Friday, August 31, 2007

Progress, Bitches, Progress

Oh Bush administration, is there anything in Iraq that you can't fuck up. From The New York Times:

An independent commission established by Congress to assess Iraq’s security forces will recommend remaking the 26,000-member national police force to purge it of corrupt officers and Shiite militants suspected of complicity in sectarian killings, administration and military officials said Thursday.

The commission, headed by Gen. James L. Jones, the former top United States commander in Europe, concludes that the rampant sectarianism that has existed since the formation of the police force requires that its current units “be scrapped” and reshaped into a smaller, more elite organization, according to one senior official familiar with the findings. The recommendation is that “we should start over,” the official said.

The report, which will be presented to Congress next week, is among a number of new Iraq assessments — including a national intelligence estimate and a Government Accountability Office report — that await lawmakers when they return from summer recess. But the Jones commission’s assessment is likely to receive particular attention as the work of a highly regarded team that was alone in focusing directly on the worthiness of Iraq’s army and police force.

As I wrote in March of last year this was pretty much inevitable because we have seen this sort of thing in the past, even in the US. From me:

In the Spring of 1980, Fidel Castro declared the port of Mariel an open port. That Summer, 125,000 Cubans made the trip from Mariel to Miami in what came to be known as the Mariel Boatlift. The influx of refugees into an already depressed economy ultimately led to a major crime wave, so the city of Miami did what any city would do in that situation, they rapidly beefed up their police force immensely.

The problem was that everyone from major drug cartels to street gangs sent their loyalists with clean records to the police academy, which resulted in a very corrupt police force. Eventually, 10% of the force ended up jailed, fired, or disciplined; and that's just the ones they had hard evidence against.

Fast forward to Iraq. We have just done the same thing that Miami did in the early eighties. We have built up roughly 240,000 security forces in just a couple years. If we are as lucky as Miami, that means about 30,000 corrupt forces, and I doubt we're that lucky.

If the absolutely clueless Rumsfeld would have let Shinseki prosecute this war we'd be home by now. In fact, my greatest opposition to the war at that time was simply that we can't let these fuck-ups do this because they are wholly incompetent and refuse to listen to people who aren't. There is really nothing we can do now to fix it because it was always a one shot deal.

Now these idiots want to attack Iran. The roll-out starts after Labor Day. As our feckless leader says, "Fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again."

Found via Kevin Drum

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Don't Get Your Hopes Up

Muqtada al-Sadr has announced that he is suspending the Mehdi Army until further notice or six months whichever comes first. Dog fighting perhaps?

Anyway, don't look for this to make a great deal of difference. As the past has shown, the Mookie can have great effect when he wants to ratchet up the violence, but has had little effect when he wants to abate it. The Mehdi Army is too decentralized with too many different agendas for him to fully control.

Still, it's better than him calling for attacks.


Hilly Kristal, the founder of CBGB's has died at the age of 75. I never got the chance to visit the club, which is one of the few disappointing things on my list of things I never got to do, or will ever get to do. Hell, there is only one original Ramone still living. Getting old blows.

Two Days

I was wondering how long it would take for this to happen. From TPM:

One larger issue must be addressed. The Republican Party platform clearly rejects the agenda of homosexual activists. The Party, in the wake of the Mark Foley incident in particular, can no longer straddle the fence on the issue of homosexual behavior. Even setting Senator Craig’s situation aside, the Party should regard participation in the self-destructive homosexual lifestyle as incompatible with public service on behalf of the GOP.

No member of the Republican Party in the 1860s could represent his party and be a slaveholder at the same time. Nor can the Republican Party of today speak with authority and clarity to the moral issues that confront our society and at the same time send ambivalent messages about sexual behavior. It is time for the Republican Party to be the party that defends the American family in word, deed, and by personal example.

Hopefully there will come a day when the republican party can achieve such a level of purity that they can't get elected as dog catcher.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Gonzo Going

Alberto Gonzales is resigning, no doubt to spend more time lying to his family. The rumor mill has Michael Chertoff to replace him. At least Chertoff has experience cleaning up after buffoons.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Obama Receives Crucial Endorsement

I know we are awfully early in the presidential nomination process, but still, if you are undecided at this point, it is probably because you are waiting due to a lingering question in your mind. Who is Master P going to support for president?

Well, wait no more, because I received an e-mail today informing me that P has came out and fully endorsed Barack Obama for president. This is a extremely important endorsement. With it secured, Obama can surely expect a cavalcade of other B-list, C-list, and even D-list celebrities to follow suit, and that my friend would lead to a rash of bundled $14.00 checks from residuals.

Restoring My Faith In Humanity

Ah, virtually nothing can renew your faith in humanity like an early morning trip to a carry-out. This fine morning I stopped at one in one of the small towns I travel though on my way to work.

Inside, a mother was having a confusing conversation about which off brand cigarettes were the cheapest. The smokes were of course for her daughter who looked to be sixteenish. You know what they say, the family that smokes together.

Thursday, August 09, 2007


I had glanced at this University of Iowa poll earlier but missed this nugget. In a poll of registared republicans in Iowa, when asked who they would support in next fall's general election, Barack Obama finished third (6.7%) behind likely Caucus attendee favorite Mitt Romney (21.8%) and Rudy Giuliani (10%), ahead of Fred Thompson (5.2%), and John McCain (1.8%).

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Bush On The Minnesota Bridge Collapse

President Bush had this to say after examining the I35W collapsed bridge a couple of days ago:

"I do promise she's [Transportation Secretary Mary Peters] going to listen to the local authorities to find out what the folks here need," Bush said. "I do promise that when she sees roadblocks and hurdles in the way of getting the job done, she'll do everything she can to eliminate them."

Shortly thereafter, Peters was seen whispering into Bush's ear. Bush then immediately announced that he was laying off 6,500 border guards.

Sacrifice Bitches!

Mitt Romney was asked today why none of his sons are serving in the military. His response:

"One of the ways my sons are showing support for our nation is helping me get elected because they think I'd be a great president."

I'll be the first to admit, the question is stupid and a little bit unfair. Mitt Romney is running for president, not his kids so I don't care if they're crack-heads, or Prius driving dopers, or look like they belong in a gay men's choir.

Nonetheless, you would think the Romney campaign would have seen this question coming at some point and would have a carefully scripted answer prepared. Preferably one that doesn't make Romney look like a total jackass. Makes you wonder, doesn't it? Are these guys ready for prime time?


Simply for the fact that I think the guy is a total tool, I bring you this Jim Cramer meltdown from last Friday while I was away.

Of Fed, won't you bail us out of our self made catastrophe?

I especially like the way he lectures Bear Stearns for panicking right before he goes into full blown panic mode himself.

Bonds Hits 756

Well, Barry Bonds now has the Major League Baseball home run record. Like him or not, and I tend to fall into the not category, you have to admit that steroids or not, Bonds is probably has to be considered the greatest hitter in the history of the game now.

I've heard a lot of people complaining today about the body armor Bonds wears when he bats, and while I agree that fifteen years is far too long for the medical exemption that allowed him too where it, if you're the pitcher facing him you have to find a way to back him off the plate regardless of his elbow armor. Either throw at his head, or stop bitching.

As an interesting side note to the event, the pitcher who gave up the record breaking home run was Mike Bacsik Jr. His father, Mike Bacsik Sr. faced Hank Aaron in 1976 as a member of the Texas Rangers when Aaron's home run total was 755. Mike Sr. got Aaron to fly out to right field before yielding a single in Aaron's next at bat. Aaron never homered again.


I spent last weekend up at JK & P's cabin at the lake in Michigan. It was quite fun and I discovered something that has been missing from my life for the past couple of years, the darkness that only comes with being away from the city.

For the past five years I have lived in a sort of perpetual Arctic summer solstice where even after the sun does go down artificial light continues to pour into my apartment from dusk to dawn, and most of my vacations tend to send me to other large American cities where the same thing occurs. The opportunity to wander around in actual darkness was very reinvigorating, and getting to see things like the Milky way again were great. I have got to get out of the city more often.