Saturday, July 14, 2007

The Vicar of Christ

I generally do not get too worked up about things theological, but lately, Der Popenfuhrer has really been pissing me off.

I have long had many quarrels with the church of Rome, and have proffered my sage advice on many an occasion:

1) Lose the dresses, start wearing pants;
2) Stop making shit up and
3) Leave the altar boys alone (does a
headline like "L.A. Archdiocese to settle suits for $600 million" make you want to toss some change in the plate??)

But the pope has been on a tear lately. He seems to want to reject the progress (and in terms of this institution that still is angry about Galileo, "progress" is a very relative thing), as he embraces the Latin mass. You know, the one that asks the faithful to
pray for the conversion of Jews. Let us pray also for the Jews that the Lord our God may take the veil from their hearts and that they also may acknowledge our Lord Jesus Christ. Let us pray: Almighty and everlasting God, you do not refuse your mercy even to the Jews; hear the prayers which we offer for the blindness of that people so that they may acknowledge the light of your truth, which is Christ, and be delivered from their darkness.
Thanks for that, I'm sure they are thrilled.

And then he does his "one true church" bit, where we poor Protestants "cannot be called ‘churches’ in the proper sense.” I guess I should say thanks there, Benny, you've cleared out some Sunday mornings for me.

I just have one quick question. Jesus preached of humbling yourself, of giving your coat to one who has none, and cautioning the rich about heaven and needle's eyes and camels, etc. How would an itinerant penniless prophet feel about


Yeah, that is ministering as the vicar of Christ. I see a bunch of camels getting stuck in one nasty needle eye...

Friday, July 13, 2007

Which headline do you think the media will focus on?

And which one is more relevant to most of us?

Dow tops 13,900

Retail sales take sharp plunge in June

It's a plot! Fire up the nukes!

Brown people are trying to kill us!!1`!!:
A flood of calls overwhelmed the city on Thursday as news of a salmonella outbreak at the Taste of Chicago continued to spread...

The number of possible cases widened on Thursday to 126 people who reported becoming ill after eating at the Pars Cove Persian Cuisine booth at the festival.
OMG Persian means Iranian! The turrists have followed us over here! This must be Chertoff's gut feeling!

Punch in the launch codes, Chimpy! Git-r-done!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Just to make Schmidlap feel all warm and fuzzy...

"if you ever come down and visit the old, tired, me down there in Crawford, I will be able to say I looked in the mirror and made decisions based upon principle, not based upon politics. And that's important to me. "

Vocabulary Lessons

A "Jerusalem Artichoke" is not an artichoke (and it has nothing to do with Jerusalem!)

A Boston cream pie is not a pie

Headcheese is not a cheese

Sweetbreads are neither sweet nor bread.

"al Qaeda in Iraq" is NOT an operational wing of bin Laden's terror network.

Are we clear on this one?

It's his government

h/t Atrios

Of course not

In reality, there is no point in complaining about anything the Giggling Murderer does. It won't change my mind, or the minds of roughly anyone who reads this, since my level of blinding hatred for the chimp is high enough that going higher is irrelevant. It won't change the minds of the 26% who still support him, because they're as stupid and greedy and racist and evil as he is. The GOP has decided that, unlike when Tricky Dick was using the Constitution as a snotrag and they eventually stood up in disgust, they're too terrified of losing power (or maybe it's fear of being asked to go hunting by Shooter) that they'll band together to protect Der Chimpenfuhrer no matter what he does. The Democrats have scattered within the party a few brave souls, but not enough of a backbone to impeach a President and Vice-President who are a bigger threat to America than anyone in my lifetime.

That being said, sometimes he just pisses me off. During today's falsehoodfest about Iraq (of course the Liar in Chief is familiar with grade inflation - he went to Yale, after all), he was asked if, now that the Scooter Libby case is over and done with, he had talked to anyone who worked for him about the case, and whether he'd expressed any disappointment in any of them for a lack of morality. Well, obviously not, but if you can stand it, watch the video (thanks to Josh Marshall at TPM for this), and see the utter contempt on his face for anyone who would think that such a thing would be relevant, or even possible. He has no humanity.


Smackdown Time?

Well, it looks like we may have a constitutional crisis on our hands in subpoena land if the Democrats stick to their guns (good luck on that one!) The president can't have it both ways. In fact, he can't have it either way. If he was not involved in the U.S. attorney discussions, then there is no executive privilege that extends to his aides. If he was, then Congress may properly investigate what may be criminal activity (vote caging), and there is no executive privilege that extends to his aides.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Today's visit from Mr. Dictionary Man

BENCHMARK (bench-mark, n) a standard of excellence, achievement, etc., against which similar things must be measured or judged.

It appears that the Iraqi "government" will fail to meet any of the benchmarks laid out in connection with the surge. There is one major reason why this is not surprising--


This fraud of a parliament meeting under U.S. protection in the Green Zone commans no loyalty and exhibits none of the common attributes of sovereignty or statehood. It will accomplish no objectices because it cannot.

In a classic little book written many years ago, Joseph Strayer described some of those attributes of statehood. He uses the medieval example to illustrate how states spring from 1) relative permanence in space and time, 2) relatively permanent and impersonal political institutions and 3) a fundamental transfer of loyalty from tribe, sect, region or religion to the new state. Sound like Iraq?

That makes the continued use of American troops to support this illusory mirage of a government even more tragic and criminal. The frightening part is, though, that the president will continue unabated for one very simple reason.

He has nothing to lose.

He has no concerns about facing the electorate, or as so many second-term presidents experience, having their vice president preparing a presidential run. He has no further need of Congress, as his pet legislative projects, "reforming" Social Security and and immigration are so dead that they make Jacob Marley (or Bob Marley, for that matter) look perfectly sprightly by comparison. He has already reshaped the Supreme Court profoundly, so even lower court (dis)appointments that will happen in the future can be taken in stride.

His legacy, such that it is, is also firmly etched in the hardest of stone, a legacy of failure, indifference, corruption and incompetence. He now is less popular than skin rashes and open sores, and history will place him at the peak of the firmament of the gawdawdawful, joining Buchanon and Andrew Johnson as the worst of all time.

Because of this perfect storm of events, the president is no longer constrained by conventional political checks. His Libby commutation and the continued incoherent rantings about "al Qaeda" and "fighting them there" are a giant middle finger waving at us with a "you can't touch me" smirk.

But we can. Not only can we, but we must.

"The President, Vice President and all Civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors."

Monday, July 09, 2007

Guess the quote

The United States has concerns about taking unilateral action in a sovereign nation without their consent.
.Karl Rove

drmagoo and the Washington Senators

So, we're back from the east, and we did get our audience with Senators Durbin and Obama. For other Illinois folk who might be interested, it worked like this:

We called ahead to confirm that the Senate would be in session that week, and they asked us to contact them the day before the gathering to find out what room it would be scheduled in (this one was in the Dirksen Senate building). On the morning of, we were there by 8:10, passed through security, and found the room. There was a very large crowd of over 200 people there, so we went up to the front row. Some guy (we have no idea who he is, but suspect that he's an aide to one of the Senators) came by and chatted with us for a few minutes, and then we got started. They asked representative of groups visiting that day to stand and identify their group, and then Durbin went through a quick discussion of what was on the plate for the Senate (that day was the cloture vote on immigration). After that, they took questions.

Since we were in the front row, I did get a chance to ask my question (they did Q&A for about a half hour) to Senator Durbin about why he voted yes on the most recent supplemental appropriations bill.

The (paraphrased) responses:

Obama was fielding questions, and he went first: This was a very tough decision, but in the end, he couldn't trust Bush to spend the money wisely (i.e. end the war), so he voted no.

Durbin: Told a story about a vet at the Rehab Institute who he has visited a few times and was relearning how to walk after doctors told him he never would. Got rather emotional and talked about ending the war, but said that he always voted yes on funding troops in the field. Said that when the Senate came back after July 4 (today) he would lead new efforts to end the war.

I was disappointed in Durbin's response - I believe that if we cut off funding, it's not like we'd be leaving them there to die, but that we'd have to start bringing them home with the money that's already allocated. On the other hand, he is still one of the few people who voted against the war originally, and has always opposed the administration, so I won't throw him out the door. I am waiting to see what he does now, though.

Afterwards, they took pictures.