 2007

Like Trained Monkeys

Atrios linked to this opinion by Ken Silverstein, who is being attacked by the Washington press corps for, you know, doing his job. Silverstein says:
I'm willing to debate the merits of my piece, but the carping from the Washington press corps is hard to stomach. This is the group that attended the White House correspondents dinner and clapped for a rapping Karl Rove.
Mr. Silverstein? They did more than clap. They danced for Karl Rove.

"Today" isn't a news program, so Meredith Viera and Matt Lauer yuck it up with trained monkey David Gregory. But to her credit, Viera actually does ask Gregory if he still has a press pass (and whether he can actually ask a tough question) after his little performance. It's laughed off in the name of good fun. Cable TV gets the blame for forcing NBC Chief White House Correspondent to look like an idiot, but I don't buy it. Silverstein is right when he says, "The values of the news media are the same as those of the elite, and they badly want to be viewed by the elites as acceptable." Gregory wants to look like a "good guy" to the right sort of people. After all, you don't get the house on Nantucket by making Karl Rove -- or your boss, Jack Welch -- uncomfortable.

Hmmm...Something IS Up.

I've seen these around the city for a while and wondered if something was up the same way I used to see these around the city and wonder if something was up. But as I'm not plugged into the art scene here, I never knew what they were until today. As the NYT's clued in, I first assumed that whatever is up must now be over, although "The Splasher" apparently has a Manifesto (which Gothamist describes as "Gravity's Rainbow meets Das Kapital) and has indicated that he or she will, like Napoleon and the Terminator, be back. Anyway, nice to know I wasn't imagining this pattern and surprised to discover that anyone is rebelling against anything these days.

Proof that Prince matters

Prince has the music industry in a hissy fit over his plans for giving away his new CD away in newspapers. And how does the industry respond to an artist who is more interested in having his music heard than making the almighty buck? They attack him. How dare he challenge the major label distribution machine! The RIAA is all about protecting the major labels control (especially since five major labels control over 80% of all music released worldwide). Prince has bucked the machine since his fights with Warner over the release of his music. In an era of digital downloading and new forms of distribution, shouldn't we be applauding the idea of trying new things?

The eagerly awaited new album by Prince is being launched as a free CD with a national Sunday newspaper in a move that has drawn widespread criticism from music retailers.

The Mail on Sunday revealed yesterday that the 10-track Planet Earth CD will be available with an "imminent" edition, making it the first place in the world to get the album. Planet Earth will go on sale on July 24.

"It's all about giving music for the masses and he believes in spreading the music he produces to as many people as possible," said Mail on Sunday managing director Stephen Miron. "This is the biggest innovation in newspaper promotions in recent times.

The paper, which sells more than 2m copies a week, will be ramping up its print run in anticipation of a huge spike in circulation but would not reveal how much the deal with Prince would cost.

One music store executive described the plan as "madness" while others said it was a huge insult to an industry battling fierce competition from supermarkets and online stores. Prince's label has cut its ties with the album in the UK to try to appease music stores.

The Entertainment Retailers Association said the giveaway "beggars belief". "It would be an insult to all those record stores who have supported Prince throughout his career," ERA co-chairman Paul Quirk told a music conference. "It would be yet another example of the damaging covermount culture which is destroying any perception of value around recorded music.

"The Artist Formerly Known as Prince should know that with behaviour like this he will soon be the Artist Formerly Available in Record Stores. And I say that to all the other artists who may be tempted to dally with the Mail on Sunday."

High street music giant HMV was similarly scathing about the plans. Speaking before rumours of a giveaway were confirmed, HMV chief executive Simon Fox said: "I think it would be absolutely nuts. I can't believe the music industry would do it to itself. I simply can't believe it would happen; it would be absolute madness."

Prince, whose Purple Rain sold more than 11m copies, also plans to give away a free copy of his latest album with tickets for his forthcoming concerts in London. The singer had signed a global deal for the promotion and distribution of Planet Earth in partnership with Columbia Records, a division of music company Sony BMG. A spokesman for the group said last night that the UK arm of Sony BMG had withdrawn from Prince's global deal and would not distribute the album to UK stores.

Maybe living in sin is ok?

File under welcome to the twenty-first century. Are cohabiting partners always “living in sin”? Two respected family ministry researchers argue no that cohabiting is not so bad and suggest the recovery of an ancient Catholic ritual for those moving toward marriage. Interesting, if a bit of a repressed response. Should I feel better now?

How many have thought this?

Mainstream news sources are being pushed this story about a Purdue University student. Note the Faux news link below. Of course, how many conservative pundits looked the other way when threats were made about the Clenis?

A federal jury convicted a graduate student at Purdue University on Thursday of threatening to kill President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, and other government officials involved in the Iraq War, the
Associated Press reported. The student, Vikram Buddhi, is a 35-year-old citizen of India and has been studying engineering at Purdue for a decade. He was convicted of using other Purdue students’ online identities to post crude threats in a financial-news chat room in 2005 and 2006. The jury found his threats could not be construed as criticism of the Iraq War protected by the right to free speech. Mr. Buddhi could be sentenced to as many as 35 years in prison.

Not going to defend the use of other students online identities, but how many have wished harm?

A Tale of Two Obstructionists

Remember the guy on the right?

He's not in the Senate anymore. He lost his seat to a standard-issue Republican thug after Republicans portrayed him as the "chief obstructionist" to our idiot president's agenda.

In those days, "obstructionist" was a bad word. For some reason, the Democrats had a tough time convincing the voters of South Dakota that obstructing a C- minus student with his finger on the button and his mind on the bar was a good thing. Hence, Mr. Dashcle went back to South Dakota.

See the prick guy on the left? He's still in the Senate, despite his very public disgrace after revealing his preference for segregationist candidate and fellow racist Strom Thurmond in the 1948 presidential election. (He must be thrilled with Thursday's Supreme Court decision. But I digress.)

These days, "obstructionist" is a good word in some circles. Witness how the racist (and now mercifully) minority leader, who made a career of labeling Daschle an "obstructionist" feels about the word today:
“[T]he strategy of being obstructionist can work or fail. So far it’s working for us.”
And it is, by thwarting the Democratic congress' agenda and dragging congressional approval below George W. Bush levels. (This is overall approval, btw. The public still prefers Democrats to run congress, for obvious reasons).

"Obstructionist" needs to become a bad word again. Why? Because the majority of the country disapproves of the Republican party's agenda and because the obstructionist Republican minority in the Senate is impeding the ability of the country to move forward and away from that agenda. The Democrats' leader in the Senate, Harry Reid, seems to need this made crystal clear for him, and this petition, which asks Reid to stand up to Republican obstructionists, is one way to do that.

So please sign it. Then maybe one day soon, we can send that repugnant minority back to Trent Lott's rebuilt porch, where they can sit in their rocking chairs and reminisce about the days when women and black people knew their place, but, curiously, Strom Thurmond's pecker knew no bigotry.

/via Digby

"Like Casting Judas as Jesus"

Tom Cruise is a blowhard and an obvious nut, but I did think he was pretty good playing a megalomaniacal charlatan in "Magnolia." But "Magnolia" is an exception in the Cruise ouevre. For everything this guy lacks in talent he makes up for in an uncanny ability to make people hate him. This time, it's the Germans, who think there are better choices to play a guy they revere: Claus Schenk von Stauffenberg, a key player in a 1944 plot to kill Hitler and seize power from the Nazis. Apparently, Germans have a beef with Scientology. They consider it a cult at best and "totalitarian and exploitative" at worst, and, well, you see the problem. Anyway, it's one thing to irritate Brook Shields and Matt Lauer, quite another to piss off an entire country. Still, I guess it could have been worse. He could have gone to Germany and manhandled the Chancellor or something.

You know Fredo...

Considering your status right now, I'd stay out of boats, especially with close relatives.

REUTERS/Jason Reed

Friday, June 29, 2007

A Really Futile & Stupid Gesture

Duck Season

Just heard on the national news segment of my local WCBS radio affiliate :
"The end of the President's immigration plan means that George W. Bush is beyond being a lame duck president. He's a dead duck president."
And Cheney didn't even have to shoot him in the face. In any case, about freaking time. No doubt Lame Ducky will find loads of productive things to do with his time in between now and when we're rid of him.1 Still, President Wrecks has his little proxies on the Supreme Court, who will have continued opportunities to make life a little harder for women, black people, and anyone else the wingnuts have been dying to kick to the curb all these years. Unfortunately, nothing we can do about that save pray for the continued good health of Justices Stevens, Ginsburg, Breyer, and Souter, and take comfort in the fact that Idiot Boy's major domestic initiatives (the destruction of Social Security and the creation of a semi-permanent slave class via a "Guest Worker" program) are miserable failures just like him.

1570 Days.

Update: NYU Professor Paul Light sum up The Week that Was for George Dumbya Bush for McClatchy:

"It's the incredible shrinking presidency. He's lost battles in the courts. He's lost battles in Iraq. He's lost battles on Capitol Hill. His bank account is empty and there's nowhere to go for more. I think his presidency is essentially over."

Light proposed a headline to sum up the week:

"The president loses his legacy."

Feel the Joementum!

Classic timing as ever Lieberman:

The U.S. military surge, Lieberman contended, has the enemy “on the run.”

Meanwhile, in the real world:

BAGHDAD - Five U.S. soldiers were killed and seven wounded in an attack on their combat patrol in southern Baghdad, the U.S. military said Friday.

The complex attack Thursday began with a roadside bomb, the military said in a statement. Small arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades followed shortly after the blast, it said.

Glass Houses


[Kathryn Jean Lopez]

I don't blame any American for wondering. Did you see the NYTimes picture of the illegal immigrants immigration-bill proponents brought to the Senate??


Next up, K-Lo demands justice for the Washington Generals.


Doug Bailey (lifelong Republican Operative) has managed to come up with, and convince substantial intellects like the world's number one 'Matlock' fan that "both parties" (including that one that hasn't controlled Congress in thirteen years) are bad.

Whatever, what it really is, is a chance to give the GOP (who will be slaughtered in 2008 at this rate) to siphon off votes from the Democrats. Every goddamned issued Unity '08 will come up with is a repudiation of the GOP Platform and pilfered from what the Democrats have been calling for. In other word it's a guarantee the GOP base will still come out and vote for the intellectual thug of their choice.


Therefore, if you don't want to jokingly support Colbert, I encourage you to nominate "these two" for President and Vice President...after all they have the advantage of actually being puppets!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Yep. Still Like It.

Does this mean we are all E-blessed?

Steven J. Taylor, director of academic computing at Vassar College, has recreated the interior of the Sistine Chapel in the virtual world Second Life in an effort to teach students about architecture and art. So, what should be created in Second Life next?

When Record Companies get Greedy

As we all know, record companies and their executives only want what is best for musicians. They have never taken advantage of artists, only tried to pursue efforts to help them create music so the public can hear it. Yeah, right. Tell that to all of the legendary (and not so) musicians who have had their money ripped off -- The Beatles, The Who... countless others. Simon Garfield called it, Money for Nothing.

The House of Representatives Committee on Small Business heard testimony today about the increased rates small Webcasters will soon be required to pay to play music online. If you enjoy having music available online, you need to make your concerns heard! If this rate hike passes small Internet radio stations, college radio stations that stream, and others will find it impossible to continue to spread music -- as most of online radio and streaming outlets do for the love of the music or artists rather than efforts at making big show business-like profits.

This hike must be stopped!

"Wait I can fuck up even worse!"

Goddammit, what a fucking dope!

Bush holds Israel up as model for Iraq

You know, one thing the last 60 years have taught us, Middle Eastern nation's fucking love the idea of having it suggested they be JUST LIKE Isreal!

I guess the next thing he'll do is suggest they bring back this:

Somebody needs an editor

Or depakote:

Today in History [Mark Krikorian]

Today's defeat of the Senate amnesty bill was more than a run-of-the-mill legislative victory, representing as it did a self-organizing public's defeat of combined force of Big Business, (some of) Big Labor, Big Media, Big Religion, Big Philanthropy, Big Academia, and Big Government. So I looked at what else has happened on June 28 — the closest parallel would appear to be the Battle of Monmouth in 1778, of the only two times when Gen. Washington managed to fight British regulars to a draw in a conventional battle. Because that's all this is — a draw, because the open-borders folks aren't going to give up. It's just that they went from their usual tactics of piecemeal, behind-the-scenes victories, buried in appropriations bills and little-known courtrooms and bureaucratic offices, and tried to get the whole enchilada — trying to emulate something else that happened on June 28, the Turks' defeat of the Serbs at the Battle of Kosovo in 1389, leading to Ottoman conquest of all southeastern Europe.


What can you do but laugh? This guy must be amazing when he finds a nickle on the ground.

What have the Kagans been Wrong about Now?

Fred Kagan is leading with his chin again...and considering it has the dimensions of a car's airbag that's probably a good thing:

Sectarian deaths in Baghdad dropped significantly as soon as the new strategy was announced in January, and remain at less than half their former levels. Spectacular attacks rose as al Qaeda conducted a counter-surge of its own, but have recently begun falling again.


BAGHDAD, May 23 -- More than three months into a U.S.-Iraqi security offensive designed to curtail sectarian violence in Baghdad and other parts of Iraq, Health Ministry statistics show that such killings are rising again.

From the beginning of May until Tuesday, 321 unidentified corpses, many dumped and showing signs of torture and execution, have been found across the Iraqi capital, according to morgue data provided by a Health Ministry official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release the information. The data showed that the same number of bodies were found in all of January, the month before the launch of the Baghdad security plan.

And the recent tail off claimed?

BAGHDAD - Twenty beheaded bodies were discovered Thursday on the banks of the Tigris River southeast of Baghdad, while a parked car bomb killed another 20 people in one of the capital's busy outdoor bus stations, police said.

The beheaded remains were found in the Sunni Muslim village of Um al-Abeed, near the city of Salman Pak, which lies 14 miles southeast of Baghdad.

The bodies — all men aged 20 to 40 years old — had their hands and legs bound, and some of the heads were found next to the bodies, two officers said on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release the information.


And then, there is this:

Do the insurgents have the initiative in Iraq or does the U.S. military?

That important question came up at today's House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing which was examining whether the military surge in Iraq was working.

Major Gen. John Batiste (ret.) who commanded the Army's First Infantry Division in Iraq, and is a respected critic of the war, said the insurgents have the initiative since they can pick where and when to explode a truck bomb for instance.

But Frederick Kagan, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, rejected that view, saying that under the new strategy being executed by Gen. David Petraeus, the top commander in Iraq, the initiative was on the U.S. military's side.

Kagan also said because of the surge, if U.S. forces were playing whack-a-mole, they were playing it everywhere.

Batiste disagreed with Kagan on this.

It was one of those strange Washington moments where the military expert with real experience as a combatant commander in the battlespace at issue was being told he was wrong by an Inside-the-Beltway expert who likely never fired a weapon at anyone in anger.

Fez tip to Big Tent Democrat

*Thanks to reader Gordon for making me remember the poster.

D'Souza's Law of Immigration

That TNR article about the National Review cruise is pretty good, but everyone's leaving out the comment by racist prude Dinesh D'Souza:
Several days later, the nautical counter-revolution has docked in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, where passengers will clamber overboard into a nation they want to wall off behind a 1,000-mile fence. One expresses horror at my intention to find a local street kid to show me around, exclaiming, "Do you want to die?" D'Souza summarizes the prevailing sentiment by unveiling what he modestly calls "D'Souza's law of immigration": An immigrant's quality is "proportional to the distance traveled to get to the United States." In other words: Asians trump Latinos.
And Tasmanians trump Dinesh, who was born in Bombay. I'm not posting this for any reason other than I think it deserves wider dissemination. D'Souza and his putrefying crew have peaked and its fun to read an account of them jerking each other (and the dupes who actually paid good money to float along with them) off as they look over their shoulders to see which fellow racist thugs are gunning for them in the circular firing squad that is the current conservative "movement," like some Dockers-wearing, Amstel-light-drinking, Ray Romano-emulating version of "The Sopranos."

This just in

Mitt Romney has replaced his dog strapped to the roof of the "Mittmobile", with an illegal alien, no MAKE THAT TWO illegal aliens*, and he's driving them south toward the border right this minute.

*may not actually be illegal "but dammit they're brown enough".

"Hi, I'm Larry King"

"And tonight we welcome the woman everyone is talking about, Tippi Hedrin."

Can "Old Man Funk" kill chlamydia?

AP Photo/CNN, Kyle Christy

UPDATE: Oh man, Paris read from her journal on Larry King last night. Move over "Letter from a Birmingham Jail".


You know, I'm pretty sure ol' Tagg Romney, who let this story out, is going to get the hose turned on him by daddy when the family is back at the compound together.


Mr. Peepers actually admits error about Dick Cheney, but then goes on to just sort of shrug his shoulders. I guess David only gets mad at Harry Reid, who must have cancelled his favorite show or something.

Broder's most ill-chosen statement is this:

It was not illegal, and it was not unconstitutional, but it could not have happened unless the president permitted it and enabled it.

I'm sorry, but actually it almost certainly was illegal...from the "wiretapping" to Halliburton profits, to playing fast and loose with numerous national security secrets the trail of Cheney's illegalities and probably illegalities is illegal. We just finished a pissing match where Cheney had the temerity to claim an extra-Constitutional political position. He views himself as more important that the "law", power is the ultimate balm on all problems in Cheney's world.

Broder is available to "Chat" tomorrow, so stop by to polite inquire as to the date he actually begins to plan on being a real political observer and columnist as it is plain the time is running out on this opportunity for him.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Upper West Side Story

Once again, I am forced to defend the honor of the Upper West Side, a neighborhood I don't even like all that much.

The Upper West Side takes a lot of crap in our liberal media. The gentry of Washington, D.C.'s suburbs, in the form of the odious sniveling propagandist David Brooks, continually bashes it. As far as Wingnuttia is concerned, it's the People's Republic of the Upper West Side. And now Richard Johnson, the N.Y. Post's corrupt gossip columnist is having a go at it in the context of the Wingnut's latest fake controversy -- Cameron Diaz's Commie BagGate:
While the Mao bag is ultrachic on the Upper West Side and college campuses, in Peru, the "Serve the People" slogan evokes memories of the bloodthirsty Shining Path terrorists who left nearly 70,000 dead.

It's now obvious that the corrupt, bribe-taking Johnson is writing Page Six from a secluded bunker in Tom's River, New Jersey and that he has never actually visited the Upper West Side. If he had, he'd see that the neighborhood is a vertible seething hive of strollers, bank branches, and, increasingly, mall stores (see e.g., the Zales Jewelers on Broadway between 79th and 80th). In other words, the neighborhood is a freaking bourgeoise paradise. Upper West Siders are people that would take up pitchforks and torches rather than allow Shining Path or any other Commie outfit to come between them and their $5 lattes, reserved spot at yoga class, and fantasies of a classic six on a park block. And while you have your occasional intellectual or pseudo-intellectual wandering around muttering about the perils of globalization, the only thing from China that Upper West Siders are embracing are the steamed vegetable dumplings from Ollie's.

Wake the fuck up, Richard Johnson (and David Brooks and the rest of you assholes). There is nothing "chic" (ultra or otherwise) about the Upper West Side.

Is this hope for the future?

Young Americans are more likely than the general public to favor a government-run universal health care insurance system, an open-door policy on immigration and the legalization of gay marriage, according to a New York Times/CBS News/MTV poll.

Or will they just take a hard right turn like the baby boomer parents?

Is anyone else weirded out when you read the string -- New York Times/CBS News/MTV?

The poll also found that they are more likely to say the war in Iraq is heading to a successful conclusion.

Oh, ok... maybe not too hopeful! Sigh...


From neo-Con stenographer Eli Lake at the NY deductible business expense SUN:

Both American Enterprise Institute scholar Frederick Kagan and a retired general, John Keane, the two men who persuaded Mr. Bush to launch the current counteroffensive in Iraq last December, said in interviews this week that they fear Republicans in Congress could be looking to declare victory and leave.

"The tragedy of these efforts is we are on the cusp of potentially being successful in the next year in a way that we have failed in the three-plus preceding years, but because of this political pressure, it looks like we intend to pull out the rug from underneath that potential success," General Keane said yesterday.


Undefined victory in Iraq it's always six months to a year (on a rolling calendar date) away!

This is staking out the marker that lets you say "We would've won too, if it wasn't for those fuckin' hippies!"

These two had absolutely NO responsibility for any errors at all for encouraging the invasion and biting their lip for years.

The Conscientious Consumer

Even when the mega-behemoth insurance emperor has no clothes, we are left with arrogance and assumptions of privilege. To see the truth about health insurance companies all we have to do is to look around. Check out this sad yet all too true column by Fort Wayne columnist Edith Kenna:

I have saved an article from a Fort Wayne newspaper of 2006 that reported Jason Govrevic, president of Wellpoint/Anthem’s New York market, had been spearheading an effort to encourage personal responsibility in its consumers (of health care). Mr. Govrevic is quoted as stating, “It’s all really designed to make you a more engaged consumer. We know that if you’re more involved in your health care — if you’re acting more as a conscientious consumer — it’ll be better for your health.”

I saved this article as I knew the time would come when I would have the opportunity to talk “responsibility” with my health insurance company. Well, that time arrived last month when I attempted to be a “conscientious consumer” by contacting Anthem after receiving what appeared to be a response to my physician’s request for prior authorization for a recommended procedure. The exact quote from the response that I received from Wellpoint/Anthem is as follows: “This is not an approval for claim payment. This approval is a confirmation of medical necessity only. We have not yet reviewed your health care plan. Depending on the limitations of the health care plan, we may pay all, part, or none of the claims.”

Wanting to be “engaged” in my health care decisions, wanting to be responsible (vs. irresponsible), and certainly not wanting to join the ranks of the 77,000 Hoosiers who in 2005 declared bankruptcy due to medical expenses, I decided to phone customer service of Wellpoint/Anthem to find out just when they were planning to “review my health care plan.” I requested an estimate of my out-of-pocket costs if I were to undergo this procedure. To be a “more engaged and conscientious consumer,” perhaps I would have to compare costs at various facilities, or even save money to have the procedure done. Don’t we “responsible consumers” usually get an estimate to have the car repaired, the house painted or the leaky toilet fixed? I just wanted to take this cost under consideration and make a financial plan in keeping with my budget. I am simply a middle-class worker with modest salary and savings trying to do the “responsible” thing.

Wellpoint/Anthem, a multimillion-dollar industry with many technological and financial resources available, wants me to be responsible, but they say they cannot, or will not, provide me with any such “estimate.” Wellpoint/Anthem states that I must first undergo the procedure, which they state is a medical necessity, before they will review my health care plan or let me know my out-of-pocket costs.

Somehow, this is not what Mr. Govrevic of Wellpoint/Anthem was implying in the copy of the Fort Wayne newspaper that I saved for just this occasion. I mean, after all, Anthem has a contract with my physician, the facilities at which the procedure could be provided and a contract with both me and my employer. Somehow, I don’t think I’m the only person who has ever had this particular procedure done in Fort Wayne. My out-of-pocket costs should not be a secret from me. Surely someone at Anthem has a calculator, and, at this particular point, it is only they with whom I have a contract. Being a “well-informed consumer,” I have not hired the facility nor the physician to complete this procedure because I don’t know what it costs.

I am insulted again by private health insurance talking about what consumers need to do but not providing simple customer service in good faith. Once again I am dealing with the arrogance of a health insurance company that, in my opinion, is acting in bad faith by insisting that only I act responsibly. It is ridiculous that I must first incur the debt to know the final cost that will be borne by me.

Private insurance companies have become too arrogant and too powerful. It is no longer clear what role private insurers serve in the delivery of health care, other than to skim money from the consumer while defining ever more narrowly who is deserving of what care – or any care whatsoever. We have become a society of insiders and outsiders.

We currently have a non-system of illness management. It is clearly time for all Americans to have access to a simple plan that it accessible, affordable, portable and of quality. It is time for a single-payer system in which we all are on the inside and not pushed toward or treated as an outsider.

The health care coverage we all need and deserve is currently outlined in a bill, HR 676, which has been reintroduced by Rep. John Conyers into the House Ways and Means Committee. This bill, if enacted into law, would extend Medicare to all at reasonable costs, simply, affordably and with responsibility shared between the individual, the government and the medical system. It is definitely time for all Americans to encourage a hearing on HR 676. Compromise plans being proposed by cautious reformers will all provide more muddle and run into the same political problems and strong pharmaceutical and insurance company lobbies.

It's his next to last day for chrissake


You teutonic tool.

AP Photo/Tom Hevezi, Pool

Seven Little Words

Forget Bada's coke-dealing campaign managers, the tiara-sporting third wife, the estranged kids, the allegations swirling around the suspended priest pal, blowing off the Iraq Study Group, being thrown under the bus by Christie Todd Whitman, and, of course, the mobbed-up soon-to-be-indicted police commissioner and BFF, Bing. Yeah, fuggedabout all of that; because when it comes down to it, Fast Talkin' Good Lookin' Bon Vivantin' Dan of A Blog Named Sue reminds us that it's these seven little words that ought to doom any presidential aspirations that Rudy Giuliani may still be harboring.

Now & Later

Fred Hiatt's favorite new columnist, Michael Gerson, says now:

History seems to be settling on some criticisms of the early conduct of the Iraq war. On the theory that America could liberate and leave, force levels were reduced too early, security responsibilities were transferred to Iraqis before they were ready, and planning for future challenges was unrealistic. "Victory in Iraq," one official of the Coalition Provisional Authority told me a couple of years ago, "was defined as decapitating the regime. No one defined victory as creating a sustainable country six months down the road."

And all this for an argument that we cannot leave in any fashion or dimension because it would be a disaster for those who live in the country we have taken from bad to worse.

What Gerson doesn't say is just how much he had to do with this clusterfuck.

Gerson proposed the use of a "smoking gun/mushroom cloud" metaphor during a September 5, 2002 meeting of the White House Iraq Group, in an effort to sell the American public on the supposed nuclear dangers posed by Saddam Hussein. According to Newsweek columnist Michael Isikoff, "The original plan had been to place it in an upcoming presidential speech, but WHIG members fancied it so much that when the Times reporters contacted the White House to talk about their upcoming piece [about aluminum tubes], one of them leaked Gerson's phrase — and the administration would soon make maximum use of it."

This clown shouldn't be giving advice on how to make nice "bunny ears" with your shoestrings; he shouldn't teach classes in "how to use a fork"; he isn't qualified to write a book report on "Breathing for Dummies".

Yet here he is, paid, undoubtedly in excess of six-figures to spew nonsense for the Washington Post as the "George Will...of the Future!". The column is laden with quotes of the "ever so serious" knobs that enabled this disaster, from Fred Kagan to Kenneth Pollack. When you are a war-causing clown, you just come back again and again, like bad salmon. In fact, you make more money than ever. Such events don't occur if you were an expert that was right, after all surely Scott Ritter has had nothing but happiness "inflicted" upon him for being 100% right about this whole thing? I mean other than being accused of all things from treason to pederasty.

Gerson also engages in a right-wing canard about Cambodia. Pol Pot would not have accomplished more than being a dumbfuck in the jungle if we hadn't bombed the shit out of that country and made it the third-party victim of Nixon's Surge of the early 1970s. We managed to never come to grips with the fact that we were the Khmer Rouge's enablers as much as our horrendous Iraq misadventure has been a huge boon for reactionary theocrats that will help drag the middle east down an even lower path. Pot and his group went from being place-holding countryside revolutionaries to being the group that at least stood up to the Americans who had managed to drop more than 100,000 tons of bombs primarily on civilians. It's the kind of thing that can really piss a people off and did. We thus, as seemingly ever, managed to use brute force to create a boon for a lunatic. The thing that ended the Khmer Rouge guessed it, our old enemy Vietnam who invaded that nation and ended it. And you know who AIDED the fucking Khmer Rouge to resist Vietnam (hell, financed the border crossings that led to Vietnam snapping back)...THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA! (That's right under Jimmy Carter, but right-wingers spare me your indignation, your crowd was fully on board at the time).

As usual with the group that insanely pushed and drove this nightmare of a war and its incompetent execution, he stands aside pontificating without even the mildest form of punishment at all, SHAME. Instead he's awarded with cushy no-account punditry and is allowed to revisit his old mistakes as the third-party observer without owning any share of the responsibility.


Ann Coulter is on TeeVee again?


Oh, sorry wrong picture:

Picture modified from here...and good luck.

Y'know I was going to put up the ugly dog contest winner, but this picture of the actual Coulter is really more hideous.

Kathy Griffin on Coulter:

Via HereinDC in comments at AmericaBlog.

The "Mangroomer Industrial Strength" goes to work on Karen Hughes' back!

AP Photo/California Dept Fish & Game, John Suchil


Josh Marshall has some hope I guess:

The truth is that the president is playing a very high-stakes game of chicken with his fellow Republicans. He's driving a hundred miles an hour toward the cliff, way too fast to jump out of the car without risking serious injury. But as the cliff gets closer, they'll start to jump.

Lugar in his speech Monday night said he wasn't going to vote against Bush, so in reality he's still just sitting in the backseat and wetting himself while saying maybe they should have stopped at Stuckey's at the last intersection.

Bush is pretty much Evel Knievel while Iraq is the Caesar's Plaza fountain -- and only Dick Cheney brought his helmet.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Welcome to New York. Now Please Shut Up!

Dear Visitor to My Fair City,

Despite the presence of millions of people, thousands of tall buildings, and hundreds of establishments offering $5 ice cream cones, New York really is, in some respects, just a like a small town. You tend to see the same people over and over again. You meet people with whom you have co-workers, friends, or acquaintances in common. You cross paths with the ghosts of your personal and professional pasts.

So let me ask you something. Would you sit around in public in a small town trashing your co-workers? If you did, would use your co-workers first and last names? Would you say the name of the borg for which you work? Would you do it all at top volume so that an entire subway car could hear every word you were saying?

Note to the dimwit here on a business trip who just sat next to me on the subway shrieking about her co-workers in her borg's New York office, one of whom happens to be an acquaintance of mine: I am going to spare that acquaintance's feelings by not recounting to her your very well-formed opinions on her body, her clothes, or her hair. What I am going to suggest is that you take a good look in the mirror when you get back to North Carolina or Georgia or wherever-the-fuck-you-are-from (you had a southern accent, but I'm not able to discern which southern accent) and think carefully before you criticize anyone else's appearance or taste.


P.S. The news about the relationship between tanning and skin cancer appears not to have reached your particular corner of Dumbfuckistan, but I assure you, it's out there. You could look it up if you managed to stop yapping for a few minutes.

Somebody needs a nap and a ball-rub

Get right on that Kate O'Beirne [editor: shudder break]

Lugar (more) [Michael Ledeen]

I'm glad Rich likes Lugar, because there aren't many who do, and it's true he's pleasant enough. Indeed, he's a foreign service officer masquerading as a political leader. I have watched him for about thirty years, and I cannot recall a moment of courage, not one time when he set himself against the conventional wisdom, nor challenged a policy before the winds had shifted against it. He was chairman of Foreign Relations for several years. What did he accomplish? Nothing. He behaved in total synch with Biden, which says it all. He had hearing on Iran, and only invited witnesses approved by Powell and Rice and their people, never a clear dissenting voice.

It was predictable for him to join the calls for retreat, as he had already been a leading soprano in the appeasement choir. It wouldn't surprise me if Biden asked him to do it, in order to show that the establishment Pubs have abandoned the war (surprise!)

I wonder what ever happened to the Hoosiers. They fired Bobby Knight and reelect Lugar by huge margins.

If there's a bigger ass-clown in this country than Michael Ledeen he could only be on Cheney's staff.

Shorter Dick Lugar


"John Murtha was right, about 18 months ago and he's right now. Of course, I won't say that and sorry about not running interference for him when the crazies attacked his patriotism and competence.

Not that I'll point that out now, nor point out that most of my party's loudmouths are fucking insane."

So I guess I welcome him aboard to the dirty fucking hippie majority. Better late than never.

It's sort of sad

Apparently the National Review cruise to the Arctic is going to end for Bill Buckley the way it did for Henry Hudson.

“Aren’t you embarrassed by the absence of these weapons?” Buckley snaps at Podhoretz. He has just explained that he supported the war reluctantly, because Dick Cheney convinced him that Saddam Hussein had WMD primed to be fired. “No,” Podhoretz replies. “As I say, they were shipped to Syria. During Gulf War One, the entire Iraqi air force was hidden in the deserts in Iran.” He says he is “heartbroken” by this “rise of defeatism on the right.” He adds, apropos of nothing, “There was nobody better than Don Rumsfeld. This defeatist talk only contributes to the impression we are losing, when I think we are winning.”

The audience cheers Podhoretz. The nuanced doubts of Bill Buckley leave them confused. Doesn’t he sound like the liberal media? Later, over dinner, a tablemate from Denver calls Buckley “a coward.” His wife nods and says, “Buckley’s an old man,” tapping her head with her finger to suggest dementia.

Well, at least they sent Rich Lowry with him.

Behold the criminal mind

I'll escape from prison...

AP Photo/Utah Dept. of Corrections

And then I'll put on a disguise so no one will recognize me.

AP Photo/Douglas C. Pizac

I can just see this jaghole inspiring other, soon to be noted, federal inmates:

Continuing his quest to become

Irrelevant in his alleged prime, Richard "Dickie" Cohen decides to just re-write history by saying 2008 is JUST LIKE 1972.

Um, yeah.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Holy Moroni!

We're not supposed to question Mitt Romney's mormon faith...because that would be wrong of us.

Yet, it sure seems like that not so ol' time religion came in handy when young Mitt needed it:

As the Vietnam War raged in the 1960s, Mitt Romney received a deferment from the draft as a Mormon "minister of religion" for the duration of his missionary work in France, which lasted two and a half years.

Before and after his missionary deferment, Romney also received nearly three years of deferments for his academic studies. When his deferments ended and he became eligible for military service in 1970, he drew a high number in the annual lottery that determined which young men were drafted. His high number ensured he was not drafted into the military...

By serving as a missionary and being given the deferment, Romney ensured that he would not be drafted from July 1966 until February 1969. Romney's draft record from the time describes him as "minister of religion or divinity student." Mayo said the church would have considered Romney a minister.

Romney, who has said he would have served if he had been drafted, shed some light on his view of the matter in a recent interview with the Globe.

"I really don’t recall thinking about political positions when I was knocking at the door in France" as a missionary, Romney said. "I was supportive of my country. I longed in many respects to actually be in Vietnam and be representing our country there and in some ways it was frustrating not to feel like I was there as part of the troops that were fighting in Vietnam."

Yeah, Williard, my lefty bleeding heart spills for ya'.

Fightin' off the 'Cong in the original empire.

Clever one, that Williard.

Non-Embraceable Giuliani

Is it possible to both embrace and hold at arm's length distance a religious position? Former NY major Rudy "I remember 9-11" Giuliani is finding the tap dance that led others in his party to fall head over heels for the religious right, a tough dance step. Catholic leaders are on the verge of declaring his position on abortion "contrary to Catholic teaching" -- a virtual "we are telling you not to vote for him." While this will not necessarily lead to a strong anti-Catholic vote against Giuliani it does demonstrate the problems of embracing religion in a party that has taken an extreme position on the subjects of abortion and religion.

How can a presidential candidate actually hold a position that actually demonstrates the complexity of an issue in the Republican party. You can't.

Bada & Bing: On Hold

There's only one thing worse than a whiny mobster -- and that's a whiny mobster wanna-be. New York:
"I could find trouble in this glass of iced tea right here. I could find chaos...Good doesn’t sell... I have a 33-year career of meritorious, heroic service. I’m the only fucking police commissioner who ever had the Medal of Valor. It’s like, ‘Hey, guys, whatever happened to the other 31 fucking years?’ ...It’s a personal nightmare; it’s a professional nightmare. There were book deals that have been pulled from the table and are on hold. There was a movie deal, pulled from the table and on hold. There were contracts pulled from the table and on hold.”
Hey, Bing? Maybe if your goomar, Judith Regan hadn't tried to make a buck off one of the only people more reprehensible than one who would tryst in an apartment overlooking a gigantic cemetery, your book deal wouldn't be on hold. Maybe if you'd stayed on shore and off Al Pirro's boat your movie deal wouldn't be on hold. And maybe if your other goomar, Bada, hadn't overreached for the umpteenth time and tried to get you installed as head of DHS your contracts wouldn't be on hold (and he'd still be holding you).

There Are Some Things You Can't Cover Up With Lipstick & Powder

Like, for example, unbridled narcissism and a penchant for "Dynasty '07" (by way of the Sunrise Mall) interior decoration schemes.

Update: As a dog-lover, Attaturk is concerned as to whether the pup was harmed in the making of this magnum opus.

And on a lighter note (and just for kicks), best Pammycakes photoshopping ever.

The Chris Matthews Political Analysis Meter

And now an informative documentary for Chris Matthews:

Working for The Man

So as I mentioned, I saw "Sicko." But even before I saw it, I'd been thinking about why we still don't have universal health care. I know the insurance companies and the AMA are powerful lobbies, but I think there's more to it than that This is what I came up with.

The vast majority of working Americans are at-will employees.1 Roughly, that means that they -- or their boss -- can terminate their employment relationship for any reason, or for no reason. There are exceptions, of course. Employers can't fire someone in violation of federal, state, or local anti-discrimination statutes. There are protections for whistleblowers. And some states recognize what's called an implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing that precludes firing someone for anything other than just cause.

Still, for the average at-will employee, the balance of power between you and your employer is tilted decidedly toward your employer.

How many times have you heard a fellow at-will employee say, "If it weren't for the benefits, I'd quit this job." By "benefits" they invariably mean their group health insurance policy, which, by contrast to people who buy medical insurance on their own, is a bargain.

Now what if those medical benefits were uncoupled from your at-will employment relationship? What if you could quit that job because you'd saved a little money, enough to keep you afloat while you looked for a new job? What if you didn't have to worry that you'd have to shell out anywhere from $400 (for an individual) to $1,200 (for a family) per month in health insurance premiums while you looked for a better gig, or one without a psycho boss, or one doing what you really wanted to do, or one in a new city or state, or one that was just different?

You'd be a lot more free now, wouldn't you? You'd certainly feel more free because you'd have one less (huge) thing to worry about.

In "Sicko" Moore mentions the benefits (to employers) of a frightened population of employees. If you're terrified of losing your job (and most people I know fear losing their jobs primarily because of "the benefits") you are a lot less likely to tell a bullying boss to knock it off, to say "I'm going home" after working late four nights in a row, to ask for a raise when you deserve it, and to stand up for yourself in the face of all sorts of small indignities that can come along with work.

There's a reason we don't have universal health coverage and I suspect it has at least something to do with the fact that the vast majority of Americans are at-will employees than it does any of the other reasons people say universal health coverage won't work here.

1Government, union, and contract employees are not at-will employees.

I'm sure this is what the First Amendment was all about

I've seen more high minded porn dialogue (and believe me I've done the research):

MATTHEWS: OK, well let's talk about that. I am stunned at these last supper scenes, where the Last Supper in history was all men...

Um, yeah...what can you really say about a guy who just discovered that Christ and the 12-Disciples were purportedly all dudes, that's only been church doctrine for what 20 centuries now? And the way it affects you is that you are "stunned"?

How the hell does one become "stunned" by the all-male last supper? Now the penultimate supper when there were 3 Christs (including a fat one) and 28 disciples a kangaroo and a caberet act, that's different.

...every scene you see with Hillary is a lunch, and it's all women. She is advertising her sisterhood. Is that something she can use to help sell herself as a future strong person defending this country, or does it get in the way?

Damn, these women doing things like getting into photographs, especially when they are requested to come down and pose for a portrait about their support for Hillary. Besides, in Chris Matthews' world apparently, ONLY men surrounded by men are capable of being a strong person and defending the United States. Because women cannot be strong.

As any of you know who have read this blog, I'm not a big Hillary Clinton supporter -- in large part because I find the Bush-Clinton-Bush...Clinton scenario structurally damned depressing. Second, because I think she triangulates the shit out of stuff, just like her husband and will put themselves before Party building...just like her husband.

But Chris Matthews daily acts of misogyny are sickening. Every goddamned day he's whining about "Hillary" (not Senator Clinton, "Hillary") while swooning over how Republicans like Mitt Romney & Fred Thompson smell.

Next to Bill O'Reilly and Glenn Beck, he's the biggest freak show on television.

Shouldn't be too subtle, thanks to Taylor Marsh for the Matthews pic.

Floyd R. Turbo's daughter writes a column

Do conservative pundits just extrapolate moronic analogies into scientific arguments all the time?

...actually when don't they?

How dare Al Gore & climatologists make me take serious problems seriously. I'd rather never notice what they are saying at all so I don't have to do jackshit about things! I love the last sentence in particular, because it may be the most inane thing ever written outside of a Jonah Goldberg Column:

But just because something can be plotted on an X and Y axis does not make it the whole truth.

Um, it doesn't exactly make it a lie either Sparky.

Just who is this Emily Yoffe who writes this whining monstrosity?

Yoffe also co-authored the autobiography of Larry King and appeared on CNN to discuss the physical attractiveness of Presidential candidates in her capacity as a writer for Slate.

Wow, Larry King's muse and the shallowest political analysis ever, who'd have imagined those two things could be shared by one person.

I bow to her expertise.

The thing I wonder about ...

In reading the Washington Post's series on Dick Cheney:

Can George W. Bush use the Nuremberg defense?

Sunday, June 24, 2007


Who's the big bloated prick
Who's heart machine has all been tricked?

Ya damn right!

Who is the man who risked others' necks
For his horrid plan?

Can you smell it?


Notice the "fair and balanced" slight-of-hand Mr. Peepers employs in singing the praises of his UNITY '08 fantasy:

Polls consistently show that large numbers of Americans -- close to a majority -- are unwilling to consider Clinton for president, and Giuliani is painful medicine for many Republicans to swallow.

Nice, Rudy can't lose for losing.

Looks like Broder's been hittin' the ensures a little heavy...

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Well whaddya' know?

Not much, you?

Richard Florida, a professor from George Mason University and author of the book The Rise of the Creative Class argued that the more "gay-friendly" a city is, the more economically prosperous it will be.

In fairness, the less gay cities have better "all-you-can-eat" buffet restaurants.


Just go.

(And make sure to stay through the credits!)

Saw a 10:00 AM show here in Sin City. So glad I went. We'll talk more about it later after you've had a chance to check it out.

P.S. Michael Moore: still fat.

The Best this week IMO

Bob Geiger has, as always, a choice selection of editorial cartoons.

"Everybody Loves (calling them) Al Qaeda"

I've noticed this sudden change in reporting the last two weeks as our ever-gullible and compliant media (*cough* Michael Gordon *cough*) starts calling everyone killed or acting in some violent fashion against the Americans or Iraqi Government as "Al Qaeda".

It's a lie and a propoganda point, against over-simplifying Iraq for the sole purpose of keeping the disaster in Iraq playing out perpetually until someone not named George W. Bush can be blamed for "losing" what has been lost long-ago.

Glenn Greenwald hits the nail on the head, as usual:

[I]n January of this year, the Cato Institute published a detailed analysis -- entitled "The Myth of an al Qaeda Takeover of Iraq" -- by Ted Galen Carpenter, its vice president for defense and foreign policy studies, documenting that claims of "Al Qaeda in Iraq is "a canard that the perpetrators of the current catastrophe use to frighten people into supporting a fatally flawed, and seemingly endless, nation-building debacle."

What is always most striking about this is how uncritically our press passes on government claims. War reporting in Iraq is obviously extremely difficult and dangerous, and it takes a great deal of courage to be in Iraq in order to file these stories. There is no denying that.

But precisely because of those dangers, these reporters rely almost exclusively on the narratives offered by U.S. military officials selected by the Bush administration to convey events to the press. Almost every one of the articles referenced above is shaped from start to finish by accounts about what happened from American military commanders (with, in isolated instances, accounts from Iraqis in the area). That is inevitable, though such accounts ought to be treated with much greater skepticism.

But what is not inevitable is to adopt the patently misleading nomenclature and political rhetoric of the administration, so plainly designed to generate support for the "surge" (support for which Gordon himself admitted he has embraced) by creating the false appearance that the violence in Iraq is due to attacks by the terrorist group responsible for 9/11.

The press, unbelievably, is lazily allowing itself to be duped again. So that more billions can be spent and more kids killed.

America's Worst Enablers

You know, Christie Todd Whitman is no "hero of 9/11" herself, but this is not to be taken with a grain of salt, I have no doubt that Rudy was just as responsible for this as she was...and they both outrageously and carelessly fell down on the job:

Former Environmental Protection Agency boss Christie Whitman says she urged Ground Zero workers to wear respirators, but then-Mayor Rudy Giuliani blocked her efforts.

She also said city officials didn't want EPA workers wearing haz-mat suits because they "didn't want this image of a city falling apart."

In an interview scheduled to run the day before Whitman testifies in front of Congress on Monday, she told WNBC-TV she warned the city of the risks almost every day.

And she said she believes illnesses killing first responders can be blamed on the city's lack of action.

The most infamous statement the EPA made after 9/11 and during the clean up was this:

Only seven days after the 9/11 attacks, as fires still raged at the site, she said, "I am glad to reassure the people of New York and Washington, D.C., that the air is safe to breathe."

There was no courage involved on any level, with the exception of those who actually did the labor. Whitman's statement reminds me of the Soviets throwing in people to be sacrificed while Chernobyl was melting down.

She will be testifying on June 24th, if Paris Hilton isn't release from jail or shanks a fellow inmate, we may actually hear about it on the news.


"Chinned bastard."

AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, file

More trendsetting

I'm no Michael Beschloss, but I don't think a President has ever scratched his balls in public before.

AP Photo/Gerald Herbert

Friday, June 22, 2007

Ann Althouse says this is DEEP FRIED THROAT

So gynecological:


Swopa and Ivy-League Pretty Boy Matt Yglesias in the wake of Clinton, Obama and Edwards milquetoast answers on not quite leaving Iraq ponder the question, "Doesn't Anybody want to end this War?"

Sadly, yes. But with George Bush running out the clock, the question they fear (gutlessly) is "Who wants to be blamed for losing?"

To me, it's that simple. Which explains how fucking depressing it is.

Have some fucking guts.

George Bush shouldn't have started it and George Bush has lost it.

Great point from Steve Clemons

I think this is exactly right, and at the end of the day no matter how much the right goes after Moore personally with tired bromides from the 60s, it comes down to this:

Michael Moore is making quite a splash in Washington with his new film, Sicko. I have yet to see the film, but I think that one of the key takeaways from the documentary on the sorry state of American health care is that in Cuba, comprehensive quality health care is considered a human right.

Cuba gets much wrong -- but after Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, Haditha, and frankly 47 million uninsured Americans with no health care -- America has a diminished level of moral credibility to stand on when criticizing illiberal regimes. Today, Cuba is exporting doctors whereas it used to export revolution and weaponry. Without getting too deep for the moment, just ask yourself which country in the world tops the charts on exporting armaments and revolution.

No matter how you slice it, this is a profound demonstration of our policy failures as any.

We are indeed a great and powerful country, but we have been negligent, if not downright callous toward a huge swath of our population.

Could it be more juvenile?

Why yes, yes it could:

Watertiger had the first take...after Olbermann.

She also told me through Norbizness that this exists.

Don't forget

At Noon Eastern today you can asks questions about "bounce-back" Bush to "the Dean", David S. Matlock Broder.

Perhaps you can ask him about the "love scenes" in his favorite movie, "Cocoon".

UPDATE: Or not, apparently scheduled for June 29.

Asking the Important Questions


Do you fear for your safety on amusement-park rides?


Take that Al Qaeda!

Fortunately, the laws of physics do not apply to Dick Cheney.

And now...

An obvious New York City joke from a guy in Iowa.

Sources tell us the host of "Paula Zahn NOW," is renting a full-floor apartment in Manhattan for $40,000 a month.

So a two-bedroom with a bath and a half?

Stupid Sadly, No!

Being all smarter and funnier.

It's unbearable, deplorable, but delectable.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

All that needs to be said

This is what happens when you are governed by a moron and he appoints pardoned felons to implement his horrid policies:

"Last year, I was among a small group of Palestinians that met Elliott Abrams, President George Bush's deputy national security adviser. He was blunt that the Hamas government, which was democratically elected, must be pushed out at any cost. We're not Hamas followers, but we tried to persuade him and other officials that engagement, rather than confrontation, is the better choice; but their determination was unshakable. We warned there would be suffering and starvation and even armed conflict, but to no avail. It wouldn't be the fault of the U.S. if that happened, he said."
Eyad Sarraj - Director of the Gaza Community Mental Health Program

These morons may not like Hamas, but we've spent hundreds of billions in treasure and thousands of lives in blood pushing democracy in the middle east. That means we may not always get what we want but we have to deal with the results.

When you refuse to deal?

You get what we have in Gaza and the West Bank even bigger fucking failure, and hypocrisy to boot.

Congratulations Right-Wingers

Your radio talkers are pretty much giving the Democrats something they haven't had much of in the heretofore Republican districts of the Southwest...victories.

The front lines of this problem are in the fast-growing states of the American West. And the closer you get to the border, the more voters back politicians who are looking for middle ground — and punish those who follow the rant-for-ratings route.

In just the last six years, Arizona’s population grew by 20 percent, Nevada’s by 25 percent, Colorado’s by 10 percent and New Mexico’s by 7.5 percent. These four states may be the biggest battleground in next year’s presidential race, with 29 electoral votes — more than Florida or Ohio.

Hispanics make up 28 percent of Arizona, 24 percent of Nevada, 20 percent of Colorado and 43 percent of New Mexico. The rap is that they don’t vote. Not yet, at least. But they’re the fastest-growing part of the electorate.

And what does the GOP have going for it?

Rush Limbaugh, Neal Bortz & Sean Hannity doing their modern "Theodore Bilbo Routine". The idiots at "The Corner" wave their nativist bullshit into pushing hispanics out of the GOP the same way they drove African Americans out of the Party of Lincoln. Meanwhile, we become "browner" all the time. And thanks to the great strides the Supreme Court is taking in finally undoing Roe v. Wade, you'll soon be the party of ONLY the angry white men.

Good job.

Whenever, I hear these discussions of demographic change and how the "growing" areas of the country are traditional GOP voters, the question always is, and who, pray tell is going there to cause the numbers to rise?

-- Retirees from the Northeast that really appreciate this privatizing talk about Social Security & Medicade.

-- Hispanics, who really appreciate the fact they are implied as subhuman.

The exception is least for a while...the Republicans really hate them the Castro...but I'm sure the anti-latino language is not exactly making that number grow. Ask Mel Martinez.

I don't care how copious Michelle Duggar's womb is, whitey is becoming more tan and the Republicans are doing a fabulous job in burning their disdain into the mind of these demographically exploding groups.

For once, George Bush is somewhat right about something, and THIS is the thing that pisses his base off?



Shorter David Broder:

Democrats suck, they are so partisan. But when Republicans steal all the major Democratic Party policy planks they fuckin' RULE!!!

And now, enhanced Matlock viewing with David Broder's thoughts!

The Ralph Peters Manic-Depressive Watch

March 6, 2006:

Dude, Where's My Civil War?

I'm trying. I've been trying all week. The other day, I drove another 30 miles or so on the streets and alleys of Baghdad. I'm looking for the civil war that The New York Times declared. And I just can't find it.

Maybe actually being on the ground in Iraq prevents me from seeing it. Perhaps the view's clearer from Manhattan. It could be that my background as an intelligence officer didn't give me the right skills...

And riding around with the U.S. Army, looking at things first-hand, is certainly a technique to which The New York Times wouldn't stoop in such an hour of crisis...
All day - and it was a long day - we drove through Shia and Sunni neighborhoods. Everywhere, the reception was warm. No violence. None.


November 2, 2006:

I supported this war, but the deteriorating situation is starting to convince me that we can’t win. Those of us who hoped that the Iraqis could achieve democracy were wrong — and their failure has implications for the entire region.


February 14, 2007:

In my years as an intelligence analyst, I consistently made my best calls when I trusted my instincts, and I was less likely to get it right when I heeded the arguments around me. Today, those surrounding arguments damn Iran.


June 21, 2007

HALLELUJAH! For the first time since Baghdad fell, our military in Iraq has a comprehensive, integrated plan to defeat our enemies.

UPDATE: Apparently the Kenosha Kid did something on Peters a couple days ago and if I don't link to it, I'll never effing hear the end of it.

This is the kind of stuff

That normally would have you labeled crazy and paranoid.

Except that whenever there is a crazy-fuck up that seems to protect someone aligned with Saudi Arabia, damned if the Bush Administration's team isn't involved.

Whether it's the bin Laden family or the mighty Bandar!

The document states: “ON 9/19/01, A 727 PLANE LEFT LAX, RYAN FLT #441 TO ORLANDO, FL W/ETA (estimated time of arrival) OF 4-5PM. THE PLANE WAS CHARTERED EITHER BY THE SAUDI ARABIAN ROYAL FAMILY OR OSAMA BIN LADENTHE LA FBI SEARCHED THE PLANE [REDACTED] LUGGAGE, OF WHICH NOTHING UNUSUAL WAS FOUND.” The plane was allowed to depart the United States after making four stops to pick up passengers, ultimately landing in Paris where all passengers disembarked on 9/20/01, according to the document.

Now it's from Judicial Watch, which is nothing, if not consistently schizophrenic, but here's the PDF and damned if it doesn't show what they claim.

I remember Michael Moore dealt with this in Fahrenheit 9/11 but since he was fat and all it hadn't really been followed up on...

UPDATE: And then there is this,

SEPTEMBER 13, 2001: President Bush and Prince Bandar, the Saudi ambassador to the US, hold a private meeting in the White House. No aides or translators are present. Bandar is so close to the Bush family that he is nicknamed "Bandar Bush." Sen. Bob Graham (D) later will note that while neither Bush nor Bandar have disclosed what they discussed in the meeting, mere hours later, the first flights transporting Saudi royals and members of the bin Laden family are in the air. Over the next week, they will be taken to several gathering points, and then flown back to Saudi Arabia, apparently without first being properly interviewed by the FBI. Graham will say, "Richard Clarke, then the White House’s counterterrorism tsar, told me that he was approached by someone in the White House seeking approval for the departures. He did not remember who made the request... The remaining question is where in the White House the request originated, and how." Graham will imply that, ultimately, the request originated from this meeting between Bush and Bandar.

Our buddies the Iraqi Government

Using the same PR-firm as the Bush Administration regarding the surge (Bill Kristol & the Kagans*):

BAGHDAD — One photograph shows a skin-and-bones boy lying on a bare floor, leashed like a dog to the pink bars of an unoccupied crib. Another shows boys curled naked on the ground, one of them smeared with human waste.

The scenes were ghastly. But almost as jarring was the response of an Iraqi government minister called upon Wednesday to explain how a state-run orphanage in the capital could have kept two dozen children in such conditions.

Proving that not even orphans are off-limits to the political sniping that permeates life here, the minister of labor and social welfare accused U.S. troops and the media of exaggerating the situation and distributing the photographs for political gain.

"Are they really concerned about how well the children are treated in that shelter, or is it just propaganda for their alleged kindness?" Mahmoud Mohammed Jawad Radi said to reporters after the U.S. military released the photographs.

Wow, our chosen tokens are really telling us to "step-off" at the lowest possible level aren't they.

"You Americans are just using those drill-holed heads to sell your power-tools!"

But our Iraqi government buddy (who is nowhere near as bad as Saddam all for a cost of tens, if not hundreds of thousands killed and half-a-trillion) wasn't done:

Radi said it was U.S. troops who had brutalized the children by raiding the building in the middle of the night.

"Of course the shelter is not as expected, as it is newly opened and still lacks a lot of services," he said when asked about the lack of fans or air-conditioning where the boys were sleeping. He did not explain why the children were lying on the floor instead of in the cribs with mattresses lining the walls.

Standing beside Radi was the orphanage director, Diyaa Abdul Amir, who denied that the children were mistreated. He said that the photographs released by the military focused on two boys suffering from skin infections but that the rest were healthy.

Radi did add that Michael Moore is fat. So at least "the Corner" got a soundbyte too.

*World's worst doo-wop group

Lou Dobbs approved


(CBS/AP) While the U.S. military searches for a soldier missing in Iraq, kidnapped by insurgents possibly allied with al Qaeda, his wife back home in Massachusetts may be deported by the U.S. government.

Army Spec. Alex Jimenez, who has been missing since his unit was attacked by insurgents in Iraq on May 12, had petitioned for a green card for his wife, Yaderlin Hiraldo, whom he married in 2004.

Their attorney, Matthew Kolken, said 23-year-old Hiraldo illegally entered the United States in 2001 to reunite with her husband, whom she had met in her native Dominican Republic and later married at his New York State Army base in 2004.

Her husband's request for a green card and legal residence status for his wife alerted authorities to her status, Kolken said.

As her lawyer points out, if she's deported she likely will never be allowed back in the United States to visit her husband's grave.

Her husband, if anything, earned her the right to be here with his own blood. That's more than 99% of us who write or read this blog have done.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Sir Richard, redux

Here's another beauty that I just had to throw out there:

Wow: I suspect I can guess the tone of most of the comments you'll get today, and I'll try to keep mine quite civil. It comes down to this: If somebody consciously and intentionally lies to a Federal prosecutor and a grand jury, isn't it appropriate for them to go to jail? Even if the prosecutor has no business having asked the question in the first place? Tell the truth or take the Fifth -- either is fine -- but intentional lying simply isn't acceptable in any witness, let alone a high-ranking government official.

Do you disagree with this basic observation? If so, please explain. If not, how can you still argue that Scooter shouldn't go to jail? I suppose you can simply disagree with the premise that Libby consciously and intentionally lied, but the jury made that determination, and that's what juries are for...

Richard Cohen: I don't quarrel with the jury. In fact, let me just say that my own reading of the trial was that he was guilty. I don't believe that he forgot. But I do believe that while it is inpermissable for anyone to lie to a grand jury -- I'm not quarreling with that -- I'm just saying that when you get called before a grand jury and you are a target, there ought to be a crime involved. More than that, in this government, in our government, we ought to make sure that the basis of it is not a political disagreement. I feel sorry for Scooter Libby. I don't agree with the guy's politics, I've never met him, I don't know him at all. But I do know that he was a successful lawyer probably making ... god knows, a lot of money ... and he chose to go back into government not because he thought he was going to get anything out of it, but because he thought it was good to serve. If he lied to a grand jury it was because he made money illegally or took bribes or some other crime, it was because he was covering up for embarassment or because he mistakenly thought he had committed a crime. So fine, convict him. But 30 months is excessive.

Good to serve? In Cohen's world, a guy who makes a lot of money in the private sector must be motivated by his better angels to leave the money behind for a few years and go into lowly government service as CHIEF of STAFF to THE VICE PRESIDENT of the UNITED STATES of AMERICA?