November 30, 2004

 

Is America Really Ready For This Man To Be President?


Efforts Made to OK Foreign Born Presidents
Several measures have been introduced in Congress, including a joint resolution by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., and Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, which proposes a constitutional amendment that would extend eligibility for the presidency to immigrants who have held U.S. citizenship for at least 20 years. Schwarzenegger became a citizen in 1983...


Thong Boy

I'm just sayin'...

(sorry if any of you were in the middle of eating your lunch)

 

The Election's Over...


...so I guess we no longer need this Ridge or this Terra Alert to scare us from voting for John Kerry.

Perhaps the new Department of Homeland Security head will switch to the color-coded chart below, seeing as, according to John Ashcroft, "The objective of securing the safety of Americans from crime and terror has been achieved."
ak47

(courtesy geek and proud)

 

Does the Word "Hummer" Make You Giggle?


Okay, maybe it's just me. But I'm certainly not alone in hating these ridiculous vehicles. Even Thomas Friedman recently came out of his Iraq-War-Loving stupor to pen these mighty words of hatred aimed at Hummers and their owners:
"Yes, I want to drive the mother of all gas-guzzlers that gets so little mileage you have to drive from gas station to gas station. Yes, I want to drive my Hummer and never have to think that by consuming so much oil, I am making transfer payments to the worst Arab regimes that transfer money to Islamic charities that transfer money to madrassas that teach children intolerance, anti-pluralism and how to hate the infidels.

And when one day one of those madrassa graduates goes off and joins the jihad in Fallujah and kills my neighbor's son, who is in the U.S. Army Rangers, I want to drive to his funeral in my Hummer. Yes, I want to curse his killers in front of his mother and wail aloud, 'If there was only something I could do.' And then I want to drive home in my Hummer, stopping at two gas stations along the way."
Wanna meet 1,446 other people who hate Hummers? Sure you do. Click on the pic below and feel the love:

HummerFinger


 

Totally Dead!


Are you a patriot? You know, what Ann Coulter (more or less) defines as a person who loves Joe McCarthy and hates liberals because
"Whether they are defending the Soviet Union or bleating for Saddam Hussein, liberals are always against America...They are either traitors or idiots, and on the matter of America's self-preservation, the difference is irrelevant. Fifty years of treason hasn't slowed them down...Liberals relentlessly attack their country, but we can't call them traitors, which they manifestly are, because that would be 'McCarthyism,' which never existed."
Well are you? Then you're going to love this lovely "Pro-Military" t-shirt courtesy of Metrospy, a company who is
"...proud of what this Marine did. At MetroSpy we believe terrorists should be hunted down and killed. And we're as happy as a room full of November 3rd Republicans every time that happens. Enjoy!"
Marine T
My brain hurts...


 

Totally Live!


Are you a rockist? You know, what The New York Times' Kelefa Sanneh, in his defense of the Ashlee Simpsons of the world, disdainfully defined as a person who
"...isn't just someone who loves rock 'n' roll, who goes on and on about Bruce Springsteen, who champions ragged-voiced singer-songwriters no one has ever heard of. A rockist is someone who reduces rock 'n' roll to a caricature, then uses that caricature as a weapon. Rockism means idolizing the authentic old legend (or underground hero) while mocking the latest pop star; lionizing punk while barely tolerating disco; loving the live show and hating the music video; extolling the growling performer while hating the lip-syncher."
Well, are you? Then you're going to love McRorie, an artist who "sings and plays a variety of musical styles and originals in real time: no sequencing, no tapes, nothing prerecorded - Totally Live!" Click on the pic and get ready to authentically rock:

McRorie!


 

Where's Our Outrage?

from Salon:
"...if the Ukraine standard were applied in Ohio -- as it should be -- then the late lamented U.S. election certainly was stolen. In Ohio, the secretary of state in charge of the elections process was co-chairman of the Bush campaign in the state. He obstructed the vote count systematically -- for instance, by demanding that provisional ballots without birth dates on their envelopes be thrown out, even though there is no requirement for that in state law. He also required that provisional ballots be cast in a voter's home precinct, ensuring that there would be no escape from long lines. Republicans fielded thousands of election challengers to Democratic precincts, mainly to try to intimidate black voters and to slow down the voting process. A recount, demanded and paid for by the Green and Libertarian parties, has been stalled in court, so that it won't possibly upset the certification of Ohio's electoral votes."
I guess we're too busy Christmas shopping...

November 29, 2004

 

Optional-Ed

Tapped's Matthew Yglesias (the one without the mole) reads the weekend op-ed columns so you don't have to (except for the one that you should):
Nicholas Kriostof. The real problem in Iraq is unnamed liberals who have no power.
David Brooks. Globalization is good!
George Will. Shockingly, most academics are liberals.
Michael Kinsley. Can we start condescending now?
David Broder. Cities are getting screwed.
Jim Hoagland. What's an unjustified killing or two between friends?
Maureen Dowd. I hate my family.
Thomas Friedman. Maybe the people who've messed everything up so far will suddenly turn out to be brilliant.

The Op-Ed You Actually Need To Read
Farouz Farzami. Farouz Farzami on the Iranian reform movement.

November 28, 2004

 

No Doubt About It: This is Girly

Bush Ornament
And it's only $49.95!
Make President George W. Bush a part of your family’s holiday celebrations with the “President George W. Bush” Christmas Ornament. This 4 1⁄2” likeness of President Bush makes a unique gift for friends and family who respect and support our nation’s leader...
...and who think our nation's leader looks like Liberace:
Lee
HotPants

(not that there's anything wrong with that)

Talk about putting lipstick on a pig:
Lipstick Vogue
(disturbing image courtesy AMERICAblog)

No sir, if you really, truly respect and support our dashing leader,
Bush Vogue
may I suggest this tasteful "Operation Enduring Freedom" ornament:
Freedom Ornament

The opposite side even features an "American Flag with proud fist of strength" - now that's respectful (in an almost rock 'n' roll kind of way):
proud
"Rock On!"

Unfortunately, it's too late to bid on the ultimate in leader worship, the Hull Alpine George Bush Garden Gnome:
Bush Gnome

Some lucky bidder snagged this on ebay for a mere $35.

And, I'm afraid you've also missed out on the "Blinking Peeping Santa":
Peeping Santa

I realize this doesn't technically have anything to do with our President, especially now that John Ashcroft has resigned, but it does say "Shrub" on the box. (thanks to Who Would Buy That? for discovering this gem)

Happy Official Beginning of the Holiday Season!


November 27, 2004

 

Macho, Girly or Simply Retarded?

Car Leap
Seriously, who gets out of a car like this?

November 26, 2004

 

Black Friday

Early Bird

Haven't these idiots ever heard of The Internets? No waking up in the middle of the night to wait on long lines; no looking for a goddamned parking space; no unnecessary contact with huddled masses of humanity;
Huddled Masses
no rude clerks who hate you, their boss and their jobs; no canned Christmas music; no heavy lifting - just simple, quiet, no pressure online shopping with comparable bargains and delivery straight to your door or your recipient's door.

Sorry, but I prefer to spend the day after Thanksgiving nursing my hangover in the privacy of my own home, catching up on my reading and crappy television viewing while eating leftovers that somehow taste oh-so-much better than the night before...and perhaps listening to a little Steely Dan:
When Black Friday comes
I'll stand down by the door
And catch the grey men when they
Dive from the fourteenth floor
When Black Friday comes
I'll collect everything I'm owed
And before my friends find out
I'll be on the road
When Black Friday falls you know it's got to be
Don't let it fall on me
When Black Friday comes
I'll fly down to Muswellbrook
Gonna strike all the big red words
From my little black book
Gonna do just what I please
Gonna wear no socks and shoes
With nothing to do but feed
All the kangaroos
When Black Friday comes I'll be on that hill
You know I will

When Black Friday comes
I'm gonna dig myself a hole
Gonna lay down in it 'til
I satisfy my soul
Gonna let the world pass by me
The Archbishop's gonna sanctify me
And if he don't come across
I'm gonna let it roll
When Black Friday comes
I'm gonna stake my claim
I'll guess I'll change my name - Steely Dan, "Katy Lied" (1975)


November 25, 2004

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

turkey dinner
(see you Friday)

10 of 21 Reasons to Give Thanks, courtesy of The Progress Report:
• We're thankful for our country's troops.

• We're thankful for California's trailblazing on stem-cell research.

• We're thankful that when Vice President Cheney decided to 'change the tone' in Washington small children were not present.

• We're thankful for Rush Limbaugh, Bill Bennett, Jack Ryan, and Tom DeLay for helping us understand conservative moral values.

• We're thankful for Costco, for showing Wal-Mart that you can offer rock-bottom prices without paying rock-bottom wages.

• We're thankful for presidential term limits.

• We're thankful for Canada, for picking up the slack and providing affordable drugs to America's seniors.

• We're thankful to President Bush for all of his hard work. 'Cause "no doubt about it, it's tough. It's hard work. It's incredibly hard."

• We're thankful for Poland – we will remember you, always.

• We're thankful for Jon Stewart for using comedy to highlight the essential truths – about the media, politicians, and – especially - Tucker Carlson.


November 24, 2004

 

Election Mad Libs

The (country) today rejected the announced results of (different country)'s disputed presidential election and warned the government of the (same country) to uphold democracy or face "consequences" in its relationships with (the first country) and Europe.

In a news briefing at the (official government office), (name) delivered a sharp rebuke to the (government) authorities who today declared (different name) the winner of (an election) that protesters and foreign observers said was marred by fraud.

"We cannot accept this result as legitimate, because it does not meet international standards and because there has not been an investigation of the numerous and credible reports of fraud and abuse," (first name) said.
Have fun!

(source: Washington Post)

November 23, 2004

 

MC Limbaugh

MC Rush "Fearless" Rush is obviously back on the dope. Courtesy of Media Matters, here's the big blowhard explaining what went down between the Pistons and the Pacers the other night:
LIMBAUGH: "You look at NBA players and the uniforms, you don't have to go back very far. The uniforms have changed totally. They're now in gang colors. They are in gang styles...This is the hip-hop culture on parade. This is gang behavior on parade minus the guns. That's the culture that the NBA has become. So if anybody will be honest with you about it in the NBA, and a very few will have the courage to, because saying what I just said is going to be tagged as racist, but I, my friends, am fearless when it comes to this because the truth will out, and that's what's happening here, and part and parcel of this gang culture, this hip-hop culture, is: 'I'm not going to tolerate being dissed.'"

CALLER: "This is not a new thing with the Piston fans."

LIMBAUGH: "I know. That's why I say call it 'New Fallujah, Michigan.'"
I'm not sure why Rush would think anyone would tag him as a racist:
"I think what we've had here is a little social concern in the NFL. The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well,'' Limbaugh said. "There is a little hope invested in (Donavan) McNabb, and he got a lot of credit for the performance of this team that he didn't deserve. The defense carried this team." (source: 10/02/03, ESPN.com)
In Rush's defense, I'd like to present some other examples of hip-hop culture taking over our beloved national pastimes:

Roger "Biggie" Clemens Goes After Batty Boy Mike Piazza:
Clemens
Clemens


Todd "Ol' Dirty Bastard" Bertuzzi Sucker Punches Steve Moore (and breaks his neck):
Bertuzzi

The Saracho Bros. Bumrush a Junior All-American Football Conference Game:
Footbrawl
(Two men were arrested Thursday for allegedly kicking a man in the head repeatedly in a videotaped brawl that erupted after a weekend youth football game.)


 

"Peaceful Protests with a Carnival Atmosphere"

kiev

from BBC News
Thousands of opposition supporters are surrounding the Ukrainian government offices in a second night of protests over the presidential election...Tens of thousands more people are rallying in Kiev's Independence Square to protest against the official victory for Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych. Opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko, who says the vote was rigged against him, has appealed for police support.

On Tuesday, a White House spokeswoman called for Ukrainian authorities not to certify the election until the fraud allegations are investigated.
So when is the Ukranian Prime Minister's office going to call for U.S. authorities not to certify our election? Here's the White House's phone number: 202-456-1414. Operators are standing by, waiting for hell to freeze over.

 

GYWO: Post-Election Edition


Get Your War On


 

Recount Reality?

from our new best friend, Keith Olbermann:
(Chief political correspondent of Newsweek, Howard) Fineman put it in terms that the mainstream can’t ignore. He told me he’d talked to Ohio’s Mr. Blackwell earlier in the evening. “There in fact will be a recount,” Howard said with a sigh that encapsulated all of the Florida 2000 Experience. “We will be talking about chads once again.”

As Kerry himself calculated early on November 3, the Provisional Ballots alone obviously could not provide anything close to enough bona fide Democratic votes to overcome President Bush’s 135,000 vote plurality in the Ohio election night tally. But as Howard also pointed out — and my colleague David Shuster so thoroughly extrapolated in a previous post on Hardblogger — the Provisionals plus the “Undercount” could make things very close indeed. The punch-card ballots “where it looks like nobody marked anything” when read by an optical scanning machine, might produce thousands of legitimate votes if hand-counted and judged by Ohio’s strict laws defining how many corners of the proverbial chads have to be detached to make a vote valid.
Good. Maybe if this election is overturned, we can actually get some postive things done around here (see "Our Leader?" post below).

 

Our Leader?

Big Brother
This “political public service message brought to you by Clear Channel Outdoor” in Orlando is frightening for all kinds of reasons, but, seriously, how well is der leader leading?
We take Mr. Bush at his word when he says he lobbied hard to get the bill through. But if that's the case, his lieutenants had a peculiar way of respecting the election mandate that they keep insisting he's won. Despite Mr. Rumsfeld's denials, it seems obvious that he lobbied against the president's stated policy. The House Republican leadership, which rammed the president's prescription drug bill to passage by keeping the vote open for hours past the deadline in order to strong-arm resistant legislators, seemed less than lethargic on this key issue. Tom DeLay, the House majority leader who found time last week to push through rules that would allow him to keep his post if indicted, kept a low profile. Speaker Dennis Hastert refused to permit a vote on the compromise bill rather than irritate the intractable committee heads.

And intractable was an understatement. The White House said the president contacted both Mr. Hunter and Mr. Sensenbrenner to urge them to compromise. The evidence suggests that either Mr. Bush was less than forceful in his pleas or the two veteran Republicans have a stunning lack of respect for the wishes of their newly re-elected chief executive. Mr. Hunter at one point rejected language written by Vice President Dick Cheney's lawyer. Mr. Sensenbrenner rejected a section of the bill even though it contained his own language.

Mr. Bush campaigned on the idea that he is the man to handle the aftermath of 9/11. But if he could not deliver a sound bill with the Democrats, most Republicans, the entire 9/11 commission, the 9/11 families and a lot of ordinary Americans backing him up, what will happen on something actually hard?
No worries. Lil' Georgie understands hard work.

 

What Does Superman Do?

Big Turd

I wonder how much he bid for the Virgin Mary Grilled Cheese Sandwich...

 

Miracle Dolphins and Grilled Cheese

FlipperGrilled Mary

Yes, apparently the lord works in mysterious ways, creating creatures smart enough to protect humans from a dangerous shark:
A pod of dolphins circled protectively round a group of New Zealand swimmers to fend off an attack by a great white shark...Lifesavers Rob Howes, his 15-year-old daughter Niccy, Karina Cooper and Helen Slade were swimming 100 metres (300 feet) off Ocean Beach near Whangarei on New Zealand's North Island when the dolphins herded them -- apparently to protect them from a shark. "They started to herd us up, they pushed all four of us together by doing tight circles around us," Howes told the New Zealand Press Association.
and creating someone dumb enough to pay $28,000 for a grilled cheese sandwich:
A woman who said her 10-year-old grilled cheese sandwich bore the image of the Virgin Mary will be getting a lot more bread after the item sold for $28,000 on eBay. GoldenPalace.com, an online casino, confirmed that it placed the winning bid, and company executives said they were willing to spend "as much as it took" to own the 10-year-old half-sandwich with a bite out of it.


November 22, 2004

 

Our Man Olbermann

The "sports guy" continues to be the only one out there in news media la-la land who is actually acting like a news guy.
Keef Keith continues to update and analyze the continously developing election fraud story. You can read his latest post, Relax about Ohio, Relax about the guy tailing me, here or just read some of it here:
Now, if there are controversies, such as some disclosure that a state actually went for Kerry (instead of Bush), there is the ability of members of Congress to challenge.” In other words, even after the December 13th Electoral College Vote, in the extremely unlikely scenario that a court overturns the Ohio count, or that the recount discovers 4,000 Gahanna-style machines that each recorded 4,000 votes too many for one candidate, there is still a mechanism to correct the error, honest or otherwise.

“It requires a written objection from one House member and one senator,” (George Washington University Constitutional Law professor Jonathan) Turley continues. Once that objection is raised, the joint meeting of the two houses is discontinued. “Then both Houses separate again and they vote by majority vote as to whether to accept the slate of electoral votes from that state.”

In these super-heated partisan times, it may seem like just another prospective process decided by majority rule instead of fact. But envision the far-fetched scenario of some dramatic, conclusive new result from Ohio turning up around, say, January 4th. What congressman or senator in his right mind would vote to seat the candidate who lost the popular vote in Ohio? We wouldn’t be talking about party loyalty any more - we’d be talking about pure political self-interest here, and whenever in our history that critical mass has been achieved, it’s been every politician for himself (ask Barry Goldwater when Richard Nixon trolled for his support in July and August, 1974, or Republican Senator Edmund Ross of Kansas when his was to be the decisive vote that would have impeached President Andrew Johnson in 1868).

The point of this dip into the world of political science fiction is that the Ohio timeframe is a little less condensed than it seems. The drop-dead date is not December 13, but January 6.
I can't help it. I'm a half-full kind of guy...

 

Let's Make A Deal

ryanWill & GraceQueer EyeKinsey
The American Family Association thinks I can't handle hearing the F-word 21 times or watching the re-enacted "graphic violence" in Saving Private Ryan. They also don't want me to buy Protor and Gamble products because P & G advertises on Will and Grace and Queer Eye For The Straight Guy (does anybody even watch that show anymore?). Nor should I go see the film about that "pervert" Kinsey. And, I should be shocked, SHOCKED! at the "moral indifference" of the media's response to Nicollette Sheridan and Terrell Owens' disgraceful attempt at comedy.

So, here's the deal, not only between me and The AFA but all organized religious groups who are scared that I might get damaged by what I choose to watch, listen to or read: I will stay out of your church, temple or mosque and leave you alone to read your quant ancient Bible, Torah or Koran if you learn to respect The First Amendment of our great country's Constitution:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
In other words, I won't stick my nose in your business if you stay out of mine. Besides, no serious believer in the Bible, Torah or Koran should be caught dead watching a movie or television show or reading anything other than their good books - that would be tantamount to Idol Worship, wouldn't it? Seriously, don't even think about casting your eyes upon Jude Law, The Sexiest Man Alive:
Hey Jude
(and, since I believe he's in every single movie being released this year, that means Absolutely No Movies!) And make sure you Throw Away Your TVs, good people! They are the spawn of the devil! But, please - don't just take my heathen word for it, listen to what Cephas Ministry Inc. has to say:
"Can there be any real doubt about this question that television is tool of the devil? Can anyone who loves God and studies their Bible really deny that much harm has resulted from "watching" TV?"
Devil TV
"If you call yourself a Christian, how can you just sit back and allow these wicked people to blaspheme God's holy name in your house and not be angered to a point of turning from it? Have you forsaken your first love (Rev. 2:4)? Even using euphemisms are not proper for a Christian. Is it possible to survive without watching TV in our day? Absolutely! Serious Christians have been doing this for a long time. You can too, but you must battle against the devil's subtle temptations of TV viewing. Remember, we are battling for eternity! Your eternal soul and the souls of those around you hang in the balance. If you view the Christian life as anything less than this you have already been lulled to sleep by your enemy, the devil, who is trying to destroy your soul." (from Save Our Children)
Wake up! And leave me the hell alone...

 

When Your Co-Worker Is Away

Go here to see more like these:
Cubicle


(thanks to freakgirl)

 

Brand Democrat

Oliver Willis has created a new print ad campaign for Democrats. Go visit him and give him some suggestions. In the meantime, here are two of my favorites:
Health Care


Yacht

from Atrios:

Um, Democrats? Families are taking donations to send body armor to their kids and Bush gets himself a presidential yacht? If you can't figure out how to play this one...
The Senate voted 65-30 for the legislation late on Saturday that sets aside funds for a range of priorities including a presidential yacht, foreign aid and energy. It is one of the final pieces of work for the 108th Congress and they may return to finish a spy agency overhaul before the end of the year.
...I'm serious. If the DNC isn't on the ground tomorrow running ads saying Bush took your kid's Pell grant away so he could spend the money on a yacht they're fools.
I haven't seen any DNC ads yet so I guess they're fools. No big surprise.

 

Colin Powell Suicide Watch

Colin

After reading this brilliant editorial, A Doctrine Left Behind by Mark Danner in yesterday's Times, I'm more and more convinced that The Big Turd Sandwich chose Colin Powell to be his secretary of state not just as a cynical attempt to appear inclusive and moderate but to completely humiliate Powell in order to give Poppy the giant middle finger:
It seemed somehow fitting, and fittingly sad, that Colin Powell saw his resignation accepted as secretary of state on the day marines completed their conquest of Falluja, ensuring that the televised snapshots of glory drawn from his long public career would be interspersed with videotape of American troops presiding over scenes of urban devastation in a far-off and intractable war.

As I watched images from Mr. Powell's life flicker past, and as the fruits of the American victory became clear - a ravaged city; an elusive enemy, most of whom had escaped; a countrywide counterattack in which insurgents seized parts of Mosul - I felt a ghostly echo of words I could not quite grasp. Two days later, watching an American general declare that in Falluja our forces had "broken the back of the insurgency," I felt the sentences I'd struggled to recall suddenly take shape; I reached for Mr. Powell's memoir and found these bitter lines:

"Our senior officers knew the war was going badly. Yet they bowed to groupthink pressure and kept up pretenses. ...Many of my generation, the career captains, majors, and lieutenant colonels seasoned in that war, vowed that when our turn came to call the shots, we would not quietly acquiesce in halfhearted warfare for half-baked reasons that the American people could not understand."
This is, of course, Colin Powell talking about his Vietnam war experience - an experience that led to the formulation of "The Powell Doctrine." Had The Big Turd Sandwich been serious about, well, anything, he might have actually listened to what his secretary of state had said in the past about waging war in Iraq:
No one can say how many lives could have been saved had the responsible officials asked the right questions. As it happens, those questions had been laid out with courage and clarity back in 1992, by the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the time, Colin Powell. While the Powell Doctrine is generally thought simply to prescribe the setting of clear objectives and the use of overwhelming force to achieve them, it also sets out a series of questions that policymakers must ask and answer before committing American lives to war. They make sobering reading today:

"Is the political objective we seek to achieve important, clearly defined and understood? Have all other nonviolent policy means failed? Will military force achieve the objective? At what cost? Have the gains and risks been analyzed? How might the situation that we seek to alter, once it is altered by force, develop further and what might be the consequences?"

Faced with the war in Iraq, how might Mr. Powell have answered these questions? The main "political objective" the United States sought in Iraq, insofar as the president identified it, was to deprive Saddam Hussein of his weapons of mass destruction. These always ghostly objects have long since evaporated; and no matter how often administration officials repeat that the French, Germans, Russians and the United Nations also judged that Mr. Hussein had weapons, this will not change the recalcitrant fact that these parties did not accept that they posed enough of a threat to support an immediate war.

Second, had "all other nonviolent means failed" to disarm Mr. Hussein? Though the president is still fond of declaring, as he did in the first presidential debate, that "Saddam Hussein had no intention of disarming," the rest of us have perhaps not entered too deeply into the post-factual age not to acknowledge what we now know: that in fact Saddam Hussein did disarm - and that the international inspectors on the scene, given time and sufficient diplomatic support, would eventually have confirmed this - just as David Kay, the administration's arms inspector, was able to do in the war's aftermath. As he allowed himself to say in a moment of near-suicidal honesty, in the matter of the weapons the Iraqis "were telling the truth."

But it is in posing his last several questions that the younger Mr. Powell becomes a truly heartbreaking figure - the questions about "gains and risks" and about consequences. How do we evaluate these? We can speak of the 1,200 Americans dead and 9,000 wounded, or even of the thousands of Iraqis who have died. But what objective do we weigh them against?

And finally: "How might the situation that we seek to alter, once it is altered by force, develop further and what might be the consequences?" The question is unflinching, but there is little evidence that the administration Secretary Powell served ever made a serious attempt to answer it. What would such an attempt have looked like? We know the answer; for in 1992 the general himself offered us an example of the "logical process" he had in mind, analyzing why President George H. W. Bush did not order our forces to take Baghdad in 1991:

"We must assume that the political objective of such an order would have been capturing Saddam Hussein," he wrote. "What purpose would it have served? And would serving that purpose have been worth the many more casualties that would have occurred? Would it have been worth the inevitable follow-up: major occupation forces in Iraq for years to come and a very expensive and complex American proconsulship in Baghdad? Fortunately for America, reasonable people at the time thought not."
Unfortunately for America Version 2004 we no longer have a reasonable person in charge. Our Big Turd Sandwich is a man who, when asked if he had consulted his reasonable father on going to war in Iraq, answered:
"He is the wrong father to appeal to for advice. The wrong father to go to, to appeal to in terms of strength. There's a higher Father that I appeal to."
How does one even begin to argue with "reason" like that? Sorry, but I've tried, and you cannot argue with someone who has a childlike faith in a higher Father. As Bob Herbert wrote in The Times last week:
As I watch the disastrous consequences of the Bush policies unfold - not just in Iraq, but here at home as well - I am struck by the immaturity of this administration, whatever the ages of the officials involved. It's as if the children have taken over and sent the adults packing. The counsel of wiser heads, like George H. W. Bush, or Brent Scowcroft, or Colin Powell, is not needed and not wanted.

Some of the world's most important decisions - often, decisions of life and death - have been left to those who are less competent and less experienced, to men and women who are deficient in such qualities as risk perception and comprehension of future consequences, who are reckless and dangerously susceptible to magical thinking and the ideological pressure of their peers.

I look at the catastrophe in Iraq, the fiscal debacle here at home, the extent to which loyalty trumps competence at the highest levels of government, the absence of a coherent vision of the future for the U.S. and the world, and I wonder, with a sense of deep sadness, where the adults have gone.
I know if I was Colin Powell, I'd be swallowing a whole bunch of pills and washing them down with some excellent single malt. But perhaps Colin sold his soul a long time ago and actually feels no remorse for allowing our men and women to die, unnecessarily, in Iraq. If that's the case, then I guess we should expect, instead of suicide, lots and lots of highly paid speaking engagements. And, of course, another friggin' book.

November 20, 2004

 

Big John


John Kerry, unlike some politicians who more or less fade away after the most significant loss of their political careers, has chosen to remain out front and fight. In doing so, he's setting the stage for fellow Democrats and showing them that "this is not a time for Democrats to retreat and accomodate extremists on critical principles, it is a time to stand firm" and "challenge" the "right-wing assault on values and ideals that we hold most deeply" (key words for all of you elected Democrats out there: "stand firm," "challenge," "extremists," and "right-wing assault"; learn them, repeat them).

And John is up for not just challenging but doing and creating:
"And we must fight not only against George Bush's extreme policies -- we must also uphold our own values. This is why on the first day Congress is in session next year, I will introduce a bill to provide every child in America with health insurance.
Click on the pic below (couldn't his web people have chosen a better freeze frame, for crying out loud?) and help co-sponsor John's bill:

Big John



November 19, 2004

 

Going...Going...

Dollar
from The Financial Times via Daily Kos:
The US currency came under renewed selling pressure the moment it became clear George W. Bush had been re-elected president.  In the two and a half weeks since then, the value of the dollar has fallen 2.5 percent against the euro and 1.9 percent against the yen.  The falls represent an acceleration of the dollar's steady decline since 2002.  Since the start of that year, the greenback has fallen 32 percent against the euro and 21 percent against the yen. . .

Darek Halpenny, currency analyst at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, points to a "very grim" outlook for the dollar in the near term.  "With the foreign exchange market now focused entirely on the problem of the US budget deficit and current account deficits, there is a real risk that dollar selling becomes a crisis of confidence," he says. . . .

There is a fear in the currency markets that the dollar's decline, which has been gradual and orderly so far, will turn into a rout.
We...are...so...screwed.

 

Oh Yeah!


Grey Video


If you liked the video (and you've been living under a rock), well here's some other places you can go-o-whoah:

Grey
Jaz-Z Meets The Beatles
Black & Blue
Jaz-Z Squeezes the Weezer
Slack
Jaz-Z Pounds the Pavement
Double Black
Jay-Z Meddles with Metallica

There's No Business Like Stealing...

 

A Little Under $6 Billion a Month


That's what the war in Iraq is costing us. Here's just some of what we're getting for our dollars:

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“Freedom’s untidy” - Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld

(images courtesy Fallujah in Pictures)

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