January 30, 2005

 

The World Is Better Off Without Saddam Hussein?


From The New York Times:
Beyond the general concern about instability is a shared concern in Sunni-ruled countries - Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the smaller oil-rich states of the Persian Gulf - that the greatest beneficiary of the war so far has been not Iraq, but Shiite-dominated Iran. Empowering Iraq's Shiite majority, they fear, will embolden Shiites elsewhere to challenge their own ruling Sunni Muslim classes. This, in turn, could encourage a spread of Iranian influence that was held in check by Iraq when it was ruled by Sunni kings and dictators...

Iraq's Shiite leaders, who have been among the most enthusiastic supporters of the election today, have steadfastly maintained that a pluralist democracy, not Iran's theocracy, is their model for government, and Iran itself has tacitly blessed their approach. Nevertheless, the war strengthened Iran's position in the region by removing its worst enemy, Saddam Hussein, and whatever new regime takes hold in Iraq is likely to have friendly ties to Tehran.

Iran has also been making a big investment of resources in the social welfare, religious and political institutions of Iraq's Shiites. "There is only one country that is really doing nation-building in Iraq, and it isn't the United States," said an Arab diplomat sardonically. "It's Iran."
Terrific. Just terrific...

January 28, 2005

 

The Demise of Dom Perignon Champagne


R.I.P.

Dom

(thanks to reader Soph)

 

I'm Tired...and I Want a Cookie

dickie
from The Washington Post:
At yesterday's gathering of world leaders in southern Poland to mark the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, the United States was represented by Vice President Cheney. The ceremony at the Nazi death camp was outdoors, so those in attendance, such as French President Jacques Chirac and Russian President Vladimir Putin, were wearing dark, formal overcoats and dress shoes or boots. Because it was cold and snowing, they were also wearing gentlemen's hats. In short, they were dressed for the inclement weather as well as the sobriety and dignity of the event.

The vice president, however, was dressed in the kind of attire one typically wears to operate a snow blower.

Cheney stood out in a sea of black-coated world leaders because he was wearing an olive drab parka with a fur-trimmed hood. It is embroidered with his name. It reminded one of the way in which children's clothes are inscribed with their names before they are sent away to camp. And indeed, the vice president looked like an awkward boy amid the well-dressed adults.
Okay, so maybe sometimes The Post displays a bit of a liberal bias.



 

Helloooooo Newman


(via Atrios)

This fine man:





is rumored to be thinking about challenging this shell of a man:

ak47

for his Senate seat in 2006.

Way cool...

January 27, 2005

 

Tell Your Senator We Can Find A Better Attorney General Than Mr. Torture


Click here (courtesy of True Majority).

 

Get Your War On
(lovingly stolen from Get Your War On)

 

New Allegations of Voter Fraud


(I'm told I should "get over it" but...I...just...can't...dammit)
Serious new election tampering allegations have emerged from an Ohio county, where witnesses allege that stickers were placed on presidential election ballots, RAW STORY has learned.

Several volunteer workers in the Ohio recount in Clermont County, Ohio have prepared affidavits alleging serious tampering, violations of state and federal law and possible fraud. They name the Republican chief of Clermont’s Board of Elections Daniel Bare and the head of the Clermont Democratic Party Priscilla O’Donnell as complicit in these acts.

These volunteers, observing the recount on behalf of the Greens, Libertarians and Democrats, assert that during the Dec. 14, 2004 hand recount they noticed stickers covering the Kerry/Edwards oval, whereas the Bush/Cheney oval seemed to be “colored in.”

Some witnesses state that beneath the stickers, the Kerry/Edwards oval was selected. The opti-scan ballots were then fed into the machines after the hand recount.
Now add this new allegation to these previous allegations:
1. Uncounted punch-card and provisional ballots.
2. Fraud through default settings on touch-screen voting machines.
3. 'Ghost' absentee voters in Trumbull County.
4. Implausible voter turnout figures.
5. Vote-tabulation fraud in Miami County.
6. Vote-tabulation fraud in Warren, Butler, Clermont (and other) Counties.
and tell me again to get over it.

 

Starting to Get a Clue


Chuckie (Gonzales "is a better candidate than Ashcroft") Schumer finally showed some spine yesterday:
(Being) "less polarizing than John Ashcroft is not enough to get my vote."
A big "duh" goes out to Sen. Schumer.

And speaking of "Big Duhs," Joe Biden, the "most powerful" Democratic Senator, also seems to have woken up from his stupor:
(Gonazales') "judgment is defective."
Oh wait, no he didn't:
"Even voting against him (Gonzales), he's a significant improvement over the attorney general we have there now."
Can this doink be recalled?

Doink
"I am the most powerful Democratic plagiarizer ever! Kneel before me or I'll literally take the words right out of your mouths."

 

So That's It? Case Closed?


Bush Orders an End to Hiring Columnists
President Bush ordered his Cabinet secretaries Wednesday not to hire columnists to promote administration agendas after disclosure that a second writer had been paid to assist an agency.

"All our Cabinet secretaries must realize that we will not be paying commentators to advance our agenda," Bush said at a news conference. "Our agenda ought to be able to stand on its own two feet." The president said he expects his agency heads will "make sure that that practice doesn't go forward."

Bush's remarks came a day after syndicated columnist Maggie Gallagher apologized to readers for not disclosing a $21,500 contract with the Health and Human Services Department to help create materials promoting the agency's $300 million initiative to encourage marriage...

Bush said there "needs to be a nice independent relationship between the White House and the press, the administration and the press."
Can you imagine if President Clinton had tried to brush these accusations off like this? Ken Starr would have been licking his chops, asking for another $52-58 million of our taxes for an investigation (depriving columnists on the take of a possible 52-58 million in taxpayer dollars). But because of the "nice independent relationship" that's in place, I'm pretty sure the mainstream media will act as if this payola scandal is already water under the bridge.

 

Bush's Senior Moment


This "homeboy follow-up" perfectly demonstrates what a retarded adolescent our Big Turd Sandwich is:



Click the Turd to watch/Windows Media Player required


(clip stolen from AMERICAblog)

January 26, 2005

 

Attention Bush Voters, Pt. 1,418


Any buyer's remorse yet?

Car Bomb (Iraqis walk past the remains of a car bomb after it exploded near an Iraqi Army post southwest of Kirkuk, northern Iraq, January 26, 2005. Thirty-one U.S. troops were reported killed in a helicopter crash and five more died in insurgent attacks in the deadliest day for American forces since they invaded Iraq 22 months ago. Photo by Stringer/Iraq/Reuters REUTERS/Salah al-Deen Rahsid)

Today, the "Bloodiest Day for U.S. Troops in Iraq", brings the total number of troops killed since Bush & Co. lied us into war to 1,418. Here's our dear leader at today's press conference:

Asshole


Ignoring today's carnage and instead focusing on the upcoming election in Iraq, Bush stammered:
"It is a grand moment for those who believe in freedom."
Freedom? But I thought we invaded Iraq because Saddam was a threat to...aw, skip it.

 

The Dirty 30


30 Democratic Senators officially have blood on their hands. That's right, 30 of our own have voted "yay" to confirm Dr. Condaliezza-lies-a-lot. Hooray for the 13 Senators who "bravely" voted against her:
Independent Jim Jeffords of Vermont and Democratic Senators Mark Dayton of Minnesota, Barbara Boxer of California, Edward M. Kennedy and John Kerry of Massachusetts, Carl Levin of Michigan, Robert C. Byrd of West Virginia, Jack Reed of Rhode Island, Richard Durbin of Illinois, Daniel Akaka of Hawaii, Evan Bayh of Indiana, Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey and Tom Harkin of Iowa.
My two Senators, Hillary Clinton and Charles Schumer, have officially lost my New York vote the next time they're up for reelection. Extra props go out to Mark Dayton who told the Senate on Tuesday:
"My vote against this nomination is my statement that this administration's lying must stop now..."

Dayton, a Minnesota Democrat, referred to an exchange at last week's confirmation hearing, when Rice pointedly asked Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., to question her "without impugning my credibility or my integrity."

Dayton didn't take Rice's words to heart.

"I don't like to impugn anyone's integrity, but I really don't like being lied to repeatedly, flagrantly, intentionally," he said. "It's wrong. It's undemocratic, it's un-American, and it's dangerous.
And the award for the worst excuse for a Democratic Senator goes to:

Fudd


Oops, my bad. I meant this guy:



(click on Joe to hear the striking resemblance between him and Mr. Fudd)


Lieberman distinguished himself on the Senate floor by declaring:
"Dr. Rice, born in 1954 in the then racially segregated South, knew the sting of bigotry. No one on the day of her birth could have rationally predicted she would grow up to be the Secretary of State of the United States of America. But she was blessed with great natural abilities, with a strong family, with an abiding faith in God. She worked hard, as others worked in her time, to break the barriers of segregation to establish the rule of law to create opportunities. She has earned the nomination the President has given her."
Yes, without a doubt, her strong family, faith in God, hard work, ability to overcome bigotry, etc. definitely qualifies her to be Secretary of State. Whatever...

Update: Click here for the complete roll call of today's confirmation vote.

January 25, 2005

 

Dear Senator _________

We the People of the United States are tired of Dishonesty and Cowardice being rewarded in Washington, D.C. Therefore, a vote for Rice or Gonzales (dishonesty) equals a vote against you (coward) in your next election. Stand tall and stand together with your fellow Democrats. Remember: You work for us.
01) Go here to find your Senators.
02) E-mail them
03) Tell your friends to do the same

Editor's Note: I realize that even if every Democratic Senator votes against Rice and Gonzales, we won't have enough votes to stop their confirmations. However, I feel strongly that our party should be on record as having opposed these clearly undeserving nominees. Bush ran roughshod over our party and the media for the last four years and now he and his fellow Republicans feel empowered to do whatever the hell they damn please. This cannot continue. The least we can do is send the Republicans a message.

January 24, 2005

 

Politician of the Year...

(and it's only January)

Rice and Boxer

No, not the one who's smiling; I mean the one who is serious about going about her work honestly (oh, to have been a fly on the wall at this little meet & greet...)

Go here, call (909) 888-8525 or fax (909) 888-8613 and show Barbara Boxer the support and respect she deserves.* Let her know that the American people do not want a disingenuous liar to be our next Secretary of State. And the same goes for the scumbag who would be Attorney General:

Der Fuhrer and Gonzo
Gonzales: Did He Help Bush Keep His DUI Quiet?
Senate Democrats put off a vote on White House counsel Alberto Gonzales's nomination to be attorney general, complaining he had provided evasive answers to questions about torture and the mistreatment of prisoners. But Gonzales's most surprising answer may have come on a different subject: his role in helping President Bush escape jury duty in a drunken-driving case involving a dancer at an Austin strip club in 1996. The judge and other lawyers in the case last week disputed a written account of the matter provided by Gonzales to the Senate Judiciary Committee. "It's a complete misrepresentation," said David Wahlberg, lawyer for the dancer, about Gonzales's account.
Personally, I think Gonzo's "evasive answers" about torture, along with his "quaint" torture memos and his questionable counciling of Bush on many of the 150 men and women executed while Bush was Governor of Texas should be enough to block this guy -- especially since this latest smoking gun comes from a stripper's lawyer. I'm just sayin'...

One thing I will say in Gonzales' favor: He did warn The Big Turd Sandwich that members of his administration could be accused of war crimes:
The White House's top lawyer warned more than two years ago that U.S. officials could be prosecuted for "war crimes" as a result of new and unorthodox measures used by the Bush administration in the war on terrorism, according to an internal White House memo and interviews with participants in the debate over the issue.

The concern about possible future prosecution for war crimes—and that it might even apply to Bush adminstration officials themselves— is contained in a crucial portion of an internal January 25, 2002, memo by White House counsel Alberto Gonzales obtained by NEWSWEEK. It urges President George Bush declare the war in Afghanistan, including the detention of Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters, exempt from the provisions of the Geneva Convention.

In the memo, the White House lawyer focused on a little known 1996 law passed by Congress, known as the War Crimes Act, that banned any Americans from committing war crimes—defined in part as "grave breaches" of the Geneva Conventions. Noting that the law applies to "U.S. officials" and that punishments for violators "include the death penalty," Gonzales told Bush that "it was difficult to predict with confidence" how Justice Department prosecutors might apply the law in the future. This was especially the case given that some of the language in the Geneva Conventions—such as that outlawing "outrages upon personal dignity" and "inhuman treatment" of prisoners—was "undefined."
What a clever bastard.



*This doesn't mean I've I'm no longer angry at Boxer for prefacing her remarks to Condoliar Rice with "you no doubt will be confirmed," but at least Boxer is not as completely terrified of the Republican attack machine as her colleagues are. Here's Boxer yesterday on Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer:
"...I was questioned by one reporter at the inaugural...and she said, "Well, why are you delaying this vote? The White House wants a vote today." And I said, "Well, you know, the White House doesn't run the United States Senate, and the United States Senate doesn't run the White House. We do have this check and balances."

And I think it's very important, when you have a secretary of state nomination in a time of war -- and as I laid out, and I will lay out again on the Senate floor, one who I do not believe has been candid with the American people, who's gone on shows like yours and made statements that I don't think were true, or they were half-true, didn't tell the whole story, didn't level with the American people -- I would not be worth my weight as a United States senator from the biggest state in the union if I didn't bring up those questions.

I'm only doing my job, even though Andy Card would like me to go away. I'm not going to go away.
Rock on "Double B"...

January 21, 2005

 

In Case You Missed It




(click The Big Turd Sandwich for "highlights" of his inauguration speech)


January 20, 2005

 

Apparently There Are Still Things
That Can Make Me Smile


Case in point:


the beastles
(click the pic and scroll down to download the free mp3s while you still can)


 

I Feel Gypped (or It's My Party
& I'll Cry If I Want To)


Like many of you out there, I enjoy parlaying my birthday into a Birthday Week - that way I can share the love with as many people as possible and go on a weeklong bender. However, this has to be the ultimate buzzkill:

Assholes on Parade


Seriously, look at this parade of assholes. And how did Trent Lott get to be a part of this crew?

I find it hard to accept that my celebrations have to be cut short due to the fact that down in D.C. people are currently celebrating a man that I think should be spending the rest of his life clearing brush, preferably down in Gitmo with electrodes attached to his twinkly bits. Why must people continue to encourage this lying war criminal? When are they going to see the light? Outgoing Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage certainly has:
"I'm disappointed that Iraq hasn't turned out better. And that we weren't able to move forward more meaningfully in the Middle East peace process."

Then, after a minute's pause, he adds a third regret: "The biggest regret is that we didn't stop 9/11. And then in the wake of 9/11, instead of redoubling what is our traditional export of hope and optimism we exported our fear and our anger. And presented a very intense and angry face to the world. I regret that a lot."
It's amazing how many people in the Bush Administration wait until after they leave to tell the world the truth. Apparently job securtiy is the number one priority in Washington.

And speaking of job security: I guess we've also witnessed this week exactly how things are going to go with the Democratic Party for the next 4 years. We'll get a couple of shit disturbers like Senators Boxer and Kerry to ask a couple of tough questions; we'll get a number of Senators to "voice displeasure" with Bush Administration policies; hell, we'll even delay a confirmation or two -- but, in the end, these are only symbolic gestures. To get a real take on the "pulse" of the Democratic Party, one need look no further than this CNN interview with "the most powerful Democratic Senator":
PAULA ZAHN: And joining me now is the most powerful Democratic Senator, Joseph Biden of Delaware. So Senator, do you think Condoleezza Rice was truthful in her testimony before the Senate today?

BIDEN: I think she was evasive in her responses to Senator Boxer's questions about what I think was disinformation. She was literally correct when she said that the intelligence community, a portion of it, said those aluminum tubes were for a gas centrifuge system but, like others in the administration, she didn't point out that a significant portion of the intelligence community said no no, they're not for that purpose. But it was, to use the fancy word, it was disingenuous.

ZAHN: So Senator, you've found her disingenuous. Barbara Boxer your colleague basically said Dr. Rice's defense of the war "overwhelmed her perspective of truth". Isn't that going to be a problem for her?

BIDEN: Look. My standard is, if the person is, in my view, if the person is the President's choice, someone who has the competence intellectually and practically to do the job, then I err on the side of giving the president choice, so I will vote for her. But I wasn't particularly impressed by her performance today before the committee.

ZAHN: Senator, as we leave you tonight, I need some help with math here. You asked Dr. Rice a very pointed question about the number of Iraqi security forces that are really trained to do the job. She contended it was 120,000, you say based on your several visits to Iraq it's closer to 4,000. What are we talking about here?

BIDEN: In the field, if you ask any commanding officer over there, how many Iraqi military are ready to supplant an American force on the ground, you will get a number a heck of a lot closer to 4,000 than you will 120,000, and it's because we've had a really, really lousy training problem up until about three months ago when General Petraeus took over, and further because we have not taken advantage of the offers of the Egyptians, of the French even, and the Germans and others, to train Iraqi forces.

ZAHN: But Senator, we're talking about a 116,000 discrepancy here!

BIDEN: Absolutely positively.

ZAHN: So how can you support Dr. Rice if, in fact, her numbers are vastly different from yours? You don't believe her numbers!

BIDEN: Well, I believe her number in this regard. There are 120,000 people in uniform. Are they trained? No! Are they equipped? No! We are not winning in Iraq. The place is more dangerous. Unless there's a serious course change, we're in real trouble.

ZAHN: So how can you support her if she doesn't have a clear assessment of that?

BIDEN: Because that's the President of the United State's policy. You know, she's not the one that makes the policy. The President of the United States is saying the same things that she's saying. And the fact of the matter is I've never seen such concentration of power, within the White House and the Vice President's office, as I'm seeing now. Are they entitled to do that? Yeah! Is it a smart thing to do? No! Does it shut out other voices? Yeah! I think we're going in the wrong direction, I'm concerned about it, but, once she's Secretary of State, maybe there'll be a bit of an epiphany here. But I'm not counting on it.
I don't know where to begin. This is perhaps the most appalling display of stupidity and cowardice I've ever seen from an elected official (and that's saying a lot). What are the Democrats afraid of? That the Republican attack machine is going to accuse them of being partisan?!?! That they might alienate some voters and lose their jobs? Earth to Democrats: the reason we vote for you is because we expect you to be PARTISAN. The Republicans have no problem being partisan and they seem to be doing pretty well in the job security department. The only time you should be bi-partisan is when you agree with the opposition, not when you think someone is being "disingenuous"; not when you "think we're going in the wrong direction"; not when you don't expect "an epiphany" from the next Secretary of State.

Oh despair. The only thing I feel cheerful about today are these images of protesters from today's "celebration" (many of whom will be voting in 2006 & 2008, hint hint):

protesters protesters protesters

protester

January 19, 2005

 

Happy Birthday To Me


Birthday Boy


How old am I? You can "count the rings around my eyes" or save a lot of time and listen to my old pal Elvis...

January 18, 2005

 

Let's See How Much Play This Story Gets:


(probably not very much* since it didn't happen at a Democratic event)
You might say the Janet Jackson moment of President Bush's inaugural festivities came Tuesday at a youth concert with hundreds of preteen Hilary Duff fans in the audience.

No nudity was involved, but the Vince Neil-style profanity probably didn't win rock band Fuel any fans at the Federal Communications Commission, nor from the parents at the concert. Now the Pennsylvania band is just hoping the concert, "America's Future Rocks Today," wasn't aired live.

Borrowing a word from Motley Crue's Neil, the lead singer of Fuel proclaimed, "Welcome to the greatest ----ing country in the world." Brett Scallions followed with a quick apology of "excuse my language."

The FCC is investigating Neil's wish to band mate Tommy Lee for a "Happy ----ing New Year," which aired live on NBC on New Year's Eve.
Oh please tell me it aired live...please, please please.

By the way, the concert hall was only "half-full" according to Launch. I guess the "Future" didn't feel much like rockin' today...

*Update: Went to Fuel's website and it looks like their latest album is called "Natural Selection." And check out Brett's special Christmas message from the site:
HO! HO! HO! MERRY MO FUGGIN' CHRISTMAS!!! Hope everyone is doing great out there and that you have all been naughty, it's alot more fun than being nice.
Brett goes on to say he hasn't seen much of "Abby" (who I'm guessing is his girlfriend) because her band SLUNT (!) has been opening for Marilyn Manson (!!!). Brett ends his message with this:
Oh, and if you call me a dork again, I'll hunt you all down like the dogs that you are and burn your fucking houses down!!! Awe hell, I'm just kidding. Peace, love and all that shit, Brett
This foul-mouthed, godless, anti-creationist band is definitely not going to go over well with the American Family Association, the folks responsible for getting Kid Rock "uninvited" from this very same event. This story might get some play after all. I'm just wondering why nobody in the Bush camp bothered to take 5 seconds to Google these guys before booking them. But then again, look at the bang-up job they did vetting Bernie Kerik, a job headed by our next attorney-general (oy), Alberto Gonzales.

 

It's Better Than Nothing, But Still...


I appreciate that Barbara Boxer is one of the few Democrats willing to stick her neck out and make a little noise...
So in your statement (Dr. Rice) it takes you to page three to mention the word "Iraq." Then you mention it in the context of elections -- which is fine -- but you never even mention indirectly the 1,366 American troops that have died, or the 10,372 who have been wounded -- many mentally, as a report that I read over the weekend that maybe a third will come home and need help because of what they saw -- it's been so traumatic to them. And 25 percent of those dead are from my home state. And this from a war that was based on what everyone now says, including your own administration, were falsehoods about WMDs, weapons of mass destruction. And I've had tens of thousands of people from all over the country say that they disagree -- although they respect the president -- they disagree that this administration and the people in it shouldn't be held accountable...

Well, with you in the lead role, Dr. Rice, we went into Iraq. I want to read you a paragraph that best expresses my views...It was written by one of the world's experts on terrorism, Peter Bergen, five months ago. He wrote: "What we have done in Iraq is what bin Laden could not have hoped for in his wildest dreams: We invaded an oil-rich Muslim nation in the heart of the Middle East, the very type of imperial adventure bin Laden has long predicted was the U.S.'s long-term goal in the region. We deposed the secular socialist Saddam, whom bin Laden has long despised, ignited Sunni and Shi'a fundamentalist fervor in Iraq, and have now provoked a defensive jihad that has galvanized jihad- minded Muslims around the world. It's hard to imagine a set of policies better designed to sabotage the war on terror." This conclusion was reiterated last Thursday by the National Intelligence Council, the CIA director's think tank, which released a report saying that Iraq has replaced Afghanistan as the training ground for the next generation of professionalized terrorists...

Now, the war was sold to the American people, as Chief of Staff to President Bush Andy Card said, like a "new product." Those were his words. Remember, he said, "You don't roll out a new product in the summer." Now, you rolled out the idea and then you had to convince the people, as you made your case with the president.

And I personally believe -- this is my personal view -- that your loyalty to the mission you were given, to sell this war, overwhelmed your respect for the truth.
...but did she have to begin her remarks with this?
"Dr. Rice, before I get to my formal remarks, you no doubt will be confirmed -- that's at least what we think."
What's the point of even having these hearings? It's like reading the last page of a new novel first.

 

You've Got To Be Kidding Me

"We are really looking at it and we've had a lot of interest from Broadway."
So sayeth Donald Trump at an NBC press conference, talking about the possibility of turning The Apprentice into a Broadway musical.

What number are we up to as far as The Seven Signs of the Apocalypse are concerned? Let's see, we've got (in no particular order):
• The Second Coronation of George W. Bush
• Fox's Who's Your Daddy?
Governor Schwarzenegger
• The Olsen Twins in New York (in my neighborhood, no less)
• Paris Hilton, Stupid Whore
The Apprentice: The Musical
• Mariah Carey's 10th CD, "The Emancipation of Mimi," scheduled for release later this wint...
Oh shit.



 

John Kerry Wants Our Help


However, we'd like his help as well. So, you can go here to sign Kerry's petition that reads in part:
Mr. President, stop rewarding incompetence, start demanding accountability, and for the sake of troops in Iraq, replace Donald Rumsfeld.
And then, in the box where it says "Tell Us What You Think," write something along the lines of what I wrote:
I'm signing this on the condition that you lead the way in a filibuster against Condoleeza Rice. Show us that you have a pair Senator.
Seriously, we cannot reward a single one of George W. Bush's failures, especially this smiling, incompetent boob:

rice

 

  • Saluting Exploiting Those Who Serve
  • Saluting
    President Bush on Tuesday kicked off three days of celebrations marking his second-term inauguration by saluting America's war veterans
    Celebrate Good Times!

    soldier
    A third American troop died in fighting in Iraq's troubled Anbar province, west of Baghdad, the military said Tuesday. Two other soldiers assigned to the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force were also killed in action there on Monday.

    January 17, 2005

     

    MLK, Clinton & the Democratic Party


    Great post from Digby over at Hullabaloo. Seriously worth reading and sharing.

     

    Didn't I Read This in The Onion a Few Weeks Ago?


    From Reuters:
    Pentagon Spurned Plan to Initiate Enemy Homosexuality

    The U.S. military rejected a 1994 proposal to develop an "aphrodisiac" to spur homosexual activity among enemy troops but is hard at work on other less-than-lethal weapons, defense officials said Sunday.

    The idea of fostering homosexuality among the enemy figured in a declassified six-year, $7.5 million request from a laboratory at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio for funding of non-lethal chemical weapon research...

    Another idea involved creating "severe and lasting halitosis" to help sniff out fighters trying to blend with civilians...

    "We feel it's very important to offer our deployed service members and their commanders a greater range of options in dealing with increasingly complex operational environments," said (Captain Dan) McSweeny, of the Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate.
    Apparently, Osama is able to hide so well because of his minty fresh breath:
    As for perhaps the most notorious terrorist, Osama bin Laden, the administration has so far been unsuccessful in its attempt to locate the mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Asked why, (President) Bush said, "Because he's hiding."

    January 16, 2005

     

    "An Accountability Moment"


    The Big Turd Sandwich believes (or was told to say) that because he received a total of 62,028,194 votes and a whopping 3,000,582 more people voted for him over John Kerry (out of 186 million eligible voters - 60,239,359 of whom voted against him*, 63,732,447 of whom decided they couldn't be bothered to vote), he is now "The President of Everybody." This impressive "mandate" also means that no one in America holds him or anyone in his administration accountable for the mess they've made in Iraq:
    "We had an accountability moment, and that's called the 2004 elections," Bush said in an interview with The Washinton Post. "The American people listened to different assessments made about what was taking place in Iraq, and they looked at the two candidates, and chose me."
    Bush must also think his "overwhelming" victory was a mandate to continue playing dress up; for the occassion of the Post interview, his sartorial choice was "a blue Air Force One flight jacket with a red tie and crisp white shirt":

    President of Everybody
    I don't believe it's possible for me to hate this man anymore than I already do.

    (*source: Wikipedia)

    January 15, 2005

     

    I Never Thought I'd Say This But...


    ...Hugh Grant rocks.*

    From the Tsunami Aid - A ("I'm a Celebrity and Look How Much I Care") Concert for Hope:
    "Hello America. I am always just slightly uneasy when showbiz people stand up and appear to be telling people what they should be thinking or feeling or doing with their money, but, uh, all I can say is, I've written a check and I'm famously stingy. So, um, here for your amusement are Roger Waters and Eric Clapton with an old Pink Floyd number, 'Wish You Were Here'.'"
    And I'm tempted to call up and ask for Brad Pitt and tell him I'll donate $500 if he gets up and punches out Jay Leno the next time he gets on camera and opens his big, fat stupid pie hole.

    *Clearly I had had a little too much wine when I posted this last night - Krup


     

    America's Cheerleaders!


    The Red, White, Black & Blue Cheerleading Squad:

    cheerleaders


    (clockwise from right: Captain George W. Bush, Co-Captain Donald Rumsfeld, Stunt Coordinator Charles Graner, Coach & Advisor Alberto Gonzales and Dance Choreographer Lynndie England [center photo] with Graner and members of the Junior Varsity)

    Editor's Note: You'd think Army Spc. Charles Graner Jr. would have realized that the "thumbs-up" pose was completely inappropriate for greeting reporters right after being convicted of assault, conspiracy, maltreatment of detainees, committing indecent acts and dereliction of duty. But then again, how smart can this yahoo be?

    Graner at Abu Graner


    Abu Ghraib prison photos courtesy of Antiwar.com

    January 14, 2005

     

    What Are You Doing Thursday?


    Lots of options:

    01) Do nothing
    02) Spend nothing*
    03) Wear black
    04) Turn your back
    05) Pray and fast
    06) Don't drive
    07) Go to a funeral
    08) Donate $120

    or

    09) Hit the streets, park your ass in the bleachers and seriously protest this Bush Vogue cocky fucker's $40 million Republican circle jerk.

    *By the way, I agree with Neal:
    First, if anyone has been following the decline of the dollar against the euro and our rising trade deficit, they'll know Bush and his people neither understand nor care about commerce. Second, how will boycotting the purchase, as (novelist Stephen) King says, of "a loaf of bread, a gallon of beer, a pack of Pampers, or the daily newspaper," send any kind of message at all to people who are spending the day attending $40 million worth of inaugural balls? Does he think that Treasury Secretary John Snow is going to wake up on the 21st and say, "gee, the drawers at the Target in Skokie, Illinois, were a little short yesterday. I must alert the President!"? Third, what if some person whose family depends on him or her driving to work every day needs a tank of gas? Are they going to skip out and get fired because some anti-globalization freaks tell them that a tight wallet is the only way to let the President know that the anti-Iraq-war forces mean business?

    If the protest really happens, which it won't, not in any significant way, small businesses would find themselves in a day's hole from which they cannot extricate themselves, particularly since anyone who's likely to participate probably frequents independent businesses anyway. If you live in Brooklyn and don't eat at that Ethiopian restaurant like you were planning, in what way does that hurt George W. Bush? It doesn't. It just hurts a neighborhood restaurant.
    However, I do recommend that you Buy Blue.

     

    "Saddam Hussein was a Unique Threat.
    And the World is Better Off Without Him in Power."

    - George W. Bush, 2nd Presidential Debate -

    Well George, we now know for certain that Saddam was not a threat (actually, we've known for quite a long time), so please tell me how the world is better off:
    Price spikes have turned onions into a luxury. There is barely any electricity, and the Iraqi telephone networks are so bad that a call-in show with the prime minister had to be canceled...

    An aura of resignation has settled over Iraqis as services deteriorate despite promises of improvement. Not even U.S.-backed government officials expect an upturn any time soon...

    Faced with constant violence and with everyday life turning into a struggle, many Iraqis who can afford to leave have done so, to countries such as Jordan and Lebanon. People with less money have fled to Syria, which is less picky about the financial position of Iraqis it lets in...

    Those who remain have to deal with a lack of fuel and electricity and rising prices that make most things beyond the reach of ordinary people...

    A cylinder of liquefied gas for cooking now costs 5,000-10,0000 dinars ($3.50-7) compared with 2,000 dinars two or three months ago and 500 dinars during Saddam Hussein's rule...

    "We have simply stopped buying food beyond rations. Our homes are freezing because kerosene is expensive and often not even available," said Raqia, a poor housewife.

    "Before we used to curse Saddam Hussein when the electricity went out for a couple of hours a day or so. Now we are lucky if we get that much."
    Now I get it: The world IS better off...compared to the situation in Iraq. Brilliant strategy Georgie Boy. Oh, but wait:
    In a major new study, the CIA’s National Intelligence Council says Iraq has replaced Afghanistan as the training ground for the next generation of "professionalized" terrorists, officials at the CIA director’s intelligence think-tank said today.

    Iraq provides terrorists with "a training ground, a recruitment ground, the opportunity for enhancing technical skills," said David Low, the national intelligence officer for transnational threats. "There is even, under the best scenario, over time, the likelihood that some of the jihadists who are not killed there will, in a sense, go home, wherever home is, and will therefore disperse to various other countries."
    Makes you feel safer, don't it?

     

    America's Future Rocks Today...

    ...or One Night in HELL:
    The talent lineup for President Bush's upcoming inaugural bash is missing one American Badass--and we ain't talking Hilary Duff.

    As expected, Kid Rock didn't make the cut when the roster of celebrities and performers was unveiled Thursday.

    America's Future Rocks Today...the Jan. 18 concert, hosted by Bush twins, and alleged Rock fans, Jenna and Barbara...will now feature a decidedly more wholesome lineup of singers, including teen queen Duff, up-and-comer JoJo, Gloria Estefan, 3 Doors Down and 2003 American Idol champ Ruben Studdard. The two-hour event, held at D.C. Armory Stadium Complex, will also feature video clips and "guest speakers" (Mom and Dad perhaps?).
    I bet Jen & Barb are bummed they won't be able to do jello shots with the man who penned these sensitive lyrics:
    "Pimp of the Nation, I could be it/As a matter of a fact, I foresee it/But only pimpin' hoes with the big tush/While you be left pimpin' Barbara Bush."

    January 13, 2005

     

    No WMDs? I'm Shocked!

    "Well, like you, I felt like we'd find weapons of mass destruction," (President Bush) said, according to excerpts released from an ABC television interview.

    "Or like many, many here in the United States, many around the world, the United Nations thought he had weapons of mass destruction, and so, therefore, one, we need to find out what went wrong in the intelligence gathering. Saddam was dangerous. And .. the world was safer without him in power."
    You "felt" you'd find them? Like me? Like "many here in the United States," "around the world"...and the U.N.? Huh. I believe "many" felt otherwise. For example, Scott Ritter, the former chief weapons inspector in Iraq for the United Nations, felt the existence of WMDs in Iraq was extremely unlikely:
    While we were never able to provide 100 percent certainty regarding the disposition of Iraq's proscribed weaponry, we did ascertain a 90-95 percent level of verified disarmament. This figure takes into account the destruction or dismantling of every major factory associated with prohibited weapons manufacture, all significant items of production equipment, and the majority of the weapons and agent produced by Iraq.
    Many of our own intelligence gatherers were also skeptical:
    In early October (2002)...the CIA released a declassified version of its new National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq. ...the CIA report had "exposed a sharp dispute among US intelligence experts" over Iraq's arsenal.
    As were a number of military officers and diplomats:
    These officials...charge that administration hawks have exaggerated evidence of the threat that Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein poses—including distorting his links to the al-Qaida terrorist network.... They charge that the administration squelches dissenting views and that intelligence analysts are under intense pressure to produce reports supporting the White House's argument that Saddam poses such an immediate threat to the United States that pre-emptive military action is necessary.
    And let's not forget the "focus groups"
    President Bush: Two points. One is that democracy's a beautiful thing, and that people are allowed to express their opinion, and I welcome people's right to say what they believe. Secondly, evidently, some in the world don't view Saddam Hussein as a risk to peace. I respectfully disagree.

    NPR: The president said war is his last choice, and that the real risk for the future would come from doing nothing. As for the size of the protests, and specifically the implications for Prime Minister Tony Blair, his staunch ally in Britain, the president had this to say.

    Pres. BUSH: First of all, you know, size of protests--it's like deciding, `Well, I'm going to decide policy based upon a focus group.' The role of a leader is to decide policy based upon, in this case, the security of the people.
    My conclusion? The Big Turd Sandwich is either:
    a) A complete and total moron,
    b) A big fat liar, or
    c) A big fat, complete and total lying moron
    And by the way:
    Asked whether it was worth it to invade Iraq even without WMD found, Bush replied, "Oh, absolutely."
    For more fun, go here to read the Bush Administration's "Before and After" WMD quotes, including these two gems:
    "Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction. There is no doubt he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies, and against us." - Vice President Dick Cheney, Aug. 26, 2002.

    "We got it wrong. We have seen nothing to suggest that he had actual stockpiles." - Powell, Oct. 1, 2004.
    And go vist The Poor Man for a nifty chart comparing the results of two recently completed investigations: "Rathergate" vs. "Saddam's WMD". Enjoy!

    January 10, 2005

     

    Bricca-Bracca, Firecracker,
    Sis-Boom-Bah...
    Naked Pile-Ons, Leashing Inmates,
    Rah-Rah-Rah!

    A lawyer for Charles Graner, accused ringleader in the Iraq prisoner abuse scandal, on Monday compared piling naked prisoners into pyramids to cheerleader shows and said leashing inmates was also acceptable prisoner control.

    "Don't cheerleaders all over America form pyramids six to eight times a year. Is that torture?" Guy Womack, Graner's attorney, said in opening arguments to the 10-member U.S. military jury at the reservist sergeant's court-martial.
    I don't know. I'd have to ask this guy:

    Bush League

    January 09, 2005

     

    Enough


    I know that's what I've had. And I'm not alone:
    A CNN/USA Today/Gallop Poll taken December 17-19 asked if going to war in Iraq was the right choice. 48% said yes, 51% said no. A year ago 63% approved, 35% disapproved.

    Meanwhile, CNN/USA Today/Gallop found that Bush’s current overall job approval rating is 49% positive; 46% negative. In the week after the election the figures were 53% positive; 44% negative. An ABC/Washington Post poll gave Bush 48% vs. 49% disapproval. Fox News got 48% positive; 45% negative and Zogby got it 50-50.
    So, more than half of the country disapproves of the war in Iraq and close to half or half of the country, depending on which poll you believe, disapproves of The Big Turd Sandwich. So when is the rest of the country going to wake up? How much more of the following can they take:
    Americans acknowledge hitting wrong target in Iraqi airstrike, killing at least 5

    BAGHDAD, Iraq -- The United States military said it dropped a 500-pound bomb on the wrong house outside the northern city of Mosul on Saturday, killing five people. The man who owned the house said the bomb killed 14 people, and an Associated Press photographer said seven of them were children.
    Well, democracy is a "messy thing."
    Seven members of 69th Infantry are killed by bomb in Iraq, bringing total regiment dead to 10

    TAJI, Iraq - Seven members of Manhattan's 69th Infantry
    Regiment, which lost two area firefighters to a car bomb a little more than a month ago, were killed yesterday afternoon when a roadside bomb exploded near an armored vehicle carrying the GIs.
    These are reservists from the Army National Guard. Shouldn't they be protecting us at home? Instead, our government is admittingly sending them into harm's way with equipment known to be susceptible to attacks:
    Bombs exploit vehicles' weaknesses

    The armored vehicle destroyed in Thursday's attack on a New York-based reserve unit in Iraq is one of the Army's biggest - but still was no match for an Iraqi insurgency bomb that was also bigger than most, too, defense officials said Friday.

    Seven reservists killed by that roadside blast were riding in a Bradley Fighting Vehicle, a personnel carrier designed to be more lethal and battle-ready than the armored Humvees at the center of recent controversy regarding troop vulnerability...

    The attack, coupled with the Pentagon's recent admission that efforts to thwart roadside-bomb attacks largely have failed, signals the danger facing U.S. forces in Iraq, as even the Army's biggest vehicles have proven vulnerable to a large and well-timed bombing in a nation where there is no shortage of bomb-making materials.

    The Bradley came under sharp criticism in the mid-1980s. Some members of Congress then charged the vehicle didn't have enough armor to withstand anti-tank rounds, and was susceptible to catching fire and to having an attack touch off its own ammunition - two things that happened Thursday.

    The Army later ordered some improvements, and those criticisms have quieted down since then, with military analysts saying the Bradley has performed ably in Iraq. Others say the Army's new Stryker vehicles are preferable, with a roughly comparable capability in armor protection, while being lighter and more mobile.
    "No shortage of bomb-making materials?" How can that be?
    Explosives were looted after Iraq invasion

    Iraqi officials reported that thieves looted 377 tons of powerful explosives from an unguarded site after the US-led invasion last year, the top UN nuclear official said yesterday. And a former weapons inspector said he had counted about 100 other unguarded weapons sites that may have been stripped of munitions for use in the wave of attacks against US soldiers and Iraqi civilians...

    ''The military did not view guarding these sites as their responsibility," Kay said, recalling that he witnessed US troops guarding the gates of the Tuwaitha nuclear facility while Iraq civilians carried away radioactive pipes and metal drums through other exits.

    ''There just were not enough troops to guard the number of sites. It was just crazy."
    "Not enough troops?" Imagine that:
    200,000 troops needed to subdue Iraq

    On February 25, 2003, Commanding General Shinseki, Chief of Staff of the Army, told Congress that it would take 200,000 troops to occupy Iraq, about twice the number of troops currently in Iraq. However, General Shinseki was chided and rebuked by the Bush Administration. Rather than listen to General Shinseki, Secretary Rumsfeld opted to favor the Marines over the Army and backed the idea that once again the Air Force would bomb the enemy into submission...

    Retired US Army General Barry McCaffrey said that Secretary Rumsfeld had ignored warnings that he was underestimating the number of troops needed. “If they (the Iraqis) actually fight . . . it’s going to be brutal, dangerous work and we could take, bluntly, a couple to 3,000 casualties,” he said.
    "Bomb the enemy into submission?" Um...
    Iraq battling more than 200,000 insurgents: intelligence chief

    Iraq's insurgency counts more than 200,000 active fighters and sympathisers, the country's national intelligence chief told AFP, in the bleakest assessment to date of the armed revolt waged by Sunni Muslims.

    "I think the resistance is bigger than the US military in Iraq. I think the resistance is more than 200,000 people," Iraqi intelligence service director General Mohamed Abdullah Shahwani said in an interview ahead of the January 30 elections.

    Shahwani said the number includes at least 40,000 hardcore fighters but rises to more than 200,000 members counting part-time fighters and volunteers who provide rebels everything from intelligence and logistics to shelter.

    The numbers far exceed any figure presented by the US military in Iraq, which has struggled to get a handle on the size of the resistance since toppling Saddam Hussein's regime in April 2003.

    A senior US military officer declined to endorse or dismiss the spy chief's numbers.

    "As for the size of the insurgency, we don't have good resolution on the size," the officer said on condition of anonymity.
    What the hell does "good resolution" mean? Who the hell's in charge of this war?!?!?

    My wife and I are friendly with our local firefighters (well, actually, my wife and our dogs are the main attractions; most of them could care less about me). I remember having to hold my tongue a year and a half ago when Lenny, one of the more vocal firefighters, ranted about the "stupid" New Yorkers who marched down Broadway to protest the war in Iraq (my wife and I were, of course, two of the "stupid" marchers). I kept quiet out of respect: I know he had been deceived into thinking this war was revenge for what happened on 9/11 (our firehouse lost 10 men). I haven't seen Lenny in a long time, but I wonder if his views have changed at all. How many more of his brothers have to die in Iraq until he sees the light? Does he now realize that the war protestors support our troops more than our current government?
    Dishonorable Discharge
    Bush Administration Slashes Veterans Benefits


    Over the last year and a half, President Bush has staged more than a third of his major public events before active military personnel or veterans. His rowdy “Hoo-ah”s and policy pronouncements — even when they have nothing to do with military matters — are predictably greeted with rabid applause.

    But those easy and unquestioning crowds at military bases and American Legion halls will be increasingly hard to come by as soldiers and veterans start to notice the string of insults and budget cuts inflicted upon them...

    * With 130,000 soldiers still in the heat of battle in Iraq and more fighting and dying in Afghanistan, the Bush administration sought this year to cut $75 a month from the “imminent danger” pay added to soldiers’ paychecks when in battle zones. The administration sought to cut by $150 a month the family separation allowance offered to those same soldiers and others who serve overseas away from their families. Although they were termed “wasteful and unnecessary” by the White House, Congress blocked those cuts this year, largely because of Democratic votes.
    * This year’s White House budget for Veterans Affairs cut $3 billion from VA hospitals—despite 9,000 casualties in Iraq and as aging Vietnam veterans demand more care. VA spending today averages $2,800 less per patient than nine years ago.
    * The administration also proposed levying a $250 annual charge on all Priority 8 veterans—those with “non-service-related illnesses”—who seek treatment at VA facilities, and seeks to close VA hospitals to Priority 8 veterans who earn more than $26,000 a year.
    * Until protests led to a policy change, the Bush administration also was charging injured GIs from Iraq $8 a day for food when they arrived for medical treatment at the Fort Stewart, Georgia, base where most injured are treated.
    * In mid-October, the Pentagon, at the request of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, announced plans to shutter 19 commissaries—military-run stores that offer discounted food and merchandise that helps low-paid enlisted troops and their families get by—along with the possiblility of closing 19 more.
    * At the same time, the Pentagon also announced it was trying to determine whether to shutter 58 military-run schools for soldiers’ children at 14 military installations.
    * The White House is seeking to block a federal judge’s award of damages to a group of servicemen who sued the Iraqi government for torture during the 1991 Gulf War. The White House claims the money, to come from Iraqi assets confiscated by the United States, is needed for that country’s reconstruction.
    * The administration beat back a bipartisan attempt in Congress to add $1.3 billion for VA hospitals to Bush’s request of $87 billion for war and reconstruction in Iraq and Afghanistan.
    * In perhaps its most dangerous policy, the White House is refusing to provide more than 40,000 active-duty troops in Iraq with Kevlar body armor, leaving it up to them and their families to buy this life-saving equipment. This last bit of penny-pinching prompted Pentagon critic and Vietnam veteran Col. David Hackworth to point to “the cost of the extraordinary security” during Bush’s recent trip to Asia, which he noted grimly “would cover a vest for every soldier” in Iraq.
    And, let us not forget, "Bring them on":
    "There are some who feel like that the conditions are such that they can attack us there. My answer is bring them on," Bush said. "We've got the force necessary to deal with the security situation."

    White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said Bush's combative tone was not meant to invite attacks on Americans. "I think what the president was expressing there is his confidence in the men and women of the military to handle the military mission they still remain in the middle of," Fleischer said.

    But Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., called the president's language "irresponsible and inciteful."

    "I am shaking my head in disbelief," Lautenberg said. "When I served in the Army in Europe during World War II, I never heard any military commander — let alone the commander in chief — invite enemies to attack U.S. troops."
    The entire country should be shaking it's collective head (and not just for the bungling of this war) but for some reason (9/11, 9/11, 9/11) Bush and his inept administration continue to get a pass from half of our citizenry.

    And, don't even get me started on the Democrats...

    Too late:
    Not with a bang but a whimper
    As the protest against Bush's certification fell flat and they rolled over for Gonzales, it was a day of humiliation and futility for Democrats.

    For an hour or so Thursday morning, Alberto Gonzales had played a lawyerly game of Slip 'n' Slide with members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. That 2002 memo in which he called portions of the Geneva Convention "quaint" and "obsolete"? Gonzales disavowed it. His view of the president's powers during wartime? A "hypothetical" question that Gonzales wouldn't answer. The legal opinion that seemed to authorize torture by U.S. troops? Gonzales said he couldn't remember who asked for it, then blamed the Department of Justice for the conclusions it reached.

    Democratic Sen. Joe Biden sat quietly, listening to it all. On another day, in another political reality, he might have been watching a presidential nominee self-destruct. The man who would be attorney general was coming off as evasive, as ill-prepared, as unwilling to accept responsibility for anything that happened on his watch as George W. Bush's White House counsel. But when Biden finally had his chance to put a question to Gonzales, he delivered this clear message instead: "You're going to be confirmed."

    Thursday was the first serious work day for the 109th Congress, and it was a day of humiliation and futility for the Democrats who still have jobs on Capitol Hill. Republicans picked up four Senate seats and three House seats in November, and signs of the Democrats' increasing powerlessness were everywhere Thursday. In a hearing room in the Hart Senate Office Building, Biden and his Democratic colleagues went through the motions of questioning an attorney general nominee whose confirmation is a foregone conclusion. On the floor of the House of Representatives, a handful of Democrats launched a meaningless protest against the certification of Bush's reelection.
    Prediction: If this behavior continues, Democrats will lose even more House and Senate seats in 2006. I'm already sorry I pulled the lever for Charles "Gonzales is Better Than Ashcroft" Schumer. Yes, Chuck, and Hitler was better than Satan.

    It will be interesting to see how the Dems play the latest outrage to come out of the Bush Administration:
    Education Dept. paid commentator to promote law

    Seeking to build support among black families for its education reform law, the Bush administration paid a prominent black pundit $240,000 to promote the law on his nationally syndicated television show and to urge other black journalists to do the same.

    The campaign, part of an effort to promote No Child Left Behind (NCLB), required commentator Armstrong Williams "to regularly comment on NCLB during the course of his broadcasts," and to interview Education Secretary Rod Paige for TV and radio spots that aired during the show in 2004.
    If our "liberal media" is any indication, the Dems will probably underplay it and shy away from attacking Bush. Here's the AP headline for the same story:
    Columnist Dropped Over Payments From Gov't
    Notice the headline didn't say Education Dept. or Bush Administration? Can you imagine if Clinton had done this? The headline would probably have read:
    Clinton Uses Taxpayers' Money to Payoff Liberal Columnist
    Don't the Democrats remember 8 solid years of Clinton-bashing and investigations by both the media and Republicans? $50 million of our hard-earned tax dollars were spent on the Indepent Council's Whitewater investigation and, yet, the only thing Ken Starr could find on Clinton was that he lied about an extra-marital affair to protect his family (that's $38 million more than what we spent on the 9/11 commission). Meanwhile, Bush and/or members of his administration lie us into a war that has so far killed 1,353 U.S. soldiers, wounded 10,252 and contributed to the death of 15,000 to 98,000 Iraqis (I guess we can't get "good resolution" on the number of innocent civilians we've killed); condone the use of torture in Abu Gharib and Guantanamo Bay; out an undercover CIA operative; and buy off at least one conservative columnist with taxpayer dollars. Instead of being impeached, Bush is named "Person of the Year."

    Like I said: Enough already.

     

    Dog Is My Co-Pilot

    good boy


    This is an amazing story:
    CHINNAKALAPET, India - "Run away!" her husband screamed from a rooftop after he spotted the colossal waves. The command was simple but it presented Sangeeta with a dilemma: She had three sons, and only two arms.

    She grabbed the youngest two and ran — figuring the oldest, 7-year-old Dinakaran, had the best chance of outrunning the tsunami churning toward her home.

    But Dinakaran didn't follow. He headed for the safest place he knew, the small family hut just 40 yards from the seashore.

    Sangeeta thought she would never see him again. The family dog saw to it that she did.

    While water lapped at Sangeeta's heels as she rushed up the hill, the scruffy yellow dog named Selvakumar ducked into the hut after Dinakaran.

    Nipping and nudging, he did everything in his canine power to get the boy up the hill...

    "That dog grabbed me by the collar of my shirt," the boy said from under some trees at Pondicherry University, where the family is waiting for relief. "He dragged me out."

    Sangeeta said she wept with joy when she saw her son walking up to her, with Selvakumar by his side.

    The Tamils of south India believe that talking about the death of a living person can make it so, so Sangeeta didn't want to mull over her decision or speculate how she would have felt had her son not survived.

    She did say that she believes some special spirit, perhaps her brother-in-law's, resides in the young yellow dog.

    "That dog is my God," said Sangeeta — with Dinakaran sitting on the ground at her feet and Selvakumar sleeping on the warm asphalt next to him.
    And, I'm sure you've all heard this other animal/tsunami story by now:
    JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (Reuters) -- Wild animals seem to have escaped the Indian Ocean tsunami, adding weight to notions they possess a "sixth sense" for disasters, experts said on Thursday.

    Sri Lankan wildlife officials have said the giant waves that killed over 24,000 people along the Indian Ocean island's coast seemingly missed wild beasts, with no dead animals found.

    "No elephants are dead, not even a dead hare or rabbit. I think animals can sense disaster. They have a sixth sense. They know when things are happening," H.D. Ratnayake, deputy director of Sri Lanka's Wildlife Department, said on Wednesday.
    But the reason animals were spared while 150,000 humans were killed has nothing to do with a sixth sense: The real reason is that the animals are obviously devout Christians...at least that's what one has to conclude based on Tom Delay's whacko performance last week at the Congressional Prayer Service, "right after colleagues had spoken of Bob Matsui and Shirley Chisholm, and of the tragic loss of lives from the Asian tsunami":
    A reading from the Gospel, in Matthew 7:21 through 27. Not every one who says to me, "Lord, Lord," will enter the kingdom of heaven; but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.

    Many will say to me on that day, "Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name? Did we not drive out demons in your name? Did we not do mighty deeds in your name?

    '"Then I will declare to them solemnly, 'I never knew you: depart from me, you evil doers.'"

    Everyone who listens to these words of mine, and acts on them, will be like a wise man, who built his house on a rock:

    The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew, and buffeted the house, but it did not collapse; it has been set solidly on rock.

    And everyone who listens to these words of mine, but does not act on them, will be like a fool who built his house on sand:

    The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew, and buffeted the house, and it collapsed and was completely ruined.
    Don't believe me? You can listen to the most powerful person in da House, here.

    January 06, 2005

     

    It's Nice to Know There's at Least
    Two or Three Democrats with Actual Spines


    Congratulations to California Sen. Barbara Boxer and Ohio Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones for formally lodging an objection to the vote certification:
    "This objection does not have at its root the hope or even the hint of overturning or challenging the victory of the president," Tubbs Jones said. Boxer said it was a matter of "electoral justice."

    Their objection forced the House and Senate to halt their joint session, usually a routine and ceremonial quadrennial affair.
    I would have preferred something a bit more aggressive, but it's the thought that counts.

    Meanwhile, Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont took a swipe at Alberto "Torture is Quaint" Gonzales:
    "Those abuses serve as recruiting posters for the terrorists," Leahy said at a Senate confirmation hearing for Gonzales, President Bush's White House counsel.

    "America's troops and citizens are at greater risk because of those actions," (continued) Leahy..."The searing photographs from Abu Ghraib (prison in Iraq) have made it harder to create and maintain the alliances we need to prevail."
    But, no matter: The majority of our wimpy Democrats will roll over as soon as anyone questions their patriotism.

    It's gonna be a long four years...

    Update: If you'd like to thank Senator Boxer, go here and here.


    January 05, 2005

     

    Well, Duh

    The Bush administration is hoping that massive U.S. relief aid to tsunami victims will lessen anti-American sentiment in the Muslim world and bolster the fight against terrorism, Secretary of State Colin Powell said yesterday.

    "It turns out that the majority of those nations affected were Muslim nations," Powell said. "We'd be doing it regardless of religion, but I think ... [U.S. aid] does give the Muslim world and the rest of the world ... an opportunity to see American generosity, American values in action."

    Humanitarian aid also "dries up those pools of dissatisfaction that might give rise to terrorist activity," he said.
    I'm just a lowly blogger but I could've told you that two weeks ago. How stupid are these people who are supposedly running our country? It obviously took them awhile to put 2 and 2 together otherwise they wouldn't have intially led with their measly $15 million offer.

    After 9/11, The Bush Administration had a similar opportunity to "give the Muslim world...an opportunity to see...American values in action" but, instead, chose to give them a shocking and awesome demonstration of our military might by blowing the crap out of Iraq. Dumbshits.

    (source: The Associated Press)

    January 04, 2005

     

    Say No To Torture


    From MoveOn:
    On Thursday, the Senate will consider Alberto Gonzales' nomination to become Attorney General, replacing John Ashcroft. Gonzales is the White House counsel notorious for opening the door to torture at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay prisons. Senators should view the Gonzales nomination very skeptically, given this radical history. As part of the upcoming hearings, we're calling on Senators to ask Gonzales to unequivocally renounce torture as an instrument of American policy.
    Sign here (MoveOn) and here (Act for Change).

     

    I've Got Your Boba Fett Right Here


    I give and I give and I give. And what do I get?
    "Not to look a gift horse in the mouth, but I would have liked to see the Boba Fett first appearance" and "Very funny, missing only the Boba Fett cartoon in the middle and Tim Conway (or Harvey Corman again) as a robot instructor" and You should have included the scene with Carrie Fisher stumbling around like she barely had time to toss aside her crack pipe before the director yelled 'Action!'"
    (and don't even get me started on the anonymous moron who accused me of being a racist)

    So, because I'm obviously a blog-whore, here's your cartoon Boba, extra Harvey* & "Crack Pipe" Carrie.


    fett

    Click the Fett

    Love,

    Your Cyber-Pal Krup


    *Due to technical difficulties, I can only provide you with a couple of freeze frames of Harvey Korman's tour-de-force as a robot instructor. Why, you ask? Time for a Helpful Hint from Krup:
    If you are planning to make DVDs for your friends, do not use adhesive labels. Either mark them with a special felt tip marker (such as this product from iRiver) or splurge and get an Epson printer that can print labels directly onto your discs (you'll need printable inkjet blank DVD discs). The reason? DVD players can get extremely hot. If a disc with an adhesive label is in a player long enough, the label may start to peel causing the disc to get jammed in your player.
    This, indeed, was the fate of my Star Wars Holiday Special bootleg DVD. As a result, I had to open up the player and dig out the disc which caused major disc damage. It's lucky I was able to get the damn thing to play at all. Most of the disc skips like a Mofo. And I can't access the "knee-slapping" Harvey Korman robot scene at all. However, I have provided a "hi-larious" romantic interlude between Bea Arthur and Harvey, playing his third character in the special (I'm guessing the producers blew their wad on the Jefferson Starship special effects so they saved some money by getting Korman to play three differenct roles).

    January 03, 2005

     

    A Few of My Favorite Things
    (Best of '04 Edition)


    The following items are in no particular order. Nor were they all necessarily products of 2004 - but it's the year I experienced them. And yes, I know I'm a walking contradiction: These lists are as silly as it gets but I figured a day away from death and destruction is not such a bad thing after all.

    The Best:

    01) Nick Cave: Abattoir Blues/Lyre of Orpheus (2 powerful discs of gospel-fueled ballads, rock 'n' roll and country blues by a true survivor)

    nick


    02) Tom Waits: Real Gone + his hilarious interview segment on Letterman (someone get this man his own TV show)

    tom

    03) The Station Agent (one of those movies that cruises along like a really good song: not a single, wrong note)

    station agent


    04) The Confessions of Max Tivoli by Andrew Seen Greer (the haunting story of a man who, after entering the world in the tiny body of a 70 year old, "grows" physically younger as he ages; also a neat history of late 19th-early 20th century San Francisco)

    Max

    05) Howard Dean (pre-Iowa; post-Nov. 2nd) Dean

    06) Elvis Costello: The Delivery Man (not his best but better than most of garbage out there)
    delivery


    07) Lucinda Williams: Live at Central Park Summerstage (the loosest I've ever seen her; a true honor to have been in the crowd; I'm still waiting for that live disc Lu...)

    williams

    08) Marianne Faithfull: Before The Poison (finally, an idea that sounded good on paper - Marianne Faithfull + Polly Jean Harvey - actually worked)

    faithful


    09) Wilco: A Ghost is Born + Live at Radio City Music Hall (Jeff Tweedy turns into a bonafide rock star and loses not a single ounce of cred)
    Wilco

    10) The Fortress of Solitude by Jonathan Lethem (comic books, the birth of grafitti & hip-hop and the gentrification of Brooklyn, not to mention great storytelling)

    Fortress


    11) Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (two words: Kate Winslet)

    eternal

    12) Kill Bill Vol. 2 (two words: Q & U)Kill Bill

    13) Fahrenheit 9/11 (two words: My Pet Goat)

    Fahrenheit

    14) Bernard Kerik's "Nanny Problem" (or the end of Rudy G's undeserved sainthood)

    DroopyDroopy2

    15) Lost & 24 (the reason they invented TIVO)abc24

    16) The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon (the best book with an autistic narrator, ever)

    Curious Incident


    17) Bruce Springsteen & The E-Street Band: Vote for Change Concert on Sundance Channel (Bruce made you believe that the good guys were gonna win this year...guess I'm a sucker)

    Bruce


    18) Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus (I'll never understand why Mick thought the Stones were upstaged by The Who; they were indeed great but the Stones were mesmerizing)

    stones

    19) Any Book Written by Richard Russo (probably the most famous little-known writer in America - and the best; if you've never read him, run, don't walk, and read Straight Man; and I lied: I've been reading Russo for a number of years...I just wanted to give him a shout out)
    Straight Man


    20) Air: Talkie Walkie (possibly my favorite album of '04; works both as wallpaper and music you have to pay attention to)

    Air

    21) The Grey Video (the multi-tasker of copyright violations)


    Grey Video



    22) We Decide (the best non-partisan political ad ever; a truer vision of America then the divided America of George W. Bush)


    we decide


    23) The 3 Presidential Debates (the smart, presidential Giant Douche clearly beat the crap out of the stupid, defensive Big Turd Sandwich; half of America decided not to pay attention, so perhaps this belongs on the list below)

    douche

    turd


    The Worst:

    01) November 2nd

    02) December 21st

    03) December 26th

    04)
    crap

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