Thursday, January 31, 2008

What Have the Kagans been wrong about now?

Let's see another day another lie...

January 20, 2008, Fred "Gordita-Warrior" Kagan:

Iraq's parliament this month passed a new de-Baathification bill, which awaits only expected approval by the five-member presidency council before becoming law. Much remains to be done, but this is an important step toward political reconciliation...

January 31, 2008, reality:

Iraq's Presidency Council is unlikely to ratify a new law that would give thousands of former members of Saddam Hussein's Baath party their old jobs back, Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi said on Thursday.

The step would be a blow to Shi'ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and the United States, which praised the law's approval on January 12 and called it a key step to advancing national reconciliation...

"We cannot regard this law as a step in the national reconciliation process. The spirit of revenge is so clear in many articles of the law," Hashemi said in an interview.

Live From New York! It's Jesus, Satan & Harvey Keitel

Tap-dancing Klansman? Black Jesus? Wingnuts protesting outside Carnegie Hall?

Oh yeah, I am definitely going to see this.

Good thing were fightin' them over there


The U.S. military isn't ready for a catastrophic attack on the country, and National Guard forces don't have the equipment or training they need for the job, according to a report.

Even fewer Army National Guard units are combat-ready today than were nearly a year ago when the Commission on the National Guard and Reserves determined that 88 percent of the units were not prepared for the fight, the panel says in a new report released Thursday.

The independent commission is charged by Congress to recommend changes in law and policy concerning the Guard and Reserves.

The commission's 400-page report concludes that the nation "does not have sufficient trained, ready forces available" to respond to a chemical, biological or nuclear weapons incident, "an appalling gap that places the nation and its citizens at greater risk."

Oh, and meanwhile in TOTALLY AWESOME IRAQ, where Petraeus is better than Washington, Lee, Grant, Dewey, Pershing, MacArthur, Eisenhower, and Patton rolled together in a delicious Jesus-Gravy:

The Sunni insurgency, all but decimated in the imagination of the surge advocates, has demonstrated something of a surge of its own in recent weeks. Baghdad, Anbar and Diyala provinces, the hotbeds of the insurgency, have seen a return of high-profile suicide bombing. Prominent collaborators with the U.S., like the so-called "Concerned Local Citizens" militias, have been targeted for death by insurgents and terrorists. "Of late, though, as you’ve been seeing, is certainly an increase in the number of suicide events that occur with individuals, mostly with a suicide vest wrapped around their waist," Adm. Greg Smith, a spokesman for Multi-National Force-Iraq, said in a blogger conference call last week.

Iraq security statistics over the past 13 weeks, obtained exclusively by The Washington Independent, tell the tale. In Baghdad, improvised-explosive device (IED) detonations explosions in Baghdad have ticked up slightly to 131 in January from 129 in December—and the last week of January is not included in these latest figures. Countrywide, there was an increase in IED explosions to 2,291 in December from 1,394 in November, followed by a dip to 1,270 in the first three weeks of January. But the week ending on January 25 saw seven suicide explosions Iraq-wide, the most since the week ending Dec. 21, 2007.

Can you committ suicide by masturbation?

Because Hugh Hewitt may be wonderin'

The AP says Mitt Romney isn't buying any ads in Super Tuesday states. It's hard for me not to see that doesn't mean he's basically throwing in the towel.

That's good, because Hugh could use one of those...and some salve.

A Love that dares to constantly speak its name

Ah, Hugh Hewitt, a man who must blame the Mountain Meadows Massacre on that tilt-necked asshole, James Buchanan.

While most who saw last night's "Profile in Wanking" panned Willard's performance, he still retains the allegiance of the nation's other white meat:

Romney's third conscutive strong performance in a debate will almost certainly lead to a rise day-to-day over the next six days in key states...

Well, it clearly led to a small rise somewhere.

I'm surprised Hewitt's web pages don't stick together.

We want the FUCK out

Ultimately, the McCain campaign is going to be an Epic Fail no matter who is running against him on the Democratic side.

Couple this with his stunning admitted lack of knowledge of the economy my friends and the only thing between a Democrat in the White House and January 2009 is the undying, unquestioning McCain love of the press.


I don't claim to be a master impressionist

But I do believe I've mastered the exclamation...


Thanks movie commercial guy, for managing to take a great movie and giving us the "GIVE ME BACK MY SON!" or "GET OFF MY PLANE!" of 2008.

And yet, Harrison Ford was not involved.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


Didn't I see this asshole at the end of the "Strange Wilderness" commercials?

Somebody just realized

He left Norm Podhoretz in the car with the windows rolled up.

(Kevin Kolczynski/Reuters)

Human Rights, officially all fuckin' relative

1787-2008, we had a good run.

Torture per the Attorney General of the United States (the one enough Democrats caved on to appoint):

I mean the heinousness of doing it, the cruelty of doing it, balanced against the value.... balanced against the information you might get." Information "that couldn't be used to save lives," he explained, would be of less value.

Tell the Kids to be Careful

Since many kids will be writing reports on Martin Luther King, Jr in the next few weeks, we all should be aware that a white supremacist group called Stormfront has a slick, very official-looking site that is pure racist hate aimed at kids doing school reports! 

If you do a Google search for Martin Luther King, it is the 5th address that pops up.  If you google martinlutherking
as one word, it's the first site!

Let's be careful out there.

Welcome to Lima, Ohio

Yes, this is what we need... more reasons to hate Ohio!

Some facts are known. A SWAT team arrived at Ms. Wilson’s rented house in the Southside neighborhood early in the evening of Jan. 4 to arrest her companion, Anthony Terry, on suspicion of drug dealing, said Greg Garlock, Lima’s police chief. Officers bashed in the front door and entered with guns drawn, said neighbors who saw the raid.

Moments later, the police opened fire, killing Ms. Wilson, 26, and wounding her 14-month-old son, Sincere, Chief Garlock said. One officer involved in the raid, Sgt. Joseph Chavalia, a 31-year veteran, has been placed on paid administrative leave.

Beyond these scant certainties, there is mostly rumor and rage. The police refuse to give any account of the raid, pending an investigation by the Ohio attorney general.

Black people in Lima, from the poorest citizens to religious and business leaders, complain that rogue police officers regularly stop them without cause, point guns in their faces, curse them and physically abuse them. They say the shooting of Ms. Wilson is only the latest example of a long-running pattern of a few white police officers treating African-Americans as people to be feared.

Someone Finally Gets "IT"

 The New York Daily News, New York's most read newspaper, and EMI Music, the world’s leading independent music company, ... announced an agreement to offer Daily News readers free music downloads from EMI's music catalog. The deal will give Daily News readers the opportunity to download three free songs of their choice from a selection of over 120,000 top tracks, including songs from artists nominated for the upcoming 50th Annual Grammy Awards.

"The Daily News is rewarding New Yorkers for making us New York's #1 newspaper by offering this exciting, exclusive opportunity to download free music from EMI's extensive collection of top hits and memorable classics," said Rhonda Novick, Senior Vice President of Circulation and Brand Marketing at the Daily News. "This is an innovative partnership between a top daily newspaper and a major music company, and a prime example of what can be accomplished by fusing the capabilities of both print media and the web. We look forward to embracing similar partnerships in the future."

Each copy of the Daily News on Super Bowl Sunday, February 3rd and Grammy Sunday, February 10th will include an insert printed with a unique access code that will allow readers to search and download the music of their choice by visiting, the News’ newly revamped and user-friendly website.

Readers who log on with the unique access code will also have the exclusive opportunity to select Ringo Starr's unreleased track "It's Love" from the new studio album “Liverpool 8.” Anyone with a copy of the Daily News from the selected days can take advantage of this incredible free music opportunity.

"The Daily News’s impressive Sunday readership gives EMI a great chance to showcase our talented family of artists to the large and diverse population of New York City and the surrounding areas,” said Ronn Werre, Executive Vice President of Global Sales for EMI Music. “Our agreement with the Daily News will help us expose new audiences to the ease and quality of digital music while ensuring our artists are compensated for the music they create."

Musicians Unite

You only have your chains to lose... as some famous guy once said.

How many times has your band been asked to play a big show, only to find out that you'll have to sell a ridiculous number of tickets, and make absolutely no profit?  How many times has it actually cost you money to play only to discover that you are on the bill with 8 or 9 other bands?

It doesn't have to be this way!  There is a local musician's group, Local 00, that is trying to change the way local bands are exploited by greedy businessmen who could care less about the Cleveland Scene.  We're definitely down!

Musicians banding together for something more than royalties is something all of us want to support -- MUSIC.  Go here and join now.

The New Swear?

Is it true that if you live in the American south that calling someone or something Canadian is a new racial slur?  Apparently so.  Everyone take three steps back.

It was a routine e-mail from the boss sent to congratulate a junior prosecutor in Houston, Tex., who had won manslaughter convictions against an intoxicated driver.

"He convicted Mr. Sosa of a double intoxication manslaughter, got a weak jury to give him 12 years in each, and then convinced Judge Wallace to stack the sentences," Harris County assistant district attorney Mike Trent wrote in an office-wide memo. Then came the odd part: "He overcame a subversively good defense by Matt Hennessey that had some Canadians on the jury feeling sorry for the defendant and forced them to do the right thing."

The e-mail was sent in 2003 but came to light only this month as part of an unrelated controversy with his office, forcing Mr. Trent to defend himself against accusations of bigotry -- not because he offended the people of Canada, but because "Canadian" has apparently become a code word for blacks among American racists.

Romney's Peculiar Concession

Over at Firedoglake Attaturk and Scarecrow note the weird stuff coming from Republicans last night but the most bizarre of all had to be the non sequitor issued by Romney: "We have to put children first and unions last." Behold its almost Bush-like simplicity, its obvious pandering tone, its appeal to the the most sluggardly instincts among lizard brains. Lord help us if that kind of blather becomes necessary or good enough to win.

Meanwhile in Homoerotic News

Giuliani to endorse McCain!

I guess the latter isn't as fond of broom handles as Rudy assumes.

How's that workin' out for you?


Like the other "white mass" Hugh Hewitt, K-Lo won't give up the love:

Romney [Kathryn Jean Lopez]

I'll shut up after this post, but Romney has been ON since Michigan. It may prove — it may have been proven tonight — to be too late. But this guy speaking right now, is hitting important issues, making you feel good about America, as you should. It's a rallying speech. Maybe it's the silly flip-flopping thing that has been too hard to shake. Maybe he took too long to rise above it.

Ah, it brings back memories ... and Hugh Hewitt's in this one too:

Insert Jonah Goldberg joke here


LEWISTON (Maine) - A 50- to 60-foot doughy mass is clogging a sewer line under the city's main drag, and crews have been unable to budge it.

"We're not sure exactly what it is," Public Services Director David Jones said Wednesday. "We're just trying to get rid of it. We want it to stop clogging up our pipe."

Let the Spooning End

What a shocker that David Ignatius and Fareed Zakariah would drink from the same trough!

Victory is ours now byatches!

Meanwhile, in reality:

Jan 30 (Reuters) - Following are security developments in Iraq at 0930 GMT on Wednesday.

BAGHDAD - The bodies of three people were found in different areas of Baghdad on Tuesday, police said.

BALAD - A cameraman working for a Shi'ite satellite television channel and his driver were killed by a roadside bomb near the town of Balad, 80 km (50 miles) north of Baghdad, officials from the channel said. Two others were wounded.

BAGHDAD - Five people were killed and two wounded when a roadside bomb exploded near their vehicle on the southern outskirts of Baghdad on Tuesday, police said.

TUZ KHURMATO - The beheaded bodies of two brothers were found in the town of Tuz Khurmato, 180 km (110 miles) north of Baghdad, police said. They had been kidnapped by gunmen a week ago.

BAGHDAD - A policeman was killed and five wounded by a roadside bomb targeting their patrol near al-Mustanssiriya Square in eastern Baghdad, police said.

BAGHDAD - Five police commandos and two civilians were wounded by a roadside bomb in eastern Baghdad's al-Ghadir district, police said.

BAGHDAD - Three people were wounded by a mortar attack in western Baghdad's Mansour district, police said.

BAGHDAD - Two people were wounded by a roadside bomb in al- Nidhal Street in central Baghdad, police said.

Rudy Bids His Supporters a Fond Farewell

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Continuing Adventures of Rudy & Judi (Part IX)

Our story so far: parts I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, and VIII.
Right now, somewhere in The Sunshine State our hero preps to meet his adoring fans...
JUDI: " Will you look at this? New York Post: 'Rudy's last stand,' Real Clear Politics: Rudy's last stand.' Christian Science Monitor: Giuliani's Last Stand.'"
RUDY: "Ugh. Don't talk to me about Christians, Judi. I don't want to hear it."
JUDI: "If you'd thrown them a bone and told 'em Jesus had touched it, you wouldn't be in this spot, Rudy. But listen, I have question. Don't you have to have made a first stand to make a last stand?"
RUDY: "Judi, enough."
JUDI: "No, Rudy. Not enough. Not nearly enough. Not nearly enough campaigning. Not nearly enough decent strategists. Not nearly enough strategy, while we're at it. What did you think you were doing, blowing off Iowa, New Hampshire, Michigan, and South Carolina?"
RUDY: "Speaking of 'not enough,' as I recall, we didn't go there because you said you would have been bored. 'Not enough decent shopping. Not enough reliable doctors to administer Botox injections.'"
JUDI: "Fuck off, Rudy. Look at this -- New York Times: "For weeks, as he was getting shellacked in Iowa, New Hampshire, Michigan and South Carolina..." Shellacked, Rudy. Do you think I go with guys who get "shellacked?" (singsongs) I.Don't.Think.So."
RUDY: "You've given me a splitting headache. I'm going out there."
JUDI: "Yeah, it's quieter out there, Rudy. New York Times: "...the crowds at some of the airport rallies were so small that it might have been more efficient to fly them to the candidate, instead of vice versa." Face it, Rudy. This was a bad idea..."
RUDY: "It was your idea, Judi!"
JUDI: "Shut up. Rudy, it's time you realized that you're toast. You might as well go out there and scream, Mars, bitches! because it's all you've got left."
RUDY: "Not true. Not true. I've still got bin Laden."
JUDI: (Hits him over the head with a rolled up newspaper) "What about me, you dago schmuck! What the hell do I look like?"
RUDY: "Right. I forgot. I've still got you, darling."
JUDI: "Not so fast. What's this here? New York Times: 'Money appears to be in short supply...'"

And now,

A poem by Larry Kudlow.

A Home Run!

Last evening's SOTU was almost as bad as McCain's victory speech in New Hampshire, but I was able to survive it by participating in Athenae's crack van over at first-draft. The burst of sound fireworks at the end of the speech was almost as good as the end of the 1812 overture.

Richard Cohen Hypothetical

If Barack Obama and Tiger Woods arrived at the offices of the Washington Post in the same Buick; would Dicky Cohen, age 13, be able to tell them apart, and who would he be more afraid of?

It's a stiff competition amongst stiffs, but all things considered, Cohen is the worst columnist in the country.

Better turn down the amperage Dick

He's startin' to go all Popeye on you.

(AP Photo/Tim Sloan, Pool)

Iz Popeye the Prezinet,
Iz Popeye the Prezinet. *toot*
Iz strong til its over
My brains up ass of Rover.
Iz Popeye the Prezinet.

"Are you sure it doesn't start with a "J"?"

(AP Photo/Tim Sloan, Pool)

Your Bad Taste Video of the Week

Ah, Hitler there nothing they can't take Viral?

And Drew Pearson pushed off on Nate Wright, 32 plus years ago

Not that I'm bitter or anything.

Thank goodness they're finally covering the IMPORTANT stories


Rival Democrats Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama came within a foot of each other just before President Bush's State of the Union speech Monday night and managed not to acknowledge each other, and certainly not touch.

Now we have to go invade a country or something.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Wank More into the Breach MY FRIENDS!

McCain, Act 4, Scene 3:

This day is call'd the feast of Chimpy, my friends.
My friends, he that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam'd, my friends
And rouse him at the name of Chimpy.
My friends, he that shall live this day, and see old age, (like that'll happen)
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours, my friends
And say 'To-morrow is Chimpy's dinner.'
Then will he strip his sleeve, my friends and show his Ayn Rand tattoo,
And say 'These tats I got on Chimpy's day.'
Old men forget; my friends, I just forgot, we'll be fighting more wars
But he'll remember, with advantages,
What feats he did that day, my friends. Like watching O'Reilly. Then shall our privates,
Familiar in his mouth as household words-
Chimpy the Preznit, Cheney and Rummy,
Condi and Bremer, Wolfowitz and Feith, my friends
Be in their pissed in pants freshly soiled.
This story shall my friends teach my friends' son;
And Chimpy Chimperor shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world, set for 2010 my friends,
But, my friends, we in it shall be remembered-
We few, war mongering few, we band of wankers;
For he to-day that sheds another's blood for me, my friends
Shall be a wanker; for he's quite vile, and well, you're all vile my friends
This day shall led to more rendition;
And gentlemen together now-a-bed, my friends
Shall shrink themselves accurs'd they were not reared, my friends
And hold their manhoods for cheap whiles any speaks my friends
That had others fight for us upon Chimp Chimpereror's WAR!!!

Big Shoulders (Redux)

So I took that little weekend getaway. Thanks for all your suggestions. I didn't get to all of them because the trip was a mere fifty hours long, but here's some of what I did do.

I took the Archicture of Culture & Commerce tour offered by Chicago Architure Foundation. It was great, despite -- or perhaps because of -- the twenty-five degree temperature and the light snow falling. Highlights: the Carson, Pirie, Scott Building, the gorgeous mosaics and dome inside the Chicago Cultural Center, and hearing about how Queen Victoria gave Chicago a library and Bertha Palmer stuck it to her daddy and her husband by using her inheritances to support unions and women in business. The next day, a friend and I did an unofficial version of the Foundation's Historic Skyscrapers tour.

I shared adult beverages and conversation with a charming local gent at Andy's. I shared dim sum and treason talk with Atriots at The Phoenix. I shared pizza, one of the best chocolately things I've had in a long while and girl talk with an old pal at Pats and the Angel Food Bakery, respectively.

I walked and I walked. I walked Millennium Park (where I decided that I'm sick of Frank Ghery), the Loop (where I hoped, but was not able, to catch a movie at the Siskel Center), Lincon Square, Lake View, the Gold Coast, and Wrigleyville. The aforementioned charming local gent gave me a little driving tour of some neighborhoods farther from the city center. I rode the El. I read the Chicago Reader (the article about Rick Perlstein convinced me that I need to read Before the Storm). I was cold, but in a good, Chicago-appropriate way. I tried to go to Steppenwolf, but I couldn't make it work because after all that walking I was pretty much exhausted. In between all this seeing, walking, eating, and talking, I kept up on news from South Carolina and decided I was an Obama Girl.

I hear it's going to be near-balmy there today and tomorrow. You deserve it, Chicago.

Other potential forms of self-emolation

Should worse come to worse in November, btw, they'll let anybody blog:

“Gee, I like chile peppers, but I find even the hottest of them, your Red Savinas and your Habaneros’es leave portions of my mouth disappointingly unblistered. Where can a guy find a simple, economical chile that will leave me writhing on the floor unable to breath, clutching my throat, excreting tears and mucus and praying for my own death?”

If the GOP holds the White House

A week of these should end the pain:

How to Make a Deep-Fried Cheese-Stuffed Burger From Bacon

You know this and deep-fried chocolate-dipped twinkies are pretty much what we've "invented" the last ten years here in 'Murica.

Are we a society that really even deserves to survive?

Bush is a reflection and product of our times.

The State of the Union in advance

Let's see...

1. "State of Union..."
(a) Strong
(b) Strongerer
(c) Strongliest
(e) All of the above

2. Iraq?
(a) Winning
(b) More winning
(c) Awesomer
(d) Iranier

3. Pakistan?
(a) Democracy
(b) Mooshier
(c) Mooshiest
(d) Demooshier

4. Taxes
(a) Cut 'em
(b) Cut 'em
(c) Cut 'em
(d) "The Capitol is Houston and ah should know, I was the Governator guy"

Golly, and people wonder

"Why they hate us?"

The United States Sunday hailed former Indonesian president Suharto as a "historic figure" who "achieved remarkable economic development," in a statement released by its embassy here.

Of course he also killed about a half-million people too, but then again, so has Bush.

Shorter Bill Kristol

"How dare Bill Clinton horn in on my race-card action!"

Sunday, January 27, 2008

If only there was a 9/11 like symbol to represent this collapse?


Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has drawn even with Arizona Sen. John McCain in the Republican presidential nomination fight in Florida, the latest Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby telephone tracking poll shows.

And there is drama in the wings as former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee has surpassed former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, 14% to 13%. Giuliani, who has invested most of his time and campaign treasure into Tuesday’s Florida vote, is finding his support slipping away. In yesterday’s tracking poll, he was in third place.

Do you really come here for good taste?

How Saddam should have gone out

Suharto was a bastard, a bastard we propped up because he was "anti-Communist". He was a nightmare to his own people -- but eventually he passed. This, despite our best efforts -- still considerable less than say, the Bush plan for Iraq.

Saddam was many things, but he was not immortal, just like Suharto, who will not be missed.

You know, just stop

Once again, I express this simply. No matter who gets the nomination in the Democratic Party...just stop portraying each of them in some fashion a "tool"...'kay?

Meanwhile, here's some good news...for all Democrats, but especially Obama supporters:

In last week's SC GOP primary, McCain and Huckabee (the top 2 finishers), got 147,283 and 132,440 votes respectively. That's a total of 279,723. Obama just pulled down 291,000 by himself.

It comes from Andy Sullivan, so I'll spare you the rest of the Clinton hatin' bullshit. Though this from Glenn Greenwald is more accurate, well thought out and persuasive (yeah, hard to figure that in comparison to wanker Sullivan).


Shorter David Broder:

"I can't believe another Republican fucked me over and didn't address my favorite fake crisis as a sign of "seriousness"!

Oh well, good thing no Republican would ever dare to fuck me over again!"

Crazier than thou!

The McCain strategy seems to be accusing everyone else of being a defeatist in Iraq -- like Stalin going after Zinoviev -- while hoping to keep the media enamored of alleged his love of "straight talk" and not calling him on it.

Meanwhile, McCain lied out of his ass to Russert a few days ago regarding his past claims of knowing little about economics...will Russert actually act like a reporter and call him on it?

Only the Magic 8 ball knows.

(picture from here)

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Big Win for Barack?

Yes, it is a massive win.

Is this a huge win for Obama that can carry him into other primary races or into the Democratic nomination?  Is this a referendum on the waning power of Bill Clinton?  Was a race card played by Bill during the campaigning in South Carolina?  Is this the sinking of Hillary Clinton's presidential bid?

And what about John Edwards?  Where does he go from here with only 18 percent?

When I think of Barack Obama's win, I wonder about the need for more substance beyond a strange Bob the Builder style campaign rhetoric.  Now, we need the details.  Whether or not Barack can continue to build unity within the Democratic party and beyond remains to be seen.

What do you all think?

So Goes Ohio

There is quite an effort to challenge the distribution and use of what is at best unequal, inaccurate and inadequate voting technology... Thus several groups, especially the ACLU in Ohio have pursued an effort to stop the implementation of tech that is just plain screwed up.

From the ACLU:

The ACLU of Ohio has sued the Secretary of State and Cuyahoga County to block the switch to a new voting system in time for the March 4 presidential primary. We have taken this step because the system to be put in place violates voters’ constitutional rights by not allowing them to check their ballots for errors, leading to higher numbers of rejected ballots.

With more than one million registered voters, Cuyahoga County, which includes Cleveland, plans to send paper ballots filled out by voters to a central location to be scanned and counted. Voters will not be able to scan the ballots at the polling place. That system does not give voters notice of ballot errors and an opportunity to correct mistakes.

In the 2000 presidential election, over 94,000 Ohioans had their central count paper and punchcard ballots rejected statewide. The ACLU of Ohio went to court, representing a group of Ohio voters in the case of Stewart v. Blackwell. The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals concluded that voting with paper and punchcard ballots, with no mechanism for checking mistakes, violated the equal protection rights of Ohio voters.

The ACLU has no preference for the type of technology used — paper or touch-screens — so long as voters are able to check for mistakes while at the polling place.

We will see if fair and effective procedures and technology are used.  Oh yes, we will see.

Discussion Thread: South Carolina

What do folks expect?  Do discuss in the Bloviatings comments section...

Halliburton Spam Letter

Wow, Halliburton is trying to come up with creative ways to bilk Americans... Does Halliburton Watch know?

Attn Mr/Mrs.
I am Madam Mary Mike; I work with an oil servicing company name

Halliburton,pipeline and process service. I am the personal assistance to the cost control manager late Mr. Pedro pearl; he died in an auto clash on his way coming to office on a fateful day in June 29 2005.unfortunately my boss came to my country as a single man, no wife no relatives around, so no body to claim what he has, however our management send some of his properties to his address where he claim to come from, but fortunately for me as her personal assistance his cash book of 7.5m dollars was not discovered from me.

Further more what I want now is a foreigner who will claim to be his next of kin so we can claim this money out and make use of it instead of wasting it to the bank manager who never know about it. So any interested person should contact me personally in my private email address for further explanation, we will share this money 50%. 100%riskfree.Must be confidential.No third party is allowed.

Honest and trust is the motto.
Thanks for understanding, please get back to me if you are interested in my personal email for more details.

Yours faithfully,

In other news, Barney considers himself another Fala...

Ah, Bush World, is there nothing you can't harm?

Forget about the lost furnishings and finances, the most pitiful victims of the subprime mortgage crisis rocking the United States are the family pets.

Shelters across the country have seen sharp upticks in the number of people giving up their pets in recent months because they have been forced out of their homes.

And -- more tragically -- neighbors, police and foreclosure agents are finding increasing numbers of pets left to fend for themselves in abandoned homes.

"We're finding too many animals who have starved to death," said Stephanie Shain, director of outreach for the Human Society of the United States.

While some people dump their pets on the street, others go so far as to lock the animal in a closet where their cries for help are harder to hear, she said.

Wow, what a special class of sociopaths, are they now Huckabee, Giuliani or Romney supporters?

A Seminar of Stupid

Bret Baier (can that possibly be his real name?) of FoxNews (naturally) got to spend some time with Dear Leader so the latter would stop talking about how horse thieves are really inspiring pastors.

The resulting discourse? Well, good enough for Fox News:

We talked a lot about President Lincoln. And there’s going to be a lot of people out there who watch this hour and say, is he trying to equate himself with Lincoln?

I tell you what — he thinks about Lincoln and the tough times that he had during the Civil War. 600,000 dead. The country essentially hated him when he was leaving office.

And the President reflects on that. This is a President who is really reflecting on his place in history.

As Keith Olbermann said last night, if this is Bret Baier's understanding of history it's bad enough...if it is Bush's interpretation of history, we all be move to a different country this weekend.

Did John Wilkes Booth obtain sovereignty or something?

You know it's true at certain points Lincoln's popularity was not high, but that was certainly NOT the case in say November 1864 when he defeated George McClellan (the David Petraeus of his time). This was memorialized in those, what do you call 'em? ... oh yeah, historical facts:

Electoral Map of 1864

The 19th Century, a time when things were so different that they even changed red states into blue states...

Lincoln won the popular vote by 10% and the electoral college at a 10 to 1 rate -- that would be a landslide by modern measurements and something George Bush wouldn't recognize.

Of course, we could also get into the statement about when Lincoln left office, since Lincoln did not exactly go "voluntarily", and it occurred five months after the election and as the war was ending (Lee's surrender occurred five days prior). Lincoln plainly was at the peak of his popularity at the time of his death.

But Bret Baier and George Bush did very much LOVE "Our American Cousin" (it was about Methodist Missionaries right?).

Of course, I suppose if we want to define "country" the way many modern Republicans do... you know the kind of Republicans that used to be "Dixiecrats" (anachronistic states rights, racist Democrats like Strom Thurmond) I suppose they may have a "Country" in mind.

The Confederacy...which counted as a member Texas and Bret Baier's home of South Carolina.

These assholes really have to stop thinking they're Harry Turtledove.

Here's a pretty clear distinction between Bush & Lincoln (and there are literally hundreds of differences) summarized by Robert Kuttner when reviewing Doris Kearns Goodwin's Lincoln Bio, "Team of Rivals":

Lincoln's priority, always, was to preserve the Union and to reduce the sectional and ideological bitterness. As Goodwin brilliantly shows, he did so by the force of his personality and the generosity of his spirit. Lincoln had an unerring sense of when public opinion was ready for partial, then full abolition of slavery, and he would not move until he felt he had the people behind him. He governed by listening and persuading.

By contrast, Bush's entire presidency is about eking out narrow victories, not about building national consensus. Even when he prevails, Bush wins by manipulation and stealth. His legacy is deepened division and bitterness.

Bush is said to live in a bubble. His tiny inner circle protects him from realities that might upset him or challenge his dimly informed certitudes. Lincoln, by contrast, had the confidence to reach out to critics and seek out widely divergent viewpoints.

Friday, January 25, 2008


Elliot a commentor at Firedoglake said they heard a CSPAN caller state in regard to the stimulus:

"We've spent $100,100.00 per Iraqi the last five years and my family gets $600?!"

Thinking about that, is the math right?

29 Million Iraqis...

$10 each $290 million
$100 each $2.9 billion
$1000 each $29 billion
$10,000 each $290 billion
$100,000 each $2.9 trillion

They are a little high, but considering Bush is asking for $193 Billion next year for Iraq & Afghanistan; at least $160 Billion of that is probably for Iraq only...

Well, I think you see they are not all that far off. And considering what we (and Iraqis) have gotten for that money...[stops to keep from jumping out of building]

This caller really needs to run the DNC or the 2008 nominees campaign.

"Well, there's a shocker!"

"Bush speech to have few new ideas"

The State of the Union will just have the same ol' bad ones. Count the times the camera focuses on Joe Lieberman when Bush proclaims Iraqi victory yet again!

Attention Democratic Nominee for President

And all other candidates. If you are incapable of finding election year material out of this, you deserve to lose badly.

Found via Digby

Meanwhile, here's their "hero" and what they have wrought:

You know, Florida has a "Naples"...

But does it have a "Milan"?*

The more people see El Douchè the more people loathe him.

Imagine what Judy's face would look like if it wasn't chemically paralyzed?

*Ah, Mussolini jokes made in bad taste, do they ever get old?

Democracy Bitches!

We're becoming one long Yakov Smirnov joke (and it is just as funny) -- "WE'RE ALL BRANSON RESIDENTS NOW!

U.S. to Insist Iraq Grant It Wide Mandate in Operations:

Somewhere, even Larry Craig is groaning.

With its international mandate in Iraq set to expire in 11 months, the Bush administration will insist that the government in Baghdad give the United States broad authority to conduct combat operations and guarantee civilian contractors specific legal protections from Iraqi law, according to administration and military officials.

This emerging American negotiating position faces a potential buzz saw of opposition from Iraq, with its fragmented Parliament, weak central government and deep sensitivities about being seen as a dependent state, according to these officials.

You know that is ridiculous, but it is the Bush Administration, adding ridiculous to the tragic is its raison d'etre. The contractor immunity is a farce of the first rank and it's kind of impressive in a way that even in their eighth year they still "got it" -- even if no one wants them to "have it".

But more than the contractors it is "our" democracy juxtaposed against Iraq's alleged democracy that causes things to really become clear.

Our alleged "greatest" democracy ever:

Administration officials are describing their draft proposal in terms of a traditional status-of-forces agreement, an accord that has historically been negotiated by the executive branch and signed by the executive branch without a Senate vote.

The awesome "alleged" democracy we've created:

American officials are keenly aware that any agreement must be approved by Iraq’s fractured Council of Representatives, where Sunni and Shiite factions feud and even Shiite blocs loyal to competing leaders cannot agree.

So Iraq is now more democratic than we are?

"Mission Accomplished"

cross-posted for the most part at Firedoglake.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Bye Bye Kuc'

We will miss you on the campaign trail, Mr. Kucinich. 

I liked many of your ideas but electability always remained a concern.  But you still have a place in my partisan lil' heart.  Perhaps there might be a role in a cabinet position for you.

Big Shoulders

Tomorrow, I'm going here. It's been ten years since my last visit.

What's the one thing you think I absolutely, positively have to do and/or see (aside from dress warmly, that is)?

DD's Spam of the Day

Ah, another spam got through...


Compliments of the day to you!

Due to the sudden death of my husband General Abacha the former head of state of Nigeria in June 1998, I have been thrown into a state of hopelessness by the present administration. I have lost confidence with anybody within my country. I got your contacts through personal search, and had to reach you through this medium. My lawyer will give you more details when you reply. Due to security network placed on my daily affairs, I can not visit the embassy so that is why I have contacted you.

My husband deposited over $750.6 million dollars with security firms, I will be happy if you can receive this funds and keep it safe through investment for us.

I will need you to reply through my lawyers, asap with your personal details.

You may contact me directly here;

Kind regards,

Mrs. Mariam

Tone Deaf Rudy

I think I know why Rudy is tanking so badly, other than the obvious reasons like the dude just looks weird, and it isn't his incessant babbling about 9-11. I don't watch Chris Matthews any more because, really, I can't stand the guy but I saw it last night when he interviewed Rudy. So why is Rudy tanking? Because he is citing too much litigation as one of the great problems facing the country (no transcript as of this typing). To mention litigation as a major issue when other concerns are at the top of everyone's list like, oh let's see, the subprime meltdown, Iraq, markets tanking, exploding budget deficits, unemployment concerns, poverty rates rising, health care, and general malaise, shows how truly out of touch this guy is. What a moron. I hope he loses in Florida to the guy named "uncommitted".

Damn funny Toles

And accurate:

McCain & Giuliani are my two favorites.

Fez tip to Plantsman.

A Metaphor for "How to be a Preznit"

This video is greatly assisted by having a lot of alcohol...or bloated cans of mushrooms:

I apologize in advance. I know many of you just woke up...and now you'll never truly sleep again.

Well, that's a relief

Fareed Zakaria says it's over over there so this must not be true:

A suicide bomber struck officials fleeing an ambush at the site of a blast in Mosul that killed at least 18 civilians and wounded nearly 150. The provincial police chief and two other officers were killed and one U.S. and one Iraqi soldier were wounded, the military said.

The attacker was wearing an explosives vest under an Iraqi police uniform when he struck, killing Brig. Gen. Saleh Mohammed Hassan, the director of police for Ninevah province, of which Mosul is the capital, according to the statement.

And since Fareed Zakaria says it's over over there we must not need to put this on the credit card:

The Iraq war may not dominate U.S. news reports as the carnage drops, but a new report underscores the financial burden of persistent combat that is helping run up the government's credit card...

War funding, which averaged about $93 billion a year from 2003 through 2005, rose to $120 billion in 2006 and $171 billion in 2007 and President George W. Bush has asked for $193 billion in 2008, the nonpartisan office wrote.

Because if those things had actually happened it would suck.

So I'm relieved none of them actually have occurred.

Thanks Fareed.

During Intelligence Briefings what is George Bush thinking about?

His favorite TV show.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Deconstructing Yoo

It has never been done better than Scott Horton, here. Well worth the few minutes it will take to read.

Not exactly the "Pep Boys"

Here's a real confidence builder for the economy:

Paulson looks like he just saw Herbert Hoover's ghost, which is implanted, like an apparition of the Virgin Mary on Bush's backside.

(AFP/Tim Sloan)

What have the Kagans been wrong about now?

Well, this was pretty much already noticed by the blogs that haven't continuously lied and overstated what is actually happening in Iraq -- while it was hailed by various and sundry Kagans. But let's just move on with this shall we:

Sunday, January 20th, Kagan (naturally assisted by Michael O'Hanlon) inhaled his Penne Pasta and belched up:

Iraq's parliament this month passed a new de-Baathification bill, which awaits only expected approval by the five-member presidency council before becoming law. Much remains to be done, but this is an important step toward political reconciliation

Meanwhile, undoubtedly unread by Fred Hiatt, in reality and the same paper three days later:

More than a dozen Iraqi lawmakers, U.S. officials and former Baathists here and in exile expressed concern in interviews that the law could set off a new purge of ex-Baathists, the opposite of U.S. hopes for the legislation.

Approved by parliament this month under pressure from U.S. officials, the law was heralded by President Bush and Iraqi leaders as a way to soothe the deep anger of many ex-Baathists -- primarily Sunnis but also many Shiites such as Awadi -- toward the Shiite-led government.

Yet U.S. officials and even legislators who voted for the measure, which still requires approval by Iraq's presidency council, acknowledge that its impact is hard to assess from its text and will depend on how it is implemented. Some say the law's primary aim is not to return ex-Baathists to work, but to recognize and compensate those harmed by the party. Of the law's eight stated justifications, none mentions reinstating ex-Baathists to their jobs.

"The law is about as clear as mud," said one U.S. senior diplomat.

Um, huzzah?

A truly F.U., F.U.

Via the Sweaty Lunk:

People wondering why Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke suddenly moved to reduce the bank borrowing rate by three quarters of a point should know that in private he has expressed growing pessimism about the economy. Whispers has learned that has told people in recent weeks that the economic situation some see falling into recession will be much worse than he has admitted to publicly.

We're told by those who've heard him that he says the first six months of this year will be "bad," an adjective that some interpret this as signaling there is better than a 50-50 chance for a recession.

Meanwhile, Larry Kudlow takes the straw out of his nose long enough to be a classic member of Wanker Junction and proclaim that when it comes to the economy... "WE'RE WINNING!"

The Eternal F.U. of the War Loving Mind

Well, now that someone has managed to count the "935 Lies" that got us into an illegal and unjustifiable ... yet ... unwinnable war, I guess it's only fair that it continue on indefinitely.

Petraeus: I Need Another Six Months To Determine Whether ‘We’ve Reached A Turning Point’

Yeah, awesome.

I don't think I even really need to guess here anymore.

Come July, he'll tell us "gee, it looks good enough (no matter how it actually looks), but we need another six months just to be sure".

Which naturally takes us into January 2009, when the next President, who doesn't want to be blamed for losing the war that should never have been fought and can never be won, will not want to be the President who is blamed by those who started the unwinnable illegal war for losing the war already lost and will keep the troops in for 8 to 16 FUs.

That incredibly long-sentence was clear enough right?

Making it all come down to this as stated succinctly by Andrew Bacevich in the Washington Post a few days ago:

In only one respect has the surge achieved undeniable success: It has ensured that U.S. troops won't be coming home anytime soon. This was one of the main points of the exercise in the first place.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

WallyMart Attacks Small Presses

Wal-Mart is tossing more than 1,000 magazines from the racks in its stores, sending yet another shock wave through the battered publishing industry. Most of the magazines are small, and more than a few of the victims are titles that have long since stopped publishing. However, virtually no major publisher was spared. The move is likely to hurt new magazines, which take time to nurture and develop a following.

The company boys and gals of Sam Walmart are not big readers.  I wonder how many conservative magazines were cut?  Not to mention the attack on reading culture in the good ol' U.S. of A.

Project Runway to Obscurity

HEIDI: "Jeri, your dress looked cheap. You tried to create a goddess gown and wound up the laughing stock of the Godless crowd. Seafoam is nobody's color, Jeri, not least of all a trophy wife with a somnambulant sugar daddy who looks like The Creature From the Black Lagoon. It reminds them of the lagoon, after all. And the plunging neckline? Straight out of "Dynasty," and not in a good way. Washington's no place for a mermaid, Jeri, especially not one in six yards of home-sewn chiffon."

(excruciating seconds pass)

"Jeri....You're out."

(air kisses both cheeks)

"Auf Wiedersehen, Jeri."

Mostly I'll miss, not missing anything

Grandpa Fred, no longer pretending to be dead.*

...occasional games of motorboat pending.

*figuratively of course.

The world's furriest 'Sunrise Earth' fan

Those with HDTV know what I mean.

He has a "cunning plan"

I can see it now:

Oil fell by more than $4 on Tuesday to a new six-week low as global stock markets swooned on the growing prospect of a U.S.-led economic recession.

Clearly, the Fox Business News and Larry Kudlow will be telling us today that economic collapse is all part of President Baldrick's cunning plan to get the price of a gallon of gas down!

There's uncomfortable, there's embarrasing, there's cringe-worthy

And then there's Mitt Romney:

It's somewhere between "Macaca" and "Nixon walking on the Beach in Street Shoes"

Do not want!

Yet another debate I didn't watch last night.

After two or three of these worthless events I stopped that would mean I must have stopped in about April 2007 or so. 106 debates later, I feel much better than I would have.

Nevertheless, I read about them later, from our serious and not-so-serious pundits and strategists of who won and who lost and who looked pretty and who was the black one and who was the woman and on the other side who was the dead guy, no the other dead guy ... no the one who looks like beef jerky.

And what I heard about last night is that Lesley Blitzer, the world's worst reindeer (better for Dasher, who's a real asshole), asked this question:

Why would Dr. King endorse you if he were alive today?

Good thing all I have here are butter knives.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Entrepeneurialism--Saudi Style--Like Ralphy Wiggum

"The doctor says I wouldn't have so many nosebleeds if I kept my finger outta there!"
--Ralph Wiggum, son of police Chief Clancy Wiggum

Your President, as quoted in a not-so-bad column from Maureen Dowd yesterday:

Wherever he went, W. seemed dazzled by the can-do spirit of the J. Pierrepont Finches of the new Middle East. “It’s important for the president to hear thoughts, hopes, dreams, aspirations, concerns from folks that are out making a living,” he told Saudi entrepreneurs.

In Dubai, he commended young Arab leaders, saying, “The entrepreneurial spirit is strong.”

Reading George Bush quotes about the importance of mingling among real people is like being down wind of a hog confinement.

Oh, and entrepreneurial spirit? He should know, in the land of kings and princes. There it's a lot like the oilfields of Texas and ivy league schools, where daddy's money gets you anything you want, like tax shelter companies, professional sports teams, and other business opportunities, even if you are a failure.

Homophobic Science Fiction

... reminds us of how much further we have to go before we fully honor  the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Turns out that well regarded Sci Fi Writer, Orson Scott Card is a rabid homophobe.  I knew there was a reason I did not read any of this books.  Kudos to the Free Range librarian for the link.

“‘ “I find the comparison between civil rights based on race and supposed new rights being granted for what amounts to deviant behavior to be really kind of ridiculous. There is no comparison. A black as a person does not by being black harm anyone. Gay rights is a collective delusion that’s being attempted. And the idea of ‘gay marriage’ — it’s hard to find a ridiculous enough comparison.’” — Orson Scott Card

Actually Mr. Card, the civil rights movement is based on equality of people.  Not judgements based on who is lesser than someone else regardless of the basis for that idea.

Well with one year to go

It's time to contemplate what our Village Idiots Pundits would be writing now if the Gore Administration was in it's last year.

I'll start:

January 21, 2008, various pundits mark the last year of the Gore Administration by looking at it's short-comings.

"Hussein would have been overthrown months earlier and with less bloodshed if Gore had taken a more activist approach". - Bill Kristol

"The continued surplus the Gore Administration is maintaining is stifling the economy and it's 5% GDP" - George Will

"If Gore hadn't been so preoccupied in the early months of his Administration defending us from some phony terrorist attack, Wall Street wouldn't be stuck with the Dow at 20,000." - Larry Kudlow

"He came in here and trashed the place, and it wasn't his place either!" - David Broder

Feel free to add yours.

Silence is Betrayal

I smell flop

Who possibly would want to see this movie?

Daily Variety writes that film director Oliver Stone “has set his sights on his next directing project, ‘Bush,’ a film focusing on the life and presidency of George W. Bush.” He has chosen actor Josh Brolin to play the leading part. Stone told Variety that he wants this movie to be a deep introspective

I think this is the movie where Stone pursues his "Magic Dumbass" theory.

Oh well, fresh off the Box Office success of 'Cloverfield' I suggest Janet Huckabee to pull a Peter Sellers and play both Karen Hughes & Dick Cheney.

Jounalism modern style

Is this really how you should look at your job as a journalist?

Reporters following McCain and his rivals are sometimes frustrated at how the Democratic race overshadows the GOP contest -- which may have muffled his New Hampshire bounce. From Jan. 6 (two days before New Hampshire) through Jan. 11, says the Project for Excellence in Journalism, 37 percent of the campaign stories it studied were either primarily or significantly about Hillary Clinton, 32 percent about Barack Obama and 24 percent about McCain.

No vanity there.

And really, isn't that the most important thing in journalism?

'Cloverfield' made $41 million this weekend

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

I may have spoken too soon on Favre love

For it is considerably less harmful and yet less banal than the herculean priapism of the modern conservative pundit.

Bill Kristol ladies and gentlemen, in his third New York Times column does a discount version of Peggy Noonan (in fact Nooners should consider a plagiarism suit):

Mitt Romney is the very model of a modern venture capitalist. Mike Huckabee is the very model of a modern evangelical. Rudy Giuliani is the very model of a modern can-do executive. They are impressive modern men all. But John McCain is a not-so-modern type. One might call him a neo-Victorian — rigid, self-righteous and moralizing, but (or rather and) manly, courageous and principled.

Maybe a dose of this type of neo-Victorianism is what the 21st century needs.

I'm confident that only the thought of bombing brown people into gravy gives Bill Kristol a stiffy -- so obviously his "Straight Talkin' Boner" leans right with McCain.

For what really is more "Victorian" than repressed sexuality coupled with repressing the "Coolies"?

It must be luuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuv.

Recently discovered film of Bill Kristol & John McCain:

I hope Petraeus isn't jealous.

The Rumors are swirling

That Fred Thompson is withdrawing from the Presidential Race.

Leading to questions of whether he was actually in the race...and whether you can really tell when he withdraws from the race?

Maybe Fred & Rudy can set up a consulting firm for people to tell them how to run for President?


I went to look up Peter King's column at SI.Com and it isn't up yet.

Apparently, he's still mourning the loss of his GOD's team yesterday. Maybe he and John Madden are at the Green Bay 'Motel 6' spooning like a scene out of 'Superbad'?

Here's how "God" played in the clutch yesterday...from the start of the 4th Quarter to the end:

2-for-8 for 5 yards with two interceptions

Does this mean Eli Manning is a new God?

Because that may be even ickier.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Huck's just like Pat

It appears that Huckabee may have the same white supremacist tendencies as Pat Buchanan.  The good folks at the Huffington Post have been following Huck's coded racism for a while.

Loss to the Music World

The musician, folk singer, and songwriter, John Stewart passed away.

Stewart is known for more than music, he campaigned with Bobby Kennedy on his ill-fated 1968 Presidential bid, and his song "The Last Campaign" is a touching memorial for Kennedy.

He also wrote the Monkees' 'Daydream Believer.'  'I'm a Believer' was written by Neil Diamond.  Stewart was a bit darker in his music than is assumed.  The lyric for 'Daydream Believer' was intended to be "you once looked at me as a white knight on a steed, now you know how funky I can be".  Which was SUPPOSED to mean "now you've seen me at my worst".  Someone in the Monkees organization changed the lyric to the lightweight "know you know how happy I can be", which completely lost the meaning in favor of squeaky clean imagery. Sigh...

Is Obama a Reagan Fan?

Check out the Consortiumnews account.  Is it wise for Obama to be seen being even close to giving praise to Ronald Reagan?  Barack Obama raised some eyebrows when he cited Reagan as an example of a political leader who "changed the trajectory of America."  Isn't that pushing a little too hard for the so-called Reagan Democrats? 

Though Obama now says he wasn't endorsing Reagan's policies or politics-- only recognizing Reagan's historic importance -- the comment still begs the question of what change Reagan actually created in American politics, especially in a era of Neo-Conservative policies from all the branches of the federal government.

What about the economic and military adventurism that Reagan pursued?  Not to mention to courting the Religious Right.  It was Ronald Reagan who was one among the first GOPers to pursue the support of the Religious Roundtable (filled with Swaggart, Baker, Robertson, Roberts, and other religious zealots who entered politics with enthusiasm).  And so much more...

Support the troops, my ass II

Though I'm not a believer, I'd be willing to "suspend disbelief" to see the people who throw out the "support the troops" mantra to cover Bush's vanity war "burn in hell" (I think Olbermann said something like this about the same subject)*.

The task force praised work done at Fort Carson, Colo., where soldiers going back to war are screened for brain injury. Surveys there found that about 17 percent of the soldiers returning to war could have a traumatic brain injury.

And yet, they send them back -- because they don't have the troops to do otherwise giving Bush's policies.

*Let's start with the Kagans, Michael O'Hanlon, and Micheal Gordon.

I don't know about you...

But I can hardly wait for John S&L McCain to start discussing the sub-Prime crisis and discussing economic policy in general.

There is not one fucking reason to think he can do so without being laughed at.

It's going to be all terror all the time with him.

He's Rudy Giuliani with one less marriage.

How to Move on From Here?

I have been doing a lot of thinking about all of the problems we face in the United States.  I think of the strong economy and financial surplus that Bill Clinton left as he departed the White House.  Not only is everything gone...  but Bush and Cheney have devastated this country on so many levels, it would be humorous if it wasn't all too true.  Who would have imagined our current state of affairs when Bush was a candidate?

What are the Democrats, who are more likely to win in November, going to do with the horrible mess that the country is faced with after these incompetents leave?  My personal recommendation is for them to grapple with these foreign relations problems forthrightly and tell the country we have hard choices and a monumental struggle before us and over all to tell the one fundamental truth: 

It is ALL the result of Bush, the GOP, and the Neo-Conservative movement that has fought so hard for war in the Middle East, their misguided and mismanaged economic policies, and their dismantling of protections for the poorest and most vulnerable in our society that has this country mired in a worthless war and so damaged at home.

Yes, while that is what I SO desire for a democrat to do in their first major address to the nation, I realize that few politicians will have the strength to do so.  But imagine... after reciting the oath of office, we see the president-elect, acknowledge the failures of the Bush administration -- especially this damnable boondoggle in Iraq (not to mention the attacks on the middle class, attacks on women on many fronts, fantastic increases in corporate ownership especially in the media, degradation of the environment, teaching to the test education, and attacks on health care for poor children).  I would be satisfied with acknowledgement of who caused the war that we are no where close to winning.  Not one damn step. 

Since it is more than apparent -- Bush has admitted that he is leaving the Iraq war mess for the next president -- and GOP tailwaggers such as McCain have claimed that we should be in Iraq for years to come (100 year by McCain's crazy count), then the new president should be honest, direct, and unwilling to let Bush and the GOP lay these problems at the new president's feet as his or her creation!

In this address the new president must acknowledge that many of these problems were not created by him or her and that they are instead the cleaner, the fixer, the person to whom the past administration expected would resolve these problems. 

Think of how much the terrain of discussion about the war in Iraq will shift by such a statement.  Of course, the new president will have to follow up with getting the American military out of Iraq as quickly as is safe for all concerned. 

But now the discussion will open to some kind of combined Middle East/UN military force that will have to be constructed otherwise the entire country will disintegrate (and probably will disintegrate anyway).  But who's fault is that?  Bush, Cheney, and the Neo-Conservatives.  The new president will do well to remember that.  And to remind the rest of the country of that fact.

Paying the Price

To say Andrew Bacevich knows more about military matters and policy than the Kagans would merely be a matter of opinion (very well-based opinion), that he and his family have paid much MORE of a price than the Kagan's would be a plain fact.

In the name of that knowledge, and that sacrifice he addresses the phony, faux screeches of victory, where no victory exists in Iraq -- and the cowards (like the Kagans) it has bequeathed to us in the future:

Look beyond the spin, the wishful thinking, the intellectual bullying and the myth-making. The real legacy of the surge is that it will enable Bush to bequeath the Iraq war to his successor -- no doubt cause for celebration at AEI, although perhaps less so for the families of U.S. troops. Yet the stubborn insistence that the war must continue also ensures that Bush's successor will, upon taking office, discover that the post-9/11 United States is strategically adrift. Washington no longer has a coherent approach to dealing with Islamic radicalism. Certainly, the next president will not find in Iraq a useful template to be applied in Iran or Syria or Pakistan.

According to the war's most fervent proponents, Bush's critics have become so "invested in defeat" that they cannot see the progress being made on the ground. Yet something similar might be said of those who remain so passionately invested in a futile war's perpetuation. They are unable to see that, surge or no surge, the Iraq war remains an egregious strategic blunder that persistence will only compound.

The Kagan's have made tens of thousands, fatten their asses, gotten their false glory and the friendship of the Bill Kristols of the world.

Andrew Bacevich gave his son for George Bush's disaster.

You tell me who is more admirable and who should be listened to.


365 Days left to worry about what war Lumpy Rutherford will unleash next!

Another AWESOME underperformance by Nobody's Mayor

9ui11ani got about 1.911% of the vote in South Carolina. Half of Ron Paul's signage.

On MSNBC at this moment, he literally has THIS many votes.

Rudy Giuliani 9,112 2%

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Peeking Behind the Curtain

Last night’s Tucker Carlson show -- isn't this the one that is going to be cancelled soon? -- was  hands down, without a doubt the singularly most disturbing discussion on race in American that I have ever seen on mainstream television and a clear indicator of how much the discussion has shifted to the far right. 

The saving grace was a simply amazing moment when Bill Price, after racist comments, stepped up to the plate at the very end of the show and called Patrick Buchanan a white supremacist.  Wow! Did he just say that?  Yes, yes he did.  And how did the others on the program respond:  laughter. 

In fact, the awkward laughter and silence was mind blowingly incredible and I really believe that Bill Price even surprised himself.  It caught me so off guard that I had to rewind it and watch it five times. 

Luckily for all of us some on the job blogger -- Linkins -- over at the Huffington Post contingent caught it.  The key point in all of this is that if you watch the full segment that at no point does Buchanan ever deny the charge.

Pat Buchanon, white supremacist.  Hey, he himself does not even try to deny it.

Rx for an Ailing Economy

Today on Weekend Edition Saturday Rep. Barney Frank quite rightly scolded Scott Simon for the tone of the story preceding his interview. The theme of the story: go out to J & R Computer on 5th avenue with an economist and have the economist explain how putting $500 bucks in a person's pocket, so they can afford to buy an iPod or some other consumer goods, helps the whole economy. It isn't that it is a bad thing to explain how buying stuff creates a cascade effect throughout the economy, but it is all about tone, and the tone of this one missed the mark. (Sorry, no link as of posting). Frank's response to Scott Simon was on the order of, this really isn't a laughing matter, and the truth is there are a lot of people that can use money to live on, not buy gadgets. Really, the tone of the story was better suited to Fox radio news. Good thing they got called on it.


Obama saying bland and easily misconstrued nice words about Reagan may have outraged some Clinton supporters.

But THIS is far more upsetting -- Letting Joe Lieberman keep his Senate Chairmanships after he goes around and endorsing John McCain and enabling one Bush War clusterfuck after another.

I guess this creates a bit of an opening for Obama (but will he take it -- would he really say anything different?) definitely seems something for Edwards to bring up.

The Scariest Words You'll Ever Hear...

... from the Worst President Ever:
"I have a plan."
God help us all.

And by the way, this sentence from the same NYT article was notable for an entirely different reason:
Democrats, in a rare show of Washington bipartisanship, pledged to work with him to enact a plan quickly.
As far as I can see, they never stopped working with him, even when they became the majority back in 2006. Whatever, NYT. Who wants to bet they stick us by making Bush's tax cuts permanent? Yes, I know the article says Bush is not insisting on it as part of the deal, but when has Bush never not lied about anything -- and when have Dems never bent over backwards to accommodate him?

Friday, January 18, 2008

More on Music 2007: Best of Power Pop

Anyone who knows me understands that the great musical love of my life is power pop.  Give me a solid crunchy guitar line, deep bouncy bass, solid feel drumming, an interesting vocal arrangement (being able to sing technically well not always required), add a killer harmony line and some hand claps (real claps none of that computer generated nonsense) and I am your best musical pal in the world!  As Paul Westerberg so eloquently stated:  "I am in love with that song."

What follows is in my opinion, some of the best in Power Pop that was released in 2007 -- now some of this is an extension of some previous thoughts on the music of 2007.  And while the industry is going down the tubes.  Too bad for all of the so-called music executives and the recording association which seems to be in the business of suing fans rather than finding ways to get music to them, bummer for the old business model (is the sarcasm high enough?).

I receive no kickbacks for any of my recommendations (although I am open to the idea of free CDs or MP3s -- come on, who doesn't love to get a free CD in the mail?? -- Ok, I don't mean it) so enjoy these recommendations free from corporate support over the selections and choices:

1.       Everybody Else "Everybody Else" This is an absolute kill you dead debut that will thrill fans of Marvelous 3, The Knack and even that old English power pop chestnut, Squeeze.  I have had this one playing everywhere I've gone since I picked it up early in 2007.  It's an upbeat, melodic, hook-heavy good time without a weak tune to be found anywhere.  This is no jangle rock, its punchy party rock, so what are you waiting for? 

2.       Fountains of Wayne "Traffic and Weather" If I only had enough cash to buy one Fountains of Wayne CD, it would be this one.  Everything this band does is gold but after to listening to all of FOW's albums habitually since they began doing their thing, Traffic and Weather is the most consistently catchy and exciting of them all.  They are so much more than "Stacy's Mom" or the some of the tunes from the Tom Hanks' That Thing You Do.  This CD is packed with great songs, "Someone To Love", "Yolanda Hayes", "This Better Be Good", "Strapped For Cash", "Revolving Dora", "I-95".   Smart and sing-along Power Pop gets no better than this, my friends (there's the McCain moment).

3.       Cartel "Cartel"  I've been as loose with the definition of "What is Power Pop?" as anyone and this album is more emo-pop if it has to be categorized.  But there's something immediately gratifying about listening to this Cartel release.  Naturally, there are plenty of slamming, crunchy power chords to be found but its more entertaining and enjoyable because of the presence of some mid-tempo and different songs that allow this talented group to stretch out and really separate themselves from the emo-pop crowd.

4.       Bleu "Happy Birthday" The super-talented Bleu released Happy Birthday to iTunes (maybe other outlets, too) back in July.  Its an eight-song compilation of tunes that he has apparently written about friends for their birthdays.  As strange of a concept as that seems to be, the proof that it works is evident in a wildly varied collection of winning numbers. My favorites are the lo-fi "Ducky" which is complete with great lines like "he's so cool/he's a Frigidaire" or how about "if I'm a Spock/He's a Captain Kirk/The opposite of suck/That's our Duck".  Next up is "Alex" which is a
Utopia-era Rundgren, keyboard-driven rocker.  If you like Bleu, there's no way that you won't be entertained by Happy Birthday.

5.       Catchpenny "From Where You Are" Minneapolis-based Catchpenny open up their terrific debut with an all-out rocker titled "Tell Me Tomorrow" and it's a great way to set the stage for the hooky choruses and two-part harmonies to be heard all over this one.  There's nothing fancy about Catchpenny.  The songs here are tight and with any justice would be playing all over the airwaves.  From Where You Are is a radio-ready wonder, reminiscent of All-American Rejects, Owsley and American Hi-Fi.

6.       Ed James "In The 21st Century" Thrill to the Power Pop sounds of the 21st Century courtesy of Ed James.  Ed starts our journey with the effortlessly tuneful "Out Of This Town", a crunchy, chugging power-chorded beast.  It's followed by the pretty, Posies-meets-PFR wonder of harmony called "She's The One".  "Girl Gone Bad" is a marvel, it's as if Ed hired Andy Sturmer to front Adrian Belew and The Bears.  "Miss Polly" is massively catchy with it's doot-doot backing vocals and clever, ultra-fun lyrics. Recollections of the '80s come rushing back to us when we hear the Utopia-flavored pop on display when listening to "And When She Smiles". Now...keep in mind, I've only covered the first five tracks!  This is truly a must have release that solidifies Ed James' status as a major Power Pop player.

7.   Holmes-"Stop Go". Singer/Songwriter/Producer Roy Shakked is Holmes and his latest release Stop Go is a refreshing cross-section of musical genres. Holmes serves up punchy Rock, tuneful Power Pop and even smooth R&B with the help of top-notch musicians the likes of Lyle Workman and Brett Simons.  It doesn't get much more fun than the title track, which delivers exactly what its title promises.  The whistle-along melodic treat that is "Another Week" recalls other tune-masters like Bleu and The Argument.  "Five Days A Week" is a smooth Power Pop ride right out of the Joe Jackson songbook.  You've probably heard Holmes already as his music has been featured on many television shows and album compilations.  Chances are you'll be hearing a lot more of him everywhere else very soon.

8.   Rick Altizer-"Scripture Memories - Pop Symphonies".Maybe this is a controversial choice but it's a tuneful one.  Altizer has created a very original collection of Jellyfish/Beatlesque sounding songs that's lyrics reflect Altizer's commitment to his faith.  I recall reading that his goal was to put Bible verses to tunes as a way for others to remember scripture readings.  This may not be everyone's cup of tea because of the decidedly Christian themes throughout, but I happen to believe its fun and beautiful music.

9.   Collective Soul "Afterwords" Collective Soul is a band of survivors. They came to the forefront during the peak of the Grunge era and have been putting out consistently riff-heavy music ever since.  Their new CD Afterwords reinforces this once more.  It is a tightly weaved run through moods and hooks and riffs.  Ed Roland and crew are a tight, polished and talented group; in fact, they're as professional of a rock outfit as there is in the business today.  Check out tracks like "Hollywood", New Vibration" and "All That I Know" for perfect demonstrations of this fact.

10.   Foo Fighters "Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace" Not much needs to be said about the Foo Fighters other than they are a great mainstream rock band that you don't have to be embarrassed to appreciate.  Their new album is more top-notch, power rock with attitude and energy.  Plus, most of their songs are very melodic listens.  Echoes. is a fast starter, the first five tunes are as strong as anything they've written in a long time.

11.   Spoon "Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga" It looks like this new one by Spoon is pretty popular and I'll have to go along with that mindset.  This is definitely the catchiest and poppiest Spoon release to date.  Sometimes the sparseness or "space" within a Spoon tune is a wonder to behold.  This is especially evident in danceable numbers like "Don't You Evah" and "Finer Feelings". "Don't Make Me A Target" and "Rhthm & Soul" are also standouts here.

12.   Ken Andrews "Secrets of the Lost Satellite" The main man behind such fine bands as Failure, On and Year of the Rabbit goes solo with this new collection of mid-tempo, mood heavy music.  Andrews makes some incredible noise, not just on this new release but with everything he does.  The instruments, his vocals, everything; it all really envelops the listener in so many different tones and strange harmonies.  Secrets of the Lost Satellite is another fine example of this.  Again, this is nowhere near Power Pop, but its interesting and rewarding music.

13.   The Ditchflowers "Carried Away" Tampa-based Ditchflowers have mixed sharp melodies, thoughtful lyrics and wonderful production into a pleasing package titled Carried Away.  Ed Woltil and Brian Merrill head up this talented cast of musicians who offer songs of longing, faith and getting older into tuneful tales of intrigue.  The Ditchflowers have excelled here, merging sophisticated pop not unlike Steely Dan and XTC with the straight-ahead rock of artists like The Smithereens and The Kinks.  The songs "Home Away From Home" and "All The Time In The World" feature pretty pop that fit in seamlessly with country-flavored tracks like "Since I Met You" and "Walkin' Back".

14.   Wiretree "Bouldin"  Wiretree is a great new project from singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Kevin Peroni.  This full-length winner melds a variety of influences with an acoustically-based sound to form an instantly enjoyable, bright and catchy listening experience.  I've heard Wiretree's sound compared to The Smithereens, Tom Petty and Brendan Benson.
But I also hear Dear 23-era Posies and early (i.e. good) Goo Goo Dolls. This is really an exciting new Indie Pop release.

So, enough, already... go get 'em.