Saturday, April 08, 2006

Closing Thought for the Day

I was reminded of this episode as I read more and more that the fools in Washington have war with Iran on their minds.

The scene is June 1864. A dusty crossroads known by the rather inappropriate name of Cold Harbor, as there was neither chill nor refuge to be found. In a battle that accomplished little except death, those who were there said that it was not war, but murder. A Federal captain declared that ""I will not take my regiment in another such charge if Jesus Christ himself should order it!"

Jesus isn't ordering it. Remember that.

Department of Homeland Security

Telephone Directory

For gross incompetence and dereliction of duty:

Press "1"

If your unemployed college roommate needs a high level job:

Press "2"

If you are a hot 14-year old turned on by 55-year old bureaucrats

Press "3" over and over and over and over....

The Department of Homeland Security--Keeping You Safe!

Intellectual honesty and sweet Caroline

Hands, touchin’ hands
Reachin’ out
Touchin’ me
Touchin’ you
Sweet Caroline.................

OK, I apologize for that (for now).

One particular bit of intellectual dishonesty by various right-wing vermin is to say that "Well, everyone said or knew..." or "Someone specific said...." and then use that to justify their abortive misfires.

Case in point--Rush's dumber brother.

To wit:

Feingold is also incensed that President Bush has a "preemptive doctrine of war." But did he have the courage to challenge Sen. Kerry when Kerry admitted during the presidential campaign that "American presidents have always had a right of preemption to address immediate threats"?

Boys and girls, can you spot the logical flaw so large you could drive David's drug-addled brother through it? How about "American presidents have always had a right of preemption to address immediate threats?"

Of course they have, Sen. Kerry was absolutely right, and what Kerry said has nothing whatsoever to do with Bush's "doctrine" of "preemptive" wars of choice justified only with threats intended to frighten the uninformed. Daniel Webster set forth the basic principles of preemptive defense in the Caroline matter (you see, there was a connection!).

In 1837, British troops sank an American ship, the Caroline, in U.S. waters based on claims (probably true) that the ship was being used to provide supplies to rebels against British rule in Canada. Secretary of State Webster defined the situations when preemptive force may be used. First, force in anticipatory self-defense may only be used when "the necessity of that self-defense is instant, overwhelming, and leaving no choice of means and no moment for deliberation." In addition, Secretary Webster suggests that the action taken must be proportionate to the threat and not be excessive.

Any 6th grader could see that Operation Iraqi Clusterfuck doesn't come anywhere close to falling within the Caroline doctrine, but certainly that is too much to ask of Limbaugh and his ilk. So much for intellectual honesty.

Sweet Caroline
Good times never seemed so good
I've been inclined
To believe they never would

Great moments in presidentin'

The advance of democracy frightens the totalitarians that oppose us. Mr. Zarqawi, who is there in Iraq, is al Qaeda. He's not Iraqi, by the way. He is there representing the al Qaeda network, trying to stop the advance of democracy. It's an interesting question, isn't it, why would somebody want to stop democracy -- like, what's wrong with democracy; Mister, why are you afraid of it? Are you threatened by the fact that people get to speak and you don't get to dictate? Are you threatened by the fact that people should be able to worship the Almighty freely? What about democracy that bothers -- I think it's a legitimate question we all ought to be asking.

Oh my God.

The public interest--as seen by the president's spokesfraud

"we felt it was very much in the public interest that what information could be declassified"

Right...information vital to the public interest is generally cherrypicked, passed on through a gullible, eager-to-please New York Times "reporter" on deep background with the source concealed. Ain't America great?

Give 'em hell, Harry!

Smirky McGiggles hears an honest opinion in North Carolina:

Harry Taylor: You never stop talking about freedom, and I appreciate that. But while I listen to you talk about freedom, I see you assert your right to tap my telephone, to arrest me and hold me without charges, to try to preclude me from breathing clean air and drinking clean water and eating safe food. If I were a woman, you'd like to restrict my opportunity to make a choice and decision about whether I can abort a pregnancy on my own behalf. You are--

Smirky: I'm not your favorite guy. Go ahead. Go on, what's your question?

Harry Taylor: Okay, I don't have a question. What I wanted to say to you is that I--in my lifetime, I have never felt more ashamed of, nor more frightened by my leadership in Washington, including the presidency, by the Senate, and--

Smirky: No, wait a sec -- let him speak.

Harry Taylor: And I would hope -- I feel like despite your rhetoric, that compassion and common sense have been left far behind during your administration, and I would hope from time to time that you have the humility and the grace to be ashamed of yourself inside yourself. And I also want to say I really appreciate the courtesy of allowing me to speak what I'm saying to you right now. That is part of what this country is about.

Long distance lovin's gonna drive me out of my mind


Answering a question before the House Judiciary Committee, Torture Czar Alberto Gonzales suggested that "the administration could decide it was legal to listen in on a domestic call without supervision if it were related to al-Qaeda."

"I'm not going to rule it out," Gonzales said.


Friday, April 07, 2006

The sound and fury...

Signifying what?

Well, I don't know at this point, but one thing I do know for sure. The republicans are quite good at managing the message and the lapdogs in the press are quite willing to be managed. CNN, the national papers, even perky Katie Couric told us that of course, the president's "disclosures" were "lawful."

The logic is--because the documents were declared classified by the president, he can "de-classify" them. I have no expertise in in this area, but it strikes me as highly unlikely that something classified by AN EXECUTIVE ORDER can lawfully be de-classified over mai-tais at Trader Vics with Scootie and Judy. The press, though, slavishly laps up and repeats the GOP talking points.

Ah the press, hypnotized once again. "You are getting very sleepy...."

In any case, though, what we do know for sure is that:

1) the president divulged confidential intelligence information for personal political gain; and

2) lied through his teeth about it.

Damning enough, with or without the legal niceties.

Today's picture puzzle




President clarifies position on leaks

The White House
Washington, D.C.
The White House would like to clarify that when the president previously stated that he would not tolerate anyone in his administration who leaks, he was referring to:

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Oh boo hoo

A Tribune idiot....

Graduation despair

Jane Czeszewski of Chicago whines "My daughter and her family have recently moved to Naperville. My granddaughter is in the eighth grade and is graduating, if you could call it that. There will be no cap and gowns for the graduates and not much of a ceremony either. All the raving about this area and they can't provide a little thing like this. The kids seem to be disappointed. I sure am. I just wish that when an area that is known to be so great that a little thing like a cap and gown wouldn't be a problem. They deserve to be recognized for an accomplishment well done. This is a shame. It seems that nobody cares. They just want to send them off to the next level. In my opinion , they need to be rewarded to the highest extreme at this age."

Oh my God, the poor little kids living in a wealthy suburb may not get a cap and gown for DOING WHAT THE LAW REQUIRES. Oh the humanity! Jane, think about the kids in impoverished Illinois, both rural and urban, where schools struggle to get by on the bare minimum. Remember that you are asking THE TAXPAYERS to pay for your little party. Jane Czeszewski of Chicago, all I have to say is...

Backdating Man Coulter

Well, we have proof that Ann Coulter, [s]he of the man-hands and Adam's apple

was at least living as a woman in 1987. The June 1987 edition of the Michigan Law Review lists "Ann H. Coulter of Connecticut" as an "associate editor," which means the ones who didn't get published and sat around the office smoking and drinking coffee and making fun of first year students.

Photo quiz--Pick your analogy

Lay down with pigs, you're gonna get dirty

Is anyone surprised that the various miscreants in the countless scandals are doing the "Save My Ass Shuffle?" Surely you didn't expect a lofty principle such as LOYALTY from the likes of jack Abramoff and Karl Rove, did you? Hint: If they are doing sleazy things WITH you, they will do sleazy things TO you!

Wheel of Indictments

Round and round she goes, where she stops...Karl Rove? Gale Norton? Hint: Rarely to people resign to "seek other opportunities" or to "spend more time with their families."

The House of Cards

All the same, actually, but all the miscreants from barry Bonds to Tom Delay to the yet to be indicted--hell hath no fury like a [mistress, lobbyist, underling, you name it] scorned.


Isn't that sweet? "You've got mail." And now, so does the Assistant U.S. Attorney. You can be a drunken frat boy at an elite eastern college or you could be the president (ooops, never mind that, an elite SOUTHeastern college that used to have a lacrosse team), Martha Stewart, Mr. McFeely from Homeland Security, the boys from Enron, or the guy in your office your boss wants to fire--EMAIL DOESN'T GO AWAY. SO DON'T DO IT.

The Republican Party 2006


A little late, but...

"There are thousands hacking at the branches of evil to the one chopping at the root."
Henry David Thoreau


Who needs science, anyway?

Climate Researchers Feeling Heat From White House
By Juliet Eilperin
Washington Post Staff Writer

Scientists doing climate research for the federal government say the Bush administration has made it hard for them to speak forthrightly to the public about global warming. The result, the researchers say, is a danger that Americans are not getting the full story on how the climate is changing.

Employees and contractors working for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, along with a U.S. Geological Survey scientist working at an NOAA lab, said in interviews that over the past year administration officials have chastised them for speaking on policy questions; removed references to global warming from their reports, news releases and conference Web sites; investigated news leaks; and sometimes urged them to stop speaking to the media altogether. Their accounts indicate that the ideological battle over climate-change research, which first came to light at NASA, is being fought in other federal science agencies as well.

Yawn--Katie Couric

So the ex-cheerleader is going to anchor the CBS Evening News. Yippee.

What I want to know is--WHO WATCHES THE EVENING NEWS?????

The Twilight Zone

You're traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind, a journey into...

The Twilight Zone

Our story begins at a panel discussion on health care. It begins quietly enough, but gradually, the audience seeking answers to difficult questions comes to realize that the unthinkable has happened, that their land has been occupied by unspeakable monsters. They sit, they listen, and they hear:

My attitude is that the United States is a leader of the world, and by putting good policies in place, we'll remain the leader of the world, and that's where we should be. And so here are some ideas as to how to do that. One, is to keep taxes low. I believe when people have more money in their pockets it helps the entrepreneurial spirit, causes the economy to grow. One reason we overcame the recession and the stock market collapse and the attacks on our country and the wars we've been through and the natural disasters we've been through is because people have got more money to save and invest and spend. And so I'm looking forward to working with Congress to keep the taxes low, and, at the same time, be wise about how we spend the people's money.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Press Release

Department of Homeland Security
Media Advisory, Office of the Deputy Press Secretary
April 5, 2006

The Department of Homeland Security has announced the successor to Brian J. Doyle as the department's deputy press secretary:

The British want answers--do we?

MPs want 'torture flights' answer

(BBC Link)There is growing pressure from MPs for ministers to shed light on claims that the CIA has used UK airports to move suspects to other nations for torture.

A new all-party group on "extraordinary renditions" will meet on Monday. Its leaders accuse the government of evading key questions on the issue. Foreign Secretary Jack Straw has written to the US on behalf of the EU asking about alleged "secret prisons". The UK says it is not aware of British land being used for "torture" flights.

Condoning torture?

The new group of MPs has been formed by Conservative Andrew Tyrie, former Labour minister Chris Mullin and Liberal Democrat foreign affairs spokesman Sir Menzies Campbell.

Mr Tyrie told BBC Radio 4's Today programme he was surprised by the number of MPs who said they would join the group. Many people were worried that the UK might be condoning torture, he said. The group's main job would be to collect information, he said, because the government was making it very difficult to find out what was happening.

He accused the Foreign Office of producing "obfuscation and carefully worded replies" to his questions. Mr Tyrie said he had been told records of transit applications were not kept. "There is quite a lot of evidence to suggest that something is going on, that there are flights taking place to countries where they can be tortured," he said. The UK should be enforcing the law and the United Nations convention against torture, he argued.

Wow, enforcing the law. Those crazy Brits!

Keeping America safe

MIAMI - The deputy press secretary for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security was arrested Tuesday for using the Internet to seduce what he thought was a teenage girl, authorities said. Brian J. Doyle, 55, was arrested at his residence in Maryland on charges of use of a computer to seduce a child and transmission of harmful material to a minor. The charges were issued out of Polk County, Fla.


Tuesday, April 04, 2006

A great opener for the Cubs, except for

this idiot being there.

He apparently has invented a new pitch--the smirkball.


We hear that Fibby McLiar, the president's spokesfraud, may be stepping down. Scott McClellan. pictured below, is expected to return to the private sector.

Hmmm. let's see--what could Fibby do out in the real world?

Carnival barker?

Used Car Salesman?

Respected GOP businessman with close ties to the president?

Or maybe a job that salutes all the time he raised his voice to speak the truth and to say loudly and forcefully what was honest and decent:

Monday, April 03, 2006

Too busy getting fitted for the stripes and cuffs, I guess


Rep. Tom DeLay will drop out of his re-election race, two Republican congressional sources tell CNN.

Just for fun

Aoccdrnig to rseaecrh at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.


Count every " F" in the following text. Scroll down for the answer:

How many did you get?

Carping congressmen

Like Sean Hannity, I get tired of the administration's political opponents carping and undermining the president. Sean told an Oregon congressman that "what I find frankly repugnant about you and some of your fellow Democrats--you have undermined our president, you have undermined our troops, you have undermined our war effort from day one and you're doing it for the sinister reason of political gain"

Sean, I agree. Take this guy, a congressman from Illinois:

He has the gall and the audacity to call the president's war speech "half insane."

He mocks the president for saying that the "national honor, the security of the future, the prevention of foreign interference, and even, the good of" the invaded country were the objects of the war. He whines that "as to the mode of terminating the war, and securing peace, the president is equally wandering and indefinite."

Worse, he insults the president's intelligence, saying "all this shows that the president is, in no wise, satisfied with his own positions--first he takes up one, and in attempting to argue us into it, he argues himself out of it, then seizes another, and goes through the same process; and then, confused at being able to think of nothing new, he snatches up the old one again, which he has some time before cast off--his mind, tasked beyond its power, is running hither and thither, like some tortured creature, on a burning surface, finding no position, on which it can settle down, and be at ease."

He concludes that the president "is a bewildered, confounded, and miserably perplexed man."

Disgusting. Like Sean, I'm sure tired of these congressional crybabies aiding our enemies and undermining our president. I have come to expect such anti-Americanism from them, like that Illinois congressman I mentioned here, that
Abraham Lincoln fellow.

McCain--bought and paid for

Well, so-called "maverick" John McCain has completed the transfer of his soul to the flying monkey right to try and appeal to them for their support in 2008.

I assume he remembers how he was trashed in 2000 as the "Manchurian Candidate" who was brainwashed in Viet Nam, the "black baby" rumors, etc. and how in that year he referred to Robertson and Falwell as "agents of intolerance."

Well, no more. On "Meet the Press, the "Straight-Talk Express" derailed into a big Falwell hug, and the "maverick" will speak at Falwell's crackpot college graduation.

Apparently his campaign slogan is now:


A quick visit with Jean Schmidt

I admit that making fun of someone's appearance often crosses the line of good taste (but hey, that's what we do here!). AND if the picture is one the person themselves chose to put forth their most appealing face, all the better, so.... :


This is rich....

Medicare mess hits Leavitt's parents
Forced to switch plans: Health chief's mom had said system was 'smooth'

By Kirsten Stewart The Salt Lake Tribune

Not even the senior parents of Washington's top health official are immune from headaches caused by the new Medicare drug plan. Dixie and Anne Leavitt-parents of Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt-recently were forced to change Medicare plans after learning that the one they chose imperiled their retiree medical coverage.

Read the rest here

The gift that keeps on giving

Schmidt's degrees questioned
Staff says she has hours, if not parchment


A second elections complaint against Rep. Jean Schmidt [Editor's note--Rep. Schmidt is pictured left] was filed Friday, this time over allegations that she misrepresented her educational background.

According to the complaint, filed with the state elections commission, Schmidt claimed on candidate surveys, previous campaign Web sites and in official Ohio House literature that she earned two bachelor's degrees from the University of Cincinnati, one in political science in 1974 and one in "social studies-secondary education" in 1986. But UC Registrar Douglas Burgess said the only degree on file for Schmidt is a bachelor of arts in political science..........[more at link above]