Saturday, February 04, 2006

And just think, he's the smarter one!

Text mess: Note to recruit now a to-do

By Teddy Greenstein
Tribune college football reporter

The NCAA is looking into whether Florida Gov. Jeb Bush committed an NCAA violation by corresponding with Myron Rolle, a defensive back from New Jersey who on Wednesday signed a letter of intent to play football at Florida State University...more at link above --

Business as usual...

Chicago Tribune:

Bush appoints lobbyist to FCC
McDowell restores Republican majority

WASHINGTON -- President Bush on Friday chose telecommunications lobbyist Robert McDowell to take an open seat at the Federal Communications Commission, a move that would restore the agency's 3-2 Republican majority.

I am sure that a lobbyist will be a tireless advocate for the public interest, aren't you?

Friday, February 03, 2006

Freedom's on the march...

Just think--this was the idiot stupid enough to get caught:

US official admits Iraq aid theft

By Adam Brookes
BBC News

In the United States, a former official has admitted stealing millions of dollars meant for the reconstruction of Iraq. Robert Stein held a senior position in the Coalition Provisional Authority, which administered Iraq after American and allied forces invaded in 2003. In a Washington court, he admitted to stealing more than $2m (£1.12m) and taking bribes in return for contracts.

Winning the hearts and minds....

BAGHDAD (AP) - A U.S. helicopter fired rockets into a crowded Shiite neighbourhood of eastern Baghdad on Thursday, killing a young woman, after the aircraft was fired on, the U.S. command said. The military also said five U.S. troops died in separate attacks.

Another odd SOTU tidbit

"On September the 11th, 2001, we found that problems originating in a failed and oppressive state 7,000 miles away could bring murder and destruction to our country."


Well, the two failed and oppressive states that brought murder and destruction on September [for one thing, Mr. Preznit, please, LOSE THE "THE"!!!!!!] 11, 2001, were Saudi Arabia and...the United States.

Is this idiot STILL trying to tie Iraq and his misbegotten war to 9/11????

Or is he breaking out on Abdullah???

Nahhh....(cue Billy Paul)

Me and Abdullah,
we got a thing going on,
We both know that it's wrong
But it's much too strong
To let it cool down now.
We meet ev'ry day at the same cafe,
Six-thirty I know he'll be there
Holding hands, making all kinds of plans.


From Rummy: "The enemy--while weakened and under great pressure--is still capable of global reach, still possesses the determination to kill more Americans, and still trying to do so with increasingly powerful weapons."

In other words--we're going to keep you afraid so we can keep killing and spending.

Oh, one more thing

Anyone else think the missing Cheney emails are a little too close to the blank spots on the tapes from Nixon's office? Or am I seeing too much?

Thursday, February 02, 2006

SotU Redux

Tonight might be the only time in the space of a month that I'll have a chance to attempt to construct a cogent political thought, so I'll, as they say in baseball parlance, spray to all fields:

1) I didn't watch the liar speak the other night. As I commented elsewhere, I was busy doing science, although, I must say, not creating human-animal hybrids. All I can say is that if you live somewhere that you get chances to stop out at an observatory at a local college or museum to look at what's up there, it will always be more meaningful than anything George W. Bush will ever say.

2) It amuses me that the "addicted to oil" thing is coming back to bite him from the right.

3) So we all know that 2 people got thrown out of the SotU the other night. One was the wife of a congressman from Florida, who (according to Salon) had this to say "I totally disagree with everything she [Cindy Sheehan] stands for," he said. But by asking his wife to leave the House chamber, Young said, police clearly "acted precipitously." I'm glad that people who have such a clear grasp of the first amendment are making laws.

4) Further proof that W thinks we're all about as bright as he is. Also from Salon:
Remember that bit in Tuesday night's State of the Union address where George W. Bush said that new technology will help the United States "replace more than 75 percent of our oil imports from the Middle East by 2025"?

Forget it.

"This was purely an example," Bush's energy secretary, Samuel Bodman, tells Knight Ridder. Bodman says the president's real goal is to reduce foreign oil imports from anywhere, not from the Middle East in particular. An administration official says Bush used the words "Middle East" in his State of the Union address just so "every American sitting out there listening to the speech understands."
Oh, okay. That bitchslap from the Saud family that Drinky got when he returned to the White House must have really hurt.

5) I'm still incapable of rational speech on how poorly the Democratic party as a whole handled the Alito thing, from start to finish. If they don't wake up, and fast, the GOP won't even need to rig the machines this November.

6) The week off between the conference championship games and the Super Bowl is the single dumbest thing ever invented in professional sport, and it wasn't even Beelzebud Selig's idea. Stunning.

7) If you get a chance, sneak over to Crooks and Liars and watch Keith Olbermann yet again disembowel Bill O'Reilly. Good stuff.

8) Speaking of which, on last night's Daily Show, we got this gem from Jon Stewart: "We don't torture, we freedom tickle."

9) It gets me every time that the lying fuckhead in the oval office gives someone (a wildly moving TV camera, the Democratic Party) the look that says "Man, I wish I could just yell 'off with his head' and have someone die. I should have that power." There is no doubt in my mind that that's what he's thinking.

10) If you haven't yet, go find "Brokeback to the Future." Trust me.

The Aristocrats?

Just got the DVD of the above, and after about 30 minutes, I realized that I was both bored and offended. I obviously am no prude, but it just wasn't funny. I would appreciate others' comments.

Shameless Plug

A shameless plug again for my favorite talk show host. Stephanie Miller is hilarious (and the daughter of Goldwater's running mate!) and she has a guy who does drop-dead impressions. Find the show at the link above.

From TODAY's paper

Sex abuse settlement offered
Spokane diocese puts forward $45.7 million
By Nicholas K. Geranios Associated Press

February 2, 2006

SPOKANE, Wash. -- The Roman Catholic Diocese of Spokane, which filed for bankruptcy after being barraged with sex abuse lawsuits, has offered a $45.7 million settlement to 75 people who say they were molested by priests.

No. 2:
Cardinal removes another priest
Pastor not monitored for year after allegation

Notice a trend here? Hmm..Cardinal...diocese...why, this appears to be the Church of Rome!

A suggestion to the Holy Father, perhaps you should worry less about whom your celibate (gay) priests AREN'T having sex with and focus on the legion of serial pederasts and who they ARE having sex with.

I may have missed it, but I don't recall large-scale sexual abuse scandals involving the Episcopalians, the methodists, the Lutherans, etc. Why? perhaps because their ministries feature sexually healthy men and women not shackled with the non-scriptural perversion of celibacy?

More images of W's respect for life

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

On apathy and protests

I'm certain that Victoria A. Bonney is a very intelligent and earnest young woman. She's a senior at Endicott College, which I gather is within hailing distance of Boston. There's a newspaper there, the Globe, which saw fit to publish an op-ed piece by Ms. Bonney. She's trying to make a case as to why her generation isn't protesting the Iraq war as Cindy Sheehan's generation protested U.S. involvement in the Viet Nam war, and is now taking the lead in the anti-war movement yet again. Ms. Bonney blames lots of things: ipods and cellphones, starbucks and playstation - she even unearths a link between the lack of protest and Attention Deficit Disorder.

She correctly finds apathy, but for all her wailing and gnashing of teeth, she fails to nail down the source: and it's a two-foot-putt --- THERE'S NO DRAFT VICKY. This is an all-"volunteer" army fighting the war. Even the foot soldiers caught in the Catch-22 of stop-gap re-enlistments were ensnared as volunteers (it's right there in the fineprint). The kids and the career warriors serving as target practice for Sunni snipers, or fodder for IEDs detonated by fanatical Fallujans are all there by choice.
By contrast, only three of the scores of guys I knew who fought in Viet Nam went there as volunteers. All the rest were drafted and didn't have the luck or the pull to stay stateside. They hated that a bad ping-pong bounce put them there. They were angered that the children of privilege could get deferments or use a well-placed phone call to get a cushy National Guard assignment. And all of the kids protesting KNEW that it could just as easily be them. Sure the war sucked, even righteous wars suck, Vicky (read ANY of great novels that came out of WWI or II) but they suck even more if your deferment gets pulled and you're 1-A with a low number.

People my age and older have a very different perspective on war and death than the so-called apathetic youth that Vicky rails on about. We saw the Viet Nam war on TV every night. We saw the coffins and the body bags. We saw the draft lottery broadcasts. Today the death and dismemberment are phantoms. There are no clips from the front, as there is no front. There are no press allowed inside Dover AFB. Reporters are embedded or bunkered inside a "green zone." Their stories only make the news when they are kidnapped or if they catch a piece of shrapnel on their good side.

It's a different world Vicky --- and our history major liar-in-chief knows it all too well.

The man and the hour have met....

We have been fortunate that in times of crisis, the United States has been blessed with splendid leadership. At the country's birth, we had, as one biographer accurately stated, "the indispensable man." George Washington was not a great military strategist or political visionary. However, he had a unique ability to inspire others to follow him and believe in him. Washington was the glue that held the infant republic together.

When that republic was ripped asunder, the fate of the nation lay with Abraham Lincoln. Here was a man of vision and as well as a cunning politician who understood earlier than and better than almost anyone the kind of war he was facing.

FDR came into office in a time of national calamity and died at the end of a great war. He was a man of great contrasts, a unique combination of pragmatist and idealist, statesman and SOB who led the country to victory over fascism and genocide.

Now as we face rogue states, terror threats and a looming economic collapse we get:

Good God.

Life is beautiful

The president gave us this gem last night:

"I ask you to pass legislation to prohibit the most egregious abuses of medical research: human cloning in all its forms; creating or implanting embryos for experiments; creating human-animal hybrids; and buying, selling or patenting human embryos."

Damn, looks like the GOP has locked up the anti-Ratboy vote!

He added:

"Human life is a gift from our creator, and that gift should never be discarded, devalued or put up for sale."

Yeah, right.

Who needs electricity? And water is VASTLY overrated.

Report Measures Shortfall in Iraq Goals
Shifting of Funds Blamed For Abandoned Projects

By Jonathan Finer
Washington Post

BAGHDAD, Jan. 26 -- The United States will not complete hundreds of basic water and electricity projects planned after the 2003 invasion because more than $3 billion was shifted to meet unanticipated security and other needs, according to a U.S. government audit of reconstruction spending in Iraq issued Thursday.

In polls and everyday conversations, Iraqis routinely describe the lack of basic services such as clean water and a steady supply of electricity as perhaps the biggest problem facing the war-ravaged country, ranking it alongside -- and often ahead of -- insecurity and persistent insurgent violence........

Thought for the day

Courtesy of ZinfandelFan:

This year, both Groundhog Day and the President's State of the Union address occur this same week. It is an ironic juxtaposition of events. One involves a meaningless ritual in which we look to a creature of little intelligence for prognostication while the other involves a groundhog.


Progress--it's hard work...

"A new poll of the Iraqi public finds that a large majority of Iraqis think the US plans to maintain bases in Iraq permanently, even if the newly elected government asks the US to leave. A large majority favors setting a timeline for the withdrawal of US forces, though this majority divides over whether the timeline should be over a period of six months or two years. Nearly half of Iraqis approve of attacks on US-led forces—including nine out of 10 Sunnis. Most Iraqis believe that many aspects of their lives will improve once the US-led forces leave, but are nonetheless uncertain that Iraqi security forces are ready to stand on their own."

Go away

I mean it. Go away.

The 4th Stooge

A Bush stooge, that is.

Once again, the Chicago Tribune's resident hack/shill delivers a gem, when he whines:
"President Bush, saddled with war for most of his presidency, sought to focus the public's attention Tuesday...."

SADDLED, Mark? I'm just curious, did you ever see a horse run into a barn and strap a saddle on himself? Didn't think so. This idiot hasn't been "saddled" with war. He created and embraced it.

Mark, how do you keep your job?

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Correction on the Illini losing thing....


What liberal media?

The headline from MSNBC: President to use fifth State of Union to recharge presidency

Recharge? Recharge from WHAT? From an administration that has turned EVERYTHING it touched into crap? Recharge? Remember how the first term began, when China humiliated him over the spy plane? Mix in a recession. and the general perception that the man was learning-impaired. He does My Pet Goat on 9/11 and then invades the wrong country.

From there, quagmires, deficits, Abramoff, Libby, layoffs, Katrina, Hamas...

I got your recharger right here.

And I'm pissed the Illini are losing

State of the Union last minute addition....

In keeping with Drinky McLiar's penchant for naked political gain, I predict that he will mention the death of Coretta Scott King, and will recall her as a "shining beacon in the struggle for racial and gender equality."

Ethics 101--The remedial class

A federal judge nominated by President Bush to one of the nation's highest courts disqualified himself from two cases against a corporation in which he has held personal investments, after a report revealed that his career on the bench has been riddled with conflicts of interest. Judge James H. Payne recused himself from two product-liability suits against drug titan Pfizer, which had been assigned to him since November, according to court documents. Payne has reported stock holdings of up to $15,000 in Pfizer since 1999. Federal law and the official Code of Conduct for U.S. judges explicitly prohibit judges from sitting on cases involving companies in which they or members of their immediate family own stock.

Payne was nominated by Bush last fall to the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, based in Denver, and is awaiting a confirmation hearing. The chief judge of the 10th Circuit Court and a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee staff told Salon they plan to look further into Payne's reported violations of federal law, while senators from the judge's home state have reaffirmed their support of the nominee.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Little Father George

Schmidlap gave us a very funny look at the Bush supporters (if lying, deficits, spying, torture, quagmires, etc. won't shake your faith, how about killing kittens?)

I have previously made a historical comparison to this affection with that found in Tsarist Russia. The Russian peasants were some of the most oppressed peoples in history. They lived as virtual slaves until the mid-19th century, and even after emancipation, were ruthlessly exploited by corrupt bureaucrats and merciless landowners.

Yet, even given the misery of their lives and all of the flat-out evidence to the contrary, the peasants continued to believe that their "little father" loved and cared for them, and it was only because his corrupt ministers kept the truth from him that he did not help. Here is an example from 1906:

I can speak with certainty of the common people's confidence in the personal kindness of the Tsar. The heavy, dull faces of the Russian peasants - surely the heaviest, dullest faces on the whole earth - will light up at the name of the Little Father. At all events, I saw them shine at the sound of it, and I think it unlikely that there can have been any great changes among the masses since then.

A singular instance of this came under my own observation. The waiter who served me at the hotel table was rather above his class. He was an art student, and knowing, as everybody knew, that I was painting the Tsar, made an appeal for help. He said that he could not study to advantage in Russia and that he could never hope to make a living there by his art, yet he could not go away, as he had not served his time in the army. Twice he had offered himself for service, and had been found too delicate for the standard of army regulations.

Explaining all this, he begged me to state his cause to the Tsar, feeling sure that the Little Father would grant his request to be allowed to leave Russia. I also felt quite certain of the generous response, and was truly distressed when, on consulting a diplomat, I was strongly advised against naming any political matter during my visits to the Winter Palace.

If only Father George really knew, he would do the right thing!


From Juan Cole

Who woulda thunk it? Bush and Blair plotted to go to war against Iraq even if the UN Security Council declined to authorize it. The Scotsman summarizes findings of Phillipe Sands:

"Prof Sands' book, entitled Lawless World, claims that president Bush had earlier displayed open contempt for the UN during the summit, made wild threats against Iraq dictator Saddam Hussein and displayed astounding ignorance of the likely post-war problems."

Now Bush will come out on television Tuesday night and lie about the situation in Iraq to his gullible followers.