Monday, June 30, 2008

Advice for Ladies (and Women)

Do not rely on boys (or men) to make birthday merriment for you.

Make your own!

Saint Watch


So, when will the Vatican get behind the press' canonization of Timmeh?  Like the NYT, they could always make him the patron saint of health.  Or better they could make him the patron of hot air and bad journalism. 

We shall await the proclamation!

One More Point

...for articles of impeachment.  Remember how the right-wing threw the country into insanity over what was less than an extra-marital dalliance? 

How about some serious discussion of how the Bush screwups have actually created a stronger Al-Qaeda?

Intelligence reports for more than a year had been streaming in about Osama bin Laden’s terrorism network rebuilding in the Pakistani tribal areas, a problem that had been exacerbated by years of missteps in Washington and the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, sharp policy disagreements, and turf battles between American counterterrorism agencies.

But then I would be expecting the media to do its job, right?  And remember the media is already debating how Bush "was not that bad of a president."  Sigh...

Well, knock me over with a Oil dipped feather!

Nobody could not have anticipated this:

A group of American advisers led by a small State Department team played an integral part in drawing up contracts between the Iraqi government and five major Western oil companies to develop some of the largest fields in Iraq, American officials say.

The disclosure, coming on the eve of the contracts’ announcement, is the first confirmation of direct involvement by the Bush administration in deals to open Iraq’s oil to commercial development and is likely to stoke criticism...

But any perception of American meddling in Iraq’s oil policies threatens to inflame opinion against the United States, particularly in Arab nations that are skeptical of American intentions in Iraq, which has the third-largest oil reserves in the world.

“We pretend it is not a centerpiece of our motivation, yet we keep confirming that it is,” Frederick D. Barton, senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, said in a telephone interview. “And we undermine our own veracity by citing issues like sovereignty, when we have our hands right in the middle of it.”

Of course, this like all the issues discussed on this blog today will get NO attention whatsoever because someone questioned the Maverick's qualifications to be the third Bush term. And that's wrong, of course. I believe John McCain is uniquely qualified to continue with a third Bush term.


John McCain & Joe Lieberman sure love to talk about the awesome success they've had in Iraq. And they should know, they've been claiming it for five and a half years running.

But here is the answer, via Foreign Policy, on the "surge":

The height of the U.S. military surge in Iraq was a key factor in this year’s analysis of that country. And though Iraq’s score improved slightly, the gains that one might hope for—those that reflect fundamental, long-term changes—did not occur. The desperate predicament of nearly 4 million people driven from their homes, the abysmal state of public services, and the discord among sectarian factions have shown no real improvement. The incremental security and economic progress that has occurred are dependent on tenuous, short-term factors that could unravel at any time. Eager to cobble together a fragile peace, the U.S. military has armed dozens of new Sunni militia groups that could later turn their guns on the Iraqi government, their Shiite rivals, or the Americans many still regard as occupiers. Similarly, Iraq’s economy has improved only moderately, thanks largely to the spike in global oil prices, not Iraqi production. In short, progress in Iraq last year was negligible at best and deeply susceptible to reversal should the country suffer the kind of shock—a food shortage, a high-level assassination, an attack that unleashes ethnic hatreds—that has exposed so many states’ deep vulnerabilities in recent months.

Oh Lord

All you need to know about McCain and his "base":

But this week his campaign will try to restore a little of the old McCain style when it unveils his new campaign airplane, the flying Straight Talk Express.

The "old" McCain style is a customized jumbo jet?

The aircraft, a Boeing 737-400, which has the “Straight Talk” logo emblazoned on its fuselage, tries to recreate the feel of the back of Mr. McCain’s campaign bus in a special area near the front of the plane.

And then it gets laughable:

the campaign installed a captain’s chair for Mr. McCain and a couch for reporters and the retinue of Senate colleagues, war buddies and retired officials Mr. McCain likes to surround himself with on the campaign trail...

And, there's a system in place as to how you can EARN your way up front:

There will be 10 first-class seats up front for Mr. McCain and his guests, as well as a telephone and a fax machine. The journalists who will sit in the back, behind the Secret Service agents, are promised electrical outlets.

So if you kiss the McKing's ass, you get a warm towel, a comfortable seat, a hot cookie (from Cindy's own plagiarized cookbook) and bask in the sunny countenance of McSame.

Let the fellatio begin!

John McCain and the real reason Joe Lieberman loves him so

They both love the gambling money, especially when it comes from the 3rd Richest (but only 9th craziest) person in America:

Sheldon Adelson, the gaming multibillionaire, accompanied a group of Republican donors to the White House to meet with George W. Bush. They wanted to talk to the President about Israel. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was organizing a major conference in the United States, in an effort to re-start the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, and her initiative had provoked consternation among many rightward-leaning American Jews and their Christian evangelical allies.

Ah, images straight out of Charlie Wilson's War...except it's all true.

Adelson, who is seventy-four, owns two of Las Vegas’s giant casino resorts, the Venetian and the Palazzo, and is the third-richest person in the United States, according to Forbes. He is fiercely opposed to a two-state solution; and he had contributed so generously to Bush’s reëlection campaign that he qualified as a Bush Pioneer.

But former AIPAC employee Wolf Blitzer tells me that McCain says Obama's an elitist without comment? How could that be?

Adelson has long preferred a low profile in many of his political activities. But one of his maneuvers did appear in the press. He has been a generous donor to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, the dominant lobby of American Jewry regarding U.S. policy toward Israel. Since the nineties, Adelson has helped underwrite many congressional trips to Israel, sponsored by an AIPAC educational affiliate. (Adelson pays only for Republican members.) Last year, he contributed funds for a lavish new office building in Washington, D.C., for the organization.

It's getting more awesome!

Read all the more about Mr. Adelson and how he is now a strong supporter and donor to "the Maverick" who is straight-shootin' his way into perpetuating all the bad policies of George Bush as brand spankin' new and that somehow our media, with rare exception, pretends not to notice:

Republican consultant Sig Rogich, another longtime McCain supporter, who has also worked for Adelson...Rogich said that McCain had been “cementing his relationship with Adelson further,” and added, “All I’ve tried to do is make sure the two communicate well, and that he understands the passion John McCain has for the issues that are so important to Sheldon Adelson—first and foremost, Israel.”

But again, Barack Obama is allegedly an "elitist"; make that "just another politician", no, make that "not an agent of change", etc.

Bill Kristol writes about how he celebrates Independence Day:

The last few years, we’ve spent July Fourth at the house of friends who have had the assembled company read the entire declaration. It’s a longer document than one thinks; the charges against the king take quite a while to get through.

Almost as long as if you, Cheney, Bush and the rest of the worthies are sitting in the Hague, Billy. I would have guessed that Kristol usually spent the 4th firing off illegal fireworks (like Bush tied to various animals) he's smuggled in over the State border. I bet Kristol especially loves these parts of the Declaration:

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power...

Just like our own George III.

For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States

Just like our own George III has done in Iraq.

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury

Just like George III has done in the GITMO that Kristol loves so much.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

Hey, Blackwater gives a lot of money to George III...and it's management loves watching you on Fox News Sunday Bill.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither

I just put this one in to piss off Lou Dobbs.

I have a feeling Bill Kristol and Joe Lieberman also get together

Sunday, June 29, 2008

For those keeping score

Maureen Dowd's non-imbecilic high school prom mentality lasted exactly one column.

Nice try Clark Hoyt.


In Today's Edition of David Broder:

OMG, George Bush treats people like they're morons and isn't too bright himself. Good thing we in the media had nothing to do with letting him get away with this.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Christ on a cracker!

Get a bowl, this may induce nausea, Sally Quinn gets close to St. Timmeh by taking it in the face:

At Tim's funeral mass...communion was offered. I had only taken communion once in my life, at an evangelical church. It was soon after I had started "On Faith"; and I wanted to see what it was like. Oddly I had a slightly nauseated sensation after I took it, knowing that in some way it represented the body and blood of Jesus Christ. Last Wednesday I was determined to take it for Tim, transubstantiation notwithstanding. I'm so glad I did. It made me feel closer to him. And it was worth it just to imagine how he would have loved it.

Other than NOT being Catholic, there are more than a few doctrinal and decency standards being violated here.

What a bunch of pathetic has-beens the Washington Press Corps is still dominated by.

Disturbing on many levels

Not only in that the Bush Administration slandered this guy (they do that a lot), but that the media ONCE AGAIN let the Bush Administration spin its stories for them.

The Justice Department announced Friday that it would pay $4.6 million to settle a lawsuit filed by Steven J. Hatfill, a former Army biodefense researcher intensively investigated as a “person of interest” in the deadly anthrax letters of 2001.

The settlement, consisting of $2.825 million in cash and an annuity paying Dr. Hatfill $150,000 a year for 20 years, brings to an end a five-year legal battle that had recently threatened a reporter with large fines for declining to name sources she said she did not recall.

The perfidiousness of the major media doing this over and over AND OVER again and then having hacks like Howard Kurtz supposedly watch the media by referencing the right-wing blog world that adds kerosene to the matter is truly disgusting.

And the worst part is, they are virtually incapable of seeing it happen everytime no matter how many times it is proven to them from the past.

And further let us not forget the Bush Administration's sterling record of achievement in the War on teh Terra',

- Bin Laden, still available to make videotapes [which they spin to be endorsements of Democrats]

- Saying there's no attack on U.S. soil since 9/11 while ignoring this Anthrax attack.

- And having no fucking clue as to who staged the attack.

And back to that last part:

Toni Locy, a former legal affairs reporter for USA Today who wrote several articles about the case, was held in contempt of court, facing fines of up to $5,000 a day from Judge Reggie Walton over her refusal to name her sources, and her case is pending before an appeals court. Ms. Locy said Friday that she was relieved by the developments but that it was too soon to celebrate.

“I hope this means that this ordeal is over and that I can get on with my life,” said Ms. Locy, who will begin teaching legal reporting at Washington and Lee University in the fall.

A fucking TEACHER of legal reporting?

I defend the First Amendment, but it is NOT a license to allow the power of the GOVERNMENT to slander Citizens. That turns the entire purpose of the First Amendment on its ear and allows the oppressive force of the government to ruin lives without even exercising a whiff of restraint.

I have not a whit of trouble having Ms. Locy compelled to spill the information on who attempted to ruin a person's life by pushing info they knew or should have known to be bullshit.

Protecting the individual from THE GOVERNMENT is the whole purpose of the Bill of Rights, including, most prominently the First Amendment. Freedom of the Press does not mean the Freedom of the Government to use the press to crush people.

Ah the Moron that keeps on giving

They must have been short of sausage gravy at the Bob Evans because K-Lo's having a snit below even her usual Grand Marinas Trench level:

I may be crazy. But Bill Clinton is not going to let himself be humiliated. He's in talks with McCain before long if he's not already. He's going to salvage his name before this election is over. Like I said ...

While you "may" be crazy, you "are" a moron.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Operation Fling Poo!

Chuckles Krauthammer who has written this:

Everyone has tried to figure out how to disarm North Korea. It will not happen. Kim Jong Il is not going to give up his nukes. The only way to disarm the regime is to destroy it. China could do that with sanctions but will not. The United States could do that with a second Korean War but will not either.

Once again, nice prediction there Charlie...and to think we could of nuked 'em when we had a chance!

But, of course, there were other equally fine calls to nuke other people coupled with predictions, such as when in September 15, 2006 Chuckle's launched a call to NUKE IRAN!

The Europeans will be less hypocritical because their visceral anti-Americanism trumps rational calculation. We will have done them an enormous favor by sparing them the threat of Iranian nukes, but they will vilify us nonetheless.

These are the costs. There is no denying them. However, equally undeniable is the cost of doing nothing.

And Charlie even predicted the "horrible consequences" IF BUSH NUKED TEHRAN:

An attack on Iran is likely to send oil prices overnight to $100 or even to $150 a barrel.

I guess we already nuked Tehran we just didn't hear about it.

Oh, what a lovely man, bomb here - bomb there bomb bomb kill kill kill.

Which makes today's Krauthammer slander all the more relevant:

Not a flinch. Not a flicker. Not a hint of shame. By the time he's finished, Obama will have made the Clintons look scrupulous.

Moral judgment from a man who believes in killing civilians, because we can.

Fuck you Charlie.

The Drowning of St. Nick

Gosh it's hot:

It seems unthinkable, but for the first time in human history, ice is on course to disappear entirely from the North Pole this year.

The disappearance of the Arctic sea ice, making it possible to reach the Pole sailing in a boat through open water, would be one of the most dramatic – and worrying – examples of the impact of global warming on the planet. Scientists say the ice at 90 degrees north may well have melted away by the summer.

"From the viewpoint of science, the North Pole is just another point on the globe, but symbolically it is hugely important. There is supposed to be ice at the North Pole, not open water," said Mark Serreze of the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre in Colorado.

If it happens, it raises the prospect of the Arctic nations being able to exploit the valuable oil and mineral deposits below these a bed which have until now been impossible to extract because of the thick sea ice above.

Seasoned polar scientists believe the chances of a totally icefreeNorth Pole this summer are greater than 50:50 because the normally thick ice formed over many years at the Pole has been blown away and replaced by hugeswathes of thinner ice formed over a single year.

This just in,

(thinks Ms. Claus is hot!)

Master Logician

Hugh Hewitt & his fabulous man nipples o' xtreeem chafing!

On his radio show yesterday, conservative talker Hugh Hewitt announced that he was “living for” the Sept. 13 football game between USC and Ohio State, adding that he predicts that it will be the last game played before the United States “gets blown up by the Islamists under Obama.”

Wait a minute, the Republicans are going to make Barack Obama President two months before the election...just so he can get blamed for a terror attack?

Ooh, good plan!

Also, Hewitt is only "living for" a football game on September 13th?

September 14th can't get here soon enough then can it*?

*Hugh will jump off the front lines...the observation tower of the Empire State Building.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Bang, Bang!

The glorious assholery of the Robert's court continues unabated:

The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Americans have a right to own guns for self-defense and hunting, the justices' first major pronouncement on gun rights in U.S. history.

The court's 5-4 ruling struck down the District of Columbia's 32-year-old ban on handguns as incompatible with gun rights under the Second Amendment. The decision went further than even the Bush administration wanted, but probably leaves most firearms laws intact...

...The Constitution does not permit "the absolute prohibition of handguns held and used for self-defense in the home," Scalia said. The court also struck down Washington's requirement that firearms be equipped with trigger locks or kept disassembled, but left intact the licensing of guns.

In a dissent he summarized from the bench, Justice John Paul Stevens wrote that the majority "would have us believe that over 200 years ago, the Framers made a choice to limit the tools available to elected officials wishing to regulate civilian uses of weapons."

He said such evidence "is nowhere to be found."

Justice Stephen Breyer wrote a separate dissent in which he said, "In my view, there simply is no untouchable constitutional right guaranteed by the Second Amendment to keep loaded handguns in the house in crime-ridden urban areas."

The new Second Amendment:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, The right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Those of you mad at Obama right now and whining about voting for McCain, someone else or NOT voting, better get your shit together and understand the consequences of what you truly wish to live under.

Thanks Supreme Court

[Cross-Posted at Firedoglake]

There have been more than a few areas where conservatives have taken a constant sledgehammer to the law until enough people finally yield in exhaustion.

And this week, we've seen two of them, oh, make it three.

This week is a particularly troubling one because the Fourth Amendment (the new FISA bill); and the Eighth Amendment (reaction to the prohibition of the death penalty for child rape) have come up in an election year. And we all know how much that sucks -- because the media is incapable of having a "mature" debate on issues, as it is comprised of too many venal and insipid shills from top to bottom; and too many people just want their pablum so they can move on. It's all about "character" (i.e. who's a badass?) and process ("who's up, who's down - how can me make them even?).

Well, you know the drill, it gets hammered at you and about you all day.

But allow me to rant as a lawyer.

There is a third defeat this week as well and it doesn't bode well for those of you who say die or get sick because a produce or meat distributor or even restaurant does not follow well-known and standard safety precautions. Or a manufacturer sells you a car that would be better known as the "Death Trap 3000". A hybrid that crosses rolling over easily with being highly flammable.

Yesterday, the Supreme Court took a not particularly bold step of allowing companies to amortize their own deliberate indifference to safety and responsibility. I guess it's all up to the power of Jesus or something.


Today's edition is brought to you by "Grand Coulee Absorbent Undergarments", Grand Coulee, we'll be there for you every fifteen minutes for ya' ol' timer -- so ask for them by name, but be quick about it.

I had to fix Broder's typos, the first paragraph is supposed to be this:

When David Broder was caught last week throwing off the constraints on speaking honoraria that go with being an employee of the Washington Post, he high-handedly figured it was time to start criticizing Barack Obama for legally opting out of public financing while uttering NARY A PEEP about John McCain breaking the law by exceeding spending limits he had sworn under oath to obey.

John McCain

(AFP/Getty Images/Laura Rauch)

Demonstrates the reason why his first marriage failed.

Quite a platform dude is running on too.

Wave to Sean Hannity

(AP Photo/Gary Malerba)

He's mah last supporter!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Does this mean No Green Acres?

Will gas and oil prices mean a return to the city?  Are you willing to relocate back to the city?

Alert Michael Scherer & Company

To tell us what he really meant again:

“I also want to make sure that we will take concrete steps towards eliminating our dependence on foreign oil. And I am confident that uh, the, the conflicts that we are in in both Iraq and Afghanistan have also a bearing on that.”

We attacked Iraq & Afghanistan to WEEN us from oil?

Okay, that's certainly a new one -- probably because it's so laughably ridiculous.

Grandpa made a doody in his brain.

Fez Tip, AmericaBlog.

Your Bush/McCain/Lieberman War on Perpetual Terror Update!


The bodies of 22 tribal elders have been found in Pakistan's northwestern tribal region a day after they were captured by pro-Taliban fighters.

The bodies were found on Wednesday near Jandola, a town adjoining the South Waziristan tribal district where loyalists of Baitullah Mehsud, commander of the Pakistani Taliban, have fought pro-government tribesmen.

"According to our information 22 bodies of peace committee members have been found in Kiriwam village," Barkatullah Marwat, a district administration official, said.

A peace committee is a body of tribal elders and tribesmen working with the government to tackle pro-Taliban sentiment in the regions bordering Afghanistan.

"Some of the dead were shot and some had their throats slit," Marwat said.


A roadside bomb killed three American soldiers and an interpreter north of Baghdad, the U.S. military said Wednesday


Joint Chiefs Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen leaves Tuesday night on an overseas trip that will take him to Israel, reports CBS News national security correspondent David Martin. The trip has been scheduled for some time but U.S. officials say it comes just as the Israelis are mounting a full court press to get the Bush administration to strike Iran's nuclear complex.

CBS consultant Michael Oren says Israel doesn't want to wait for a new administration.

"The Israelis have been assured by the Bush administration that the Bush administration will not allow Iran to nuclearize," Oren said. "Israelis are uncertain about what would be the policies of the next administration vis-à-vis Iran."

Israel's message is simple: If you don't, we will. Israel held a dress rehearsal for a strike earlier this month, but military analysts say Israel can not do it alone.

"Keep in mind that Israel does not have strategic bombers," Oren said. "The Israeli Air Force is not the American Air Force. Israel can not eliminate Iran's nuclear program."

The U.S. with its stealth bombers and cruise missiles has a much greater capability. Vice President Cheney is said to favor a strike, but both Mullen and Defense Secretary Gates are opposed to an attack which could touch off a third war in the region.

But hey, at least the pundits are doing their job:

John McCain's stance on the war is unambiguous: He voted for it, supports the current enhanced U.S. troop presence in Iraq and vigorously opposes any timetable to withdraw.

The public's stance on the war is as equivocal as McCain's is not: A strong majority of Americans oppose it and believe it was wrong in the first place, but more find McCain better suited to handle Iraq than his Democratic presidential rival, Barack Obama.

Is it possible

To write alleged comedy and completely not understand comedy?

Well, if your work involves all things found at "Target" then yes...

I never heard Carlin be as hard on himself as he was on his favorite strawmen. That wasn’t his job, of course, and you can’t fault him for the routines he didn’t do. But the more you confront and accept your own human faults the less outrage you find in the small mishaps of others, and I never got the feeling Carlin spent a lot of time interrogating his own character with the same confident derision he brought to things much greater than himself.

Yeah, thanks for the bigger picture there Lileks. You and all your well-remembered comedy bits.

I'm pretty sure Lileks has managed never to actually watch a Carlin routine all the way through.

As opposed to the James Lileks' comedy pallet consisting entirely of discount Seinfeldisms.

I know that for some reason this guy is friends with Mike Nelson probably because of ideology (well, that and all of us have idiot friends, let's face it -- in fact, I think sadly I'm other peoples' idiot friend) -- but Mike Nelson doesn't shove his politics down my throat and oh yeah, he's funny -- always a fine quality in a person who performs, oh, I don't know, comedy?

McCain's base goes to work

Could the media employ more suck-ups to the Maverick? It's like Richard Cohen is reporting:

McCain adviser may have struck a nerve
Candidate distances himself from terror comment, but does it ring true?

Ah delightful packaging in Maverick-sized nuggets.

And who writes this d-e-l-i-g-h-t-f-u-l tripe?

Why Anne Korblut and Jonathan Weisman of course!

This Jonathan Weisman on Barack Obama:

He really did not become immersed in black American culture until he left college and went to Chicago. The great irony is that he is much more white than black, beyond skin color.

Oh, how quaint.

And this Anne Korblut

During a June 2006 appearance on Meet the Press, New York Times reporter Anne Kornblut claimed that the Democrats were "bracing incredibly for the Karl Rove cut-and-run accusation."

Of course, that "cut-and-run accusation" came and failed spectacularly, as the American people overwhelmingly disapprove of the Iraq war and the Republicans' handling of it.

Yet Kornblut continues to insist that Democrats must be wary of being given the "cut-and-run" label. During a January 4 appearance on MSNBC's Scarborough Country, she declared, "I think the biggest nightmare for some of the Democrats in the Senate would be a Democratic Party that looks as though it just wants to, from -- the words from 2004 -- 'cut and run.' "

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The President of the United States:

And I reminded the President that I am reminded of the great talent of the -- of our Philippine-Americans when I eat dinner at the White House. (Laughter.)

The context and the timing could not be more offensive:

The Philippines was pummeled last week by a typhoon that has devastated coastal areas and flipped a ferry carrying over 800 passengers. Bush couldn't resist beginning the sober meeting with a quip about a Filipino member of his kitchen staff.


Another poll shows Big Bounce for Obama:

Buoyed by enthusiasm among Democrats and public concern over the economy, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) has captured a sizable lead over Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) at the opening of the general election campaign for president, the Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg Poll has found.

In a two-man race between the major party candidates, registered voters chose Obama over McCain by 49% to 37% in the national poll conducted last weekend.

On a four-man ballot including independent candidate Ralph Nader and Libertarian Bob Barr, voters chose Obama over McCain by an even larger margin, 48% to 33%...

Even among voters who say they do plan to vote for McCain, more than half say they are "not enthusiastic" about their chosen candidate; only 45% say they are enthusiastic. By contrast, 81% of Obama voters say they are enthusiastic, and almost half call themselves "very enthusiastic," a level of zeal that only 13% of McCain's supporters display.

"McCain is not capturing the full extent of the conservative base the way President Bush did in 2000 and 2004," said Susan Pinkus, director of the Times Poll. "Among conservatives, evangelicals and voters who identify themselves as part of the religious right, he is polling less than 60%.

"Meanwhile, Obama is doing well among a broad range of voters," she said. "He's running ahead among women, black voters and other minorities. He's running roughly even among white voters and independents."

Nobody could have anticipated, part 4,894


The administration lacks an updated and comprehensive Iraq strategy to move beyond the "surge" of combat troops President Bush launched in January 2007 as an 18-month effort to curtail violence and build Iraqi democracy, government investigators said yesterday.

But things are going swimmingly?

Wow, Charlie Black must be cracking a wry smile this morning:

U.S. officials say four Americans have been killed in an explosion at a local council building in Baghdad's Shiite Sadr City district.

Iraqi police officials say at least six Iraqi civilians also were killed and 10 others wounded in Tuesday's blast, which apparently was targeting Americans visiting the building.

The U.S. military and the embassy say two American soldiers and two American government employees were among the dead.

Iraq is so awesome, how could people NOT want to go there and wait for celebratory fireworks like this?

Thanks George Bush, thanks John McCain, thanks Dickie Cohen!

Worst Columnist in America


A presidential race is only incidentally about issues.

When one looks at all the ways the beltway punditry has consistently betrayed their alleged purpose for their de facto one, let this be one of the Exhibits.

Appropriately manufactured quote of the day:

June 24, 2008:

"Even if you never met him, you know this guy. He's the guy at the country club with the driver in the clubhouse, swinging it freely and beating the staff to death and making everyone else line up against the wall while he lets me make snide comments about everyone and select the loveliest barely post-pubescents to deflower."

-- Karl Rove, Special Assistant to George Bush Robert Mugabe.

Ah, time well spent

Via Instaputz:

John McCain was in town for a big event at the Minneapolis Hilton and a town hall appearance in St. Paul. My wife and I waited for an hour and a half for a photo with the candidate; as so often happens, he was running late. I figured I'd have ten seconds with him, so I wanted to choose my words carefully. I decided to introduce my wife and myself, and say, "Global warming is b***s***." That seemed like the most meaningful message I could convey in the short time available.
- Felecity J. Assrocket, Assquire

Of course you did. I can only imagine why John McCain would want to put off meeting that guy.

Time's Blog of the Year 2006, thanks Luce Legacy.

Did Michael Scherer pick them?

Monday, June 23, 2008

This is Great News For Republicans

...and Democrats, and Independents, and New Yorkers in general.

Bruno to Step Down as New York Senate Majority Leader

It is not clear whether [Bruno] would remain Senate majority leader as the Republicans struggle to hold on to their one-seat majority in the November election....

“His resignation I think will have an effect on their ability to hold onto their majority,’ said Michael Benjamin, a Democratic assemblyman from the South Bronx. “He was the center. And when the center falls, everything falls apart.

Now if we could just get rid of Sheldon Silver.

Hey! We can!

New York politics 2008: never a dull moment.

For R

h/t Eschaton commenter rootless-e

Thanks George!

Thanks for the mind blowing record albums that I had to listen to in the dark basement with my friends that made me rethink where comedy, free speech, political activism, and more met.  My parents may not have thought much of you but you always made me laugh and sometimes made me cry!

While not everyone may get your comedy, your social criticism could not have been sharper.  And yes, I am thinking of those words right now.


The Intellect and the Old Man Yelling at Cloud

You tell me who the individual in touch with reality is:

What do you see as the gravest long-term threat to the U.S. economy?

Obama: If we don't get a handle on our energy policy, it is possible that the kinds of trends we've seen over the last year will just continue. Demand is clearly outstripping supply. It's not a problem we can drill our way out of. It can be a drag on our economy for a very long time unless we take steps to innovate and invest in the research and development that's required to find alternative fuels. I think it's very important for the federal government to have a role in that process.

McCain: Well, I would think that the absolute gravest threat is the struggle that we're in against Islamic extremism, which can affect, if they prevail, our very existence. Another successful attack on the United States of America could have devastating consequences.

Jeebus Fookin' Christ on a Trampoline. John McCain you are a goddamned joke.

One more thing on Kristol

The New York Times tour of shame continues. This line has been nagging at me in particular:

In the United States, individuals can choose to serve in the military or not. The choice not to serve should carry no taint, nor should it be viewed with the least prejudice.

Again, this strikes me as incredibly self-serving of Kristol (but then, what else is new?). But the reason it is particularly galling is that Kristol just two columns ago wrote this in assailing Obama for giving a commencement address in place of the ill Ted Kennedy:

But there’s one obvious path of service Obama doesn’t recommend — or even mention: military service. He does mention war twice: “At a time of war, we need you to work for peace.” And, we face “big challenges like war and recession.” But there’s nothing about serving your country in uniform.

The intellectual bankruptcy of "opportunism for any bash" for the Uriah Heep of American politics never fails to appall.

A rare

Carlin routine you can watch at work:

And today we see Bill Kristol bash MoveOn

While completely excusing the war mongering of Bill Kristol:

Unless we enter a world without enemies and without war, we will need young men and women willing to risk their lives for our nation. And we’re not entering any such world.

We do, however, live in a free country with a volunteer army. In the United States, individuals can choose to serve in the military or not. The choice not to serve should carry no taint, nor should it be viewed with the least prejudice.

A. Those who volunteered to join the military and got killed because folks like me ginned up a war, so don't blame me for your being foolish enough to believe what I said.

B. And further, don't blame me, just because I'm not big enough sap to believe my own bullshit, I get the big money to lie like this.

I'm sure we're all anxious for Bill to get his Medal of Freedom.

Here's a little something for Bill son of Irving Kristol -- amazing how many other GOP cretins this works for, not least of which is the Chimperor Disgustus:

Well, that sucks

George Carlin dead at 71.

Please say a forbidden word in his memory. One of the truly, truly, great and influential stand up comedians -- and really had balls.

I think that human beings were given great gifts and had great potential and they squandered it all on goods, possession, power, territory and on a superstitious God that watches everything and controls. These things, I think, crippled the human animal to the extend that we never lived up to their potential. The same thing happened in this country. We were given great potential. We were given this great system of self-government, the best one that had been devised so far. And we've given it all up for gizmos, and goods, and toys and possessions, and - in this country - God, overlooking everything and spoiling everything.

...notice he was younger than John McCain.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Where Is Steve Gilliard When You Need Him?

Holy Crap!

We are having the wackiest year ever in New York politics. Every day there is news and every day, I find myself wondering, "What would Gilliard say?"

Anyway, today's twist is that Francis H. Powers, the guy the New York GOP finally convinced to run for disgraced families man Vito Fossella's seat, has died. Powers became the candidate only after a bunch of Republicans declined to run, the NY GOP twisted Powers' arm, and then Powers' son threatened to run against him on the Libertarian line, only to drop out suddenly, depriving us all of what promised to be a laugh-a-minute contest to fill Vito's very big shoes. I don't know who is left for the NY GOP to put up now.

Hey! There's at least one New York Republican who's bored and out of a job. Something tells me his wife won't be satisfied with living on Todt Hill, though.

What's So Horrible About That?

Professor Jonathan Turley explains it all for you:


All via Greenwald

Update: Hey! Professor Turley has a blog. And look what it's called! Do you think he named it after little ole me?

Oh what a lovely neverending war

"These guys are ants. When the time comes, you crush them."
- Admiral William Fallon, giving "perspective" to our occupation of Iraq and in one sentence explaining a mindset that leads to things like Haditha.

How do you explain this? Well you could just decide the people whose country you occupy are unworthy of respect. Over to you Bill Kristol.

HADITHA, Iraq — Khadija Hassan still shrouds her body in black, nearly three years after the deaths of her four sons. They were killed on Nov. 19, 2005, along with 20 other people in the deadliest documented case of U.S. troops killing civilians since the Vietnam War.

Eight Marines were charged in the case, but in the intervening years, criminal charges have been dismissed against six. A seventh Marine was acquitted. The residents of Haditha, after being told they could depend on U.S. justice, feel betrayed.

"We put our hopes in the law and in the courts and one after another they are found innocent," said Yousef Aid Ahmed, the lone surviving brother in the family. "This is an organized crime."


One by one, the cases fell apart. American and Iraqi witnesses provided conflicting accounts. The investigation began months after the incident, and many Iraqis who could have testified were unable to travel to the United States. Furthermore, several Marines were granted immunity.

Last week, a judge dismissed charges of dereliction of duty and failure to investigate filed against the highest ranking officer implicated, Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani. The Marine Corps plans to appeal...

"Right now I feel hatred that will not fade," said Ahmed. "It grows every day." Charges against two Marines who allegedly killed his brothers were dropped in August 2007.

From their perspective, why would they ever forgive us and why wouldn't they forever hate our guts?

Welcome to the world George Bush made and John McCain wants to continue indefinitely.

Some snark speaks for itself

Over at Firedoglake, as I often do, Thers takes advantage of Watertiger's photoshopping skills.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

And so it begins

Folks are moving to rail for their transportation needs.  Now personally, I would love to take rail as opposed to driving into work everyday.   I am tired of the guys who want to drive 90+ and the guys for whom 65 is way too fast. (both of whom use the left lane -- can anyone explain this to me?)

I do know its not all fun and games but it would help me keep my budget afloat.  Gas in my area has hit 4.29!  Rail is looking pretty good to me in terms of efficiency and cost.  We need to consider more investment in various forms of public transportation.  To that end, it would also be nice to see more cities adopt the eco-buses as well.  I would happily ride one of those buses (and have).

But I have noticed no discussion of efforts to reinvigorate municipal transportation.  One would expect that under the current climate that a serious discussion of upgrades to public transit would be underway.  But alas, they are not.  Will that change anytime soon?  I am not going to hold my breath waiting for more light rail, how about you?

In a Small Town

Hello RH readers!  This is Dirk D. writing from small town Minnesota (St. Joseph to be precise).  I am here for a conference, yup they have them in out of the way places too.

As I grew up in a small town it is interesting to see how in 2008, they have not changed.  The streets, bumpy roads, people watching you as you drive by -- it has not changed.  Or at least it has not changed from my experience. 

Are any of you from small towns?  What was your experience like?

Anything you want me to do while I am here? (until Tuesday)

Cal sets his cross on fire

Wow, Cal Thomas, on why Michelle Obama is just like "the rest of them". Gee Cal, bigot much?

Thomas: And who are the black women you see on the local news at night in cities all over the country. They’re usually angry about something. They’ve had a son who has been shot in a drive-by shooting. They are angry at Bush. So you don’t really have a profile of non-angry black women.

This will come as quite a shock to Oprah.


So yesterday was the summer solstice. I celebrated by picnicking with friends on the Sheep Meadow in Central Park until the park guys kicked us off at dusk. My sibs and I have been talking about the things we need to do or see or hear for it to really feel like summer. We're city kids now, but we grew up in the 'burbs, so a lot of our associations -- the top 10 of which appear below -- are from that period of our lives. We know it's summer when we're doing these things.
  1. Hearing cicadas, crickets, and mourning doves
  2. Swimming in the ocean
  3. Watching a thunderstorm roll in
  4. Attending an outdoor concert, a baseball game, and/or street, fireman's, or church fairs
  5. Seeing lightning bugs
  6. Eating watermelon, ice cream, lemon ice, fresh corn, tomatoes from New Jersey, or seafood by the water (oh, for a lobster roll)
  7. Having a barbecue
  8. Picking blueberries and strawberries
  9. Viewing a summer blockbuster (This was my first.)
  10. Playing flashlight tag (I think this is a daddy res invention.)
List yours in comments.


A cool head prevails on BHO and FISA:
I do know this: [Democrats] would not have made this "compromise" and then brought this to the floor without [Obama's] ok, and probably without his direction. He is the leader of the Democratic Party now, in the middle of a hotly contested presidential campaign. If he didn't come to them and say to get this thing done before the fall, then they came to him and asked his permission. That's just a fact. They aren't going to do anything he doesn't want them to do.

So, it's not really a capitulation. It's a strategy.
I have a feeling that things are going to look a bit different come the end of next week. That said, in the meanwhile, I'm going to either call or drop BHO a line telling him what I think. If you're so inclined, here's his contact info.

Oh, and I'd like to thank my representative, Charles B. Rangel, for doing the right thing re FISA.

Well, that can't be a good sign

Modified from AP Photo/LM Otero

John McCain arrives at fundraiser in Mordor

Fly Fell Beast Air, the drinks are still free*

(AP Photo/LM Otero)

*Less evil than Northwest.


Well Obama certainly threaded the blatantly...on FISA that we all noticed and dropped a deuce.

But remember, shitty legislation can always be fixed, so we can still try.

And you also have only two realistic choices in November -- Obama, or Bush II, this time it's moist.

Such are the perils of a two-party system. Triangulation isn't pretty (and given recent polling perhaps not even necessary) but it's a time-tested method of winning over independents.


And then vote for the Democrat anyway.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Nobody could have anticipated part 4,429

Amazing, I'm sure it's HIGH QUALITY shit:

The Bush administration wants to rewrite the official evidence against Guantanamo Bay detainees, allowing it to shore up its cases before they come under scrutiny by civilian judges for the first time.

The government has stood behind the evidence for years. Military review boards relied on it to justify holding hundreds of prisoners indefinitely without charge. Justice Department attorneys said it was thoroughly and fairly reviewed.

Now that federal judges are about to review the evidence, however, the government says it needs to make changes.

The decision follows last week's Supreme Court ruling, which held that detainees have the right to challenge their detention in civilian court, not just before secret military panels. At a closed-door meeting with judges and defense attorneys this week, government lawyers said they needed time to add new evidence and make other changes to evidentiary documents known as "factual returns."

Attorneys for the detainees criticized the idea, saying the government is basically asking for a last-minute do-over.

"It's sort of an admission that the original returns were defective," said attorney David Remes, who represents many detainees and attended Wednesday's meeting. "It's also an admission that the government thinks it needs to beef up the evidence."

It's a sham, it's a mockery, it's a shamockery!

Land of the free, home of the brave and all that other bullshit.

Makin' us proud for more than 7 years.

Iowa's Tragedy, just a photo op to "The Maverick"

"I can see my conscience from here!"

(AP Photo/LM Otero)

Here's McBush in Iowa yesterday, apparently wanting to be within hugging-range of Bush in case the "Decider-Signal" went up.

What's wrong with this?


An aide to Gov. Chet Culver said Thursday that Republican presidential candidate John McCain ignored the governor's request to cancel a campaign visit amid a massive flood recovery effort in the state.

McCain toured flood-damaged sites in Iowa on Thursday, including the town of Columbus Junction in the southeast.

Patrick Dillon, Culver's chief of staff, said the governor was concerned that McCain's trip would divert local law enforcement from the flood recovery effort to provide security for McCain.

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama canceled a scheduled visit to eastern Iowa last week at the request of state officials.

"As a courtesy — and as we did for Senator Obama — we privately made an effort to make sure that Senator McCain knew that state and local resources were still being deployed to support the flood fight and that now may not be the best time for a campaign trip," Dillon said in a statement.

Oh, and there's a lot else that's wrong:

Republican presidential candidate John McCain opposed legislation last year that included money for flood control in Des Moines, which shows he is wrong to push for reforms to the congressional earmark system, a Democratic lawmaker charged Thursday.

State Sen. Jack Hatch of Des Moines said the earmarked money was needed to relieve water problems on the city's north side, which were magnified over the weekend when a levee break forced an evacuation of the Birdland area and ruined several dozen homes and businesses...

President Bush eventually vetoed the bill, which authorized more than 900 navigation, flood-control and environmental projects across the country. A report on the bill said the Des Moines metropolitan area suffered more than $152 million in flood damage in 1993.

"The Birdland Park and Central Place levees on the Des Moines River failed during the 1993 flood event and do not provide reliable flood protection, placing nearly 200 homes and businesses at risk," the report said.

Every member of the Iowa congressional delegation voted to override Bush's veto, the first override of his presidency.

McCain strongly backed Bush.

The McCain camps galling response?

Hatch chose the wrong time to attack McCain, spokesman Jeff Sadosky added.

"We do not need to play politics with flooding that has brought so much harm and pain throughout the region," he said.

This from the guy who stopped in Iowa for no reason other than to get himself in a photo.

Fuck you.

Via Great Orange Satan diarist Dansac.

Well, if you didn't know Bush visited the scene of a Flood yesterday

He showed the sensitivity he is known for:


Thursday, June 19, 2008

A Doctrine of Surpassing Purity

res is a bit busy today. Read some Thomas Frank while she sticks it to works for The Man:
Corruption and misgovernment are defined away as properties unique to the left; conservatism, meanwhile, is a doctrine of surpassing purity, accountable for no misdeeds of any kind, standing reliably on the side of principle and freedom and goodness every time. If it didn't deliver those fine things, that's because it never really got the chance.

The comfortable course of action for Democrats will be merely to pocket the coming windfall, to burble about how they have lifted the curse of ideology from the land, to replace the current gang of free-marketeers with their own gang of free-marketeers, and to resume the merry triangulations of eight years ago. The ins will give way to the outs, and they will rule happily ever after . . . until the next culture war takes them by surprise and sweeps them again from their contented perch.

Another route is possible, though. If they are willing to go beyond the regal rhetoric of post-partisanship, Democrats might find that they are, for the first time in decades, running against a philosophy of government that has utterly discredited itself. Should they choose to make 2008 a referendum on conservatism itself, they might deliver the knockout blow. They should start with the bad ideas that have delivered such disastrous consequences.

The whole thing is here.

A record setting flip-flop

Less than 3 weeks.

via Jed Report.


And ignored, no doubt, by the wise media punditry of Washington who got us into this clusterfuck to begin with by just printing whatever the Administration chose to bullshit them with:

Nicolas Kristof comments on his NY Times blog:

One of the most shameful episodes of the post 9/11 era has been the way the U.S. Government — particularly the Pentagon under Don Rumsfeld — oversaw the torture and abuse of supposed terror suspects, even though there often was little or no serious evidence against them. We’ll remember Guantanamo the way we remember the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II.

Yet in this disgraceful episode, there have been some people fighting to salvage the nation’s honor. The defense lawyers for the Guantanamo inmates have done superb work, courageously bucking the political tide. The courts haven’t done so badly either. But some of the people I’m most impressed by are the military lawyers and other officers who saw what was happening and were so repulsed that they blew the whistle loudly — offending the Pentagon and sometimes shortening their careers. They went against their cohort, their bosses and to some extent their culture, for the sake of terror suspects of different nationalities and different religion, simply because they thought what was happening was illegal or inhumane.

Physicians for Human Rights, a terrific organization, has a devastating new report just out about Guantanamo. But above all, read the introduction by Major General Taguba; he’s a study in honor.

And here is what the General Taguba, who investigated the torture at Abu Ghraib states:

Through the experiences of these men in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Guantanamo Bay, we can see the full-scope of the damage this illegal and unsound policy has inflicted --both on America's institutions and our nation's founding values, which the military, intelligence services, and our justice system are duty-bound to defend.

"In order for these individuals to suffer the wanton cruelty to which they were subjected, a government policy was promulgated to the field whereby the Geneva Conventions and the Uniform Code of Military Justice were disregarded. The UN Convention Against Torture was indiscriminately ignored. . . .

"After years of disclosures by government investigations, media accounts, and reports from human rights organizations, there is no longer any doubt as to whether the current administration has committed war crimes. The only question that remains to be answered is whether those who ordered the use of torture will be held to account."

- Maj. General Antonio Taguba (USA-Ret.)

We must be allowed to deduct "the Hajj"

Well, just when you think you may have just ONE day in life where your snark can outdo reality, you find out how absurd the world has been made. And not in a good way:
The private military company Blackwater has cultivated a patriotic reputation, with its staff of retired military and former police officers, and the requirement that most of its workers swear an oath to support and defend the U.S. Constitution.

Blackwater’s aviation wing recently filed a unique request in federal court, where the widows of three American soldiers are suing the company over a botched flight supporting the U.S. military in Afghanistan.

The company, based in Moyock, doesn’t want the case heard in an American courtroom under American law: it wants the case heard under Shari’a, the Islamic law of Afghanistan.
Don't let too many Republicans know this, but Shari'a law is apparently great for business and bad for the most evil people on earth, not Al Qaeda silly, AMERICAN TRIAL LAWYERS:

The company argued that the lawsuit must be dismissed; legal doctrine holds that soldiers cannot sue the government, and Blackwater’s aviation wing was acting as an agent of the government.

Last year, a series of federal judges dismissed that argument.

In April, Blackwater asked a federal judge in Florida to apply Islamic law, commonly known as Shari’a, to the case. If the judge agreed, the lawsuit would be dismissed. Shari’a law does not hold a company responsible for the actions of employees performed within the course of their work.

If this becomes well-known, the GOP's corporate base will become fundamentalist Muslims faster than you can say Mecca Oil & Gas. James Taranto is wearing a burka already (he's very confused).

Via Talking Points Memo.

[cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Nobody could have ever anticipated

A race and sex discrimination complaint against NASCAR.


Thanks for almost pretending to care:

Bush is expected to arrive in Cedar Rapids in the late morning and meet with local and state officials about the response and recovery effort before touring the flooded corridor by Marine One, the president's helicopter.

From there, he planned to visit Iowa City before departing Iowa. None of Bush's visit is to be open to the public. News media coverage is to be by a limited number of national and local outlets. He is expected to be in Iowa less than three hours.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

So Much To Savor

Kos pointed to a couple of interesting polls out today:

Pennsylvania: BHO opens wide lead

Florida: BHO takes the lead

Ohio: another poll, another BHO lead

Those are swing states, by the way. I read the good news and had to return to this Peggy Noonan column which ran in the dark days immediately after the 2004 election, wherein that that particular professional propagandist kicked us when we were down. Here's my favorite passage:
I do not know what the Democratic Party spent, in toto, on the 2004 election, but what they seem to have gotten for it is Barack Obama. Let us savor.


This was quite an interview with Lara Logan on the Daily Show last night:

via Think Progress.


Another one who needs to move on (dot org).

Saw him on Scarborough this A.M. Like his pal, McBush, another viscious, doddering old fool clinging desperately to the past.

Even his employees thought him pathetic.

"Why don't you go where fashion sits..."


(Shannon Stapleton/Reuters)

The value of R-e-g-u-l-a-r-i-t-y

Should not be underestimated.

(AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)

Good news for Obama...really

This is a pleasant surprise, especially in Florida:

With strong support from women, blacks and younger voters, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, the apparent Democratic presidential contender, leads Arizona Sen. John McCain, expected to be the Republican candidate, among likely voters in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania, according to simultaneous Quinnipiac University Swing State polls released today.

This is the first time Sen. Obama has led in all three states. No one has been elected President since 1960 without taking two of these three largest swing states in the Electoral College. Results from the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University polls show:

* Florida: Obama edges McCain 47 - 43 percent;
* Ohio: Obama tops McCain 48 - 42 percent;
* Pennsylvania: Obama leads McCain 52 - 40 percent.

In the three states, Obama leads McCain 10 to 23 percentage points among women, while men are too close to call. The Democrat trails among white voters in Florida and Ohio, but gets more than 90 percent of black voters in each state. He also has double-digit leads among young voters in each state.

"Finally getting Sen. Hillary Clinton out of the race has been a big boost for Sen. Barack Obama. He now leads in all three of the major swing states, although his margins in Florida and Ohio are small," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"Sen. Obama is certainly not out of the woods, but these results are a good indication that he enters the summer slightly ahead in the race to be the next president."

McCain's flip-flop on drilling off the Florida coast cannot help these numbers.

If Obama wins Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania, McCain is toast.

The new "Big O" also is neck and turkey neck with McCain in Virginia & North Carolina as well.

via the Great Orange Satan.

"Giants in the Earth"

Pictures like this always make me think of those Scandinavian and German settlers in the Midwest working their farms in the Spring during the late 1800s when they experience a Midwestern thunderstorm and how intimidating it must be the first time you see one.

(AP Photo/Lori Mehmen)

A huge tornado funnel cloud touches down in Orchard, Iowa, Tuesday, June 10, 2008 at 9:04 p.m. The Globe Gazette and Mitchell County Press News reported that Lori Mehmen of Orchard, took the photo from outside her front door. Mehmen said the funnel cloud came near the ground and then went back up into the clouds. Besides tree and crop damage, no human injuries were reported.

This picture...

Tells you something, graphically, about the flooding in Cedar Rapids.
(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Well, things are definitely changing

The Bush Administration folks are blaming different people now...the ones that meet George Bush's policy aims:

The death toll from a devastating truck bombing in Baghdad rose to 63 on Wednesday and U.S. forces blamed a rogue Shi'ite militia for the attack...

The U.S. military blamed the attack on a "special groups" cell. This is jargon for Shi'ite militants the U.S. military says are backed by Iran.

The military said it believed the attack was ordered to incite Shi'ite violence against Sunni Arabs. Most major car bombs in Iraq are blamed on Sunni Islamist al Qaeda.

Amazing, they used to just hit the "Al Qaeda" macro, now they hit the "Iran" macro.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Throw the Baby Out While You're At It

Bet You Can't Tell Them Apart

Another great ad from MoveOn. Help them get it out there.

Still like the Cusack one, too. Help them get that one out there, too.

Best News I've Heard (and probably will hear) All Day

Red wine may curb fat cells.

Also, did you catch Joe Scarborough sticking it to failed CEO and McBush economic advisor Carly Fiorina this morning? Yeah, you read that right: Joe Scarborough. Good times!

Who's appeasin' whom?

[cross-posted at Firedoglake]

On the embarrassing trip abroad that Bush took, before his latest embarrassing trip abroad, George Bush made a point of implying that those who talk to "certain" people are appeasers:
Some seem to believe that we should negotiate with the terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along...
Among the specific groups singled out was Hezbollah.

On that day, McCain:
...wholeheartedly endorsed Mr. Bush’s veiled rebuke in the Israeli Knesset of Senator Barack Obama that talking to “terrorists and radicals'’ was no different than appeasing Hitler and the Nazis.
And this agrees with the past statements of McCain and his supporting players:

In the Third Person (how very "Dole")
John McCain's position is clear and has always been clear, the President of the United States should not unconditionally meet with leaders of Iran, Hamas or Hezbollah.
Or this:
McCain Advisor Lawrence Eagleburger, deputy secretary of State under Bush I, tacked to the right of both, saying McCain "will not talk with the Syrians, will not talk with the Iranians, will not talk with Hamas and Hezbollah...He isn't going to push the Israelis."
I'm sure McCain will be absolutely condemning then on this nugget from the Bush Administration:
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says she welcomes a new power-sharing arrangement in Lebanon, even though it increases the power of Hezbollah militants at the expense of US-backed moderates...

But Hezbollah's ascendancy is a bitter pill for the US, which is worried that Iran's influence is spreading in the Middle East and had spent millions backing the Lebanese government for three years.

Rice's blessing is a sign that the Bush administration has accepted that Western-backed democratic leaders who helped Lebanon throw off three decades of Syrian domination could not govern the country alone.
I'm sure that somehow this is Lyndon Johnson's, Jimmy Carter's, Bill Clinton's, George Soros'

Knowingly Degenerate

[NOTE: This is from the Associated Press -- with full credit to the same, Please DON'T SUE ME! .. (or make me say nice things about Nedra Pickler & Ron Fournier)]

Military psychologists were enlisted to help develop more aggressive interrogation methods, including snarling dogs, forced nudity and long periods of standing, against terrorism suspects, according to a Senate investigation.

Before they were approved by then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, such harsh techniques had drawn warnings from military lawyers that they could be illegal, an investigation by the Senate Armed Services Committee has found. Officials familiar with the findings discussed them on condition of anonymity because the information has not been formally released.

The psychologists who helped interrogate terror suspects for the CIA were set to testify Tuesday before the Senate committee, which was expected to release details of the investigation.

The hearing is the committee's first look at the origins of the harsher methods used in Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba and Abu Ghraib in Iraq and how policy decisions on interrogations were vetted across the Defense Department. Its review fits into a broader picture of the government's handling of detainees, which includes FBI and CIA interrogations in secret prisons.

How awesome that trained mental health professionals got much for those oaths.

But, also so much for the claim that these were the isolated actions of but a few low-level folks.

The Pentagon's top civilian lawyer at the time, chief counsel William "Jim" Haynes, was expected to testify Tuesday. Also scheduled to be present were Richard Shiffrin, Haynes' former deputy on intelligence matters, as well as legal advisers at the time to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Guantanamo Bay prison.

According to the Senate committee's findings, Haynes became interested in using harsher interrogation methods as early as July 2002 ...

Shortly after requesting more information about harsh techniques, Haynes traveled in September 2002 to Guantanamo Bay with other administration lawyers, including then-White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales and Vice President Dick Cheney's chief counsel, David Addington.

Get What You Deserve

Let's see if y'all like this video as much as you liked the one from John Cusack/MoveOn.