Friday, March 30, 2007

The Great Pumpkin Speaks

Wow, you know you've screwed up if you're a republican and the Moonie Times takes a shot at you. Well, that's exactly what happened when Ohio's king of bad tans chose to speak at a ceremony presenting the Tuskegee Airmen the Congressional Medal Of Honor. From the Washington Times:

During his short speech to those in attendance, [John] Boehner six times mispronounced the group's name as the "Tusk-E-gee,'' eliciting audible groans from the front to the back of the Capitol Rotunda. One woman standing in front of me leaned to her companion and whispered, "This is so embarrassing, and he's from my state."

Perhaps making matters worse, almost all of Boehner's speech focused on the general accomplishments of American forces in World War II, paying little direct respect to those in the room.

As if to remove any doubt about the verbal kerfuffle, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell took the stage and began his speech by pronouncing the group's name correctly, while making a clear, if passing, glance in Boehner's direction. Immediately afterward, the entire crowd broke into applause at the correction.

Between this guy and Jean Schmidt, I'm sometimes embarrassed to tell people I'm from Ohio. I mean, forget party lines, why have we repeatedly elected two of the stupidest people in the Congress? Hopefully that is starting to change.

Mars Bitches!

In today's Washington Post Charles Krauthammer uses a not so clever rhetoric device to show that the war in Iraq is far more important war than the one in Afghanistan. As usual, he shows that he in no way grasps what is going on there. From the Washington Post:

Thought experiment: Bring in a completely neutral observer -- a Martian -- and point out to him that the United States is involved in two hot wars against radical Islamic insurgents. One is in Afghanistan, a geographically marginal backwater with no resources and no industrial or technological infrastructure. The other is in Iraq, one of the three principal Arab states, with untold oil wealth, an educated population, an advanced military and technological infrastructure that, though suffering decay in the later years of Saddam Hussein's rule, could easily be revived if it falls into the right (i.e., wrong) hands. Add to that the fact that its strategic location would give its rulers inordinate influence over the entire Persian Gulf region, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the Gulf states. Then ask your Martian: Which is the more important battle? He would not even understand why you are asking the question.

Al-Qaeda has provided the answer many times. Osama bin Laden, the one whose presence in Afghanistan (or some cave on the border) presumably makes it the central front in the war on terror, has been explicit that "the most . . . serious issue today for the whole world is this Third World War that is raging in Iraq." Al-Qaeda's No. 2, Ayman Zawahiri, has declared that Iraq "is now the place for the greatest battle of Islam in this era."

And it's not just what al-Qaeda says, it's what al-Qaeda does. Where are they funneling the worldwide recruits for jihad? Where do all the deranged suicidists who want to die for Allah gravitate? It's no longer Afghanistan but Iraq. That's because they recognize the greater prize.

Apparently Krauthammer's favorite martian is a neocon, and like Krauthammer he has it all wrong.

Al-Qaeda is in Iraq because we are there, they're there because the enemy of the enemy of the Iraqis are their friends. Do you really think that as hard as they are fighting us over the oil wealth that they are just going to turn around and give it to al-Qaeda if we leave? No, of course not. Whoever comes out on top in Iraq isn't going to be al-Qaeda, and they aren't going to share.

The Iraqis will drive al-Qaeda out of the country once we leave. We've already seen glimpses of that as the al-Qaeda - Sunni insurgent alliance has started to crack, and once we leave, it will end.

Now, as for the war in Iraq being their most serious issue today, that is true. But the question we should ask is not what, but why?

The answer is because we are there, because it's easy, because it's doable, and most importantly because it's cheap. There was a time when we defeated the Soviet Union in the Cold War. We did this by literally spending them to death. Al-Qaeda is in Iraq to do the same to us.

While it happens that sometimes people have to learn a lesson more than once, it is seldom that the teacher has to learn a lesson that was taught not that long ago.

Thursday, March 29, 2007


I believe this video is the classic crime of lying to Congress. It's hard to believe she can't remember anything. Perhaps someone should send Lurita Doan a bouquet of forget-me-nots.

Voter Fraud

There is a great op-ed in today's Washington Post by Michael Waldman and Justin Levitt that takes a look at voting fraud allegations and their relevance to the dismissal of US Attorney John McKay.

The fact is that widespread voter fraud as alleged by many republicans simply does not occur. We have a tough enough time getting people to go vote once, let alone get them to vote multiple times. I especially like this great line. From the Washington Post:

But the notion of widespread voter fraud, as these prosecutors found out, is itself a fraud. Firing a prosecutor for failing to find wide voter fraud is like firing a park ranger for failing to find Sasquatch.

This is true, and while the smarter republicans know that this is really about voter suppression, I am stunned by the number who actually believe there is massive voter fraud on the part of Democratic operatives.

It's cultish really, just like those in the GOP who actually believe global warming isn't happening, these people have been so brainwashed by the right wing noise machine that they are no longer capable of rational thought. As has been noted in my absence from blogging though, the world is far too complex for most people to buy into all the GOP talking points without looking like a mindless zombie, and this has an effect on all GOP positions, making them seem, well, just weird to everyday people.

It's a good thing for us, their purity is their poison, and the middle ground in this country isn't looking to swallow it.

I Return

As you know, this blog has been silent for the past couple of weeks. The reason for this is that a combination of workload and sleep deviation (not deprivation) have left me somewhat numb since the time change occurred. I was actually sleeping when normal people are supposed to be sleeping.

This is troubling to me, believe it or not, because like a lot of problem sleepers I really do fear having a normal sleep pattern. This fear is a lot like religious people fearing losing their faith, because insomnia is kind of like a religion in itself. There is a certain peace and solace that is achieved during the nether hours that I am sure is a lot like what people achieve through religion.

So, what happened while I was gone? Ha, a lot! It looks like Josh Marshall and his merry band of mischief makers have pushed a major scandal into the news realm, and sooner rather than later Abu Gonzales is going to have to go. Josh and the crew are raising money to expand operations, so consider push a few bucks their way.

Also, the Democrats finally passed legislation to end the war by the end of next year which Bush claims he will veto. Bush might want to reconsider now that his best friends in the neighborhood, the Saudis, have had their King Abdullah state that the occupation of Iraq is illegal. This is a complete turnaround from a few months ago when he summoned Dick Cheney to Riyadh to warn him against leaving Iraq in chaos.

Oh yea, David Gregory managed to thoroughly embarrass himself as he appeared on stage with the rapping MC Rove. (Warning: Seriously disturbing video)

Anyway, I'm back and this morning I got to see a CNN personality I've never seen before. Her name is Anjali Rao. All I can say is more please! Here's a pic. She truly is stunning.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Tidying Up

Since this blog has been dark for a week, I feel like I owe you an explanation. I'll get to that shortly.

More importantly though, I would like to express my condolences to Jules, whose father passed recently. Much sorrow.

Thursday, March 15, 2007


Blogger ate my post about the NCAA tournament, but I figure I ought to at least give you my first round upsets anyway. How ever will lose your pool without these shitty picks?

In the East I have Michigan St, George Washington, Oral Roberts, and Texas Tech. In the South I like Xavier and Long Beach St (A lot). In the Midwest I have Old Dominion and Georgia Tech. Lastly, in the West I took Villanova, and Virginia Commonwealth.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Hooker Time

Alleged Washington DC Madame Deborah Jeane Palfrey has turned over her phone records over to an undisclosed media outlet for help in identifying her 10,000 clients. Names, Damnit, we need names.


Um, Blogger, where did my last four posts go? Did they ever show up here? I gotta start writing this stuff in Word and copying and pasting them here if this is going to continue.

Damn, I had written a detailed analysis on the NCAA tournament and it's just gone. Fuck. I'm not retyping it.

Monday, March 12, 2007

I'm Alive

Just in case you might of thought that I died or something, this post proves you wrong. I've been busy, and a little burned out on writing here so I took a few days off.

But now I'm back just in time for the best week of the year. Yes, March Madness starts this week and the first week is always the best week. Speaking of basketball, a couple of things.

First, the Dick Vitale ads for Hooters has got to be the worst national ad campaign I've ever seen. The script is terrible, and the production values are even worse. Did they hire a high school AV club to shoot these ads?

Secondly, the University of North Carolina is a pretty prestigious university. Do you think they could maybe get Tyler Hansbrough a mask in which the eye holes line up with his eyes? What do they think he is? A fish?

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Is Anyone Else's Cable Screwing Up?

Mine keeps going through this long reset early in the morning. I mean, it's really long, like a half hour. It is really screwing up my ability to write on this blog.

This is one of the reasons I stay with Blogger. As much as it screws up, at least I don't have to troubleshoot the problems myself. I have enough problem with my own equipment without having to deal with that also. By the way, have I mentioned lately that Gateway sucks.

Lost Mojo

If there is one thing the purging of US Attorneys can show us about the administration, it's how much mojo the administration has lost, and how patently unaware of this fact they are. Let's take a look back at another US Attorney that was fired for prosecuting those who the administration sought to protect.

In 2002, one day after issuing subpoenas in an investigation of Jack Abramoff, the US Attorney for Guam, Frederick Black, was dismissed from the position by the administration. Do you remember hearing anything about it at the time? Probably not. It was as far off the radar screen as you can get.

In fact, I'd wager that the administration figured that since it drew no attention then, getting rid of some more US Attorneys who were or were not prosecuting the right people now would be no problem.

The administration was wrong though. This administration is now as lame duck as they come, and everything they do will be scrutinized with a fine tooth comb. The mojo is gone, and it isn't coming back.

Human Rights Abuse Report

The US has released its annual Human Rights Abuse Report. Sadly, it does not address our own abuses thus making the report less effective in its efforts to portray the abuses committed by other governments.

Even worse, Condi Rice came out with this bullshit statement to justify the report's lack of self-examination. "We do not issue these reports because we think ourselves perfect but rather because we know ourselves to be deeply imperfect," said Rice.

The statement seems to say, yea, we do it too, but look over there. That is even worse than what we are doing. The only problem with this approach is that we are fully capable of stopping what we are doing, if only Rice and the rest of the administration would put down their foot and stop it. They refuse to do so.

There really isn't a lot we can do to stop human rights abuses in some of the worse offenders, but the one thing we can do is take the moral high ground and attempt to shame these offenders in the eyes of the world. Unfortunately, under this administration, we have lost that moral high ground and it could very well take years to get that back.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Scooter Gets Creamed

God, I've waited awhile to drag this back out. Libby guilty of four of five counts.

Libby Verdict At Noon

So says FireDogLake.

CPAC: You Wonder Why They Laughed With Coulter

Max Blumenthal has video.

Monday, March 05, 2007


Looks like we are in for another bad day on Wall St. The Asian markets absolutely tanked overnight.

Friday, March 02, 2007

This Could Get Very Interesting

A Washington DC madame is threatening to sell her 10,000 man client list. The woman, Deborah J. Palfrey, has been operating an escort service since 1993.

Amazingly, they are unable to prosecute the woman for tax violations as she paid income tax on the money and sent her 132 woman stable 1099 forms. Can't wait to see that list.

More later.

Rosetta Stone Unearthed

Huh, it seems Hillary Clinton's "hidden" senior thesis paper, long craved as proof of Clinton's radical agenda by conservatives, has actually been available at Wellesley since 2001.

Often referred to as the Rosetta Stone of understanding Clinton, mainly because it was unavailable during her husband's administration, the thesis covers sixties radical Saul Alinsky. Since this is now bubbling up to the surface, perhaps it is time to review Alinsky's Rules for Radicals:

1. Power is not only what you have but what the enemy thinks you have.
2. Never go outside the experience of your people.
3. Whenever possible go outside the experience of the enemy.
4. Make the enemy live up to their own book of rules.
5. Ridicule is man's most potent weapon.
6. A good tactic is one that your people enjoy.
7. A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.
8. Keep the pressure on.
9. The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.
10. Maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition.
11. If you push a negative hard and deep enough it will break through into its counterside.
12. The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.
13. Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.

Sounds like standard boilerplate republican campaign behavior, doesn't it?

The Deuce Is Loose

The latest New York Times / CBS News poll shows President Bush's approval rating dipping into the twenties for the second time at 29%

From The Middle East To The Moon

If it's Friday, you can be almost sure that Charles Krauthammer has some batshit insane column in the Washington Post. today, Krauthammer sees no bounds for American empire, suggesting that we colonize the moon. Yes, you read that right, the moon.

Now, I'm not one of those people who thinks NASA is a big waste of money. They have provided numerous scientific breakthroughs that have helped mankind, plus some cool video such as this short movie released today of Saturn shot by the Cassini-Huygens mission. (Other cool pictures available here) But what Krauthammer is proposing is insane. From the Washington Post:

Moreover, the moon base is not pointless. The shuttles were on an endless trip to the nowhere of low Earth orbit. The moon is a destination. The idea this time is not to go to plant a flag, take a golf shot and leave, but to stay and form a real self-sustaining, extraterrestrial human colony.

Sure, Mars would be better. It holds open the possibility of life and might even have water on its surface today. But the best should not be the enemy of the good. Mars is simply too far, too dangerous, too difficult, too expensive. We won't go there for a hundred years.

Nor is it true that there is nothing of use or even of interest on the moon. There are all kinds of materials to be exploited, observations of the cosmos to be made and knowledge to be gained on how best to live off the land away from Earth.

Self-sustaining, extraterrestrial human colony? Never-mind those pesky human necessities such as food, water, and air. We might not have the technology to sustain human life on the moon for a hundred years, let alone go to Mars.

And what exactly are those materials we are going to exploit? It will never, ever be financially viable to bring back any meaningful moon material for use on the Earth.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Hannity & Whores

Here's a picture of conservative crusader Sean Hannity at the famed Bunny Ranch. I wonder which one of those lovely ladies got the pleasure of saddling up the strap-on for an anal adventure?

Voting Rights

In case you didn't know, there is a nationwide movement to reform laws that disenfranchise felons who have served their time from voting. On the basis that I believe that a free man ought to be free to vote, I agree with this reform. It's just that simple. However, this argument for such reform is pretty specious. From

Felony disenfranchisement not only raises concerns about democracy and fairness, but it also runs counter to the goal of public safety. At a time when a record number of Americans are being released from prison, denying the vote to millions of people who are living in the community, working and raising their families hinders efforts for successful reintegration. Research has shown that former offenders who vote are less likely to be rearrested than nonvoters. Voting promotes public safety because people who vote are more likely to feel connected to their communities and to avoid falling back into crime.

I find it hard to believe that voting prevents recidivism. The more likely reason for this is that reintegrated individuals are both less inclined to fall back into a life of crime and more likely to vote due to reintegration, not the other way around.

Found via Kevin Drum

Farewell From Inmate Number 28882-016

Bob Ney says goodbye:


i will not have access to e mail so this will be my last for awhile. i wanted to drop you a short e mail to give you my address:

robert ney
inmate number 28882-016
fci morgantown
446 greenbag road
route 857
morgantown, west virginia 26501

i also wanted to thank you for all you have done for me and my family. your kind words, thoughts, and prayers throughout the last six months have helped all of us quite a lot.

someone asked me the other day, if i wish i had never ran for office. i answered that i am glad that i did. nothing can erase the wonderful memories, thoughts, constituents, and changes that we, working together with the republicans and democrats, have been able to do. working to bring jobs to the district, helping constituents with issues, and trying to change law to help people has been the greatest memory ever.

would i change things if i could, sure. am i sorry for things that happened, absolutely, and i will pay the price. but, i am grateful for many good people in our office that helped the district and grateful for a free nation, the men and women that protect it, and a wonderful constituency in the district that i used to serve.

my family and i have lost everything on an economical basis, house, health care, possesions, but so have other people, people in the district, many, have lost all. and yes , that is painful for anyone that has gone through it, but, i am so fortunate to have my wife and children, we are so rich with family, friends like you, loved ones that are there for us, and full of hope for a good future.

the darkest days are not ahead, i have gained a higher power, the god of my understanding, is with all of us and that allows me to view tomorrow, although as a day of loss of freedom, as a day of enlightenment and of life to come.

as garth brooks said in his song the dance:

and now i'm glad i didn't know
the way it all would end, the way it all would go
our lives are better left to chance,
i could have missed the pain,
but i'd have had to miss, the dance

my family and my life is starting new, thanks for being part of it.

god bless,

bob ney

Must be a big ee cummings fan.

A Profile In Courage

Dana Priest and Anne Hull are back in the Washington Post today with the continuing story of Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Today we learn that the leadership at Walter Reed has known about many of the problems at the facility going back to 2003. In 2004, republican C.W. Bill Young had had enough. He is our profile in courage From The Washington Post:

In 2004, Rep. C.W. Bill Young (R-Fla.) and his wife stopped visiting the wounded at Walter Reed out of frustration. Young said he voiced concerns to commanders over troubling incidents he witnessed but was rebuffed or ignored. "When Bev or I would bring problems to the attention of authorities of Walter Reed, we were made to feel very uncomfortable," said Young, who began visiting the wounded recuperating at other facilities.

Yes, when the going gets tough, Bill Young gets going, somewhere else that is. After all, can you really blame him? Why continue to visit the wounded at Walter Reed when there are recuperating veterans at much tidier facilities? Out of sight, out of mind. I'm sure Young slept much easier not having to be exposed to such things.

Hold oversight hearings? Nope. Howl to the press at the time? Nah. When the story breaks 2-1/2 years later run to the press to claim you were complaining to the leadership way back when? Sure.

I don't doubt that Young did complain to Walter Reed's leadership back then, but to just give up and move on to other facilities because you felt uncomfortable? That is pathetically weak. It is, in fact, the kind of leadership we've come to expect from the modern republican party.