Thursday, April 26, 2007

Idiot, Perhaps

Heh, while perusing who voted for or against the supplemental funding bill, I got a kick out of how Joe Lieberman is listed in the role call.

Lieberman (ID-CT)

It's not too much of a stretch of the imagination to see it spells idiot, is it? Of course, at least he did show up to vote unlike war apologists John McCain and Huckleberry Graham.

Great Line

Barack Obama had a great line after the Senate's passage of the supplemental spending bill. He said, "We are one signature away from ending the Iraq War. President Bush must listen to the will of the American people and sign this bill so that our troops can come home.”

On a day when new poll numbers show that Americans agree with the Democratic position, this puts the war squarely on Bush's back, and with it, the republicans back.

So simple, yet so damning.


In this video, Laura Bush explains to Ann Curry how President Bush and her have suffered the most from the Iraq War. No, you haven't. In fact, you haven't suffered at all. Neither have I. I saw the Tillman's give testimony before Congress the other day. They are the face of suffering. So are the others who have lost a father, or a mother, or a sister, or a brother, or a son, or a daughter.

In fact, this war was, by design, prosecuted as to make the few bear the burden of suffering. That is the real reason that we sent too few troops in the beginning, to compartmentalize the suffering and separate it from the general public. That way, they reasoned, the war would never become unpopular.

But something amazing happened. They didn't give the American public enough credit. Quite frankly, neither did I. Without having to suffer, the American people got the chance to look at the war objectively, and despite the fact that the media actively cheer leaded the war, they came to one conclusion. Why the fuck are we there? And why the fuck did we go there?

Thus the President now gets terrible numbers because the war is unpopular and so is he, but being unpopular is a long, long way from actual suffering.

Even Tim Russert gets it now, though he has a little trouble spelling it.

Breakin' 3: White House Jamboree

Damn, and me without my cardboard.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

I Need A Drink

No, I need ten. This takes clapping louder to a whole new level.

Time To Walk The Plank For The Leader

After reading the investigations of three republican congressmen at TPM the past few days, I have to think that it isn't a coincidence that the heating up of these seemingly backburnered cases comes right in the heels of the US Attorney scandal.

Think about it, various claims of the politicization of government agencies occur, especially the DOJ and all of the sudden these cases are making news again. It looks to me like Tom Feeney, John Doolittle, and Rick Renzi are getting thrown over the boat by the White House as some sort of sacrificial lambs to take the heat off the White House. Sure, the administration was willing to protect them before, but now that the heat is on, they have to go. Remember, as I've said before, with the Bush administration loyalty is a one way street.

Of the three, Renzi seems the most resigned to his fate as he has resigned his committee positions and asked to be left out of the GOP's incumbent re-election program, while the other two have done no such thing.

And speaking of Renzi, can I really mention him in a post without bringing back that great video of him canoodling with Katherine Harris on the House floor as Rob Simmons gave a floor speech?

Will you wait for me Katherine? Oh well, we will always have that Simmons speech.

Oh My

I'm glad I put off any birthday debauchery until later in the week, it looks like a pretty target rich environment today.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Shut Up And Go To Jail

Why do I still have to hear this fool? Delay's investigation has to be the slowest moving in America.

A Read On Polling

Media Matters has a post up on a James Pinkerton story in Newsday where he says the following:

"If [President] Bush is falling apart so dramatically that he is in danger of simply vanishing, how come he's hanging in there in the polls?"

Bush has been in the low to mid-thirties for a very simple reason. In presidential polling, hard core partisans make up about 25% for each party. That is, in this case 25% of republicans are going to approve because Bush is a member of their party, and 25% of Democrats are going to disapprove because he isn't.

So, if we throw both those groups out as unable to be swayed, Bush gets about a 20% approval ratings from the remaining swayable respondents. That isn't exactly hanging in there.

Found via Atrios

Red Rover, Red Rover, Send Karl's Fat Ass Over

Well, well, well. It looks like the Office of Special Counsel is going to conduct a thorough investigation of Karl Rove's dealings into the US attorney's firings, the lost e-mail, and possible violations of the Hatch Act, which disallows the politicization of civil service positions. From the LA Times:

But the Office of Special Counsel is preparing to jump into one of the most sensitive and potentially explosive issues in Washington, launching a broad investigation into key elements of the White House political operations that for more than six years have been headed by chief strategist Karl Rove.

The new investigation, which will examine the firing of at least one U.S. attorney, missing White House e-mails, and White House efforts to keep presidential appointees attuned to Republican political priorities, could create a substantial new problem for the Bush White House.

First, the inquiry comes from inside the administration, not from Democrats in Congress. Second, unlike the splintered inquiries being pressed on Capitol Hill, it is expected to be a unified investigation covering many facets of the political operation in which Rove played a leading part.

"We will take the evidence where it leads us," Scott J. Bloch, head of the Office of Special Counsel and a presidential appointee, said in an interview Monday. "We will not leave any stone unturned."

Now, it is true that this office doesn't have the ability charge Rove criminally, it can only decide whether or not Rove's dalliances are worthy of dismissal of a federal employee. And we know that no matter what they recommend the boy king isn't going to dismiss him. Who knows, it may even be a sham by the administration to take the heat off Rove by saying everything he did was kosher. CREW thinks this might be the case.

Anyway, it does give me a chance here to take a look at Rove's legacy. It's pretty simple really. Karl Rove is simply the most inept person in policy at the White House in the history of the United States. Sure, he might be good at winning elections, but that is all he has in the bag. When it comes to governing, he stinks.

He has taken an approach to federal government similar to what you might see from a corrupt mayor of a small town. Jobs for the bootlicks, and for the lame brain kids of major donors. That and always attack the other side. Oh, and in a brilliant move, they outsourced foreign policy to the Vice President's office. How did that go?

And of course while they say they don't look at polling, they live and die with every twenty-four hour news cycle. Fearful always of losing even one day of spin. What this does however is cause them to go in circles instead of making progress on any issue. Instead they pressed on with their delusional dream of a permanent majority. Sorry, you have to get something done for that to happen.

Thanks to Rove, Bush has had to endure the burning of Iraq and the drowning of New Orleans. And lest you think this was intentional as some have said it comes from their disdain of government, think again. When they came into office they were going to shrink the size of the federal government, it swelled. They were going to get rid of Social Security, they failed. They have made no movement on any substantial republican positions except making the Supreme Court more conservative and they damn near screwed that up too.

Lastly, as for that permanent majority, even Karl "the numbers" Rove can't keep getting elected when you govern that poorly. As a partisan Democrat, I guess I should say thanks, asshole. As an American, all I can say is asshole.

Happy Birthday To Me

Today is my birthday, so tomorrow's posts will probably be pretty light. I anticipate a lot of debauchery tonight. By the way, anybody know when our friends from out of town are coming in for Jazzy's wedding?

And People Say Southerners Are Backward

File this story on CNN under, just wow, I can't believe in this day and age things like this go on. From CNN:

Students of Turner County High School started what they hope will become a new tradition: Black and white students attended the prom together for the first time on Saturday.

In previous years, parents had organized private, segregated dances for students of the school in rural Ashburn, Georgia, 160 miles south of Atlanta.

In other Georgia news I hear they're going to get that fancy indoor water sometime next year.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Things I Learned From The Virginia Tech Shootings

First of all, it is all our fault. Every freedom that you have is to blame for the shooting spree, with the exception of the freedom to bear arms. How do I know? Why, serial adulterer Newt Gingrich said so yesterday. From The Carpetbagger Report:

GINGRICH: Yes, I think the fact is, if you look at the amount of violence we have in games that young people play at 7, 8, 10, 12, 15 years of age, if you look at the dehumanization, if you look at the fact that we refuse to say that we are, in fact, endowed by our creator, that our rights come from God, that if you kill somebody, you’re committing an act of evil.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But what does that have to do with liberalism?

GINGRICH: “Well, who has created a situation ethics, essentially, zone of not being willing to talk about any of these things. Let me carry another example. I strongly supported Imus being dismissed, but I also think the very thing he was dismissed for, which is the use of language which is stunningly degrading of women — the fact, for example, that one of the Halloween costumes this last year was being able to be either a prostitute or a pimp at 10, 11, 12 years of age, buying a costume, and we don’t have any discussion about what’s happened to our culture because while we’re restricting political free speech under McCain-Feingold, we say it’s impossible to restrict vulgar and vicious and anti-human speech. And I would argue that that’s a major component of what’s happened to our culture in the last 40 years.”

Whoa, Newt must go to a lot of Halloween parties given his track record. In 1977, was Ann Manning wearing a sexy nurses outfit when she blew him while his wife laid in the hospital recovering from cancer? Maybe he just thought he deserved to get as much tail as the guys on Starsky & Hutch.

Was Congressional staffer Callista Bisek coming to work in sexy vampire outfits when Newt was tapping her while married to another woman as he decried Clinton for the same thing?

I've got to move somewhere that they have Halloween every day.

As ludicrous as that statement is, others went farther. The American Family Association is selling this distasteful video at its web site.

Who knew Jesus wanted you to beat your kids? Also, didn't that guy keep referencing Jesus Christ in his manifesto?


Hey David Broder, it's half past midnight at your republican ball, and nobody likes President Bush anymore, well except for that cultish thirty percent who would literally walk off a cliff with the guy. So the statements you made on Bob Edwards show today make you sound foolish. For The Horses Mouth:

BRODER: "Democrats by and large wish that Harry Reid would learn to engage mind before mouth opens.This has become kind of a pattern for him. I think at some point down the road the Democrats are going to have to have a little caucus to decide how much further they want to carry Harry Reid. They've got able people on the Senate side and they don't have to put up with this kind of bumbling performance forever."

EDWARDS: "Think Harry Reid is an embarrassment to the Democrats?"

BRODER: "I think so. I mean, he has been a pretty effective leader but he is verbally just a real loose cannon and it seems to me, Bob, that about every six weeks or so there's another episode where he has to apologize for the way in which he has bungled the Democratic case."

In Broder's world everything said or done is always bad for the Democrats, and great for the president. People hate the President and it's not going to change.


I've never heard of Mike Daisey before this incident so I don't know what kind of material he does, but the Christofascists don't like it so 87 of them showed up at one of his shows to walk out en masse. Oh, and on their way out one of them destroyed his outline for the show. I guess they had to leave early to go complain about their religious freedoms being trampled on.

Earth Day Golfing

Yesterday, to celebrate Earth Day, I decided to play a round of golf at Raymond, which is a city course. I haven't been able to play for around eighteen months due to a back injury so I wasn't expecting to score very well and I didn't. Still, a 105 after such a long layoff isn't terrible, especially when you factor in that I had a forty putt round. Enough about me though.

The city of Columbus is trying to make strides at becoming a greener city, so I was very surprised to find out that a city course would be using gas powered carts at their courses rather than the cleaner electric ones. Yea, I could walk, but one man walking instead of riding isn't going to solve the problem. The city needs to replace these carts which I would guess are leased. It is probably too late for this year, but next year the city needs to make the leap to electric carts. Our green spaces shouldn't be carbon producers.

And I understand that the electric produced to charge those carts produces carbon, but carbon sequestration at power plants is another issue that we ought to be looking at as well.

In other environmental news, this diary at Kos is scary as hell.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Bush Comes To Ohio

Todd didn't get in to see him.

It is probably a good thing. That way he didn't have to hear this incoherent babble.


Hat tip to the State of Ohio and the IRS. I filed online and received my return in under two weeks.

O Alberto

How brilliant is this. The guy on the left attended Alberto Gonzales' hearing yesterday and kept track of the number of times Gonzales said I don't recall. Sixty-four times was the final result. A week and a half to prepare and Gonzales still has to say I don't recall sixty-four times. Our Delusion-in-Chief released this statement through spokesperson Dana Perino. From TPM:

President Bush was pleased with the Attorney General’s testimony today. After hours of testimony in which he answered all of the Senators’ questions and provided thousands of pages of documents, he again showed that nothing improper occurred. He admitted the matter could have been handled much better, and he apologized for the disruption to the lives of the U.S. Attorneys involved, as well as for the lack of clarity in his initial responses. The Attorney General has the full confidence of the President, and he appreciates the work he is doing at the Department of Justice to help keep our citizens safe from terrorists, our children safe from predators, our government safe from corruption, and our streets free from gang violence.

Okay, nobody believes that, even Bush himself I presume, but for whatever reason the White House has decided to make a stand, but united they stand divided they fall and the White House seems to be divided. Various White House sources were sniping anonymously through the press even as Gonzales was testifying. Atrios notes the following quotes heard on CNN:

"Going down in flames."
"Not doing himself any favors."
"Watching clubbing a baby seal." (watching testimony)
"Very troubling."
"Don't understand that tactic Gonzales used."

I'll give him a couple of weeks and then he's probably gone.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Iraq Forever

You may of heard the report on NPR this morning discussing the newly announced compensation for troops who have their tours of duty extended beyond twelve months. They get one whole whopping day off for each month beyond twelve months. So, the troops, who are now being asked to serve fifteen month tours are going to get to enjoy a three day liberty. As pathetic as that is, it doesn't tell you the whole story.

This UPI Story does. From UPI:

The days off accrue at one a month for every month deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan beyond 12 months, and then escalate to two a month at 18, and then four a month after 24 months, provided the active-duty service member has spent less than 24 of 36 consecutive months at home. Reserve military members accrue the same number of days if they are deployed for more than 12 months out of every 72 months.

Beyond 24 months? Are you kidding me, what the hell is the Pentagon planning for? If the military isn't broken now, it looks like it is going to be soon.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Jack Pack: John Doolittle Edition

The feds have raided John Doolittle's house.

Fucking The Troops

This is the first thing that made me laugh out loud in the past few days.

Found via The General

Is There Anything They Won't Shit On?

The Bush administration is set to, are you ready for this, remove the bald eagle from the endangered species list. Yes, you read that correctly, they are going to delist the fucking bald eagle, the symbol of this great country. From Yahoo:

The Fish and Wildlife Service is expected to drop the U.S. national bird from the federal list of threatened and endangered species in June.

Environmentalists and scientists widely support the move because of the species' success since a 1972 ban on the pesticide DDT and since it was protected by the Endangered Species Act in 1978.

Still, many eagle experts are worried, warning that the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, the law that will protect bald eagles after delisting, does not adequately shield the nesting trees and feeding perches eagles depend on.

First of all, I agree with Chris in Paris, who the fuck are these environmentalists and scientists? More importantly though is that last paragraph. I guess when the Bush administration has to choose between the symbol of our nation and the timber industry, the bald eagle gets flipped the bird. This is beyond outrageous.

A Bright Line

Today, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the so called Partial Birth Abortion Ban in a deeply divided decision. From SCOTUSBLOG:

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote for the majority in the first-ever decision by the Court to uphold a total ban on a specific abortion procedure -- prompting the dissenters to argue that the Court was walking away from the defense of abortion rights that it had made since the original Roe v. Wade decision in 1973 recognized a constitutional right to end pregnancy medically. Roe v. Wade was not overturned by the new ruling, as some filings before the Court had urged.

The Court said that it was upholding the law as written -- that is, its facial language. It said that the lawsuits challenging the law faciallly should not have been allowed in court "in the first instance." The proper way to make a challenge, if an abortion ban is claimed to harm a woman's right to abortion, is through an as-applied claim, Kennedy wrote. His opinion said that courts could consider such claims "in discrete and well-defined instances" where "a condition has or is likely to occur in which the procedure prohibited by the Act must be used."


Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, speaking in the courtroom for the dissenters, called the ruling "an alarming decision" that refuses "to take seriously" the Court's 1992 decisions reaffirming most of Roe v. Wade and its 2000 decision in Stenberg v. Carhart striking down a state partial-birth abortion law.

Ginsburg, in a lengthy statement, said "the Court's opinion tolerates, indeed applauds, federal intervention to ban nationwide a procedure found necessary and proper in certain cases by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. For the first time since Roe, the Court blesses a prohibition with no exception protecting a woman's health." She said the federal ban "and the Court's defense of it cannot be understood as anything other than an effort to chip away at a right declared again and again by this Court -- and with increasing comprehension of its centrality to women's lives. A decision of the character the Court makes today should not have staying power."

The Bush administration applauded the decision, calling it " a bright line between abortion and infanticide." Pumpkinhead also chimed in saying, "I applaud the Court for its ruling today, and my hope is that it sets the stage for further progress in the fight to ensure our nation's laws respect the sanctity of unborn human life."

Good, now we're one step closer to simply cutting women open, harvesting the infant, and then discarding the used incubator.


This is rather funny.

Found via Atrios.

Virginia Tech And The NRA

First, let me explain to you what probably happened at the NRA's headquarters on Monday. Oh shit, a bunch of white kids got shot up in a quaint little college town. Gee, I hope it isn't a white guy who shot them up. What? He was Oriental? Good, now we can go on the attack. Let's blame it on the Virginia Tech's zero tolerance policy with regards to firearms.

And so it begins. TV appearances, radio appearances, op-eds, anything to push the heat off of themselves. They send every fucking tout they have out to say that if there were more guns on campus the scope of this tragedy would have been limited. But you have to ask yourself, even if this tragedy would have been slightly muted by a greater prevalence of handguns on college campuses, how many more individual tragedies would occur. The answer is many. It would be a net negative.

You have to look at what goes on at our universities. There are young people with little experience in the world indulging in drugs, binge-drinking, and the fights that are usually fueled by the previous two things. Does anybody rationally believe that handguns belong in that mix. I would say Virginia Tech had their policy exactly correct.

I am not advocating nationwide gun control, I believe it is a home rule issue. It is why I support the 180 mayors nationwide in their Mayors Against Illegal Guns campaign. Different parts of the country have different needs for controlling the arsenals roaming their streets. It is just a matter of fact, gun violence increases directly proportional to population density. If you live in a rural environment where it takes the county Sheriff fifteen to twenty minutes to get to your house you'd be crazy not to own a gun, but when you live in an urban environment owning a gun causes much more trouble than the limited protection they offer. For instance, did you know that in concealed carry classes they teach you that if a threat is within thirty feet of you, that threat will get to you before you get a chance to draw your gun and shoot?

But the NRA isn't interested in rational policy. No, they are forever fighting that slippery slope convinced that the end goal of reasonable people is unreasonable policy when they know damn well it isn't. So we get there touts telling us that if we outlaw guns then only outlaws will have guns. They tell us this knowing that gun violence claims four times as many victims as 9/11 every year. Only a fool would believe vast majority of those were all committed with illegally purchased weapons, yet they claim more rigorous background checks will do nothing.

There was a man on MSNBC this morning who said that this kid who shot up Virginia Tech would have never have been able to get those guns in his home state of New Jersey and that's true. All the recognizable signs were there to tell anyone with a brain that this kid had no business owning a gun. All anyone had to do is look.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Pure Derb

John Derbyshire has a ridiculous post up over at The Corner:

Spirit of Self-Defense [John Derbyshire]

As NRO's designated chickenhawk, let me be the one to ask: Where was the spirit of self-defense here? Setting aside the ludicrous campus ban on licensed conceals, why didn't anyone rush the guy? It's not like this was Rambo, hosing the place down with automatic weapons. He had two handguns for goodness' sake—one of them reportedly a .22.

At the very least, count the shots and jump him reloading or changing hands. Better yet, just jump him. Handguns aren't very accurate, even at close range. I shoot mine all the time at the range, and I still can't hit squat. I doubt this guy was any better than I am. And even if hit, a .22 needs to find something important to do real damage—your chances aren't bad.

Yes, yes, I know it's easy to say these things: but didn't the heroes of Flight 93 teach us anything? As the cliche goes—and like most cliches. It's true—none of us knows what he'd do in a dire situation like that. I hope, however, that if I thought I was going to die anyway, I'd at least take a run at the guy.

I have a couple of issues with this. First of all, as someone who has had a gun pulled on him a couple of times, I can assure you that you never know how people will react when it happens. Once I ran, as it was the practical thing to do. Once I had to make a stand. (Retreat was impossible). In the instance where I had to make a stand, even after I had frightened the gunman off, the woman I was with was still paralyzed with fear. I literally had to shove her out of the somewhat still dangerous situation.

Secondly, just because The Derb can't shoot straight, it doesn't mean that neither can anyone else. Yes, handguns are not very accurate, but you don't hit fifty people on a spree like this by randomly firing into a crowd. The guy obviously knew his way around a gun. It may even be that some did try to rush him but were unable to "run through a .22". You take a head shot and a .22 will stop you.

We Really Really Like Her

The latest WAPO / ABC News poll pegs Nancy Pelosi's approval rating at 53%. This is an astronomical number for that position. For instance, in Newt Gingrich's heyday he never topped 41%. I not sure, but this might be an all-time high for a Speaker of the House. I guess that Syria trip didn't hurt her at all.

There is something more going on here though. For a Speaker of the House to achieve an approval rating that high, independent voters must now be in full revolt against the republican party. Perhaps that is what Giuliani was talking about when he told a group of social conservatives that the republican party need to "get past" their issues.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Pulitzer Prizes Announced

Full list available here.

Deadly Shootings

At least 31 people (Source: Government official) have been killed (Including shooter, self inflicted) during a rampage at Virginia Tech University. Seventeen more injured. Terrible, terrible news.

Update: Various news agencies are putting the death toll at 31, 32, or 33 people.

Update: I wondered how long it would take. Some jackass just called in to Washington Post Radio and blamed the death toll on the school's zero tolerance gun policy. He suggested that if the students would have been armed, they could have shot back.

Noisettes Concert Review

First of all, I have to say it is damn near impossible not to have fun in Nashville. The downtown strip is full of great musicians playing the myriad of bars for tips. A few of my favorite bars are The Blue Orchid, Layla's, and Robert's Western World. I saw a lot of great bands and had loads of fun.

Later I caught the Noisettes, who were opening for TV On The Radio. They were fantastic, playing a frantic set bookended by Don't Give Up and Scratch Your Name. Tons of energy, and the sound was great. Lead singer Shingai Shoniwa was all over the stage and guitarist Dan Smith played some great licks. As for drummer Jamie Morrison, I'm not really sure how he plays. He seemed to go into some sort of pentecostal trance with his head undulating and never seemingly actually looking at the drums. Hit them pretty well though.

By the way, the American release of their debut album What's The Time Mr Wolf drops tomorrow.

On a side note, I ran into Shingai after their set and the conversation went like this.

ME: Great set.
Shingai: Thanks. May I have a sip of your beer?
ME: Uh, what?
Shingai: May I have a sip of your beer?
ME: Uh, sure.
Shingai: Sips beer, returns it to me, says, "Thank love." Walks away.

One other interesting thing happened on the trip. I was awoken on Sunday to this conversation:

JK: Did you get sick last night?
ME: No.
JK: Are you sure?
ME: Yea, why?
JK: Look out the window.

Right outside our door, someone had projectile vomited off the balcony and painted the hood and windshield of a Jeep Liberty with chunky smelly vomit. It was totally disgusting.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Outta Here

Hey kids. Blasting out of town today to catch The Noisettes at the Mercy Lounge in Nashville tonight. I bought a digital camera so hopefully I'll have some pics to show you when I return.

Also, on a sad note, I can no longer supply the Short North with free WI-FI. Somebody (and perhaps more) had an infected computer sending out spam. Time Warner threaten to discontinue my service over it. Sorry.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Adult Stem Cells

Over at The Corner, they're all aflutter over a Journal of the American Medical Association article discussing the possibility of an adult stem cell breakthrough in treating Type I (early onset) diabetes. Sounds great, right?

I guess we should probably take a look at this amazing treatment before casting judgement. First the patient, usually a child, takes a massive dose of chemotherapy along with antibiotics, then the patient goes through that ever so pleasant bone marrow withdraw, which I guess is stripped down to the adult stems cells which are then injected intravenously.

For this horrible ordeal the patient then typically could go a couple of years without insulin. (Later results may prove to last longer.)

Now, you have to ask yourself, who the hell would put their child through this to avoid something that can be treated with a pump? Moreover, who did put their children through this procedure so that the study could take place. It certainly wasn't American children, that study would have never gotten approval in the US.

Instead the study was conducted on Brazilian children, probably indigent, most likely participating for a check, some as young as fourteen.

We are positive that Mengele is dead, right? Remember. Trust, but verify.

The Truth About Liz

Since Liz Cheney decided to write an op-ed decrying Nancy Pelosi's trip to Syria, let's take a look at Cheney's job performance as Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs including heading the State Department's Iran-Syria Operations Group (ISOG).

Well, it's a little difficult. You see, she's been AWOL from the job for around a year while on maternity leave. Forget the usual twelve weeks most people take, you're a Cheney, therefore it's in your blood to abuse the system.

Unless you're willing to do the job, which you don't appear to, you should probably shut the fuck up. And to be honest, the State Department is probably better off without you around anyway.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Hooray For Me

Awesome, now I get to spend the next few days working on a catastrophic software failure.

Scapegoat Wanted

It's not surprising that the White House is having trouble filling a newly created position to oversee the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, because let's face it, you would simply be there to take the heat off of the administration. They are never going to let you call the shots.

Three retired generals, including retired Army Gen. Jack Keane, a major proponent of the "surge", have turned down the job. Another candidate who spurned the job, retired Marine Gen. John J. "Jack" Sheehan had the following thoughts. From the Washington Post:

"There's the residue of the Cheney view -- 'We're going to win, al-Qaeda's there' -- that justifies anything we did," he said. "And then there's the pragmatist view -- how the hell do we get out of Dodge and survive? Unfortunately, the people with the former view are still in the positions of most influence." Sheehan said he wrote a note March 27 declining interest.

That's probably true, this isn't a job for a pragmatist, it's one for a lackey, a yes man, a bootlick, and realistically, a whipping boy to replace former whipping boy Donald Rumsfeld.

The Post also quotes Carlos Pascual, who hits the nail on the head. From the Post:

Some administration critics said the ideas miss the point. "An individual can't fix a failed policy," said Carlos Pascual, former State Department coordinator of Iraq reconstruction, who is now a vice president at the Brookings Institution. "So the key thing is to figure out where the policy is wrong."

Yep, if you're trying to drive a ten penny nail into solid steel, it isn't because you have the wrong carpenter.

I would also like to add that there seems to be something a little more sinister going on here. If you notice, the administration isn't looking to hire an Iraq war czar, they're trying to hire a czar to cover both wars. Thus, they are trying to inexorably link the wars, both in scope and purpose to promote the idea that Iraq is a central front in the Global War on Terror. It isn't, it never was. Don't get fooled by this.

Found via Kevin Drum

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Still Not Getting It

In today's Washington Post, Richard Cohen still doesn't get it regarding Monica Goodling. Cohen writes:

In the end, though, some thought has to be given to why Monica Goodling feels obligated to take the Fifth rather than merely telling Congress what happened in the AG's office. She's no criminal -- but what could happen to her surely is.

No. That's wrong. Goodling isn't asserting the Fifth because of what she might do, it's what she probably already did. In all likelihood Goodling caused another member of the Justice Department to perjure himself before Congress, and that is the crime that she is asserting the Fifth Amendment to protect herself against.

Her lawyer might argue otherwise, but that is his job. It's Cohen's job not to be fooled. He failed again.

Red State Mentality

As far as wingnuttery states go, Idaho is one of the most. Likewise, Idaho is also among the leaders when it come to gunnuttery. Still, I find this story to be utterly bizarre. From the Jackson News-Tribune:

BOISE, Idaho - For years, ATV-riding, gun-toting sport shooters have flouted gun laws in part of Idaho‘s high desert by taking pot shots at ground squirrels and other animals. Now, officials say, they‘re also setting their sights on National Guard tanks that train in the area.

But the federal Bureau of Land Management is considering expanding the gun-restricted area by 41,000 acres to try to limit shootings at Idaho Army National Guard troops who report slugs bouncing off their tanks on a regular basis.


Soldiers training for missions in Iraq or other war zones are only looking for simulated battles, he said — not real bullets whizzing their way.

"It was like World War III on the weekends," [Sullivan] said. (Ed. Note: Not sure who Sullivan is, the story doesn't say)

Now granted, these guys are in tanks, but still I'm guessing that they occasionally have to pop their heads out for various reasons, and shooting at them certainly violates several laws, both state and federal.

I guess that's what you call supporting the troops, Idaho style.

Monday, April 09, 2007

The Most Ludicrous Public Statement Ever Made

As the screw continues to turn on the US Attorneys scandal, more and more it is clearly evident that people were given jobs in the justice department based less on ability than loyalty. In Minnesota, four top aides to US Attorney Rachel Paulose have very publicly resigned to shine light on Paulose's flaws. She responds. From

In a prepared statement, Paulose said she supports the decision of the three lawyers who stepped down. "The community will benefit from their focus on prosecuting high-profile, sophisticated cases in the years to come."

You support their decision? They threw you under the bus and you support their decision? What kind of dreamworld does this woman live in? It certainly isn't reality.

Blinded By The Smite

Wow, Dahlia Lithwick swung for the fences yesterday and hit a line drive into the left field seats. (She obviously was not in Cleveland) From the WAPO:

We may agree or disagree on that proposition, but it certainly explains how Goodling came to confuse working to advance Gonzales's agenda with working to advance God's. But while God may well want more prayer in public schools, it's not clear that He wanted David Iglesias fired on a pretext.

Is there anything wrong with legal scholarship from a Christian perspective? Not that I see. Is there anything wrong with a Bush administration that disproportionately uses graduates from Christian law schools to fill its staffing needs? Not that I see. It's a shorthand, no better or worse than cherry-picking the Federalist Society or the American Bar Association. I can't even get exercised over the fact that Gonzales, Karl Rove and Harriet Miers had their baby lawyers making critical staffing decisions. The baby lawyers had extremely clear marching orders.

No, the real concern here is that Goodling and her ilk somehow began to conflate God's work with the president's. Probably not a lesson she learned in law school. The dream of Regent and its counterparts, such as Jerry Falwell's Liberty University, is to redress perceived wrongs to Christians, to reclaim the public square and reassert Christian political authority. And while that may have been a part of the Bush/Rove plan, it was only a small part. Their real zeal was for earthly power. And Goodling was left holding the earthly bag.

It's why Bush's approval rating can't go much lower. There is a significant portion of the country that worships Bush like a God in spite of all of the ungodly things his administration does in their quest for worldly power.

And when they do these thing, all is forgiven, because when the administration's critics are attacked by Karl Rove and his echo chamber of various right wing organizations those attacks to them represent the acting out of the right hand of God. In short, they are blinded by the smite.

Go read the whole piece.

Shit, Meet Fan

This is bad news. From Yahoo:

The renegade cleric Muqtada al-Sadr urged Iraqi forces to stop cooperating with the United States and told his guerrilla fighters to concentrate their attacks on American troops rather than Iraqis, according to a statement issued Sunday.

The statement, stamped with al-Sadr's official seal, was distributed in the Shiite holy city of Najaf on Sunday — a day before a large demonstration there, called for by al-Sadr, to mark the fourth anniversary of the fall of Baghdad.

"You, the Iraqi army and police forces, don't walk alongside the occupiers, because they are your archenemy," the statement said. Its authenticity could not be verified.

Well, it looks like the Mookie has decided to pick a fight. Why is he pulling this 180 at this time? Well, he kind of has too. If he is to get to where he wants to get to he needs to attract more followers, and the best way to do that is to engage American forces. While he will lose in the short term, he is looking past our occupation to the day he gets to go toe to toe with the Badr Brigade for all the extravagant wealth that lies below the soil in Southern Iraq.

It will happen if we stay ten more day, or ten more years. Why are we still there?

Technical Difficulties

I've been having some connectivity problems that I finally traced to a bad cable going to my WIFI. Years of stress from hanging down from it eventually damaged the plug.

Friday, April 06, 2007


Unfortunately, I don't have the screencap of my appearance which was subtitled:

Great Blogger
Found via Atrios

Friday Cat Blogging

In general, I think the whole Friday cat blogging thing is rather stupid, but since it's Good Friday, I'll relent.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007


Barack Obama will announce that the campaign has raised over $25 million from over 100,000 donors, for an average donation of around $250.

No one else is able to touch those donor numbers. This isn't a campaign, it's a movement.

Update: Clinton had 50,000 donors and Edwards had 37,000.

The Jack Pack Is Back

It looks like we are getting ready for another indictment as a result of the Jack Abramoff investigation. Italia Federici, who ran one of Ambramoff's front groups, Council of Republicans for Environmental Advocacy, has received a target letter from the Justice Department. From the Legal Times:

Federici was central to the charges against J. Steven Griles, the former deputy secretary of the Interior Department who pleaded guilty March 23 to misleading Senate investigators about his relationship with Abramoff, the infamous then-Greenberg Traurig lobbyist who pleaded guilty to several felonies last year.

As part of a plea, Griles admitted that because of his romantic relationship with Federici, he “gave Abramoff more credibility as a lobbyist” and “distinguished him from other lobbyists.”

According to the Jan. 19 target letter filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, investigators are looking at whether Federici violated five statutes in connection with running the group: conspiracy to defraud the United States, tax evasion, impeding the Internal Revenue Service, and obstructing proceedings and making false statements before the Senate. The letter makes no mention of Abramoff or Griles.

Federal officials also informed Federici that they believe she “may have assisted others in depriving the American Public of honest services of at least one administration official,” the letter states.

The letter advised Federici to seek an attorney and asked if she would be willing to plead guilty and cooperate with investigators. Whether she is currently cooperating or played a role in Griles’ plea is unknown.

Ah, young love. And who amongst us can forget the first time we ratted out a girlfriend to the feds. As for whether or not she'll plead guilty, the once high flying Federici has asked for a public defender.

Found via TPM Muckraker.

Bush Speaks

Ah, there were some gems in yesterday's presidential press conference. Two things stood out in particular. From the Washington Post:

It has now been 57 days since I requested that Congress pass emergency funds for our troops. Instead of passing clean bills that fund our troops on the front lines, the House and Senate have spent this time debating bills that undercut the troops. but substituting the judgment of politicians in Washington for the judgment of our commanders on the ground, setting an arbitrary deadline for withdrawal from Iraq, and spending billions of dollars on pork-barrel projects completely unrelated to the war.

As Think Progress has noted, the last Congress, led by the republicans took 86 and 119 days to return the previous two supplemental spending bills. To be fair though, this Congress, and for that matter, any Congress should be expected to legislate more effectively than the last Congress. They were kind of busy making sure their boot-licks got the best of the American Treasury.

This also struck me as funny. From the Post:

Still, the Democrats in Congress continue to pursue their bills. And now they have left Washington for spring recess without finishing the work.

The President then promptly left for Easter break. Vacation, it's what he does best.

Not A Fan

I really don't care for the new anchors of CNN's American Morning. Bring back the O'Brien twins.

Happy Easter

Here in this video, Dick Cheney can be seen scoping out prime ambush spots for the upcoming White House Easter Egg Hunt. Tasty, tasty babies will abound, and Dick wants to get his fill.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Always Sunny

There are not many thing the Bush administration can do that pisses me off more than this. From PEER:

CLIMATE AND OCEAN SCIENTISTS PUT UNDER NEW SPEECH RESTRAINTS — Any Scientific Statements “of Official Interest” Must be Pre-Approved

Washington, DC — Federal climate, weather and marine scientists will be subject to new restrictions as to what they can say to the media or in public, according to agency documents released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). Under rules posted last week, these federal scientists must obtain agency pre-approval to speak or write, whether on or off-duty, concerning any scientific topic deemed “of official interest.”

On March 29, 2007, the Commerce Department posted a new administrative order governing “Public Communications.” This new order covers the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which includes the National Weather Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service. Commerce’s new order will become effective in 45 days and would repeal a more liberal “open science” policy adopted by NOAA on February 14, 2006.

Although couched in rhetoric about the need for “broad and open dissemination of research results [and] open exchange of scientific ideas,” the new order forbids agency scientists from communicating any relevant information, even if prepared and delivered on their own time as private citizens, which has not been approved by the official chain-of-command:

Any “fundamental research communication” must “before the communication occurs” be submitted to and approved by the designated “head of the operating unit.” While the directive states that approval may not be withheld “based on policy, budget, or management implications of the research,” it does not define these terms and limits any appeal to within Commerce;

National Weather Service employees are allowed only “as part of their routine responsibilities to communicate information about the weather to the public”; and

Scientists must give the Commerce Department at least two weeks “advance notice” of any written, oral or audiovisual presentation prepared on their own time if it “is a matter of official interest to the Department because it relates to Department programs, policies or operations.”

“This ridiculous gag order ignores the First Amendment and disrespects the world-renowned professionals who work within Commerce agencies,” stated PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch. “Under this policy, National Weather Service scientists can only give out name, rank, serial number and the temperature.”

The agency rejected a more open policy adopted last year by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The new policy also was rushed to print despite an ongoing Commerce Office of Inspector General review of communication policies that was undertaken at congressional request.

While claiming to provide clarity, the new Commerce order gives conflicting directives, on one hand telling scientists that if unsure whether a conclusion has been officially approved “then the researcher must make clear that he or she is representing his or her individual conclusion.” Yet, another part of the order states non-official communications “may not take place or be prepared during working hours.” This conflict means that every scientist who answers an unexpected question at a conference puts his or her career at risk by giving an honest answer.

How bizarre are the lengths these assholes go though to enforce the view of the alternate reality in which they live? What's next? No more hurricane warnings?

Ignore those 100 mph winds and the sheets of rain. There is nothing to see here, it's a bright sunny day. It always has been. It always will be. It is mandated.

Monday, April 02, 2007


Damn, I knew the Iraq War was causing shortages, but now we can't even get a visiting Senator a modern bullet proof vest? It's probably not a necessity though when you are accompanied by around a hundred troops and covered by five helicopters. The Iraqis probably thought that a raid was coming.

Old Story Line

One of the great falsehoods that the Gang of 500 seems to believe is that if Congress has the gall to challenge a president, the public will react negatively towards that Congress. This mostly comes from the republican led Congress' attempt to impeach Bill Clinton.

The problem with this line of thinking is that even during the great cum stain scandal, Bill Clinton remained a very popular president. Because of that popularity, there was a backlash. And I would argue that the backlash certainly wasn't catastrophic. Sure, a few guys got ran off Capital Hill, but most of them had their own keeping their pecker in their pocket problems. It certainly didn't lead to a wave style election like the one we saw last November.

In this case however, we have a very unpopular president who only the most extreme partisans support. The vast majority of the public are longing for the kind of investigations that the Democratic led Congress are starting to undertake.

These guys can't tell apples and oranges apart.


It's the second year in a row in which George Bush is too big of a pussy to throw out the first pitch on opening day. This year he won't even send the Veep out to get booed.

These are the kid gloves Bush's handlers have to deal with, it's sad really. It reminds me of the old Don Ho song Tiny Bubbles.