Saturday, May 31, 2008

The Old Fart and the Young Snot

Or how little Scotty McClellan hung the Republican disaster of Iraq around the scrawny old neck of John McCain as neatly as an old school tie, as told by Frank Rich.

If these women want to see your dynamite stick

Don't go thinking you hit a home run. These women are looking to get their own bunch of dark eyed virgins and they aren't happy that the fur faces running al-Qaeda won't let them in.
Muslim extremist women are challenging al-Qaida's refusal to include - or at least acknowledge - women in its ranks, in an emotional debate that gives rare insight into the gender conflicts lurking beneath one of the strictest strains of Islam.

In response to a female questioner, al-Qaida No. 2 leader Ayman Al-Zawahri said in April that the terrorist group does not have women. A woman's role, he said on the Internet audio recording, is limited to caring for the homes and children of al-Qaida fighters.

His remarks have since prompted an outcry from fundamentalist women, who are fighting or pleading for the right to be terrorists. The statements have also created some confusion, because in fact suicide bombings by women seem to be on the rise, at least within the Iraq branch of al-Qaida.
She may be barefoot but don't assume that she's pregnant.

Rupe the Poop Murdoch backs Obama

And no, those aren't flying pigs that just flew by. He said it, but you will have to wait until Hannity and Cavuto join in to believe him.

Republican support for the troops.

From the DCCC

No collusion whatsoever!

Just don't look too closely because then you might not believe them. The Old Fart's Hanoi prison buddy, who works as the veterans liaison for the campaign just happens to be on the board of the Old Fart's captive taxpayer advocacy 501(c)3, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW), when the 501(c)3's 501(c)4,Council for Citizens Against Government Waste, a lobbying arm and PAC, comes up with an ad campaign to help deflect criticism of the Old Fart at a time when the Old Fart didn't have the money to do it himself.
Swindle is a friend of McCain who shared a cell with him as a prisoner of war in Vietnam. He did not respond to requests for comment.

As the campaign's veterans liaison, Swindle helped the candidate fend off attacks in South Carolina from a group called Vietnam Veterans Against John McCain, which said that while in captivity, McCain gave information to the North Vietnamese. Swindle countered the group's charges in a statement put out by the campaign: "Nothing could be further from the truth. I know because I was there."

He defended the senator's war record this spring after it was questioned by Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.). Swindle also has appeared in several McCain campaign ads online.

But CAGW spokeswoman Leslie Paige said that in Swindle's role as a director, "there are absolutely no discussions related to the McCain campaign."
It is unfair to hold a persons name against them, but the fact that CCAGW also did some lobbying for Jack Abramoff can be and should be looked at more closely.

Rats deserting the ship?

Or just normally intelligent people who can recognize what is right for the country, occasionally. Either way, people who gave to the Cowboy Blunder in 2004 are giving to Obama this time around. Some pretty interesting names, too.
Among them are Julie Nixon Eisenhower, the daughter of the late GOP President Richard Nixon and wife of late GOP President Dwight Eisenhower's grandson; Connie Ballmer, the wife of Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer; Ritchie Scaife, the estranged wife of conservative tycoon Richard Mellon Scaife and boxing promoter Don King.
And some of them also have buyers remorse for their earlier donations.
Katherine Merck, 84, of Lexington, Mass., preferred not to recall her donations of $2,000 to Bush in 1999 and $2,000 in 2004.

"I just can't get over it that my name is in there for sending money to that miserable president," she said
Katherine, you should have known better the first time around, but, better late than never.

Friday, May 30, 2008

This is just stupid.

A Marine handed out coins promoting Christianity to Muslims in the former insurgent stronghold of Fallujah, outraged Sunni officials said Friday. The U.S. military responded quickly, removing a trooper from duty pending an investigation.
Still, it might be an easier way to get home than shooting yourself in the foot.

The Old Fart as a species of parrot

Quote of the Day

The McCain campaign still can't explain why John McCain could be so clearly and factually wrong in stating that our troops are at 'pre-surge' levels. They are not, and anyone who wants to be Commander-in-Chief should know better before launching divisive political attacks. Once again, Senator McCain has shown that he is far more interested in stubbornly making the case for continuing a failed policy in Iraq than in getting the facts right.
Hari Sevugan, Obama campaign spokesman, responding to another McCain Moment from the Old Fart.

You can't have a kangaroo court if the judge believes in justice.

So to keep the Gitmo trials on their proper and preplanned schedule, the Defense Dept has removed the presiding judge who threatened to suspend the trials for that most frivolous of reasons, fairness for the defendants.
Military prosecutors had been pressing Brownback to set a trial date, but he has repeatedly directed them first to satisfy defense requests for access to potential evidence. At a hearing earlier this month, he threatened to suspend the proceedings altogether unless the detention center provided records of Khadr's confinement.

Kuebler said he believed the U.S. military is anxious for the trial to start before political pressure leads Canada to demand Khadr's repatriation.
Poor Col. Brownback seems to think there may be some doubt about the guilt of the accused. Doesn't he realize that if they are in Gitmo they must be guilty and their guilt must be proclaimed at a most advantageous moment for the Old Fart's campaign? Why else spend all that money to keep them in Cuba?

Non Sequitur is a winner

Of the coveted Burnedover District Cartoon of the Week award for its artful combination of humor and reality in 4 little boxes each day as it interviews the Old Fart.You can see the winning form


R.I.P. Harvey Korman

Thanks for all the laughs, Hedy.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

War profits are good

As Gordon Gecko might say, and a prime fundraiser for the Old Fart is making fine profits from a government contract to supply fuel to the Air Force. The contract guarantees $1.08 profit per gallon after costs, delivered. Consider that your average Exxon/Mobil dealer gets $.08 per gallon and you know why he was able to raise $100,000 for the Old Fart. That and the fact that he was cheating one of his partners, the King of Jordan's brother -in law.

International criminal escapes with help of British police.

John "FuzzLip" Bolton narrowly missed a citizens arrest at the Hay festival in England, being saved only by the quick response of the bully-boyos on the security staff.
As Bolton, a former US ambassador to the UN, ended an hour-long discussion at the Hay festival, Monbiot, who had earlier challenged him for alleged breaches of the postwar Nuremberg Principles, defining war crimes, moved towards the stage waving a charge sheet. But security staff intervened and bundled Monbiot out of the tent as 20 supporters chanted "war criminal" and waved placards.
Sadly, Old FuzzButt did get a chance to justify a US attack on anyone we damn well please whenever it suits us. The Guardian also has pictures of the event.

If you are known by the company you keep

The Old Fart should have a major disaster on his hands.

111 nations sign clusterbomb treaty

All except the nations that make or use them, you know, the clusterfucks.

Toles on McSame

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Great War on Terra must be over

How else could you explain the government taking any time to pursue this issue.
WEED, Calif. -- This town is in a tempest over a bottle top.

The federal government is telling the owner of a small brewery here that the pun he's placed on caps of his Weed Ales crosses a line.

"Try Legal Weed," the caps joke.

The U.S. Treasury Department's Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau says those three little words allude to marijuana use.
That last bit of government wisdom deserves a great big "SO?" But that won't stop the Feds when they spot evil on the hoof.

Here is the Great Satan of bottle caps.

But the owner has a response.
What irks him most, he says -- even more than the Feds' lack of a funny bone -- is what he considers a double standard.

While stomping on him, Dillmann says, the government treats Budweiser with kid gloves, despite the fact that "This Bud's for you" also could be mistaken for marijuana slang.

"They sell Bud. We sell Weed," he said. "What's the difference?"
Right On, Brother!

McClellan must be right

The White House has let loose all the hounds of Republicanism to attack and diminish Little Scotty and his book. We won't detail the attacks not the barrage from Hell's Own Artillery that the right-wing blogosphere has unleashed on him :-p. To us, the vehemence of the attack validates everything that he has written. Most of the country will simply say, he was there, he saw it, he heard it, why would he lie? And that is why even The Mighty Turdblossom is getting loose bowels over this book.

The Old Fart gets his economic advice

From a lobbyist and not just any lobbyist, but one who is also Vice Chairman of one of the biggest players in the current mortgage fiasco, Phil Gramm. And his company, UBS would ultimately be better served by householders being totally fucked over than if the government were to provide any aid to those in distress. As some may remember, Phill was also a major factor in removing safeguards to the unchecked greed and avarice that led to the current fiasco. No wonder the Old Fart told homeowners it was their tough luck if they were in trouble with their mortgage.

This weeks Must See Toon

Non Sequitur has an "interview" with the Old Fart this week. The first three days have been right on target (5/26-5/28). Go see them and stay tuned for the rest.

Yowzer! It's a Wowzer!

Little Scotty McClellan's book on his White House years will support what many of us have known for some time but still has the power to surprise those who wern't paying attention. Ever the loyal scout, Scotty tries to protect his Fearless Leader as he burns down all around him. Looks like a good read for the summer.

Who knew?

That the Dread Chief Justice Roberts and his scurvy First Mate Alito had any sense of humanity after a lifetime of Republicanism. It shown through yesterday in two decisions that favored workers over employers. The question was one of "retaliation" against workers who complain of discrimination and the court decided that it was not legal, thereby joining the ethical and moral majority of this nation. In fairness to his reputation, Roberts only stepped out of character once, as befits a Dread Chief Justice. Alito was scurvy enough to do it twice. And as expected, the Cabin Boy Thomas and the cook Bafangu Scalia showed their lack of imagination by deciding that anything is legal if their friends want it

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Making up for missing Monday Music Blogging

Hot Blood (Lucinda Williams)

What's happening in Phoenix, today?

Just a little Sucking Up For Dollars with that Bush guy, no distance today!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Holiday weekend

Going away to spend some time with my family and watch a parade. See you next Tuesday

Hot Club of Cowtown

Holy Cow!

In 2000, the Old Fart actually said he would be too old to run again for the White House (can you ever be too fart?). John from Crooks & Liars has the clip with his very words.

Ole, Oliphant!

5 years into the occupation

The Pentagon did an audit and what do you think they found?
A Pentagon audit of $8.2 billion in American taxpayer money spent by the United States Army on contractors in Iraq has found that almost none of the payments followed federal rules and that in some cases, contracts worth millions of dollars were paid for despite little or no record of what, if anything, was received.
And this was summed up best by Mary L. Ugone, the Pentagon’s deputy inspector general for auditing, when she told the Waxman Committee that "We don’t know what we got.” But it was not just contractors feeding at this trough,
The Pentagon report, titled “Internal Controls Over Payments Made in Iraq, Kuwait and Egypt,” also notes that auditors were unable to find a comprehensible set of records to explain $134.8 million in payments by the American military to its allies in the Iraq war.

The mysterious payments, whose amounts had not been publicly disclosed, included $68.2 million to the United Kingdom, $45.3 million to Poland and $21.3 million to South Korea. Despite repeated requests, Pentagon auditors said they were unable to determine why the payments were made.

“It sounds like the coalition of the willing is the coalition of the paid — they’re willing to be paid,” said Mr. Waxman,
Old Henry has a way with words.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

This Memorial Day, remember the living

Because those who gave their lives will always be there to inspire us but, as Joe Galloway points out, those who come back alive are getting short shrift from the Republican administration that sent them over there.
How strange that today in our country, in a time of war, battles are raging over the need for medical care, educational benefits, employment opportunities and assistance for those who've served honorably and come home to begin new lives in a nation they risked their lives to defend.

The shameful thing is that most of those battles are being waged against the very government, the very bureaucracies, the very politicians who sent those young men and women to war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Maybe the right word here isn’t shameful, but criminal.
We need to stand with those who stood up for us, now and tomorrow and tomorrow. If we don't, this is what we will get.
Let's all pay lip service to Support Our Troops. But if we want to be honest, we should edit those yellow-ribbon bumper stickers to say Support Our Troops — As Long As It Doesn't Cost Anything.

Quote of the Day

While I always appreciate hearing the news from John McCain, he should explain to the American people why almost every single promise and prediction that he has made about Iraq has turned to be catastrophically wrong, including his support for a surge that was supposed to achieve political reconciliation. While John McCain offers his poor judgment in supporting George Bush's war and a failed foreign policy that has left us less secure, I will continue to make the case for a new foreign policy that deploys all elements of American power -- including tough, principled and direct diplomacy. It's stunning that in such a lengthy written statement, John McCain could not articulate a single new idea that hasn't been tried -- and failed -- over the last eight years.
Barack Obama, calling Bullshit on the Old Fart.

Hagee, we hardly knew ye.

But what little we know is more that enough for decent people to say, "Bye, Bye and please pause in the doorway, I want to see the door hit you in that big fat ass!" Even the Old Fart has finally realized Hagee was the political equivalent of cement overshoes.
“Obviously, I find these remarks and others deeply offensive and indefensible, and I repudiate them. I did not know of them before Reverend Hagee's endorsement, and I feel I must reject his endorsement as well,” McCain said in a statement to CNN Thursday.
A little slow, but that is what happens when you get old.

Do Old Farts induce hallucinations?

Neither Rosa Brooks nor I have an answer to that question, but she asks a similar question in her column this week.
In poll after poll, about two-thirds of Americans say they oppose the war in Iraq, believe things in Iraq are going badly for the United States, disapprove of the way President Bush is handling the war, consider even the initial decision to go to war to have been wrong and want the next president to end the war quickly. Yet -- and here comes the mystery -- polls also show that more Americans trust presumptive Republican nominee John McCain than either Democratic presidential candidate when it comes to handling the war in Iraq.

McCain's the one presidential candidate pledging to continue the very Bush administration policies that got us into the mess we're now in, and McCain's record of getting it embarrassingly wrong on Iraq is virtually unparalleled.
Perhaps because he has been so totally wrong, people can't believe anyone would be such a blockhead.

Winning the hearts and minds in Iraq

It can be hard enough to do when you have troops shooting up the Koran but in the long run it is this sort of thing that loses friends.
A U.S. helicopter airstrike on Wednesday night killed eight civilians, including two children, north of Baghdad, police officials said on Thursday.

Colonel Mudhher al-Qaisi, police chief in the town of Baiji, said the attack was on a group of shepherds in a vehicle in a farming area. Relatives said some of those killed were fleeing on foot after the U.S. military arrived in the area.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

All you need to know about Republican rule.

The report of the Inspector General of the Justice Department details the FBI's response to torture in Guantanamo and faults the agency for a less than perfect effort. To do so, it compiled a fairly complete record of torture and just who was complicit in that torture, without a word of approbation for the multiple criminal acts that entailed. That must have been a very narrowly defined mission the IG was given. Congrats to them for not going overboard.

Jeff Danziger plays hardball

Click pic to biggerate

And about your security

A new report to the House Homeland Security committee revealed that cyber security at the TVA was lacking and left the service region open to blackout.
The GAO found that TVA's Internet-connected corporate network was linked with systems used to control power production, and that security weaknesses pervasive in the corporate side could be used by attackers to manipulate or destroy vital control systems. As a wholly owned federal corporation, TVA must meet the same computer security standards that govern computer practices and safeguards at federal agencies.

The GAO also warned that computers on TVA's corporate network lacked security software updates and anti-virus protection, and that firewalls and intrusion detection systems on the network were easily bypassed and failed to record suspicious activity.
As usual the trouble comes from "corporate". But have no fear, they will make some highly advertised moves to improve, give themselves big bonuses and it will settle back to business as usual.

The Son of Surge

The NY Times has an update on the military front in Iraq. From a conventional point of view, it appears as if Maliki of Iraq is the winner as troops entered into Sadr City without opposition. From the guerrilla point of view, the fish have gone for a swim in the sea. Tomorrow's going to be another day.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Helluva picture!

Helluva campaign rally for Obama. And this is still primary season. has two new ads

In support of of the Webb/Hegel GI Bill. The ads are identical except for the targets. One is aimed at Sen Cornyn, the Texas Republican who proved that George W Bush's stupidity was not a one time event. The other is aimed at the Old Fart, a veteran who should know better, but doesn't. Here is his ad.

Help them get the ads on the air.

KO vs The Big Douche

Howie Kurtz has some background on the "battle" between Keith Olbermann and Bill-o. It lacks details of the personal background of the feud but it does illuminate how others have sought to profit from it.

Tom Toles Tuesday

When it begins like this

Sorting out the lobbying entanglements of his campaign advisers is proving to be a messy business for Senator John McCain.
You can just feel how good the rest of the article is going to be, and this look at the ethical questions about the Old Fart's campaign staff doesn't fail.
Mr. McCain’s political identity has long been defined by his calls for reducing the influence of special interests in Washington. But as he heads toward the general election as the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, he has increasingly confronted criticism that his campaign staff is stocked with people who have made their living as lobbyists or in similar jobs, leaving his credentials as a reformer open to attack.
Can't have that, so the Old Fart does what any sensible candidate would do, he puts someone in charge of enforcing a new ethics policy,
The delicate task of writing and enforcing the new conflict-of-interest policy has fallen to Mr. McCain’s campaign manager, Rick Davis, who was himself a lobbyist until he took a leave of absence from his firm, Davis Manafort, two years ago.

In 2005, Mr. Davis was registered as a lobbyist for corporate clients like the telecommunications company Verizon. Under the campaign’s new rules, issued by Mr. Davis on Thursday, lobbyists who are currently registered either for American companies or for foreign governments or businesses cannot be employed by the campaign. They must also disclose their lobbying work even if they are working for Mr. McCain on a part-time, voluntary basis.

But while Mr. Davis took a leave from Davis Manafort in 2006, the company has developed a specialty in recent years in a type of lobbying for which firms do not have to register — namely, representing the interests abroad of foreign politicians and businessmen.
The Old Fart just can't stay away.

Monday, May 19, 2008

It couldn't have been that easy

Joe Galloway has his say about the Pentagon propaganda program for retired generals. In doing so he reveals former Pentagon mouthpiece Larry (No I wasn't a Stooge) DiRita in a big lie, big because he lies about Joe himself. Mr Galloway seems to have had no trouble turning aside their persuasions to drink the Kool-Aid. Just shows what you can do with a little integrity.

Quote of the Day

Here's the truth: the Soviet Union had thousands of nuclear weapons, and Iran doesn't have a single one. But when the world was on the brink of nuclear holocaust, Kennedy talked to Khrushchev and he got those missiles out of Cuba. Why shouldn't we have the same courage and the confidence to talk to our enemies? That's what strong countries do, that's what strong presidents do...What are George Bush and John McCain afraid of?
Barack Obama, responding to the Old Fart's attack on his call to talk with Iran.

The peckerwood faces some real questions

And it makes you wonder what the world would be like if the rest of the media had done their job.

Richard Engel interviews Our Dear Embattled Leader

The White House doesn't like it.

The fund raising Olympics have begun

And will continue to November. And provide the bucks for all those ads and mailings and robocalls and everything else. Read all about it.

Monday Music Blogging

We Five - You Were On My Mind

Not bad at all when you look back 43 years ago.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Old Fart's vision of victory is a chimera

As illusory and vaporous as that of Our Dear Embattled Leader, but no less expensive in men, money and materiel because they can not see or understand it. William S. Lind, director of the Center for Cultural Conservatism at the Free Congress Foundation, explains the different nature of what he refers to as Fourth Generation Warfare.
If we are to see Iraq and other Fourth Generation conflicts as they are and not through the looking glass, we need to use words more carefully.

Because there is no state in Iraq, there is also no government. Orders given in Baghdad have no meaning, because there are no state institutions to carry them out. The governmental positions of Iraqi leaders have no substance. Their power is a function of their relationship to various militias, not of their offices. Maliki has no militia, which means he is a figurehead.

The Iraqi "army" and "police" are groupings of Shiite militias that exist to fight other militias and take orders from militia leaders, not the government. Government revenues are slush funds militia leaders use to pay their militiamen. All of these phenomena, and many more, are products of the one basic reality: there is no state.
There is no power in someone like Maliki of Iraq just because we say so, and our continuing insistence that there is only leads us further into the Big Sandy. And the Big Fool says to push on.

When the old meets the new in Iraq

The result is one more "benefit" the overthrow of Saddam Hussein has brought to the Iraqi people, "honor killing".
Many are burnt to death by having petrol or paraffin poured over them and set ablaze. Others are shot or strangled. The United Nations estimates that at least 255 women died in honour-related killings in Kurdistan, home to one fifth of Iraqis, in the first six months of 2007 alone.

The murder of women who are deemed to have disobeyed traditional codes of morality is even more common in the rest of Iraq where government authority has broken down since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein in 2003.

A surprising reason explaining the massive increase in the number of honour killings is the availability of cheap mobile phones able to take pictures. Men photograph themselves making love to their girlfriends and pass the pictures to their friends. This often turns out to be a lethal act of bravado in a society where premarital or extra-marital sex justifies killing.

The first known case of sex recorded on a mobile leading to murder was in 2004. Film of a boy making love with a 17-year-old girl circulated in the Kurdish capital, Arbil. Two days later she was killed by her family and a week later he was murdered by his.

Since then there has been a sharp increase in the number of women suffering violence – it is almost always the women rather than the men who suffer retribution – as a result of some aspect of their love life being pictured on mobile phones.
One more brick in the legacy of Our Dear Embattled Leader.

There's no Bullshitter like an Old Bullshitter

And it takes an Old Fart to spread the bullshit far and wide.

From The Real John McCain

The Old Fart's walk into the Big Muddy

Matt Bai has a NY Times magazine cover story on the development of the Old Fart's military policy and how he grew to love Iraq. While Bai does wander off into barbecue loving territory, he does have enough space to show an interesting thought path for the geezer. One thing does stand out, early in his career, the Old Fart was staunchly opposed to using troops for ill-defined missions based on poor planning. Despite the length of the exposition, there is no clear reason why he now supports an ill-defined mission based on poor planning with no realizable goal in Iraq. Thirty years ago, he would have been adamant in his opposition to this sort of military adventurism. Is there any reason beyond his quixotic quest for the White House?

Saturday, May 17, 2008

George W Bush as Albatross

Frank Rich points out the many ways that the legacy of Our Dear Embattled Leader will keep on giving this year, to the Democrats, hung around the neck of his party like the aforementioned bird. As he sees it, the Old Fart and all the other Republicans will never be able be able to escape the shadow of the Worlds Mightiest Sparrow Fart.
The McCain campaign is hoping that such showy, if tardy, departures from Bush-Cheney doctrine will constitute a galaxy of Sister Souljah moments, each with headlines reading “McCain Breaks With Bush on...” and the usual knee-jerk press references to Mr. McCain as a “maverick.” Enough of these, you see, and those much-needed independent voters might be flimflammed into believing that the G.O.P. candidate bears no responsibility for the administration’s toxically unpopular policies.

But are independents suckers? They’d have to be to fall for the pitch that Mr. McCain is an apostate in his own party in 2008. He has been an outspoken Bush defender since helping him sell the Iraq war in 2002 and barnstorming for him in 2004. Despite Mr. McCain’s campaign claims to the contrary, he never publicly called for the firing of Donald Rumsfeld. He is still one of the president’s most stalwart supporters in Congress, even signing on to the president’s wildly unpopular veto of an expansion of children’s health insurance.
It will be George W Bush's legacy to be remembered long before historians get their chance to study him.

While hanging out at another posh resort

Our Dear Embattled Leader shed copious crocodile tears for the Palestinians.
"It breaks my heart to see the vast potential of the Palestinian people, really, wasted," Bush said, appearing alongside Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. "They're good, smart, capable people that when given a chance will build a thriving homeland." Bush said he is "absolutely committed" to achieving agreement.

"It would be an opportunity to end the suffering that takes place in the Palestinian territories," Bush added.
It might be believable were he not so quick to authorize another shipment of rockets, bombs and artillery shells to replace the one used by the Israelis to keep the Palestinians quiet in their Gaza and West Bank ghettos.

The brown plant hopper doesn't believe in Intelligent Design

And over the years has evolved to overcome several resistant plant strains and develop the ability to survive 100 times the level of pesticide needed to kill it 20 years ago. And the research needed to combat this pest has withered from underfunding and neglect over that same time.
This is a stark example of the many problems that are coming to light in the world’s agricultural system. Experts say that during the food surpluses of recent decades, governments and development agencies lost focus on the importance of helping poor countries improve their agriculture.

The budgets of institutions that delivered the world from famine in the 1970s, including the rice institute, have stagnated or fallen, even as the problems they were trying to solve became harder.

“People felt that the world food crisis was solved, that food security was no longer an issue, and it really fell off the agenda,” said Robert S. Zeigler, the director general of the rice institute...

...Several dozen important varieties of rice have been lost from the institute’s gene bank through poor storage. Promising work on rice varieties that could withstand high temperatures and saltier water — ideal for coping with global warming and the higher sea levels that may follow — had to be abandoned.

A potential solution is at hand for the plant hopper problem. No fewer than 14 new types of genetic resistance have been discovered. But with the budget cuts, the institute has mounted no effort to breed these traits into widely used rice varieties.

Doing so now would take four to seven years, if money could be found.
Funny, how nothing ever remains the same except the human ability to be surprised by what surprised past generations.

It's a glorious day for fighter pilots

The US Air Force has found a way to replace the troublesome "piddle packs". Let us all join together in celebrating the advent of the Advanced Mission Extender Device, a necessary device that needs a better name. Got any ideas?

Cindy Beer

A video from James Pence.

It's a winner.

Late night TV had some good jokes this week

Like this one.
"Yesterday on 'Live with Regis and Kelly,' John McCain showed one of his baby pictures. That was nice. The picture was on loan from the Museum of Natural History. Yeah, it was beautiful. It shows him discovering fire and bringing it to the village."
Conan O'Brien

Quote of the Day

If John McCain seriously believes we are at war with al Qaeda in Iraq, that alone is such a serious error in judgment as to rank him with George W. Bush at his worst and therefore disqualify him from any chance to govern this country.
Gary Hart, in the Huffington Post, declaring that the Old Fart is either a liar or a dangerous fool.

A thousand points of light

Was how Poppy Bush and the clan saw those whose actions affected the world in a positive way. No doubt they were points because the Bush clan was so far removed from understanding why that they could not see the real people doing what is right. Like this guy.
Brian LaFave couldn’t care less how high gasoline prices climb these days — he’s parked his pickup truck and refuses to buy gas for at least a month.

“The goal is to not use one drop of gas for 31 days,” La-Fave said of his personal stand against the oil companies. Now LaFave, 31, rides his bicycle or walks everywhere he goes.

He won’t let friends pick him up unless they already planned on being in the neighborhood.

He plans to compute his savings and donate that amount to a charity that provides food to children in Africa.
One persons effort, what are you doing?

Doing what we do best

It is only natural that the US, which leads the world in number and percentage of the population in prison, would be exporting that which we do best.
The Pentagon is moving forward with plans to build a new, 40-acre detention complex on the main American military base in Afghanistan, officials said, in a stark acknowledgment that the United States is likely to continue to hold prisoners overseas for years to come.

The proposed detention center would replace the cavernous, makeshift American prison on the Bagram military base north of Kabul, which is now typically packed with about 630 prisoners, compared with the 270 held at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.
If we can't leave them with a function ing democracy, we might as well give them the best damn prison our tax dollars can buy. Maybe even two or three.
But American officials now concede that the new Afghan-run prison cannot absorb all the Afghans now detained by the United States, much less the waves of new prisoners from the escalating fight against Al Qaeda and the Taliban.

Friday, May 16, 2008

R.I.P. Robert Mondavi

Anyone who has ever enjoyed a glass of a good domestic wine should raise a glass tonight in memory of all that you did to make it possible.

The latest ad from

Get the straight skinny here.

Republican expert vote fraudster withdraws nomination

I can only guess that any form of functioning FEC is necessary to Karl Rove's November vote fraud schemes. That, and the Old Fart desperately needs to get his hands on the public election money. Whichever reason, noted Republican vote fraud artiste, Hans von Spakovsky has withdrawn his nomination to the FEC. His was the one name that was holding up the whole process. It remains to be seen which one of his trained disciples will take his place.

Does Karl Rove look good in prison orange?

I think he does.

The Old Fart says Victory by 2013

But he still can't define the mission or describe the goal. But if we trust him he can guarantee that a lot more US troops will be dead for no good reason over the next five years. He sure does sound like Our Dear Embattled Leader

EXTRA: See how the Old Fart wanted to talk with Hamas before he had to kiss conservative ass to win the nomination.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Irony is dead, buried beside Shame

Our Fearless Leader, Dickless on this trip to the Middle East, stood before the Israeli Knesset and proclaimed to the delegates and the world his total unfitness to be allowed off the ranch in Crawford. In an attempt to smear the Democratic candidate he put forth the following nonsense
“Some seem to believe that we should negotiate with the terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along,” Mr. Bush said. “We have heard this foolish delusion before. As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American senator declared: “Lord, if I could only have talked to Hitler, all this might have been avoided.” We have an obligation to call this what it is — the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history.”
We who live in the present are well aware of how Fearless Leader's schoolyard diplomacy played so well to encourage and enable those whom he has steadfastly refused to talk to, though he would very much like to bomb them. But you need to be aware of history to remember that the grandfather of FL was actively financing the building of those Nazi tanks through 1939, 1940, 1941 and was only stopped in his evil activities by the US government in October 1942, after Germany had declared war on the US. By then the Final Solution was well under way. As the delegates applauded George W Bush, were any aware of how many Jews died because of his grandfathers activity.

Joe Biden
had the best response to Our Dear Embattled Leader's stunt,
This is bullshit.

Keith Olbermann - Special Comment 5/14/08

Two Toon Thursday

Tom Toles

Pat Oliphant

Panic is spreading among Republicans

Like the pee stains down their trousers. And their reactions are just what the doctor ordered. As they look forward to November, the party is spinning apart as each tries to distance themselves from what they see as the loser element.
Republicans had sought to link Mr. Childers to Mr. Obama in an advertising campaign there. Republican leaders said they were looking to Senator John McCain of Arizona, the likely Republican nominee, as a model whose independent reputation appears to allow him to rise above party in a year when the Republican label seems tarnished.

But Mr. McCain’s advisers said the Mississippi race underlined his intention to distance himself as much as possible from Congressional Republicans. Mr. McCain has already been openly critical of some of President Bush’s strategies.
They don't quite understand that they are all losers and they can't get away from themselves.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

House cuts out Army future to pay for present

Rep. Neil Abercrombie, D-Hawaii, chairman of the committee’s air and land forces panel and a supporter of the MRAP funding, said the committee’s version of the 2009 defense policy bill includes money for most of the Bush administration requests for the Army, including $2.2 billion for upgrading Abrams tanks, Bradley fighting vehicles and Stryker vehicles; $3.4 billion for tactical vehicles including $947 million for heavily armored Humvees; $3.1 billion for helicopters; and more than $1 billion for munitions.

However, the bill also makes a 5.5 percent reduction in funding for the Army’s FCS program. Abercrombie said the cut is needed so that money can be shifted to higher priorities, like readiness, and also reflects a “history of delays and cost overruns” in the program.

“It is $110 billion over budget and five years behind schedule,” he said. “I hardly think they have been cut short. And, it has not produced a single deployable system in six years of development.”

He said the savings were redirected to supplying equipment to the National Guard and reserves, one of the many unfunded needs in the defense budget. The Army had $4 billion in unfunded priorities, Abercrombie said.
"Many unfunded priorities". Who knew mercenaries were that fucking expensive. But it looks like Ma Deuce is ready to retire.

The Burned Over District supports Obama for President

At the beginning we were for John Edwards, the most progressive of the candidates. When he dropped out of the race , we bided our time waiting to see who would emerge victorious. Rather than keep all America waiting on tenterhooks, we proudly follow our original choice, John Edwards, in endorsing Barack Obama for President of the United States. And we urge all our fellow voters to support progressive Democrats for Congress, to give President Obama the support he will need.

Damn sure feels good to capitalize the word President again.

"Good Luck, Son"

According to Paul Rieckhoff, executive director of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, that pretty much summs up the administration attitude to Iraqi translators who put their lives on the line to work with Americans and are now being left behind in droves. But they are not forgotten by those who worked with them.
It took two years for Jack to get a visa. He is one of the very few to succeed among thousands who have worked as interpreters for the United States military.

To many veterans that is not an acceptable rate, given the risks the interpreters took, and Colonel Zacchea and others are taking up the cause.

They have created a growing network of aid groups, spending countless hours navigating a byzantine immigration system that they feel unnecessarily keeps their allies in harm’s way. There is, they say, a debt that must be repaid to the Iraqis who helped the most. To them it is an obligation both moral and pragmatic.

“It’s like this disjointed underground railroad that exists,” said Paul Rieckhoff, who served with the Army in Iraq as a first lieutenant in 2003 and 2004. Mr. Rieckhoff is now executive director of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, which has more than 85,000 members and a Web site at

Leaving an interpreter behind, Mr. Rieckhoff said, is “like leaving one of your soldiers back in Iraq and saying, ‘Good luck, son.’
Good for them for showing true character and what a sad state our country is in that our government is not leading the way.

Only when discovered

Does the Old Fart and his merry crew do the right thing. Like when Newsweek published the Myanmar connections to a couple of his lobbyist/campaign aides resign. Like when Cindy the Beer Princess is revealed to have investments in Sudan, does she sell them.
Cindy McCain, whose husband has been a critic of the violence in Sudan, sold off more than $2 million in mutual funds whose holdings include companies that do business in the African nation.

The sale on Wednesday came after The Associated Press questioned the investments in light of calls by John McCain, the likely Republican presidential nominee, for international financial sanctions against the Sudanese leadership.

Last year, at least four presidential candidates divested themselves of Sudan-related holdings.

According to McCain's personal financial disclosure, Cindy McCain's investments include two mutual funds - American Funds Europacific Growth fund and American Funds Capital World Growth and Income fund - that are listed by the Sudan Divestment Task Force as targets for divestment.

"Those have been sold as of today," said McCain spokesman Brian Rogers.
"As of today", as if Cindy didn't know what the Old Fart was saying about Sudan. As if the Old Fart didn't know what needed cleaning up when he began his presidential run. As if the Old Fart and the Beer Princess merely said, let's wait and see if any of Our Barbecue Boys notice. Looks like somebody did.

If the Republicans can't win in Mississippi

A state that has been under a Republican lock for half a lifetime, a state with a major Republican mover'n'shaker behind every tree and in the Governors Mansion, what chance have they got in November.
The Democrat, Travis Childers, a local courthouse official, pulled together a coalition of blacks, who turned out heavily, and old-line “yellow dog” Democrats, to beat his Republican opponent, Greg Davis, the mayor of Southaven, a Memphis suburb. With 99 percent of the precincts reporting, the vote was 54 percent for Mr. Childers to 46 percent for Mr. Davis.

The seat had been in Republican hands since 1995, and the district, largely rural and stretching across the northern top of Mississippi, had been considered one of the safest in the country for President Bush’s party, as he won here with 62 percent of the vote in 2004.
54-46, it wasn't even close. I'm not declaring them dead yet, not until sundown, but it does look like you can cut the head off the Republican snake anywhere you want to put up a good candidate and a strong campaign run.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

John Boehner, supperating ulcer on the Body Politic

In a patently desperate attempt to find something to smear Obama with, Minority Leader John "The Pustule" Boehner deliberately clipped all but two words out of an interview with Sen Obama so that he could state, falsely, that Obama called the State of Israel a "constant sore." Several Boehner sycophants tried to pick up the idea with all the success of Dave Vitter trying to have sex without diapers. We will give the last word on the subject to the interviewer, himself, Jeffrey Goldberg.
"Mr. Boehner, I'm sure, is a terribly busy man, with many burdensome responsibilities, so I have to assume that he simply didn't have time to read the entire Obama interview, or even the entire paragraph, or even a single clause. If he had, of course, he would have seen that Obama was clearly calling the Middle East conflict, and not Israel, a sore. Why, there's no one who would disagree that the Middle East conflict is a 'sore,' is there?

"I have no doubt that Mr. Boehner will issue a correction to his press release in which he states the obvious, which is that Obama expressed -- in twelve different ways -- his support for Israel to me.
If he doesn't, however, I would, sadly, have to agree with my colleague, the less-forgiving Andrew Sullivan, who called Boehner's statement a 'flat-out lie.' In fact, I would add to Andrew's post, by calling Boehner's statement mendacious, duplicitous, gross, and comically refutable."
Republicans, sucking wind before the first turn.

Australians do love their beer.

An Australian driver who secured a carton of beer in his car with a seat belt but left a 5-year-old child unrestrained was fined 750 Australian dollars ($710; €460), police said Tuesday.

Constable Wayne Burnett said he was "shocked and appalled" when he pulled over the unregistered car on Friday in the central Australian town of Alice Springs.

The 30-can carton was strapped in between the two adults sitting in the back seat of the car. The child was also in back, on the vehicle's floor.

"The child was sitting in the lump in the center, unrestrained,"
The thing speaks for itself.

Graphology anyone?

The LA Times took the time from its busy news operation to have three graphologists examine the handwriting of the three candidates.
Assuming handwriting can't be any less reliable an indicator of character than eating waffles, drinking a boilermaker or holding forth on a bus called the Straight Talk Express, three court-certified graphologists gleaned the following by looking at writing samples from Obama, Clinton and McCain:

Despite the charges of elitism flying around, none of the 2008 presidential candidates is a snob. Equally encouraging, all of them appear intelligent and driven.

But two, the experts said, strive to remain opaque amid the public glare. Two are reluctant to embrace their family legacies. One lacks warmth, whereas another can talk to almost anyone. One is flexible, another controlled, the third a loose cannon.
Go ahead, see if their conclusions are any different from your own.

Twofer Tuesday

Tom Toles

Pat Oliphant

Monday, May 12, 2008

Most Republicans have two faces

But Vito, Vito The Man!, had two lives and until he tried driving when he should have been in a cab, he made it work. His real problem was pretending to believe all that Republican family values crap that meant nothing to him. He sold it so well to the suckers that they are upset that it wasn't real. Yes, Vito had two of everything to go with his two faces and now everybody sees it all. And now that he has nothing to hide, Vito is running for reelection. The Man has some pair of stones.

This seems so normal for Republicans

The Middle East has always carried a slightly unsavory aura, even the word for bribes sounds exotic-baksheesh. And now we find that our State Dept in Iraq done its part to continue this disreputable tradition.
The Bush administration repeatedly ignored corruption at the highest levels within the Iraqi government and kept secret potentially embarrassing information so as not to undermine its relationship with Baghdad, according two former State Department employees.

The State Department's policies "not only contradicted the anti-corruption mission but indirectly contributed to and has allowed corruption to fester at the highest levels of the Iraqi government," Brennan told the Senate Democratic Policy Committee.

The U.S. embassy "effort against corruption — including its new centerpiece, the now-defunct Office of Accountability and Transparency — was little more than 'window dressing,' " he added.

The U.S.-led Office of Accountability and Transparency, or "OAT" team, was intended to provide assistance and training to Iraq's anti-corruption agencies. It was dismantled last December, after it alleged in a draft report leaked to the media that al-Maliki's office had derailed or prevented investigations into Shiite-controlled agencies.
We can't have government agencies getting in the way of Maliki of Iraq's personal development. Besides, it's not his money he is stealing.

Mixed record

Under the headline, "A Mixed Environmental Record" the WaPo looks at the Old Farts green history. One thing stands out. The mixed record is usually a matter of talking support for the environment and voting the Republican Party line. No doubt his lobbyists will be able to come up with catchy names for his more of the same.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Monday Music Blogging

When I was a kid, I loved going to the theater for a double feature. Todays offering is a double bill of Nancy Griffith and John Prine. Sit back and enjoy.

Nanci Griffith : Love Wore a Halo (Back Before The War)

John Prine : Jesus, The Missing Years

Phillipe Sands talks with Bill Moyers

If you believe in America you can only be appalled at what he has brought forth. Watch the whole interview here.

Live from New York

SNL burns Hilary and their bridges, too.

The Old Fart loses a lobbyist

Who was also a close aide, entrusted with running the Republican National Convention this summer.
The public relations executive whom Senator John McCain’s campaign had chosen to run the Republican National Convention this summer resigned his post on Saturday after a magazine reported that his firm had lobbied for the military junta that runs Myanmar.
The Old Fart is on record saying that he does not like the junta, but he had no qualms about hiring one of their enablers, until it became public. With all the lobbyists he has around him, this will probably happen again before November.

UPDATE: Via AmericaBlog, we learn that the Old Fart lost another lobbyist/campaign manager because of Myanmar. Or maybe they just dropped out to do some astroturfing.

Sermon for Sunday

Even when he is right, the Old Fart is wrong.

Like with his objection to the 21st Century GI Bill. He says it will cut reenlistment, which it turns out is true, but irrelevant. Along the way it would also increase recruitment and reduce the cost of that recruitment.
The Congressional Budget Office, the nonpartisan analytical arm of Congress, said in a report Thursday that enactment of S 22, a bill promising to pay full tuition plus a stipend for veterans attending college, could lead to a 16 percent drop in re-enlistments.

However, that cost would be offset by lower recruiting costs, the report predicts. It estimates there would be a 16 percent boost in recruits, which would allow a cut in enlistment bonuses and in other recruiting expenses that would result in $5.6 billion in savings over five years.
So the only real reason for the Old Fart to oppose the bill is because he is a tried and true Republican who hates the military and seeks to prove it every chance he gets.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Another reason to dump the Republicans

Their essentially worthless economic policies are a major reason why the value of the dollar has dropped to such a low level. And when your currency has no value you need more to buy basic commodities.
But even as the presidential candidates debate whether to cut federal gas taxes this summer and legislators look at other ways to ease prices at the pump, a harder-to-control factor is emerging as a main reason behind the increase in energy costs: the sinking dollar.

While no one disputes that China and other emerging economies are craving more crude, the stunning rise of oil from $62 a year ago is hard to explain as only a matter of supply and demand. After all, analysts have noted adequate inventories.

Over the same period, the dollar has declined nearly 15 percent against the euro, and the jump in oil prices “is very much driven by the dollar,” says Roger Diwan, a managing director at PFC Energy, a consulting firm in Washington.

Simply put, buying oil has become a way for hedge funds, pension funds and other institutional investors to offset their exposure to dollar-based assets like United States stocks and bonds, Mr. Diwan says. And many traders have followed the market’s momentum, aggravating the trend.
If your dollar won't hold its value, then you put it into something that will and with so much of the available inventory locked up in future contracts, there is less available today, at a higher price. Until the value of the dollar is restored we can expect continued speculative rises in prices. Do we really want an Old Fart who doesn't know much about economics?

We now know that Republicans don't like Motherhood

And if we had been watching Friday, we would have seen that Republicans don't want airline safety either. Yup, the Goddamn Old Phuckers voted to block the airline safety bill in the Senate. And what now has to wait until next year?
-Inaction also will delay the agency's plan to modernize the air traffic control network by replacing radar with a satellite system.

-The Federal Aviation Administration now won't have the money to hire more air traffic controllers, who safety advocates said are overworked and under stress.

=The FAA bill included an "airline passenger bill of rights" to ensure decent treatment for people stuck on grounded planes. Among the "rights": access to fresh water, food and clean restrooms in the event of long delays.

-Another casualty was an attempt by Republican Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania and Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri to include a provision that would have demanded tougher FAA oversight of overseas airline repair stations.

In a report a few years ago, the FAA's inspector general said that the agency performed little scrutiny over the overseas repair stations even as airlines were increasingly using the stations to do everything from minor repairs to overhauls.
Friendly skies, maybe. Safe skies, ask your Republican senator.

Did Joe gargle?

When Joe Lieberschmuck checked the Old Fart's bearings, did he give them a wash and a gargle, too?

US to continue reliance on mercenaries in Iraq

For a while, following the Blackwater Massacre, it looked like the Prince of Mercenaries and his cutthroats for hire were in serious trouble, at least in Iraq. Foolish us. How could an upstanding Christian man with his money and circle of friends ever be in peril, regardless of how foully his minions have performed on his behalf. Now, after a suitable time, and probably suitable gifts as well, Blackwater remains on the job and as the State Dept informs us, indispensable, too.
“We cannot operate without private security firms in Iraq,” said Patrick F. Kennedy, the under secretary of state for management. “If the contractors were removed, we would have to leave Iraq.”

Still, serious risks remain for Blackwater and at least some of its current and former personnel. A federal grand jury continues to consider evidence in the Baghdad shooting. Although the company is not likely to face any criminal charges, people involved in the case say that some Blackwater guards involved in the shooting are cooperating with the F.B.I. as it pursues evidence against other guards.

Separately, a former Blackwater guard is under criminal investigation for the December 2006 shooting death of an Iraqi guard for an Iraqi vice president, and may soon face federal charges. In a third case, two former Blackwater workers pleaded guilty to weapons-related charges, but both received sentences that included no jail time in return for their cooperation with federal prosecutors in a broader investigation.
That's right, forget about how well the Surge has worked, without their band of MultiBuckeroos, our State Dept would be run out of Iraq. But justice has not been forgotten, to keep up appearances a handful of disposable minions will be ritually thrown under the bus. But don't feel bad for them, they knew this was their lot when they signed up, it's in the fine print of their contract. And it's back to business as usual.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Republican True Colors

We have long known that Republicans hate working people and women and children and the military all the while they are crowing about their alleged love of these groups. Dana Milbank, in the WaPo has discovered the latest group that Republicans do not like.
It was already shaping up to be a difficult year for congressional Republicans. Now, on the cusp of Mother's Day, comes this: A majority of the House GOP has voted against motherhood.
How can one even pretend to be an American and not support Motherhood, if in word only. What is needed now is some research to find out if this lot ever had mothers or did they all crawl out of Newt Gingrich's outhouse.

The Old Fart in action

On the face of it it seems a simple land swap that is not uncommon in the still lawless parts of the West.
Sen. John McCain championed legislation that will let an Arizona rancher trade remote grassland and ponderosa pine forest here for acres of valuable federally owned property that is ready for development, a land swap that now stands to directly benefit one of his top presidential campaign fundraisers].

Initially reluctant to support the swap, the Arizona Republican became a key figure in pushing the deal through Congress after the rancher and his partners hired lobbyists that included McCain's 1992 Senate campaign manager, two of his former Senate staff members (one of whom has returned as his chief of staff), and an Arizona insider who was a major McCain donor and is now bundling campaign checks.

When McCain's legislation passed in November 2005, the ranch owner gave the job of building as many as 12,000 homes to SunCor Development, a firm in Tempe, Ariz., run by Steven A. Betts, a longtime McCain supporter who has raised more than $100,000 for the presumptive Republican nominee. Betts said he and McCain never discussed the deal.
Nope, they never said a word, that would be unethical. To see where the Old Fart has not strayed far from the teachings of his mentor Charles Keating, you have to read the details, which can be found here. Discover and learn.

Oh shit! I stepped in some icky-poo.

The NY Times has a fairly comprehensive look at the latest moves by the White House to a)get their voter fraud specialist Spakovsky on the Federal Elections Commission and b)help the Old Fart by giving him a pipeline to the Treasury. The language of the piece is so non-inflamatory that I suspect asbestos would combust before this piece.
Although Mr. McCain has been a longtime champion of campaign finance reform, he also has an urgent pecuniary interest in the matter.
In other words, he is desperate for money and doesn't want to have his earlier actions declared illegal. Or consider this assessment of the moves, including the removal of David M Mason.
Even Mr. Gross, who represents clients from both parties, said the decision to pull Mr. Mason’s renomination made it difficult to believe that Mr. McCain was not involved in some way.

“It is sort of further indicia that Senator McCain’s fingerprints are somehow part of the motivating factor of getting these commission seats filled,” Mr. Gross said. “I didn’t get a license in detective work, but I don’t think you’d have to be a certified detective to figure it out.”
Such gentle license but you can draw your own conclusion.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

If you are willing to sit through the crap

Dan Abrams has some good stuff on his show.

Cindy McCain, better than all the rest of us

While the Old Fart continues his quest to be the first "kept man" in the White House, the source of all his homes and high living and the odd corporate jet flight here and there says "Fuck you" to those who want to see her finances.
"You know, my husband and I have been married 28 years and we have filed separate tax returns for 28 years. This is a privacy issue. My husband is the candidate," Cindy McCain, wife of Republican presidential nominee-in-waiting John McCain, said in an interview aired on NBC's "Today" on Thursday.

Asked if she would release her tax returns if she was first lady, Cindy McCain said: "No."
Given the Old Fart's spendthrift ways, I can understand why her daddy locked up all the money in a Fart proof vault, but if she wants to be First Lady, she had better give up those ideas of privacy.

Quote of the Day

For him to toss out comments like that I think is an example of him losing his bearings as he pursues this nomination.
Barack Obama, dismissing the Old Fart's Hamas smear as just another "McCain Moment"

From the pen of Pat Oliphant

Intelligent Design vs The Platypus

My choice would be the Platypus, hands down any day of the week. Recent DNA research shows that to be where the smart money is.
If it has a bill and webbed feet like a duck, lays eggs like a bird or a reptile but also produces milk and has a coat of fur like a mammal, what could the genetics of the duck-billed platypus possibly be like? Well, just as peculiar: an amalgam of genes reflecting significant branching and transitions in evolution.

An international scientific team, which announced the first decoding of the platypus genome on Wednesday, said the findings provided “many clues to the function and evolution of all mammalian genomes,” including that of humans, and should “inspire rapid advances in other investigations of mammalian biology and evolution.”
Let's face it, any God that would design a fur bearing, lactating, egg laying, venom producing, duck billed, web footed animal must have been nursing the Mother of All Hangovers at the time.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Props to the New York Times

When they get it right they usually do it with a degree of eloquence that I can't match.
Like many Americans, we have been intrigued and often exasperated by the long-running Democratic primary and the ever smaller-bore spats between Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. So we are thankful to Senator John McCain for reminding us Tuesday what this year’s presidential race really is about.

On a day when Mr. Obama won a decisive victory in North Carolina and Mrs. Clinton eked out a win in Indiana, Mr. McCain spoke about his judicial philosophy. He is determined to move a far too conservative and far too activist Supreme Court and federal judiciary even further and more actively to the right.

Mr. McCain predictably criticized liberal judges, vowed strict adherence to the Founders’ views and promised to appoint more judges in the mold of Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito. That is just what the country does not need.
Or as I would put it, why we must destroy the Republican Party.

Just like a rattlesnake

Even when you think he is dead, or in his case irrelevant, he makes it clear that you can't trust him until the sun goes down on his reign. In his best petulant "dog-in-the-manger" attitude, Our Dear Ain't-He-Gone-Yet Leader threatens to veto legislation that helps people instead of corporations.
As the House prepared to vote on a housing-relief bill offered by Democratic leaders, President Bush on Wednesday told the lawmakers, in effect, not to bother.

“I will veto the bill that’s moving through the House today if it makes it to my desk,” the president said at the White House, after meeting with Republican House leaders. “I urge members on both sides of the aisle to focus on a good piece of legislation that is being sponsored by Republican members.”
What he makes clear is that he will veto any useful legislation that comes from Congress and only wants to see the fiscally dangerous and morally reprehensible legislation that he sent to the Hill.
Representative Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland, the House majority leader, issued a statement asserting that while Democrats have a sensible plan to shore up the housing market, “President Bush has a plan to sit on his hands for nine more months.”
That's Our Li'l Georgie! Spiteful to the end.

Bushoviks using troops as political pawns, again

Regarding the latest military appropriations bill in Congress, the Pentagon is now saying that it won't be able to meet the payroll after June 15.
In an announcement that puts troops and their families in the middle of a political dispute, a Pentagon spokesman said Tuesday that the Army will not be able to pay soldiers after June 15 unless Congress approves an emergency war funding bill.

The claim drew a quick rebuke from Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., chairman of the House defense appropriations subcommittee, who is working on such a bill.

Murtha said there is no threat to military paychecks and that it is inappropriate for the Pentagon to try to involve soldiers and their families in a political dispute over how much money is needed to pay for ongoing operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and exactly when the money is needed.
More Bushshit to scare to peasants.

White House e-mails like WMD

No, I don't mean they are in Syria, but they are proving very difficult to find.
The Bush administration has not found disaster recovery files for White House e-mails from a three-month time period in 2003, according to court documents filed this week, raising the possibility that messages sent before and after the invasion of Iraq may never be recovered.

The White House chief information officer, Theresa Payton, said in a sworn declaration that the White House has identified more than 400 computer backup tapes from March through September of 2003 but that the earliest recorded file was dated May 23 of that year.

That period was one of the most crucial of the Bush presidency. The United States launched the invasion of Iraq on March 20, 2003, and President Bush declared the end of major combat operations on May 1.
That should make any war crimes trial harder to prove, but not yet impossible. And it is possible that a responsible government might find more. Which is another good reason not to vote for the Old Fart.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Quote of the Day

But the militia has limited resources, therefore, when somebody gives you or offers help, it's hard to say no. If it came from Israel, we would use it.
Abu Baqr, a commander in the Mahdi Army militia on the sourcing of supplies.

Make sure he's wearing a tracking device

The Old Fart has been having a series of "McCain Moments" lately and the Great Orange Stan himself has been good enough to keep track of them. If you start to laugh, just remember that the Old Fart wants to be your president, if only to keep George W Bush from being the worst president ever.

Republican voter fraud scheme seems to be working just as planned.

And what better way to tally the effect on Democratic voting than the Democratic primary. The AP has this story of the first examples.
About 12 Indiana nuns were turned away Tuesday from a polling place by a fellow bride of Christ because they didn't have state or federal identification bearing a photograph.

Sister Julie McGuire said she was forced to turn away her fellow sisters at Saint Mary's Convent in South Bend, across the street from the University of Notre Dame, because they had been told earlier that they would need such an ID to vote.

The nuns, all in their 80s or 90s, didn't get one but came to the precinct anyway.
Good catch, everybody knows the founder of their organization was a long haired, sandal wearing radical who got his from the local Republican party back when they were known as Romans. Let us all give thanks to the Indiana Republicans and the loyal activist judges on the Supreme Court for protecting us from this terrible threat.

Why the Republican Party must be destroyed

The answer is simple. The ideology of the core of current Republican leaders hates the Constitution and all it has brought to America. Those leaders, I use the term loosely, give rise to candidates like the Old Fart and candidates like the Old Fart say things like this.
Republican presidential candidate John McCain said on Tuesday he would appoint judges in the mold of conservatives John Roberts, Samuel Alito and former Chief Justice William Rehnquist if he were elected in November.
So the Old Fart wants to appoint more activist judges who will twist the law to suit their evil America hating ideology. Or Americans can rise up to destroy the Republican Party and save our way of life. The choice is yours.

Time to ask the Old Fart a question

This week the question has two elements.

Senator McCain, why do you oppose Senator Webb's GI Bill? Do you hate the military?

You can write, telephone or e-mail the Old Fart at his Senate office or, if you are lucky, you might run into him on the campaign trail. And don't forget to ask his Whiny Ass Titty Twins, Graham and Lieberschmuck.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Feeling cranky to day

Don't feel like posting.


Tom Slick and his Thunderbolt Grease Slapper.

Georgie's chickens come home to roost

After all those years of sending all our money to China, some of it is coming back to the US, to buy the US.
Liu is part of a growing wave of Chinese entrepreneurs expanding into the U.S. From Spartanburg to Los Angeles they are building factories, buying companies and investing in business and real estate.

Individually, these deals pale next to high-profile investments such as the $5-billion stake China's sovereign wealth fund took in Morgan Stanley last year, or state-owned oil giant CNOOC Ltd.'s $18.5-billion bid to acquire El Segundo-based Unocal Corp. in 2005.

But unlike the suspicion or uproar those moves generated -- CNOOC withdrew its offer amid U.S. political pressure, and the Bush administration and other governments have pushed for a "code of conduct" for sovereign wealth funds -- private Chinese businesses such as Shanxi Yuncheng are being wooed by states hungry for investment and jobs.

Last month, Wyoming's governor toured firms in China's coal-mining country. Georgia's leader brought a team of 40 on a mission to boost trade and attract investment, and Alabama's governor paid a visit too.

"It's like a land grab," quipped James Rice, Tyson Foods' China manager and a board member of the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai
Does Lou Dobbs know about this?

Krugman sounds a warning.

Nobody wants the bad times to continue, but sometimes it works out better that way.
Cross your fingers, knock on wood: it’s possible, though by no means certain, that the worst of the financial crisis is over. That’s the good news.

The bad news is that as markets stabilize, chances for fundamental financial reform may be slipping away. As a result, the next crisis will probably be worse than this one.
Even after the Democrats take over in January, Cheesy Chuck Schumer, Wall St.s favorite protector, will be an influential dude.

Monday Music Blogging

Albert Hofmann, the discoverer of LSD, died this week at the ripe age of 102. To thank him, for the discovery not the demise, our Monday musical offering is a double bill from the Jefferson Airplane.

White Rabbit/Somebody To Love

Sunday, May 04, 2008

A breakdown of contributions from the military

The Army Times provides some breakout numbers for the reportable contributions of servicemen and military employees for the 5 quarters from Jan. '07 to Mar '08.
From January 2007 through March of this year, service members or civilian employees of the military donated at least $766,000 to presidential candidates,

-During the reporting period, Paul — a former Air Force surgeon who broke with his party to vote against the Iraq war — received the most military contributions, with $201,271.

-That’s significantly more than the presumptive Republican nominee, Sen. John McCain from Arizona, who received $132,133 from military donors, according to CRP.

-Obama, meanwhile, whose opposition to invading Iraq has been a centerpiece of his campaign, has received $178,456 in military contributions, compared to Sen. Hillary Clinton’s $85,000, the analysis shows.

-Overall, military donors still favor Republicans to Democrats, 62 percent to 38 percent, according to CRP. But Ritsch said at the beginning of the war, three-quarters of military donors favored GOP candidates.
Interesting numbers from an inherently conservative group.

A proposal for the Old Fart

The Des Moines Register points up the most dangerous failing of the Old Fart's alleged health care plan, the elimination of an employer-based system of insurance to one where individuals and families purchase insurance on their own. The writers put forth an interesting proposal of their own.
Let him and other members of Congress ditch their employer-based insurance and go shopping on the open market. Rather than relying on the huge bargaining power of the federal government, let them negotiate cheaper and better health plans on their own.

The senator is 71. He's had his share of health problems, including melanoma. Perhaps private-sector health insurers will line up to offer him an affordable plan that doesn't exclude coverage for his pre-existing conditions.
And perhaps pigs really do fly when we aren't looking. In reality, he would still be covered under Cindy's corporate executive health care plan. There is just no way that the Old Fart would ever have to pay a doctor himself.

Why it's a hairball idea

Meteor Blades had this graphic in one of his diaries. It is far too good to be hidden away on The Great Orange Stan.

Tax evasion Republican style

Kellogg Brown & Root, the nation's top Iraq war contractor and until last year a subsidiary of Halliburton Corp., has avoided paying hundreds of millions of dollars in federal Medicare and Social Security taxes by hiring workers through shell companies based in this tropical tax haven.

More than 21,000 people working for KBR in Iraq - including about 10,500 Americans - are listed as employees of two companies that exist in a computer file on the fourth floor of a building on a palm-studded boulevard here in the Caribbean. Neither company has an office or phone number in the Cayman Islands.

The Defense Department has known since at least 2004 that KBR was avoiding taxes by declaring its American workers as employees of Cayman Islands shell companies, and officials said the move allowed KBR to perform the work more cheaply, saving Defense dollars.

But the use of the loophole results in a significantly greater loss of revenue to the government as a whole, particularly to the Social Security and Medicare trust funds.
All very simple, you don't cheat on your own taxes, your CPA will find a way for you to pay less in taxes than your secretary. No, you screw your employees out of their future benefits by pretending they work for a foreign company, then pay yourself based on the juiced up profits those unpaid tax dollars appear to be. And along the way you help make Medicare and Social Security look bad. The free market hand of Dick Cheney

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