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Archives for: October 2007

Guerrilla News Network -- For a Look Behind the Scenes

This is just a small sample of the writing at Guerrilla News Network, a site that carries a lot of interesting articles.

You can find them by a " GNN " search

At the State Department, McCormack said "these kinds of issues are not new." He said Justice Department officials "can take steps to work around" any limited immunity agreements. "They provide limited protections that would not preclude a successful criminal prosecution," he said.

A second senior State Department official, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the ongoing inquiry, said the agency has for years required its security contractors to give written statements within hours of any so-called "use of deadly force" in Iraq.

Waivers granting a security worker limited immunity — by barring those statements in a criminal case against the worker — are a "routine part" of the investigations by the Bureau of Diplomatic Security, the official said.

The waiver given to Blackwater guards reads, in part: "I further understand that neither my statements nor any information or evidence gained by reason of my statements can be used against me in a criminal proceeding, except that if I knowingly and willfully provide false statements or information, I may be criminally prosecuted for that action."

It's not clear whether the waivers were ever authorized by the Justice Department, which decides whether cases are prosecuted. Blackwater spokeswoman Anne Tyrrell declined comment about whether the immunity waivers were part of the security firm's contract with the State Department.

Justice Department spokesman Dean Boyd said prosecution was still possible, despite "knowing that this investigation involves a number of complex issues."

Permalink10/31/07, 10:13:41 pm, by dajavoodooo Email , 178 views, User Posts Send feedback

From afar

the US is just bizarre. BJ impeachments and now this:

"BALTIMORE - A grieving father won a nearly $11 million verdict Wednesday against a fundamentalist Kansas church that pickets military funerals out of a belief that the war in Iraq is a punishment for the nation's tolerance of homosexuality"

Gawd. For it, against it...

Permalink31.10.07, 21:10:44, by iconoclast_555 Email , 188 views, User Posts 4 feedbacks


These two are going Trick or Treating as the Coppertone Girl and her little dog.

Scroll down mateys.

Permalink10/31/07, 07:24:52 pm, by billy b, 197 views, User Posts 5 feedbacks

White Man's Burden

This was written with the Philippine War in mind by good old Rudyard Kipling. It kinda sticks out like a thumb today, what with democratic dominoes and all...

Take up the White Man's burden--
Send forth the best ye breed--
Go bind your sons to exile
To serve your captives' need;
To wait in heavy harness,
On fluttered folk and wild--
Your new-caught, sullen peoples,
Half-devil and half-child.

Take up the White Man's burden--
In patience to abide,
To veil the threat of terror
And check the show of pride;
By open speech and simple,
An hundred times made plain
To seek another's profit,
And work another's gain.

Take up the White Man's burden--
The savage wars of peace--
Fill full the mouth of Famine
And bid the sickness cease;
And when your goal is nearest
The end for others sought,
Watch sloth and heathen Folly
Bring all your hopes to nought.

Take up the White Man's burden--
No tawdry rule of kings,
But toil of serf and sweeper--
The tale of common things.
The ports ye shall not enter,
The roads ye shall not tread,
Go make them with your living,
And mark them with your dead.

Take up the White Man's burden--
And reap his old reward:
The blame of those ye better,
The hate of those ye guard--
The cry of hosts ye humour
(Ah, slowly!) toward the light:--
"Why brought he us from bondage,
Our loved Egyptian night?"

Take up the White Man's burden--
Ye dare not stoop to less--
Nor call too loud on Freedom
To cloke your weariness;
By all ye cry or whisper,
By all ye leave or do,
The silent, sullen peoples
Shall weigh your gods and you.

Take up the White Man's burden--
Have done with childish days--
The lightly proferred laurel,
The easy, ungrudged praise.
Comes now, to search your manhood
Through all the thankless years
Cold, edged with dear-bought wisdom,
The judgment of your peers.

Nothing is more repugnant than an ethnocentric and hypocritical noblesse oblige.

Permalink31.10.07, 17:44:23, by iconoclast_555 Email , 202 views, User Posts Send feedback


Fuck Spain.

Happy Halloween, alvie!

Nice costume, BTW.

Oh, wait, that's not a costume-- you dress like that ever damn day?


Permalink10/31/07, 05:33:22 pm, by bastard_amber Email , 128 views, User Posts Send feedback


This is what happens when issues overshadow ideology.


Permalink31.10.07, 17:29:34, by iconoclast_555 Email , 142 views, User Posts Send feedback

Rumsfeld is warned: “A torturer is an enemy of all humankind”

Doesn't look to good for Rummy. While I doubt that there's anything that will be done to Rumsfeld, the action by the French is unprecedented as I am not aware of any "friendly" government ever charging a US government official with what amounts to war crimes.

From The Existentialist Cowboy:

Former US secretary of defense Donald Rumsfeld now faces criminal charges in France for ordering the torture of prisoners in Iraq and at the military prison at Guantanamo Bay. Charges aganst Rumsfeld were filed with a French court while Rumsfeld was in Paris for talks sponsored by Foreign Policy magazine.

The charges, supported by some of the world’s most prominent human rights law groups, formally charge Rumsfeld with "....authorizing and ordering torture".


Permalink10/31/07, 12:50:26 pm, by billy b, 647 views, User Posts 3 feedbacks

Fun with the Huckster

The Wayne Dumond case is one that we hope will cause Huckabee some problems. My youngest sister was a band camp friend of Ashley Stevens.

Web special: Dumond case revisited

A reminder of Huckabee's role in his freedom

Editor's note, Sept. 1, 2005: Wayne Dumond, convicted of rape in Arkansas and murder in Missouri, died of apparent natural causes in prison Tuesday.

The occasion prompts us to republish Murray Waas' prize-winning article for the Arkansas Times in 2002 about the extraordinary steps Gov. Mike Huckabee took to help win Dumond's freedom. He has since blamed others for Dumond's release to kill again, but his actions over many years demonstrated his support for Dumond and, ultimately, the instrumental role he played in the parole board's decision to free him.

By Murray S. Waas

“I signed the [parole] papers because the governor wanted Dumond paroled. I was thinking the governor was working for the best interests of the state.”
—Ermer Pondexter, ex-member of the board of pardons and paroles

New sources, including an advisor to Gov. Mike Huckabee, have told the Arkansas Times that Huckabee and a senior member of his staff exerted behind-the-scenes influence to bring about the parole of rapist Wayne Dumond, who Missouri authorities say raped and killed a woman there shortly after his parole.


Permalink10/31/07, 10:06:50 am, by billy b, 401 views, User Posts Send feedback

Fed Expected to Cut Rates

Federal Reserve Expected to Cut Rates for a Second Time in an Effort to Ward Off a Recession

WASHINGTON (AP) -- With oil prices soaring and the housing market sinking, the Federal Reserve is likely to combat the economic turmoil with more interest rate cuts.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and his colleagues were wrapping up a two-day meeting Wednesday and many economists believe they will announce that they have decided to follow September's half-point cut in the federal funds rate with a quarter-point cut at this meeting.

"They are going to cut rates," predicted Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Economy.com. "The economy is weakening and financial markets remain unsettled."

Many analysts said this rate reduction probably will not be the last either, as the central bank keeps reducing rates to help the economy overcome a host of problems.

They have one button and they keep pushing it, but one button isn't enough to overcome 8 years of mismanagement.

There's your real "war on Christmas". Wreck the economy by enriching the already wealthy at the expense of the middle class.

We're going back to the days of the robber barons.

Enjoy the ride down.

Permalink10/31/07, 08:11:07 am, by Timbuk3 Email , 292 views, Latest Posts 3 feedbacks

"Mukasey Calls Harsh Interrogation ‘Repugnant’"

Some call bombing Brazil's Nukes "Prudent."

I embrace the Pacifist without a gun standing in the face of fear.

I reject the 2nd Amendment Pussy quivering out in the country calling for the bombing of others.

"Just lie if the cop asks if you have a gun."

Big Balls for a Goddamn Pussy.

Quaker Pacifists have bigger balls than Dodge Ram Gun Rackers driving down the innerstate.

bushies are pussies, and when you ask them one minute, they want Ghengis, and the next they might vote for Hillary.

What's REPUGNANT is COWARDS who would give away the Bill of Rights for the 2nd Amendment.

Permalink10/31/07, 03:04:59 am, by bastard_amber Email , 323 views, Latest Posts 9 feedbacks

Zogby: 52% of likely voters support war against Iran

A majority of likely voters – 52% – would support a U.S. military strike to prevent Iran from building a nuclear weapon, and 53% believe it is likely that the U.S. will be involved in a military strike against Iran before the next presidential election, a new Zogby America telephone poll shows.

The survey results come at a time of increasing U.S. scrutiny of Iran. According to reports from the Associated Press, earlier this month Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice accused Iran of "lying" about the aim of its nuclear program and Vice President Dick Cheney has raised the prospect of "serious consequences" if the U.S. were to discover Iran was attempting to devolop a nuclear weapon. Last week, the Bush administration also announced new sanctions against Iran.


29% said the U.S. should not attack Iran, and 20% were unsure.

Permalink10/31/07, 01:35:51 am, by oralloy Email , 191 views, User Posts 2 feedbacks

Biden gets the "line of the night" prize

"Rudy Giuliani, probably the most underqualified man since George Bush to seek the presidency ... there's only three things he mentions in a sentence: a noun and a verb and 9/11."

Joe may not be our next President, but I was glad he was there, tonight.

BTW, Hillary sucked. Big time. (And not like Monica.)

Obama blathered on in general terms about what a great America this would be if he was just President.

Richardson was just kinda pathetic.

Kucinich looked embarassed about having seen a UFO.

Dodd and Edwards rocked. I'd give a slight edge to Dodd, tonight.

Permalink10/31/07, 12:11:56 am, by Timbuk3 Email , 250 views, Latest Posts 16 feedbacks

Mukasey: Civil Trials Wrong for Terror Suspects


I'm not sure how much it matters though since most terror suspects are foreigners who will likely be tried at Guantanamo instead of our domestic courts.

Permalink10/30/07, 11:07:43 pm, by oralloy Email , 147 views, User Posts Send feedback

Therefore, They Will Be Really Expensive Fucking Troops

WASHINGTON, Oct. 30 — All State Department security convoys in Iraq will now fall under military control, the latest step taken by government officials to bring Blackwater Worldwide and other armed contractors under tighter supervision.

Goddamn this idiot Republican Party to Hell.

Permalink10/30/07, 10:41:55 pm, by bastard_amber Email , 166 views, User Posts Send feedback

Foot in Mouth Disease

"The chief of the Justice Department's voting rights division apologized Tuesday for saying that aging is not a problem with black voters because they die before they become elderly, unlike whites."


"anything that disproportionately impacts the elderly has the opposite impact on minorities. Just the math is such as that," Tanner added."

Permalink10/30/07, 06:13:26 pm, by oralloy Email , 168 views, User Posts 1 feedback

Other People Have Problems With Joshy

Hillary Clinton is the current Democratic front-runner. And virtually every night on cable, she is held up to ridicule by “mainstream” figures like Hardball’s Chris Matthews. (Tim Russert, king of the insider “press corps,” isn’t far behind. He’ll be back on the prowl tonight, at the Dem debate.) There is nothing so stupid that these tools won’t say it—as Matthews has been proving anew in the past few weeks—and this builds an atmosphere of ridicule around this latest Dem front-runner. Clinton claps her hands too much! And: Clinton is an obvious “fraud” when she says she grew up rooting for the Yankees! And: Her voice is just like chalk on the chalkboard! Fine, brilliant boys like the fine, brilliant Marshall don’t dirty their fine, brilliant hands with such nonsense. In a different world, we could support their reluctance. But they also didn’t dirty their hands when we were being told these things: Al Gore doesn’t know who he is! And: Al Gore hired a woman to teach him how to be a man! And: Al Gore said he invented the Internet! Josh kept his big trap shut back then, and he’s keeping his big, worthless trap shut now. Result? His reader still doesn’t understand why the other side is on the offensive. But then, his reader will never know that—if he keeps learning from Josh.

I am not alone. Funny as Hell.

Permalink10/30/07, 02:37:19 pm, by bastard_amber Email , 167 views, User Posts 3 feedbacks

China Buys Into Carlyle Group

Just heard this on the Thom Hartman radio show on Air America that China has made a significant buy in with the Group.

Not sure if it was an investment or a buy out, but noone the less, Carlyle makes a lot of money from the Military Idustrial Complex. Funny how rich China is getting from the United States.

And now the Christnas warnings are going up too -- to avoid toys made in China because of possible -- no flagrant -- use of lead and other toxins in toys and any other thing that a person may buy.

The love of money is the root of all evil and multi-national corporations sit in the front pew, us being a Christian nation and all....

Permalink10/30/07, 02:03:45 pm, by dajavoodooo Email , 277 views, User Posts 6 feedbacks

Retroactive immunity...

...it's not just for telcoms, any more.

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- State Department investigators promised Blackwater guards immunity from prosecution for last month's deadly shooting of 17 Iraqi civilians in Baghdad, according to officials familiar with the matter.

That could potentially complicate any attempt to bring criminal charges in the case, the officials said.

The Justice Department and FBI refused comment on the investigation, which the State Department announced in early October. Blackwater also declined comment.

Now aren't things so much nicer now that the decider has "restored honor and dignity" to the WH?

Permalink10/30/07, 04:00:00 am, by Timbuk3 Email , 235 views, Latest Posts 4 feedbacks

Don't relax just yet

This is a helluva post on Digby's blog. I wanted to post the whole thing. Really. Go read it.

If Only

by tristero

Seems like everyone's predicting the imminent implosion of modern christianism. And yes, it does look that way, doesn't it? Despite the wide variety of clinical-level personality disorders on display amongst the current Republican candidates, the so-called "religious" right can't find the particular flavor of lunacy that makes them get all hard. Call it electile dysfunction. As it happens Rich's point is underlined by a simultaneous article in the Sunday Times on the same subject.

I truly wish this were so, that we didn't have to worry about the theocrats amongst us....


Permalink10/29/07, 11:38:35 pm, by Timbuk3 Email , 341 views, Latest Posts 1 feedback

Republican rightwingers find an Iraq-on-sea

The UN law of the Sea is supported by everyone from environmentalists to George Bush - just not fulminating unilateralists in the Senate

Elana Schor in Washington
Thursday October 25, 2007
Guardian Unlimited

Conservative senators and critics of the United Nations are attempting once again to stop the US joining an international treaty on access to the world's waters, despite support for it from the military and George Bush.


Permalink10/29/07, 10:21:44 pm, by Timbuk3 Email , 395 views, Latest Posts 3 feedbacks

Join the Spanish Army... and Uncle Sam?

It's in Spanish, but a picture tells a thousand words


About the Spanish army... for decades it was conscript. Every kid knew that he'd be in a sh*thole for 12-18 months (the period varied), getting paid a pittance, eating crap, shooting perhaps 2 shots from an outdated Mauser (and later a CETME), and running errands for officers.

Then it turned pro. Decent pay, decent training... but nobody wanted to join. So EUREKA! L. Americans have a special status in Spain (probably guilt/pride over the old empire), can get a "Green card" easier than others. Now - L. Americans can join the Spanish army and get automatic citizenship, decent pay, etc.

Gotta wonder what the marvelous Spanish military could do if forced to fight Morocco over Parsley Island. Will PFC D'Angello from Buenos Aires give up his life for Mom, Paella and Milhojas?

The funny thing is that... he probably would. Gibbon pointed out that "the courage of a soldier is found to be the cheapest and most common quality of human nature." Gibbon also pointed out the dangers of a mercenary army, one of the principle causes of the fall of the Roman Empire.

Gibbon was a contemporary of the Founding Fathers, a friend of the Encyclopedists, one of the first "modern" humanists. He foretold the seat of an empire standing on the new continent, just as the FF's shared Gibbon's knowledge and prejudices based on ancient experience.

Thus Washington and almost all the rest of the FF's were staunchly against the concept of a standing army. And they didn't even consider the idea of such an army being indirectly controlled by an industrial-financial clique.

Without a doubt, if the FF's suddenly aroused from the dead on Halloween, they'd fall right back in their grave in disgust at what we've done with their experiment over the past 150-or-so years.

So what does this have to do with the Spanish army? Well, for 40 years Spain was "walked" into the ground by a military dictatorship without the "benefit" of corporate backers. Their dream was to have every male citizen ready to defend the "patria" against the judeo/commie/masonic hordes trying to destroy Spanish life, aristocratic liberty and freedom for the wealthy. They wanted them spit-polished killing machines, but alas - Spain could only afford $10/month soldiers and Junkers JU-88 bombers as late as the late 1950's.

Now the Spanish military, shorn of its political monopoly, got what it wanted. And it has immigrants and exhibitionists.

I think that this is poetic justice.

Permalink29.10.07, 18:21:30, by iconoclast_555 Email , 1895 views, User Posts 5 feedbacks

Rats fleeing a sinking ship

Another Asshole House Republican is retiring.

A spokesman for Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo has confirmed he will not seek a sixth term.

Tancredo is running for the Republican presidential nomination, but the spokesman says the decision not to seek re-election is separate from that effort.

More than a dozen House Republicans have recently announced plans not to seek another term.

Now, the article goes on to say that "several" of the others that aren't seeking another term are "seeking other offices, but when you throw in the AG scandal (Abu Gonzo may be indicted), Abramoff (not all the investigations are final), Sibel Edmonds threatening to tell all, enough Senators standing firm on retroactive telcom immunity (to cover Bush's crimes, not theirs), the ruling that Bush can't keep Reagan's records hidden...

and so on...

and you start to wonder if maybe something big is coming down.

BTW, did ya'all see that "Jomentum" Liebaby is being investigated, too?

String all the Bush enablers up by their nuts (or a reasonable facsimile thereof, depending on apparent gender.) It's OK by me.

Permalink10/29/07, 03:04:16 pm, by Timbuk3 Email , 287 views, Latest Posts 5 feedbacks

Straitjacket Bush

There have been some people as of late that have opined on this subject. I think there's some merit to the arguement. I take it one can be a sociopath and also be crazy...

The president's warmongering remarks on the Iranian threat suggest he is psychotic. Really.

By Rosa Brooks

Forget impeachment.

Liberals, put it behind you. George W. Bush and Dick Cheney shouldn't be treated like criminals who deserve punishment. They should be treated like psychotics who need treatment.

Because they've clearly gone mad. Exhibit A: We're in the middle of a disastrous war in Iraq, the military and political situation in Afghanistan is steadily worsening, and the administration's interrogation and detention tactics have inflamed anti-Americanism and fueled extremist movements around the globe. Sane people, confronting such a situation, do their best to tamp down tensions, rebuild shattered alliances, find common ground with hostile parties and give our military a little breathing space. But crazy people? They look around and decide it's a great time to start another war.

Little Boots is so full of shit, his beady little close-set eyes are brown. He just runs off at the mouth.


Permalink10/29/07, 08:11:19 am, by billy b, 629 views, User Posts 8 feedbacks


Trash Talking Iran

America’s allies and increasingly the American public are playing a ghoulish guessing game: Will President Bush manage to leave office without starting a war with Iran? Mr. Bush is eagerly feeding those anxieties. This month he raised the threat of “World War III” if Iran even figures out how to make a nuclear weapon.

With a different White House, we might dismiss this as posturing — or bank on sanity to carry the day, or the warnings of exhausted generals or a defense secretary more rational than his predecessor. Not this crowd.

Four years after his pointless invasion of Iraq, President Bush still confuses bullying with grand strategy. He refuses to do the hard work of diplomacy — or even acknowledge the disastrous costs of his actions. The Republican presidential candidates have apparently decided that the real commander in chief test is to see who can out-trash talk the White House on Iran.

The world should not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon, but there is no easy fix here, no daring surgical strike. Consider Natanz, the underground site where Iran is defying the Security Council by spinning a few thousand centrifuges to produce nuclear fuel. American bombers could take it out, but what about the even more sophisticated centrifuges the administration accuses Iran of hiding? Beyond the disastrous diplomatic and economic costs, a bombing campaign is unlikely to set back Iran’s efforts for more than a few years.

The neocons pushing an attack on Iran admit that a prolonged bombing campaign would be necessary and would likely only delay Iran’s program. But it is still worth it, they say, and if everybody gets lucky maybe the attacks will unleash that popular uprising against the mullahs they’ve been promising for years.

That is the same kind of rose-petal thinking that was used to sell Americans a fantasy about the invasion of Iraq. Large numbers of Iranians are fed up with their government’s corruption and repression and with being branded a pariah state. Rain down American bombs, however, and the mullahs and Iran’s Holocaust-denying president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, are more likely to be turned into national heroes than hung from lampposts. And that’s not even calculating the international fury or the additional mayhem Tehran could wreak in Iraq or what would happen to world oil prices.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is the other great hope (after Defense Secretary Robert Gates) for holding off a war. She still wants to give sanctions and diplomacy a chance. But, as with everything else she does, there’s nowhere near enough follow-through. If the stakes are really that high — and they are — then Ms. Rice and her boss must tell Moscow, Beijing and the Europeans that relations will be judged on whether they are willing to place a lot more pressure on Iran.

They also need to offer Iran a credible way back in from the cold — and clear rewards and security guarantees if it is willing to give up its nuclear ambitions. If it’s really that important — and we believe it is — then it’s time to send somebody higher ranking than the American ambassador in Baghdad to deliver the message.

For this to have any chance, Mr. Bush will have to tone down the rhetoric. Sure, a lot of these countries are letting greed cloud their judgment, when they balk at restricting trade with Iran. But it’s a lot easier to justify when they say they’re not giving the crazy American government an excuse for another war.

Maybe the country will get lucky and Mr. Bush will listen to the exhausted generals. But this isn’t just about surviving the rest of his presidency. Fifteen more months of diplomatic drift will bring Iran 15 months closer to figuring out how to make a nuclear weapon.

Krugman's op-ed today is also of interest. Are the GOP candidates and their followers so out of their minds?

NB - if anyone uses the term "islamofascist", know that you're talking to an ignorant dupe that wets his/her bed in fear over bogeymen.

Permalink29.10.07, 06:19:29, by iconoclast_555 Email , 321 views, User Posts 6 feedbacks

Wow. I Reject Bill Maher More This Week Than Last

"I'm too sexy for my shiite!"

Ha ha ha Bill.

I know you don't want to go "Israel-First."

So I guess the reason behind your asphalt-slamming those ladies in the burkas is just for the humor of it.

I expect your youtube downloads to drop.

My downloads certainly will.

Permalink10/29/07, 12:54:17 am, by bastard_amber Email , 180 views, User Posts Send feedback

Bush mass for shut ins for 10-28-07

Bush mass for shut ins is on the air!


Good morning Bush worshippers, those who are ill and those who it's just best not to mix with society. May Lord God Bush bless you all for coming. For it is he who brought us life and everything else. He is a thousand points of light! He makes the sun rise in the morning, puts the frost on our flakes and puts the fruit on the trees. All praise the glory of Lord God Bush. Today we celebrate Panic.


Panic is a good holy thing because people will do anything they are told to when in a state of panic. It is times like these when people turn to Lord God Bush and this makes him more powerful.


Ah oooh
He looked a lot like Che Guevara, drove a diesel van
Kept his gun in quiet seclusion, such a humble man
The only survivor of the National People's Gang
Panic in Detroit, I asked for an autograph
He wanted to stay home, I wish someone would phone
Panic in Detroit (oh oh oh aahh, oh oh oh aahh)

He laughed at accidental sirens that broke the evening gloom
The police had warned of repercussions
They followed none too soon
A trickle of strangers were all that were left alive
Panic in Detroit, I asked for an autograph
He wanted to stay home, I wish someone would phone
Panic in Detroit (oh oh oh aahh, ah ah ah aahh)

Putting on some clothes I made my way to school
(oh oh oh)
And I found my teacher crouching in his overalls
I screamed and ran to smash my favourite slot machine (oh oh oh)
And jumped the silent cars that slept at traffic lights

Having scored a trillion dollars, made a run back home
Found him slumped across the table. A gun and me alone
I ran to the window. Looked for a plane or two
Panic in Detroit. He'd left me an autograph
"Let me collect dust." I wish someone would phone
Panic in Detroit
Panic in Detroit
Panic in Detroit


And George the Blessed looked down upon the people and spoke `The terrorists are out to get us. They hate America. Pray to me and you shall be saved.`

What is it that the Profit Cheney is trying to teach us? It is that being scared is a good thing and makes Lord God Bush more powerful so he can defeat the evildoers and save us. This is the word of George.

Bush mass is over

Your attendance has been recorded and will be sent to the proper authorities. Go in arrogance, may Lord God George W Bush be with you.

Permalink10/28/07, 09:10:39 am, by first_church_of_bush Email , 182 views, User Posts 2 feedbacks

US to Order Diplomats to Serve in Iraq

WASHINGTON Oct 27, 2007 (AP)

In the largest call-up of U.S. diplomats since the Vietnam War, the State Department is planning to order some of its personnel to serve at the American Embassy in Iraq because of a lack of volunteers.

Those designated "prime candidates" from 200 to 300 diplomats will be notified Monday that they have been selected for one-year postings to fill the 40 to 50 vacancies expected next year.

A spokesman for the union that represents U.S. diplomats told The Associated Press on Saturday that "assigning unarmed civilians into a combat zone should be done on a voluntary basis."

Let's see...

The largest embassy in history, behind schedule even though it's being built with slave labor to the same standards that allowed piss to leak through the light fixtures in schools. Guarded by a mercenary army that's so hated by the indigenous people that they may be forced to withdraw. Diplomats who see the futility of being caught in the middle of a civil war are now being ordered to go, anyway.

Mission accomplished.

Bush has proven, to me anyway, that unrestrained capitalism is a path to failure.

Permalink10/28/07, 12:53:36 am, by Timbuk3 Email , 186 views, Latest Posts 3 feedbacks

Mercenaries want in to N. Michigan

This was on Buzzflash headlines yesterday, but I couldn't find it last night or this morning. So I Googled it. I posted the whole article.

Former Bush General Touts Privatization of National Disaster Response
by: Eartha Jane Melzer
Thursday (10/25) at 15:07 PM
"Country Club Fees" Would Guarantee Protection
A retired general now working for a controversial private security company told an audience last night about the services the company plans to provide.

The government does not have the tax base to provide services to everyone in the event of a major catastrophe, retired Brigadier General Richard W. Mills told an audience in Pellston last night.

Mills served as Deputy Director of the Counterterrorism Center (CTC) of the Central Intelligence Agency before retirement this year. At a public meeting at the Pellston High School he presented himself as the executive vice president for strategic development for Sovereign Deed, an 18 month old company that offers private disaster response services.

Sovereign Deed was started by a founder of Triple Canopy -- one the largest private security companies doing business in Iraq. In August the company announced that it would build a "national response center" at the Pellston airport in Emmet County. The announcement came after State Senator Jason Allen (R-Traverse City) successfully sponsored a bill to allow private security firms to qualify for tax abatements as industrial facilities.
Mills, and Emmet County officials, were on hand last night to speak about Sovereign Deed and address what they called a wave of "rumors" about the company's plans.


Permalink10/27/07, 08:15:04 pm, by lewagner Email , 507 views, User Posts 7 feedbacks

Oil at $90 per - Inflation will go Sky High

Well, be prepared to spend more for a box of mashed potatoes and everything else that's delivered by a truck. I wish I had kept up with or could do the research to see why the sudden boost in the cost per barrel.

Last summer I got in a chat with my gas station guy about it hitting $62 per, and this summer we had a high of $3.50 per gallon of gas ---(now this is Sunoco high octane -- the most expensive any gas station sells -- I need this for my MGB little British sports car that likes 100 octane) whew! what an off shoot!

With all that talk of WWIII and the seeming impending engagement with Iran, if it stayss this high, it will kill us economically --- which just may be the only weapon that can be used agaist us -- we're getting hit in the balls.

Grin and bear it.

Permalink10/27/07, 01:41:32 pm, by dajavoodooo Email , 136 views, User Posts Send feedback

Laura Bush Slams Newspapers on 'Freedom' and Iraq

Pickles gets in on the act. This stupid bint needs to shut her yap as she almost as dumb as her hubbie. One thing the woman has going for her is she could double as the "Joker" in "Batman".

ALI AL SALEM AIR BASE, Kuwait First lady Laura Bush told hundreds of U.S. troops Thursday that the American people stand by them in the Iraq war and the security situation in the country was improving due to their efforts.


Permalink10/27/07, 08:46:54 am, by billy b, 331 views, User Posts 2 feedbacks

This is Democracy?

Fake News Briefing by FEMA Draws Official Rebukes

WASHINGTON, Oct. 26 — The Federal Emergency Management Agency staged a fake news conference this week, with agency staff officials, pretending to be reporters, peppering one of their own bosses with decidedly friendly questions about the response to the California fires, the Department of Homeland Security acknowledged Friday.

The action, first reported on Friday in The Washington Post, drew a rebuke from the White House and Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, and an apology from the agency official who was at the lectern, Harvey E. Johnson, the deputy director.

“We have made it clear that such a stunt will never be tolerated or repeated,” a spokeswoman for the department, Laura C. Keehner, said on behalf of Mr. Chertoff.

The questions from the staff were posed after FEMA gave reporters only 15 minutes notice for a news conference on Tuesday, meaning that other than television camera crews, no reporters showed up before questioning began. A toll-free telephone line was provided so reporters could listen in, but it was not set up to allow questions.

As a result, staff members asked Mr. Johnson a series of friendly questions like, “Are you happy with FEMA’s response so far?” and, “What lessons learned from Katrina have been applied?”

Mr. Johnson gave no indication that the questions came from his own staff.

“I’m very happy with FEMA’s response so far,” Mr. Johnson said in response to one question, according to a transcript.

Dana Perino, the White House spokeswoman, said the event was mishandled. “It’s not something I would have condoned,” she said. “And they — I’m sure — will not do it again.”



As if the WH hasn'd planted reporters and questions... Hypocrites!

Permalink27.10.07, 06:23:03, by iconoclast_555 Email , 293 views, User Posts 8 feedbacks

From the Rude One

That's right, you crazy college kids that'll be attending the Washington Briefing '07: Value Voters Summit, sponsored by the Family Research Council and a panoply of nutzoid right-wing organizations. Not only can you listen to your mighty heroes of mighty mightiness, like adulterer Newt Gingrich and convicted felon Chuck Colson, not only can you get your head filled with speeches from presidential candidates like Rudy Giuliani on how he shares your values, despite banging his mistress while living with a gay couple, and the walking corpse of Fred Thompson (for, truly, the Republican candidates range from demigorgon creepy to "Please make him stop fondling my baby's penis" skeevy), but you can get your late-night groove on at the conference.

All that and FRC President Tony Perkins and his hair, along with promises that representatives from other groups and, get this, "suprise guests" will be there. Cross your fingers, boys, that it's Laura Ingraham, ready to please your jerk-off fantasies of abstinence-friendly titty-fucking her (shhh, let's not tell them).


This guy is outstanding.

I'd need at least 18 more Dutch beers before I could ever even imagining titty-fucking Laura Ingraham.

Permalink10/26/07, 09:28:34 pm, by bsa Email , 175 views, User Posts 1 feedback

Good Lord I'm havin' a day...

How are you guys doin'?

Is it beer-thirty, yet?

Permalink10/26/07, 03:53:13 pm, by Timbuk3 Email , 182 views, Latest Posts 5 feedbacks

What the Republican Revolution has Wrought

I've never been much of a Garrison Keillor fan, but his column today is good.

It's the I Got Mine You Get Your Own party, marching under a Christian banner

By Garrison Keillor

Oct. 24, 2007 | There is a natural division of labor in politics: The Republicans fuss about the sanctity of marriage and getting God back in the schools and the Democrats about healthcare and the $8 billion that vanished in Iraq, and so far the Republicans are doing a better job. God is in the schools, the same as He is in Nebraska or even in Dallas, and marriage looks to be doing OK, since the White House is not in charge of it. Meanwhile, the Pentagon and the Justice Department are investigating fraud in Iraq, one grain of sand at a time, and we are likely to have answers in a decade or two.

I suppose that $8 billion is not so much considering that the war will cost $200 billion this year alone, and yet one is curious to know why the G-men can't find out where it went, at a time when the Current Occupant is so very concerned about keeping medical benefits away from undeserving children. Hundreds of millions paid to the gunslingers of Blackwater, but an American family with a seriously ill child has to tap-dance backward through a gantlet of government forms to prove they really, really, really are desperate.

I'm pleased to see that someone remembers the $8 billions that Bremer and his cronies divided up amongst themselves. At the time, the story was that the money was needed for Iraqis or some such nonsense.


Permalink10/26/07, 12:48:22 pm, by billy b, 638 views, User Posts 4 feedbacks

Rogue Nation

U.S. move on Iran alienating for Europe

October 26, 2007
WASHINGTON -- The Bush administration's new package of sanctions against Iran widens the gap between the United States and its European allies over how to confront Tehran.

For two years, the administration has sought to work closely with Europeans and other world powers, convinced that collective action offered the best chance to pressure Iran to abandon its nuclear ambitions. But efforts to push through a third round of United Nations sanctions snagged and prospects for a new international coalition to impose economic penalties appear unlikely, so the administration decided to strike out on its own Thursday. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. announced unilateral sanctions that aim to cut off Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps, three key Iranian banks and others from any contact with the worldwide U.S. financial system.

The State Department designated Iran as a state sponsor of terrorism in 1984. The sanctions imposed Thursday are aimed at any remaining financial ties.

More in the LA Times


Permalink10/26/07, 07:34:40 am, by Timbuk3 Email , 480 views, Latest Posts 18 feedbacks


"Radical Islam" didn't attack us on 911, "conservative religious fanatics" attacked us.

It's not "the national debt", it's "the conservative debt".

Christians don't bomb medical clinics and picket soldier's funerals, "conservative christians" do.

Everyone didn't vote against health care for children, only conservatives voted against health care for children.

And so on...


Permalink10/25/07, 08:36:58 pm, by Timbuk3 Email , 568 views, Latest Posts 12 feedbacks

Leave Ann Coulter alone: She's doing just fine

Carpenter wears Manny Annie's ass out in this edition.

Leave Ann Coulter alone: She's doing just fine
Michael Livingston is upset. He's upset with you, me, Ann Coulter, all the minor Coulteresque ghouls of the nation, and the media -- especially the media (I think).

In a Washington Post/Newsweek piece titled "Most Christians to Left of Far Right," Livingston, president of the National Council of Churches, pounces on pretty much everyone for paying attention to the villainous Ms. Coulter -- an opinion piece previewed with infinite whimsy and paradox on the WP's front page with the alternate title, "Stop Looking at Her."

Research, you see, ominously "shows the younger generation, ages 16-29, views Christianity as judgmental, hypocritical, old-fashioned and too political," writes Livingston, even though "most Christians believe in an authentic, inclusive and welcoming gospel."


Permalink10/25/07, 07:19:20 pm, by billy b, 567 views, User Posts 8 feedbacks

More Sickening

via Crooks and Liars....

Col. David Hunt (ret.) on FOXNews.com (I’m citing the relevant portion if you don’t want to give them the hits):

Besides, these things are of little consequence when you realize how we missed, squandered, screwed up, made a mess of and were massively risk adverse - again - when we did not kill Usama bin Laden in Afghanistan just two short months ago.

We know, with a 70 percent level of certainty - which is huge in the world of intelligence - that in August of 2007, bin Laden was in a convoy headed south from Tora Bora. We had his butt, on camera, on satellite. We were listening to his conversations. We had the world’s best hunters/killers - Seal Team 6 - nearby. We had the world class Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) coordinating with the CIA and other agencies. We had unmanned drones overhead with missiles on their wings; we had the best Air Force on the planet, begging to drop one on the terrorist. We had him in our sights; we had done it. Nice job again guys - now, pull the damn trigger.

Unbelievably, and in my opinion, criminally, we did not kill Usama bin Laden.

You cannot make this crap up; truth is always stranger and more telling than fiction. Our government, the current administration and yes, our military leaders included, failed to kill bin Laden for no other reason than incompetence.

The current “boneheads” in charge will tell you all day long that we are fighting and dying in Iraq and Afghanistan to stop terrorists there so they do not come here. Nice talk, how about - just for a moment - acting like you mean what you say? You know walk the walk. These incidents, where we displayed a total lack of guts, like the one in August, are just too prevalent. The United States of America’s political and military leadership has, on at least three separate occasions, chosen not capture or kill bin Laden or Ayman al-Zawahri. We have allowed Pakistan to become a safe haven for Al Qaeda. We have allowed Al Qaeda to reconstitute, partially because of money they (Al Qaeda in Iraq) have been sending to Al Qaeda in Pakistan.



Permalink10/25/07, 04:42:20 pm, by bastard_amber Email , 273 views, User Posts 15 feedbacks


And just what Hillary said it would be....

"U.S. levels sanctions against Iran
By Helene Cooper
Published: October 25, 2007

WASHINGTON: The Bush administration on Thursday announced sweeping new sanctions against Iran, the toughest in decades, accusing the elite Quds division of the Revolutionary Guard Corps of supporting terrorism and barring it and three banks from dealings with the American financial system.


Permalink10/25/07, 03:45:35 pm, by bastard_amber Email , 607 views, User Posts 6 feedbacks

TB Darwin Awards?

My nominee:

"Too drunk to go to hospital after croc attack, tourist sleeps instead

A tourist who was attacked by a crocodile while swimming in an Australian river was so drunk that he fell asleep at his campsite before going to hospital for treatment, a report said.
Matt Martin was camping in an area of the northeastern state of Queensland known to be inhabited by crocodiles when he drank what he later described as "half a slab" -- or 12 cans of beer.

When he dived into the river at Cow Bay in the topical far north of the state, he landed on a crocodile.

After a brief wrestling match with the reptile, Martin emerged with gashes on his face requiring 40 stitches, The Australian newspaper reported.

Admitting his face was "pretty messed up" when he went back to his campsite, Martin, 35, from Newcastle city north of Sydney, then slept for seven hours before seeking medical help.

His injuries were so bad that when he finally did make it to hospital, he was holding a blanket to his face to stop the bleeding, the newspaper said.

Crocodiles inhabit most of the waterways in northern Australia and although attacks on humans are rare, they are potentially very dangerous and numbers have increased in recent years due to official protection after fears they might be wiped out by hunters."


Permalink25.10.07, 11:25:55, by iconoclast_555 Email , 233 views, User Posts 1 feedback

Senate reverses Bush's cuts to education, health

Well, this is somewhat positive.

WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats on Tuesday reversed President Bush's cuts to education, health research and grants to local communities as they gird for Bush's first-ever veto of a regular appropriations bill.

By a 75-19 vote, the Senate gave bipartisan approval to a huge health and education spending bill that will likely be the first of the fiscal 2008 spending bills Democrats will ship to the White House to start a veto battle involving the budget for almost every domestic agency.

It promises to be a protracted battle, and Bush has a decided advantage, but Democrats have seized on the massive health and education measure as the best measure with which to challenge Bush and his GOP allies in Congress.


Permalink10/25/07, 09:00:33 am, by billy b, 632 views, User Posts 1 feedback

Obama takes one up the...um...is this a "family blog"?

The nation’s largest gay rights organization criticized Senator Barack Obama of Illinois yesterday for scheduling a gospel concert on Sunday with a singer who has made controversial statements about homosexuality.

Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign, the gay rights organization, urged Mr. Obama in a phone call yesterday to cancel the appearance of the singer, Donnie McClurkin, who is to sing Sunday night in a gospel concert in Columbia, S.C.

Critics say that Mr. McClurkin counsels that homosexuality is a curse that can be cured through prayer, although in an interview with The Chicago Tribune, Mr. McClurkin said that his words had been misconstrued and that he had not crusaded against gay men and lesbians.

Mr. Obama, a Democratic presidential candidate, has not canceled Mr. McClurkin’s appearance but has scheduled an openly gay minister, the Rev. Andy Sidden, to speak on the concert program. But that did not appear to tamp down criticism from some gay activists or increasingly hostile bloggers.

In "The Old Gray Lady"

Permalink10/25/07, 07:50:44 am, by Timbuk3 Email , 180 views, Latest Posts 1 feedback

Not-So-Horrible Thing Happens In Iraq

October 22, 2007 | Issue 43•43

BAGHDAD—In a development Pentagon officials are calling not nearly as horrifying as usual, three car bombs ripped through a Baghdad marketplace Monday, killing fewer than 15 innocent civilians, severely injuring no more than 30, and merely maiming one U.S. soldier.

The car bombs, which were detonated by Iraqi insurgents at approximately 2 p.m., left slightly less than complete and utter devastation in their wake. As of press time, barely five families were believed to be trapped beneath the resulting wreckage, although upbeat U.S. authorities have estimated that number could be as low as four.

"Not bad—not bad at all," said Lt. Col. Michael Donnelly, who claimed the attack is conclusive proof that the tide in Iraq is somewhat turning in a vaguely less-ghastly direction. "This is hardly the parade of death and destruction we've grown accustomed to. In fact, I've recently received word that our injured soldier isn't even going to lose his other leg."

More at the Onion

'[Iraq's] once-appalling conditions become measurably less dreadful with each just barely tragic bombing.'

U.S. Iraq Commander Gen. David Petraeus

Permalink10/24/07, 10:23:17 pm, by Timbuk3 Email , 161 views, Latest Posts Send feedback

Comedic Relief

And now for some Comedic Relief

I saw that live last night, George Carlin on Countdown, and boy was he good. He also had some nice things to say about Keith Olbermann too. This is from Crooks and Liars, I think it's also on MSNBC.com too.


I'm not really sure how to do a link on this board, so if anyone wants to edit it please feel free to do so.

Permalink10/24/07, 09:10:58 pm, by icarol2 Email , 165 views, User Posts 4 feedbacks

Texts for torturers

From Stanford to Abu Ghraib – what turns ordinary people into oppressors?

Philip Zimbardo
How good people turn evil

In August 1971, the Stanford University psychologist Philip Zimbardo and his team of investigators selected twenty-four young men to participate in their study of the psychology of imprisonment. The men, only a few of whom were students, had answered an ad placed in both the student newspaper and the local town daily that offered subjects fifteen dollars per day for two weeks to participate in a study of “prison life”. The successful applicants were randomly assigned to the roles of prisoner and guard, fifty-fifty. Prisoners were to stay in the prison for the entire two weeks; guards served in eight-hour shifts, three groups per day. Thus began the now famous Stanford Prison Experiment.


Permalink10/24/07, 09:01:02 pm, by Timbuk3 Email , 355 views, Latest Posts 1 feedback



I don't want anyone to think I'm not pissed off.

I am.

But I also asked for, and received, apologies.

Now it's up to me to play King Fucking Solomon.

Which is why I'm still pretty pissed off.


Permalink10/24/07, 08:05:42 pm, by Timbuk3 Email , 477 views, Latest Posts 8 feedbacks

Like Father. Like Son...

Bush Offers to Bomb Kurds

The old man suckered the Kurds into his bullshit. The boy is doing the same thing.

A chip off the old block.

Shit, this is fucked up.

THE Bush Administration is considering air strikes, including cruise missiles, against the Kurdish rebel group PKK in northern Iraq.


Permalink10/24/07, 08:05:16 pm, by billy b, 662 views, User Posts 7 feedbacks

So George Costanza Gets Called into the Boss's Office

The boss says, "It has come to my attention that you have been having sex with the cleaning lady on your desk."

George says, "Was that wrong? Because I swear if you told me when I started here that that was wrong, I never...."

"You're fired, George."

Kind of like today.

{Pointing, cackling}

The mediocre need special allowances.

Let the silly fucker stay.

I don't care.

Hee hee hee.

I'll be watching.


Permalink10/24/07, 06:49:43 pm, by bastard_amber Email , 132 views, User Posts Send feedback

Crusading in Oklahoma

Oklahoma lawmakers object to donated Qurans
Gifts returned to diversity panel; lawmaker says book condones killing

OKLAHOMA CITY - A gift intended to promote diversity in Oklahoma is generating controversy instead.

Several state lawmakers are returning copies of the Quran to a state panel on diversity after one lawmaker claimed the Muslim holy book condones the killing of innocent people.

In a letter to colleagues, state Representative Rex Duncan says "most Oklahomans do not endorse the idea of killing innocent women and children in the name of ideology." At least 17 other legislators have notified the Governor's Ethnic American Advisory Council that they too will return the gift.

The council's chairwoman, herself a Muslim, is denouncing Duncan's assessment of Islam. She says Islam not an ideology but a religion, and a "very peaceful, very inclusive" one.

In Washington, a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations calls Duncan's statement "disturbing" and "offensive."

Welcome to America!

Permalink10/24/07, 04:03:34 pm, by Timbuk3 Email , 214 views, Latest Posts 8 feedbacks

Dear New Friends

Yeah, I'm a harsh bastard.

Iconoclast was dealt with in our past board, and now he's pulling the same stuff and worse here.

I'm harsh.


But I ain't deleting his squat.

Unfortunately, these people pop up everywhere.

Please be patient while "alvie" is dealt with.

I WON'T put up with his blocking MY right to free speech, the Goddamn Hypocrite.

You wouldn't either.

Permalink10/24/07, 03:50:09 pm, by bastard_amber Email , 198 views, User Posts Send feedback

Oh Hey It's Me Amber

Somebody deleted one of my comments from the topic "Sources" so I'm logging in as "test" in order to test some things.

Permalink10/24/07, 03:14:39 pm, by test Email , 381 views, User Posts 22 feedbacks


Infantile Self-Absorption

Imagine what our youth (and the rest of us) could accomplish if we focused more of our time, energy, resources, and efforts on attainable goals and socially redeeming activities.

Right here in the United States over a million people are homeless at any given moment. Tens of millions lack proper nutrition and access to health care. Our infant mortality rate is the highest amongst industrialized nations. Untold numbers caught in Katrina’s Diaspora are still scattered to the four corners of the Earth. One in seven US Americans live below poverty level.

And if enough of us amongst the poor and working class united, it would be within our collective power to alleviate the suffering of those in need.

Yet we choose to subsidize billionaires like Paul Allen and to immerse ourselves in NFL football, the product of an entity that embodies nearly all the reprehensible traits of predatory American Capitalism.

Our unitary executive has run roughshod over our Constitution, caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocents, and blatantly violated the Nuremberg Principles. In his recent television address, the Decider informed us that he will defy the will of the American people by sacrificing more of our own and escalating the genocide against the Iraqi people.

And it would not be beyond our capacity to end these horrendous crimes against humanity. Without the complicity of the masses, Bush, Cheney, et al would be rendered impotent.

Yet we choose to remain transfixed by the alluring seductions of the NFL and its corporate partners.

Regrettably, it appears that many of us in the United States suffer from the delusion that the rest of the world exists to provide for our comfort, pleasure, and prosperity.

Pity we’re too busy “living NFL and drinking Diet Pepsi” to notice the staggering numbers of emaciated, mutilated, and obliterated human beings we are leaving in our wake as we “protect our way of life”….

Never despair, dear reader, amber will prevail.


Permalink10/24/07, 02:43:21 pm, by bastard_amber Email , 197 views, User Posts Send feedback


The idea of this thread is not to write opinions but to offer bloggers/posters the sources they might need to be informed. IOW, posters are encouraged to proffer links of primary sources that Timbuk, if so inclined, might add as "links".

A couple of initial links:


Permalink24.10.07, 10:35:46, by iconoclast_555 Email , 154 views, User Posts 2 feedbacks

It is time, at long last, for Congress to ask: Is the president mad?

P.M. Carpenter asks the question.

This NYT lead struck me as more exhortation than reportage:

"President Bush asked Congress on Monday to approve $196 billion to pay for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and other national security programs, setting the stage for a new confrontation with Democrats over the administration’s handling of Iraq."


Permalink10/24/07, 07:54:38 am, by billy b, 517 views, User Posts 12 feedbacks

An apology to serious posters

I am sorry about the flame war with Amber. I only participate on principle - I refuse to be browbeaten into silence and abdicate my right to free speech.

Amber specializes in ad hominem and jejune misinterpretations to dismiss and bully those that don't agree with his POV 100%. Dissent is "treason". I refuse to yield to these fascistic tactics.

So I apologize for the ugliness and hope that you understand that I am defending a RIGHT.

Permalink24.10.07, 07:15:12, by iconoclast_555 Email , 209 views, User Posts 1 feedback

Geopolitics in perspective

The Cold War pitted a supposedly hegemonic ideology against an embracing, democratic "free world". To a great extent this was horseshit.

Well before the communists took over, the "West" perceived Russia as a potential enemy. Russia's participation in WWI (and France's alliance with Russia) were not well received by the UK (then the West's leader). Now that Russia is no longer communist and the Cold War "ended" we can see that the same geopolitical factors continue to exist and friction between the West and Russia is increasing.

Merely looking at a map from a subjective POV can make geopolitical realities far clearer than any amount of political rhetoric. Seeing the world from the POV of Russia, it was and continues to be ringed by US and NATO bases - in fact, since the fall of the USSR there are MORE bases, some of them in ex-Soviet satellites. Is it any wonder that the Russians, traditionally "paranoid" with regards to security, should be rearming?

Adding natural resources, trade routes and the like to maps and other realities become clear. Russian oil and its nearness to ME oil are cause for worry amongst neoconservative "realpoliticians". They perceive Russia as a potential threat to the energy lifeline.

All of this is exascerbated by the erosion of international law and international institutions. The "belly button" mentality of most of our politicians (and Putin) is similar to Bismark's petty empire-building efforts, and can only end in confrontation, political or otherwise.

Pity we never learn any damned lesson from history. We're going down the pre-WWI road with the lights turned off.

Permalink24.10.07, 07:09:22, by iconoclast_555 Email , 170 views, User Posts Send feedback

Needs to be solved

Excepting Amber, I'd wager that most board members are actually aware of the undercover government (corporations) that wield far more power than us mere citizens and voters. This is probably the reason why the New Deal DNC has adopted neoliberal economics and hawkish neoconservatism without public debate.

To deny corporations the rights (which they enjoy without the obligations) of individuals, a wedge must be placed between corps and their political pawns. An opposition to corporate influence can only be political as it is the politicians that write the laws that can curtail corporate influence and that nominate the judges that enforce the laws.

This is one of the reasons why I am so sceptical of the DNC now: corporations are fleeing from the GOP and flocking to the camps of most Dem candidates. They're doing so for a number of reasons; the clear incompetence of the GOP's government, the likelihood of a Dem victory, and the knowledge that the Dems will be obliged to their new-found benefactors. If this trend continues the DNC will be very far from being a solution to what I perceive as the core problem with our body politic.

The GOP has been successful for a number of reasons, not the least being the $1 billion spent every year, with or without elections, on influencing the public through thinktanks et al. The thinktanks identified a series of pithy "values" that can be interpreted as an ideology, values that were well-triangulated to attract various voting segments ranging from the fundies to blue collar cons.

The net result of this cash and effort is that one can point to the GOP and define what passes for its "ideology". "Less government", "lower taxes", "family values", "god and country", "strong defense" and the rest. Their negative framing against the DNC has been successful too: for many, the DNC represents "big government", "tax and spend", "weak foreign policy", etc.

The DNC has been far less successful in defining itself. It has been the "grass roots" that has lead the opposition against the Dubya crowd, not the DNC. The Dem's recent success has been DESPITE the DNC's efforts, which even now are being perceived by many grass-rooters as being half-hearted and weak. And many are beginning to perceive that the values of the "grass roots" and those of the party are at variance. The Lieberbush campaign is a prime example.

On the old Tittie, when elections were not on the immediate horizon, we had come to some consensus on the subject. Corps, framing, objectives - outside the token rwingers there was general agreement on principles. Elections, however, certainly cloud the issue.

Some boarders have noted that if the DNC doesn't "walk the walk" it will lose its progressive support. I don't share this opinion given that the GOP is considered so odious by many progressives that continued acquiescence will be the choice of many and cognitive dissonace the result for others. In any case, if the DNC doesn't take the political and ideological initiative (as opposed to merely reacting lukewarmly to the GOP initiative), the fulcrum will continue to move to the right at the behest of corporations.

On TBII the "ideology" argument went sour because ideology and issues were mixed. While this appears to be natural in American politics (bereft of classical ideologies and issue-driven), my intention on that aborted thread was to articulate the DNC as the thinktanks articulated the GOP, considering the areas which are inarticulately understood as being important to progressives: economics, social and foreign policies.

I was under no illusion that anything could be done through this exercize considering the numbers of posters and our lack of contact with true influence peddlers. Now that I am more active with Democrats Abroad I am more sanguine and am having some success in this far-away neck of the woods.

Maybe this post will explain my POV better. Amber perceives me as "the enemy" in a Bush-like "if you're not with us you're against us". In reality I am akin to the 2 candidates in the lower-left quadrant, far removed from the mainstream but an enemy of the RW corporate-driven machine which the GOP epitomizes. That I distrust the DNC is logical considering the DNC's post-FDR history - my goal is for the DNC to return to being a leader with far-reaching goals as opposed to being a follower with pet issues.

Permalink24.10.07, 06:56:20, by iconoclast_555 Email , 403 views, User Posts 3 feedbacks

"And in such a situation, if the cops ask if you have guns, always lie."


No wonder the Jackboots under bush's Command took away the guns of the people trying to protect themselves in New Orleans.

The mealy-mouth lying criminals who skirt around Law and Order to preserve their guns.


"Nope I ain't got a gun hiding no place nowhere."

What about:

"I'll fucking hold my gun against the National Guard and you can pry it from my cold dead hands."


I fucking faced down the MOB in order to stop them from their patriotic displays in support of the war in my Goddamn Neighborhood.

Fuck pussies who would LIE TO THE JACKBOOT in order to hide their little guns in New Orleans or any other place on this God-Forsaken planet.

Permalink10/24/07, 12:33:13 am, by bastard_amber Email , 357 views, User Posts 4 feedbacks

Parker v. District of Columbia


This is a legal case people will want to watch if they have any interest in Constitutional gun rights.

Even if the Supreme Court refuses to hear it, it is a pro-gun victory, as that would mean the lower court's pro-gun ruling would become law of the land in DC, which in itself would result in much wailing and gnashing of teeth on the part of the freedom haters.

But odds are the Supreme Court is going to hear the case.

I'm not entirely comfortable with the line of argument being pursued by the Parker team, but odds are it's going to be a bad year for the freedom haters.

Permalink10/23/07, 11:53:47 pm, by oralloy Email , 237 views, User Posts Send feedback

Funny As Shit

Permalink10/23/07, 10:53:23 pm, by bastard_amber Email , 169 views, User Posts 2 feedbacks

Iraq making us safer?

Is the War in Iraq hurting our ability to respond to emergencies?

One of the stories on tonight is, of course, the Southern California wildfires, and one of the questions being asked is if the Iraqi War is hurting California's ability to respond to these fires. It's all about the National Guard, not just the people, but also the equipment that gets sent overseas with the personal, and there are several hundred pieces of equipment from California in Iraq right now.

I tend to think it does. I know that there have been stories about fire departments and police departments that are understaffed because a number of their personal is off in Iraq with the National Guard. I don't know if it's true in California, but it maybe and I did read one story that said that the San Diego Fire Department is understaffed. And while many members of the National Guard may not be able to actually fight the fire because they don't have the training, they might be able to offer support to the actual fire fighters as well as take care of other duties, such as managing the evacuation. There is also the equipment they don't have because it's been shot up in Iraq. Hundreds of trucks that could be used to deliver men and equipment to where it's needed, or to help evacuate those that can't do it without help.

The same argument was used with Katrina, without any sort of answer. I doubt that they will be one now. The right, who defend bush's war, will always find an excuse and claim that it doesn't matter if the Guard is over in Iraq or not, but we know better don't we.

BTW, it's now almost a million people that have been evacuated in S. California, 17 fires, hundreds of homes lost, but only four deaths so far.

Permalink10/23/07, 09:35:41 pm, by icarol2 Email , 250 views, User Posts 6 feedbacks

The Consensus on Global Warming:

From Science to Industry & Religion

Climate change critics like Richard Lindzen try to say "There's no consensus on global warming." in the Wall Street Journal, in front of Congress, and many other places. This argument has also been made repeatedly on Fox News.1,2 Other researchers like Dean Dr. Mark H. Thiemens say this "has nothing to do with reality".1,2,3 The following is a list of quotes from scientific organizations, academies, scientists, industry spokesmen, etc supporting the existence of man made climate change and the need to take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Many of these quotes reference the IPCC or Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change which is widely regarded by mainstream scientists as either the "most reliable" or one of the most reliable sources for accurate information on climate change. As you will notice, the evidence against the consensus critics like Lindzen and pundits on Fox News is overwhelming. If you are confused as to whose opinion matters, just pay attention to the peer review science journals and the National Academy of Sciences. For those that don't know, the National Academies are like the Supreme Court of science. The number of climate scientists in the US can be found by examining the members of the American Geophysical Union (AGU). As of November 10, 2006 we know that there is a minimum (no official count of foreign climatologists is available) of 20,000 working climatologists worldwide 1,2. An important fact to remember is that many high profile critics you see in the news do not qualify as climate scientists when these standards are applied. Keep both of these concepts in mind the next time you see a handful of self proclaiming "climate scientists" with dissenting opinions. It is also important to note that Exxon Mobil is funding a $10,000 bounty for climate denialists and skeptics. If only 2% of the 20,000 climatologists were bought out then we'd have 400 deniers (skeptics are convinced by science not money).

Link to an extremely long list of scientists and organizations holding the consensus view.

Permalink10/23/07, 09:30:31 pm, by Timbuk3 Email , 152 views, Latest Posts Send feedback

The Corporation

For those who can't or won't download it, a transcript is available: http://www.thecorporation.com/media/Transcript_finalpt1%20copy.pdf

To even begin to understand the basis of today's politics, SOME knowledge of the power of corporations is a must.

"The Warfare State" (Cook, written under JFK), is another must.

From there, a cursory study of thinktanks is a natural step.

Or you can vote for a letter.

Permalink23.10.07, 15:06:21, by iconoclast_555 Email , 147 views, User Posts 1 feedback

Political compass

Political compass has published its analysis of the 2008 primaries:


"In response to many requests, not only from Americans, The Political Compassâ„¢ has charted the most prominent names in the 2007 US Primaries. They have been evaluated through scrutiny of public statements, manifestos, interviews and, crucially, voting records. Our apologies for those not included.
It is important to recognise that The Political Compassâ„¢ is a continuum rather than consisting of hard and fast quadrants. For example, Ron Paul on the social scale is actually closer to Dennis Kucinich than to many figures within his own party. But on the economic scale, they are, of course, far apart.
When examining the chart it is important to note that although most of the candidates seem quite different, in substance they occupy a relatively restricted area within the universal political spectrum. Democracies with a system of proportional representation give expression to a wider range of political views. While Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel are depicted on the extreme left in an American context, they would simply be mainstream social democrats within the wider political landscape of Europe. Similarly, Hillary Clinton is popularly perceived as a leftist in the United States while in any other western democracy her record is that of a moderate conservative. "

Permalink23.10.07, 10:32:27, by iconoclast_555 Email , 348 views, User Posts 17 feedbacks

Morally Bankrupt Hypocrites Masquerading as Christians

Well, here's another article concerning the Christian Right that proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that these people are neither Christian or right.

Their anti-abortion and anti-gay rights agenda is more important to them than taking care of the poor.

And these immoral monsters have the nerve to ask "What Would Jesus Do?"

In an October 20 article, Washington Post staff writer Michael D. Shear wrote that Sen. Sam Brownback's (KS) departure from the Republican presidential race "was a disappointment to many" at the Family Research Council-organized "Values Voter Summit," adding, "Brownback had spent much of his campaign talking about Christian values and stressing his stance against abortion." But Shear did not explain what the term "Christian values" meant or how it related to Brownback's campaign. Indeed, other candidates -- Republican or Democrat -- might define "Christian values" differently than Brownback does.


Permalink10/23/07, 08:38:17 am, by billy b, 556 views, User Posts 12 feedbacks

Money for the kids

WASHINGTON -- Setting up another confrontation with congressional Democrats over the war in Iraq, President Bush on Monday sent Congress a $45.9-billion emergency funding request for expenses related to U.S. military campaigns around the world.

The request, which comes on top of $147.5 billion sought by the administration earlier this year, pushes the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to more than $600 billion.

LA Times

I couldn't write the subject line I wanted: "Money for from the kids"

All of this money is borrowed from our kids, who "aren't worthy" of health care if their parents are middle clase and refuse to sell their house and everything they own to pay for health insurance.

This is the hideous face of a "compassionat conservative" when the mask is stripped away. All greed all the time.

Permalink10/23/07, 07:28:23 am, by Timbuk3 Email , 135 views, Latest Posts 1 feedback

Why Bother?

Lyndhurst GOP, nearly all of them, switching parties
By Wally Edge - October 22, 2007 - 3:51pm
Tags: Richard DiLascio, Paul Sarlo, Joseph Ferriero, Gary Schaer,

In a rare shift in party affiliation, the entire membership of the all-Republican governing body in Lyndhurst will switch from Republican to Democrat tomorrow. Nearly 60% of Lyndhurst’s Republican County Committee will become Democrats too.

The party realignment, first reported in PoliticsNJ.com last summer, is far greater in scope than speculated. It represents, perhaps, the most massive shift in Party affiliation of elected and Party officials in a single community in one day. “It’s safe to say something like this certainly doesn’t happen in politics everyday,” said Lyndhurst Mayor Richard DiLascio.

Lyndhurst has long been considered a swing town in general elections over the last twenty years.

A press release announcing the switch notes: “the virtual gutting of the Republican organization here will make the Township a reliable ally for Democratic state Senator Paul Sarlo, and Assemblymen Fred Scalera and Gary Schear, as well as Democrats running county-wide. This year, Sarlo’s Republican opponent is from Lyndhurst. This shift likely cripples any hope he may have had for victory.” This appears to be a highly accurate analysis.

State Senator Paul Sarlo and Bergen County Democratic Chairman Joseph Ferriero will attend a press conference announcing the switch tomorrow.

Lyndhurst has a population of 19,383.


Permalink10/22/07, 10:40:47 pm, by bastard_amber Email , 170 views, User Posts 5 feedbacks

What a busy little board...

...this has become. My service was out most of the evening and when it was restored I was pleased to see that there are too many new posts for me to possibly reply to. Thank you all (yes, ALL) for contributing to this little corner of the internet.

Which brings me to: I see that ICarol and Whatta have signed up, so this is to them. WELCOME! Whenever anyone I "know" (or otherwise have no reason not to) signs up they are promoted to "blogger" as soon as I see their account, so you can both post your own blog entries, now. If you need a little help, there's a (slightly outdated) FAQ and Guide to Navigation on the right - hand sidebar. Also, feel free to make practice posts (you won't be the first) and put "delete" in there somewhere when you're done. I'll remove them.

Lessee, what else? Site statistics for October, as of tonight:


Permalink10/22/07, 10:15:48 pm, by Timbuk3 Email , 313 views, Latest Posts 3 feedbacks

Why Is This Shitstain Still Alive?


Permalink10/22/07, 03:55:01 pm, by bastard_amber Email , 151 views, User Posts 6 feedbacks

NASA won't disclose air safety survey

Good Lord.

MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. — Anxious to avoid upsetting air travelers, NASA is withholding results from an unprecedented national survey of pilots that found safety problems like near collisions and runway interference occur far more frequently than the government previously recognized.

[huh? I'm not supposed to be upset? Thanks NASA]

NASA gathered the information under an $8.5 million safety project, through telephone interviews with roughly 24,000 commercial and general aviation pilots over nearly four years. Since ending the interviews at the beginning of 2005 and shutting down the project completely more than one year ago, the space agency has refused to divulge the results publicly.

Just last week, NASA ordered the contractor that conducted the survey to purge all related data from its computers.


Permalink10/22/07, 03:09:35 pm, by billy b, 566 views, User Posts 4 feedbacks

Everything is PR

If you didn't believe the media or your government before, now is probably not a good time to start.

Ex-Prosecutor Alleges Pentagon Plays Politics
Pressure for 'Sexy' Guantanamo Hearings

By Josh White
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, October 20, 2007; A03

Politically motivated officials at the Pentagon have pushed for convictions of high-profile detainees ahead of the 2008 elections, the former lead prosecutor for terrorism trials at Guantanamo Bay said last night, adding that the pressure played a part in his decision to resign earlier this month.

Senior defense officials discussed in a September 2006 meeting the "strategic political value" of putting some prominent detainees on trial, said Air Force Col. Morris Davis. He said that he felt pressure to pursue cases that were deemed "sexy" over those that prosecutors believed were the most solid or were ready to go.


I guess it should have come as no surprise that the Pentagon is into S&M, but it still bothers me to find out this way...

Permalink10/22/07, 01:41:24 pm, by Timbuk3 Email , 156 views, Latest Posts 2 feedbacks

Chuck Norris Endorses the Huckster

WASHINGTON (CNN) — It could be the latest so-called Chuck Norris fact: The American people don't choose presidents, Chuck Norris does.

The cult hero of “Walker Texas Ranger” fame said Monday he’s backing Republican Mike Huckabee for president.

“Though Giuliani might be savvy enough to lead people, Fred Thompson wise enough to wade through the tides of politics, McCain tough enough to fight terrorism and Romney business-minded enough to grow our economy, I believe the only one who has all of the characteristics to lead America forward into the future is ex-Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee,” Norris wrote on the conservative Web site World Net Daily.

“Mike is also a respected and fearless leader, and he does not cower to the cries of any majority or minority,” Norris added. “He doesn't abandon his values for what's expedient. Like our Founding Fathers, he's not afraid to stand up for a Creator and against secularist beliefs.”

Huckabee’s campaign has not responded to a request for comment.

Well, that's all I need to hear. If the Huckster is good enough for Chuck, he's good enough for me. Wake me up in November 2008.

The money quote:

"Like our Founding Fathers, he's not afraid to stand up for a Creator and against secularist beliefs."

Ol' Chuck's quite the student of American History, isn't he?

Permalink10/22/07, 01:09:57 pm, by billy b, 228 views, User Posts 3 feedbacks

Who's afraid of Naomi Wolf?

Won’t Back Down
By: Naomi Wolf

(Naomi Wolf is the author of The End of America: A Letter of Warning To A Young Patriot.)

I wish people would stop breaking into tears when they talk to me these days...

Read this post at FireDogLake.

Talk by Naomi Wolf author of "The End of America: Letter of Warning To A Young Patriot" given October 11, 2007 at Kane Hall on the University of Washington campus. (YouTube 47:46)

"They did this in Germany..."

Permalink10/21/07, 09:59:51 pm, by Timbuk3 Email , 170 views, Latest Posts 6 feedbacks

What do you want?

Some day I'm gonna write a book, or maybe just a short story, with the title "What Do You Want?" Not to ask, or to answer, the question, but as a metaphor for all the aimless wandering we do in life. I've seen too many people with a dead look in their eyes and a "yeah, whatever" attitude toward life that reveals their "inner child" or whatever pop - psychology term you want to use for that part of us that dies every time our dreams are crushed, has been forced to "grow up and face" a reality that's, well, not quite what was expected.

For now, that's not why I made this the subject line of this post, but I'm pretty good at digressing, as you all know.

So, anyhoo, I met this guy at a party in Philly about a month ago. Nice guy. Plays the trombone in a club in NYC and promised he would comp me in if I ever show up. He's a little older than me but he has the inner light, probably because he's a trombone player and that's what he fucking wanted to be. I dunno, maybe there's another reason. What am I, here, Freud?

I probably have a few comments on his comment, but for the greater good I'm gonna withhold them and see what ya'all think. Without further ado, and definitely without permission (although I've invited him to post here) I present the wisdom of Arthur Gilroy: (Any emphasis is mine.)


Permalink10/21/07, 08:38:02 pm, by Timbuk3 Email , 609 views, User Posts 3 feedbacks

Thoughts on "Godwin"

The longer a thread goes on, the more likely it becomes that somebody will fling the word "Nazi."

Blogs will ban all discussion of "Controlled Demolition." The longer a thread goes on, the more likely somebody will say, "But none of it matters because bush knew about 9/11 and did nothing to stop it." All threads will be killed by the guy Bill Maher attacked in his audience.

Same with "It's a Corrupt One-Party System and all Politicians are crooked by definition and we need to KICK ALL LAWYERS OUTTA WARSHINGTON and there is no point in discussing anything until the current crop of Liars is ABOLISHED from our SHORES!"

I won't move to ban such speech as I'm more than happy to look at The Seven Minutes Video as a Showcase of the Guilty Puss of a complicit frat boy.

But I will express once and for all, that it's TWO different parties-- I WILL NOT be lumped with these rotten bushies who would reelect the fuck that lied my good country into war.

Every time the Mole pops up, I will whack it back down, just like that irritating nail in my floor that keeps snagging my nice socks.

Permalink10/21/07, 04:58:21 pm, by bastard_amber Email , 341 views, User Posts 23 feedbacks

Gonzales in trouble

Good news for anyone who still respects the law.

An investigation might be finished as early as next month, and then the U.S. inspector general might recommend criminal prosecution of departed Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, the fired former U.S. attorney for Western Washington told a Spokane audience Friday.

“My best guess is it will be released sometime next month,” and likely will include recommendations for criminal prosecutions of Gonzales and maybe others, McKay said.

Gonzales “lied about” reasons for the firings when questioned under oath in July by the Senate Judiciary Committee, McKay said.

“The chief law enforcement officer for the United States should not lie under oath,” McKay told the bar association.

“When it lands … it is going to be an extremely negative report on President Bush’s Justice Department,” McKay told the packed conference room, which included federal prosecutors and judges.

“There was a conspiracy to politicize the Justice Department,” McKay said, “and they did not get away with it.”


Not that it matters. Bush will just pardon another one of his co-conspirators.

At least some people are still trying to respect the law.

Permalink10/21/07, 04:51:00 pm, by Timbuk3 Email , 164 views, User Posts 3 feedbacks

republick Vision of Healthcare

As relayed by the Dean of the Beltway, David Broder.

Prelude by Atrios:

Well, really, the Republican vision, as slobbered over by centrist David Broder.

In this case, he is visualizing a radically different kind of medical marketplace, in which families armed with specific information about the treatment success and prices of hospitals and doctors can shop at will for the best quality and most affordable care.

We pay doctors to make these decisions for us because most of us haven't been to medical school. I know this point is simple and obvious and everyone makes it, but as I said before our elite discourse is so fucking stupid.

Couldn't have put it any better myself...

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. -- For most of the American public, Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt is best defined by his role defending President Bush's controversial veto of the State Children's Health Insurance Program.

Leavitt, along with the president, has argued that the bipartisan bill is too ambitious and too expensive, encroaching on the private insurance market. For his pains, he has been characterized as an ogre, standing in the way of better treatment for millions of youngsters in cash-strapped families.

Ogre? Hardly. A sorry-ass piece of republick shit is more like it. Broder is one also. Too expensive and ambitious? $35 billion over 5 years is too expensive, but $12 billion a month in Iraq (off the books, by the way) is ok?


Permalink10/21/07, 10:48:56 am, by billy b, 616 views, User Posts 2 feedbacks

Bush mass for shut ins 10-21-07


Good morning Bush worshippers, those who are ill and those who it's just best not to mix with society. May Lord God Bush bless you all for coming. For it is he who brought us life and everything else. He is a thousand points of light! He makes the sun rise in the morning, puts the frost on our flakes and puts the fruit on the trees. All praise the glory of Lord God Bush. Today we celebrate Armageddon.


Armageddon is the final battle between good and evil and good triumphs in the end. It is a good holy thing because we are the side of good.


I've been really tryin', baby
Tryin' to hold back this feeling for so long
And if you feel like I feel, baby
Then, c'mon, oh, c'mon
Let's get it on
Ah, baby, let's get it on
Let's love, baby
Let's get it on, sugar
Let's get it on
We're all sensitive people
With so much to give
Understand me, sugar
Since we've to be here
Let's live
I love you
There's nothing wrong with me
Loving you, baby no no
And giving yourself to me can never be wrong
If the love is true
Don't you know how sweet and wonderful life can be
I'm asking you baby to get it on with me
I ain't gonna worry
I ain't gonna push, won't push you baby
So c'mon, c'mon, c'mon, c'mon, c'mon, baby
Stop beatin' 'round the bush
Let's get it on
Let's get it on
You know what I'm talkin' 'bout
C'mon, baby
Let your love come out
If you believe in love
Let's get it on
Let's get it on, baby
This minute, oh yeah
Let's get it on
Please, let's get it on
C'mon, c'mon, c'mon, c'mon, c'mon, baby
Stop beatin' 'round the bush
Oh, gonna get it on
Threaten' you, baby
I wanna get it on
You don't have to worry that it's wrong
If the spirit moves ya
Let me groove ya good
Let your come down
Oh, get it on
C'mon, baby
Do you know the meaning?
I've been sanctified
Girl, you give me good feeling


Lord God Bush looked down upon the forces of evil and spoke,"If you do not submit to my demands, we shall have Armageddon"

What is the Profit Rice trying to say to us? It is that the forces of evil will make Armageddon happen if they do not submit to Lord God Bushs demands.

Bush mass is over

Your attendance has been recorded and will be sent to the proper authorities. Go in arrogance, may the Lord God George W Bush be with you.

Permalink10/21/07, 09:04:15 am, by first_church_of_bush Email , 325 views, User Posts 3 feedbacks

Permalink10/21/07, 03:21:12 am, by bastard_amber Email , 184 views, Latest Posts 2 feedbacks

Carlyle Group Invests in Small Town Inn

Williams College a high ranked private liberal arts college with tuition runnng in the $50,000 per year area has a town named after it -- Williamstown in the bucolic Berkshire Hills of Massachucetts.

There are many great and nobles who attended the place, George Stienbrener for one and the son of the Shah of Iran for another. The town is a quiet very upscale place with the prime houses selling at the $1,000,000 mark and many others in the high six figure range.

There are many room and board establishments both to cover college events and the meandering leaf peepers in fall and a summer stock Williamstown Theater Fesival that's always listed in "The New Yorker" magazine and attracts the likes of that "Supermann" actor Reeve and many other notables.

There's one Inn, The Orchards www.theorchardshotel.com ) with room rates that range from $205 for a single no fire place to $375 weekdays and $450 week ends with fire place per night.

Well the place was recently sold for $6.25 Million and Carlyle is an investing partner. The new owner, Norman Macleod,confirmed that they were one of the investers in Hay Creek, the name of the company that owns the Orchards. Acording to our local paper dated 8/24/06, and reports that Carlyle manages more than $41.9 Billion around the world.

At first glance it seems quaint...


Permalink10/20/07, 05:38:16 pm, by dajavoodoo Email , 670 views, User Posts 9 feedbacks

Speaker Pelosi rebukes fellow Bay area liberal over war comments

It just gets worse and worse. The Democrats are afraid to challenge Little Boots on any issue and now Pelosi has the gall to criticize Pete Stark?

Good job, Nance. You bitch.

WASHINGTON—House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rebuked a fellow San Francisco Bay-area liberal Friday for what she said were "inappropriate" comments about Iraq during a congressional debate.

During a debate on children's health care Thursday, Rep. Pete Stark accused Republicans of sending troops to Iraq to "get their heads blown off for the president's amusement."


Permalink10/20/07, 10:37:27 am, by billy b, 713 views, User Posts 5 feedbacks

Hoo Boy!

When the spammer was hitting this site I changed a setting without realizing it. The result was, no new users could register.

I wouldn't have noticed but an old friend from the old titty board just emailed me and asked how to register.

I've reset it, so we may see a new user (or more?) soon. ;->

If anyone's wanted to sign up and couldn't, you should be able to, now.

Permalink10/20/07, 09:33:26 am, by Timbuk3 Email , 200 views, Latest Posts 4 feedbacks

Aren't we all 'values voters'?

WASHINGTON - John Ayers, a 77-year-old retiree, stood outside the cavernous hall where Republican presidential candidates yesterday were courting more than 2,000 evangelical Christians. Several candidates addressed the Values Voter Summit, even though a key organizer, James Dobson of Focus on the Family, has said he could never vote for them.


I know Al Franken addressed my theme/rhetorical question.

No matter what one's political stripes are people always want to vote for the person who best exemplifies YOUR 'values'. Your most important values might be ending the Iraq mess NOW and protecting US jobs. That's great but why are evangelicals insisting that "values" are limited to mostly social/religious issues?

Does the decision of sending troops into harm's way reflect DIRECTLY about a person's VALUES?

Neocons haven't hijacked actual values. They've just hijacked the word itself.

Permalink10/20/07, 09:00:05 am, by bsa Email , 334 views, User Posts 6 feedbacks

Friday Funny


Paid for by the Florida Democratic Party (214 South Bronough Street, Tallahassee, FL 32301, 850-222-3411) and not authorized by any federal candidate or candidate's committee.

Permalink10/19/07, 04:32:05 pm, by Timbuk3 Email , 196 views, Latest Posts 4 feedbacks

"A pre-determined agenda"

So, who ya gonna vote for in 2008? A President who will add to the majority on the SCOTUS who support Meese's agenda, or a President who will appoint judges who will uphold the law?

Today's Progress Report argues that the conservative voting bloc on the Supreme Court are carrying forward a predetermined agenda outlined by Ronald Reagan's Attorney General, Ed Meese, in two documents released the 1980s. According to the report on "The Roberts Four:"

The Guidelines on Constitutional Litigation, ordered Justice Department litigators to advance a particular view of the Constitution, listing decisions it viewed as “consistent” and “inconsistent” with the Reagan administration’s interpretation of the nation’s founding document.


Permalink10/19/07, 04:16:11 pm, by Timbuk3 Email , 386 views, Latest Posts 1 feedback

Very Sad

JOHANNESBURG: A team of gunmen shot and killed Lucky Dube, an international reggae star and one of South Africa's best-known musicians, in an apparent carjacking attempt late Thursday that underscored the continuing peril of violent crime here.

Permalink10/19/07, 02:25:39 pm, by bastard_amber Email , 156 views, User Posts Send feedback


Pentagon to Alert 8 Guard Units for Duty
Oct 17, 8:03 PM (ET)

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Pentagon is preparing to alert eight National Guard units that they should be ready to go to Iraq or Afghanistan beginning late next summer, The Associated Press learned Wednesday.

The U.S. military is reaching out to more Guard units in an effort to maintain needed troop levels, ease some of the strain on the active duty Army and provide security for ports, convoys and other installations.

It's hard to tell if Bushco is preparing to cover for the loss of Blackwater's arrogant, trigger-happy bullies, or if they're just waking up to the fact that no one in their right mind is signing up fresh to go to the meatgrinder in Iraq, but one thing's for sure: "stay the course" may not be the official line, any more, but it's still the official policy.


Permalink10/19/07, 02:20:03 pm, by Timbuk3 Email , 557 views, Latest Posts 20 feedbacks

More On Dodd

Dodd Will Filibuster Telecom Immunity Bill If Reid Brings It To Vote
By Greg Sargent - October 19, 2007, 11:59AM

Amping up his efforts to block the Senate FISA bill containing retroactive immunity for the telecom companies, Senator Chris Dodd's campaign says that he will filibuster the measure if the Dem Senate leadership tries to circumvent the hold he plans to put on the bill.

The Dodd campaign will reveal his plans to filibuster the measure in an email being sent out to supporters by the campaign's Web guru, Tim Tagaris. Election Central obtained an advance copy of the email.

The threatened filibuster, which comes a day after Dodd revealed to Election Central that he will place a hold on the bill, will place Dodd in direct confrontation with the Dem Senate leadership on a hugely contentious issue.

Dodd's filibuster threat comes in response to reports -- based on anonymous quotes from the leadership's office -- which said that Reid's aides think they can get the bill to the floor despite Dodd's hold.

Here's the email from the Dodd campaign:

Are you willing to go to the mat to restore the Constitution?

Just last night, we heard there are plans to disregard Senator Dodd's intention to place a hold on a FISA bill that includes amnesty for telecommunications companies.

That would be a pretty extraordinary move, but Chris Dodd has pledged to stop this horrible bill any way he can.

So if the hold is not honored, he is prepared to go to the Senate floor and filibuster.

Rolling back the Bush Administration assault on the rule of law has been a major focus of Chris Dodd's work in the Senate -- and it's also a centerpiece in his campaign for President.

I'm also told that Dodd will send out a video to supporters later in the day in which he discusses the filibuster.

More in a bit.

BTW, if you will look on the "Presidential Survey" thread, you will see that I, bastard_amber, was down on Edwards for the Line-Item Veto and that Dodd was my most-agreed with candidate.

So it's not like our venerable blog Host has me blowing in his wind.

Edwards is kinda like "I Wish I Could Have Me A Goddamn Beer With bush" for me.

I have this feeling, a FEELING, beyond our general agreement on the ISSUES, that his face up there as President, his voice speaking to the American People, his adoring wife as First Lady, would bring INSTANT confidence and optimism to a down-trodden America breathing through straws from the bottom of this stagnant pool of 9/11 fear, embarrassment, shame, pessimism, etc., and the human misery suffering and lack of basic human dignity.

The New Dawning in this American Century would look even sunnier with the Edwards' up there instead of the face of Dodd.

Flaky rambling?

Yeah, I guess.

Permalink10/19/07, 12:38:57 pm, by bastard_amber Email , 466 views, User Posts 39 feedbacks


Al-Qaida links cited in Bhutto bomb


This Al Qaida bull is going too far. Al Qaida "in Iraq" has been conclusively shown to being the usual tribal insurgency, and to being responsible for a fraction of the violence in Iraq. Al Qaida elsewhere has been shown to be a franchise of malcontents around the world with no cohesion and little more than general direction from the putative "true" Al Qaida. And now we're fed this crap about Pakistan.

Our "ally" Mushi-Mushi is a military dictator almost universally abhored in Pakistan. Bhutto was a cacique that garnered some popularity and much hate through Westernization and corruption. From the perspective of a putative Al Qaida, both are enemies - and the existence of the latter helps in attempting to overthrow the former.

If anyone would have profitted from the death of Bhutto it would have been Mushi-Mushi and his backers in Pakistan- and DC. But our subservient press...

What the hell is WRONG with our press? Have they been so cowed by those that harp on "liberal bias" as to abdicate their professionalism? If journalists are to merely echoe the press release du jour, why not just skip the goddam middleman?

Since the electorate mostly learns from PR soundbites, the first step for change MUST be an attack on journalistic weakness.

Permalink19.10.07, 06:17:11, by iconoclast_555 Email , 301 views, User Posts 5 feedbacks

Guess Who's Selling Treasuries?

Good day... And here we are on this Thundering Thursday! Thundering here, as storms came through last night! I've got some skinny on the negative TICs data that I told you about yesterday... But first... The currencies again traded in a tight range yesterday, with a bias to sell dollars... Overnight, however, is a different story... The dollar is being taken to the woodshed in the Asian and European sessions... So... Let's get to the tape!

OK... Here's the BIG NEWS! Recall yesterday, I told you that the negative TICs data probably was a result of the tumultuous August, but... I thought that in a normal month, the net foreign security purchases would have shown a weakening... Well... Yesterday, it was reported that Japan, China and Taiwan sold U.S. Treasuries at the fastest pace in at least five years in August.

Japan cut its holdings by 4% to $586 billion, China cut its holdings 2.2% to $400 billion, and Taiwan's holdings slid 8.9% to $52 billion... Japan's selling was at the fastest pace since 2000, China's since 2002, and Taiwan's since 2000...

This sell-off was the biggest sell-off of Treasuries since Russia defaulted in 1998.


Ah, another stunning success for "trickle down" (aka "piss on the poor) economics.


Gold, the respite of the desperate, is up to almost $770 from roughly $265 when the Chimporer took office.

Permalink10/18/07, 11:01:17 pm, by Timbuk3 Email , 166 views, User Posts Send feedback


Permalink10/18/07, 09:09:40 pm, by Timbuk3 Email , 1235 views, Links Send feedback

Edwards or Dodd?

I know I've been pro-Edwards for a while now, and I'm not backing down on my support for him, but I also recently said I've started to have a hard time choosing between Dodd and Edwards.

I'm starting to lean more towards Dodd...

The Military Commissions Act. Warrantless wiretapping. Shredding of Habeas Corpus. Torture. Extraordinary Rendition. Secret Prisons.

No more.

I have decided to place a "hold" on the latest FISA bill that would have included amnesty for telecommunications companies that enabled the President's assault on the Constitution by illegally providing personal information on their customers without judicial authorization.

I said that I would do everything I could to stop this bill from passing, and I have.

It's about delivering results -- and as I've said before, the FIRST thing I will do after being sworn into office is restore the Constitution. But we shouldn't have to wait until then to prevent the further erosion of our country's most treasured document. That's why I am stopping this bill today.

Indicate your support for my hold as well as your thoughts on this issue in the comment section below.

Chris Dodd for President

Permalink10/18/07, 08:08:29 pm, by Timbuk3 Email , 143 views, Latest Posts Send feedback

Questions "Conservatives" Should Ask

If I allow you to destroy America's moral standing in the world by torturing prisoners will you guarantee me that there will never be another terrorist attack?

If I give up my 4th amendment rights will you guarantee me that I'll see bin Laden captured?

If we keep refusing to pay for the war in Iraq, and refuse to show our killed and wounded coming home, will the war ever end?

If "socialized medicine" is so bad compared to "the free market", why are auto-makers in countries that have socialized medicine doing so much better than American car companies that have to give insurance companies a cut on the health care they're providing?

If global climate change is "phony" where did all that ice in the Arctic go this year? Into cocktails for parties at Exxon?

Why will my wife leave me if that gay couple who already lives next door gets married?

Why hasn't North Korea attacked us with nukes, yet?

Am I better off than I was 8 years ago?

(What did I leave out?)

Permalink10/18/07, 07:46:40 pm, by Timbuk3 Email , 150 views, Latest Posts 1 feedback

Why Is This Comment "Invalid?"


Foreign Policy?


It's all about Corporations having too much Lobbying Power.

Democratic Congress can work on that, and Democratic President can sign that.

Stop being such a gloomy gus, there, old man.

Never forget these Iraq-invaders shamed so many many otherwise back-boned Democrats away from their party by painting the picture of a Reno-esque Hillary Shemale shrieking from behind the curtain while The Excellent Bill Clinton maneuvered his balls onto the chin of the Fat Republican Plant.

Maybe not?

Oh well.

My party still wears the White Hat, and the Republican Cowboy is scared of Horses according to Mexican President Vincente Fox.

Just like all the little bushies.

All a lot of Cowboys scared of Horses.

No wonder I just saw a hairy Liberal driving a Yaris down the Interstate being threatened by a small-dick Red-State Barrel-Stroker in a Dodge "Ram."

Pussy bushies.

None of them have the guts to live in my city-- attacked by bin Laden and yet laughing and going on with their daily lives and sending their children onto the subways as though George Pussy bush had already caught bin Laden and put his head on a Goddamn Stick.

Thanks for the opportunity to vent.

Oh, and Wikipedia says, "Neoliberalism is not a unified economic theory or political philosophy...."

Permalink10/18/07, 06:05:00 pm, by bastard_amber Email , 307 views, User Posts 15 feedbacks

An explanation

As some of you might have noted, I've returned with much the same attitude albeit a more virulent one.

The reason is a loss of faith. And I mean that in every sense of the word.

I've noticed that posters from both sides of the putative spectrum have one thing in common - a belief in a set of values which they understand as core American values. Depending on one's own values they can dismiss the interpretation of others quite easily. Many American "values" are shared by virtually all Americans.

For decades, conservatives bemoaned how the Democrats were perverting American values through socialism, interventionism or any other policies that they disagreed with. For more recent decades, progressives have bemoaned how Republicans are doing the same through opposite policies.

But the truth of the matter is that many of the values, especially those held in reverence by both sides, have rarely or ever been truly applied. Ever. And when the two parties collude in doing something execrable (Vietnam, for example), the opposition party will complain about the means - but not the end. And being a "democracy", much effort is made to show that, as a nation and as followers of either party, we're "doing the right thing" - usually altruistically and condescendingly.

Much effort is made on all sides. By this I mean that the parties' efforts to convince are echoed by equal or superior efforts made by the citizens to agree with the messages sent. Because we have a short collective memory we forget what happened a mere 40 years ago in SE Asia. We also forget that the anti-war movement only prospered when a large enough segment had the shit scared out of them by the draft.

This multifaceted effort to agree is the quintessence of faith, the willing suspension of disbelief. People hear what they want to hear, understand what they want to understand, as so recently seen by the continuing confusion regarding WMD's and Saddam and 9/11, etc.

The lion's share of our nations proudest achievements have been passed through a wind tunnel of overblown jingoism, warping the truth and presenting us with a series of icons for us to blindly believe in. This is sad - and dangerous.

I have been shocked and saddened by the events of the last 7 years. Not because they were so unusual, but because even those sancrosanct iconic values have been ridden over roughshod. Just about everything Dubya has done has been done before by both parties, only now the government doesn't even have the decency to make plausible lies about it in a way that tickles our common values.

I have lost faith in the REALITY of America, not the values it expressed (but never seemed to put into practice).

Which leads us back to the parties. I have certainly lost faith in the Democratic Party because, time and time again, my interpretation of what the Dems should be (and do) turns out to be different in practice. And from what I see here, on DU and amongst DA members, I am far from alone in my disappointment. Hell, Bubba was impeached for lying about a BJ, why can't the DNC have the balls to impeach on much more serious grounds?

I have harped on neoliberalism and its kindred spirit, neoconservatism- just as many others have done without, perhaps, choosing the same labels. I have found that both parties subscribe to these philosophies - and choose to ignore the shallow gloss of a difference that others seem to place such -faith- in as distinguishing characteristics. And it is indeed faith to continue to believe in a "progressive" party that has acted as it has for the past 40 years.

When it gets down to the brass tacks - the cash - the difference between the parties is basically a fraction of our budget. I believe that Timbuk noted that children's health would cost a fraction of the Iraqi war bill.

For those who still believe in the democratic process, remembering Gore should open your eyes. DLC Third Way Lieberbush should open them

So I maintain - until we have an opposition party, we're being played like violins. We bow our heads in increasingly illogical faith in "change", despite the evidence before our face.

Permalink18.10.07, 16:16:51, by iconoclast_555 Email , 304 views, User Posts 7 feedbacks

More like this, please

From the Great Orange Satan:

From the House debate on the override vote on Bush's veto of SCHIP, Rep. Pete Stark kicks Bush's ass:

First of all, I'm just amazed they can't figure out, the Republicans are worried we can't pay for insuring an additional 10 million children. They sure don't care about finding $200 billion to fight the illegal war in Iraq. Where ya gonna get that money? You going to tell us lies like you're telling us today? Is that how you're going to fund the war? You don't have money to fund the war or children. But you're going to spend it to blow up innocent people if we can get enough kids to grow old enough for you to send to Iraq to get their heads blown off for the President's amusement. This bill would provide healthcare for 10 million children and unlike the President's own kids, these children can't see a doctor or receive necessary care. [...]

But President Bush's statements about children's health shouldn't be taken any more seriously than his lies about the war in Iraq. The truth is that Bush just likes to blow things up. In Iraq, in the United States and in Congress.

The vote will begin in a few minutes.

That's great. That's outstanding. GOOOOOOO PETEY!!!!!!!

Permalink10/18/07, 01:05:29 pm, by billy b, 236 views, User Posts 2 feedbacks

You can't make this stuff up as no one would believe you.

Limbaugh had Himself Nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, Now is in a Snit of Jealousy over Gore's Win

While it may have been common knowledge in the Dittohead universe that Rush Limbaugh was nominated for the Nobel Prize this year, the story went largely unreported out here in the real world.

Even though Limbaugh had no chance, now that Al Gore is the official winner, Limbaugh is in a snit of jealousy:

LIMBAUGH: My lawyers at the Landmark Legal Foundation are looking into the possibility of filing an objection with the Nobel committee over the unethical tampering for this award that Al Gore is engaging in. This is clearly above and beyond the pale. I mean, this might happen in high school class president elections and so forth, but this is shameless.

[Unbelievable. This fat junkie megalomaniac is the one beyond the pale.]


Permalink10/18/07, 08:29:08 am, by billy b, 506 views, User Posts 2 feedbacks


Hmmm. The House begins by recognizing a wrong. Then, then...
... that damned expediency thang (if we pass the resolution, Turkey will close access to supplies for our boyz in Iraq) jumps in.

Time and time again we do the wrong thing for the sake of short-term expediency. And just about every time it eventually up and jumps us in the ass.

Regardless, one has to wonder how so many voted for it - and then changed their minds. Te fact that he Turks are spending on lobbyists and PR firms like a drunken sailor on cinderella liberty surely has nothing to do with it.

The problem with changing one's mind so quickly is that it shows either an initial incompetence or a final corruption. Congress' poor favorability ranking is well deserved.

Permalink18.10.07, 02:30:26, by iconoclast_555 Email , 134 views, User Posts 2 feedbacks

More corruption at the DOJ

Democratic Senators demand that President Bush withdraw his nominee to head the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, who told the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2006 that "the president is always right."

Links courtesy of Cursor

Permalink10/17/07, 10:48:47 pm, by Timbuk3 Email , 134 views, Latest Posts 1 feedback

Those good ol' reliable double standards...

President Accuses Democrats Of Achieving Little at Capitol

WASHINGTON, Oct. 17 — A year after he pledged to find “common ground” with the Democrats who now control Congress, President "I've only vetoed legislation Democrats want" Bush on Wednesday delivered a scathing assessment of their performance, accusing lawmakers of dragging their feet on legislation ranging from trade deals and domestic surveillance to federal spending and children’s health.

Meanwhile, back in reality...

WASHINGTON (AP) - Republicans successfully maneuvered to derail a Democratic government eavesdropping bill Wednesday, delaying a House vote until next week at the earliest.

The bill, which seeks to expand court oversight of government surveillance in the United States, fell victim to a gambit by the chamber's Republican minority. Democrats were forced to pull the bill from the House floor with no certainty about how it might be revived.

A Democratic staff member said the bill will not be rewritten but substantive amendments may be allowed when it finally does come up for a vote, which is the Democrats' intention.

The earliest that could happen is next week, as Thursday the House will be busy with an attempt to override a presidential veto of a children's health care bill.


Bush had vowed to veto the (surveillance) bill if it reached his desk.

Good Lord! I can pick out hypocrisy like this in 5 minutes on google, and the media can't seem to find it anywhere?

Our "4th estate" couldn't find their ass with a map and directions.

Permalink10/17/07, 10:19:08 pm, by Timbuk3 Email , 181 views, Latest Posts 3 feedbacks

We're all gonna die

President George W Bush has raised the spectre of "World War Three" breaking out if Iran was allowed to acquire nuclear weapons.

Mr Bush was speaking hours after Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, proposed an end to the crisis over Iran's nuclear programme at a meeting with his Iranian counterpart in Teheran.

Mr Bush said: "We've got a leader in Iran who has announced that he wants to destroy Israel.

"So I've told people that, if you're interested in avoiding World War Three, it seems like you ought to be interested in preventing them from having the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon."

College kids have "the knowledge necessary to make a nuke-ya-ler weapon".

Is Bush gonna nuke MIT?

Permalink10/17/07, 10:02:21 pm, by Timbuk3 Email , 152 views, Latest Posts 1 feedback

When President Hillary Gets This Power

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) asked, in light of Mukasey's involvement with the Padilla case, whether Mukasey thought the law -- and particularly the September 2001 authorization of military force for Afghanistan -- permitted seizing U.S. citizens on U.S. soil indefinitely without charge. Mukasey cited the 2004 Hamdi case as upholding the president's ability to detain U.S. citizens on the battlefield, but said he "can't say now" whether the "battlefield" applies to the United States. It remains unclear whether Mukasey thinks U.S. citizens captured at home in terrorism-related investigations can be indefinitely detained.

The Wingies will crap their pants.


Permalink10/17/07, 02:35:09 pm, by bastard_amber Email , 138 views, User Posts 2 feedbacks

Early clue to GOP mendaciousness

and gullibility!

Hugo N. Frye

In 1930 letters were mailed to Republican leaders throughout the United States inviting them to a May 26 party in honor of the birthday anniversary of the esteemed Hugo Norris Frye (aka Hugo N. Frye), the founder of the Republican party in New York State and coiner of the immortal phrase "Freedom in the land of the free." Mr. Frye would have been 150 if he were still alive. If their attendance were not possible, the leaders were asked instead to send their written thoughts about Frye's historical significance.

None of the politicians could make it to the event, but almost all of them sent back letters expressing their sincere admiration for Frye. For instance, Secretary of Labor James Davis wrote, "It is a pleasure to testify to the career of that sturdy patriot who first planted the ideals of our party in this region of the country... If he were living today he would be the first to rejoice in evidence everywhere present that our government is still safe in the hands of the people." Others who responded included senators, congressmen, and even the Vice President himself, Charles Curtis. All had warm words for Frye.

When May 26 arrived, the Hugo N. Frye Sesquicentennial Committee hosted a large celebration in honor of the man at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. The laudatory comments written by the many politicians who had responded were solemnly read out. Riotous laughter ensued.

The joke was that Hugo N. Frye didn't exist. He was the sarcastic creation of two student editors at the Cornell Sun, Lester Blumner and Edward Horn. Hugo N. Frye was shorthand for "You go and fry!"

Within a day news of the prank was leaked to the press and for a week Republican leaders were the brunt of jokes throughout the nation. In the Senate, red-faced Republicans had to endure a week of humiliation as their Democratic colleagues reminded them, again and again, of the great example set by that "sturdy patriot" Hugo N. Frye.

For a while Horn and Blumner basked in the national appreciation of their prank. But soon Cornell's administration decided it shouldn't appear tolerant of such activity and pressured the pair into sending a letter of apology to their victims. The abject letter that followed read, in part, "We regret that what was intended as a campus prank should have been given such wide publicity. We intended no disrespect to you, your office, or the Republican party, and sincerely apologize for any annoyance we may have caused. We appreciate your good sportsmanship."

Reportedly the Hearst newspapers offered Horn and Blumner $500 for the originals of the letters, but fearing Cornell's reaction should the prank continue on any further, the two turned down the money and ceremonially burned the letters as a crowd looked on.

Horn and Blumner's prank would have fallen on its face if any of the politicans involved had bothered to do some research before gushing forth effusive praise of Hugo N. Frye. But the two gambled that no self-respecting politician would waste their time actually checking facts. Their gamble paid off (though perhaps betting against a politician's passion for the truth is a sure thing). Whatever the case, because the prank went beyond the walls of its own campus and cast some well-needed satirical light on the insincerity of political glad-handing, it earns a place in the top ten college pranks of all time.

Permalink17.10.07, 14:22:12, by iconoclast_555 Email , 211 views, User Posts 1 feedback

Bush: 'I Am Relevant'

Dan Froomkin:

A defensive President Bush insisted that he was still relevant this morning in a news conference dominated by his bitter complaints about the Democratic Congress.

Asked how he found himself vetoing a children's health insurance bill that had passed Congress with bipartisan support, Bush insisted that using a veto is "one way to ensure I am relevant."

[heh...heh...heh... Not sure what to make of that.]

When a reporter followed up and asked Bush if he felt he was losing leverage and relevance, Bush replied: "I've never felt more engaged and more capable of getting the American people to realize there's a lot of unfinished business."

Which, let's be blunt, is hard to believe.

[That it is, Dan. Little Boots maintains that denial is a river in Egypt...]

Everything you need to know about today's hastily scheduled press conference was telegraphed by John Whitesides of Reuters: "Deepening unhappiness with President George W. Bush and the U.S. Congress soured the mood of Americans and sent Bush's approval rating to another record low this month, according to a Reuters/Zogby poll released on Wednesday. . . .


Permalink10/17/07, 02:03:16 pm, by billy b, 350 views, User Posts 1 feedback

Religious Right Funding Increases

Religious Right May Be More Powerful Than Ever In 2008, Says AU's Lynn

Is the Religious Right dead? To read some news media accounts, you might think it is.

In fact, a church-state watchdog group says the conservative Christian political movement has raised more money than ever, is quietly trying to organize churches into a political machine and is ready to line up behind a presidential candidate who makes the right promises.

“I wish I could say the Religious Right is dead,” said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. “In fact, it may be more powerful than ever.

“The top Religious Right groups are taking in huge amounts of money,” he continued. “They are also quietly organizing churches into a partisan political machine. Now they just have to find a presidential candidate who will carry out their agenda.

“They know they are on the verge of full control over the Supreme Court,” Lynn continued, “and one more appointment could lead to a high court reversal on church-state separation, reproductive rights and gay rights.”

Lynn said AU research shows that leading Religious Right groups have built a huge war chest.

According to IRS filings analyzed by AU...

Americans United

The dollar amounts, available tax free to influence elections, are staggering.

Tax them.

Permalink10/17/07, 04:00:00 am, by Timbuk3 Email , 141 views, Latest Posts 1 feedback


Iran Wins Neighbors' Pledge Not to Help U.S. Attack

Oct. 16 (Bloomberg) -- Iran, facing U.S. pressure over its nuclear program, secured a pledge from Russia and the other three nations that surround the Caspian Sea not to allow America or its allies to launch an attack on it from their soil.

The presidents of Iran, Russia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan signed a joint declaration in Tehran today to prohibit third countries from using their territory for attacks on one another ``under any circumstances.''

Permalink10/17/07, 02:00:00 am, by Timbuk3 Email , 138 views, Latest Posts Send feedback

The General Who Cried Wolf

General Advocating Victory Declaration Over Al Qaeda Pushed Bogus Storyline About Pat Tillman

As noted below, today's Washington Post reports that some generals believe that Al Qaeda in Iraq has been vanquished and want the U.S. to publicly declare that we have defeated the terror group. The leading general urging such a declaration of victory over AQI is Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal:

Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, head of the Joint Special Operations Command's operations in Iraq, is the chief promoter of a victory declaration and believes that AQI has been all but eliminated, the military intelligence official said. But Adm. William J. Fallon, the chief of U.S. Central Command, which oversees Iraq and the rest of the Middle East, is urging restraint, the official said.

But some interesting facts are dribbling out about General McChrystal. As Think Progress notes, he declared "major combat over" -- way back in 2003.

More at the link.

Permalink10/16/07, 11:25:05 pm, by Timbuk3 Email , 157 views, Latest Posts Send feedback

Administrative stuff

Sorry I've been kind of busy the past few days and haven't been posting much(1), but as amber says, "shit happens". I haven't lost interest, still read what you guys are posting (and enjoy the hell out of it), and want to keep this thing going.

Several of you have asked how to embed links in the comments. I thought you guys could edit your own comments, but I was wrong. (I don't see quite the same screens you guys do because I have to be the administrator.) I just reset things so that any "blogger" (all of you, at this point) can "edit comments". This is how I embed links:

Make your comment, then use the "edit" link underneath it to open it in the editing window. You should then be able to use the "link" button to add a link to a comment just like you already do in the regular blog posts.

Let me know if it works, etc.

BTW, I didn't enable "delete comments" for "bloggers". As always, if you want to practice a bit with "nonsense posts" just put "delete" in the comment and I'll trash it for you as soon as I see it.

(1) I want to post about "Cheney's Law", the documentary I just watched on PBS, but I'm pretty blown away by the whole thing and highly recommend you watch it. Basically, Cheney's lawyer David Addington is a sharp guy who can justify anything Cheney tells Bush he can do. It's Addington who is behind all of the signing statements, which are basically just another way of saying "congress has no legitimate ability to limit Presidential authority". The only recourse is to take each and every case to the SCOTUS. Since Bush has packed the SCOTUS with so many "unitary executive" true believers, that's not such a hot option, so it's going to be hard to restore America to 3 co-equal branches any time soon. We really can't survive one more "conservative" judge.

Permalink10/16/07, 10:10:55 pm, by Timbuk3 Email , 115 views, Latest Posts Send feedback

Iraqi adviser: Blackwater shooting unprovoked, guards must go

Well, this should be interesting:

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki asked the U.S. State Department to "pull Blackwater out of Iraq," after an Iraqi probe concluded that the private contractors committed unprovoked and random killings in a September 16 shooting, an adviser to al-Maliki told CNN.

Adviser Sami al-Askari told CNN the Iraqis have completed their investigation into the shooting at Nusoor Square in Baghdad.

Al-Askari said the United States is still waiting for the findings of the American investigation, but al-Maliki and most Iraqi officials are "completely satisfied" with the findings of their probe and are "insisting" that Blackwater leave the country.


Permalink10/16/07, 07:25:02 pm, by billy b, 356 views, User Posts 1 feedback

4th Amendment?

What 4th amendment?

As the 'White House forbids telecom companies from telling Congress about surveillance activity,' Verizon discloses that it turned over subscriber information to the FBI in emergency situations more than 700 times without court orders, and a Comcast manual reveals the cost of surveillance.

Meanwhile, a Democratic Congressman accuses the GOP of 'Cynically using murdered U.S. soldiers to push wiretapping agenda,' an effort assisted by various Murdoch-owned properties.

(Via Cursor)

A particularly juicy tidbit:

…Verizon also disclosed that the FBI, using administrative subpoenas, sought information identifying not just a person making a call, but all the people that customer called, as well as the people those people called. Verizon does not keep data on this “two-generation community of interest” for customers, but the request highlights the broad reach of the government’s quest for data.

Permalink10/16/07, 04:02:33 pm, by Timbuk3 Email , 190 views, Latest Posts 2 feedbacks

Your President Speaks

My good friend Holden Caulfield at First Draft recaps Little Boots' latest round of extemporizin'. This time he's in my home state giving the locals what for. He's truly wacked out on this one.


What He Keeps Pointing To

I want to thank the Chancellor of the mighty University of Arkansas, John White, for being here today. He hosted -- I keep pointing to he's a Razorback -- I understand. Look, I'm just a simple Texas guy who -- who knows full well that it was a lot of times an unpleasant experience for the Longhorns to come up here and play.

What We Got To Be Mindful Of

I went by earlier today to his business and I had a chance to say hello to his employees. I did so because I wanted to remind America that in order for this economy to remain strong, we got to be mindful of the needs of small business owners.

A Tax Raise

And yet when you listen carefully to the budget debate, that's what you're fixing to get stuck with -- a tax raise.


Permalink10/16/07, 12:54:19 pm, by billy b, 567 views, User Posts 2 feedbacks

Do you want to see some ugly?

Not only ugly, in fact, but stupid, as well.
Air America talk hostess Randi Rhodes was assaulted. Some blog posters pointed out that since she was not displaying any money or jewelry, but was out exercising her dog in a jogging suit, maybe, just maybe, the assault was politically motivated.
If you want to see some ugly, read some of the nearly 800 comments (so far) on this obviously liberal-oriented blog.
These stupid right-wing fuckers claim they've never heard of Air America, yet they somehow know how to find this liberal blog (which I've never hear of until I saw it in a Buzzflash headline a few minutes ago). And though they've "never heard of Air America", they seem to know very well who Randi Rhodes is, and are happy that she was mugged. And they're concerned about the dog.

Permalink10/16/07, 12:00:33 pm, by lewagner Email , 307 views, User Posts 11 feedbacks

Mish-un uh, komplisshed?

Al-Qaeda In Iraq Reported Crippled

So we can bring 'em home, right?

Well, not exactly. But funding for another year of war is coming up in congress, soon.

See, it's like this...


Permalink10/16/07, 07:46:33 am, by Timbuk3 Email , 251 views, Latest Posts 1 feedback

Who Could Ever Ever Ever Ever Ever Believe the US Government Would?


Watch the trailer.

He who benefited the most is the highest suspect in the perpetration of the still-unsolved crime.

Permalink10/15/07, 03:26:32 pm, by bastard_amber Email , 184 views, User Posts 4 feedbacks

Gore Derangement Syndrome

Paul Krugman is hitting on all cylinders today concerning the republick foaming at the mouth that commences as soon as Al's name is mentioned.

On the day after Al Gore shared the Nobel Peace Prize, The Wall Street Journal’s editors couldn’t even bring themselves to mention Mr. Gore’s name. Instead, they devoted their editorial to a long list of people they thought deserved the prize more.

[Unbelievable. No, really. Here, the editor of one of the most prestigious newpapers that exists acts like a spoiled rotten titty baby. WAAAAH!!!!!]

And at National Review Online, Iain Murray suggested that the prize should have been shared with “that well-known peace campaigner Osama bin Laden, who implicitly endorsed Gore’s stance.” You see, bin Laden once said something about climate change — therefore, anyone who talks about climate change is a friend of the terrorists.

[Want a little cheese with that whine, Iain? Lew-zur.]


Permalink10/15/07, 01:07:16 pm, by billy b, 608 views, User Posts 3 feedbacks

Edwards questions Clinton's sincerity

Good for John. The more I see and hear from Ms. Clinton, the less I like:

HUDSON, N.H. - Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards has spent two weeks questioning Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's judgment in voting to declare the Iranian Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization.

On Sunday, he questioned her sincerity.

Last month, Clinton was one of 75 senators who voted for a resolution giving the president the authority to call the guards terrorists. She has characterized the vote as a way to gain leverage for U.S. negotiations with Iran, but some of her rivals, including Edwards and Sen. Barack Obama, argue it amounted to giving Bush another blank check to go to war.

[What?!?!?!?!?!? Leverage for negotiations with Iran? Good lord.
Hillary's not a stupid person, so she knew that supporting the resolution was, as mentioned, opening the door for Little Boots to attack Iran with tacit approval from the Senate. I can only draw the conclusion she is a gutless hack interested in her own agenda, which is to become the president at all costs]


Permalink10/15/07, 08:53:14 am, by billy b, 326 views, User Posts 2 feedbacks

"Good Germans"

I don't know if you folks have seen this yet, but Frank Rich's latest column is wending it's way through the "internets".


Our humanity has been compromised by those who use Gestapo tactics in our war. The longer we stand idly by while they do so, the more we resemble those “good Germans” who professed ignorance of their own Gestapo. It’s up to us to wake up our somnambulant Congress to challenge administration policy every day. Let the war’s last supporters filibuster all night if they want to. There is nothing left to lose except whatever remains of our country’s good name.


Permalink10/15/07, 07:35:10 am, by Timbuk3 Email , 335 views, Latest Posts 1 feedback


David Podvin is pretty depressing here, but it's worth the read. This one is a sequel to lewagner's post about the OIL.


Except for oil. The price of crude oil reached a new high on Friday, so the estimated Iraqi petroleum reserves are now worth eighteen trillion dollars. It should not be hard to believe that people will lie when so much money is at stake, especially when you consider that most people are willing to lie for free.


During the 2000 Florida recount, I became acquainted with an advisor to Al Gore’s campaign. I recently asked this guy why the former vice president had decided against running in 2008. He responded that if Gore became president the Iraq War would end and that Gore understands the Iraq War will not be allowed to end, therefore Gore cannot become president. Mr. Gore believes that he could win the presidency again, but as the 2000 election demonstrated winning the presidency and becoming president are two very different things.


The entire column follows.


Permalink10/14/07, 03:10:07 pm, by billy b, 667 views, User Posts 2 feedbacks

Bush mass for shut ins for 10-14-07

Bush mass for shut ins is on the air!


Good morning Bush worshippers, those who are ill and those who it's just best not to mix with society. May Lord God Bush bless you all for coming. For it is he who brought us life and everything else. He is a thousand points of light! He makes the sun rise in the morning, puts the frost on our flakes and puts the fruit on the trees. All praise the glory of Lord God Bush. Today we celebrate Skills Gap.


Skills Gap is why the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. It has nothing to do with the people at the top being greedy. They just have more skills and therefore can earn more.


Who can take a sunrise,
Sprinkle it with dew?
Cover it in chocolate and a miracle or two…
Lord God Bush, Lord God Bush can,
Lord God Bush can 'cause he mixes it with love
and makes the world taste good…

Who can take a rainbow,
Wrap it in a sigh?
Soak it in the sun and make the stra'bry lemon pie
Lord God Bush, Lord God Bush can,
Lord God Bush can 'cause he mixes it with love
and makes the world taste good…

Lord God Bush makes
everything he bakes
Satisfying and delicious.
Talk about your childhood wishes.
You can even eat the dishes!

Who can take tomorrow,
Dip it in a dream?
Separate the sorrow and collect up all the cream,
Lord God Bush, Lord God Bush can,
Lord God Bush can 'cause he mixes it with love
and makes the world taste good…
And the world tastes good
'cause Lord God Bush thinks it should…


Lord God Bush looked down upon the people and spoke,"The reason for the vast wage gap is a skills gap. Those who say otherwise hate America"

What is the Profit Paulsen trying to say to us? It is that the reason for the vast wage gap is a skills gap. If you disagree, you hate America

Bush mass is over

Your attendance has been recorded and will be sent to the proper authorities. Go in arrogance, may the Lord God George W Bush be with you.

Permalink10/14/07, 09:18:27 am, by first_church_of_bush Email , 194 views, User Posts 1 feedback

The Trivial Pursuit

Bob Herbert writes a good column on the differences between Mr. Gore, Nobel laureate, and Little Boots, big dumbass. He also gets in some nice shots at Lewdy Giuliani...

How we let this dumb son of a bitch do what he's done after he lost the election is beyond me. Scientists will perfect and harness cold fusion before the historians figure out how the Bush Administration existed at all.

Yesterday began with the gratifying news that Al Gore, derided by George H.W. Bush as the “Ozone Man,” had won the Nobel Peace Prize.

The first thing media types wanted to know was whether this would prompt Mr. Gore to elbow his way into the presidential campaign. That’s like asking someone who’s recovered from a heart attack if he plans to resume smoking.


Permalink10/13/07, 01:11:15 pm, by billy b, 560 views, User Posts Send feedback

Blackwater Is Soaked

The following is unbelievable.

By Rod Nordland and Mark Hosenball

Oct. 15, 2007 issue - The colonel was furious. "Can you believe it? They actually drew their weapons on U.S. soldiers." He was describing a 2006 car accident, in which an SUV full of Blackwater operatives had crashed into a U.S. Army Humvee on a street in Baghdad's Green Zone. The colonel, who was involved in a follow-up investigation and spoke on the condition he not be named, said the Blackwater guards disarmed the U.S. Army soldiers and made them lie on the ground at gunpoint until they could disentangle the SUV. His account was confirmed by the head of another private security company. Asked to address this and other allegations in this story, Blackwater spokesperson Anne Tyrrell said, "This type of gossip has led to many soap operas in the press."


Permalink10/13/07, 12:06:37 pm, by billy b, 475 views, User Posts Send feedback

A Sizable Lie of Omission

You're hearing the award hoopla, no doubt. But have you ever heard of another event covered, filmed, or reported on a news show, to tell you the time Gore personally came to the rescue of the needy victims in New Orleans the week the hurricane hit the city?

If you didn't -- and chances are you haven't -- I call it a sizable lie of omission by your news suppliers.

Former vice-Prez Al Gore chartered a plane in Sept. 2005 and flew aboard for 2 roundtrips to New Orleans to rescue and medEvac 100s of patients from Charity Hospital and bring them to Tennessee. The VP declined interviews while he was shuttling the evacuees that Saturday September 3 and for a 2nd return flight he made the next day, but the doctors who flew with him talked about the experience.

Gore had to work around a sequential blockade by FEMA, which naturally denied his team permissions, repeatedly.

I'll assume the fringe extremists who still deny the reality of global climate change will be upset that the jets used to rescue these people weren't "green" enough.

Fuck people when you have a (vile, hateful, unreal) political point to make, right?

Political Cortex


Permalink10/13/07, 10:17:59 am, by Timbuk3 Email , 314 views, Latest Posts 2 feedbacks

It's the Oil

It starts to make sense to me, now. IT IS the OIL!!
A few paragraphs from the begining and end of the article:

It’s the Oil

Jim Holt
Iraq is ‘unwinnable’, a ‘quagmire’, a ‘fiasco’: so goes the received opinion. But there is good reason to think that, from the Bush-Cheney perspective, it is none of these things. Indeed, the US may be ‘stuck’ precisely where Bush et al want it to be, which is why there is no ‘exit strategy’.
Iraq has 115 billion barrels of known oil reserves. That is more than five times the total in the United States. And, because of its long isolation, it is the least explored of the world’s oil-rich nations. A mere two thousand wells have been drilled across the entire country; in Texas alone there are a million. It has been estimated, by the Council on Foreign Relations, that Iraq may have a further 220 billion barrels of undiscovered oil; another study puts the figure at 300 billion. If these estimates are anywhere close to the mark, US forces are now sitting on one quarter of the world’s oil resources. The value of Iraqi oil, largely light crude with low production costs, would be of the order of $30 trillion at today’s prices. For purposes of comparison, the projected total cost of the US invasion/occupation is around $1 trillion.


Permalink10/13/07, 08:59:36 am, by lewagner Email , 330 views, User Posts 2 feedbacks

American Rhetoric: Movie Speech

Permalink10/12/07, 11:49:29 pm, by Timbuk3 Email , 297 views, Latest Posts 2 feedbacks

Authoritarian Conservatism

That I've posted on this enough that some of you may be tired of it may give you an idea of how much respect I have for the ideas that are presented.

Two of the conservative personality types, "The Social Dominator" and "The Authoritarian Follower", go so far to explain the last 7 years for me that I've taken to using the concepts in conversations and I've been pleased with the response.

Not that conservatives haven't been predictable all along (you can, for example, always count on them to blame their own faults and mistakes on the Democrats), but now I feel like I understand what's happening a bit better. We've been watching the morally empty being led by the morally corrupt, with no regard for the rest of us and the power to ignore us completely. What's not known is, what will happen next?


I got the link to Bob Altemeyer's book "The Authoritarians" from John Dean's first post on the subject, "Understanding the Contemporary Republican Party: Authoritarians Have Taken Control" and have already posted it (with a glowing recommendation) once.

I've just read parts 2 and 3, "Why Authoritarians Now Control the Republican Party: The Rise of Authoritarian Conservatism", and "The Impact of Authoritarian Conservatism On American Government: Part Three in a Three-Part Series".

Read them all. You'll be glad you did.

And maybe, just maybe, a little more determined to stop them before they bring America to her knees.

Permalink10/12/07, 11:12:27 pm, by Timbuk3 Email , 199 views, Latest Posts 7 feedbacks

Notorious G.I.B. (son) goes gangstah on Faux News

Summary: On his radio show, while discussing an incident in which a student shot four people at his Cleveland high school before killing himself, John Gibson asserted that "I know the shooter was white. I knew it as soon as he shot himself. Hip-hoppers don't do that. They shoot and move on to shoot again."


Wonder if Gibson will be joining Billo down at Sylvia's for a plate of stewed chicken dumplings and some iced tea.

Sorry. I mean motherfucking iced tea.

Permalink10/12/07, 10:53:21 pm, by bsa Email , 185 views, User Posts 3 feedbacks

Lt. General Ricardo Sanchez, Phony Soldier

The former U.S. commander in Iraq, retired Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, has delivered a withering indictment of the the White House's handling of the war, telling a gathering of military journalists that "America is living a nightmare with no end in sight.”

“There was been a glaring and unfortunate display of incompetent strategic leadership within our national leaders,” said Sanchez, who commanded U.S. forces from June 2003 to July 2004.

"After more than fours years of fighting, America continues its desperate struggle in Iraq without any concerted effort to devise a strategy that will achieve victory in that war-torn country or in the greater conflict against extremism," Sanchez said, adding that a military-only strategy will simply "stave off defeat," not achieve victory. “From a catastrophically flawed, unrealistically optimistic war plan, to the administration’s latest surge strategy, this administration has failed to employ and synchronize the political, economic and military power.”

He also also assailed government officials of being “derelict in their duties” and guilty of a “lust for power."


Time for neocons in Congress to draft another resolution of condemnation.

Have neocons been renaming any foods lately?

Permalink10/12/07, 09:59:31 pm, by bsa Email , 142 views, User Posts 2 feedbacks

Gore v. Bush: The Rude Pundit

In an uncharacteristically thoughtful post, the Rude Boy has a nice take on Al vs. Bootsy.


Gore's not gonna run. Give that up. To go from speaking out about melting icecaps to being asked what he thinks about, say, a flag-burning amendment would be a degradation of what he's worked for the last six years. And had that statewide recount in Florida happened and Gore had become president, Republicans would have simply worked night and day trying to destroy him, and his causes would have been washed away in a tide of worthless investigations of Buddhist monk phone calls and worse. And let's not even get into how Republicans would have exploded in berserk, ape-like rage over 9/11 if it had happened under a Gore presidency.

It's not that we're not worthy or that he's too good for us or any of that hyperbolic nonsense. We got the president we deserved, twice, and we realized too late that we didn't get the president we needed. As with so many things, our own temptation to that latent American selfishness has done us in.

The rest of the column follows:


Permalink10/12/07, 03:45:48 pm, by billy b, 540 views, User Posts 1 feedback

More Riffing on Ann the Man

From my old buddy Dr. Atta J. Turk over to Rising Hegemon.

Ann Coulter in History

You know she wishes she could have been there:

Permalink10/12/07, 10:42:39 am, by billy b, 143 views, User Posts 2 feedbacks

Another Example of Why We are Screwed, Blued, and Tattooed...

Here's the latest "poll" at CNN. Good lord people are idiots.

One could shove any one of the forty-two percenter's brain up a gnat's ass and said brain would rattle around like a BB in a boxcar...

Quick Vote

Are Al Gore and the climate-change panel deserving winners of the Nobel Peace Prize?

Yes 58% 23363

No 42% 16745

Total Votes: 40108

Permalink10/12/07, 09:55:17 am, by billy b, 109 views, User Posts Send feedback

Gore Wins Nobel Peace Prize

Along with Carter, that makes 2 Democratic Presidents and (to the best of my knowledge) zero Republican Presidents.

I don't give the wing-nuts until noon today to start trashing "the socialists at the Nobel prize committee."

They know one of their guys will never win this prize.

Permalink10/12/07, 08:47:17 am, by Timbuk3 Email , 178 views, Latest Posts 4 feedbacks


The scariest news may be the stuff you haven’t seen yet.

(This page will take a while to load.)

Two "good" ones:

5. Enslaved Workers Building U.S. Embassy in Iraq

The enduring monument to U.S. liberation and democracy in Iraq is being built by forced labor, according to interviews and documents obtained by reporter David Phinney. Contractors working for the U.S. State Department are using bait-and-switch recruiting practices to smuggle Asian workers into brutal and inhumane labor camps in the middle of Beirut’s U.S.-controlled Green Zone.

First Kuwait Trading and Contracting is one of many contractors that have benefited from the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. The company had employed about 7,500 foreign laborers, 3,000 of whom are from South Asia. One of that company’s practices is to force foreign laborers to surrender their passports to company officials until the work is completed.

— Phinney, CorpWatch, Oct. 17, 2006.

23. Feinstein’s Conflict of Interest in Iraq

U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California is involved in monumental conflicts of interest as she promotes and exploits the global war on terror. As a member of the Military Construction Appropriations subcommittee, she voted for spending billions of dollars with her husband’s military construction firms, while consistently voting to fund U.S. military proliferation.

— Peter Byrne, Jan. 24, 2007, in North Bay Bohemian, a newspaper in Santa Rosa, Calif.

Permalink10/11/07, 09:56:15 pm, by Timbuk3 Email , 271 views, Latest Posts 10 feedbacks

Randy Conservatives

By Digby on October 6, 2007 - 1:54pm.

It's interesting that Naomi Klein's new book about "disaster capitalism" is taking the political world by storm, since it's such a downer. She offers a stark and scary explanation as to why in disasters and wars and crises of all kinds we so often see these even more disasterous "free-market" solutions. From shock therapy in Russia to the CPA in Iraq to the Republican post-Katrina planning committee at the Heritage Foundation, you see similar examples of market fundamentalist approaches to problems of vast scale that one would have until recently assumed would be undertaken by government, democratic or otherwise. Klein makes the case that this is essentially a product of a school of economic thought that has found it can not only benefit by disaster, but it benefits greatly if it actually creates disasters, frightening people into accepting what in the best case can be considered experimental solutions to problems and in the worst case provides the opportunity for greed and graft to operate without restraint.

It's an interesting thesis, but I don't mean to debate its merits in this post. The reason I bring it up at all is that I coincidentally found myself reading Alan Greenspan's autobiography at the same time and was struck by the psychology of selfishness that I found underlying both of these books. There are too many people involved in this behavior to simply explain it as an anomaly. In a country supposedly based upon Judeo-Christian values and Enlightenment philosophy, I wondered why so many wealthy and powerful people are now openly embracing a philosophy of pure self-interest --- and acting on it. And the answer, I think, is Ayn Rand.

I heard this author being interviewed on NPR. I haven't bought the book, yet, but it sounds like it's worth a read.

Oh, and Ayn Rand is a selfish bitch.

Permalink10/11/07, 09:40:02 pm, by Timbuk3 Email , 147 views, Latest Posts 3 feedbacks

Princess of Darkness on the Daily Show

CHENEY: You know, I think when the history books are written, that we will look back on this period of time and we will say, on 9/11, we really thought within six months, we would be attacked again, maybe six weeks. It’s been more than six years and that is not an accident. I think this administration - my husband and the President - deserve a lot of credit for that.


CHENEY: Good (laughter)

STEWART: Well, alright. There was, I mean, there was the anthrax thing. And then there was-well, you know, the first time they bombed the World Trade Center, it was eight years until we got attacked again. And they weren’t apparently doing anything…

CHENEY: Well, yes, but there were many attacks in between 1993 and the World Trade Centers coming down in 2001. Remember the USS Cole, for example. There were worldwide bombings going on, the bombings in embassies in Africa. So the terrorists weren’t reluctant to damage American interests and kill Americans. Friends?

STEWART: We are friends, it’s just…you know they have been doing that all these past six years. They’ve been…I mean, you know, the Spanish bombing and the English bombing and all the bombs in Iraq…

CHENEY: Yes, but I’m talking about American interests

STEWART: Aren’t we interested in…? Alright, I assumed that they were our allies.


Permalink10/11/07, 09:13:38 pm, by bsa Email , 164 views, User Posts 5 feedbacks

Ann Coulter: Christians just want Jews to be perfected

During the October 8 edition of CNBC's The Big Idea, host Donny Deutsch asked right-wing pundit Ann Coulter: "If you had your way ... and your dreams, which are genuine, came true ... what would this country look like?" Coulter responded, "It would look like New York City during the [2004] Republican National Convention. In fact, that's what I think heaven is going to look like." She described the convention as follows: "People were happy. They're Christian. They're tolerant. They defend America." Deutsch then asked, "It would be better if we were all Christian?" to which Coulter responded, "Yes." Later in the discussion, Deutsch said to her: "[Y]ou said we should throw Judaism away and we should all be Christians," and Coulter again replied, "Yes." When pressed by Deutsch regarding whether she wanted to be like "the head of Iran" and "wipe Israel off the Earth," Coulter stated: "No, we just want Jews to be perfected, as they say. ... That's what Christianity is. We believe the Old Testament, but ours is more like Federal Express. You have to obey laws."

[heh...heh...heh... Federal Express? You have to obey laws? What on earth are you getting at, you psychotic hosebeast?]


Permalink10/11/07, 02:15:31 pm, by billy b, 457 views, User Posts 6 feedbacks

Sound as a dong or a kip

This is from October 10:

The Saigon Times said this morning that the State Bank of Vietnam was abandoning the attempt to hold down the Vietnamese currency through heavy purchases of dollars. The policy is causing the economy to overheat, driving up inflation to 8.8pc.

Vietnam, which has mid-sized reserves of $40bn, is seen as weather vane for the bigger Asian powers.

Together they hold $3,575bn of foreign reserves, over 65pc of the world's total. China leads with $1,340bn, but South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, and even Thailand all built up massive holdings.

The concern is that once one or two members of the region jump ship, it could set off a broader scramble. None of them want to be the last one left holding a devalued asset. Vietnam's central bank said this week that it would move "gradually" to a floating currency.

Today the telephone bill collection guy came to the house here, and left what looked like a bill. It wasn't a bill, though, just a notification that in the future, Lao Telecom will only be accepting Lao kip for Internet service. Up until this week, they only accepted US $$.
The other American guy in town informed me that as of day before yesterday, the Lao government was still collecting visa fees in US dollars, but I'll betcha they won't be far behind Lao Telecom.
So it sounds like there are already one or two in the region jumping ship.

Permalink10/11/07, 12:05:39 pm, by lewagner Email , 166 views, User Posts 4 feedbacks

What is it about Fox TV and Trash???

Murder-for-hire admission dooms TV show

By JOSHUA GOODMAN, Associated Press Writer
Wed Oct 10, 4:51 PM ET

The hit Columbian game show "Nothing But the Truth" has been canceled after a contestant won $25,000 for admitting she hired someone to kill her husband.

Tuesday was the final day for the show, in which contestants attached to a lie-detector machine answered 21 increasingly invasive questions to win up to $50,000.

On the Colombian version, dollar-desperate contestants confessed everything from drug smuggling to homosexual prostitution before a studio audience packed with unsuspecting loved ones.

A U.S. version called "Moment of Truth" is still expected to be launched on Fox in the coming months......


Permalink10/11/07, 09:08:53 am, by oralloy Email , 120 views, User Posts 1 feedback

Was A McConnell Staffer Behind The Campaign To Smear The 12-Yr Old SCHIP Recipient?

Nice goiter there, Mitch. What a bitch.

From Think Progress:

The right wing’s attack on Graeme Frost, a 12-year old recipient of SCHIP, is now attracting attention from a number of traditional media outlets. “I think it’s really a sad statement about how bankrupt some of these people are in their arguments against S-chip that they would attack a 12-year-old boy,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said.

Mounting evidence suggests that the right-wing smear campaign may have been orchestrated by a staffer in Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) office.


Permalink10/11/07, 08:34:40 am, by billy b, 322 views, User Posts Send feedback


Dragonfly or Insect Spy? Scientists at Work on Robobugs

By Rick Weiss
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, October 9, 2007; A03

Vanessa Alarcon saw them while working at an antiwar rally in Lafayette Square last month.

"I heard someone say, 'Oh my god, look at those,' " the college senior from New York recalled. "I look up and I'm like, 'What the hell is that?' They looked kind of like dragonflies or little helicopters. But I mean, those are not insects."

Out in the crowd, Bernard Crane saw them, too.

"I'd never seen anything like it in my life," the Washington lawyer said. "They were large for dragonflies. I thought, 'Is that mechanical, or is that alive?' "

That is just one of the questions hovering over a handful of similar sightings at political events in Washington and New York. Some suspect the insectlike drones are high-tech surveillance tools, perhaps deployed by the Department of Homeland Security.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/ 2007/10/08/AR2007100801434.html


Permalink10/11/07, 07:48:22 am, by oralloy Email , 306 views, User Posts 1 feedback

How did I miss this?

Oh, yeah, that's right. I watch American "news".

Documents Show Extensive Flaws in Iraq Embassy Construction

Documents obtained by the Oversight Committee depict widespread defects in fire detection systems, fire service mains, fire sprinklers, fire-proof construction materials, and electrical wiring throughout the Embassy complex. Other documents implicate the Managing Partner of First Kuwaiti, the prime contractor, in an illegal kickback scheme to obtain subcontracts under the Army’s multi-billion logistical support contract.


Permalink10/10/07, 11:00:09 pm, by Timbuk3 Email , 334 views, Latest Posts 1 feedback

"The Braindead Megaphone"

Excerpt of a book review:

"The Braindead Megaphone" is a collection of essays, not short stories, but it's still a representative and very welcome addition to the Saunders canon. That's because essay is given the loosest possible definition, embracing everything from lighthearted, wholly fictional verbal badinage to earnest, in-depth field reportage, and in every case the author's trademark bricolage of the fantastical and the familiar is very much in evidence.

The opening piece is a contemplation of the thought-cheapening force of modern media, vividly metaphorized as a man at a party with a megaphone, loudly yammering away on pseudo-topics ("We're eating more cheese cubes - and loving it!"). By virtue of volume, this Megaphone Guy can't help but dominate the conversation, but, more important, the very concept of conversation, of intellectual engagement, erodes away, drowned in the incessant stream of simplisms. "He has, in effect, put an intelligence-ceiling on the party," Saunders writes. "Does very stupid media make us more tolerant toward stupidity in general? It would be surprising if it didn't."


Permalink10/10/07, 10:41:17 pm, by Timbuk3 Email , 540 views, User Posts 1 feedback

We are screwed, blued, and tattooed

The following is a CNN Poll.

The premise is asinine.

That is all.

Do you agree with Sen. Barack Obama's decision to stop wearing his United States flag lapel pin?

Yes 37% 40471

No 63% 68671

Total Votes: 109142

Permalink10/10/07, 07:51:28 pm, by billy b, 229 views, User Posts 2 feedbacks

Since we're talking about science, get a load of this...

Global Engineering and Climate Change
By Ernest Partridge

A Crisis Papers reader recently sent us an essay in which he proposed that the global climate crisis might be mitigated by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through the release of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) into the ocean. This thoughtful, well-informed and articulate essay prompted a stimulating e-mail exchange between the author and myself, which (with his permission) we may soon publish in The Crisis Papers.

I was reminded of that exchange this week as I read Johann Hari’s [anyone remember Hari Seldon and Psychohistory?] column “The Last Green Taboo: Engineering the Planet.” which originated in The Independent (UK). “Geo-engineers,” Hari explains, “believe man should consciously change the planet’s environment, using technology, to counter the effects of global warming.” For example, some scientists propose seeding the ocean with nutrients that would cause organisms such as plankton to absorb atmospheric carbon, which would then fall to the ocean floor, out of harm’s way. Other schemes might cool the earth by reflecting solar energy back into space. We will review these, and other proposals, near the end of this essay.


Permalink10/10/07, 03:17:23 pm, by billy b, 726 views, User Posts 2 feedbacks

Telescope detects space dust

Saw a documentary recently on supermassive black holes that are apparently at the center of all galaxies and probably are the reason galaxies exist. The following is related.

[The illustration shows dusty grains blowing in the winds from a quasar or active supermassive black hole.]

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Astronomers have taken a baby step in trying to answer the cosmic question of where we come from.

Planets and much on them, including humans, come from dust -- mostly from dying stars. But where did the dust that helped form those early stars come from?


Permalink10/10/07, 01:44:54 pm, by billy b, 361 views, User Posts 2 feedbacks

GWU National Security Archive

Permalink10/10/07, 01:05:22 pm, by Timbuk3 Email , 1056 views, Links Send feedback

Generation Q

I don't know how many around here are familiar with Tom Friedman, but the boy takes a regular beating over at Eschaton, which is well deserved, IMHO.

The following may shed some light on why Tommy takes a beating as such.

The Iraq war may be a mess, but I noticed at Auburn and Old Miss more than a few young men and women proudly wearing their R.O.T.C. uniforms. Many of those not going abroad have channeled their national service impulses into increasingly popular programs at home like “Teach for America,” which has become to this generation what the Peace Corps was to mine.

Hmmm. I would ask why these proud students aren't in Iraq right now, Tommy. That's where they're needed, homes.

Tommy's column follows:


Permalink10/10/07, 10:54:39 am, by billy b, 582 views, User Posts 2 feedbacks

Not Blackwater, this time

Iraqi Officials Condemn Deadly Shooting By Foreign Guards

Iraqi officials have condemned the deadly shooting of two women in Baghdad by foreign security guards on Tuesday.

Guards employed by an Australian-owned company fired on the women's car as it approached their convoy in Baghdad's Karrada district. Iraqi police and witnesses say the guards raced away after the shooting, which killed a woman taxi driver and a female passenger, and wounded two others in the vehicle.

The security firm, Unity Resources Group, said it deeply regrets the incident. It says the guards fired on the speeding car after it ignored several warnings to stop, including hand signals and a flare.

Now that it's pretty clear that Iraq's not going to continue to go along with Bush outsourcing his "free market war", what's next? The military has been devastated by extended tours, inadequate rest (and armor), and declining enlistment.

Whichever Democratic candidate takes over after the boob-in-chief is going to have their work cut out for them. In addition to eroding the military the "miserable failures" of unrestrained "free market capitalism" include wrecking the economy with massive debt, funding drug company profits but not kid's medical care, dismantling much of the bill of rights, declining international respect, and a crumbling infrastructure.

And if they try to fix any of this they'll run into a might RW wurlitzer repeating the mantra about taxes.

What a mess.

(A quick google turned up this link for a non-profit organization called "Reasearch Triangle Park".)

Permalink10/10/07, 07:55:17 am, by Timbuk3 Email , 130 views, Latest Posts 1 feedback

Something Good About Hillary

Defusing the "Ticking Time Bomb" Excuse

Life does not imitate 24, and the Democratic candidates, led by Hillary Clinton, are finally learning to address the unrealistic scenarios that Republicans often use to justify torture.

Karen J. Greenberg | October 8, 2007 | web only

Don't mistake what I'm saying, here. I can't see anything changing my mind about who I will vote for in the primary election, although I'm less sure it will be Edwards now that I've taken a closer look at Dodd. FWIW, I respect those who will vote for Kucinich "out of conscience". We all have our own standards, principles, and reasons.

But elections don't end at primaries, and the military-industrial-media has already crowned Hillary the nominee. Having lived through the "unstoppable" campaign of Howard Dean, I'm not so ready to accede to their demands, but she could be the nominee.

Look up the GOP candidate's stands on torture. Romney wants to double the size of Gitmo. Ghouliani would torture his best friend's wife (probably by having sex with her, but...ah, I shouldn't type this...I hope I remember to go back and delete it), Tancredo ... wow ... I don't even need to know what he thinks about torture, knowing how he feels about those horrible brown-skinned, spanish-speaking immigrants.

Anyway, if Hillary is the nominee, I'll vote for her.

At least I agree with her about some things.

Permalink10/09/07, 11:16:19 pm, by Timbuk3 Email , 146 views, Latest Posts 1 feedback

Your President Speaks!

My old buddy Holden Caulfield at First Draft treats us to another installment of Little Boots' extemporizin'. The frapping dunce is all over the place today. Enjoy:

This past Friday, at the White House, during an interview by the lapdog Al Arabiya Television.

War for The Peace

Circumstances changed, of course, and I had to make some very difficult decisions about how to protect our homeland and take action necessary to -- the actions that I think will yield the peace. And so whether it be in Afghanistan or Iraq, I was -- I have made those decisions.

It's Hard

One of the hardest things for me is to meet with a mother.

Reassured That The Loved One Fully Understanding

As a matter of fact, I leave most of the meetings reassured that the loved one, in this case, fully understanding what we were doing.


Permalink10/09/07, 04:00:03 pm, by billy b, 457 views, User Posts 6 feedbacks

Speaking of Assholes...

From Whiskey Fire:

Mark Steyn decides that dammit, nobody on the right is going to be nearly the asshole he is.

Sorry, no sale. The Democrats chose to outsource their airtime to a Seventh Grader. If a political party is desperate enough to send a boy to do a man's job, then the boy is fair game. As it is, the Dems do enough cynical and opportunist hiding behind biography and identity, and it's incredibly tedious. And anytime I send my seven-year-old out to argue policy you're welcome to clobber him, too. The alternative is a world in which genuine debate is ended and, as happened with Master Frost, politics dwindles down to professional staffers writing scripts to be mouthed by Equity moppets.


Permalink10/09/07, 10:58:46 am, by billy b, 400 views, User Posts 1 feedback

Still undermining intel after all these years

Not content with destroying our ability to defend ourselves by overusing the military in Iraq, the Bush administration is also STILL hard at work undermining efforts to catch the predators behind 911.

I'm sure the GOP congress will be quick to rush a bill condemning this through congress.

/snark off

Leak severs link to al-Qaeda’s secrets
Firm says Bush administration’s handling of video ruined its spying efforts

A small private intelligence company that monitors Islamic terrorist groups obtained a new Osama bin Laden video ahead of its official release last month, and around 10 a.m. on Sept. 7, it notified the Bush administration of its secret acquisition. It gave two senior officials access on the condition that the officials not reveal they had it until the al-Qaeda release.

Within 20 minutes, a range of intelligence agencies had begun downloading it from the company's Web site. By midafternoon that day, the video and a transcript of its audio track had been leaked from within the Bush administration to cable television news and broadcast worldwide.

The founder of the company, the SITE Intelligence Group, says this premature disclosure tipped al-Qaeda to a security breach and destroyed a years-long surveillance operation that the company has used to intercept and pass along secret messages, videos and advance warnings of suicide bombings from the terrorist group's communications network.

Permalink10/09/07, 09:19:17 am, by Timbuk3 Email , 256 views, Latest Posts 3 feedbacks

Speaking of the republics and the increase in poverty...

Number of Homeless Families Rises

Housing Costs, Low Wages Lead to Rise in Number of Homeless Families

[The US is the richest country in the history of the planet. There's no reason for this shit to exist. The great Indian chief Sitting Bull, while on tour with Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, remarked that he was appalled at the poverty that existed in the US in the late 1800's, given the fact that there was so much wealth. Not much has changed]

AMHERST, Mass. (AP) -- There is just enough space for Lisa Rivera's family to sleep at Jessie's House homeless shelter.

In one room, she fits the full-sized bed she shares with her 9-year-old daughter, the trundle for her 11-year-old son, a twin bed for her 14-year-old daughter and a playpen for her 1 1/2-year old son.

"It's comfortable, but it's hard sleeping all together," the 32-year-old woman said. "Oh my God, sometimes it's so hard."


Permalink10/09/07, 08:06:23 am, by billy b, 673 views, User Posts 2 feedbacks

The Urge to Kill With Words

Here's anteresting post on Political Flesh Feast. Not that I'm in complete agreement, but I've wondered for a while now why the "left wing blogs" sometimes end up tearing each other new assholes for no apparent reason...

For years now, I've been watching people who post on blogs try to maim and kill each other with words. I've done the same thing, more often that I care to admit.

Many times, I've been flat out astonished at the depth of the viciousness: the no holds barred attempts to truly cause each other serious harm, in every way harm CAN be caused via the written word. And I've been more than appalled to feel it within myself, on more than one occasion.


Sometimes, this ends up being a totally satisfying experience for me: I come away feeling pretty powerful, even righteous. I did not silently comply with a wrong: I spoke up and I spoke out. Good for me. Yet, under that, was discomfort I like to ignore.

But sometimes, I end up with a strong urge to go take a shower. On the inside, I mean. And a curious sense of sadness: an emptiness of some sort.


Permalink10/08/07, 11:00:00 pm, by Timbuk3 Email , 316 views, Latest Posts 5 feedbacks

The Republican Decline

For starters, people got tired of being associated with these drooling retards. Then, when they realized that these drooling retards had ideological allies running the show in the Bush administration and then began to experience their idiotic policies, they moved from disgusted to outright hostile.

Like me. It had nothing to do with Burke, and everything to do with what the party had become. A bunch of bedwetting, loudmouth, corrupt, hypocritical, and incompetent boobs with a mean streak a mile long and no sense of fair play or proportion.

Seriously- what does the current Republican party stand for? Permanent war, fear, the nanny state, big spending, torture, execution on demand, complete paranoia regarding the media, control over your body, denial of evolution and outright rejection of science, AND ZOMG THEY ARE GONNA MAKE US WEAR BURKHAS, all the while demanding that in order to be a good American I have to spend most of every damned day condemning half my fellow Americans as terrorist appeasers.


Permalink10/08/07, 10:13:12 pm, by Timbuk3 Email , 424 views, Latest Posts 3 feedbacks

A Pack of Assholes

Question: What's the difference between a pack of FReepers and a pack of assholes?

Answer: They are the same thing.

Permalink10/08/07, 03:06:22 pm, by Timbuk3 Email , 102 views, Latest Posts 3 feedbacks

Here's what passes for freeper wisdom

One of the trolls over at Atrios' site is trying to school us lefties on economics.

Even Bill Clinton couldn't derail the progress made by Reagan, Bush, and the republican congress. There's been a slight downturn, but we're on the upswing again, so long as Democrats don't get control of the public purse. Notice that the downturn started in 2000, when Democrats won the senate. If you want to live like a limousine liberal, you have to vote republican. Pay attention.
American Hawk | 10.08.07 - 2:47 pm | #

Permalink10/08/07, 02:53:26 pm, by billy b, 154 views, User Posts Send feedback

"Tighter Controls"

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has ordered tighter controls on Blackwater including putting cameras on its convoys. The State Department also plans to send diplomatic security agents to accompany each convoy protected by Blackwater guards.

Iraq says Blackwater killed 17, shooting "deliberate"

So the Blackwater Stormtroopers will turn the fucking cameras off. And the diplomatic security agents (or a single agent) won't dare do anything about it, because Blackwater is his only "protection" from sudden death.
If asked, Blackwater will lie about why the cameras were turned off, and Congress won't do a thing about it.
I'm afraid Blackwater is going to become more and more active in the US before the 2008 selection. And after the selection, even more and moreso. Old Bull Connor will seem like a nice guy, in comparison to these pricks.

Permalink10/08/07, 01:34:24 pm, by lewagner Email , 194 views, User Posts Send feedback

Helping the Re-up Rate Along

Four years of war and this Army is a skeleton of its former self. Equipment is broken or obsolete, thousands are dead and wounded and many of us can’t wait to get off the Hindenburg. For awhile, deployments were kept to a year, with at least twelve months back home to recuperate, to get new equipment, to bury the dead. To keep the surge going, deployments have been extended to fifteen months to keep the year at home from shrinking down to nine or less months. The number of people getting out was devastating, so the Army needed a new plan to keep people in. New slogan and advertising campaign? Check. Stop loss program? Check. Bigger bonuses? Check. Guaranteeing non-deployable positions at training posts and recruiting stations, acknowledging people are scared stiff to go to Iraq? Check. Still the numbers are low. After watching too many 80s gang movies, someone thought of such a simple, foolproof idea: good ol’ fashioned blackmail.


Permalink10/08/07, 11:45:22 am, by lewagner Email , 278 views, User Posts 1 feedback

Dubai to Bush: Don't attack Iran

Dubai police chief warns against Western attack on Iran

1 day ago

DUBAI (AFP) — Dubai's influential police chief has said Western powers should be warned that their relations with Gulf Arab states would suffer if they launch a military strike on Iran over its nuclear programme.

General Dhahi Khalfan Tamim, whose remarks often reflect the views of the political establishment in the United Arab Emirates, said Gulf "leaders should tell America and the West that 'an attack would have negative consequences for our relations with you.'" Tamim, who was speaking at a forum on Friday night, was arguing for closer Gulf Arab ties with Iran and advocating that it join the Gulf Cooperation Council, whose six member states are close US allies. "Iran should be a member of the GCC," he said. "I wonder why Iran, a neighbouring and Muslim country, with which we are linked by solid relations, does not become a member of the GCC."

"We feel great concern about voices in the West, particularly in the United States, speaking of an eventual strike against Iran," added, expressing discomfort with the prospect of Iran effectively closing off the Straits of Ormuz, through which one quarter of the world's petroleum is shipped.

Permalink10/08/07, 09:42:50 am, by Timbuk3 Email , 119 views, Latest Posts 1 feedback

Sovereign nation or US territory?

WASHINGTON - Iraq's president thinks 100,000 U.S. troops could come home by the end of next year and also says he favors chopping up Iraq into three ethnic enclaves.

Blackwater Shootings ‘Murder,’ Iraq Says

Iraqi Inquiry Says Shooting Was Unprovoked

I say these phoney soldiers will never stand trial in Iraq. Anyone want to take the bet?

Permalink10/08/07, 07:35:35 am, by Timbuk3 Email , 94 views, Latest Posts 1 feedback

Views of one "Phony Soldier" on Rush

OK, I'm trying this. In real life I use pencil and chalk (and eraser too, of course). Sometimes more the latter than the formers.
I'm venturing into hi-tech here. It's embarassing to not know how to post, and have to depend on tim to format my posts for me. Tim's a nice guy, but I keep imagining the irritated face of my son when I'd ask him how to do something simple I sure as hell ought to be able to figgure out for myself. My son would even stamp his foot in impatience. That's the German in him, I suppose, a chip off the old block.
I don't think a link to this blog has been posted before, or if it has, I didn't notice. It's great. The blogger just got back from a deployment in Iraq a few weeks ago. He's got lots of things to say.

Permalink10/08/07, 03:35:07 am, by lewagner Email , 96 views, User Posts 1 feedback

Bush mass for shut ins for 10-07-07

Bush mass for shut ins is on the air!


Good morning Bush worshippers, those who are ill and those who it's just best not to mix with society. May Lord God Bush bless you all for coming. For it is he who brought us life and everything else. He is a thousand points of light! He makes the sun rise in the morning, puts the frost on our flakes and puts the fruit on the trees. All praise the glory of Lord God Bush. Today we celebrate Wonderfulness.


Wonderfulness is something that Lord God Bush is. He just is and questioning this only emboldens the terrorists.


Who can take a sunrise,
Sprinkle it with dew?
Cover it in chocolate and a miracle or two…
Lord God Bush, Lord God Bush can,
Lord God Bush can 'cause he mixes it with love
and makes the world taste good…

Who can take a rainbow,
Wrap it in a sigh?
Soak it in the sun and make the stra'bry lemon pie
Lord God Bush, Lord God Bush can,
Lord God Bush can 'cause he mixes it with love
and makes the world taste good…

Lord God Bush makes
everything he bakes
Satisfying and delicious.
Talk about your childhood wishes.
You can even eat the dishes!

Who can take tomorrow,
Dip it in a dream?
Separate the sorrow and collect up all the cream,
Lord God Bush, Lord God Bush can,
Lord God Bush can 'cause he mixes it with love
and makes the world taste good…
And the world tastes good
'cause Lord God Bush thinks it should…


The Foxnews political analyst said, "Lord God Bush made a bold speech and showed us strong leadership and the willingness to take on tough issues."

What is the Profit T. Snow trying to say to us? It is that Lord God Bush is wonderful and we should be thankful he shows willingness to take on tough issues.

Bush mass is over

Your attendance has been recorded and will be sent to the proper authorities. Go in arrogance, may the Lord God George W Bush be with you.

Permalink10/07/07, 09:31:37 am, by first_church_of_bush Email , 106 views, User Posts 2 feedbacks

In Defense of Rush

Check out the comments on this blog. There are over 1200 of them, and lots and LOTS of them are pretty much the same shit. The pigboy has a lot of power.

Permalink10/07/07, 06:04:49 am, by lewagner Email , 99 views, User Posts 2 feedbacks

A New Way to Screw Veterans

The 2,600 members of the Minnesota National Guard recently ended a 22-month tour of duty in Iraq, the longest deployment of any ground-combat unit in the Armed Forces. Many of its members returned home, looking forward to using education benefits under the GI bill.

For example, John Hobot, a platoon leader, said, "I would assume, and I would hope, that when I get back from a deployment of 22 months, my senior leadership in Washington, the leadership that extended us in the first place, would take care of us once we got home."

It's not working that way. The Guard troops have been told that in order to be eligible for the education benefits they expect, they had to serve 730 days in Iraq. They served 729.


Permalink10/07/07, 03:48:12 am, by oralloy Email , 152 views, User Posts 2 feedbacks

Information overload

In addition to President Torture vetoing health care for kids this week...

The Prince of Darkness is still lying about his treasonous outting of a NOC who worked on WMD during wartime.

Falafel Bill goes out of his way to prove that he's crazier than The Vulgar Pigboy.

But, it's not that there's no good news.

The business world is waking up to the fact that running trillions in debt may not be so good for, um, business.

It's hard to tell whether the fundie nutbags are running from the GOP, or if the GOP is running from the dark christians.

It's no wonder people get burned out on politics. We've been living with this kind of shit for 7 years, now.

But, perhaps there's hope for intelligent life on earth after all...

Permalink10/07/07, 12:05:36 am, by Timbuk3 Email , 144 views, Latest Posts 1 feedback

Very funny

Conservatives Are Such Jokers

...modern movement conservatism attracts a certain personality type. If you identify with the downtrodden, even a little, you don’t belong. If you think ridicule is an appropriate response to other peoples’ woes, you fit right in.

And Republican disillusionment with Mr. Bush does not appear to signal any change in that regard. On the contrary, the leading candidates for the Republican nomination have gone out of their way to condemn “socialism,” which is G.O.P.-speak for any attempt to help the less fortunate.

So once again, if you’re poor or you’re sick or you don’t have health insurance, remember this: these people think your problems are funny.

Permalink10/06/07, 12:46:07 pm, by Timbuk3 Email , 148 views, Latest Posts Send feedback

Shoot the Dog

Because what's a Saturday without a cartoon?

Permalink10/06/07, 09:36:09 am, by Timbuk3 Email , 124 views, Latest Posts Send feedback

"Combined Effects"

It probably comes as no surprise that Bush, et. al., are still torturing in our names. Harpers has the back-story on the creation of "The Ministry of Love".

Remember that key series of staff changes that occurred when John Ashcroft and his key team, including people like Comey and Goldsmith, were swept out, and Fredo hand-picked their successors? Remember when David Broder, that great visionary on the Potomac, told us this would be a wonderful development? The rightwing, dogmatic Ashcroft would be replaced with the wonderful, pragmatic Gonzales. Liberals can smile again, Broder told us.

In fact all that change was about illegal wiretaps and torture. Extremely conservative lawyers who, whatever their political convictions, still believed in the enforcement and application of the law, were taken out. And in came a new team of “loyal Bushies,” people who understood their sole duty to be to implement the personal will of George W. Bush. In the immortal words uttered last week by John Yoo, “Every subordinate should agree with [the President’s] views so there is a unified approach to the law.” Yes. It’s called the Führerprinzip. But it sounds so much more convincing in the original German.

Permalink10/06/07, 09:10:30 am, by Timbuk3 Email , 141 views, Latest Posts Send feedback


I just installed an anti-spam device. Checking how it works when logged in, and not logged in.

Update: Folks, the site is currently under some kind of attack. It's going to take me some time to get it stopped. Not really the way I wanted to spend a Friday night, but what are ya gonna do when there are so many bushies assholes bushies in the world?

I'll update again when I get it stopped. Until then, you'll have to post elsewhere.

Update II: OK, I think I have it stopped. I'm going to reset everything to where it was this morning and see how it goes from there. One change, though. Anonymous posts will have to verify they're human from now on. If that doesn't work I'll disable anonymous posts, again.

Final update: The spammer was from the Czech Republic. I have their IP range and can block anything they throw at me, now.

Anonymous posts are disabled, probably permanently, but members can post to their heart's content.

Permalink10/05/07, 06:21:33 pm, by Timbuk3 Email , 913 views, Latest Posts 8 feedbacks

Republicans Show Respect For US Flag

Tyrant Wipes Crap On Old Glory

Permalink10/05/07, 01:49:52 pm, by bastard_amber Email , 129 views, User Posts 12 feedbacks

Time to stand firm

The veto of children's health care is a shining example of the "compassionate conservative" disregard for American citizens once they leave the womb.

Mr. Bush wants a blank check to send to his war buddies, but health care for kids is "too expensive" and violates his rigid ideology by "taking a step toward socialized medicine".

How to Override Bush's Child Health Insurance Veto

Much-deserved outrage has met George W. Bush's "heartless" veto of House Resolution 976, the Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act.


Permalink10/05/07, 10:53:12 am, by Timbuk3 Email , 291 views, Latest Posts Send feedback

Voucher Warriors

Dick DeVos: Ultra-conservative family agenda

As impressive as Dick DeVos's own right-wing credentials are, those of his family—both immediate and extended—are equally significant.

Dick DeVos's wife Betsy took over leadership of the state GOP in 1996, but resigned in 2000 after a dispute with then-Gov. John Engler over her support for a ballot initiative to establish state-funded school vouchers. Engler opposed the initiative which lost decisively in a statewide vote. After leaving her state party post, DeVos maintained her political presence, serving as the national finance chairwoman for the Republican Senatorial Committee in 2000 and heading two pro-voucher organizations: Choices for Children and the Great Lakes Education Project Political Action Committee, both from 2001–2002. She returned to lead the Michigan GOP after Republicans lost control of the governorship in 2002.[18] She served on the board of the American Education Reform Council (AERC) for several years and is now on the board of Clint Bolick's Advocates for School Choice,[19] one of the two groups formed from the merger of the American Education Reform Council, the American Education Reform Foundation, and Children First America, all pro-voucher organizations.[20]

I'm skipping a bunch of stuff, here, and leaving off the end to emphasize the "punchline", so to speak. Read on, below...


Permalink10/04/07, 08:03:39 pm, by Timbuk3 Email , 461 views, Latest Posts 28 feedbacks

We Know For Sure Murder Is OK

In a separate incident, a drunken Blackwater employee left a Christmas eve party in Baghdad and fatally shot the guard of one of Iraq's vice presidents. That contractor was fired, fined and returned home to the United States; no charges have been filed.

Oh wait.

Being fired and fined and sent to the United States is punishment enough.

After all, he only killed a Muslim.


Permalink10/04/07, 07:56:24 pm, by bastard_amber Email , 163 views, Latest Posts 1 feedback

[Speaking Of Flaky...]

That's right, folks, NOW the Big Centralized Federal Government, of whom it was a VERY GOOD IDEA to meddle in Local School Curricula, will SWOOP DOWN upon the Insurance Industry and LOWER THEIR HIGH FEES.

President Bush: “I believe in private medicine. I believe in helping poor people, which was the intent of SCHIP -- now being expanded beyond its initial intent. I also believe that the federal government should make it easier for people to afford private insurance.”

Hee hee hee....

Permalink10/04/07, 05:13:53 pm, by bastard_amber Email , 146 views, User Posts 12 feedbacks

bushie Traitors Snuff Out Patriotic American Dissent

Just like the Traitors did to Pat Tillman.

How Did Specialist Ciara Durkin Die?
BOSTON, Oct. 4, 2007(CBS/AP) Exactly how Ciara Durkin died remains a mystery. The Army National Guard soldier from Massachusetts was found dead with a gunshot wound to the head in Afghanistan last week, and now her family is demanding answers from the military.


Permalink10/04/07, 04:38:38 pm, by bastard_amber Email , 263 views, Latest Posts Send feedback

Moved To User's Blog

Ready to take one up the ass, eh?

Especially after Katrina.

Permalink10/04/07, 03:54:58 pm, by bastard_amber Email , 96 views, User Posts 1 feedback

Giuliani raises $11 million, leads GOP

Gimme, gimme, gimme.

It's going to be SO FUN to count the suicides when the Democratic (Woman) takes the oath of Office.

"Hey Rudy, is Cousin Sex hotter, or Sexual Harrassment Adultery Sex?"

Permalink10/04/07, 03:53:07 pm, by bastard_amber Email , 63 views, User Posts 2 feedbacks

New Torture Revelations

October 4, 2007
Secret U.S. Endorsement of Severe Interrogations
New York Times

WASHINGTON, Oct. 3 — When the Justice Department publicly declared torture “abhorrent” in a legal opinion in December 2004, the Bush administration appeared to have abandoned its assertion of nearly unlimited presidential authority to order brutal interrogations.

But soon after Alberto R. Gonzales’s arrival as attorney general in February 2005, the Justice Department issued another opinion, this one in secret. It was a very different document, according to officials briefed on it, an expansive endorsement of the harshest interrogation techniques ever used by the Central Intelligence Agency.

The new opinion, the officials said, for the first time provided explicit authorization to barrage terror suspects with a combination of painful physical and psychological tactics, including head-slapping, simulated drowning and frigid temperatures.

Mr. Gonzales approved the legal memorandum on “combined effects” over the objections of James B. Comey, the deputy attorney general, who was leaving his job after bruising clashes with the White House. Disagreeing with what he viewed as the opinion’s overreaching legal reasoning, Mr. Comey told colleagues at the department that they would all be “ashamed” when the world eventually learned of it.

Later that year, as Congress moved toward outlawing “cruel, inhuman and degrading” treatment, the Justice Department issued another secret opinion, one most lawmakers did not know existed, current and former officials said. The Justice Department document declared that none of the C.I.A. interrogation methods violated that standard.


Permalink10/04/07, 03:51:18 pm, by oralloy Email , 295 views, User Posts Send feedback

Poor, poor Larry. Dude can't get a break.

Awww. Man I feel soooo bad for old Larry.

[taps foot]

Judge rejects Craig's bid to withdraw guilty plea

Sen. Larry Craig had sought to overturn his guilty plea stemming from an airport bathroom sex sting.

CNN -- A Minnesota judge has denied Sen. Larry Craig's request to withdraw his guilty plea to a disorderly conduct charge stemming from his arrest in an airport men's room sex sting.


Permalink10/04/07, 02:46:13 pm, by billy b, 236 views, User Posts 3 feedbacks

Now THAT'S service!

Jenna Bush, who is an accomplished woman according to her useless old man, answering the question: Why haven't you enlisted in your father's war?

I hope I served the United States by living in Latin America and I hope I was a good representative of the US.

You can't make this shit up. Getting booted out of Argentina for bad behavior isn't exactly diplomacy personified. She's the poster girl for the frapping Young Republicans.

"And here I am, chugging directly from the keg!"

Permalink10/04/07, 08:28:47 am, by billy b, 114 views, User Posts 2 feedbacks

Wow! It was 50 years ago today...

Oct. 4, 1957: Russ Puts Man-Made Moon in Orbit!

1957: The Space Age dawns a little sooner than expected with the successful launch of Sputnik 1 by the Soviet Union. It's a pivotal moment, the kind of event that -- five decades later -- still has people asking, "Do you remember where you were when …?"

Wired News

Permalink10/04/07, 08:00:58 am, by Timbuk3 Email , 130 views, Latest Posts 3 feedbacks

Blackwater to Guard G-Men Investigating Blackwater

Well, well, well. Ain't it ironic?

Instead of this being a case of the fox guarding the henhouse, it might be one of digging one's own grave.

Yesterday Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) asked if Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) "really" wanted to investigate Blackwater, since if he went to Iraq to snoop around, "Blackwater will be his support team."

Well, apparently it's not so hypothetical of a scenario. From The New York Daily News:

When a team of FBI agents lands in Baghdad this week to probe Blackwater security contractors for murder, it will be protected by bodyguards from the very same firm, the Daily News has learned.
Half a dozen FBI criminal investigators based in Washington are scheduled to travel to Iraq to gather evidence and interview witnesses about a Sept. 16 shooting spree that left at least 11 Iraqi civilians dead.


Permalink10/04/07, 07:51:54 am, by billy b, 193 views, User Posts 1 feedback

How bad ARE the GOP candidates?

Ron Paul's Fund Raising Doubled in Quarter
October 4, 2007; Page A6

WASHINGTON -- Rep. Ron Paul disclosed more than $5 million in third-quarter fund raising for his insurgent Republican presidential bid, the only Republican in the field so far to report increased donations.

in the Wall Street Journal on Fox News

Meanwhile, *"Not Dead Fred" is putting his "principles" on display in Iowa:


Permalink10/04/07, 07:48:43 am, by Timbuk3 Email , 237 views, Latest Posts 2 feedbacks

Led Zeppelin World Tour???

Led Zeppelin is going to do a concert in London. If it goes well, they may decide to do a world tour.

25 million people registered for the lottery to buy tickets to the concert ($250 per ticket).

I presume that will be regarded as a success?

If they tour, I'm going.

Permalink10/04/07, 04:39:09 am, by oralloy Email , 111 views, User Posts 1 feedback

Political Flesh Feast

Permalink10/03/07, 11:47:44 pm, by Timbuk3 Email , 1001 views, Blogroll Send feedback

"You are a pompous coward."

But it is more than just a political knife fight. It's principle. After all, the man was fired from ESPN for his racist statements. He talks about any women who don't worship him like they are either whores or doormats. He has been spewing dangerous eliminationist bile about liberals in general for years and he tells our troops in Iraq every single day on Armed Forces Radio, paid for by you and me, that the Democrats are unpatriotic traitors, which really is reprehensible.

There are a lot of public affairs programs. And yet they pipe this hateful, radical gasbag into the war zone while sanctimoniously exhorting everyone else to support the troops. Troops who, according to Rush, can't disagree with him without being "phony soldiers." It is an insult to large numbers of Americans, including many in the military, who aren't Republicans, that they are forced to pay for Rush Limbaugh to spew his disgusting partisan rhetoric into Iraq and Afghanistan --- and then lie to the troops when it comes back to haunt him. It's just wrong and if the Democratic congress can't do even one other thing, the least they could do is put an end to this.


(Link to the "wild eyed" Bill Bennett video.)

Permalink10/03/07, 09:46:50 pm, by Timbuk3 Email , 212 views, Latest Posts 3 feedbacks

Sinking in a Swamp Full of Blackwater

This one's not going away.


“He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster,” Nietzsche said. “And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”

We’re gazing into the abyss all right, and Blackwater is gazing back.

Besides having an army for hire, brave kids who are paid to fight so that most Americans are not personally touched by war, we have the real mercenaries. And they’re a spooky cadre, careening outside the laws of Iraq, the United States and the military.

President Bush continues to preach that we must defeat the “dark ideology” of extremists with “a more hopeful vision.”

But the compromises W. makes to slog on in Iraq, be it with warlords, dictators or out-of-control contractors, are spreading a dark stain on America’s image...Once there was the military-industrial complex. Now we have the mercenary-evangelical complex...

More: http://www.nytimes.com...

Permalink10/03/07, 09:22:29 pm, by Timbuk3 Email , 159 views, Latest Posts 1 feedback

Bush veto for child health bill

He looks like he's going to hurl...

Here's his reasoning (an actual Bush quote from a July 2007 speech in Cleveland):

“The immediate goal is to make sure there are more people on private insurance plans. I mean, people have access to health care in America. After all, you just go to an emergency room.”

US President George W Bush has vetoed a bill to expand a children's healthcare insurance scheme, after it was passed with a large majority in the Senate.

Mr Bush argues it takes the programme beyond its original purpose of insuring children from low-income families.

The vetoed bill proposed higher tobacco taxes to provide an extra $35bn (£17bn) to insure some 10 million children.

[Can't have that. Tobacco is one of Little Boots biggest supporters. Better to let them get their way than to let any poor, sick kids have health care.]


Permalink10/03/07, 12:42:01 pm, by billy b, 442 views, User Posts 8 feedbacks

Presidential Survey

This is an interesting exercise to let you see how your views on various issues line up with those of the current crop of political candidates:


My score: Most - Kucinich 58

Least - McCain 3

Permalink10/03/07, 09:00:31 am, by billy b, 466 views, User Posts 51 feedbacks

Vulgar Pig Boy says US troops are suicide bombers

Rush reply to attacking veteran: Suicide bomber

by Mark Silva

Radio’s Rush Limbaugh, at war with Democrats over his remark about “phony soldiers,’’ today offered a bold new description for the wounded Iraq veteran whom anti-war veterans have placed in cable TV and radio ads criticizing Limbaugh for his controversial commentary.

Suicide bomber.

“This is such a blatant use of a valiant combat veteran, lying to him about what I said and then strapping those lies to his belt, sending him out via the media and a TV ad to walk into as many people as he can walk into,’’ Limbaugh said today.


Permalink10/03/07, 05:34:29 am, by bsa Email , 215 views, User Posts 2 feedbacks

House Passes Bill on Pullout

Pentagon Would Have to Present Iraq Plan to Hill

By Jonathan Weisman

The House, with overwhelming, bipartisan support, voted yesterday to give the Bush administration two months to present to Congress its planning for the withdrawal of combat forces in Iraq.

When I read that headline and first paragraph I couldn't believe it. Then I saw the dagger hidden under the cloak.


Permalink10/02/07, 10:45:09 pm, by Timbuk3 Email , 238 views, Latest Posts 4 feedbacks

Hiroshima: Some Facts

Fact: Hiroshima was Japan's largest military town. Hiroshima's military districts held tens of thousands of soldiers (giving it the highest soldier/civilian ratio of any Japanese city). Hiroshima Castle held the headquarters of the Japanese Second General Army, which was in charge of repelling any invasion in the southern half of Japan (right where we were planning to invade).


Fact: The second bomb was intended for Kokura Arsenal, a massive (4100' x 2000') arms-production complex. The secondary target was the Mitsubishi Shipyards, a massive warship construction facility at Nagasaki. Due to technical and weather difficulties, the bomb ended up being dropped on Urakami, an industrial zone north of Nagasaki. There it destroyed the Mitsubishi Steel Works and the Mitsubishi Torpedo Works.

Before Japan attacked us, Pearl Harbor had been regarded as immune to air-dropped torpedoes because the water was so shallow the torpedoes would hit the ocean floor and embed themselves in the mud. This was the only harbor in the world (outside Japan) that had such a natural defense against air-dropped torpedoes. In order to attack us, Japan had to develop entirely new torpedo technology designed specifically for Pearl Harbor. The Mitsubishi Torpedo Works is the place that designed and built those torpedoes.


Fact: The US did not receive any surrender offers from Japan until August 10, 1945. This was the day after Nagasaki was bombed.


Let the games begin!

Permalink10/02/07, 08:27:15 pm, by oralloy Email , 171 views, User Posts 2 feedbacks

Open Thread

Seems like there's a lot going on, today. Maybe this would be a good place to put random thoughts?

Like this one: I think I want one of these. Has anybody heard anything about them?

Permalink10/02/07, 07:57:45 pm, by Timbuk3 Email , 197 views, Latest Posts 9 feedbacks

Amber's Dastardly School of Debate

Instead of just saying, "wrong" over and over and over, try this.

"Perhaps you mean to say he had his Sixth Amendment rights taken away, as he did in fact submit a petition for a writ of habeas corpus.

What actually was denied Padilla was his right to a speedy trial and his right to know the charges against him."

Not possible when one comes only to speak non sequiter and roil water.

Trolls come to poo-fling.

Trolls don't come for debate.

Hope this helps.

Another lesson GRATIS from Amber's Dastardly School of Debate.

Permalink10/02/07, 05:53:33 pm, by bastard_amber Email , 207 views, User Posts 16 feedbacks

"You're NOT My Monkey?!?!?!"

7e. I dislike commenters who expect me to write long defenses and explanations of something I’ve already written. I’m not your monkey. If you really care what I think about any particular topic, you can search the entire Mahablog archives by googling

site:www.mahablog.com KEYWORD

Good rule.

In "Netiquette" it's called READ THE BOARD BEFORE POSTING.

I'm not your monkey, Republican.

Not on Yayhoo!, and not here.

Permalink10/02/07, 04:33:52 pm, by bastard_amber Email , 128 views, User Posts 1 feedback

Darrell Issa (R, CA): Watch Out, Waxman

(From TPM)

By David Kurtz

Rep. Darrell Issa went on CSPAN's Washington Journal this morning and had this to say about the House oversight committee's investigation of Blackwater (via Atrios):

If Henry Waxman today wants to go to Iraq and do an investigation, Blackwater will be his support team. His protection team. Do you think he really wants to investigate directly?


Permalink10/02/07, 04:22:28 pm, by billy b, 134 views, User Posts 2 feedbacks


This ruling is sweet. And even if Bush refuses to follow the law on this one, the precedent is set for the next President (assuming it's not a GOP co-conspirator) to finally release the Reagan/Bush Iran/Contra records, and details about the Cheney White House 12 years from now.

Judge limits ex-presidents' control of public records

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Presidents don't have indefinite veto power over which records are made public after they've left office, a federal judge has ruled.

In a narrowly crafted ruling, U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly invalidated part of President Bush's 2001 executive order, which allowed former presidents and vice presidents to review executive records before they are released under the Freedom of Information Act. By law, the National Archives has the final say over the release of presidential records and Kollar-Kotelly ruled that Bush's executive order "effectively eliminates" that discretion. It allows former presidents to delay the release of records "presumably indefinitely," she said.

The judge on Monday ordered the National Archives not to withhold any more documents based on that section of the executive order. The ruling was made in a lawsuit filed by the American Historical Association and other organizations, which argued that Bush's Executive Order 13,233 was an "impermissible exercise of the executive power."


Permalink10/02/07, 03:16:55 pm, by Timbuk3 Email , 441 views, Latest Posts 2 feedbacks

She Hates All Iranians

Sieg Heil bushie!

She Hates All Iranians

[Thx C&L and Sadlyno.]

Permalink10/02/07, 02:56:08 pm, by bastard_amber Email , 381 views, User Posts 8 feedbacks

The Smear This Time

Published (NY Times): October 2, 2007

ON Oct. 11, 1991, I testified about my experience as an employee of Clarence Thomas’s at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

I stand by my testimony.

Justice Thomas has every right to present himself as he wishes in his new memoir, “My Grandfather’s Son.” He may even be entitled to feel abused by the confirmation process that led to his appointment to the Supreme Court.

But I will not stand by silently and allow him, in his anger, to reinvent me.

In the portion of his book that addresses my role in the Senate hearings into his nomination, Justice Thomas offers a litany of unsubstantiated representations and outright smears that Republican senators made about me when I testified before the Judiciary Committee — that I was a “combative left-winger” who was “touchy” and prone to overreacting to “slights.” A number of independent authors have shown those attacks to be baseless. What’s more, their reports draw on the experiences of others who were familiar with Mr. Thomas’s behavior, and who came forward after the hearings. It’s no longer my word against his.


Permalink10/02/07, 08:06:37 am, by Timbuk3 Email , 117 views, Latest Posts Send feedback

Uh Oh

Wingers will shoot the source and ignore it. Sane people will read it, understanding that the source is the poster and not the web site, and learn.

It's looking like war with Iran will backfire worse than I thought.

Iran replacing dollar "with more credible currencies"

Iran has been gradually moving away from the dollar ever since sanctions were imposed. It accelerated its efforts this year, informing its biggest clients that from September it would require payment in euro or yen. As of today, 85 percent of Iran's oil is sold in currencies other than the US dollar.


As the dollar tanks, other oil economies will look to diversify their risks of holding dollars and dollar assets. The Gulf states have been importing accelerating inflation from the USA with their dollar pegs, and the refusal of Saudi Arabia to follow the Fed's lead with a 50 basis point rate cut has invited speculation that Saudi and other Gulf states might abandon the dollar peg as the pressure increases. Iran got there first, but bombing Iran won't change the reality that the dollar is worth 30 percent less today than when Bush took office, and will be worth less still when he leaves.


Permalink10/02/07, 07:57:16 am, by Timbuk3 Email , 197 views, Latest Posts 5 feedbacks

Jesus Loves You

But His Dad thinks you're a shit.

Permalink10/01/07, 11:31:04 pm, by Timbuk3 Email , 89 views, User Posts Send feedback

American Freedom Campaign

Permalink10/01/07, 11:17:41 pm, by Timbuk3 Email , 1029 views, Links Send feedback

not sure I like the sound of this

"It is that lack of oversight and accountability that has Walker and others concerned about Blackwater's intention to take their private security operation domestic. The company has met with leaders in several states to offer their security services in the event of a natural disaster. In California, they have suggested earthquake relief. In New York, they offered help in case of terrorist attack.

Their thinking is simple. The Iraq war won't last forever, so if the company wants to stick around, it needs an alternate business plan. Work here at home is one solution."


Permalink10/01/07, 10:23:57 pm, by oralloy Email , 364 views, User Posts 16 feedbacks

On "Arbitrary Surveillance"

Here in this "authoritarian communist" country which practices "arbitrary surveillance" (according to the US State Department), when I bought a cell phone, the first thing I had to do was to buy a SIM card to activate it.
To do that, you go to any shop that sells SIM cards (they're all over town), and you pick out a phone number you like. Some shops go through the cards and pick out those with "lucky numbers", and charge like five times the regular price for those. I just bought a regular-luck number, though, an easy-to-remember number.
Then you stick your SIM card into the back of your phone. If you don't know how to do it yourself, any local kid can show you how to do it. No one asks your name or writes the number down when you buy the card. It's as easy and anonymous as buying bullets at Walmart.
The SIM card cost $5, and included $2 worth of calling time.
You recharge your phone by buying phone cards, which are also sold all over town. If I call out, it goes against my phone card minutes. If someone calls me, it goes against their phone card minutes.
Land phone lines are registered to a person's name, of course, for billing purposes. The great majority of people use only cell phones, though.
The college I work for just passed a new rule: Everyone has to turn their cell phone off during class, or face a 50 cent fine for disrupting the class. IMO, a good idea. The phones have got ringing noises like the sound of hilarious laughter, roosters crowing, Jingle Bells, and various downloaded music. About every minute somebody's phone was sounding off, and students were jumping out of their seats to go out of the room to answer their phones, which was indeed quite disruptive.

Permalink10/01/07, 09:44:53 pm, by lewagner Email , 230 views, User Posts 2 feedbacks

The Last Angry Man

(or, "This Guy Has No Business on the Supreme Court".)

What a wack-a-doodle Clarence Thomas is:

Justice Clarence Thomas settles scores in an angry and vivid forthcoming memoir, scathingly condemning the media, the Democratic senators who opposed his nomination to the Supreme Court, and the "mob" of liberal elites and activist groups that he says desecrated his life.

"Desecrated"? Clarence Thomas' life is sacred? Now he thinks he's Jesus? And here I thought Rudy Giuliani was Jesus.

More: http://brilliantatbreakfast.blogspot.com...

Permalink10/01/07, 08:30:40 pm, by Timbuk3 Email , 114 views, Latest Posts Send feedback

The Way Forward

President Addresses Nation on the Way Forward to Surging Back Towards Desperately Spinning the Clusterfuck That is Vietraq

THE PRESIDENT: Good evening. In the life of all imperialistic military empires, there come brief, fleeting moments that decide the direction of a multinational corporation masquerading as a democratic nation, and reveal the character of its blue-blooded aristocrats, conniving religious hucksters and corrupt, back-slapping robber barons. We have now been suspended in such a moment for over six calendar years.

We are tasked, those of us who vote, are intimidated into not voting, vote more than once at a time, or more importantly, have substantial stock holdings, to chose between triumphant, noble victory in Iraq or disastrous, humiliating defeat. Luckily, everything in life is just so black and white. Either you're for a peaceful Middle Eastern paradise fantasy conceived in an absurd bubble of historical revisionism and ignorance of human nature, or you're personally responsible for the bloody murder of all them Iraqazoids that will happen if Uncle Sam cuts and runs. And many will die, much the way hundreds of thousands of them have been dying since their liberation in 2003 from a dictator's deadly chokehold and into the deadly chokehold of a sham, democratically-elected, Shia-mob ruled government...

Read the rest: http://www.whitehouse.org...

Permalink10/01/07, 07:51:28 pm, by Timbuk3 Email , 147 views, Latest Posts 4 feedbacks

Pictures That Make the Rude Pundit Want to Drop Acid With the Bush Twins

I just couldn't resist this from the Rude Pundit.

Whoever designs Laura Bush's clothes really despises the woman.

That's a photo of First Lady Laura Bush sweeping into the Library of Congress gala of the National Book Festival. While her husband is threatening to veto health insurance legislation for children who live a little above ditch-sleeping poverty, while there's a, what do you call that? oh, yeah, war going on, while Burma, a nation she is supposed to care about, is locked down, the First Lady thought it was perfectly fine to show up in an ostentatious outfit that seems to reek of Scarlett O'Hara and "Fiddle-dee-dee. War, war, war; this war talk's spoiling all the fun at every party this spring. I get so bored I could scream." Ah, well. At least it seems to be the color of dried blood.


Permalink10/01/07, 04:13:26 pm, by billy b, 275 views, User Posts 5 feedbacks

No One Could Have Predicted

that an unaccountable security company would behave like an unaccountable security company.

To add to Timb's earlier post about Blackwater, looks as if the doo-doo might have just hit the fan...

From Atrios and the NYTimes:

Report Depicts Recklessness at Blackwater

WASHINGTON, Oct. 1 — Guards working in Iraq for Blackwater USA have shot innocent Iraqi civilians and have sought to cover up the incidents, sometimes with the help of the State Department, a report prepared for a Congressional committee said today.


The report, based largely on internal Blackwater e-mail messages and State Department documents, depicts the security contractor as being staffed with reckless, shoot-first guards who were not always sober and did not always stop to see who or what was hit by their bullets.


Permalink10/01/07, 03:49:21 pm, by billy b, 253 views, User Posts Send feedback

Still No Word On That Two-State Solution But....

TSA to scrutinize remote-controlled toys

By EILEEN SULLIVAN, Associated Press Writer Mon Oct 1, 11:35 AM ET

WASHINGTON - Airport screeners will be taking a closer look at remote control toys in carry-on luggage due to concerns they could be used to detonate bombs, U.S. officials said Monday.

The new practice is not a result of a specific threat, according to the Transportation Security Administration. But authorities recently arrested two Florida college students and accused one of them of posting a video online with instructions on how to use a remote-controlled toy to set off a bomb.

Passengers — including children — carrying these toys may have to go through secondary screening.

"While not associated with a specific threat at this time, TSA is aware that remote control toys can be used to initiate devices used in terrorist attacks," according to Monday's press release.

Hmmm, ya THINK?

Permalink10/01/07, 03:45:35 pm, by bastard_amber Email , 347 views, User Posts 18 feedbacks

SCOTUS Justice Thomas needs a congressional censure

Here's what John Corny hath wrought.

Rush Limbaugh thinks some soldiers serving in Iraq are "phony soldiers".

The House and Senate both agree that anyone who disrespects the soldiers should be censured.

Now, Clarence Thomas is on Rush Limbaugh.


Therefore, Clarence Thomas disrespects the troops.

The GOP should pass another resolution about this. Maybe impeach him. I mean, that's pretty bad when a sitting SCOTUS justice goes on the radio program of a man who spits on our military...

Permalink10/01/07, 02:55:24 pm, by Timbuk3 Email , 92 views, Latest Posts 2 feedbacks

Speaking of Garbage

The idiocy of the right is hard to fathom. These fools are just faxing it in now.


By Josh Marshall

Yesterday at TPM I flagged Sy Hersh's new New Yorker article on the Cheneyite push for war with Iran -- an article as depressing as it is unsurprising. I want to focus in one passage from the piece about arch-Iran hawk Normam Podhoretz ...

Many of those who support the President’s policy argue that Iran poses an imminent threat. In a recent essay in Commentary, Norman Podhoretz depicted President Ahmadinejad as a revolutionary, “like Hitler . . . whose objective is to overturn the going international system and to replace it . . . with a new order dominated by Iran. . . . [T]he plain and brutal truth is that if Iran is to be prevented from developing a nuclear arsenal, there is no alternative to the actual use of military force.” Podhoretz concluded, “I pray with all my heart” that President Bush “will find it possible to take the only action that can stop Iran from following through on its evil intentions both toward us and toward Israel.”


Permalink10/01/07, 12:54:38 pm, by billy b, 268 views, User Posts Send feedback

Death From All Sides

More on how "Abu WhiteBlackwater" is "helping win hearts and minds" in Iraq.

An extensive evidence file assembled by the Iraqi National Police after the controversial Blackwater shooting suggests that the private contractors opened fire unprovoked from the ground and the sky.

Sept. 30, 2007 - Since the fatal Sept. 16 Blackwater USA shooting in Baghdad’s Nasoor Square, officials from the private security company have insisted that their guards were responding to fire from “armed enemies.” Yet an extensive evidence file put together by the Iraqi National Police and obtained by NEWSWEEK—including documents, maps, sworn witness statements and police video footage—appears to contradict the contractors’ version of events. A confidential incident report, which has been provided by Iraqi National Police investigators to American military and civilian officials, concludes that the Blackwater vehicles “opened fire crazily and randomly, without any reason.”

A nine-minute police video made in the moments after the shooting shows helicopters similar to those used by Blackwater still hovering over the wreckage of charred, smoking and bullet-pocked cars. (For an edited clip of the video, click here.) The graphic images include footage of burned human remains and show the street littered with brass bullet casings. They also show what appears to be a police officer waving a pistol at the scene; the footage was captured by a different police officer, who had run over from the nearby Iraqi National Police headquarters. (Portions of the video have been previously broadcast; it was recorded without sound.)

Expect Bush, Cheney, and the GOP to rally around their "free-market army" for a number of reasons. One is, they're running out of regular military. Two is, it makes sense to them to have a dark christian army occupying a muslim country. Three is, it would go against their "the government always sucks and private enterprise can always do it better" philosophy. Four is, admitting to error could jeopardize the funneling of millions/billions of our tax dollars to freinds of Bush/Cheney and the GOP.

It's easy to see why our soldiers don't like these guys.

Permalink10/01/07, 09:06:09 am, by Timbuk3 Email , 112 views, Latest Posts 1 feedback

And now, for something truly crazy...

The Bushies are an insane, puerile bunch is what they are. Ms. Kagan is apparently especially bonkers. Take a gander:

I hate all Iranians, US aide tells MPs


Britsh MPs visiting the Pentagon to discuss America's stance on Iran and Iraq were shocked to be told by one of President Bush's senior women officials: "I hate all Iranians."


Permalink10/01/07, 08:29:51 am, by billy b, 193 views, User Posts 3 feedbacks

Fractures in the GOP "base"

The dark christians are putting the GOP in an interesting position.

If Ghouliani's not the nominee it's no longer in dispute; the GOP is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the fringe religious lunatics.

If Ghouliani is the nominee the Democratic candidate could win by an electoral landslide.

Christian Conservatives Weigh Abandoning GOP
Leaders Balk at Supporting Pro-Abortion Presidential Candidate, Consider Third Party '08 Run

It's hard to see why anyone who believes in fiscal responsibility could support them, any more.

And it's probably time to trot out the phrase "nation building", again.

The party of pandering, divisiveness, and "anything for power" could be going the way of the dinosaur.

None too soon, if you ask me.

Permalink10/01/07, 07:26:14 am, by Timbuk3 Email , 132 views, Latest Posts 3 feedbacks