Thursday, November 30, 2006

Jimmy the Fixer's next job

Having left his nice cushy gig as a Texas "University President" to help his old boss bail out his idiot child from another big mess, Jimmy the Fixer now knows what he has to do. Finding his investment of time and effort in finding an acceptable cover to get the Idiot Child out of trouble stymied by the dead hand of Big Dick Cheney, Jimmy has to find a way to stop a pacemaker.

Will he succeed? Stay tuned for all the action!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Tom Toles today

But Colin Powell knows how to say it.

Quote of the Day

And who knows, really, what this President has been taught by this month’s election? The present President Bush, after all, is a decider of decisions, not a learner of lessons. And he likes to decide that he was right all along.
Hendrik Hertzberg in New Yorker magazine.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

His Master's Voice

Saudi Arabia is so concerned about the damage that the conflict in Iraq is doing across the region that it basically summoned Vice President Cheney for talks over the weekend, according to U.S. officials and foreign diplomats.

Quote of the Day

"There's one thing I'm not going to do, I'm not going to pull our troops off the battlefield before the mission is complete,"
Our Dear Befuddled Leader, the Man With The Plan NOT!

Monday, November 27, 2006

When is a civil war not a civil war?

When Our Dear Leader and his incompetent minions say it isn't. It is our good fortune that Froomkin declares "Shenanigans" on that bumbling crew.

White House Says Iraq in 'New Phase'

Our Dear Embattled Leader ands his incompetent minions sure do have a way with words. Take for example, their latest description of the events in Iraq.
President Bush intensified diplomatic efforts on Monday to quell rising violence in Iraq and Afghanistan, turning to allies as his national security adviser said the conflict in Iraq had entered "a new phase" requiring changes.

"Obviously everyone would agree things are not proceeding well enough or fast enough,"
National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley told reporters aboard Air Force One as Bush flew eastward.
This might be lacking in clarity for some people so I have taken the liberty of including this clip from Michael Ware of CNN explaining the "new phase" to Kyra Phillips.

It really is simple when you use the right words.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Time for a Thanksgiving break

And off I will go to enjoy the holiday with my family, a luxury that too many of our troops will not be able share. And some will never again share the joy. So as you feast and party, take some time to pray to your God that the God of Our Dear Embattled Leader will whisper some words of wisdom into that poor fools head.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Tom Toles today

Compare Tom's take on Iraq with the Pentagon plans.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Sometimes WTF? just isn't enough.

This story from the Boston Globe illustrates just how much of a "Through the Looking Glass" world we live in today. You have to read it to believe it.

Elections are over

Gasoline prices at U.S. pumps rose an average of a nickel a gallon over the last two weeks, ending three months of falling prices, according to a national survey released Sunday.

Big Dick redux

A news release from AFP informs us that the upcoming New Yorker issue has a new article from Seymour Hersh. This time he informs the public that the CIA has produced an analysis that finds "no firm evidence of a secret drive by
Iran to develop nuclear weapons, as alleged by the White House". In a normal world, this, on top of the Democratic victory, would put further consideration of the military option on indefinite hold. That is where the wondrous Big Dick comes into the picture.
"If the Democrats won on November 7th, the vice president said, that victory would not stop the administration from pursuing a military option with Iran," Hersh wrote, citing a source familiar with the discussion.

Cheney said the White House would circumvent any legislative restrictions "and thus stop Congress from getting in its way," he said...

....Cheney and his aides had discounted the assessment, the official said.

"They're not looking for a smoking gun," the official was quoted as saying, referring to specific intelligence about Iranian nuclear planning.

"They're looking for the degree of comfort level they think they need to accomplish the mission."
This would be unequivocally impeachable and might even rise to the level of treason. Such actions as Big Dick may be comtemplating would truly give "aid and comfort" to the external enemies of this country, and a few internal ones, too.

You can read Mr. Hersh here.

Quote of the Day

"The United States of America should have a foundation free from the influence of clergy."
George Washington

A pick of the nose and a flick of the finger from Our Dear Embattled Leader

New York Times Editorial:
A Bad Choice for Social Security

A day after the midterm elections, President Bush announced that he had deputized Henry Paulson Jr., the secretary of the Treasury, to work with the new Congress on reforming Social Security. Mr. Paulson would bring formidable deal-making skills to the task, honed over years as a top investment banker. In an interview with The Times after the announcement, he stressed the importance of bipartisanship. “We were going to have to build a consensus, no matter who won the election,” he said.

But then Mr. Bush nominated Andrew Biggs, a zealous advocate of privatizing Social Security, to a six-year term as the next deputy commissioner of Social Security. The nomination puts Mr. Paulson in a tough spot, raising questions about whether Mr. Bush really wants to build a consensus for Social Security reform.

To have a serious discussion with Congress, Mr. Paulson must first take the idea of private accounts off the table. As an experienced negotiator, he has to know that. In opinion polls the public largely rejected Mr. Bush’s plan for private accounts. Congressional Democrats resisted en bloc. Most Republican lawmakers were lukewarm at best. Mr. Bush has interpreted the defeat as evidence that the public and Congress are too frightened of change to embrace his vision. But private accounts were rejected because they are bad policy and bad politics.

Mr. Paulson — who has a reputation for pragmatism — could indeed be the right person to take the lead on developing a new set of reforms. But with the nomination of Mr. Biggs, Mr. Bush is signaling that he doesn’t want new ideas.

Mr. Bush’s choice of Mr. Biggs is also no favor to the man he has nominated to be the next commissioner of Social Security, Michael Astrue, a businessman who was an official in the administration of President George H. W. Bush. In a public exchange of letters before the election, Mr. Astrue told Senator Harry Reid of Nevada and Senator Max Baucus of Montana that he would follow the practice of the current commissioner, Jo Anne Barnhart, who has steered clear of the privatization debate.

With Mr. Biggs on his staff, Mr. Astrue may find that a difficult commitment to keep. In 2005, Mr. Bush campaigned for privatization with another deputy commissioner by his side — diminishing the authority of Ms. Barnhart. If Mr. Bush truly wants to empower Mr. Paulson and Mr. Astrue, he should withdraw the ill-advised nomination of Mr. Biggs.
Li'l Georgie smearing feces on the walls again.

Now we have really lost in Iraq

Because the immoral sage Henry Kissinger has told us so.
Military victory is no longer possible in Iraq, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger said in a television interview broadcast Sunday.
However, before you pop the champagne, please note that Henry also says that there have not yet been enough deaths in Iraq to suit his taste.
But Kissinger, an architect of the Vietnam war who has advised President Bush about Iraq, warned against a rapid withdrawal of coalition troops, saying it could destabilize Iraq's neighbors and cause a long-lasting conflict.
The religious aspect of the civil war in Iraq guarantees it will be a long lasting conflict. As for the neighbors, throwing the burden on their shoulders with our withdrawal would be a roll of the dice that probably has a better chance of success than the present course. Self interest is a powerful driver.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Well, look who's divided now.

After a week of constant blather chasing chimerical divisions in the upcoming Democratic Congress, we are finally treated to a story of real division in the ranks of those who created the mess in Iraq. And these will be more than catfights among siblings, they are battling for the philosophy that guided us all into that disaster.
The arc of Bush's second term has shown that the most powerful criticism originates from the inside. The pragmatist crowd around Colin L. Powell began speaking out nearly two years ago after he was eased out as secretary of state. Powell lieutenants such as Haass, Richard L. Armitage, Carl W. Ford Jr. and Lawrence B. Wilkerson took public the policy debates they lost on the inside. Many who worked in Iraq returned deeply upset and wrote books such as "Squandered Victory" (Larry Diamond) and "Losing Iraq" (David L. Phillips). Military and CIA officials unloaded after leaving government, culminating in the "generals' revolt" last spring when retired flag officers called for Rumsfeld's dismissal.

On the domestic side, Bush allies in Congress, interest groups and the conservative media broke their solidarity with the White House out of irritation over a number of issues, including federal spending, illegal immigration, the Supreme Court nomination of Harriet Miers, the response to Hurricane Katrina and the Dubai port deal.

Most striking lately, though, has been the criticism from neoconservatives who provided the intellectual framework for Bush's presidency. Perle, Adelman and others advocated a robust use of U.S. power to advance ideals of democracy and freedom, targeting Hussein's Iraq as a threat that could be turned into an opportunity.
The finger pointing begins and they will hurl all manner of rhetorical bombshells at each other while Our Dear Embattled Leader serenely continues his bloody legacy in Iraq and real people die for puerile ideas and pusillanimous vanities.

Quote of the Day

The Washington story that will matter most going forward is the fate of the divided Republicans. Only if they heroically come together can the country be saved from a president who, for all his professed pipe dreams about democracy in the Middle East, refuses to surrender to democracy’s verdict at home.
Frank Rich identifys our national problem

Take my pope....please!

Apparently the Italians are not taking the new Pope Benedict XVI into their hearts. According to the NY Times, they are taking their jokes about the Vatican out of the dining room and onto the airwaves.
In one radio skit, Rosario Fiorello, a comedian, portrayed Monsignor Gänswein dining at a brand-new restaurant called “the Last Supper,” where “one portion of fish was shared by 20.” He used a cellphone with Handel’s “Hallelujah” chorus as its ring tone.

The pope himself is also subject to ribbing. On Tuesday night, in a television skit, the comedian Maurizio Crozza impersonated Pope Benedict being a mite touchy about comparisons to his media-darling predecessor, Pope John Paul II, who was frail for years before his death. “Could Pope Wojtyla do this?” he barked to two attendants, bursting into song and tap dancing. “Or this?” he added, juggling three oranges.
The Italian people have always been very possessive of the Vatican but Paul II had a great charm and made a serious effort to soothe ruffled feathers upon his election. This "papa tedesco" does not share those qualities. And for that he will probably hear jokes like this for a long time.
The Holy Trinity won a free trip and had to decide where to go. God the Father said he would like to go to Africa, Jesus to Palestine, and the Holy Spirit to the Vatican. Asked why, the Holy Spirit responded: “Because I’ve never been there.”
Left them rolling in the aisles.

"Abu" Gonzalez defends violating the Constitution

As the Bushoviks gin up their press for passage of the bill authorizing warrantless wiretapping, Our Dear Embattled Leader's sychophantic Attorney General returned to his would be alma mater. (Like most Bushoviks, he couldn't take prolonged exposure to military life.) His purpose, like Big Dick's earlier was to defend rampant executive law breaking by pretending that it improved nationable security.
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales contended Saturday that some critics of the Bush administration's warrantless surveillance program were defining freedom in a way that presents a "grave threat" to U.S. security.

Gonzales was the second administration official in two days to attack a federal judge's ruling last August that the program was unconstitutional. Vice President Dick Cheney on Friday called the decision "an indefensible act of judicial overreaching."
In fact the two are obviously confused by a normal judicial check on an indefensible act of executive overreaching . But the Bushoviks never did have any respect for the law.

House Dems will try to pay for Li'l Georgies War

And who can really argue with the thrust of their efforts?
House Democrats are targeting billions of dollars in oil company tax breaks for quick repeal next year. A broader energy proposal that would boost alternative energy sources and conservation is expected to be put off until later.
Given the realities of DC, this may be more difficult than it should be but the targets are easy and the rewards should be substantial. Some of the targets are:
--Tax breaks for refinery expansion and for geological studies to help oil exploration.

--A measure passed two years ago primarily to promote domestic manufacturing. It allows oil companies to take a tax credit if they chose to drill in this country instead of going abroad.

--Alleged price gouging. Proposals to create a federal price gouging law for gasoline and other fuels probably will move quickly.

--More incentives and mandates to expand the use of ethanol and biodiesel as a substitute for gasoline. Requiring oil companies to phase in retail pumps that deliver fuel that is 85 percent ethanol.

--Requiring power companies to produce a percentage of their electricity from renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power. Such a measure is a priority of Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., incoming chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

--Extending energy efficiency tax credits approved by Congress last year. Most are scheduled to expire at the end of next year.

--Expanding a tax break for buyers of gas-electric hybrid cars and offering more incentives for automakers to build greater numbers of the vehicles.
All worthy objectives, so give your congressmoops a call and let them know where you stand.

NY Times slaps around Our Dear Embattled Leader

And does so in the most insulting way, by comparing his visit to VietNam with that of Bill Clinton in 2000. Compare this;
Mr. Bush emerged from his hotel for only one nonofficial event, a 15-minute visit to the Joint P.O.W./M.I.A. Accounting Command, which searches for the remains of the 1,800 Americans still listed as missing in the Vietnam War.

There were almost no Vietnamese present, just a series of tables displaying photographs of the group’s painstaking work, and helmets, shoes and replicas of bones recovered by the 425 members of the command. He asked a few questions and then sped off in his motorcade.
With this;
In 2000, tens of thousands of Hanoi’s residents poured into the streets to witness the visit of the first American head of state since the end of the Vietnam War. Mr. Clinton toured the thousand-year-old Temple of Literature, grabbed lunch at a noodle shop, argued with Communist Party leaders about American imperialism and sifted the earth for the remains of a missing airman.
I suppose we should be glad that ODEL doesn't put his face on our public diplomacy. That would really screw the pooch!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Cheeky Brits

The British newspaper, The Telegraph, had the story of Our Dear Embattled Leader's visit to VietNam under this headline.
Bush goes to Vietnam, four decades after dodging draft

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Big Fool says to push on.

Just like Nixon did thirtysome years ago with VietNam.
President George Bush has told senior advisers that the US and its allies must make "a last big push" to win the war in Iraq and that instead of beginning a troop withdrawal next year, he may increase US forces by up to 20,000 soldiers, according to sources familiar with the administration's internal deliberations.
Leaving right away would be a disaster so you keep plugging away, hoping against hope that something will make the final bugout less embarrassing. And in the interim how many more fathers and sons and mothers and daughters will die in Our Dear Embattled Leader's vain quest to look glorious instead of ignominious.

And no matter what he does or doesn't do, he won't pay any price for another of his failures, that's what the little people are for.

Bullseye for Pat Oliphant

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Quote of the Day

“No. No.”
Gov. Bob Taft when asked if he would exercise his right to grant pardons to Noe or anyone involved in the scandal and forgetting to mind his e's again.

Tom Toles today

Maybe he will do better than Dr Frist.

Quote of the Day

Their moral war in Iraq was sold four years ago with two big lies: that Saddam had W.M.D. and that the Iraqis were yearning for democracy. And it has continued in a fog of deception about imaginary progress. It is immoral to put troops’ lives at risk because one is doctrinaire, to make people die for a failure of flexibility.
MoDo today in the New York Times

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

TurdBlossom dissed by the NY Post

Boy, when you lose Rupert you know you screwed the pooch!
-- NO one's calling Karl Rove "Boy Genius" anymore. After last week's election debacle, some Republicans wonder aloud if it's time for President Bush's political guru to follow Defense Secretary Don Rumsfeld and walk the plank.
It should be fun watching the Republican back and forthing on whether Mr. Blossom will stay or not.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Tom Noe guilty of 29 felony counts

The Toledo Blade brings us the details of the end for the man who began the end of Republican misrule in Ohio.
Tom Noe, the once high-flying Republican financier who went from college dropout to millionaire coin dealer, was found guilty today of stealing money from the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation and using the cash to erase debts and buy and furnish million-dollar homes.

Noe was found guilty of 29 of the 40 charges, among them numerous theft and forgery counts. He was found guilty on his chief charge that he engaged in a pattern of corruption in his management of Ohio's $50 million rare-coin fund investment with the bureau.

Because he also was found guilty of the aggravated theft, the corruption charge will carry a minimum of 10 years in prison....

....The verdict came less than a week after a corruption-weary electorate swept the GOP out of power in Ohio. The jury of eight women and four men passed a similar judgment on Noe, who spawned a scandal that tarred the Republican Party and contributed to the stinging defeat Tuesday.
Heckuva job Tom! And thanks.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

The little guys have it right

Pat Oliphant

Tom Toles

Quote of the Day

“Bob Sherwood’s seat [in Pennsylvania] would have been overwhelmingly ours, if his mistress hadn’t whined about being throttled,” said Mr Norquist. Any lessons from the campaign? “Yes. The lesson should be, don’t throttle mistresses.”
From the Financial Times story about neocon efforts to absolve TurdBlossom of blame for the election losses.

How interesting that he did not suggest not having a mistress in the first place. Good Republican values.

Great minds get together, sort of.

Our Dear Embattled Leader can no longer insist on "my way or the highway" for his Glorious Little War, but that does not mean he will move swiftly to end the disaster.
"Nobody wants to get the troops out of there more than President Bush," he said. "But they need to be there to support the Iraqi government, to make sure that the Iraqi government succeeds. And as soon as we can get them out, we will."
In the meantime it is business as usual in Iraq.
The Shiite prime minister promised Sunday to reshuffle his Cabinet after calling lawmakers disloyal and blaming Sunni Muslims for raging sectarian violence that claimed at least 159 more lives, including 35 men blown apart while waiting to join Iraq's police force.

Among the unusually high number of dead were 50 bodies found behind a regional electrical company in Baqouba, 35 miles northeast of Baghdad, and 25 others found scattered throughout the capital. Three U.S. troops were reported killed, as were four British service members.
How many more will die before "Jimmy the Fixer" Baker can give ODEL cover for his bugout?

Saturday, November 11, 2006

It's not a civil war, it is a religious war

And that is the worst possible event for Iraq in particular and the region in general.
The sectarian violence that exploded in Baghdad, after the bombing of a Shiite shrine in Samarra in February, has spread like a contagion to other regions.

Shiite death squads in Baghdad have forced many Sunnis to flee to Baquba, 35 miles to the north, where some have joined the insurgency and have begun attacking Shiites.

“The Sunni have driven the Shia out of Baquba,” said Lt. Col. Thomas Fisher, commander of the 1-68 Combined Arms Battalion, which left Baquba in early November after a yearlong deployment. “They have come from Baghdad, driven out by Shiites there.”

Many Shiites are completing the circle, he said, fleeing to Baghdad or farther south.

Sunnis in Baquba now slaughter Shiites simply to avenge the killings of Sunnis in Baghdad, said Baquba’s mayor, Khalid al-Sinjari, a Sunni. “They kill in Baghdad, we kill in Baquba,” he said.
In a civil war, a strong leader could emerge or the population can finally tire of all the killing and destruction. In a religious war, no one ever tires of killing people who worship the wrong god. And none of Iraq's neighbors want to see their co-religionists in second place. It will be a war without end.

Dead Republican wins in Texas

An unusual outcome in one of the U.S. House races, Tuesday. Republican Rep. Glenda Dawson, easily defeated her Democratic opponent Tuesday. The problem is she's dead.
Republican party officials indicated that they did not expect this to limit her effectiveness.

Robert Kuttner makes a good point

In his Boston Globe column today. It should not get lost in all the post-election babble being thrown around with reckless abandon these days.
Now, we begin Iraq 2.0: The Extrication. Bush, again, desperately needs Democratic fingerprints on what, until now, has been entirely his mess. The Dunkirk phase is not going to be pretty. Leaks from the Baker-Hamilton commission, created to look for a Plan B, confirm there is no easy way out.

The aftermath of Bush's disastrous war will be the Democrats' responsibility -- only when and if they take back the White House. Until then, Bush is commander in chief, and it's his job, prodded by Congress's power of the purse and of investigation, to find a way out.
It is Our Dear Embattled Leader's war and he has to find his way out. The Democrats need to pressure him constantly to do it right and support him if he does but he is "The Decider".

Today, let us remember

All those who have given their full measure to create and protect our country. From the first days of spring in 1775 to the hot, sandy reaches of Iraq. Men and women of this country have always answered the call to arms through our history and, whether well or poorly led, have been willing to give their lives so that the we may live the promise of this great country. Today, whether you thank the living or honor the fallen, always remember that they did their duty for us.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Have you seen or participated in any voter fraud?

MoveOn has an offer for you.
MoveOn Offers $250,000 Reward for Evidence Leading to Voter Fraud Conviction

11/7/2006 5:21:00 PM

To: National Desk, Political Reporter

Contact: Trevor Fitzgibbon, Laura Gross or Alex Howe, 202-822-5200, all for Political Action

WASHINGTON, Nov. 7 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Political Action is offering a $250,000 reward for new material evidence leading to a felony conviction for an organized effort of partisan voter suppression or electronic voting fraud.

Throughout the day accusations of election fraud and voter suppression incidents have been flooding into state and federal authorities throughout the country. In Virginia, the FBI has launched a criminal investigation into charges of voter suppression. In 20 Congressional districts, NRCC robocalls appearing to come from Democrats harassed voters with repeated calls in an apparently coordinated campaign to suppress the vote.

Complementing an earlier reward for whistleblowers, MoveOn's reward is being offered to anyone who provides this information.
If you were a participant, you might want to have your lawyer make first contact.




Monday, November 06, 2006

Quote of the Day

At this point, nobody should have any illusions about Mr. Bush’s character. To put it bluntly, he’s an insecure bully who believes that owning up to a mistake, any mistake, would undermine his manhood — and who therefore lives in a dream world in which all of his policies are succeeding and all of his officials are doing a heckuva job.
Paul Krugman in his NYT column today.

Tuesday November 7 is Election Day

So get out and vote so we can put these political cartoonists out of work.

Are you smokin' rope?

Maybe we would be better off if he put down the glass and picked up the spliff.
As for the Shooter, just say a prayer for his daughter tomorrow when Dick goes hunting again.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

What you call, 'Grasping for straws'

President Bush on Sunday seized on the conviction of Saddam Hussein as a milestone in Iraq, seeking to rally Republican voters with the issue of national security as some polls suggested that his party might be making gains in the final hours of the campaign.

I guess the Republicans are not Conservative

Because the following editorial is in the current issue of The American Conservative magazine.
GOP Must Go

Next week Americans will vote for candidates who have spent much of their campaigns addressing state and local issues. But no future historian will linger over the ideas put forth for improving schools or directing funds to highway projects.

The meaning of this election will be interpreted in one of two ways: the American people endorsed the Bush presidency or they did what they could to repudiate it. Such an interpretation will be simplistic, even unfairly so. Nevertheless, the fact that will matter is the raw number of Republicans and Democrats elected to the House and Senate.

It should surprise few readers that we think a vote that is seen—in America and the world at large—as a decisive “No” vote on the Bush presidency is the best outcome. We need not dwell on George W. Bush’s failed effort to jam a poorly disguised amnesty for illegal aliens through Congress or the assaults on the Constitution carried out under the pretext of fighting terrorism or his administration’s endorsement of torture. Faced on Sept. 11, 2001 with a great challenge, President Bush made little effort to understand who had attacked us and why—thus ignoring the prerequisite for crafting an effective response. He seemingly did not want to find out, and he had staffed his national-security team with people who either did not want to know or were committed to a prefabricated answer.

As a consequence, he rushed America into a war against Iraq, a war we are now losing and cannot win, one that has done far more to strengthen Islamist terrorists than anything they could possibly have done for themselves. Bush’s decision to seize Iraq will almost surely leave behind a broken state divided into warring ethnic enclaves, with hundreds of thousands killed and maimed and thousands more thirsting for revenge against the country that crossed the ocean to attack them. The invasion failed at every level: if securing Israel was part of the administration’s calculation—as the record suggests it was for several of his top aides—the result is also clear: the strengthening of Iran’s hand in the Persian Gulf, with a reach up to Israel’s northern border, and the elimination of the most powerful Arab state that might stem Iranian regional hegemony.

The war will continue as long as Bush is in office, for no other reason than the feckless president can’t face the embarrassment of admitting defeat. The chain of events is not complete: Bush, having learned little from his mistakes, may yet seek to embroil America in new wars against Iran and Syria.

Meanwhile, America’s image in the world, its capacity to persuade others that its interests are common interests, is lower than it has been in memory. All over the world people look at Bush and yearn for this country—which once symbolized hope and justice—to be humbled. The professionals in the Bush administration (and there are some) realize the damage his presidency has done to American prestige and diplomacy. But there is not much they can do.

There may be little Americans can do to atone for this presidency, which will stain our country’s reputation for a long time. But the process of recovering our good name must begin somewhere, and the logical place is in the voting booth this Nov. 7. If we are fortunate, we can produce a result that is seen—in Washington, in Peoria, and in world capitals from Prague to Kuala Lumpur—as a repudiation of George W. Bush and the war of aggression he launched against Iraq.

We have no illusions that a Democratic majority would be able to reverse Bush’s policies, even if they had a plan to. We are aware that on a host of issues the Democrats are further from TAC’s positions than the Republicans are. The House members who blocked the Bush amnesty initiative are overwhelmingly Republican. But immigration has not played out in an entirely partisan manner this electoral season: in many races the Democrat has been more conservative than the open-borders, Big Business Republican. A Democratic House and Senate is, in our view, a risk immigration reformers should be willing to take. We can’t conceive of a newly elected Democrat in a swing district who would immediately alienate his constituency by voting for amnesty. We simply don’t believe a Democratic majority would give the Republicans such an easy route to return to power. Indeed, we anticipate that Democratic office holders will follow the polls on immigration just as Republicans have, and all the popular momentum is towards greater border enforcement.

On Nov. 7, the world will be watching as we go to the polls, seeking to ascertain whether the American people have the wisdom to try to correct a disastrous course. Posterity will note too if their collective decision is one that captured the attention of historians—that of a people voting, again and again, to endorse a leader taking a country in a catastrophic direction. The choice is in our hands.

November 20, 2006 Issue
And a tip of the fedora to John at AmericaBlog

Guard and Reserve to be screwed along with Regular Army.

And just in time for the election, the news of Our Dear Embattled Leader's plan for grinding down all of our troops before he leaves office.
The Army's National Guard and Reserve are bracing for possible new and accelerated call-ups, spurred by high demand for U.S. troops in Iraq, that leaders caution could undermine the citizen-soldier force as it struggles to rebuild....

....A more sweeping policy shift is under consideration that would allow the Pentagon to launch a new wave of involuntary mobilizations of the reserves, as a growing proportion of Guard and Reserve soldiers are nearing a 24-month limit on time deployed, they said. Army officials said no decision had been made on the politically sensitive topic but that serious deliberations will unfold in the coming months....

....Stress on soldiers and their families is mounting as active-duty combat brigades now spend only a year to 14 months home between rotations, compared with a goal of two years -- a trend that Army leaders worry is not sustainable in the long term. Reserve and Guard units are staying home on average three years, compared with a goal of four or five, Army officials said. "It goes without question that Guard brigade combat teams are going to have to deploy again to theater in less time than the . . . model originally called for," said retired Air National Guard Brig. Gen. Stephen M. Koper, president of the National Guard Association.

Yet ordering more citizen-soldiers out of their communities and into war zones imposes a special burden, as reservists are older and more likely to have families and civilian jobs, and must also shoulder the task of responding to homeland disasters and other emergencies.

Army Reserve and Guard leaders say that stepped-up mobilizations -- depending on their timing and scope -- could undercut recent efforts to rebuild the forces, which have suffered a depletion of manpower and equipment and have seen their units fragmented over five years of record deployments since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

"What we're working out of right now is a situation where we have absolutely piecemealed our force to death," said Lt. Gen. Clyde A. Vaughn, chief of the 346,000-strong Army National Guard
Badly led, poorly equipped and sorely depleted, but ODEL loves his troops. We know that because he says so and he wouldn't lie to us.

We try to be "Fair & Balanced"

Which is why we are telling you about this article from the Toledo Blade about the Tom Noe trial. To be fair, we note that there was no attempt by the prosecution to tie Mr Noe's alleged thefts to his political contributions. And to be balanced we give you these details that have emerged.
Records show that Noe contributed $1,000 to Ms. Montgomery's campaign account in March, 2004, just days after transferring $25,000 in coin funds into his account.

In fact, the state's audit revealed that the day after Noe got the first $25 million on March 31, 1998, he transferred $135,000 in coin-fund money to himself, a forensic accountant testified.

Then, on April 7, Noe and his wife, Bernadette, who shared a checking account, wrote $4,500 in contributions to Bob Taft, the then-secretary of state running for governor. Two days later, Ms. Noe sent $2,000 to George Voinovich, then-Ohio governor who was running for the U.S. Senate.

Mr. Voinovich was governor when the law was changed that allowed the bureau to invest more broadly, and eventually in rare coins. His former chief of staff, the late Paul Mifsud, lobbied for those changes. Mr. Mifsud was a good friend of the Noes and bought coins from the Maumee coin dealer.

Others besides Senator Voinovich, Governor Taft, and Auditor Montgomery, based on the timing of Noe's transfers, who may have gotten state coin-fund money: Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, U.S. Sen. Mike DeWine's leadership PAC, state Sen. Randy Gardner, and Lucas County Auditor Larry Kaczala.

All got checks from Noe in the days and weeks after he wrote himself checks with coin-fund money.
So you see, Tom Noe was not laundering state funds to Republicans, he just gave them money when he was flush. And he only allegedly stole because he ran low on funds to distribute. Simple, isn't it? And it helps to explain poll numbers like this.

When is news not news?

When it has been preordained from the beginning and you knew that nothing could stop it. Just like when Our Dear Embattled Leader piled lie upon lie to get his Glorious Li'l War and everybody took the bait like a bunch of hatchery trout. So it is with the verdict for Saddam Hussein. When you go in for regime change, there is only on acceptable result and the Iraqi courts were designed to give it. Death by hanging.


Now it remains to be seen how many bodies need to be picked up.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Quote of the Day

A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.
Attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson and brought to mind by the recent speeches of Our Dear Embattled Leader and his minions.

Our Dear Embattled Leader might be losing another war.

And it's one that we have no business losing. But when you go haring off after tne next war before you finish the first one, it is easy to see why it is on the horizon.
A recent Central Intelligence Agency assessment found that the Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, had been significantly weakened by rising popular frustration with his American-backed government, American officials say.

The assessment found that Mr. Karzai’s government and security forces continued to struggle to exert authority beyond Kabul, said a senior American official who spoke only on the condition of anonymity. The assessment also found that increasing numbers of Afghans viewed Mr. Karzai’s government as corrupt, failing to deliver promised reconstruction and too weak to protect the country from rising Taliban attacks.

“The ability to project out into the countryside, perceptions of corruption in the government,” said the official, listing Afghan complaints. “The failure to deliver the services.”
On the road of life, George W. Bush's steps are marked by failure. The man is a walking, talking digestive tract. The best in life goes into him and comes out shit.

The full Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force Times editorial


"So long as our government requires the backing of an aroused and informed public opinion ... it is necessary to tell the hard bruising truth."

That statement was written by Pulitzer Prize-winning war correspondent Marguerite Higgins more than a half-century ago during the Korean War.

But until recently, the "hard bruising" truth about the Iraq war has been difficult to come by from leaders in Washington. One rosy reassurance after another has been handed down by President Bush, Vice President Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld: "mission accomplished," the insurgency is "in its last throes," and "back off," we know what we're doing, are a few choice examples.

Military leaders generally toed the line, although a few retired generals eventually spoke out from the safety of the sidelines, inciting criticism equally from anti-war types, who thought they should have spoken out while still in uniform, and pro-war foes, who thought the generals should have kept their critiques behind closed doors.

Now, however, a new chorus of criticism is beginning to resonate. Active-duty military leaders are starting to voice misgivings about the war's planning, execution and dimming prospects for success.

Army Gen. John Abizaid, chief of U.S. Central Command, told a Senate Armed Services Committee in September: "I believe that the sectarian violence is probably as bad as I've seen it ... and that if not stopped, it is possible that Iraq could move towards civil war."

Last week, someone leaked to The New York Times a Central Command briefing slide showing an assessment that the civil conflict in Iraq now borders on "critical" and has been sliding toward "chaos" for most of the past year. The strategy in Iraq has been to train an Iraqi army and police force that could gradually take over for U.S. troops in providing for the security of their new government and their nation.

But despite the best efforts of American trainers, the problem of molding a viciously sectarian population into anything resembling a force for national unity has become a losing proposition.

For two years, American sergeants, captains and majors training the Iraqis have told their bosses that Iraqi troops have no sense of national identity, are only in it for the money, don't show up for duty and cannot sustain themselves.

Meanwhile, colonels and generals have asked their bosses for more troops. Service chiefs have asked for more money.

And all along, Rumsfeld has assured us that things are well in hand.

Now, the president says he'll stick with Rumsfeld for the balance of his term in the White House.

This is a mistake.

It is one thing for the majority of Americans to think Rumsfeld has failed. But when the nation's current military leaders start to break publicly with their defense secretary, then it is clear that he is losing control of the institution he ostensibly leads.

These officers have been loyal public promoters of a war policy many privately feared would fail. They have kept their counsel private, adhering to more than two centuries of American tradition of subordination of the military to civilian authority.

And although that tradition, and the officers' deep sense of honor, prevent them from saying this publicly, more and more of them believe it.

Rumsfeld has lost credibility with the uniformed leadership, with the troops, with Congress and with the public at large. His strategy has failed, and his ability to lead is compromised. And although the blame for our failures in Iraq rests with the secretary, it will be the troops who bear its brunt.

This is not about the midterm elections. Regardless of which party wins Nov. 7, the time has come, Mr. President, to face the hard bruising truth:

Donald Rumsfeld must go.

A little George on George action

Black is the new white, because we say so.

The Busheviks have wasted no time in trying to implement the recently passed " Torture Enabling Act" that includes the little known provision that says, in effect, you don't exist, we can do what we want and, if you survive, you can't even tell anyone what happened.
The Bush administration has told a federal judge that terrorism suspects held in secret CIA prisons should not be allowed to reveal details of the "alternative interrogation methods" that their captors used to get them to talk.

The government says in new court filings that those interrogation methods are now among the nation's most sensitive national security secrets and that their release -- even to the detainees' own attorneys -- "could reasonably be expected to cause extremely grave damage....

....Kathleen Blomquist, a Justice Department spokeswoman, said yesterday that details of the CIA program must be protected from disclosure. She said the lawyer's proposal for talking with Khan "is inadequate to protect unique and potentially highly classified information that is vital to our country's ability to fight terrorism."

Government lawyers also argue in court papers that detainees such as Khan previously held in CIA sites have no automatic right to speak to lawyers because the new Military Commissions Act, signed by President Bush last month, stripped them of access to U.S. courts. That law established separate military trials for terrorism suspects.
The whole world knows we torture but first hand experience of torture is TOP SECRET. The damned Republicans have brought this country so low that government lawyers are fighting to protect the use of Stalinist methodology.

Joe Galloway on Iraq

Mr Galloway has been a war correspondent for over 40 years and knows his business. He speaks from experience, not an agenda, so his statements in this column ring all too true. It is his conclusion that hurts.
The most recent polls indicate that the number of Iraqis who want us out of there is approaching 70 percent. It may be ironic that the number of Americans who want us out of there, too, is nearing the same percentage.

They want us to leave. We want us to leave.

There's nothing standing in the way of satisfying both majorities except a president, a vice president and a defense secretary who are willing to fight to the last man -- willing to drive our military to utter destruction -- before they'll admit that they were wrong, wrong, wrong from deluded beginning to wretched end.
No apology from Our Dear Embattled Leader can ever make amends for the failure in Iraq. It is ODEL's enduring legacy.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Army Times, Navy Times, Marine Times and Air Force Times

Four newspapers providing news directed at the men and women serving in our armed forces. And on Monday they will all publish an editorial call for the replacement of Don Rumsfeld.
“We say that Rumsfeld must be replaced,” Alex Neill, the managing editor of the Army Times, said tonight in a telephone interview. “Given the state of affairs with Iraq and the military right now, we think it’s a good time for new leadership there.”

The editorial, which also will appear in the Navy Times, the Marine Corps Times and the Air Force Times, was written by senior managing editor Robert Hodierne, based on a decision of the publications’ editorial board, Neill said.
A very judicious way of saying that Rummy sucks worse than Ted Haggard.

UPDATE: MSNBC has more on this including some quotes.

Republicans incompetence shines brightly, again

Ever since the World Trade Center tragedy the Republicans have loudly trumpeted how wonderful their party was on issues of National Security. They have put forth this lie loudly and often enough that many people actually believed it was true. This was despite a dismal record that included the WTC and Iraq and Katrina and North Korea and now this.
Last March, the federal government set up a Web site to make public a vast archive of Iraqi documents captured during the war. The Bush administration did so under pressure from Congressional Republicans who had said they hoped to “leverage the Internet” to find new evidence of the prewar dangers posed by Saddam Hussein.

But in recent weeks, the site has posted some documents that weapons experts say are a danger themselves: detailed accounts of Iraq’s secret nuclear research before the 1991 Persian Gulf war. The documents, the experts say, constitute a basic guide to building an atom bomb.

Last night, the government shut down the Web site after The New York Times asked about complaints from weapons experts and arms-control officials. A spokesman for John Negroponte, the director of national intelligence, said access to the site had been suspended “pending a review to ensure its content is appropriate for public viewing.”

Officials of the International Atomic Energy Agency, fearing that the information could help states like Iran develop nuclear arms, had privately protested last week to the American ambassador to the agency, according to European diplomats who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the issue’s sensitivity. One diplomat said the agency’s technical experts “were shocked” at the public disclosures.
Now isn't Our Dear Embattled Leader a kind and considerate soul? Helping poor old Osama get the information he needs without overtaxing his resources. We know how ODEL hates taxes.

The 3 Shrill Questions of Paul Krugman

The failure of reconstruction in Iraq raises three questions. First, how much did that failure contribute to the overall failure of the war? Second, how was it that America, the great can-do nation, in this case couldn’t and didn’t? Finally, if we’ve given up on rebuilding Iraq, what are our troops dying for?
Sadly, he can only find answers to the first two.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

So, who hasn't heard this before now?

I mean, when an evangelical preacher has sex with a gay hooker and uses meth you really have to ask, what's new?
Jones, who told a bankruptcy judge last year that he is a self-employed fitness consultant, told Boyles that he was paid money by Haggard, who he says made frequent trips to Denver for sexual liaisons, that he has recorded voicemails and a letter from Haggard, and that he had also witnessed Haggard use methamphetamine.
When will we hear something we haven't heard before?

The Great Divider

New York Times Editorial 11/2/06

As President Bush throws himself into the final days of a particularly nasty campaign season, he’s settled into a familiar pattern of ugly behavior. Since he can’t defend the real world created by his policies and his decisions, Mr. Bush is inventing a fantasy world in which to campaign on phony issues against fake enemies.

In Mr. Bush’s world, America is making real progress in Iraq. In the real world, as Michael Gordon reported in yesterday’s Times, the index that generals use to track developments shows an inexorable slide toward chaos. In Mr. Bush’s world, his administration is marching arm in arm with Iraqi officials committed to democracy and to staving off civil war. In the real world, the prime minister of Iraq orders the removal of American checkpoints in Baghdad and abets the sectarian militias that are slicing and dicing their country.

In Mr. Bush’s world, there are only two kinds of Americans: those who are against terrorism, and those who somehow are all right with it. Some Americans want to win in Iraq and some don’t. There are Americans who support the troops and Americans who don’t support the troops. And at the root of it all is the hideously damaging fantasy that there is a gulf between Americans who love their country and those who question his leadership.

Mr. Bush has been pushing these divisive themes all over the nation, offering up the ludicrous notion the other day that if Democrats manage to control even one house of Congress, America will lose and the terrorists will win. But he hit a particularly creepy low when he decided to distort a lame joke lamely delivered by Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts. Mr. Kerry warned college students that the punishment for not learning your lessons was to “get stuck in Iraq.” In context, it was obviously an attempt to disparage Mr. Bush’s intelligence. That’s impolitic and impolite, but it’s not as bad as Mr. Bush’s response. Knowing full well what Mr. Kerry meant, the president and his team cried out that the senator was disparaging the troops. It was a depressing replay of the way the Bush campaign Swift-boated Americans in 2004 into believing that Mr. Kerry, who went to war, was a coward and Mr. Bush, who stayed home, was a hero.

It’s not the least bit surprising or objectionable that Mr. Bush would hit the trail hard at this point, trying to salvage his party’s control of Congress and, by extension, his last two years in office. And we’re not naïve enough to believe that either party has been running a positive campaign that focuses on the issues.

But when candidates for lower office make their opponents out to be friends of Osama bin Laden, or try to turn a minor gaffe into a near felony, that’s just depressing. When the president of the United States gleefully bathes in the muck to divide Americans into those who love their country and those who don’t, it is destructive to the fabric of the nation he is supposed to be leading.

This is hardly the first time that Mr. Bush has played the politics of fear, anger and division; if he’s ever missed a chance to wave the bloody flag of 9/11, we can’t think of when. But Mr. Bush’s latest outbursts go way beyond that. They leave us wondering whether this president will ever be willing or able to make room for bipartisanship, compromise and statesmanship in the two years he has left in office.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Why you need to vote - in easy to understand pictures.

Why TurdBlossom is confident

As reported by KFDM-TV in, where else? TEXAS!
KFDM continues to get complaints from Jefferson County voters who say the electronic voting machines are not registering their votes correctly.
Friday night, KFDM reported about people who had cast straight Democratic ticket ballots, but the touch-screen machines indicated they had voted a straight Republican ticket.
Some of those voters including Lamar University professor, Dr. Bruce Drury, believe the problem is a programming error.
Saturday, KFDM spoke to another voter who says it's not just happening with straight ticket voting, he says it's happening on individual races as well, Jerry Stopher told us when he voted for a Democrat, the Republican's name was highlighted.
Stopher said, "There's something in these machines, in this equipment, that's showing Republican votes when you vote for Democrats, and I know Ms. Guidry's a nice lady, and she's working hard, but her theory that my fingernail was somehow over the Republican button is just unrealistic, my fingernail was not. The equipment is not working properly as far as I can tell."
So tell me, who didn't see this coming?

Quote of the Day

'I'd say he's at least 50 percent of the problem.'
Anonymous GOP strategist, speaking candidly about the president.

This man must apologize to the troops

And if you think I am talking about John Kerry, you have been drinking too much kool-aid. It is Our Dear Embattled Leader who must apologize for what he has done and will continue to do. For things like starting a war for no reason. For sending in a force too small and ill equiped to hold what was won. And for this:
President Bush said Wednesday he wants Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Vice President Dick Cheney to remain with him until the end of his presidency, extending a job guarantee to two of the most-vilified members of his administration.

"Both those men are doing fantastic jobs and I strongly support them," Bush said in an interview with The Associated Press and others.
Apart from the fact that ODEL can't replace Big Dick unless the old Shooter steps down on his own, it is a complete insult to our troops to show such unquestioning support for two of the main architects of Li'l Georgies Glorious War cum Fiasco. And ODEL can't and won't even pretend it is a joke.
"It didn't sound like a joke to me," the president said.
And so more good Americans will die while the dregs of our political universe sit safely on their thrones.

Meanwhile, Froomkin has a good roundup of the political situation around Iraq.

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