Monday, May 31, 2004
From a letter to the L.A. Times
...our occupation leaders stood idle and permitted the looting and vandalism of the wonderful Baghdad Museum, but, hey, we'll have a great state-of-the-art prison to be proud of.
Nearly lost in the death, destruction, and criminal idiocy of the invasion and occupation of Iraq is the fact that countless irreplaceable artifacts from the cradle of civilization have been stolen and destroyed. This immense historical tragedy is the result of a willful act of negligence on the part of the Bush administration, which cares nothing for these cultural treasures. The arrogance and incompetencee of these bastards is astounding.
Damn them all.
"Al Gore is as crazy as a loon."
Sunday, May 30, 2004
Want to separate yourself from the ugliness and futility of BushCo’s world for a couple of hours? Rent this incredibly beautiful film. It will blow your doors off—especially when you learn how it was made.
See this film.
Friday, May 28, 2004
You know, I was never satisfied with the description line for this blog:
"Political and Cultural Musings And Rants"
This quickly thrown-together phrase was rather clumsy and borderline pretentious.
Until today, I had been searching in vain for a better description, something that captured the spirit of the Bush era.
Thanks to CNN, I have found a new description line (see above).
Have a great Memorial Day weekend, everyone.
“Our press is constantly fed bullshit by Republican sources, and they keep coming back for more seeing it as acceptable practice.”
---Atrios of Eschaton
Select Gallery of Clowns
Judy Woodruff – "Liberal" CNN –Shameless Bushbot
Howard Fineman – MSGOP – White House Foot Soldier
Brit Hume – FOX – Um, he works for FOX
Kelli Arena – “Commie” CNN – Has a direct line to al Qaeda
I could go on an on. And it’s getting worse everyday.
Here are some things I've learned on the "news" in the past few days:
“The U.S. will be granting full sovereignty to Iraq on June 30.”
“There’s no real difference between Bush and Kerry, so why change horses?”
“It’s going to be a close race.” (Jedi mind trick)
“Americans on the whole respect Bush for his decisiveness and straight talk.”
“Americans give Bush high marks on his handling of the war on terror.”
Kerry is the only politician in history who has ever changed positions on issues. He is a flip-flopper.”
“Bush is not a flip-flopper.”
“Kerry doesn’t really know who he is.” (see Al Gore 2000)
“Al Gore is now a radical leftist—as evidenced by his recent trips to France, the beard he grew a few months back, and his support for Marxist revolutionary and screaming lunatic, Howard Dean.”
"We're fighting al Qaeda in Iraq"
“Al Qaeda believes it has a better chance of winning in Iraq if John Kerry is in the White House.”
“The economy is booming again.”
“The Tooth Fairy is real”
“Up is down.”
“Down is up.”
“Dick Cheney is not the Antichrist.”
Check out this “insider’s view” of the White House.
Here are some excerpts:
“In the current White House, attendance at daily Christian Evangelical prayer meetings is mandatory."
"Vice President Cheney is the de facto President of the United States. When he arrives at the White House for one of his "briefings" of the President, all employees are cleared from the West Wing and especially from the Presidential office suites. Cheney arrives in an escorted armored limousine surrounded by his own personal, heavily armed bodyguard and is always shown directly into the President's office. It is reliably reported by [redacted] that Bush has a thick pad of lined, yellow note paper on his desk, placed there by [redacted] just before the Vice President arrives."
"White House staff members report that they rarely see the President during work hours and that when they do, he is generally accompanied by Mr. Rove and almost never either looks at or speaks to members of the staff. He does not appear to recognize many of the staff members and almost all contact with these individuals are carried out by his close aides, especially by Mr. Rove."
"Most of the staff are young, dedicated, almost fanatical, and very, very Christian. The Ten Commandments are in each and every office with nice pictures of Jesus accompanying them. I have chatted up a few of these bright-faced kids and find out that they Love Jesus, Hate Gays, Abortionists, Moslems, Blacks, Catholics, some Jews, all Democrats, Liberals, Hindus, Chinese, Frenchmen, Germans, and now, Spaniards."
Well, I feel better now.
I am assembling a covert team to Freeway Blog a major overpass in Sacramento.
I need your ideas for some succinct and hard-hitting words (and/or images) to place on the sign.
We’ll be placing the sign in the wee hours of the morning on a weekday, for maximum commuter exposure.
Of course, I’ll post a picture of the deed here.
Place your suggestions in the Comments field.
Thursday, May 27, 2004|
When he becomes a bad guy in a Tom Clancy book.
Can the video game be far behind?
Order these free stickers here.
You can also order 10 for $3.00 (I did).
Stick ‘em in public places, in the tradition of the Freeway Blogger.
It is very long, but you’ll be glad you took the time to read it.
Wednesday, May 26, 2004
A true story from guest poster Christiaan Havelaar.
While out walking the dog the other day, I saw something that is still puzzling me. About a block away from where I was waiting for the dog to drop some Cosbys, I saw someone in a green Saturn park near the corner of 22nd and O. Nothing out of the ordinary except that it looked like Steveo’s car so I was checking it out to see if it was him. This guy gets out of the car and I could swear that it was Steveo. Short blond hair, tall, pasty white legs. I was about to yell out his name to see what he was up to but the guy runs over limp-wristedly to the corner and is impatiently looking around, obviously waiting for someone. I start to walk closer to go say hi and a beige car pulls up with some hipster-looking guy driving. The guy who I swear looks like Steveo jumps in the car, lays a huge, slobbering kiss on the guy driving, and then they speed off in the opposite direction of me as if I was seeing something that they didn’t want me to see. I stood there playing the scene over in my mind in disbelief of what just went down. Maybe I don’t know my friends as well as I thought….maybe it is better that I don’t. Maybe Steveo met someone special at one of his shows at the Distillery or something? Did I catch him in the middle of a secret rendezvous with his new man-lover? I don’t know. All I know is what I saw. You always hear about married folks going to bat for the other team out of nowhere, I’ve just never known anyone who has done that. Steveo…..is there something you want to share with us?
Artist: Notorious B.I.G.
Album: Ready to Die
Song: One More Chance (remix)
Lyrics to first verse
First things first, I poppa, freaks all the honeys
Dummies - playboy bunnies, those wantin' money
Those the ones I like 'cause they don't get nathan'
But penetration, unless it smells like sanitation
Garbage, I turn like doorknobs
Heart throb, never, black and ugly as ever
However, I stay coochied down to the socks
Rings and watch filled with rocks
As a general rule, I perform deviant sexual acts with women of all kinds, including but not limited to those with limited intellect, nude magazine models and whores. I particularly enjoy sexual encounters with the latter group as they are generally disappointed in the fact that they only receive penile intercourse and nothing more, unless of course, they douche on a consistent basis. Although I am extremely unattractive, I am able to engage in these types of sexual acts with some regularity. Perhaps my sexuality is somehow related to my fancy and expensive jewelry.
I'd like to post some cool, funny, or inspiring stuff today (as opposed to the usual rants against Bushworld).
I'm at a loss.
Suggestions or material for posting would be appreciated (place in comments field or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Does anything not suck ass today?
Tuesday, May 25, 2004
From a discussion thread on Democratic Underground
“After [Crossfire co-host, Paul] Begala showed a graphic of the rain fall in Crawford leading up to the "bike tumble" [Carlson] just stood there for a second and just started screaming (in an effort to get laughter from the audience) about how Bush will lose because of rain fall etc. It was classic. He just started screaming at the top of his lungs and you could hear a pin drop in the audience. They were seriously freaked out.”
This is encouraging.
Fox has all but monopolized the top positions for news shows in the ratings race. With 2.2 million viewers, "The O'Reilly Factor" is top of the heap, followed by "Hannity & Colmes" with 1.5 million viewers and the "Fox Report with Shepard Smith" with 1.4 million. CNN's "Larry King Live" was in fourth place with 1.3 million viewers. The next eight spots are occupied by Fox News shows, including "Special Report with Brit Hume," "On the Record with Greta Van Susteren" and "Fox and Friends."
That this piece of shit needs to be locked up?
Perhaps you remember her better from this proud moment in America’s history.
Today’s installment features Pentagon wizkid Doug Feith, who General Tommy Franks called "the fucking stupidest guy on the face of the earth." Just the man you want at the controls of your project to remake the Middle East.
Take a minute to learn about the neocon’s pet con man.
After all, he is at the center of the colossal disaster in which we find ourselves.
Monday, May 24, 2004
This makes me sick. And, please, spare me the war is hell speech. This is fucking bullshit.
Damn the Bush Bastards to hell.
So no heads are gonna roll for this?
So this vicious crime against humanity will be nothing but a topic for the cable news bobbleheads to bounce around the echo chamber until it peeters down the memory hole?
Like the mafia-style exposure of Valerie Plame by Dick Cheney’s thugs?
Like the lies that led this country into an unnecessary and disastrous war and occupation?
These impeachable offenses are just components of the election year “debate”?
These are partisan issues?
An electoral defeat in November is not an acceptable punishment for these war criminals. Removal from office should be a prelude to imprisonment for this gang of lying, murdering scoundrels.
Dick Cheney must not be permitted to return to the riches of the private sector. He and his sock puppet must be prosecuted and placed behind bars.
Please contact your Congressional Representatives and ask them to fulfill their sworn duty to uphold the Constitution. Ask them to impeach George W. Bush.
Another disgruntled hack with no credibility is waging a partisan attack on our fearless and infallible Wartime President.
Seriously, this is a must-read.
Wednesday, May 19, 2004
I'm heading to southern California for a little vacation, so no posts until Monday. In the meantime, be strong and resist Rummy's charms.
If you're new to this site, check out some of the earlier posts below and in the archives. Also, there are plenty of great sites listed to your right.
I appreciate that Giuliani was a champion in the wake of the 9-11 attacks. He was a strong and comforting presence for New Yorkers—and many Americans. He even seems like a decent guy.
But you know what? He is a staunch ally of BushCo.
So fuck him.
I’m sure many of you can relate.
Click here for his Abu Ghraib roundup.
Point of interest: Drum blogs from Irvine, hometown of yours truly.
Funny, he doesn't look like someone from Irvine.
Tuesday, May 18, 2004|
Sings a little diddy about BushCo. I think you’ll like it.
This has been a much anticipated book. Here’s an Amazon reader review.
I got an advance copy of this book, having been an observer of Mr Brock's trajectory over the years. He has done an amazing service in this orderly, calm and utterly devastating history of the rise of the radical right's propaganda machine and its subversion of our nation's media. Brock begins at the beginning, with a treatise by a woman named Efron arguing that the GOP and business interests need their own distinct media. Efron gets Nixon's attention, Nixon tries to put Efron's plan into action, Nixon runs into the Watergate buzzsaw. But the seed is planted, back in the 1970's, and then cultivated by GOP activists like William Simon, financed heavily by Richard Mellon Scaife, Olin, Coors dynasties etc. (who Brock calls the four sisters). Until the whole thing flowers: all of a sudden a huge battery of propaganda houses like Heritage and American Enterprise, funded by oil companies and GOP financiers, are churning out a counter history of the American experience. Anything counter to GOP orthodoxy is branded 'liberal'; Murdoch and Sun Myung Moon's media empires swiftly join the cause, whose committed purpose is to subdue America's independent media and convert it into service of corporate interests generally and GOP political figures specifically.
Throughout this book, which will be the standard text in colleges and for historians, Brock's tone is calm and steady and he lets the facts speak for themselves (very unlike his earlier books, which are overly polemical -- duh). The research here is encyclopedic. (In a book about media, virtually every quote is on the record).
It is amazing to this reviewer how our media could have been so thoroughly corrupted. How our politicians could have so haplessly junked the Fairness Doctrine which would have smothered the entire Fox News Propaganda Machine in its cradle. It is amazing to me that a small and toxic band of right wing ideologues, (nevertheless armed with billions of dollars of their patrons' money) could so effectively intimidate and cow the so-called guardians of our democracy. Is the triumph of the radical right wing the fault of the Neo-cons, or is it our fault, for our complacency and our timidity?
Monday, May 17, 2004
A weekly must-read (published on Mondays), courtesy of your good friends at Democratic Underground.
Want some good, unfiltered insight on the situation on the ground in Iraq? Wanna find out what ordinary Iraqis think about Americans and the occupation, how the Abu Ghraib thing is playing on the street? Click here.
From the Drudge Report
(I hate to link to this dumpster diver’s site).
MOORE BRINGS DOWN HOUSE: LONGEST STANDING OVATION 'IN HISTORY OF CANNES' FOR BUSH BASH FILM
20 mins standing ovation for FAHRENHEIT 9-11, yelling, screaming, cheering... 'This is the longest stading ovation in the history of the festival! Unbelievable!' declared Cannes stalwart Thierry Fremaux. Moore, raising fist, unable to speak over crowd, vows to fight... Controversial scene in film shows wounded American GI in Iraq talking about how Democrats must win election... Movie shows video of U.S. soldiers laughing as they place hoods over Iraqi detainees, with one of them grabbing a prisoner's genitals through a blanket....
Here’s a review from Time Magazine
Sunday, May 16, 2004
This will bring in loads of swing voters!
How about another hard right, hawkish, anti-choice ally of Bush like Vice Presidential "hopeful" for the Democratic ticket, John McCain.
Maybe a Gingrich/McCain ticket.
Here’s the article that will be the talk of the nation this week. Give it a read.
Want the quick and dirty with some extra goodies, click here.
Update: Holy mother! Read here about the neocon / Arab homosexual humiliation connection.
Pass the popcorn.
Saturday, May 15, 2004
Reading letters to the editor in my paper this morning, and observing viewer emails to cable news programs, I was troubled (but, sadly, not surprised) to discover that a great many Americans lump ordinary Iraqis and the individuals who attacked the United States on 9-11 into a single terrorist enemy.
Call it the Inhofe Effect, a malady in which one lazily accepts a simplistic, racist, politically concocted mythology of the Arab as terrorist. Symptoms include expressions of ignorant animal outrage that “liberal pinheads” are “whining” about the “justified treatment” of Iraqis detained by the U.S. military, and that “the only language these fanatics understand is violence.”
Never mind that we are learning as many as 90 percent of the detainees were ordinary Iraqis rounded up in random sweeps and who have no connection to the insurgency or terrorist acts of any kind.
Never mind the distinction between genuine terrorism and armed resistance to an illegal occupation.
Never mind that it is never, under any circumstances, acceptable to sodomize a human being with a broom handle, or pile naked individuals into a pyramid and crush them and stomp on their fingers, or force men to simulate masturbation or anal sex, or rape a woman, or desecrate a corpse. Never.
Oh yes, and never mind that…
IRAQ DID NOT ATTACK US ON 9-11, YOU NAIVE FUCKING RUBES.
PULL YOUR HEAD OUT OF SEAN HANNITY’S ASS.
My god, has the human race evolved at all in the past thousand years? Are people just willfully ignorant? How can roughly half of the adult population of this country blindly accept BushCo's fraudulent "War on Terror." I'm serious here. Someone please answer this question.
Friday, May 14, 2004
Here's what the journalistic head of the neoconservative movement and FOX stalwart William Kristol had to say about Bush on The Daily Show last night:
"He did drive us into a ditch."
Nice try, Bill, but no sale.
You were the head cheerleader for this misadventure in Iraq. How many smug, self-righteous, France/UN-bashing, pro-war, pro-BushCo columns and appearances on FOX did we have to endure in the weeks and months leading up to the invasion of Iraq? Not to mention your maniacal policy manifestos which constitute a recipe for the apocalypse.
Now, it's Bush, alone, who drove us into the ditch?
As one apt commenter said, if Bush drove us into the ditch, it was you and your neocon chickenhawk brethren who had the foot on the gas. Yes, that includes you, Fred Barnes, Charles Krauthammer, Richard Perle, and all the another rat bastards affiliated with the PNAC / AEI / FOX / Weekly Standard empire. The ill-conceived house of cards you have built meticulously over a lifetime is crumbling. Suck on it. Looks like we all have to.
Thursday, May 13, 2004
I almost didn’t do this post because it’s slightly obscure. But here goes. The 101st Fighting Keyboarders is a creation of TBOGG, the funniest blogger I’ve yet to encounter. The name refers to a collection of conservative and right-wing writers, columnists, and bloggers who, from the safety of their homes and offices, write about the heroic sacrifices they/we are making on the frontlines of the "War on Terror" in Iraq and elsewhere. These armchair warriors are ripe for ridicule because…well…they’re fucking ridiculous! And there are plenty of them out there.
Here's a classic example. For those of you that aren’t familiar with him, Andrew Sullivan is an extremely popular conservative blogger who also happens to be a homosexual. It’s been hilarious to watch “Sully” walk the tightrope of supporting the rapidly crumbling occupation of Iraq while simultaneously criticizing BushCo’s assault on gay marriage. Anyway, if there is a Brigadier General of the 101st Fighting Keyboarders, it is surely Andrew Sullivan. There are many examples of his mouse-and-keyboard-wielding acts of bravery in battle, but this instance and the resultant slapdown by TBOGG was damn funny.
Here’s the abbreviated version:
Sully— responding to the burning and hanging of American contractors from a bridge in Falluja:
“All the more reason to maintain the deadline for the transition to self-rule, and to keep a close military and police alliance with the incoming government. I'm still an optimist - in the medium term. But the next two or three years could be brutal. We just got a taste of how brutal they could be.”
“First of all, Andrew, you didn't get a taste of anything except a vanilla latte with a bit too much foam on top. Watching the news doesn't make you a part of what happened in Falluja, just like watching baseball on TV doesn't mean you have to start thinking about warming your arm up. Sitting safely at home and thinking "How very sad" isn't participating. Check your clothes and see if any of them have a hint of Eau de Burned Flesh.”
Okay, maybe you don’t find that as funny as I do. But at least you are now aware of one particularly harrowing chapter in the proud history of the 101st FK.
Atrios has more recent exploits.
You know the wheels are coming off the BushCo wagon when this bowtied right-wing twit jumps off.
"I think it’s a total nightmare and disaster, and I’m ashamed that I went against my own instincts in supporting it," he said. "It’s something I’ll never do again. Never. I got convinced by a friend of mine who’s smarter than I am, and I shouldn’t have done that. No. I want things to work out, but I’m enraged by it, actually."
—Tucker Carlson of CNN’s Crossfire on the Iraq war
Is this really happening?
Pulitzer prize winning NYT columnist and deep-thinking champion of the administration’s “democratizing” project in the Middle East, Thomas Friedman, has just discovered that….
BushCo is unprincipled scum.
Update: Kevin Drum weighs in.
For all I that I occasionally make fun of Friedman for his yo-yo mood swings and bizarre metaphor-challenged prose, I have to say that I sympathize with him here. As much as I've always despised Bush for his party-über-alles approach to the presidency, I too spent most of 2002 figuring that even he would put politics on hold and put the country first when it came to war.
But he didn't. It was basically just an election gimmick to him, a club to whack Democrats with, and it's so hard to conceive of an American president treating a war this cynically that I can understand why Friedman took so long to admit it to himself. Hell, even I still have moments where I just shake my head and think that I must be wrong. No one could be that callow, that vindictive, that shortsighted.
But George Bush is. After 9/11 he had a chance to make the war on terror into a bipartisan cause but he didn't take it. What's worse, it's not that he tried and did a bad job of it, but that he deliberately decided to make terrorism as divisive an wedge issue as he possibly could. By doing that he has set the anti-terrorist cause back by years.
He truly is a disgrace to the Republican party.
I'd say he's a disgrace to more than just the Republican party.
Wednesday, May 12, 2004
I watched the video of the beheading of Nicholas Berg yesterday. Gruesome and terrifying are words that only begin to describe it. I will not post the link here, and I don’t recommend that anyone watch this thing.
I did get into an interesting debate with a regular SmithAntics commenter, who argued that I should post the link to the video so people could see the tragic reality of the occupation of Iraq. While I could see the point of his argument, I held to my position that I would not make this site the conduit for that horrid video. In fact, the main reason I watched the video was to atone for sending the link to said commenter in the first place. I think I wanted him to watch it for me and then report back with the gory details. I’m sure morbid curiosity played a large part in my decision to watch it as well.
In any case, there is something fishy about the Berg incident. A number of questions have yet to be answered. Digby has a good post about it.
Now here’s a worthy cause.
I sent my package. Best 17 bucks I’ve spent in a while.
Please send the kids some pens, and let us all know you did so via the comments field below.
Here, I’ll even provide the direct link.
Marshall on idiot primate Jim Inhofe.
But here you have Jim Inhofe lumbering out of his cave and on to the stage, arguing that we can do whatever we want because we're America. Inhofe's America is one that is glutted on pretension, cut free from all its moral ballast, and hungry to sit atop a world run only by violence. Lady Liberty gets left with fifty bucks, a sneer, a black eye, and the room to herself for the couple hours left before check out.
The mysterious Atrios is simply a must-read blogger. I could link to a dozen great posts he has up today. This passage shows his ability to get to the heart of the matter:
Someone in this administration has to go. While the war between State and the Pentagon probably makes for oh-so-wonderful Beltway cocktail chatter, it also means that we have a completely dysfunctional government at a time when we can ill-afford to have that.
Uh...yeah, perhaps now is not the best time for a pissing match in the White House.
The incompetence just boggles the mind.
Great organization, great web resource.
Independent, aggressive and critical media are essential to an informed democracy. But mainstream media are increasingly cozy with the economic and political powers they should be watchdogging. Mergers in the news industry have accelerated, further limiting the spectrum of viewpoints that have access to mass media. With U.S. media outlets overwhelmingly owned by for-profit conglomerates and supported by corporate advertisers, independent journalism is compromised.
Uniquely, FAIR works with both activists and journalists. We maintain a regular dialogue with reporters at news outlets across the country, providing constructive critiques when called for and applauding exceptional, hard-hitting journalism. We also encourage the public to contact media with their concerns, to become media activists rather than passive consumers of news.
Tuesday, May 11, 2004
This post describes how BushCo chose not to take out the man who decapitated Berg. Why? Because to do so would have weakened the case for war.
”Military officials insist their case for attacking Zarqawi's operation was airtight, but the administration feared destroying the terrorist camp in Iraq could undercut its case for war against Saddam.”
The administration invented ties between Saddam and Bin Laden to justify its war against an impotent Iraq. Yet it had real, live terrorists in its crosshairs, and refused to pull the trigger. Because it would hurt the case against Bush's War.
And as a result, at least 700 have paid the ultimate price.
Let’s recap shall we? We invaded a country that we now know posed no threat to us and enjoyed no connection whatever to those who did. In order to do so, we pulled manpower and resources away from the job of protecting us and thereby made ourselves more vulnerable to the thousands of new enemies we created with our failed, dishonest invasion. OK, what next?
How about we go through the nation we profess to be liberating, arrest a whole bunch of innocent people and then torture them —raping a few here, killing a few there. What next? Well, what do you say we continue to this for a year after the Red Cross alerts us both to the fact of the torture as well as the innocence of ”70% to 90% of prisoners detained in Iraq since the war began last year?”
I don’t know about you, but I’m having trouble understanding why, at minimum, the term “criminal negligence” is not being used here. If Rumsfeld really is responsible, and he says he is, then he should not merely be fired, but tried. I know it’s more than he’s willing to offer an American citizen like Jose Padilla but I’m in a generous mood. This being the Bush presidency, however, he is instead congratulated. “You are doing a superb job. You are a strong secretary of defense, and our nation owes you a debt of gratitude,” says the man who has just reached the lowest popularity point of his presidency. I fear Mr. Orwell is looking more and more pollyanish every day.
I do wonder what honest supporters of the war are telling themselves now. There was no threat. There was no planning for the occupation. We are hated by the people who we professed to liberate and we have destroyed our reputation in the Arab world we were pretending to teach a lesson about democracy. The Arab-Israeli peace process is in tatters and we are reduced to begging the very same United Nations we treated so contemptuously to bail us out of the mess we’ve created. In the meantime, Americans are in the hundreds are being killed a year after the president proclaimed “Mission Accomplished” and we have wasted hundreds of billions of dollars and thousands of lives to make neither ourselves nor the rest of the world any safer.
Link to must-bookmark Altercation site here.
If this is how it really went down, good for McCain.
Around the halls of the Pentagon, a term of caustic derision has emerged for the enlisted soldiers at the heart of the furor over the Abu Ghraib prison scandal: the six morons who lost the war.
Indeed, the damage done to the U.S. military and the nation as a whole by the horrifying photographs of U.S. soldiers abusing Iraqi detainees at the notorious prison is incalculable.
But the folks in the Pentagon are talking about the wrong morons.
There is no excuse for the behavior displayed by soldiers in the now-infamous pictures and an even more damning report by Army Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba. Every soldier involved should be ashamed.
But while responsibility begins with the six soldiers facing criminal charges, it extends all the way up the chain of command to the highest reaches of the military hierarchy and its civilian leadership.
The entire affair is a failure of leadership from start to finish. From the moment they are captured, prisoners are hooded, shackled and isolated. The message to the troops: Anything goes.
Remainder of communist, America-hating screed here.
Just Trust Us
Didn't you know, in your gut, that something like Abu Ghraib would eventually come to light?
When the world first learned about the abuse of prisoners, President Bush said that it "does not reflect the nature of the American people." He's right, of course: a great majority of Americans are decent and good. But so are a great majority of people everywhere. If America's record is better than that of most countries — and it is — it's because of our system: our tradition of openness, and checks and balances.
Yet Mr. Bush, despite all his talk of good and evil, doesn't believe in that system. From the day his administration took office, its slogan has been "just trust us." No administration since Nixon has been so insistent that it has the right to operate without oversight or accountability, and no administration since Nixon has shown itself to be so little deserving of that trust. Out of a misplaced sense of patriotism, Congress has deferred to the administration's demands. Sooner or later, a moral catastrophe was inevitable.
Monday, May 10, 2004
The rest of the world, typically, does not necessarily hate America or Americans; they hate our president and his posse, but if the horror is continued, if the stubborn idiocy of the great unwashed (or the fraudulent villainy of Diebold et al) triumphs and Bush remains in DC., then this sympathy towards our citizenry will surely change. BushCo is not 'afraid' of the rest of the world, but he's a fucking moron. We are the biggest super power in the known universe and y'know it's got to frustrate these guys that they have to go around walking on egg-shells rather than just stomp stomp stomp (i.e. we're the most powerful but we're not allowed to use our power). It's my belief that these guys think that the biggest mistake of Abu Ghraib was not the torture and humiliation of Iraqi prisoners, but that some idiot MP took pictures and videotapes. It's a Rodney King situation, and to that effect the first guy getting court-martialed is - you guessed it - the guy that took the pictures. When Rummy was belittling the Geneva Conventions, Congress ratified law in this country— BTW, he did it not realizing that despite his best efforts, even the most well guarded information has a way of oozing out. And this will, hopefully, be Cheney's downfall (and by extension, his little Dubya puppet). They keep trying to keep big secrets, both lawful and illicit, constantly forgetting that in this post-Watergate era, this age of full disclosure, you can't even get a blow job without the whole world finding out. All the dirty little cabals of this administration will eventually slither out of the closet; let's just hope enough of them emerge before America makes a bad thing worse and accidentally re-elects the vile scum currently befouling the oval office (who, by the way, if re-elected will have no further need of placating American voters and will wage their rotten agenda unheeded).
Josh Marshall has a way with words. Speaking here of the inability of BushCo to come to grips reality, he writes:
“You expect -- or perhaps better to say, you hope -- soon to see the sober, serious grown-up come along, put his hand on the guy's shoulder and say, "It's over" -- perhaps saying it a few more times, with arresting finality, until he understands.
Perhaps a better metaphor is a user at the ugly outset of his own intervention -- the increasingly desperate lies, the bargaining, the lickety-split oscillations between apologies, self-pity and impulsive anger.”
Are we watching the final collapse of the BushCo house of cards? I must admit it: I am relishing this. But at what price does this victory come?
Read the incredible story of this statue here.
It would look great on my mantle.
It would help me recapture my youth
I have a birthday coming up.
You can order it here.
Bush is against campaign finance reform; then he's for it.
Bush is against a Homeland Security Department; then he's for it.
Bush is against a 9/11 commission; then he's for it.
Bush is against an Iraq WMD investigation; then he's for it.
Bush is against nation building; then he's for it.
Bush is against deficits; then he's for them.
Bush is for free trade; then he's for tariffs on steel; then he's against them again.
Bush is against the U.S. taking a role in the Israeli Palestinian conflict; then he pushes for a "road map" and a Palestinian State.
Bush is for states right to decide on gay marriage, then he is for changing the constitution.
Bush first says he'll provide money for first responders (fire, police, emergency), then he doesn't.
Bush first says that 'help is on the way' to the military ... then he cuts benefits
This makes a perfect gift for your conservative father.
This blog is a daily must-read.
Sunday, May 09, 2004
Kevin Drum ponders this question. It’s really quite astonishing.
Note: This is one of those broad and thoughtful posts (Kevin Drum’s, that is) that I believe are good to send to friends, family, coworkers who support Bush and plan to vote for him in November. If you ever want to send a single post from this or most other blogs, simply click on the post’s timestamp at the bottom of the entry. Or on Kevin Drum’s and other sites, click on the word “Permalink.” This will bring up a URL in your address bar that can be pasted directly into an email, and that will direct the recipient to a selected post. Please help spread the word outside the choir.
More examples of American exceptionalism and moral authority to come.
Things are about to get even uglier, friends. The battle lines are being drawn here in the “homeland” between those who rally against BushCo’s final destruction of this country’s already disreputable standing in the world, and those who view that dissent as un-American and who would seek to silence that righteous anger.
Fareed Zakaria spells it out in Newsweek.
Leave process aside: the results are plain. On almost every issue involving postwar Iraq—troop strength, international support, the credibility of exiles, de-Baathification, handling Ayatollah Ali Sistani—Washington's assumptions and policies have been wrong. By now most have been reversed, often too late to have much effect. This strange combination of arrogance and incompetence has not only destroyed the hopes for a new Iraq. It has had the much broader effect of turning the United States into an international outlaw in the eyes of much of the world.
Whether he wins or loses in November, George W. Bush's legacy is now clear: the creation of a poisonous atmosphere of anti-Americanism around the globe. I'm sure he takes full responsibility.
Oh yes, I’m sure.
Saturday, May 08, 2004|
From The Daily Brew
We Are All Wearing The Blue Dress Now
Whether Republicans like it or not, if George Bush is elected in the fall, the entire world will view the election as American approval of the torture and sexual humiliation of prisoners at the Abu Ghraib prison. It might not be fair, it might not be reasonable, but it is nevertheless reality. Apologies, prosecutions, firings and courts martial will not be enough to expunge the stain this scandal has placed on the honor of the United States. The pictures are simply too graphic. The abuses are simply too horrible. If George Bush is elected President, the entire world will view the election, at a minimum, as tacit approval of these events.
This election will thus no longer merely determine the Presidency. This election is now much larger than the office. The United State’s place in the family of nations is now on the ballot. This election will determine whether the United States will ever again have any standing or moral authority in the rest of the world. The United States cannot simultaneously stand against depraved sexual torture and the wanton abuse of human rights, while electing the commander in chief upon whose watch these events occurred. The seven hundred thousand or so viewers of Fox News may be able to rationalize such cognitive dissonance; the six billion people who make up the remainder of the world will not.
Friday, May 07, 2004
It was inevitable that I would find an excuse to post something about my all-time hero on SmithAntics. But this letter provided a momentary diversion from the bleak despair of the BushCo Era.
Perhaps I’m overdue for a trip out of this country.
Okay, bring on the wizard rock jokes!
From Josh Marshall
We can contribute a second hand anecdote to newspaper stories on rising concern, last year, from Secretary of State Powell and Deputy Secretary Armitage about Administration attitudes and the risks they might entail: according to eye witnesses to debate at the highest levels of the Administration... the highest levels... whenever Powell or Armitage sought to question prisoner treatment issues, they were forced to endure what our source characterizes as "around the table, coarse, vulgar, frat-boy bully remarks about what these tough guys would do if THEY ever got their hands on prisoners...."
Thursday, May 06, 2004
Will Rummy walk the plank?
I’m sure he’ll use his fighting techniques in the Senate chambers tomorrow.
Thanks, Tom, for the idea for the title!
Update: Holy Crap!
“Our anger and revenge will not be appeased until we pierce the eyes which saw the sexual organs of the Iraqis and until the Americans, British and Israelis are castrated on the banks of the Tigris and Euphratus rivers."
I’m reading this book right now, and it absolutely kicks ass.
Hard to put down.
Even Kevin Drum (who blogs from Irvine) is weighing in on the Lakers impending defeat.
I’m not one of those people who categorically rejects the idea that 9-11 could have been allowed or engineered by BushCo. At this point, is anything outside the realm of possibility (probability) with these people?
WASHINGTON, May 6 — At least six air traffic controllers who dealt with two of the hijacked airliners on Sept. 11, 2001, made a tape recording that day describing the events, but the tape was destroyed by a supervisor without anyone making a transcript or even listening to it, the Transportation Department said today.
The taping began before noon on Sept. 11 at the New York Air Route Traffic Control Center, in Ronkonkoma, on Long Island, but it was later destroyed by an F.A.A. quality-assurance manager, who crushed the cassette in his hand, cut the tape into little pieces and dropped them in different trash cans around the building, according to a report made public today by the inspector general of the Transportation Department.
More. Requires NYT registration, which I highly recommend.
Kevin Drum and Josh Marshall have updates on what is arguably among the darkest chapters in U.S. history.
Oh yeah, and it looks like Rummy gets to stay.
Did I mention that I despise these fucking people.
Wednesday, May 05, 2004
None other than my sister won the contest (no, I swear it wasn't rigged!).
The two organizations that form the core of the neoconservative movement are the Project for a New American Century (PNAC) and the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). The membership rosters of these organizations read like a phone directory for the White House and the Pentagon: Cheney, Rummy, Wolfy, Condi...they're all on board, along with their good FOX pals, William Kristol, Fred Barnes, and Chuck Krauthammer just to name a few.
In a nutshell, the neocons believe that, now that the cold war is over, it's time for the U.S. (and it's proxy in the Middle East, Israel) to take over the world! This of course will be achieved through the twin forces of militarism and private corporate power.
Iraq is the holy grail for these people.
Sound like something out of cheap political conspiracy novel?
Are the neocons currently dominating the White House and the United States foreign policy apparatus?
You can learn more about these maniacs here and here.
CALLER: It was like a college fraternity prank that stacked up naked men --
LIMBAUGH: Exactly. Exactly my point! This is no different than what happens at the Skull and Bones initiation and we're going to ruin people's lives over it and we're going to hamper our military effort, and then we are going to really hammer them because they had a good time. You know, these people are being fired at every day. I'm talking about people having a good time, these people, you ever heard of emotional release? You of heard of need to blow some steam off?
LIMBAUGH: And these American prisoners of war -- have you people noticed who the torturers are? Women! The babes! The babes are meting out the torture.
LIMBAUGH: You know, if you look at -- if you, really, if you look at these pictures, I mean, I don't know if it's just me, but it looks just like anything you'd see Madonna, or Britney Spears do on stage. Maybe I'm -- yeah. And get an NEA grant for something like this. I mean, this is something that you can see on stage at Lincoln Center from an NEA grant, maybe on Sex in the City -- the movie. I mean, I don't -- it's just me.
Your tax dollars going down the toilet that is this phonied-up war.
Speaking of phony:
The dirty little secret of President Bush's bus tour is that he didn't spend much time on the bus.
An hour or so on Tuesday was all he logged, though that seemed plenty for the startled residents of some small towns in rural parts of Ohio, who had never seen a motorcade quite like this one. After all, it is not every day you see three buses moving along on back roads, preceded and followed by Chevy Suburbans carrying men with large guns, and helicopters overhead. One woman who was mowing her lawn ran indoors, leaving the lawn mower idling in her yard.
Yes, that’s right: He’s not taking the bus; he’s flying.
From Josh Marshall:
"I think that -- I'm not a lawyer. My impression is that what has been charged thus far is abuse, which I believe technically is different from torture. I don't know if it is correct to say what you just said, that torture has taken place, or that there's been a conviction for torture. And therefore I'm not going to address the torture word."
"Breaking chemical lights and pouring the phosphoric liquid on detainees; pouring cold water on naked detainees; beating detainees with a broom handle and a chair; threatening male detainees with rape; allowing a military police guard to stitch the wound of a detainee who was injured after being slammed against the wall in his cell; sodomizing a detainee with a chemical light and perhaps a broom stick, and using military working dogs to frighten and intimidate detainees with threats of attack, and in one instance actually biting a detainee."
Tom Tomorrow on the prisoner abuse disaster:
Stick a fork in us, we're done. We have officially lost the battle for hearts and minds. We have officially failed as representatives of enlightened democracy.
You know what this says to the Iraqis? Your lives are worthless. Our people can murder you at will, and receive barely a reprimand.
This guy truly is the new Joe McCarthy (video clip requires RealPlayer).
The brand new watchdog site Media Matters is all over O'lielly and other paid propagandists for BushCo.
Tuesday, May 04, 2004
Josh Marshall nails the current Iraqi prisoner abuse disaster and BushCo’s unwillingness to grasp the enormity of the situation. Can this really be happening?
Tonight's the big night for the Kings! Kay Gee and Co. await.
And can the Lakers sack up against Duncan and the boyz? I hope so, cuz I've got $20 bucks on those asswads (Hey, it's an office bet, and I'd rather face the Lakers than San Antonio).
Monday, May 03, 2004
So, the wingers are attempting to paint Kerry as a klutz for taking a spill on his bike (which I know no one reading this has ever done). Do they really want to go down this road?
You can watch ‘em here.
If I were a lying, sniveling, imbecilic, draft-dodging little frat boy who likes to play dress-up on aircraft carriers, I’d be a little unnerved by these.
My criticism of Kerry’s campaign aside, these ads look pretty damn good.
"I had other priorities."
-Dick Cheney, on why he did not serve in Vietnam
“On Oct. 6, 1965, the Selective Service lifted its ban against drafting married men who had no children. Nine months and two days later, Mr. Cheney's first daughter, Elizabeth, was born.”
“Richard Cheney did everything humanly possible -- short of fleeing to Canada -- to avoid military conscription: He applied for and received 5 student deferments, a number described as "incredible" by professor David Curry of the University of Missouri in St. Louis. Curry has written extensively about the draft, including a 1985 book, "Sunshine Patriots: Punishment and the Vietnam Offender." The Times quotes Mr. Curry as observing: "That's a lot of times for the draft board to say O.K."
More examples of Dickhead’s patriotic sacrifices here.
In a further display of reporting on the substantive policy issues of the campaign, we learn that Kerry has an anchorman’s head of hair.
Al Gore’s beard, Kerry’s hair, Bush’s criminal lying ass….all relative, you see.
The invasion of Iraq was not really about WMD after all; its purpose was to rid the country of the evil Baathist thugs who ran all those nasty torture chambers.
Okay, I'm glad we got that straightened out.
So what’s going on with Michael Jackson?
In case you missed what’s passing itself off as news this weekend, allow me to recap for you. It’ll only take a second.
Flip-flopping patrician Washington insider and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, John Kerry, who really doesn’t know who he is,* fell off his bike on Sunday, an incident viewed by many as a metaphor for his hopeless campaign against our beloved Wartime President.
That’s the liberal CNN version. You’ll have to tune into the No-Spin Zone at FOX for new developments.
*see Al Gore election 2000 GOP-sponsored media spin template.
"The new administration seems to be paying no attention to the problem of terrorism. What they will do is stagger along until there's a major incident and then suddenly say, 'Oh, my God, shouldn't we be organized to deal with this?'"
February 26, 2001, statement by Paul Bremer, currently serving as BushCo’s Imperial Proconsul for Iraq.
Watch him backpedal here. It’s really quite amusing.
Saturday, May 01, 2004
That is, unless we get breaking news that Codpiece and Unka' Dick are being frog-marched out of the White House in handcuffs.
Anyway, if you've ever been to Reno (or any big gambling town), you need to read this.
And my vote for album of the new millennium here. Yes, that good.