Thursday, April 30, 2009

You've got to be fucking kidding me?

Of all the reprehensible overstatements to make:

Speaking with a group of Stanford students Monday, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice declared that al Qaeda is a greater threat to the United States than Nazi Germany was because Germany "never attacked the homeland of the United States."


I'm sure the nation's Jews, Poles, Russians, Brits, French, Czech, Greek, Italian, Norwegian, Danish, Belgian, Gypsies, Gays, Socialists etc. etc. etc. all think of their relatives being among the 50 million or more victims of the Nazis and agree Al Qaeda is um, definitely not worse.

Fuck you Condi! Asshole.

Your Brain on "teh drugs"

Larry "Snort it if ya' got it" Kudlow:

"Strange as it may seem, the best GOP spokesman right now appears to be former Vice President Dick Cheney. He has taken the Obama administration to task over its declassification of CIA torture memos. He says Team Obama has made America less safe. He’s right. Perhaps he can rally the party?"

Yeah, he's fuckin' loved...

But maybe Larry Kudlow has a different kind of "rally" in mind.

Like that many people would show up to see Darth McMumble.

The Pending Claims of Michelle Bachman

1. FDR knew the Germans would bomb Pearl Harbor.

2. William Jennings Bryan blew up the U.S.S. Maine.

3. That Woodrow Wilson wouldn't leave that poor Denice alone.

4. Martin Van Buren prevented the Alamo from renting quality GM cars.

5. Ted Kennedy drove Billy Joe MacAllister off the Tallahatchie Bridge.

6. Black people don't count. Er, sorry that's Byron York.

7. Francis Gary Powers was the original drummer of U2.

8. Admiral Halsey notified me I had to give birth or he couldn't get to sea.

9. Remember when Elizabeth Taylor & Mickey Rooney cheered on as Jesus & his Dinosaur won the Grand National Steeplechase?

Surely there are more, but I'm only a half-a-pot of coffee into the day.

Hi, I'm a pompous ass

George Will writes (blathers stupidly) about two major issues in 500 words. Torture (we should see if it's "awesome") and Health Care ("why should poor people have that). Therefore, reconciliation sucks.


Meanwhile, two weeks ago he really handled the important topic of the day by devoting his entire column to the evils of wearing jeans.

I'm just going to take a wild guess here, but...

I have a feeling that Obama's response to Michael Scherer's very good question (I know, a freaking miracle) about his use of the State Secret's privilege is not going to satisfy Glenn Greenwald.

It was essentially, "Yeah, it's too broad and it was a shitty argument, but I'll keep making it until it changes, which I favor, but right now the shitty argument is the legal one. Of course, we just happen to have 5,000 other things going on right now so I'm guessing it won't get changed. But my heart's in the right place. So there."

Arguing the wrong position because of the principle of the thing, usually isn't very persuasive. If the "we'd only been here a week" was the problem, that's when you ask for more time to file a response. I have a sneaky feeling in that instance a civil liberties group would give you time to come up with at least a less bad response.

No fair dammit

Obama being all eloquent and shit without his telepromptoring!

When Obama answers a question, you don't slap your forehead and moan, "Oh, brother!" He is, as guest expert David Gergen noted on CNN after the news conference, not only "up to speed" on the pressing issues of our time but also articulate about addressing them in a friendly, accessible way. He's not the student who wears a button that says, "Smartest kid in class," but clearly he is, at least when surrounded by the White House press corps.


And oh, how the wingnuts hate it when you accurately use Churchill, the never ending inaccurately sourced "source" of their masturbatory fantasies.

And further more, meet Tom Shales, again, soon to be focus of the blathering storm of right-wingers at Memeorandum:

MSNBC showed its strengths -- at least two of them, anyway -- by going to ravaging Keith Olbermann and ravishing Rachel Maddow. Two smart people are a lot better than an arsenal of computerly contraptions.

And they "did it live".

Good Plan Part II

Republicans are now so conservative that they are canceling speeches from the Republican Governor of Utah for being too "moderate".

U-fucking-Tah! Where McCain got 66% of the vote in 2008.

Good Plan

This is going to work out well for all concerned...

...a new effort to revive the image of the Republican Party and to counter President Obama's characterization of Republicans as "the party of 'no.'" ... called the National Council for a New America, will be announced Thursday.

And when you think of "NEW" you think of these guys as the perfect choices:

John McCain, Jeb Bush, and Mitt Romney.

And don't forget the other two members from that "Stronghold for the Party of Lincoln", Dixie:

Mississippi's Haley Barbour and Louisiana's Bobby Jindal.

I know what your thinking, Young People love all five of these people.

I'm sure the GOP will cross that single digit approval level from those 18 to 30 year olds any day now.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Jim Moran

From here.


I'm humbled by the power:

The iron-girder he-men of the conservative blogosphere have greeted former Republican Senator from Pennsylvania Arlen Specter's defection to the Democrats with whiskery hoots of "good riddance/get lost/don't let the door hit your withered buttocks on the way out" and similar pleasantries. Many of them appear defiantly resigned to the Republican Party becoming a regional bastion of true believers, the Branch Davidian compound of the Confederate Jesus.

(via John Cole)

Speaking of infections

The Brits, in particular, the Poodle Government before the current non-entity Gordon Brown, is about as talented at ferreting out "terrorizers" as the Bush Administration.

Remember the July 2005 London Subway bombings that killed 52 people and the subsequent arrests which were praised as wonderful police work (until they were disastrously shown not to be) and which the Bush Administration tried to horn in on the credit?

Well, you know how this has all turned out:

Senior security officials conceded last night that it is likely no one will be brought to justice for the 7 July bombs that killed 52 people in London in 2005, despite their belief that more than 20 people were involved in the attacks.

The admission came shortly after the only three men to be charged in connection with the suicide bombings were acquitted yesterday.

After a £100m criminal investigation, the biggest police inquiry in modern times, the trio were cleared by a jury at Kingston crown court of helping to plan the attacks by carrying out a reconnaissance mission with two of the bombers.

(via AmericaBlog)

Poor Atrios

Bill Kristol has coopted his snark. About Specter leaving the Party...


So much for rehab

His law clerks toadies have tried their best to rehabilitate Jay Barbee as a nice guy who just went all Albert Speer, but he just won't be rehabilitated so easily:

Judge [Jay] Bybee...said in a statement in response to questions from The New York Times that he continued to believe that the memorandums represented "a good-faith analysis of the law" that properly defined the thin line between harsh treatment and torture.

...he said he would have done some things differently, like clarifying and sharpening the analysis of some of his answers to help the public better understand the basis for his conclusions.

If he just got another crack at that blue-book essay final, he'd be able to polish that turd up to at least a B-.

(via Gargantuan Orange Orcus)

More Crazy!!!

The Republicans are determined to purge out the Northern Moderates, like their forebears, the Whigs.

Oh, good plan!

Steele Won’t Call Obama ‘Socialist,’ Upsetting Some in RNC

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Deep Thought

The Club for Growth is shrinking the GOP.

Update on that whole "pitching a tent" thing

Jim DeMint, aka the really effeminate Senator from South Carolina, has "expanded" the definition as discussed below, uh, so to speak.

The GOP, it's a "Tent of Freedom".

So remember, it's not an erection, it's "Liberating a Chubby"!

If Freedom last more than 4 hours, consult your physician.

Because This Never Gets Old

Especially on a day with so much good news for Republicans.

Peggy Noonan, November 4, 2004:
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.


Well, since they made Rush Limbaugh their hero and the determining party of ALL things Republican:

But Senator Olympia Snowe of Maine, who also supported the Obama administration’s economic stimulus legislation, said Mr. Specter’s decision reflected the increasingly inhospitable climate in the Republican party for moderates.

“On the national level of the Republican Party, we haven’t certainly heard warm, encouraging words about how they view moderates, either you are with us or against us,” Ms. Snowe said. She said national Republican leaders were not grasping that “political diversity makes a party stronger and ultimately we are heading to having the smallest political tent in history for any political party the way things are unfolding.

Hey, if you are going to do everything like Rush Limbaugh you naturally are going to pitch a very small tent.

(pic from here)

Too popular

The extreme nuttiness of the GOP is now pushing their moderate less extreme conservative "Dickweeds" into the Democratic Party.

Arlen Specter - a profile in poll-reading.

As Josh Marshall says:

Needless to say, this is quite a coup for the GOP, likely engineered by Michael Steele as a way to smoke out enemies.


Richard Cohen is concerned that he is afraid, afraid and concerned, afraid of his concern, he is determined to be scared of his concern over being afraid.

Oops, he shit his pants.

It's a Plot against THEM!

Limbaugh & Beck think taking action against Swine Flu is just another way to bring back the Fairness Doctrine.

(pic from here)

Bullshitting about Torture for Fun & Profit

This is disgusting:

December 2007, waterboarding is awesome:

Mr. Zubaydah started to cooperate after being waterboarded for “probably 30, 35 seconds,” Mr. Kiriakou told the ABC reporter Brian Ross. “From that day on he answered every question.”

It worked "so well" they did it 82 more times. In other words, complete lie -- COMPLETE DEMONSTRABLE LIE. Nevertheless, from Limbaugh to Pantload they were all spouting this nonsense, still are. Mr. Kiriakou was soon everywhere proclaiming the ol' waterboard had prevent many attacks. So you know what's coming next:

During the heated debate in 2007 over the use of waterboarding and other techniques, Mr. Kiriakou’s comments quickly ricocheted around the media. But lost in much of the coverage was the fact that Mr. Kiriakou had no firsthand knowledge of the waterboarding: He was not actually in the secret prison in Thailand where Mr. Zubaydah had been interrogated but in the C.I.A. headquarters in Northern Virginia. He learned about it only by reading accounts from the field.

And finally, the kicker:

Mr. Kiriakou was later hired by ABC to provide commentary on terrorism cases

Time for a round of "Proud to be an American" isn't it?

You know somewhere

Yesterday, some right-wing bloggers were ejaculating in their tighty-whities over the prospect of "Mr. Secret Muslim born in Kenya Really Hates Whitey" flying Air Force One into buildings.

If you want evidence, look at "Memeorandum" aka -- "the other "Craig's List" for shy perverts.

Excuse me, but isn't this the plot of bad Disney Movie?

No, wait sorry, it's not Disney, it's Vivid Video.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Everything She Touches Turns to S#@T!

Business Insider: Condé Nast folds Portfolio

Portfolio's final cover image.

Dear GOP,

You are obstructing the confirmation of a Secretary of HHS during an outbreak of a possible pandemic.

Why do you hate...well, everything that isn't a fetus?

Teabaggers yesterday, Teabaggers Today, Teabaggers forever

They may never get over themselves, crazy never goes out of style:

Before delivering a fiery keynote address, H.K. Edgerton rounded up several of the children who attended the Confederate Memorial Day service at Forsyth Park on Sunday afternoon.

Wearing infantry garb and hoisting a battle flag, Edgerton knelt beside the smiling tykes at the foot of the park's Confederate Monument.

"This is the future," Edgerton said as parents and passersby, compelled by curiosity, snapped photographs.

The speaker used to be a chapter head for the NAACP.

(via Marion in Savannah)

Nice job Maine

Your alleged "Moderate" Republican:

via Commenter Scribe here.

You know what Der Sturmer needed?

A David Broder.

As the Christian Science Monitor and others have noted, the torture authorized in the OLC memos spread to Guantanamo, Afghanistan, and Iraq. In February 2006, Human Rights First released a report called Command's Responsibility: Detainee Deaths in U.S. Custody in Iraq and Afghanistan (.pdf). David Broder can read the Executive Summary here. Among other things, it identifies eight people that were tortured to death, thirty-four cases of confirmed or suspected homicide, and eleven cases where there is suspicion that interrogation and detention conditions resulted in death. It's over three years later now. Do these murders also constitute 'U.S. policy' for which no one should be held accountable? No investigations, right?

But even if we hadn't killed dozens of people in our custody through abuse and neglect, we'd still have to face up to the fact that this torture wasn't ordered only to find evidence of future terror attacks. According to the unanimously approved Senate Armed Services report on the treatment of detainees, torture was used to get information linking Saddam Hussein to the 9/11 attacks. Is it okay to start a war of choice based on coerced false testimony? That's okay, Broder?

Somewhere in Pakistan

Al Qaeda terrorists are having a good ol' laugh over the fact we are panicking about "Swine Flu".

Talk about reinforcing stereotypes.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

"And", "But", and "Or" Get You Very Far

Why is the conjunction in the first line of this story "But" rather than "And" ?
Nearly two-thirds of Minnesotans surveyed think Norm Coleman should concede the U.S. Senate race to Al Franken, but just as many believe the voting system that gave the state its longest running election contest needs improvement.
(a) Because using "But" accurately implies that the majority who think Coleman should concede are offset by another majority who think Franken's victory is somehow tainted by a structurally unsound process.
(b) Because all political reporting must be vested with "balance", whether said "balance" provides a fair, sensible, and/or relevant counterweight to whatever is being reported.
(c) Because writer Kevin Duchschere never saw Schoolhouse Rock and doesn't understand the difference between "And" and "But".
(d) All of the above.

Answers in comments, please.

Swine flu?

Oh jeebus, is disco coming back too?

(pic from here)


Who could have anticipated Broder's column would amount to this?

Move along, we cannot afford to engage in "partisan witch-hunts"!!!!

Oh yeah, me.

The "rule of law" doesn't matter unless somebody stretches the truth about a blowjob.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

This situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture on somebody's part...

Six months and eight days from today, New York will hold a mayoral election, but to read the papers and listen to the buzz in the streets, you'd never know it. Although City Controller William Thompson is technically running against incumbent Mike Bloomberg, the interest generated by Thompson's candidacy is near nil. That Thompson is a less-than-exciting candidate, an anachronistic "Board of Estimate Democrat", and impoverished compared to the self-financing billionaire Mike Bloomberg is a given. That Bloomberg will win the election is all but certain. That said, it's insulting and boring (not to mention dangerous) to let Bloomberg just steamroll his way back into a third term in a de facto uncontested rout.

Last night I was talking with Culture of Truth and I decided that what this race needs is a novelty. If we can't have a serious candidate who can give Bloomberg a run for his money, we might as well have an entirely UNserious candidate who can liven up the race and the city, which is mired in the doldrums of recession. It worked in 1969, when Norman Mailer and Jimmy Breslin ran on the "No more bullshit!" ticket, for mayor and city council president, respectively. (They came in fourth in the primary.) Anyway, CoT and I came up with a few ideas, as did my friend Exposito, who offered what I think is the most plausible and interesting idea so far in the form of native New Yorker, unrepentant big mouth, and reformed brat, John McEnroe. Let's face it -- McEnroe could get the press attention necessary and he's not shy. I think it would be fun to see him up there spewing and holding Bloomberg's feet to the fire.

Here's a list of other potentials we discussed. Put your suggestions in comments. Only requirement is that the person is a New Yorker, not a full-time politician, and could give this race a pulse.

1. John McEnroe
2. Whoppie Goldberg
3. Lou Reed
4. Russell Simmons
5. Donald Trump
6. Graydon Carter
7. Robert DeNiro
8. 50-Cent
9. Mookie Wilson
10. Spike Lee
11. Bill O'Reilly
12. Mike Lupica
13. Sean Combs
14. Jon Stewart
15. Stephen Colbert (although he's technically a NJ resident)
16. Jerry Stiller
17. Joe Torre
18. Jimmy Breslin (Ronnie Eldridge will do all the legwork)
19. Pete Hamill
20. Eliot Spitzer
21. Bill Clinton
21. Tina Fey
22. Rosie Perez
23. Howard Stern

And I swear that if he hadn't died, Jerry Orbach could have taken it!

Well, knock me over with a feather

More evidence that Cheney is lying is ass off:

The CIA inspector general in 2004 found that there was no conclusive proof that waterboarding or other harsh interrogation techniques helped the Bush administration thwart any "specific imminent attacks," according to recently declassified Justice Department memos.

That undercuts assertions by former vice president Dick Cheney and other former Bush administration officials that the use of harsh interrogation tactics including waterboarding, which is widely considered torture, was justified because it headed off terrorist attacks.


Cry me a fuckin' river Jay Bybee:

"I've heard him express regret at the contents of the memo," said a fellow legal scholar and longtime friend, who spoke on the condition of anonymity while offering remarks that might appear as "piling on." "I've heard him express regret that the memo was misused. I've heard him express regret at the lack of context -- of the enormous pressure and the enormous time pressure that he was under. And anyone would have regrets simply because of the notoriety."

I'm sure these concerns go into the myriad Summary Judgments and Dismissals he has rendered because a Plaintiff's Lawyer made a clerical mistake.

Jay Bybee, here's how you begin your public apology campaign:

"Mr. President,

I hereby resign from my position on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.


Jay Bybee"

Since Cheney likes TV so much, as discussed below, let me bring up a movie example.

Spencer Tracy still sent Burt Lancaster to jail in "Judgment at Nuremberg" even though the latter was all sorry and shit. Of course, he sent Werner Klemperer's "John Yoo" impersonator to prison too (but don't fret the Dick Cheney's of the 50s got them all out soon enough since they also hated commies).

Now, however, when a Jay Bybee gets a chance to be appointed to a lifetime job, they get confirmed easily. But you know the GOP would never have allowed a Spencer Tracy to be a judge, the guy cheated on his wife and shit.

War criminals, part XXIV

The Bush Administration apologist keep running away from possible indictments by saying their interrogation program wasn't torture because the military's Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE) had checked out their program and found it okay.

As everyone has by now anticipated, that is a lie:

The military agency that provided advice on harsh interrogation techniques for use against terrorism suspects referred to the application of extreme duress as "torture" in a July 2002 document sent to the Pentagon's chief lawyer and warned that it would produce "unreliable information."

There's the infamous story about Dick Cheney that during the First Gulf War he badgered Norman Schwartzkopf by sending him videotapes of "The Civil War" in an off-handed slap that this modern general, with half-a-million men and hundreds of tanks was pulling a "McClellan".

I'm sure that Schwartzkopf's response had a few private expletives that mentioned "Dicks" five deferments.

But Cheney seems particularly swayed by television. Like an old person who believes that soap operas are real. And so we can pay attention to the fact that Cheney really, really liked "24" and thought Jack Bauer knew how to get information out of people and everything was a ticking time bomb because Jack Bauer had so many of them.

What a pathetic ass.

Friday, April 24, 2009

David "Freepin'" Gregory

Oh that liberal media...

"...Did the Bush administration go out of its way to make sure they were adhering to the law and not crossing over that bridge when it came to getting into torture?" he asked rhetorically."

I didn't see much of Gregory last Wednesday the 15th and now we know why:


So you think non-Joe the non-Plumber and Carrie Prejean, the homophobic beauty pageant contestant will get matched up by E-Harmony?

Not in the face....(that's his job)

Matt Davies

Found here.

Making Andrew Malcolm cry...

Bill Maher in the L.A.Times:
Here are the big issues for normal people: the war, the economy, the environment, mending fences with our enemies and allies, and the rule of law.

And here's the list of Republican obsessions since President Obama took office: that his birth certificate is supposedly fake, he uses a teleprompter too much, he bowed to a Saudi guy, Europeans like him, he gives inappropriate gifts, his wife shamelessly flaunts her upper arms, and he shook hands with Hugo Chavez and slipped him the nuclear launch codes.

Do these sound like the concerns of a healthy, vibrant political party?

No, but it sounds like Malcolm's blog posts and a day ending in a "y" with Ernest T. Bass and the daily line up at FoxNews.

How Washington Works

Stretch the truth about a blowjob?


Use torture to coerce false confessions to support a War based on a lie? Tens of thousands die, trillions wasted.
Move along, we cannot afford to engage in "partisan witch-hunts"!!!!


Via Digby, Ron Suskind who outlined the base torture of a mentally disturbed and broken Al Qaeda drone, Abu Zubadayah in "The One Percent Solution" was on Rachel Maddow and condensed it all down: frustration built inside of the White House, that there was no link that was established—because the CIA told the White House from the very start there is no Saddam/al Qaeda link. We checked it out. We did every which way. Sorry.

The White House simply wouldn‘t take no for an answer and it went with another method. Torture was the method. “Get me a confession, I don‘t care how you do it.” And that bled all the way through the government, both on the CIA side and the Army side. It‘s extraordinary.

Mind you, Rachel, this is important. This is not about an impetus to foil an upcoming potential al Qaeda attacks. The impetus here is largely political diplomatic. The White House had a political diplomatic problem. It wanted it solved in the run-up to the war.

And then the real issue to find out:

My question, the question for investigators now: Is how many of these interrogations were driven specifically by a desire to come up with the Saddam/al Qaeda link? It‘s essentially rivers coming together.

It's disgusting.

I disagree with many folks who are treating Bush/Cheney as equal to the Holocaust (not as ridiculous as what Glenn Beck does, but still...). That's insanity. There are some parallels as there are and always will be with criminal misbehavior of governments. But the Nazi's literally made their innocent victims dig their own graves and then shot them in mass -- DAILY. 33,000 gunned down at Baba Yar alone. Millions systematically gassed. Those crimes are incomparable, don't cheapen them by tossing Bush and Cheney in with them.

Those comparisons only lead to treating Bush/Cheney unfairly and that's bullshit. What they did is more than bad enough without going out of your way to overstate it. What they did is facilitated a war (like Operation Canned Goods) and large scale death, but not on the scale of Hitler and company. But it was more than evil and base enough -- let's stick to that.

To facilitate their illegal war they engaged in illegal torture.

They're not Hitler, they're not Pol Pot.

But they are Americans and they did this, those two facts in and of themselves are more than bad enough to merit they receive more justice than just looking forward. It's worse than Nixon & bombing Cambodia IMO and that's fucking bad enough.

I'm going to guess she was going to be an ass

Why did Steve Schmidt stop Sarah Palin from speaking on Election Night:

...his decision to deny Palin an election night speech as a nod to the fact that the concession is a “singular moment” in American public life.

“It begins the process by which power is transferred peacefully,” he said.

In other words Palin desperately wanted to upstage McCain and kick off the 2012 campaign four years early by being an asshole.

Cable News & the GOP determined to kill us all

It's not inflammatory if it's true.

The New York Times has the latest story on how "fair and balanced" news broadcasting allows crazy arguments equal time to be fair (to the insane apparently). It happened with cigarettes (Oncologist vs. Tobacco Institute guy) ; evolution (Biologist vs. Jesus-Horse guy), Iraq ("Hollywood Celebrity" vs. "Random Kagan"): and now global warming and the very "Bush-Era-Named", Global Climate Coalition.

By questioning the science on global warming, these environmentalists say, groups like the Global Climate Coalition were able to sow enough doubt to blunt public concern about a consequential issue and delay government action.

George Monbiot, a British environmental activist and writer, said that by promoting doubt, industry had taken advantage of news media norms requiring neutral coverage of issues, just as the tobacco industry once had.

“They didn’t have to win the argument to succeed,” Mr. Monbiot said, “only to cause as much confusion as possible.”

Yep, just like the tobacco companies before them.

a document filed in a federal lawsuit demonstrates that even as the coalition worked to sway opinion, its own scientific and technical experts were advising that the science backing the role of greenhouse gases in global warming could not be refuted.

And the GOP for either short-term gain, or just having to follow people like Limbaugh firing up their pinhead base as made global warming an issue of party-identity. If you admit the truth, you have to apologize and shut the fuck up. So "NO" to global warming being addressed at all. Add another item to the Party of "NO".

Republicans the Party of NO to everything, except, ironically Torture which they are four-square behind.

"Yes to Torture, No to Everything Else" -- that's quite a Platform they're building.

I guess Norm got all the money

Tedisco ready to throw in towel:

But the numbers are challenging Republican Jim Tedisco's chances. With fewer than 1,000 paper ballot unopened, Democrat Scott Murphy's lead is about 400 votes.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Hey, Meghan!

Why don't you tell your old (old, old, old, OLD) man to STFU, too?

But the surge worked...

Awesome, what a great ever-fuckin' idea -- so glad we tortured guys to get confessions to enable operation cluster-fuck:

BAGHDAD (AFP) – At least 70 people were killed in two suicide bomb attacks in Iraq on Thursday as the military announced the capture of the Al-Qaeda chief in Iraq.

In the deadliest strike, at least 45 people, including several Iranian pilgrims, were killed when a suicide bomber struck a restaurant in a town northeast of Baghdad, a military official said.

Another 28 people, including children, were killed in a suicide attack on a police patrol in southeastern Baghdad, defence and interior ministry officials told AFP.

I'm guessing they'll find a replacement for the latest No. 3.

The FBI's interrogator of Zubudayah has a few choice words for Dick Cheney

And the rest of the torture apologists:

FOR seven years I have remained silent about the false claims magnifying the effectiveness of the so-called enhanced interrogation techniques like waterboarding.

And he's right, he's silent no more:

One of the most striking parts of the memos is the false premises on which they are based. The first, dated August 2002, grants authorization to use harsh interrogation techniques on a high-ranking terrorist, Abu Zubaydah, on the grounds that previous methods hadn’t been working. The next three memos cite the successes of those methods as a justification for their continued use.

It is inaccurate, however, to say that Abu Zubaydah had been uncooperative. Along with another F.B.I. agent, and with several C.I.A. officers present, I questioned him from March to June 2002, before the harsh techniques were introduced later in August. Under traditional interrogation methods, he provided us with important actionable intelligence...

There was no actionable intelligence gained from using enhanced interrogation techniques on Abu Zubaydah that wasn’t, or couldn’t have been, gained from regular tactics. In addition, I saw that using these alternative methods on other terrorists backfired on more than a few occasions — all of which are still classified. The short sightedness behind the use of these techniques ignored the unreliability of the methods, the nature of the threat, the mentality and modus operandi of the terrorists, and due process.

Defenders of these techniques have claimed that they got Abu Zubaydah to give up information leading to the capture of Ramzi bin al-Shibh, a top aide to Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, and Mr. Padilla. This is false. The information that led to Mr. Shibh’s capture came primarily from a different terrorist operative who was interviewed using traditional methods. As for Mr. Padilla, the dates just don’t add up: the harsh techniques were approved in the memo of August 2002, Mr. Padilla had been arrested that May.

If FoxNews was an actual news operation, as opposed to a right-wing GOP press release broadcast, it would confront Dick Cheney with the details of someone who was actually THERE, not watching "24".


The Joementum of the Douchebag mind

April 20, 2009:

Oh, waterboarding isn't so bad.

April 22, 2009:

Oh, waterboarding is terrible, but let's let bygones be bygones.

The latter was written with his two brothers in reaching-around, McCain & Graham.

FoxNews FAIL

And the crazy has gotten up way past "11" lately so you wonder what they'll come up with next:

For the first time in years, more Americans than not say the country is headed in the right direction, a sign that Barack Obama has used the first 100 days of his presidency to lift the public's mood and inspire hopes for a brighter future...

The AP-GfK poll suggests that 64 percent of the public approves of Obama's job performance, down just slightly from 67 percent in February.

Granted things could head south. But you do wonder what the GOP can do to really turn themselves around, or whether they'll just get crazier.

I think we have our answer.

Sports doesn't imitate life

This weekend is the NFL Draft, or as it is know commonly, Kiperpalooza.

If sports were like real-life, many of these future NFL millionaires and Fellowship of Christian Conservatives, er, Athletes, would be true Republicans and avoid the draft so as to get their Masters Degrees in "Hospitality Management" or "Applied Kinesiology".

But instead they'll just flop with the Detroit Lions.


What a great day for science in Texas.

First, I discovery that the lunatic who posts un-ironically (ironically) as Dr. Sanity, actually claims to have been, or still is, a psychiatrist for NASA.

Second, Joe Barton, (R-Texas, i.e. asshole) demands a Nobel Prize winner tell him where Oil comes from in six second or less (followed by why the sky is blue I suppose) and thinks he's a fucking genius for being a dick.

And third, and I dunno least? comes this bright shining moment in America's moron capital, Waco:

Bill Nye "The Science Guy" was booed in Waco, Texas for suggesting the Moon did not generate its own light, but reflected light from the sun...

At this point, several people in the audience stormed out, including woman with three small children who shouted, "We believe in God!" and left.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

It's not satire if it's true

Mike Peters

Appropriately Shrill


Let’s say this slowly: the Bush administration wanted to use 9/11 as a pretext to invade Iraq, even though Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. So it tortured people to make them confess to the nonexistent link.

There’s a word for this: it’s evil.


Rich Lowry:

"Rightly considered, the memos should be a source of pride"

Oh, that's a fuckin' bargain

"Not in the face!"

I only wish I could make up snark as good as modern Republican reality:

Joe the Plumber will be stumping for a New Jersey Republican who is running for governor.

Yeah, you say -- that's just run-of-the-mill "Joe the Plumber" shit, dumb as ever -- big deal. But wait, there's more:

Lonegan's campaign is charging $1,000 for a private meeting with the one-time plumber and the candidate.

For $1,000 there has to be a 'happy ending' and there's no way that has a 'happy ending'.

Jeff Gannon called and he demands this fraud stop stealing his act.

Once again, nobody anticipated

Water, wet:

The top officials he briefed did not learn that waterboarding had been prosecuted by the United States in war-crimes trials after World War II and was awell-documented favorite of despotic governments since the Spanish Inquisition; one waterboard used under Pol Pot was even on display at the genocide museum in Cambodia.

They did not know that some veteran trainers from the SERE program itself had warned in internal memorandums that, morality aside, the methods were ineffective. Nor were most of the officials aware that the former military psychologist who played a central role in persuading C.I.A. officials to use the harsh methods had never conducted a real interrogation, or that the Justice Department lawyer most responsible for declaring the methods legal had idiosyncratic ideas that even the Bush Justice Department would later renounce.

The process was “a perfect storm of ignorance and enthusiasm,” a former C.I.A. official said.

That last line is the perfect Epitaph to the entirety of the Bush Administration.

Ah, so that's what I've been up to

I think the first clue is the name "Dr. Sanity", nothing says projection like...:

If the left understands anything, it is that in order for their ideology and its promised utopia to be born, they must thoroughly destroy America and undermine everything America stands for in the world. Once that has been accomplished, then their way is clear. Of course, they truly believe they will be able to control the Islamist genie they have encouraged, appeased and enabled along the way. That's why they are so nonchalant about terrorism and the threat of Islamic jihad. First, they see themselves on the same side politically; and second, they believe they won't have any trouble stopping the Jihad once they are in power.

Shows you what kind of leftest I am, I had no fricking idea.

I think I'll just remain a cynical bastard who's actually studied and read a little history rather than just made shit up in a Tester's Glue high.

Bleg for other purposes

As hard as it is to believe, Firedoglake is not financially propped up by my posting at 1:30 a.m. pacific every weekday.

Nevertheless, it goes without saying that Marcy Wheeler's Emptywheel has been one of the best interpretive and investigative blogs on the internets. From the days of "Scooter & Valerie Plame" to making the world take note of the number of waterboardings the Bush Administration inflicted on detainees just this weekend.

A pretty good cause to donate to and you can do it here.

Nobody could have Anticipated

Two Things:

Nobody could have Cheney, Rumsfeld & Chalabi combining for a trilogy of clusterfuck.

Cheney and Rumsfeld, especially, were also demanding proof of the links between al Qaida and Iraq that (former Iraqi exile leader Ahmed) Chalabi and others had told them were there."

So they decided to torture to get false confessions and continuing their tradition, McClatchy has found the evidence:

It was during this period that CIA interrogators waterboarded two alleged top al Qaida detainees repeatedly — Abu Zubeida at least 83 times in August 2002 and Khalid Sheik Mohammed 183 times in March 2003 — according to a newly released Justice Department document...

"Cheney's and Rumsfeld's people were told repeatedly, by CIA . . . and by others, that there wasn't any reliable intelligence that pointed to operational ties between bin Laden and Saddam, and that no such ties were likely because the two were fundamentally enemies, not allies."

Senior administration officials, however, "blew that off and kept insisting that we'd overlooked something, that the interrogators weren't pushing hard enough, that there had to be something more we could do to get that information," he said.

So it's Operation Canned Goods II: At least there isn't a Hitler this time.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

As hard at it is to believe after all these years...

Dick Cheney continues to be a lying sack of shit:

Did Dick Cheney really “formally” ask the CIA to release reams of intelligence allegedly showing that the torture program worked, as Cheney claimed last night on Fox News?

An intelligence source familiar with the situation says the answer is No.

“The agency has received no request from the former Vice President to release this information,” the source told me a few moments ago.

That thin-skinned, evil, craven old fucker is remarkably petulant when he's called a thin-skinned, evil, craven old fucker.


Commenter KayinMaine at FDL is kind enough to point out this picture of a dry-drunk and a guy who likes to boil his opponents alive -- happy to see one another.

That's Islam Karimov of Uzbekistan, aka "The Dick Cheney of the Steppes".

The Faux outrage of 4/20

Wasn't our nation's youth plea to light up a blunt -- no, it was the desperate cry of Hitler apologist Pat Buchanan being outraged over Obama shaking Chavez's hand.

As I point out over at Firedoglake, Pat's old boss not only shook hands with unsavory characters, he gave 'em free cars like he was Elvis smoothing over a long night of fried banana sandwiches and watching pre-pubescent girls wrestling in their underwear by having Colonel Parker give their parents a new Cadillac.

Daisy Chain

I understand Dick Cheney went on Hannity last night and the two of them discussed the joys of inflicting pain on brown people while they rubbed one out together to the point of simultaneous climax.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Congratulations Damon Winter of the NYT, who won the 2009 Feature Photography Pulitzer today for this series of photographs documenting the 2008 presidential election. My faves: #2, #7, #11, and #19.

Yours? Put 'em in comments.

So will the AIPAC/Wiretap/Jane Harmon/Bush Justice

Story have legs?

I do wonder. This is hardly the first case of espionage on the part of the Israelis. But does the Village really care. After all, as far as they are concerned, Israel is the 51st state already. And with so many states now revisiting 1861 with a black guy in charge of things you always need a few alternatives in reserve.

But as far as most of the Congress & Beltway News Outlets are concerns Isreal is Alabama with a better education and much worse football. Plus it isn't in the SEC so even with Netenyahu in charge it's still probably more ethical.

Credit missed

I think I probably should have done more digging and then given more of a shout-out last week to Moon Over Alabama for it's work on Sgt. Hatley, the murderous liar who at least didn't kill Scott Beauchamp in a literal sense. It was probably the first to notice Hatley's depravity...months ago.

Is there a bigger bunch of morons

Than right-wingers like Ernest T. Bass, ESQ. calling Obama the new FDR and thinking it's a putdown?

I mean, jeebus, what are Americans supposed to say to that?

"Oh, we can have a President like FDR, the greatest President since Lincoln, if not the greatest in American history? The guy who beat the Great Depression AND Hitler and left us bestride the Earth as the most powerful and best liked nation on Earth? We can have someone like that guy?

Gee, no thanks, we'd rather have one more like George W. Bush."


I'll tell you two mistakes FDR made, Japanese Internment and giving Tennessee electricity.


Next week, Mary Worth!

This is the week that the Washington Post gave a bunch of homophobic brass-kissers a chance to engage in a bunch of homoerotic fear of homoeroticism in the military.

Meanwhile, last week the Post's Ombudsman Andrew Alexander wrote about why the Baltimore Orioles are getting less coverage (could it be because they have sucked for more than a decade and Washington now has its own team that sucks again? Heavens to Clark Griffith! I'm already overqualified for Omsbudding). This week, he bravely decides to focus on...

Judge Parker.

That's right, Judge Parker. Because Mark Trail & Ziggy were apparently busy.

Chalk another one up to "How Washington works"

I just wrote about this at Firedoglake, but the story is stunning in its all out "wankitude" -- surely it is the fault of us bloggers somehow:

In short via Jeff Stein at CQ politics:

1. Congressman Jane Harman (D - CA) told a suspected Israeli agent that she would lobby the Justice Department to reduce espionage-related charges against two officials of AIPAC, the powerful pro-Israel lobby.

2. This was known because of an NSA Wiretap.

3. The suspected Israeli agent then promised to lobby Nancy Pelosi to make Harman chair of the House Intelligence Committee after the 2006 elections (she wasn't).

4. There were some reports of this influence peddling in 2006, but it was dropped for a “lack of evidence” by Alberto R. Gonzales, who intervened to stop the investigation.

5. Gonzales intervened because he wanted Harman to defend the administration’s warrantless wiretapping program, which was about break in The New York Times.

6. And she promptly went out and defended it.

Your House Minority Leader ladies and gentlemen

They're all so gosh-darned smart that bunch:

...the idea that carbon dioxide is a carcinogen that is harmful to our environment is almost comical. Every time we exhale, we exhale carbon dioxide. Every cow in the world, you know, when they do what they do, you've got more carbon dioxide."

This kind of stupidity doesn't come cheap!

Cross your fingers

Yesterday and today are one of the worst days in modern history and it's all related to the actions of right-wing lunatics.

Let's hope today goes by uneventfully on that score.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Deep Thought

Is Jesse Eisenberg the American Michael Cera or is Michael Cera the Canadian Jesse Eisenberg?

Doesn't really matter. I really liked Adventureland. Check it out, Hegemaniacs.

That is one sick fucker

Or is it a school bus?

Not much of a commie anymore

Proof that Mr & Ms Daniel Ortega may not be big America fans, but they're not commies anymore either (of course, were they ever? The Samozas wouldn't exactly endear you to Capitalism):

That's maximum bling.

It's time to Impeach Jay Bybee

He's already being investigated by the Justice Department, but there is no way a Federal Court Judge should have the profound lack of legal ethics Bybee has demonstrated and lifetime tenure.

In one of the more nauseating passages, Jay Bybee, then an assistant attorney general and now a federal judge, wrote admiringly about a contraption for waterboarding that would lurch a prisoner upright if he stopped breathing while water was poured over his face. He praised the Central Intelligence Agency for having doctors ready to perform an emergency tracheotomy if necessary.

There is NO LEGAL authority for such a finding as complying with the Geneva Conventions, a Treaty the United States is a signatory of, and which is the law of the land. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it - there is no ticking time bomb exemptions and the fact is, there was none in effect at the time and Bybee knew it.

After all, as far as Mr. Bush’s lawyers were concerned, it was not really torture unless it involved breaking bones, burning flesh or pulling teeth. That, Mr. Bybee kept noting, was what the Libyan secret police did to one prisoner. The standard for American behavior should be a lot higher than that of the Libyan secret police.

The Geneva Convention is the LAW of the United States and Bybee willingly shilled and sold his soul and his right to practice law, let alone sit as a Judge on a Federal bench for life in doing so.

The Geneva Convention is not the tax code, it is not COBRA, it is not a Disability Insurance Policy, it is not a lease, it is not an arbitration provision. It does not exist to be twisted into allowing sadism and savagery.

Still trying to wrap my head around this...

Cannot fucking believe it -- I know it's the Bush regime so I should never be stunned but this is shocking:

According to the May 30, 2005 Bradbury memo, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded 183 times in March 2003 and Abu Zubaydah was waterboarded 83 times in August 2002.

183, that's an average of six times a day.




That's not "effective" interrogation that's sadism.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

"Don't take away my laser plane..."

Sickening but true:

The United States spends two times more on its military than all the other countries of the world, combined.

Yes, that's right. All 200 or so of them. Combined.

According to, last year, the US dropped about $625 billion in taxpayer dollars on its military, while all the rest of the world together spent $500 billion.

This does not include maintenance of our nuclear stockpile, nor, I believe, the occupational expenses of Iraq & Afghanistan. Which tip the pile to over a trillion and thus the 2x figure.

And though the growth has slowed under Obama, it is not doing what it needs to do and that is shrink.


Sully reminds me of the first line of 1984:

"It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen"

Meet the modern form of cretin, David Rivkin:

"The conclusions (the) memos reach -- that the specific interrogation techniques used by the CIA did not constitute torture -- are eminently reasonable."

Parsons was Winston’s fellow-employee at the Ministry of Truth. He was a fattish but active man of paralysing stupidity, a mass of imbecile enthusiasms—one of those completely unquestioning, devoted drudges on whom, more even than on the Thought Police, the stability of the Party depended.

If you don't want to be mocked

Then try a little harder.

Close, but no cigar -- and nice edit there Chief:

Sick bastards

Reaffirming what Ron Suskind already told us, they didn't want information -- they wanted to get off on sadism:

The first use of waterboarding and other rough treatment against a prisoner from Al Qaeda was ordered by senior Central Intelligence Agency officials despite the belief of interrogators that the prisoner had already told them all he knew, according to former intelligence officials and a footnote in a newly released legal memorandum.

All the valuable information they got out of him, and it was far less valuable than claimed, occurred through traditional interrogation techniques early on:

Abu Zubaydah had provided much valuable information under less severe treatment, and the harsher handling produced no breakthroughs, according to one former intelligence official with direct knowledge of the case. Instead, watching his torment caused great distress to his captors, the official said.

You can literally detect Dick Cheney masturbating his way through the orders to torture the bastard...oh, I'm sorry, Cheney was just "engaged in enhanced arousal techniques".


I hear the top bidder is a "Mr. Santa Ana"

Texas, so far from God, so close to being sold from the United States:

Meanwhile, BooMan makes a very good point:

If Texas were not a state, America might have only started one land war in Asia we couldn't win instead of three.

Friday, April 17, 2009

#4's 3rd House

So today I went to new Yankee Stadium. I managed check out the ladies rooms during the seventh inning stretch without getting arrested. I know this is a grave disappointment to Attaturk, who'd hoped I'd Twitter my arrest, booking, and, especially, a night in the Bronx House of Detention. Alas, it was not to be. Grateful for my liberty, I offer you the following observations about the new place:
  1. With the exception of the iconic frieze that mimics that of the original Yankee stadium, I thought the inside of the stadium uninspiring. I am told by bigger baseball fans than me that the overall sight lines at the new place are an improvement over that of the old, though. I sat in the deck just to the left of home plate and the view was fine.
  2. The interior spaces in the new place are a vast improvement over the old. They're light and open to both the stadium and the street. Not nearly as claustrophobic and ugly as old Yankee Stadium.
  3. I don't know what was more shocking -- the prices of the food being sold at the stadium ($9 for a Bud Light) -- or the calorie counts posted next to the prices of the food being sold at the stadium (1,000+ kcal for a bag of nuts). I'm curious if posting these calorie counts will depress sales of cheese fries and jumbo hot dogs.
  4. A lot -- and I mean A LOT -- of the seats at what the team calls the "Legends" level were empty. There were entire sections empty -- and not just those at the left and right end of the "Legends" suite area. This a beautiful 70-degree day when the deck and other levels were packed. The drunken hipsters sitting in front of us told me that Hal Steinbrenner gave a press conference last week wherein he admitted that the tickets were too expensive
  5. As demonstrated by the aforementioned drunken hipsters (and yeah, they were from Williamsburg), you can sneak booze into the stadium. They told me how they did it, but I'm not going to tell you, because I don't want you to get in trouble.
  6. The team missed an opportunity to cast off some of the more tired crap it used to entertain fans at the old stadium. They are still doing the dopey "YMCA" thing, playing the same sound effects, and torturing us with the aforementioned Kate Smith recording of "God Bless America". This stuff is boring (and was never entertaining to begin with).
  7. That said, the Roll Call survives the transition, and for that I'm glad. I always liked the Roll Call because it was something the fans developed themselves.


Both Greenwald & Sullivan noticed this and it is particularly shameful from the torture memos:

We decided to undercut 225 plus years of human rights leadership, so we could inflict the same sort of pain we condemn nations like Iran, Libya, Egypt, China, and Indonesia for doing.

Hell, we were bitching about Saddam's violations of Geneva as a reason to invade Iraq too.

Your Teabags are so old, it might as well be a Lemon Party

Latest Research 2000:

BARACK OBAMA - (favorable) (unfavorable) (no opinion)

AGE: 18-29.....83...10...7


AGE: 18-29.....62...26...12


AGE: 18-29.....9...83... 8

It's Called "LOSING"

Dear Gene Robinson.

They're mad because they lost. That's it. You can't cheerlead on massive government spending under George W. Bush and Republicans for eight years and then be suddenly enraged about it when you get chucked out of power unless you are totally full of shit.

They're made because they lost. Losing sucks. I know, because I was on the losing side for years. As Jon Stewart said, "It's supposed to taste like a shit taco."

These are not huddled masses yearning to breathe free. They're sullen peasants yearning for new dogs to kick. Stop vesting the mean little dunce, her lobbyist backers, and spell-check-challenged moron brigade with legitimacy borne out of anything more interesting than sore loserdom.


Well, if Obama is doing an FDR

And waiting for the nation to "make him" do something, he managed to get Fred Hiatt on board to look around a minute...but then he JUMPS OFF as only a villager can:

That's why it remains imperative for the Obama administration and Congress to cooperate in the creation of an independent commission to investigate the treatment of foreign detainees at Guantanamo and other foreign detention sites since 2001. A commission could determine exactly what was done to senior al-Qaeda detainees; it could evaluate the claims of former vice president Richard B. Cheney and other defenders of tough interrogation techniques that such methods produced information that saved lives. It could identify who was responsible for ordering illegal acts -- even if, as President Obama has suggested, criminal prosecutions are not appropriate.

So Hiatt is open to the possibility of falling back in love with the torture.

And what's with the "Richard B. Cheney" was their some minimal word requirement?

If ever there's an appropriate time to say DICK Cheney it's over this. The torture memos released, essentially un-redacted, are amongst the most disgusting swill to ever come out of an American Administration. There's the "Trail of Tears"; "the Lecompton Constitution"; "The Palmer Raids"; "Executive Order 9066: Japanese Internment"; "Operation Menu: Let's Bomb Cambodia" and this.

I have to admit, torture prosecutions are at the same time the "right" thing to do while simultaneously being the worst minefield Obama could walk into to enable the "wanker" brigade. The media is hardwired for Republicans and their constant spew of bullshit stories ("who's a Muslim", "who bowed to who?", ("which white women is missing now?"), then you know what I mean.

One can only imagine how many Jack Nicholson in "A Few Good Men" impressions we'll get -- hell serial military service avoider Crashcart Cheney dreams of such a moment before his pacemaker goes full boil. Look at the Beauchamp Affair mentioned in the post below. How could the right-wing assholes have been any more discredited? Yet there will be NO repercussions because well, nobody but we "marginalized" lefty bloggers will even try to update the story to its full and predictable, yet ignored, conclusion.

Forever, to the people that at all followed the story Scott Beauchamp was a "liar" and his Sergeant Hatley a pristine model of the 'Murican fightin' Man' who when he wasn't killing terrorists wearing "Islamofacists Crescent Swastikas" was liberating al-Dachau.

What a disgusting mess we allowed ourselves to get into. The logic of this whole post is fucked up, and not in the way my posts normally are, its fucked up in the moral sewer of our times.

So, we shall await the never forthcoming apologies

Another visit to the histrionics over Private Scott Beauchamp the man who diaried his life as a soldier and ways he coped with stress, including the things he did he would never have done in other circumstances -- which necessitated him being beaten repeatedly over the metaphorical head by right-wingers because it wasn't all stereotypically awesome enough to feed their fantasies.

And what was their weapon of choice, why Beauchamp's Sergeant, one Master Sgt. John E. Hatley, as evidence no American soldier would ever do something so depraved as killing a dog. The love toward Hatley was palpable.

So how'd that work out now that no one is paying attention?

A senior enlisted Army soldier was convicted on Wednesday of killing four handcuffed and blindfolded Iraqi men with pistol shots to the backs of their heads shortly after arresting them in Baghdad two years ago, The Associated Press reported.

A military jury in Germany, where his unit is deployed, found the soldier, Master Sgt. John E. Hatley, guilty of premeditated murder in the deaths of the men, whom he and several other members of his unit had detained after a firefight with insurgents in Baghdad in spring 2007, according to testimony in the case.

...and he wasn't alone in that unit:

Two other senior members of his unit — Company A, First Battalion, First Infantry Division — were also convicted of killing some of the men.

In February, another military jury convicted the unit’s medic, Sgt. Michael Leahy Jr., 28, of premeditated murder and sentenced him to life in prison. On March 30, Sgt. First Class Joseph P. Mayo, 27, pleaded guilty to murder and received a 35-year sentence.

But they could NEVER engage in the petty moral depravity that Beauchamp described.

Sociologists and Pscyhologists would have about three-dozen refereed papers covering the delusions of the right-wing blogs versus reality on this one case alone.

(via Balloon Juice)