Monday, June 30, 2008

Joe Lieberschmuck predicts terrorist attack

And the Shit House agrees with him. With Joe's deeply cultivated Republican connections, you just have to wonder what they are planning for the New Year?

VoteVets stands with Wes Clark

And so should you. They have the following petition for you to sign.

General Clark,

We the undersigned thank you for speaking up forcefully and honestly about what it takes to lead this nation, and the kind of judgment we must look for. You were right to say that Senator McCain has not shown good judgment, despite his extraordinary service to America. Just in the past few years:

- Senator McCain's service and experience, both as a POW and as a Senator apparently hasn't infused him with a dose of good judgment.

- Senator McCain's experience hasn't led him to realize that the war in Iraq and it's continuance has empowered and emboldened Iran, and destabilized the region.

- Senator McCain's experience hasn't caused him to recognize that we're losing ground in Afghanistan, and Osama bin Laden is still out there, plotting.

- Senator McCain's experience didn't lead him to support the 21st Century GI Bill -- he opposed it. It didn't even make him feel the need to get back to Washington to vote on this -- one of the most important veterans' bills this Congress. He twice skipped votes on the GI Bill, to fundraise.

- Senator McCain's experience didn't help him empathize with troops are overstretched and overdeployed, when he voted against the bipartisan Webb-Hagel "Dwell Time Amendment," which would have given troops as much time at home as in the field.

We all honor Senator McCain?s service, as you said you do. But that does not mean that on matters of security, the military, and veterans that he is beyond reproach. Nor does it mean that his service trumps the poor judgment he has shown in some of the most important issues of our time.

Do not back down, and keep treating the American people like adults who can handle a real, honest, and blunt debate in these important times.
Signed by:
[Your name]
[Your address]

Quote of the Day

Well, I don't think riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to be president,
Gen. Wesley Clark Ret., defining the Old Fart.




The military doesn't do cleanup

All the more so if it is the Bushovik military against a hogtied and gutted EPA.
The Defense Department, the nation's biggest polluter, is resisting orders from the Environmental Protection Agency to clean up Fort Meade and two other military bases where the EPA says dumped chemicals pose "imminent and substantial" dangers to public health and the environment.

The Pentagon has also declined to sign agreements required by law that cover 12 other military sites on the Superfund list of the most polluted places in the country. The contracts would spell out a remediation plan, set schedules, and allow the EPA to oversee the work and assess penalties if milestones are missed.
Thankfully the Bushoviks have an incompetent hack in charge of the EPA so there should be no problems until they are Obama's problems

Who didn't see this coming?

From the NY Times:
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.

In their role as advisers to the Iraqi Oil Ministry, American government lawyers and private-sector consultants provided template contracts and detailed suggestions on drafting the contracts, advisers and a senior State Department official said.

It is unclear how much influence their work had on the ministry’s decisions.
We can judge the influence they had by the satisfaction of the oil companies, and they appear very satisfied.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Monday Music Blogging

Joni Mitchell-Urge for Going


Holy Cow! The Old Fart is a deadbeat

From Newsweek by way of Talking Points Memo we learn the following:
Newsweek is reporting that John and Cindy McCain failed to pay taxes on a California property for the past four years. This is especially odd considering that the McCains are worth an estimated $100 million, and could easily afford to pay the bill.

After a reporter inquired about the bill with the McCain campaign, they immediately sent San Diego County a check for $6,744.42 -- and even then, they're still short by $1,742.
Some may say this is why rich people need more tax cuts, but he is probably just practicing to see how big a deficit he can run up after he is elected.


Real world numbers for Scalia

Arthur Kellermann responds to "Bafangu" Scalia's emotional decision in favor of pistol packing in DC. He does so with real world research into gun use and gun crimes.
More than 20 years ago, I conducted a study of firearm-related deaths in homes in Seattle and surrounding King County, Washington. Over the study's seven-year interval, more than half of all fatal shootings in the county took place in the home where the firearm involved was kept. Just nine of those shootings were legally justifiable homicides or acts of self-defense; guns kept in homes were also involved in 12 accidental deaths, 41 criminal homicides and a shocking 333 suicides. A subsequent study conducted in three U.S. cities found that guns kept in the home were 12 times more likely to be involved in the death or injury of a member of the household than in the killing or wounding of a bad guy in self-defense.

According to the Justice Department, far more guns are lost each year to burglary or theft than are used to defend people or property. In Atlanta, a city where approximately a third of households contain guns, a study of 197 home-invasion crimes revealed only three instances (1.5 percent) in which the inhabitants resisted with a gun. Intruders got to the homeowner's gun twice as often as the homeowner did.
Only a fool or Scalia would think this was a good thing.

This is not good.

Seymour Hersh has done another top notch reporting job in this weeks New Yorker. This time he reveals the covert operations being conducted in Iran, allegedly for intelligence, but more likely to cause a flash point for war. Oh, and guess who gave the White House the necessary support.
Late last year, Congress agreed to a request from President Bush to fund a major escalation of covert operations against Iran, according to current and former military, intelligence, and congressional sources. These operations, for which the President sought up to four hundred million dollars, were described in a Presidential Finding signed by Bush, and are designed to destabilize the country’s religious leadership. The covert activities involve support of the minority Ahwazi Arab and Baluchi groups and other dissident organizations. They also include gathering intelligence about Iran’s suspected nuclear-weapons program.

Clandestine operations against Iran are not new. United States Special Operations Forces have been conducting cross-border operations from southern Iraq, with Presidential authorization, since last year. These have included seizing members of Al Quds, the commando arm of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, and taking them to Iraq for interrogation, and the pursuit of “high-value targets” in the President’s war on terror, who may be captured or killed. But the scale and the scope of the operations in Iran, which involve the Central Intelligence Agency and the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), have now been significantly expanded, according to the current and former officials. Many of these activities are not specified in the new Finding, and some congressional leaders have had serious questions about their nature.
Like most middle east policy from the Bushovik crew, it derives from a comic book outlook of what can be done coupled with a certainty that it will turn out exactly the way they anticipated, you know, just like Iraq. Nevertheless, Cheney will have his war.
The former official said that, a few weeks later, a meeting took place in the Vice-President’s office. “The subject was how to create a casus belli between Tehran and Washington,” he said.
A curious result of these actions has been to reveal Cheney's true colors as we have allied ourselves with Sunni religious extremist Baluchis of the sort that attacked the World Trade Center. What is worse, the Iranians have publicly identified the elephant in the room from all this talk of war.
The commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards warned that Tehran would respond to an attack against it by barraging Israel with missiles and controlling a key oil passageway in the Persian Gulf, said a newspaper report published Saturday.

The report in the conservative Jam-e-Jam newspaper comes after the disclosure of a recent Israeli military exercise over the Mediterranean Sea that was seen as sending a message to Iran to curb its nuclear ambitions.

Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari said there were strong deterrents against striking Iran, including the country’s missile power, the vulnerability of Israeli and U. S. forces in the region and the low probability of a successful attack.
This would be no deterrent to a couple of old oil men, $20 a gallon is what they live for. And their casual disregard for the military would make any and all losses acceptable.

Afterthought: Having now endured 7+ years of these shitheads in the White House, can we now call it The Shit House?

Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Army issues a report

And in its second installment of the history of the Glorious Crusade of Dear Leader, we learn about the how and the who of the follow on failures that allowed the Army to win the battle and lose the war.
“The Army, as the service primarily responsible for ground operations, should have insisted on better Phase IV planning and preparations through its voice on the Joint Chiefs of Staff,” the study noted. “The military means employed were sufficient to destroy the Saddam regime; they were not sufficient to replace it with the type of nation-state the United States wished to see in its place.”
4100+ US dead, hundreds of thousands of Iraqi dead, 5 million Iraqi refugees $600 Billion pissed away into the sands because the planning for the aftermath was FUBAR.

Lieberschmuck Must Go!



Sign the petition here.

The Old Fart flip flops on wife beating

As in he used to do it and has recently stopped. Consider this admission from an interview in the Las Vegas Sun.
I stopped beating my wife just a couple of weeks ago
Looks like he's going to need a few more barbecues up there in Sedona.


Still crazy after all these years

I don't think so. Bill Moyers takes the time to put the pieces together and they all say, it was about the oil.


S-h-h-h!

It's the weekend and the Old Fart is resting from his labors. If you thought he was cranky before, just wait until you are the one to wake him up. Fortunately we don't have to worry about his supporters doing that.


Quote of the Day

"Conservatives say if you don't give the rich more money, they will lose their incentive to invest. As for the poor, they tell us they've lost all incentive because we've given them too much money."
George Carlin, American

Friday, June 27, 2008

Georgie & Dickwahd were green with envy

From Zimbabwe.
Many people in Zimbabwe faced a peculiar choice on Friday: cast their ballots for President Robert Mugabe, the only candidate left in the presidential runoff, or be beaten up and perhaps killed.

Chutzpah

The Old Fart tries to take credit for the Webb Bill which he opposed and was not present at the time it was voted on.




Vietnamese jailer would vote for the Old Fart

If he were an American citizen, Tran Trong Duyet would vote for John McCain. Then again, he probably knows what they put into the Old Fart's head in his 5 and a half years in Hanoi.

A National Election Theme Song



Linda Ronstadt & Emmylou Harris : Telling Me Lies

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Farewell

You were a good old Constitution and I loved how well you had stood up all those years. And I know deep shame that I was not able to protect you from those who sought your destruction.


The US hasn't done colonies for years

So why are we following the failed British colonial model in Iraq? And no fair cheating and saying because George Bush is dumb as a stump.

Thursday Tom Toles


A few more legacy moments in Georgie's Glory

Iraq is slowly getting more deadly again and some of it can be blamed on the "fog of war" also known as what you get when you have lots of armed people who don't speak the same language running around.
American soldiers fatally shot three Iraqi bank employees Wednesday as their car passed a convoy near Baghdad International Airport, according to an Interior Ministry official and Yarmouk Hospital, where the bodies were brought.

The attack was one of two bloody episodes on Wednesday in which the American military and Iraqi officials offered sharply different accounts of what had happened.

Iraqi authorities said at least eight civilians had been killed by American soldiers. American military officials said that in each case they opened fire after coming under attack, and that they were unaware of any civilian deaths.

The military also reported on Wednesday that four American soldiers had died in unrelated events. They brought the death toll of American service members this month to 26.
And Georgie says, not my problem, let the next guy worry about it.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

McCain to bring back the draft

Officially what he said was a soothing and syrupy no to the draft.
Republican presidential candidate John McCain said Tuesday that he cannot see the U.S. returning to a military draft unless there is an “all-out” world war.

Asked during a town hall meeting about prospects for a return to conscription, McCain, an Arizona senator who is ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said: “I don’t know what would make a draft happen except, perhaps, an all-out World War III.
As he left the podium, the Old Fart was heard softly singing to himself,"Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran..."


T Boone Pickens welshes on his bet

Which is about all you can expect from a four-flusher with too much money and no morals.
Dallas billionaire T. Boone Pickens has rejected contentions from 10 men who served in Vietnam with John Kerry that information in the controversial Swift Vets and POWs for Truth ads during the 2004 presidential campaign were false.

That means Mr. Kerry’s crewmates won’t be paid the $1 million that Mr. Pickens offered last fall to anyone who could prove that the ads contained falsehoods.

“Unfortunately, key aspects of my offer of $1 million have not been accurately reported,” Mr. Pickens wrote. “My offer, reiterated in a letter to Senator Kerry not long after the challenge was made, was to pay $1 million for information that would prove any of the ads — which I helped fund — inaccurate. In reviewing your material, none of the information you provide speaks specifically to the issues contained in the ads, and, as a result, does not qualify for the $1 million.”

“I guess now we know the ‘T’ in T. Boone doesn’t stand for ‘truth,’’’ said Del Sandusky, one of the crewmen who signed the letter to Mr. Pickens. “His response is slicker than an oil spill. I really hoped we could’ve taken him at his word, but now he’s … running away from his own bet. … Mr. Pickens hasn’t heard the last from us. We won’t rest until he admits the truth that he bankrolled a big lie.”
Never trust a man who is afraid to use his given name.

Chris Dodd, American Patriot

If Sen Dodd had lived 250 years ag, his signature would be side by side with John Hancock. His remarks on the floor of the Senate were such that all who signed the Declaration of Independence would easily embrace their sentiments.
My daughters, Grace and Christina, are six and three. They are growing up in a time of two great conflicts: one between our nation and its enemies, and another, between what is best and worst in our American soul. And someday soon, I know I am going to hear that question: “What did you do?” I want, more than anything else, to give the right answer.

That question is coming for every single one of us in this body. Every single one of us will be judged by a jury from whom there’s no hiding: our sons, our daughters, our grandchildren. Someday soon, they’ll read in their textbooks the story of a great nation, one that threw down tyrants and oppressors for two centuries; one that rid the world of Nazism and Soviet communism; one that proved that great strength can serve great virtue, that right can truly make might.

And then they will read how, in the early years of the 21st century, that nation lost its way.

We do not have the power to strike that chapter. No, Mr. President—we can’t go back.

We can’t un-destroy the CIA’s interrogation tapes. We can’t un-pass the Military Commissions Act. We can’t un-speak Alberto Gonzales’s disgraceful testimony. We can’t un-torture innocent people. And perhaps, sadly, shamefully, we cannot stop retroactive immunity. We can’t un-do anything that has been done in the last six years for the cause of lawlessness and fear.

We cannot blot out that chapter. But we can begin the next one, even today. Let its first words read: “Finally, in June 2008, the Senate said: ‘Enough.’
Amen!

Quote of the Day

``I think the mortgage industry has done more to hurt this country than al-Qaeda ever did,''
Harry Subers, one of the casualties of the subprime disaster

Once again, back in Georgie's Glory

Three U.S. soldiers and an interpreter were killed by a roadside bomb in Ninewa Province on Tuesday night in the second large explosion to strike the Mosul region in a day and further evidence that Sunni Arab guerrillas remain very active in the northern city despite recent Iraqi military operations.

Few details of the attack were released by the American military, which said that an improvised explosive device killed the soldiers and interpreter about 10:45 p.m. At least 25 American service members have been killed in Iraq this month, compared to 19 in May, according to Icasualties.org, a Web site that tracks deaths.
Bush War without end.

MoDo's good column

She has them from time to time and today is the time. Today she picks apart one of the classic Rovian tactics, taking your own weakness and projecting it on the other side.
This was Rove’s take on Obama to Republicans at the Capitol Hill Club Monday, according to Christianne Klein of ABC News:

“Even if you never met him, you know this guy. He’s the guy at the country club with the beautiful date, holding a martini and a cigarette that stands against the wall and makes snide comments about everyone who passes by.”

Actually, that sounds more like W.
From that obvious point, all the rest of the cards fall, as they should until she reaches the end.
Rove’s mythmaking about Obama won’t fly. If he means that Obama has brains, what’s wrong with that? If he means that Obama is successful, what’s wrong with that? If he means that Obama has education and intellectual sophistication, what’s wrong with that?

Many of Obama’s traits are the traits that people in the population aspire to.


It looks as if Rove is on the verge of realizing his dream of creating a permanent position for the Republicans.

Unfortunately for him, it’s in the minority.
To paraphrase the old saying, "From her keyboard to God's eyes."

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Lizz Wright - Walk With Me

For these troubled times.


Tuesday Toon



From the pen of Jeff Danziger

5 Bucks for Vic

Bringning this back up again because The Slime Queen is trying to squeeze thin beer out of the Chinese Cuban drilling fraud. And congratulations to the fellow who started this, he got his $1000, let's give another for him. The Ed.

Yesterday we reported on the new low Mean Jean The Slime Queen hit in her attacks on Victoria Wulsin in the race for Ohio's 2nd District. In response a 17 yr old Ohio patriot has set up a site to raise money for Dr. Wulsin's campaign. He calls his ActBlue site 5 Bucks for Vic. You can find it here and ante up your fin.

Why Obama should be part of the filibuster

Laid out in no uncertain terms by the Great Orange Stan, himself.



We agree 100% with Markos on this one

Jeez, what a cheap date!

According to Maplight,org, the Democrats who sold out their country on the latest FISA all received nice contributions from the telcos PAC. They even have a list of who got what. I know my quisling, Brian Higgins has no leadership potential, but the thought that he would sell his country for a mere $2000 leaves me aghast. If I had known he would roll over and spread 'em so cheap I would be reaming his ass with my best broomstick right now.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Was Charlie Black named after the color of his heart?

Who else but a blackhearted scoundrel would believe that another attack on the US would be a good thing for his "boss".
according to McCain's chief strategist, Charlie Black. The assassination of Benazir Bhutto in December was an "unfortunate event," says Black. "But his knowledge and ability to talk about it reemphasized that this is the guy who's ready to be Commander-in-Chief. And it helped us." As would, Black concedes with startling candor after we raise the issue, another terrorist attack on U.S. soil. "Certainly it would be a big advantage to him," says Black.
I guess when it takes you 31 years to "love" your country, you are attracted to people with a similar character flaw.

UPDATE:Charlie regrets his revealing comments. Do you believe him?


If you report the news in the forest

And no one wants to hear it, is it news? The NY Times has a look at how difficult it is to get any news from Iraq or Afghanistan on the air.
Getting a story on the evening news isn’t easy for any correspondent. And for reporters in Iraq and Afghanistan, it is especially hard, according to Lara Logan, the chief foreign correspondent for CBS News. So she has devised a solution when she is talking to the network.

“Generally what I say is, ‘I’m holding the armor-piercing R.P.G.,’ ” she said last week in an appearance on “The Daily Show,” referring to the initials for rocket-propelled grenade. “ ‘It’s aimed at the bureau chief, and if you don’t put my story on the air, I’m going to pull the trigger.’ ”
Of course, she was the one who said she would blow her brains out if she had to watch the news that you people watch daily. Look, a missing white woman!!

R.I.P. George Carlin

You were funny and wise and will be sorely missed.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Monday Music Blogging

Isn't musical today. We need the laughter that only a great woman like Maudie Frickert can give us.



Some bonus Maudie


"Rare court-martial for Iraq contractor begins"

Great headline, probably had visions of KBR or Blackwater or Dynegy in the dock, didn't you. No such luck. It just some poor schmuck got into a knife fight with one of his mates.
An Iraqi-Canadian translator goes on trial before a U.S. military court Sunday for allegedly stabbing a fellow contractor in the first such military prosecution since the Vietnam War.

Alaa “Alex” Mohammad Ali has been charged with aggravated assault for allegedly stabbing another contractor four times during a fight Feb. 23 on a base near Hit, 85 miles west of Baghdad.
Nobody important here, let's move along now

Is your levee federal, state, town or private?

If you don't know, chances are nobody, including the Corps of Engineers, has any idea either. Over the years many were built on the northern Mississippi River and its watershed, unlike the lower Mississippi region, they are not all part of the CoE project.
After the last devastating flood in the Midwest 15 years ago, a committee of experts commissioned by the Clinton administration issued a 272-page report that recommended a more uniform approach to managing rising waters along the Mississippi and its tributaries, including giving the principal responsibility for many of the levees to the Army Corps of Engineers.

But the committee chairman, Gerald E. Galloway Jr., a former brigadier general with the Corps of Engineers, said in an interview that few broad changes were made once the floodwaters of 1993 receded and were forgotten.

And after Hurricane Katrina destroyed levees protecting New Orleans in 2005, Congress passed a bill setting up a program to inventory and inspect levees, but it failed to provide enough money to carry that out, Dr. Galloway said. “We don’t even know where some of these levees are,” he said.
Regardless of who built them or how they were built, all levees work together and a failure in one place can undo the best efforts of others. They are another part of America's infrastructure that urgently needs expensive attention if we wish to remain a first world country.

More Republican trouble in NY-13

The candidate endorsed by Republican leaders to run for a Congressional seat being vacated by Representative Vito J. Fossella died on Sunday morning at his home in Staten Island,
Our condolences to his family.

To the Republican Party, Suck On It!

Ciao bella

Or one Boston Globe reporters experience with a 50cc Vespa on the mean streets of Bean Town. She writes in the first person, so she did live to tell the tale.
This reporter's choice was a Vespa, the sleek Italian-made scooter that seems to exemplify the phrase "Ciao bella!"

Of course, in a city where driving is considered a blood sport, tooling around on a 216-pound, 50 cc scooter might seem like a death wish. But desperate times call for desperate measures, and this fearless reporter wondered if saving a few bucks on gas is worth risking life and limb.

She set off last week with a full tank and a mission: to cruise the sometimes unfriendly streets of Boston, confronting obstacles, traffic, and the elements.
Sounds like a great idea for city folk. Might make them a wee bit nicer.

From the pen of Tom Toles




Click for big

Brokaw to replace Russert

The "Grand Old Man" of NBC News will host Meet The Press at least until the election. On the basis of seniority he was probably first in line amongst the senior management of NBC anyway. It still remains to be seen who will get the show on a long term basis. For what it's worth, I think it should go to someone who is the best interviewer in television today, although he would be the longest of longshots, John Stewart. I would much rather watch him at work that all those other putzs playing "Please Sir May I Kiss Your Ass?"

Meanwhile, over in Georgie's Glory

Nothing unusual to report, the only news of note being:
The latest in a wave of female suicide bombers killed 15 people and wounded more than 40 others on Sunday near a heavily fortified courthouse and government outpost in central Baquba, Iraqi security officials said. Seven of the dead and 10 of the wounded were Iraqi policemen.

The bomber wore billowing clothes that concealed a vest padded with powerful explosives and laced with small projectiles — apparently iron ball bearings, the officials said. The magnitude of the blast immediately raised questions about the sophistication of the bomb, which witnesses described as unusually strong.

“The explosion was huge, like it was a car bomb,” said Adnan Majid, a 29-year-old library worker who was wounded in the arm. The bodies of at least three policemen were torn to pieces by the force of the detonation, security officials said.
At least this was blamed on takfiris and not Iran.

EXTRA: Prof. Juan Cole has a close look at just how bad the mortality and social breakdown of Iraq truly is.

How to interrogate, if you really want information

The NY Times has a front page article on the interrogation of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed. Unlike the drama queens on "24", the sessions that derived much valuable information were quiet, free of violence and ultimately based on a trust that developed between the interrogator and the subject.
The interrogator, Deuce Martinez, a soft-spoken analyst who spoke no Arabic, had turned down a C.I.A. offer to be trained in waterboarding. He chose to leave the infliction of pain and panic to others, the gung-ho paramilitary types whom the more cerebral interrogators called “knuckledraggers.”

Mr. Martinez came in after the rough stuff, the ultimate good cop with the classic skills: an unimposing presence, inexhaustible patience and a willingness to listen to the gripes and musings of a pitiless killer in rambling, imperfect English. He achieved a rapport with Mr. Mohammed that astonished his fellow C.I.A. officers.

A canny opponent, Mr. Mohammed mixed disinformation and braggadocio with details of plots, past and planned. Eventually, he grew loquacious. “They’d have long talks about religion,” comparing notes on Islam and Mr. Martinez’s Catholicism, one C.I.A. officer recalled. And, the officer added, there was one other detail no one could have predicted: “He wrote poems to Deuce’s wife.”
Because they had first crack at him, the “knuckledraggers” can claim to have softened him up but there is no real evidence that they were at all necessary, despite the impassioned claims of the Bushoviks and Fox viewers everywhere. America's good name was thrown away to satify the perverse desires of those in charge.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

If I were a cynic

I would think that Robert Fisk is on to something here.
And now – bingo – Sarkozy has done it again. This time it's Bashar al-Assad, another presumed "sponsor of world terror" – this twaddle comes from Washington, of course – who will (if he accepts the invitation française) be in Paris on Bastille Day to take his place in the reviewing stand at the end of the Champs Elysées. The man whom millions of Lebanese believe plotted the murder of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri in Beirut on 14 February 2005 will thus be receiving one of France's highest honours: to stand beside the French president as he reviews his military forces.

Le Canard Enchaîné, my favourite French newspaper, carried a wonderful cartoon this week in which an extremely good likeness of Bashar asks Sarkozy and the gorgeous Carla: "What is it exactly, your 14 July?" And Carla replies: "It's the end of a tyrant." And Sarkozy, almost lost for words, then adds: "Er – a king." Well quite. And both apply to Bashar, whose succession after his father's death in 2000 did rather suggest that Syria was now a caliphate (as Egypt will become if Uncle Hosni is succeeded by his son Gamal Mubarak). But seriously, how did Bashar, a hate-figure of the United States and an adjunct to Bush's crazed notion of the "axis of evil", get on the guest list? Sure he's been asked to attend France's spanking new "Union of the Mediterranean" (along with Ehud Olmert), but there's more to it than that.

For one thing, both he and Sarkozy smell American failure. The American disaster in Iraq – and in Afghanistan (a movie coming to your local cinema soon) – and its total failure to produce a peace between Israel and the Palestinians and the loss of Lebanon as its protégé (now that the pro-Syrian Hizbollah can veto America's friends in the parliamentary majority once there's a cabinet) means that France can move in among the wreckage for a second crack at le mandat français.

The tribunal to judge Hariri's murderers still does not exist and even Walid Jumblatt, my favourite Druze nihilist, has been in Saudi Arabia to ask the king to keep pushing for the court. He did the same in Washington, chatting to Bush and Gates and the rest along the same lines. But the United States has failed in the Middle East.
How come Li'l Georgie's BFF's get to talk to people we don't like but we can't? In Georgie's case we know it's because he doesn't speak the language.

Just wondering

Yesterday we had this in the news.
Israel carried out a large-scale military exercise in the Mediterranean earlier this month as a warning to Iran that it has the capacity to make an air strike on its nuclear facilities, Pentagon sources confirmed yesterday.

More than 100 Israeli F-16s and F-15s flew more than 900 miles, roughly the distance from Israel to Iran's Natanz nuclear plant. They were accompanied by refuelling planes and helicopters for rescuing any downed crews.
At the same time in the marketplace.
The rise in oil prices has only added to the anxiety: crude oil for July delivery settled up $2.69, to $134.62 a barrel, on Friday.
Just wondering how large a position the IDF has in the oil futures market?

The word from Mullah Old Fart



I do not believe that every woman should have an abortion, but neither do I believe that old men should command your body as if it were their property.

If it limps like a duck

From Countdown last night.


The error of his terror ways

Rosa Brooks takes a closer look at the stuff and nonsense coming from the Old Fart regarding terrorists.
The "terrorism is crime/terrorism is war" squabbling is as silly as the "great taste/less filling" fights depicted in the old Miller Lite ads. Most Americans know that "terrorism" takes many forms, and we need to be flexible in response. Prosecutions in federal courts make sense when we're talking about suspects far removed from battlefields; military force makes sense when U.S. troops are confronting fighters in Afghanistan or Iraq.

Here's the saddest thing about this week's dust-up. Not too long ago -- before he decided that becoming the Republican presidential nominee required him to cozy up to his party's most demagogic extremists and play politics with 9/11 -- McCain was the champion of a common-sense, values-based approach to terrorism.

It was McCain who refused to sanction torture. It was McCain who said Guantanamo detainees "have rights under various human rights declarations. And one of them is the right not to be detained indefinitely." It was McCain who advocated moving Guantanamo detainees to Kansas' Ft. Leavenworth, where they would come under the certain jurisdiction of federal courts. It was McCain who insisted that we respect the basic rights even of enemies who "don't deserve our sympathy" because "this isn't about who they are. This is about who we are."
I suppose he prefers being called McFlipper to being called the Old Fart, but he really is living up to his bumper sticker.


From the pen of Adam Zyglis


They knew what they were doing was wrong

But the Bushovik "brainless trust" was determined to have their detentions and tortures continue. Why is another story.
Senior lawyers inside and outside the Bush administration repeatedly warned the White House that it was risking judicial scrutiny of its detention policies in Guantanamo Bay if it did not pursue a more pragmatic legal strategy that considered the likely reaction of the Supreme Court. But such advice, issued periodically over the past six years, was ignored or discounted, according to current and former administration officials familiar with the debates.

In August 2006, for example, the top lawyer at the State Department told senior officials at the White House that unless they won a congressional mandate that broadly supported their system of detaining terrorism suspects, their goal of keeping the detainees locked up was in jeopardy. "I can virtually guarantee you, without a legislative basis, federal courts are not going to be willing to uphold the indefinite detention of unlawful combatants," John B. Bellinger III warned in an e-mail.

The e-mail, disclosed by former White House officials familiar with the intense internal debates over detainee policy, was one of several red flags for the White House in its fierce battle to keep the detention facility in Cuba free of judicial oversight.

The result, they said, has been a series of losses at the Supreme Court, including last week's 5 to 4 ruling that detainees at Guantanamo have a constitutional right to a review of their detention in federal courts -- a ruling that holds out the prospect of heavy litigation and close judicial scrutiny of decision-making that the administration has long argued is best left to the president.
Li'l Georgie should have gone out on his daddy's boat more often, Poppy could have told him it is a bad idea to piss into the wind.

Friday, June 20, 2008

How to explain the pusillanimity of todays vote

The only way to make sense of it



I Put A Spell On You - Creedence Clearwater Revival

Joe Galloway looks at the Tale of Tony Taguba

A capable and honorable man, totally out of place in the Bushovik world. Regardless, he did his best in the investigation of Abu Ghraib and Galloway gives him his due.
By regulation — and no doubt by the design of those who appointed him — Taguba could not investigate any uniformed or civilian official whose rank was higher than his own two stars.

Taguba and his investigators sifted and probed and assessed the blame as high as they were permitted to go. Taguba believed — no, he KNEW — that the responsibility for this outrage went much higher. He knew it reached to the office of then Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and likely beyond to the lawyers who served President George W. Bush and perhaps even to the president himself.

But the brass, military and civilian, wanted Taguba and those who ran 16 other Army investigations of the Abu Ghraib scandal only to get to the bottom of the situation, not to the top.
We can only learn what evil the Bushoviks have done, we know they will face no penalty for it.

Leave no campaign law unbroken

That would seem to be the unofficial motto of the Old Fart's campaign. We all know about his violations of the public finance law in the primary season. Now he is flapping off to Canada to take part in a violation of the Hatch Act and probably a few other laws, too.
A Canadian newspaper reported Thursday that Friday's scheduled $100-a-plate luncheon speech by Sen. John McCain in Ottowa was organized in part by U.S. Ambassador David Wilkins, a former South Carolina lawmaker whom President Bush appointed in 2005.

Democrats pointed out the article late Thursday night, and alleged that Wilkins's actions could be construed as a violation of the Hatch Act, which prohibits many kinds of political activities by government employees.

The Hatch Act circumscribes political activity for government employees. According to the American Foreign Service Association Web site, the State Department's ethics office prohibits fundraising activities for its presidential appointees.

The Web site for the association prints Cable No. 035610, the guidelines from the ethics division of the Department of State Legal Adviser's Office.

"In particular, you may not sell tickets for or otherwise promote fundraising activites such as political dinners for a partisan candidate or political committee," the cable says.It adds that the rules are for anyone "on duty," and that "the legislative history suggests that ambassadors may be considered to be on duty twenty-four hours a day while they are at post."
No law can stop him. The Old Fart is really just a chip off the old Bush.


The Old Fart speaks in mysterious ways

From Verdict with Dan Abrams



All his life the Old Fart has been living well at this country's expense, notice how his love developed when he couldn't get anyone to bail him out.

Stolen from AmericaBlog, because it makes the point so well.


Well, he did it again

Fir the second year in a row, my Congressputz Brian Higgins NY-27 has anointed his drawers with the yellow nectar of Republicanism and voted to allow George W Bush to wipe his ass with the Constitution. Allegedly he is a Democrat, we now know for certain he is a jackass of the worst sort, braying loudly and often but doing no useful work.

It is too late to give him a primary challenge in this cycle, but a good time to start working for the next cycle two years from now.

UPDATE: Shit! Even Obama is sipping the yellow nectar.

Kiss your rights goodbye

No one has yet explained why the Republicans, and some Democrats, hate the Constitution.


Krugman asks a question

Why, if the Bush energy policy is equal to the manure output of the top 3 dairy states, would the Old Fart tie himself to the mast of George W Bush on offshore drilling?
So why would Mr. McCain associate himself with these characters? The answer, presumably, is that it’s a cynical political calculation.

I’m reasonably sure that Mr. McCain’s advisers realize that offshore drilling would do nothing for current gas prices. But they may believe that the public can be conned. A Rasmussen poll taken before Mr. McCain’s announcement suggests that the public favors expanded offshore drilling, and believes (wrongly) that this would lower gasoline prices.

And Mr. McCain may also hope to shore up his still fragile relations with the Republican base. As anyone who has read what’s in his inbox after publishing an article on oil prices can testify, there are many people on the right who believe that all our energy problems have been caused by sanctimonious tree-huggers. Mr. McCain has just thrown that constituency some red meat.
Desperately hoping the public is dumber than his policies.


Thursday, June 19, 2008

Tea time in the District



JACK TEAGARDEN St. James Infirmary

The ties that bind




If it walks like a duck...

From the beginning, people have been accusing the oil industry's hand picked president of going to war in Iraq because of Iraq' reserves. Iraq is now on the verge of signing no-bid contracts with Exxon, Shell, Total, BP, Chevron & others to begin work on Iraqi oil fields.
The deals, expected to be announced on June 30, will lay the foundation for the first commercial work for the major companies in Iraq since the American invasion, and open a new and potentially lucrative country for their operations.

The no-bid contracts are unusual for the industry, and the offers prevailed over others by more than 40 companies, including companies in Russia, China and India. The contracts, which would run for one to two years and are relatively small by industry standards, would nonetheless give the companies an advantage in bidding on future contracts in a country that many experts consider to be the best hope for a large-scale increase in oil production.

There was suspicion among many in the Arab world and among parts of the American public that the United States had gone to war in Iraq precisely to secure the oil wealth these contracts seek to extract. The Bush administration has said that the war was necessary to combat terrorism. It is not clear what role the United States played in awarding the contracts; there are still American advisers to Iraq’s Oil Ministry.
If it quacks like a duck.

Part 5 of McClatchys investigation of the Bush gulag

The last installment of this series on the Shameful Legacy of George W Bush.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

This woman has brains, beauty

And more balls than the entire Bush administration. Lara Logan on The Daily Show.


Well slap my ass and call me Methuselah!

It is now official, the Old Fart's campaign people don't want you to refer to him as The Old Fart or any other term indicating his eligibility for fossil status.
“It is code; there is no question it is,” Ed Rollins, a Republican strategist who helped lead President Ronald Reagan’s 1984 reelection campaign, said when age surfaced as an issue. “They are trying to raise doubts.”

MSNBC host Joe Scarborough repeatedly argued on his show last week that the Obama campaign was portraying McCain as a “doddering, old, confused fool. He needs to go to Miami Beach and play checkers.”
Heck, when you look like they just popped the cork and pulled you out of your cryogenic storage tank, you will get some comparisons. And when you deserve them, it doesn't help to run from them, just makes you look like a guy with a combover.

Republicans block extension of unemployment, again

Why not? They all have a job, why don't you?

Doogie Feith is a nutless wonder

But you knew that already, but the rest of us got a chance to see him turn chicken and run when he was supposed to testify before Congress. When you are as deep into the crimes as Doogie is, testifying is not a recommended step.

A look at the more popular candidates wife

Not that such means a lot, but if you only knew soundbite stuff'n nonsense about Michelle Obama, the NY Times has a must read campaign bio for you.
“I looked out at my neighborhood and sort of had an epiphany that I had to bring my skills to bear in the place that made me,” she says in the interview. “I wanted to have a career motivated by passion and not just money.”

Eventually, she started the Chicago chapter of a training program called Public Allies. One day, looking for young leaders, she might knock on doors at Cabrini-Green, a public housing project so violent and neglected it would later be mostly demolished. Another day, she discovered Jose A. Rico, a young Mexican so alienated that he insisted on remaining an illegal immigrant rather than pursue citizenship. What is your goal? he recalled her asking.

To open a high school for Latinos, he replied. Mrs. Obama nodded: Good, tell me exactly how you would do it.

“Michelle was tough, man; she let nothing slide,” said Mr. Rico, now principal of Multicultural Arts High School in Chicago, which he helped start.
It's hard to believe that in this day and age she thinks she can be First Lady without ever having killed a boyfriend or stolen any drugs. Such is the stuff dreams are made of.

Part 4 of McClatchys investigation of the Bush Gulag

Today they look at how the minions were used to undermine the laws of the US and bring us down to the level of a Saddam Hussein.

Part 1


Part 2

Part 3

Todays toon



From the pen of Pat Oliphant

The New York Times speaks out on FISA

You know, the Bill That Need Not Be, much less passed in this session of Congress. Aside from the lack of need for it, it is packed full of goodies for Republicans and the America hating allies and nothing for Democrats.
The bill is not a compromise. The final details are being worked out, but all indications are that many of its provisions are both unnecessary and a threat to the Bill of Rights. The White House and the Congressional Republicans who support the bill have two real aims. They want to undermine the power of the courts to review the legality of domestic spying programs. And they want to give a legal shield to the telecommunications companies that broke the law by helping Mr. Bush carry out his warrantless wiretapping operation.

The new bill has other problems. It gives the government too much leeway to acquire communications in the United States without individual warrants or even a showing of probable cause. It greatly reduces judicial review, and it would remain in force for six years, which is too long.

If Congress cannot pass a clean bill that fixes the one real problem with FISA, it should simply extend the temporary authorization. At a minimum, the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, and the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, should oppose FISA expansion and pledge to revisit it next year. If any significant changes are going to be made, they should be made under the next president.
Congrtess should just leave it for Obama.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A moment of culture



You Ain't Going Nowhere - Earl Scruggs & The Byrds

Some more news to ignore

Because it is happening in Iraq and you know how we Americans can't waste our time on the mess we made.
A car bomb set to explode during the busiest time of day killed at least 51 people and wounded 75 Tuesday evening as shoppers were strolling through a Shiite neighborhood market in Baghdad. It was the deadliest attack in the Iraqi capital in more than three months.

The blast struck a crowded bus terminal near a market in Huriya, a northwest Baghdad district that once had a large population of Sunnis but after the American-led invasion saw horrific ethnic cleansing by Shiite militias and death squads, who killed or drove thousands of Sunnis out.

Survivors and relatives of the victims in the Tuesday blast were enraged and on edge. One man lost 11 relatives, including five female cousins. At a courtyard in front of the Kadhimiya Hospital morgue, people screamed, wept and shrieked. Some cursed the government for allowing the blast to happen while others called on God for revenge.
Now that things are back to normal, Our Dear Embattled Leader should include Iraq on one of his farewell tours.

Presidential campaigns exchange salvos

The Old Fart's people fired first, attempting to make us all afraid because, as they put it, Obama didn't believe that 9/11 changed everything and he would not destroy the Constitution to keep us all afraid. Obama responded with what we all know.
"These are the same guys who helped to engineer the distraction of the war in Iraq at a time when we could have pinned down the people who actually committed 9/11," the presumed nominee told reporters aboard his campaign plane. "This is the same kind of fear-mongering that got us into Iraq ... and it's exactly that failed foreign policy I want to reverse."
And he added for those who might still be working it out.
Obama told reporters that Osama bin Laden is still at large in part because President Bush's strategy toward fighting terror has not succeeded.
He only failed to say that Georgie's stragety would never work because it needed a live boogie man, a dead criminal would just get in the way.

Two new ads to help save America






Day 3 of McClatchy's investigation

Or how to set up a school for Jihadis without really knowing what you are doing.
A McClatchy investigation found that instead of confining terrorists, Guantanamo often produced more of them by rounding up common criminals, conscripts, low-level foot soldiers and men with no allegiance to radical Islam — thus inspiring a deep hatred of the United States in them — and then housing them in cells next to radical Islamists.
Another example of Georgie & Dickwahd working together with Osama.

Part 1

Part 2

Do your job, get fired, courtesy of KBR

The NY Times has the straight skinny on what happens when you mess with a military contractor, even when you are a 30 year employee of the military. In this case it was a matter of approving $1 Billion in expenses for which KBR could not provide any legitimate justification.
The official, Charles M. Smith, was the senior civilian overseeing the multibillion-dollar contract with KBR during the first two years of the war. Speaking out for the first time, Mr. Smith said that he was forced from his job in 2004 after informing KBR officials that the Army would impose escalating financial penalties if they failed to improve their chaotic Iraqi operations.

Army auditors had determined that KBR lacked credible data or records for more than $1 billion in spending, so Mr. Smith refused to sign off on the payments to the company. “They had a gigantic amount of costs they couldn’t justify,” he said in an interview. “Ultimately, the money that was going to KBR was money being taken away from the troops, and I wasn’t going to do that.”

But he was suddenly replaced, he said, and his successors — after taking the unusual step of hiring an outside contractor to consider KBR’s claims — approved most of the payments he had tried to block.
Poor guy forgot he was working for Republicans. Neither honesty nor competence will cut any ice with them.

Monday, June 16, 2008

5 in a row

And looking like a bat out of hell and somehow the law enforcement folks just didn't have a clue.
Police may have ignored a warning years ago that a woman with five dead spouses was trying to hire a hit man to kill one of the men, investigators in North Carolina said Monday.

Neumar has been married five times since the 1950s, but each union ended with the death of her husband. Investigators want authorities elsewhere to look into the deaths. Williams said investigators have uncovered a common link among the victims: They all had military experience.
And 3 & 4 died from gunshot wounds but no one was suspicious. OH-KA-AY!

Actually, if you can believe that the Old Fart is qualified to be president, you really can believe she is innocent.

Holy Shit! or is it Holy Oil?

Seems a bunch of beaker busters in California have developed a bacteria that eats agricultural waste and poops out petroleum. This could be the greatest development by mankind since we discovered that yeast poop out alchohol

And now, why the Old Fart wastes thousands of dollars on barbecue for the press

What you don't hear from McCain's Barbecue Boys & Girls.


And the beat goes on...

From Tom Lasseter, today is the second installment in the McClatchy investigation into the Bushevik efforts to Saddamize US overseas prison facilities.
American soldiers herded the detainees into holding pens of razor-sharp concertina wire, the kind that's used to corral livestock.

The guards kicked, kneed and punched many of the men until they collapsed in pain. U.S. troops shackled and dragged other detainees to small isolation rooms, then hung them by their wrists from chains dangling from the wire mesh ceiling.

Former guards and detainees whom McClatchy interviewed said Bagram was a center of systematic brutality for at least 20 months, starting in late 2001.
And were these men the "worst of the worst" or were they merely people in the wrong place at the wrong time, like Nazar Chaman Gul.
According to Afghan officials and a review of his case, Gul wasn't a member of al Qaida or of the extremist Taliban regime that ran Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001. At the time he was detained, he was working as a fuel depot guard for the U.S.-backed Afghan government.

When U.S. soldiers raided the house he was visiting, acting on a tip from a tribal rival who was seeking revenge against another man, they apparently confused Gul with a militant with a similar name — who was also imprisoned at Guantanamo, according to an Afghan intelligence official and Gul's American lawyer.
Some few that went through Bagram, Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo may be bad guys but most were literally sweepings in the aftermath of battle. It certainly would not take a trained interrogator long to discover this. And even if they were all the WOTW, torture is a worthless tecnique, you catch more flies with honey that with vinegar. Our Dear Leader has told us that it was a handful of bad soldiers who were responsible for this. Funny how we found a handful of them at all the major detention facilities.

There are 3 more installments to this dreadful picture, stay tuned.

The evil that men do lives after them

And Dr Krugman gives us a look at some of the evil the next president will have to face as he takes office.
A poison pill, in corporate jargon, is a financial arrangement designed to protect current management by crippling the company if someone else takes over.

As I read the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center’s analysis of the presidential candidates’ tax proposals, I realized that the tax cuts enacted by the Bush administration are, in effect, a fiscal poison pill aimed at future administrations.

True, the tax cuts won’t prevent a change in management — the Constitution sees to that. But they will make it hard for the next president to change the country’s direction.
Just one of many minefields, poisoned wells and partisan bands that the next president will have to root out of our government.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Monday Music Blogging



Long Island Cowboy - Red Molly

Live by the lobbyist, die by the lobbyist

The NY Times had a story on lobbying and attempts to revise the foreign lobbying provisions that had the unfortunate result of revealing his campaign managers ties to the Kremlin and, according to ABC News, potential violation of the anti-espionage Foreign Agents Registration Act.
The McCain campaign is strongly denying the paper's reporting that in 2005, a White House National Security Council staffer called John McCain's Senate office to complain that Rick Davis' lobbying firm was "undercutting American policy on Ukraine" by representing a Kremlin-backed politician.

If the account of the NSC staffer's call is true, it suggests McCain should have known about the work by Davis' business -- but installed him as campaign manager anyway. McCain's campaign, which had earlier referred a New York Times reporter to McCain's Senate office, now disputes that such a phone call ever happened.
The Old Fart was saying something about vetting your people the other day but I guess he didn't really mean it.


One of several causes

The price of oil has gone up because of the confluence of a number of reasons. These include demand, speculation and, as Rosa Brooks explains, US foreign policy. Consider this during your next "pain at the pump" moment.
On the supply side, U.S. foreign policy can have a major impact on global oil prices. Obvious example: Iraq has the world's fourth-largest oil reserves, but the U.S. war in Iraq caused oil production there to plummet, from a prewar level of 2.6 million barrels a day to below 1.5 million a day in 2004. This contributed to rising oil prices over the last few years. In May, Iraqi oil production finally returned to prewar levels, but the Iraqi oil industry remains vulnerable to continuing insecurity.

In other parts of the globe as well, U.S. foreign policy decisions have helped spur increases in the price of oil. In Nigeria, continued tensions about the share of oil profits that should go to local development have fueled ongoing militant attacks on oil production facilities, repeatedly disrupting the flow. On May 4, for instance, attacks on Royal Dutch Shell installations disrupted production; the next day, global oil prices were up by $3.65 a barrel. But the Bush administration has shown little interest in pushing the Nigerian government to adopt the political and economic reforms necessary to defuse the crisis.

In Venezuela (the world's fifth-largest oil supplier), the Bush administration backed a failed 2002 coup against President Hugo Chavez, effectively eliminating our diplomatic leverage with the Venezuelan government. Since then, Chavez has nationalized all oil production sites in Venezuela formerly under the control of foreign companies, a move that has further raised global oil prices. In Russia, too, ham-handed U.S. policies alienated Moscow, which has nationalized oil and gas companies and shown a distinct willingness to manipulate energy supplies for political purposes. Partly because of Russian government policies, Russian oil production has recently declined.

And global anxiety about U.S. bellicosity toward Iran -- which has the world's third-largest oil reserves -- continues to cause intermittent spikes in oil prices, as investors brace for the production disruptions a conflict with Iran would cause. (Last week, for instance, when an Israeli Cabinet minister said that an Israeli military strike against Iran -- backed, he appeared to imply, by Washington -- might be "unavoidable," global oil prices made their biggest-ever one-day jump.)



Dahlia Lithwick on the workings of the Supreme Court

An interesting look at the dynamics of opinion on the court and how it will effect you and I in the years ahead.
Both Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain are finally beginning to campaign as though the composition of the Supreme Court actually matters. And that's a good thing, because -- the American public's lack of interest notwithstanding -- the court counts as much as almost every other issue facing the voters in November. Assuming that you work, worship, vote, parent, own property the government might covet or occasionally have sex, the high court will intimately affect your life. This is particularly true now that the average justice is older than Mount Rushmore and the next president may well have two or three new court picks in the space of a few years.
Whether we will live under the rule of law or the brutal lash of neo-conservatism will be decided this November. Ask not whose rights the Old Fart wants to trample, they are yours, for the time being.

Bush gives advice to Brown

On how to withdraw British troops from Iraq. Now that's a source of advice you can trust and believe in.

A very, very important MUST READ

McClatchy does journalism , again. And you have to wonder if the all the other big time media will one day follow their example. Until then, let us look at their latest offering, a detailed look at the inmates of Guantanamo. I could excerpt this all day but it is best read in its entirety. One small piece to get you thinking.
McClatchy's interviews are the most ever conducted with former Guantanamo detainees by a U.S. news organization. The issue of detainee backgrounds has previously been reported on by other media outlets, but not as comprehensively.

McClatchy also in many cases did more research than either the U.S. military at Guantanamo, which often relied on secondhand accounts, or the detainees' lawyers, who relied mainly on the detainees' accounts.
Lock 'em away for life! Who are they? We don't know but we got 'em so throw away the key!

Your Republican government, protecting you one brutal fuckup at a time.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

You couldn't say Damn on the air

When this song was first released. Dollar was worth something back then.



Kingston Trio - Greenback Dollar

Who says British royalty is stodgy?


From CNN:
Britain's Princess Eugenie has been reprimanded by her school after being caught frolicking naked on college grounds, it was reported Saturday.

The 18-year-old daughter of Prince Andrew, Duke of York, and Sarah Ferguson, was apprehended for her involvement in end of term "high jinks" at the exclusive Marlborough College, west of London, the UK Press Associated said.

A royal source told the Press Association: "It was nothing more than high jinks at the end of term in May. A group of them were reprimanded and that's the end of the matter."

The tabloid Sun newspaper reported that a college staff member was woken by playful shrieks and found several young women dancing around without clothes.
Well it was "end of term" at college. If you can't dance naked then, when can you? And she is only 6th in line to the throne, I'm sure the other five have all maintained proper decorum.

One Brit says goodbye to Our Dear Embattled Leader

And as we well know, the Brits not only have better command of their language, they have better memories, too. That being said, David Edgar does manage to find one positive in the great wasteland of this Republican administration.
But the mauves and purples of population-proportionate America remind us that there are married, churchgoing, rural DemocratS; that the American genius is for perpetual reinvention; that your country still retains that spirit of doing the impossible, which not only irrigated southern California but also desegregated the south.

So your lasting contribution to American politics may be something quite unthinkable a year ago: its first black president.
What a dreadful thought, giving him any credit for that. Surely there is an easier way than 8 years of Bozo the Preznit.

Everybody in Iraq wants us out

Something that Our Dear Embattled Leader thinks he can overcome. This time he is finding out that Iraqis do have a sense of sovereignty and country that will not bend to his vainglorious ideas.
The Bush administration's Iraq policy suffered two major setbacks Friday when Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki publicly rejected key U.S. terms for an ongoing military presence and anti-American Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr called for a new militia offensive against U.S. forces.

During a visit to Jordan, Maliki said negotiations over initial U.S. proposals for bilateral political and military agreements had "reached a dead end." While he said talks would continue, his comments fueled doubts that the pacts could be reached this year, before the Dec. 31 expiration of a United Nations mandate sanctioning the U.S. role in Iraq.
It would seem that Georgie forgot one of his best definitions.
sovereignty means that, it's sovereign. It's — you're a — you're a — you've been given sovereignty, and you're — viewed as a sovereign entity.
And what will happen on the day this happens?
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki raised the possibility that his country won't sign a status of forces agreement with the United States and will ask U.S. troops to go home when their U.N. mandate to be in Iraq expires at the end of the year.

Maliki made the comment after weeks of complaints from Shiite Muslim lawmakers that U.S. proposals that would govern a continued troop presence in Iraq would infringe on Iraq's sovereignty.

"Iraq has another option that it may use," Maliki said during a visit to Amman, Jordan. "The Iraqi government, if it wants, has the right to demand that the U.N. terminate the presence of international forces on Iraqi sovereign soil."
Will Li'l Georgie and his Uncle Dickwahd have to do another regime change?

Li'l Georgie & Dickwahd really, really want to bomb Iran

To what end is still a mystery to people who are not certifiably insane. When the Big Fool says stuff like this we must remember how much this echos the run up to Iraq and how well that played out.
President Bush accused Iran on Saturday of rejecting a new set of incentives to stop enriching uranium, only hours after the proposal received a cold shoulder when it was delivered by Western diplomats in Tehran.

“I am disappointed that the leaders rejected this generous offer out of hand,” Mr. Bush said during a joint news conference here with President Nicolas Sarkozy of France. “It is an indication to the Iranian people that their leadership is willing to isolate them further. Our view is we want the Iranian people to flourish and to benefit.”
Yes, the Iranians were not open to all aspects of the proposal, but why would Our Dear Dickhead be so keen on closing all but the door to war if that were not his ultimate aim. In light of Little Scottie's book the answer might be found at home as these two seek to continue the Republican ascendancy even though it smells like week old roadkill these days. No doubt they believe this will insure their lagacy, whatever that may be, will endure. Real Americans must work to insure their lagacy is properly buried for all time.

Quote of the Day

"The United States Supreme Court yesterday rendered a decision which I think is one of the worst decisions in the history of this country."
Sen. John McCain, Republican, commenting on the Supreme Court decision this week and raising the question, When did he learn to hate the Constitution?

Friday, June 13, 2008

Poor Florida, first Scarface and now CVS

And Walgreen and all those other pharmacies threatening the lives of its citizens.
An analysis of autopsies in 2007 released this week by the Florida Medical Examiners Commission found that the rate of deaths caused by prescription drugs was three times the rate of deaths caused by all illicit drugs combined.

The purest expression of Rudi Giuliani

It seems that her honor the ex-mayor has a unique idea for retiring his campaign debt.
With the Republican Party in need of money for the November elections, former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani has offered to appear at fund-raisers around the country for G.O.P. candidates. But there is a catch: He wants some cash out of the deal.

Mr. Giuliani’s aides have told the National Republican Congressional Committee and Congressional candidates that if he makes an appearance, he wants the candidates to help him get rid of his presidential campaign debt.
Republicans have shown great creativity in fundraising, including diverting public monies into their campaign coffers, but Rudi's plan has pissed off many of them.
Mr. Giuliani’s move has irritated some of his Republican colleagues, who say that the arrangement would put an additional strain on candidates who in many cases are struggling to raise money. Some say rather than making a generous gesture, the former mayor is seeking to tap local candidates’ donors.

“In a year when our candidates are struggling to raise money, this is just another burden,” said a leading Republican Party strategist, who was briefed about the mayor’s request. “This is not about helping the party. This is about helping Rudy Giuliani.”
It's always about Rudi.

Straight from the "maverick's" mouth



found on Rising Hegemon

Stephen Colbert wants to make the Old Fart exciting

And he has issued a Green Screen Challenge to his viewers. Some have already stepped up to the plate. The third one is a home run.


Privitize Social Security?

Depending on when you made the video, that Old Fart McFlipper goes both ways.




R.I.P Tim Russert

Another South Buffalo political icon has exited the stage.

de mortuis nil nisi bonum dicendum est

Why the Anarchist Grover Norquist is wrong

Paul Krugman has the answer for you in his column today. And a very neat explanation of how the achievement of the conservative anti regulatory agenda turned out to be bad for business as well as people. Go, Read, Learn.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The few..

Our Dear Embattled Leader and his evil crew have discovered the easiest way to avoid having their friends and family discovered stealing from the US government. Keep the number of agents investigating fraud at a ridiculously low level, no cops to see, no arrests to make.
Double-billing. Bribes. Kickbacks. Military contracts are big targets for serious crimes — and there aren’t nearly enough investigators to catch them all.

The Army’s contracting budget has exploded since the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan began — from $46 billion in 2002 to $112 billion in 2007. Yet the number of people who hunt down crooked companies and corrupt officials has stayed about the same, according to Associated Press interviews and research.

Army investigation chiefs told the AP they need a dramatic increase in agents to fight contract fraud.

In combat zones, deals can be made quickly, often with foreign companies in countries where bribes are a routine part of doing business. Yet to monitor those billions in contracts, just under 100 civilian agents are assigned to the Army Criminal Investigation Command’s procurement fraud office.
What is not mentioned is that the agents who were good at their jobs were demoted, transferred or fired, remember Bunny, so that 100 were not even the best available.

Words of True Wisdom

found over at Crooks & Liars


Republicans beat Democrats 7 to 1

In the number of Republicans (14) who have refused to endorse the Old Fart for president. As you may remember from all the news coverage it was a grand total of 2 Democrats who refused to endorse Obama. Be sure and tell all your friends about this as it may be one of the larger Republican victories this year.

WOW! Scotus rules in favor of Constitution

Deciding 5-4, the Supreme Court ruled that Our Dear Embattled Leader and his slavish minions can not limit habeas corpus. The ruling is pretty much a kick in the nuts to the Pretzelwits' kangaroo courts at Guantanamo. As Judge Anthony Kennedy so properly puts it in the majority opinion:
"The laws and Constitution are designed to survive, and remain in force, in extraordinary times. Liberty and security can be reconciled; and in our system they are reconciled within the framework of the law."
As expected, those standing against the Constitution included the Dread Chief Justice Roberts, his scurvy First Mate Alito, the cabin boy Thomas. The sea cook, Bafangu Scalia wrote the dissent, a dreadful pasteup of neocon nonsense and Republican talking points with little legal basis, defending the indefensible. While Our Dear Embattled Leader says he will try to present new legislation to violate the Constitution, the real point to remember is that the election of the Old Fart will let him put more clowns like the dissenting crew on the court. If that were to happen, this might be one of the last times the Court would decide in favor of the Constitution.


Say a prayer for Paul Newman

A close friend and business partner of Paul Newman has confirmed speculation that the legendary US film star has cancer.
A good man who has done so much for others.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A McCain Moment this morning

A DNC video this afternoon.



I guess the Old Fart is good practice.


Mean Jean Schmidt is a lying sack of Republican

Yes I know that is redundant, but the level of lying that Mean Jean is serving up is absolutely appalling and probably making TurdBlossom blow his load. This is Mean Jeans Big Lie
Wulsin's contempt for the culture of life has even led her to participate in grotesque medical experiments. Wulsin was paid for her work in medical "studies" where victims of AIDS in Africa and China were, without their consent, injected with the malaria virus, all in the name of "scientific inquiry."
The Wulsin response should be simple and direct and repeated often, that miserable sack of Schmidt is lying.

"A target rich environment"

The best of KO last night.


KO makes a funny



No surprise, it is at the Old Fart's expense.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Impeach Cheney!



James McMurtry - Cheney's Toy

Another Dog & Pony Show

It looks like the agency that opened the door to unregulated speculation by hedge funds in the oil futures market is going to examine the situation.
The nation's top regulator of oil trading announced on Tuesday the creation of a special federal task force to study the role of speculators and the investment practices of large institutions that critics believe are running up oil prices.

The announcement came as a special advisory committee went before the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to discuss ways to make the oil markets more transparent. Increasing reporting requirements and other transparency measures would reduce concerns that oil traders are manipulating the trading of contracts for future delivery of oil, called futures, in ways that drive up oil prices. The CFTC announced in late May that it was investigating whether there has been price manipulation during this year's steep run-up in global oil prices.
Like others, I don't see much coming from this as the CFTC was the source of the problem and the task force would be guided by those who have done their fair share to aggravate the problem.
Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, who led investment bank Goldman Sachs & Co. before joining the Bush administration, suggested Tuesday that supply and demand forces alone are to blame for today's record prices, sparking debate.

Bart Chilton, a CFTC commissioner, said that Paulson spoke too soon.

"Perhaps the secretary has a crystal ball, but I don't, and given what I'm seeing and hearing in the markets and from market users, that seems to be a premature determination, at best," Chilton, a former vice president of the National Farm Union, said in prepared remarks. "At worst, I think it would be a dereliction of our duties for us, the overseers of these markets, to ignore other possible reasons for price run-ups, and continue to fall back on reliance on 'fundamentals.'"
Poor old Bart doesn't realize that dereliction of duty will gain you much praise and promotion in this White House.

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