Wednesday, January 31, 2007

NOT A SCOOP!!! But an early iteration of a story that could have 'legs.'

Jason Leopold and Marc Ash of t r u t h o u t report, today, Wednesday 31 January 2007:

Copies of handwritten notes by Vice President Dick Cheney, introduced at trial by defense attorneys for former White House staffer I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, would appear to implicate George W. Bush in the Plame CIA Leak case.

Bush has long maintained that he was unaware of attacks by any member of his administration against [former ambassador Joseph] Wilson. The ex-envoy's stinging rebukes of the administration's use of pre-war Iraq intelligence led Libby and other White House officials to leak Wilson's wife's covert CIA status to reporters in July 2003 in an act of retaliation.

But Cheney's notes, which were introduced into evidence Tuesday during Libby's perjury and obstruction-of-justice trial, call into question the truthfulness of President Bush's vehement denials about his prior knowledge of the attacks against Wilson. The revelation that Bush may have known all along that there was an effort by members of his office to discredit the former ambassador begs the question: Was the president also aware that senior members of his administration compromised Valerie Plame's undercover role with the CIA?

Molly's own "overrated" list--"young pussy, Mack trucks and the FBI."

Lew Lapham's anticipatory eulogy for Molly Ivins, from The Nation:

Eight hundred of the faithful gathered in Austin on a Sunday evening in early October to serenade Molly Ivins and pony up for the feisty and indispensable Texas Observer. Garrison Keillor presided, and late into the night the indicted and unindicted ascended the podium to recite Mollyisms ("If his IQ were any lower, they'd have to water him twice a day") and recall highlights from her career (including "gang pluck"--her description of a chicken festival she covered for the New York Times). Still, by the end of the program no one had topped Molly's own "overrated" list--"young pussy, Mack trucks and the FBI." The essence of Molly Ivins was captured wonderfully by Lewis Lapham, former editor of Harper's, who is launching a new venture, Lapham's Quarterly, and whose most recent book is Pretensions to Empire. His remarks are reprinted below with the collegial consent of our friends at the Observer.

I met Molly one time, at a journalism conference in New Orleans. If I recall correctly, she drank bourbon with a beer chaser.

Molly Ivins Has Died. Here's Her Last Column

Bubba, we -- yes, we --have to stop the war now

By Molly Ivins
Creators Syndicate

The president of the United States does not have the sense that God gave a duck -- so it's up to us. You and me, Bubba.

I don't know why George W. Bush is just standing there like a frozen rabbit, but it's time we found out. The fact is that WE have to do something about it. This country is being torn apart by an evil and unnecessary war, and it has to be stopped. NOW.

This war is being prosecuted in our names, with our money, with our blood, against our will. Polls consistently show that less than 30 percent of the people want to maintain current troop levels. It is obscene and wrong for the president to go against the people in this fashion. And it's doubly wrong for him to increase U.S. troop levels in this hellhole by up to 20,000, as he reportedly will soon announce.

What happened to the nation that never tortured? The nation that wasn't supposed to start wars of choice? The nation that respected human rights and life? A nation that from the beginning was against tyranny?

Where have we gone? How did we let these people take us there? How did we let them fool us?

It's monstrous to put people in prison and keep them there. Since 1215, civil authorities have been obligated to tell people the charges against them if they're arrested. This administration has done away with rights enshrined in the Magna Carta, and we've let them do it.

This will be a regular feature of mine, like an old-fashioned newspaper campaign. Every column, I'll write about this war until we find some way to end it. Every column, we will review some factor we should have gotten right.

So let's take a step back and note that before the war, one of its architects, Paul Wolfowitz, testified to Congress that Iraq had no history of ethnic strife.

Sectarian and ethnic strife is a part of the region. And the region is full of examples of Western colonial powers trying to occupy countries, take their resources and take over the administration of their people -- and failing. The sectarian bloodbath we see daily completely refutes Wolfowitz.

And let's keep in mind that when the Army arrived in Baghdad, we, the television viewers, watched footage of a bunch of enraged and joyous Iraqis pulling down the statue of Saddam Hussein, their repulsive dictator, in Firdos Square. Only one thing was wrong: The event was staged, instigated by a Marine colonel and a psychological operations unit that made it appear spontaneous.

When we later saw the whole square where the statue was located, only 30 to 40 people were there (U.S. soldiers, press and some Iraqis -- and one of several U.S. tanks present pulled the statue down with a cable). We, the television viewers, saw the square being presented as though the people of Iraq had gone into a frenzy, mobbed the square and spontaneously pulled down the statue.

We need to cut through all this smoke and mirrors and come up with an exit strategy, forthwith.

The Democrats have yet to offer a cohesive plan to get us out of this mess. Of course, it's not their fault -- but the fact is that we need leaders who are grown-ups and who are willing to try to fix it. Bush has ignored the actual grown-ups from the Iraq Study Group and the generals and all other experts who are nearly unanimous in the opinion that more troops will not help.

It's up to you and me, Bubba.

We need to make sure that the new Congress curbs executive power, which has been so misused, and asserts its own power to make this situation change.

Now.

Ze-Frank: Scooter's Saga Only Goes to Show Life Is Like Middle School


The link's in the Title-box. It all starts with a duck with an enormous package. Bigger even than the Codpiece-in-Chief in flight togs. But that's just a loss-leader, you might say...
The main thing is that this won't go on anybody's permanent record..

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Have You Seen This Man?

This is a photo of one Johnny Isakson. He's a US Senator from Georgia, and one of the richest members of that body.

This countenance bears upon it the telltale traces of deep, and abiding corruption, malice, perversity, debauchery and crime.

This visibly dissolute villain voted today, with nine more of his truly cretinous, wretched (WEALTHY) GOPuke Senatorial bretheren, to prevent the nation's lowest-payed workers from enjoying the first increase in the Federal Minimum Wage since 1992.

The other rich assholes who thought the poor make enough already?
Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC)
Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA)
Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK)
Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC)
Sen. John Ensign (R-NV)
Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH)
Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK)
Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ)
Sen. David Vitter (R-LA)

I invite you to imagine how this face would appear were there NOT, sequestered in the deep recesses of the attic of his palatial sea-island mansion, a portrait which--through a deal with the Devil--bears the true record and account of the cost of the moral consequences of his TRULY evil deeds to his ethos and essence, so that the face he presents to the rest of the world may be acceptable.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Burquenos: Poquitas Bromas Del Dendro de Nuestro Pueblo

Ladies and Gentleman:
Welcome to the new arrivals here in an ancient city named for an obscure Spanish Duke. Please attend: the following are vital tips on how to survive navigating in Albuquerque.
Pronunciation Key: Learn to pronounce the city name is easy; much easy than, ay, 'nuclear.' It is “Ahl-boo-KAYHR-keh” not “AL-buh- kirky” or some variation of that. Many of the street names are also of Spanish derivation. Juan Tabo is pronounced 'Huan tah-BOH', San Pedro is Sahn PAY-throh, Candelaria is Cahn-deh-LAH-ree-ah, Griegos is Gree-AYH-gohs ( NOT "Graygos"), etc. When in doubt, listen for a native Burque-speaker's pronunciation.
BTW: If asking directions in SE or S part of town, you’ll benefit from a working knowledge of Spanish. If on Central or in Tijeras ditto the above. If you stop to ask directions on Coors Blvd or S 4th, you’d better be armed.
All directions begin with: “Get on Central”. . . which starts in North Carolina and ends in Santa Monica; it therefore has no practical beginning and no end.

Rules of the Road: As to driving, it is well to forget the traffic rules you learned elsewhere. We have have our own version of traffic rules, the foremost of which is: ”Hold on and pray”.
There is no such thing as a dangerous high-speed chase in Albuquerque. We all drive like that, all the time already. We seen no need for hot pursuit to speed us on our way.
All old ladies with blue hair in Mercedes have the right of way. PERIOD.
The morning rush hour is from 6 to 10. The evening rush hour is from 3 to 7. Friday’s rush hour starts Thursday morning.

Road Manners: Albuquerque is justifiably called "The Town Too Tough To Signal." If someone actually has their turn signal on, it is probably a factory defect; or it was inadvertently activated by the dog or the child crawling around on the front seat and has been ignored by the driver for some blocks.
If you flip on your turn indicators to signal a lane change on the Freeways, expect the lanes beside you to close bumper-to-bumper immediately.
Car horns are actually “Inchoate Road Rage Indicators."

Stop-Light Etiquette
is vitally important. Actually coming to a stop during a yellow signal light is likely to be cussed-at; also, you may be rear ended, and and you might get shot. Yellow lights mean: Accelerate and beat the red.
When you are the first one in line at a light, ALWAYS count to five AFTER the light turns green before going, to avoid crashes with the drivers running the red light in cross-traffic, on the theory that the last guy gets to go anyway.

Street name Changes: Through some fell necromancy, crossing the railroad tracks causes many--though not all--major thoroughfares' names to change: Montgomery becomes Montano, Comanche becomes Griegos; Martin Luther King becomes Bridge. Ellison crops up in mysterious ways in otherwise inexplicable places, separated by many miles, but on different sides of the tracks.

Regional Travel: A trip across town (east to west) on surface streets, at any but the most deserted times of day will take a minimum of two hours, even though many north/south arterials have an unposted minimum speed of 75. The East I-40 is our daily version of NASCAR. It also ends in Edgewood. I-25 to Santa Fe is called “The Death Trap” for two reasons: “death” and “trap”. The minimum acceptable speed in the I-25/North corridor is 85. Anything less is considered downright sissy.

Meteorological Observations: If it’s 100-degrees, Thanksgiving must be next weekend.If it’s 10-degrees and sleeting/snowing, the Fourth of July is around the corner.If it’s rained 6 inches in the last hour, it is Fall. If it is Fall, the State Fair is on, and the Balloon Fiesta is coming; at least day of each event will be washed out by torrential storms/hurricane-force winds.

Tourist attractions: If you go to the Fair, pay the $5.00 to park INSIDE Fair Park. Parking elsewhere could cost up to $2500 for damages, towing fees, parking tickets, etc. If some guy with a flag tries to get you to park in his ‘yard’, run over him. All amusement parks, stadiums, arenas, race tracks, airports, etc., are conveniently located as far away from EVERYTHING as possible so as to allow for ample parking on grassy areas.

Construction work: Construction on Central is a way of life and a permanent form of entertainment. We had so much fun with that, we have added I-40 out to Moriarty, Montgomery/Montano and Lomas to the mix. To enliven things for the folks in the North Valley, both 2nd and 4th have been added, along with Atrisco in the South Valley.

Inexplicable sights/acts of automotive desparation: All unexplained sights are explained by the phrase, “Oh, we’re in--(or "They're from") Rio Rancho.”

With these simple rules in mind, you are now ready to try to survive travel and traffic in Albuquerque.

Please try to keep up.

Prison Threatened For Bloggers Under Bills Proposed By McStain & Vitter

In a nutshell: The Regime is planning to force bloggers who criticise Congress and organise grassroot causes to register themselves or face jail time. According to GrassrootsFreedom.com, under Section 220 of S. 1, the lobbying reform bill currently before the Senate, bloggers who have more than 500 readers will have to register and report quarterly to Congress just like lobbiests or go to jail.

The amendment is currently on hold.

This latest attack on bloggers comes hot on the heels of Republican Senator John McCain's proposal to introduce legislation that would fine blogs up to $300,000 for offensive statements, photos and videos posted by visitors on comment boards.

McCain's proposal is presented under the banner of saving children from sexual predators and encourages informants to shop website owners to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, who then pass the information on to the relevant police authorities.

In recent months, the chorus of propaganda intended to demonize the 'Intertubes' and further grease the skids toward strict, intrusive, official control has risen to a crescendo in establishment organs, worldwide:

During an appearance with his wife Barbara on Fox News last November, George Bush senior slammed Internet bloggers for creating an "adversarial and ugly climate."

- The White House's own recently de-classified strategy for "winning the war on terror" targets Internet conspiracy theories as a recruiting ground for terrorists and threatens to "diminish" their influence.

- The Pentagon recently announced its effort to infiltrate the Internet and propagandize for the war on terror.

- In a speech last month, Homeland Security director Michael Chertoff identified the web as a "terror training camp," through which "disaffected people living in the United States" are developing "radical ideologies and potentially violent skills." Chertoff pledged to dispatch Homeland Security agents to local police departments in order to aid in the apprehension of domestic terrorists who use the Internet as a political tool.

- A landmark legal case on behalf of the Recording Industry Association of America and other global trade organizations seeks to criminalize all Internet file sharing of any kind as copyright infringement, effectively shutting down the world wide web - and their argument is supported by the U.S. government.

- A landmark legal ruling in Sydney goes further than ever before in setting the trap door for the destruction of the Internet as we know it and the end of alternative news websites and blogs by creating the precedent that simply linking to other websites is breach of copyright and piracy.

- The European Union, led by former Stalinist and potential future British Prime Minister John Reid, has also vowed to shut down "terrorists" who use the Internet to spread propaganda.

- The EU also recently proposed legislation that would prevent users from uploading any form of video without a license.

All this on top of the vacillation of chief advocates of net neutrality in the US Congress leads one to the conclusion that the full frontal and flanking asaults on the "Nets" as a source for democratizing public communication proceeds apace. I persist in my pessimism about the future of the WEB: if it survives this decade in anything like its current, semi-anarchic, democratic, interactive form, I shall be pleasantly surprised.

The Cheney Taxonomy: A "How-To" of Authoritarian Press Bullying?

Earlier today, on one of those wide-ranging threads that draw us addicts back to Eschaton like desparate crack whores, the following post appeared (I missed the original post and cannot properly attribute it):

I'm watching Wolf Blitzer's FIRST SERIOUS interview with Dick Cheney. I guess Wolf FINALLY has decided if he still wants to be an opportunist he better hurry up and get on the right train. On second viewing, Cheney looks like he wants to cry because he is being asked legitimate questions.

THIS IS SOMETHING THAT CAME AS AN EPIPHANY!!! ITS THE "CHENEY RESPONSE" Its a trick played by both Dick and Lynne Cheney.

NOTICE: Whenever ONE of the Cheney's is asked a question they perceive to be negative, (they employ)

DICK AND LYNNE CHENEY'S STANDARD RESPONSE TO REPORTERS WHO ASK UNCOMFORTABLE QUESTIONS:

1. STERNLY CALL OUT THE REPORTER BY NAME
2. IMPLY THE REPORTER BETTER "LAY OFF" IN A VERY AGGRESSIVE WAY
3. IMPLY THE REPORTER IS IN "DANGER"
4. MORE IMPORTANTLY IMPLYING THE REPORTER IS ASKING FOR HIS OWN INFORMATION AND NOT ASKING A PERTINENT QUESTION FOR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. HELL WE ALL WANT TO KNOW WHAT THE REPORTERS FINALLY HAVE THE BALLS TO ASK THE CHENEY'S!!!!
To which cowboyNEOK | Homepage | 01.28.07 - 12:54 pm replied

Very interesting... In hindsight, Lynne did it every time someone asked a legitimate question about Mary's lesbianism. She would angrily call the reporter out by name, deny or refuse to answer the question by implying the question was "out of bounds."

I'm getting AWFULLY tired of Dick Cheney.

Any reporter who gets called out by NAME by the CHENEY's is obviously doing their job. They might be coming late to the game, but every reporter should go into an interview with them with the desired effect of getting them to 'CALL THEM OUT BY NAME WITH THE STANDARD CHENEY RESPONSE.

To which I replied:

This is such an acute observation, and it is totally representative of the whole Authoritarian class's response to criticism of all kinds. Freighted with menace, the Authoritarian implies "we know your name, where you live, where your kids go to school, the name of your dog, Newsie...so you better tread fuckin' softly here...you're problem, Newsie? your just a fuckin pervert, big time..."

It's a brilliant strategy; and well observed; fuukin' nailed it...

This taxonomy ought to be posted in every newsroom in the country, so reporters/stenographers may at least be aware of the chogie being stuffed up their mind-most apertures...
./

Cheney's Bushevik Bravado: When Does "Lying" No Longer Describe Untruth?

Atrios (how does one do that trackback trick? i never figgered it out) put up a link today to a ThinkProgress notice remarking on Cheney's public performance in the aftermath of the SOTU--in response to which the Chimperor has experienced exactly zero to -2% bounce. Cheney calmly claims there has been an upwelling (dare one call it a 'surge'?) of support for Bushevik policies announced in that altogether, and surpassigly lackluster tirade the DimSon delivered this week. And of course, polls conducted since then apparently describe a universe in which that assessment may best be regrded as 'delusional.' Atrios' own laconic language accompanying the post conveyed (to me) that for some reason hemight have expected better of the propagandist-in-chief.

But, I mean, really...what does anybody expect him to say?

One cannot, I think, literally lie about an interpretation of other interpretations of events at least once more removed. one may be vastly, colossally, even willfully mistaken; but in that case the 'lie' is only to oneself? The fabrication is evident to any even quasi-objective observer, who patronizes the deluded one and agrees not to make an issue of the delusion...

This isn't really 'lying,' is it? Hasn't this left 'lying' lying bleeding in the Waco dust?

The Busheviks are at the point at which mere 'lying' has metastasized into sheer bravado.

All of which might be quite benign, if they didn't STILL hold the power to unleash even further bloody military adventures and untold further destructive, domestic political mischief...

There soon will need to be a million Citizens marching in Washington, and thronging 'round the WhiteHouse, waving pitchforks and burning brands, shouting fierce invective, stern imprecations and hurtful obloquy, thereby driving this latter-day generation of fascists into the wilds of Paraguay...
.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

A word to the tipplers out there:

I want to talk for a moment to the hard-core alcoholics out there, you know who you are: you tote your booze up onto the ditch and when you're done with your tokay, or your popov 'vodka' and yur fucking Budweiser, you just shatter the bottles into fragments and go about your merry way.

Please, allow me to make a suggestion: if you are too lazy or too drunk to haul your empties away with you, reconsider...And shove 'em up your reeking, drunk asses, you fucking asswipes...

Do NOT leave em in sherds along the pathway, where a passing dog might cut her or his pads, okay.

And if you're too fucking drunk to shove 'em up your drunck asses yourselves, call me. I'd be only too happy to help...

Parenthetical note: Budweiser dealers, why the fuck cannot you sell your swill in plastic bottles? It's not as if the quality of the product would be adversely effected.

We return you now to your regularly scheduled programming...

Check Out Editorial Cartoonists' Views Of Georgipus Wrecks' Rhetorical Excesses

ChiDyke over at Eschaton (she blogs at Corrente) put up this link to Bob Geiger's site, and his fascinating and funny collection of editorial cartoons 'celebrating' the wretched excesses of this week's SOTU. Key the link in the headline and enjoy ....

Hot, New Spocko Video Update: YouTube

Click the headline to load up the newest video recounting the Saga Of Spocko vs El Raton Miguelito & the drooling, fascist hateheads at ABC/Disney-owned KSF(ascist)O...

Adelante Spocko!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

William Rivers Pitt: Size DOES Matter

Re; Bush's SOTU
"This was a tiny, tepid performance by a tiny man who is shrinking, even now, before our very eyes. Let all the gods that are or ever were be thanked that he only has one more speech to go before history swallows him, before this nation and the world is faced with the grueling challenge of cleaning up all the bloody messes he has made.

Pitt locates the source of Bush's diminishment in the coincidentally coextant trial of Scooter Libby, and the context of the 2003 SOTU, preparatory to launching this vile, vicious, vainglorious adventure in Iraq, during which the deeds implicating Libby occurred, and in which Bush prepared the ground that may be swallowing him now...
/

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Faux Noise's John Gibson: Paragon of Rightard, Flying-Monkey Ass-wholishness And Douchebaggery

An Amazon reviewer on John Gibson’s “The War on Christmas: How the Liberal Plot to Ban the Sacred Christian Holiday Is Worse Than You Thought”:

It is hard for me to review this book objectively, because I knew John Gibson personally 15 years ago. To say the least, it was not a positive experience for me or my family. Knowing what I know, it is the height of irony that John Gibson, a man who caused so much pain for me and my family one Christmas, would write a book defending Christmas.

In 1989, John Gibson worked as a weekend anchorman at the local television station (KCRA channel 3) that my mother worked at in Sacramento, and she would occasionally invite him to have dinner with us (her, my sister, and me). This happened mayber 5 or 6 times, and then when Christmas came, she invited him to have Christmas dinner with us. He arrived drunk.

I remember how he spent our Christmas dinner just railing and yelling about all the people at the TV station he hated, ranting and raving and hitting the table. We ate in silence, hoping he wouldn’t get even angrier. After dinner, he wanted to watch TV, and insisted that my 14-year-old sister sit right next to him. After about five minutes with his hands all over her, and hugging her, she managed to get away, and my mother suggested that he go home. He got angry and left, but not before smashing a serving plate made of china that our grandmother had left us. Thankfully, that was the last I saw of him in person.

I don’t know if he is the same man today that he was then, though I have heard through professional contacts that he still has an alcohol and temper problem. When I sometimes see him get upset on the air with a guest, I hear the same tone of voice, and the same look in his eye that I remember from that night. He certainly didn’t give us a very nice Christmas, and this book has brought back memories me and my sister would rather forget.

Were they serving falafel? I hear it drives those FOX News men crazy.

Tis the season, as they say.

They also say you cannot defame a public figure with the truth...

Spocko's War vs. KSFascistO Hate-Heads

The battle has reached the uber-Mainstream, with even USA Today getting into the mix.

The image to the right, here, is of unter-fascist fuck Lee Rodgers, one of the most arrogant, least repentant of the KSFascistO hate-sewers. "I'll never apologize," quoth the shit-head of his hour.

Click on the link in the headline, above, to read some of that for which Rodgers, were he even semi-human, might feel a chinchilla of regret...

Friday, January 19, 2007

Krugman: Surging and Purging, Shrilly.

This usually is shrouded behind the NY Times' pay-to-read firewall. I don't know how TruthOut got it exactly on pub day, but thanks.

Surging and Purging
By Paul Krugman
The New York Times

Friday 19 January 2007

There's something happening here, and what it is seems completely clear: the Bush administration is trying to protect itself by purging independent-minded prosecutors.

Last month, Bud Cummins, the U.S. attorney (federal prosecutor) for the Eastern District of Arkansas, received a call on his cellphone while hiking in the woods with his son. He was informed that he had just been replaced by J. Timothy Griffin, a Republican political operative who has spent the last few years working as an opposition researcher for Karl Rove.

Mr. Cummins's case isn't unique. Since the middle of last month, the Bush administration has pushed out at least four U.S. attorneys, and possibly as many as seven, without explanation. The list includes Carol Lam, the U.S. attorney for San Diego, who successfully prosecuted Duke Cunningham, a Republican congressman, on major corruption charges. The top F.B.I. official in San Diego told The San Diego Union-Tribune that Ms. Lam's dismissal would undermine multiple continuing investigations.

In Senate testimony yesterday, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales refused to say how many other attorneys have been asked to resign, calling it a "personnel matter."

In case you're wondering, such a wholesale firing of prosecutors midway through an administration isn't normal. U.S. attorneys, The Wall Street Journal recently pointed out, "typically are appointed at the beginning of a new president's term, and serve throughout that term." Why, then, are prosecutors that the Bush administration itself appointed suddenly being pushed out?

The likely answer is that for the first time the administration is really worried about where corruption investigations might lead.

Since the day it took power this administration has shown nothing but contempt for the normal principles of good government. For six years ethical problems and conflicts of interest have been the rule, not the exception.

For a long time the administration nonetheless seemed untouchable, protected both by Republican control of Congress and by its ability to justify anything and everything as necessary for the war on terror. Now, however, the investigations are closing in on the Oval Office. The latest news is that J. Steven Griles, the former deputy secretary of the Interior Department and the poster child for the administration's systematic policy of putting foxes in charge of henhouses, is finally facing possible indictment.

And the purge of U.S. attorneys looks like a pre-emptive strike against the gathering forces of justice.

Won't the administration have trouble getting its new appointees confirmed by the Senate? Well, it turns out that it won't have to.

Arlen Specter, the Republican senator who headed the Judiciary Committee until Congress changed hands, made sure of that last year. Previously, new U.S. attorneys needed Senate confirmation within 120 days or federal district courts would name replacements. But as part of a conference committee reconciling House and Senate versions of the revised Patriot Act, Mr. Specter slipped in a clause eliminating that rule.

As Paul Kiel of TPMmuckraker.com - which has done yeoman investigative reporting on this story - put it, this clause in effect allows the administration "to handpick replacements and keep them there in perpetuity without the ordeal of Senate confirmation." How convenient.

Mr. Gonzales says that there's nothing political about the firings. And according to The Associated Press, he said that district court judges shouldn't appoint U.S. attorneys because they "tend to appoint friends and others not properly qualified to be prosecutors." Words fail me.

Mr. Gonzales also says that the administration intends to get Senate confirmation for every replacement. Sorry, but that's not at all credible, even if we ignore the administration's track record. Mr. Griffin, the political-operative-turned-prosecutor, would be savaged in a confirmation hearing. By appointing him, the administration showed that it has no intention of following the usual rules.

The broader context is this: defeat in the midterm elections hasn't led the Bush administration to scale back its imperial view of presidential power.

On the contrary, now that President Bush can no longer count on Congress to do his bidding, he's more determined than ever to claim essentially unlimited authority - whether it's the authority to send more troops into Iraq or the authority to stonewall investigations into his own administration's conduct.

The next two years, in other words, are going to be a rolling constitutional crisis.


Seems to me that Arlen Specter has again betrayed the Constitution he's pledged to defend. I'd like to watch his carcass rot inside a road-side gibbet...

Thursday, January 18, 2007

1st Freedom First: Defend the Separation of State and Church

A freedom about which people are afraid to speak, for fear of giving offense to some crackpot sentiment, is not a freedom that is secure. The guarantee of 'freedom of religion' is meaningless unless it also, and equally zealously guarantees 'freedom FROM religion'. A candidate for office who fears to endorse the separation of State and Church for fear of offending 'people of faith' who are attacking that necessary separation is NOT defending 'freedom of religion'. Yet Democratic campaign advisers ARE counseling Democratic candidates NOT to take ANY position on the 'issue' of separation unless they are not afraid to alienate people of faith.

Religious Freedom Day slipped right past us during the last week (Jan. 16). The day is the anniversary of the passage, in 1786, of the Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom. In effect, it is the textual evidence of the intention of Jefferson--and by extension, the rest of the Founders and the Framers--of the very proscription against which the "wise ones" (read the NYTimes article and decide for yourself; sufficeth it for me that the name "Mike McCurry" is not accompanied by vile epithets of any kind).

In that spirit, I have cut and pasted the text of a petition I received today; along with which I am including a hearty endorsement of the sentiments expresses, and a serious appeal that the reader both sign the petition and try to further promulgate it.
I signed the First Freedom First petition -- about the importance of safeguarding separation of church and state and protecting religious liberty. The founders of our nation believed that all Americans should have the right to worship according to their own beliefs, or not to worship at all. It was so important to them that they placed it in the first sentence of the Bill of Rights.

I believe that religion is a deeply personal matter and that Americans must be free to practice their religion without coercion. Simply put, there must be a separation of church and state.

I know that we agree about the importance of these issues, so I hope that you will ACT NOW, like I just did. Be a part of First Freedom First.

Sign the petition and encourage others to join you. Together, we will send a powerful and resounding message -- safeguard the first freedom! Please visit the website below and join me in standing up for this fundamental American freedom.
A freedom is not secure if people are afraid to talk about it. There is more information at the FirstFreedomFirst site. Simply forwarding the petition to friends, printing it (pdf) and sending us your signed copy, or volunteering to collect signatures locally makes all the difference.

Arlen Specter Is A Slimy, Anti-Constitutional, MotherFucking Shitwhistle

Why the FUCK Did Specter Give WH Power to Replace Prosecutors?
Without Senate Confirmation?
(Short Answer: Yup! The Fucknozzle DID! according to TPM)
By Paul Kiel - January 17, 2007, 11:48 AM
In order to replace several U.S. Attorneys with handpicked successors, the Bush Administration has relied on a tiny, obscure provision tucked into last year's USA PATRIOT Improvement and Reauthorization Act.
How did it get there?
Former Senate Judiciary Chairman Arlen Specter (R-PA) slipped the language into the bill at the very last minute, according to one of the Republican managers of the bill.
A spokesperson for Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), who led the House team working on the bill, said that the provision was inserted by Specter into the final draft of the bill. The language was apparently requested by the Justice Department. Specter's office didn't respond to numerous requests for comment.
Earlier versions of the bill did not contain the provision, which grants authority to the Attorney General to replace U.S. Attorneys without Senate approval. When the House and the Senate first voted in favor of the legislation, the provision did not exist.
Instead, the tweak was inserted during the conference committee, where lawmakers from the House and Senate reconcile discrepancies in the two versions and craft a final bill.
In an unusual move, Republicans
blocked Democrats from participating in many of the committee's activities.
According to the original law, the Attorney General could appoint interim U.S. Attorneys, but if they were not nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate within 120 days of being appointed, the federal district court would appoint a replacement. The new law wiped away that 120 day rule, in effect allowing the administration to handpick replacements and keep them there in perpetuity without the ordeal of Senate confirmation.
But amidst all the controversy last year over the PATRIOT reauthorization bill (the administration's warrantless wiretapping program, their use of National Security Letters to get information on citizens), the new law simply went unnoticed. Until now.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Chris Hedges Says Militant Right Preachers Have Taken Over Military Chaplaincies

This is a troubling development, if you consider/believe that the militant, religious Right--with it's extreme, theocratic/anti-democratic/anti-secular political agendas--is corrupting the democratic neutrality of the USer military.

Here's Hedges:

During the past two years I traveled across the country to research and write the book "American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America." I repeatedly listened to radical preachers attack as corrupt and godless most
American institutions, from federal agencies that provide housing and social welfare to public schools and the media. But there were two institutions that never came under attack -- the military and law enforcement.

While these preachers had no interest in communicating with local leaders of other
faiths, or those in the community who did not subscribe to their call for a radical Christian state, they assiduously courted and flattered the military and police. They held special services and appreciation days for all four branches of the armed services and for various law enforcement agencies. They encouraged their young men and women to enlist or to join the police or state troopers.

They sought out sympathetic military and police officials to attend church events where these officials were lauded and feted for their Christian probity and patriotism. They painted the war in Iraq not as an occupation but as an apocalyptic battle by Christians against Islam, a religion they regularly branded as "satanic."

All this befits a movement whose final aesthetic is violence. It also befits a movement that, in the end, would need the military and police forces to seize power in American society.


More than 50% of all chaplains now serving in the active military are self-described fundamentalists. The Pentagon grants office space to the soi disant Christian Embassy.

Hedges again:
The politicization of the military, the fostering of the belief that violence must be used to further a peculiar ideology rather than defend a democracy, was on display recently when Air Force and Army generals and colonels, filmed in uniform at the Pentagon, appeared in a promotional video distributed by the Christian Embassy, a radical Washington-based organization dedicated to building a "Christian America."

The video [Watch it HERE], first written about by Jeff Sharlet in the December issue of Harper’s Magazine and filmed shortly after 9/11, has led the Military Religious Freedom Foundation to raise a legal protest against the Christian Embassy’s proselytizing within the Department of Defense. The video was hastily pulled from the Christian Embassy website and was removed from YouTube a few days ago under threats of copyright enforcement.

There's more: click on the headline of this post for the link. Also the comments are amusing.


Raw Story: The Iran Nuclear Crisis, via Xinhua (PRC)

Special report: Iran Nuclear Crisis
by Liang Youchang
TEHRAN, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) -- Iranian troops have shot down a U.S. pilotless spy plane recently, an Iranian lawmaker announced on Tuesday as the Islamic Republic was facing increasing military pressure from its arch rival -- the United States.
The aircraft was brought down when it was trying to cross the borders "during the last few days," Seyed Nezam Mola Hoveizeh, a member of the parliament, was quoted by the local Fars News Agency as saying.
The lawmaker gave no exact date of the shooting-down or any other details about the incident, but he said that "the United States sent such spy drones to the region every now and then."
SECOND U.S. AIRCRAFT CARRIER
The announcement came amid reports that the United States is increasingly flexing its muscles to counter Iran's growing regional assertiveness and put more pressure on Tehran over its controversial nuclear programs.
It was reported Tuesday that a second U.S. aircraft carrier, the USS John C. Stennis, will arrive in the Middle East in about one month, the first time since the U.S.-led Iraq war in 2003 that the United States will have two carrier battle groups in the region.
The USS John C. Stennis, a Nimitz-class nuclear-powered carrier that has a capacity for 5,000 sailors, is scheduled to sail Tuesday from its home port of Bremerton, Washington, said Commander Kevin Aandahl of the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet based in Bahrain.
In about one month, the USS John C. Stennis, including an air wing of more than 80 tactical aircraft, will join Fifth Fleet forces that includes aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower.
"This demonstrates our resolve to do what we can to bring security and stability to the region ... (and) dissuade others from acting counter to our national interest," Aandahl said.
U.S. President George W. Bush announced earlier this month that the United States was taking other steps to beef up security of Iraq and protect U.S. interests in the Middle East, such as sending an additional aircraft carrier to the Gulf and deploying Patriot air defense systems to the region.
HARSH REMARKS AGAINST IRAN
The latest move comes just one day after new U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates made harsh remarks against Iran, indicating that Iran's perception of U.S. vulnerability in the region was part of the reason the Pentagon sent the aircraft carrier and the Patriot missiles.
"The Iranians are acting in a very negative way in many respects," Gates told reporters on Monday after a meeting with NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer in Brussels.
"The Iranians clearly believe that we are tied down in Iraq, that they have the initiative, that they are in a position to press us in many ways," Gates said.
Gates also said that the deployment of Patriot air defense systems and the second aircraft carrier in the Gulf region indicated the Bush administration's "reaffirmation" of the importance of the region, adding that stability in the region is in "long-term, strategic, vital interests" of the United States.
The United States accuses Iran of using its influence to meddle in the region, especially in Lebanon and Shiite-majority Iraq, besides seeking a nuclear weapon, which has been rejected by Iran.
In an interview with Fox News earlier the month, Vice President Dick Cheney said that Iran was "fishing in troubled waters" in Iraq, adding "we think it's very important that they keep their folks at home."
Meanwhile, U.S. forces are still holding five Iranians arrested in northern Iraq last week, who the United States says have been connected to an Iranian Revolutionary Guard faction that arms insurgents but Tehran says are merely consular staff.
In a show of defiance, an Iranian government spokesman said on Monday that the country was pushing ahead with its plan to install at least 3,000 centrifuges for nuclear fuel production.


I shall be very surprised if the US, or Israel, it's most reliable proxy, has nNOT attacked Iran before summer.

Everywhere this cretinous little Shitwhistle goes, he should be met with SHOWERS of eggs.

From The Gibbering Chimp's little chat with Jim Lehrer on PBS's NewsHour last night:

MR. LEHRER: Is there a little bit of a broken egg problem here, Mr. President, that there is instability and there is violence in Iraq - sectarian violence, Iraqis killing other Iraqis, and now the United States helped create the broken egg and now says, okay, Iraqis, it's your problem. You put the egg back together, and if you don't do it quickly and you don't do it well, then we'll get the hell out.

PRESIDENT BUSH: Yeah, you know, that's an interesting question. I don't quite view it as the broken egg; I view it as the cracked egg --

MR. LEHRER: Cracked egg?

PRESIDENT BUSH: -- that - where we still have a chance to move beyond the broken egg. And I thought long and hard about the decision, Jim. Obviously it's a big decision for this theater in the war on terror, and you know, if I didn't believe we could keep the egg from fully cracking, I wouldn't ask 21,000 kids - additional kids to go into Iraq to reinforce those troops that are there.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Life is easy. Comedy is hard. Ze-Frank's funny!

Follow the development, familial habits, and demise of the notorious NYC Street Chicken...Click the title box.

2006 Injustice Index

2006 Injustice Index: 2006 Year in Review
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times."

Wages that an average CEO earns before lunchtime: more than a full-time minimum wage worker makes in a year

Ratio of the average U.S. CEO’s annual pay to a minimum wage worker’s: 821:1

Year when this ratio reached its highest so far: 2006

Total compensation in 2005 of Barry Diller of IAC/Interactive, the highest paid CEO in the US today: $469 million

Additional amount that Mr. Diller received in new stock options “to motivate Mr. Diller for future performance”: $7.6 million

Percentage of Americans who feel chronically overworked: 30

Years of unused vacation time that American workers collectively give back to their employers each year: 1.6 million

Percentage of women earning less than $40,000 per year who receive no paid vacation time at all: 37

Payment per episode that Donald Trump receives to host The Apprentice: $3,000,000

Average amount that companies spend to recruit a new CEO from outside the company: $2,000,000

Probability that the newly hired CEO will either quit or be fired within the first eighteen months: 1 in 2

Estimated number of people lined up outside the new M&M store set to open in Times Square responding to ads for “on-the-spot” hiring for 200 jobs, 65 of which were fulltime: between 5,000 and 6,000

Starting salary that drew them there: $10.75 per hour

Fee Paris Hilton is seeking to host a New Year’s Eve party in NYC, Miami, or L.A.: $100,000 plus a private jet

Amount that Ms. Hilton is set to inherit from the Hilton Hotel fortune: $350 million

Number of times that Congress has reduced the estate tax since it last raised the federal minimum wage: 9

Longest period in which the federal minimum wage has not been increased: 1997–2006

Number of workers who would directly benefit from an increase in the minimum wage: 5.6 million

Number of very large estates that would directly benefit from a reduction in the estate tax: 8,200

Highest price per custom-fitted, handmade power suit in Armani’s new line, which hopes to respond to what ex-Gucci head designer Tom Ford calls “a lot of pent-up demand for true luxury [from men who] are getting rich first, and they want to deck themselves out before they deck out their wives”: $20,000

Number of households using credit to cover basic living expenses: 7 in 10

Amount in tax breaks and subsidies that last year’s energy bill paid out to the gas and oil industry during a period of record profits and higher prices at the pump: $6 billion

Campaign donations that Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, who voted for the energy bill, received from the oil and gas industry: $500,000, making her the top recipient of oil contributions in the 2006 election cycle

Percentage of U.S. workers who are confident they will be able to live comfortably after retirement: 68

Percentage who have saved less than $25,000 toward their retirement: 53

Percent of African-American and Latino families that have zero or negative net worth, respectively: 31 and 38

Date on which USA Today reported that Dr. Anthony Griffin of the Beverly Hills Cosmetic Surgery Institute, who appears on the ABC program Extreme Makeover, predicted that CEOs will lead a surge in male cosmetic surgery because, he says, “for instance, executives on trial for corporate scandals would improve their chances for acquittal with a makeover just before trial”: November 4, 2006

Date on which the Dow Jones Industrial Average reached its all-time high:
October 26, 2006

Decrease in percentage of Americans who own stocks from 2004 to 2006, the first such decline on record: 51.9% to 48.6%

Total Wal-Mart received in government subsidies, sometimes called “corporate welfare” by activists, in 2005: $3.75 billion

Percent of the decline in welfare caseloads that is due to TANF programs failing to serve families that are poor enough to qualify, rather than due to a reduction in the number of families poor enough to qualify for aid, in the ten years since “welfare reform”: 57

Percentage of the GDP that went to wages and salaries in the first half of 2006: 51.8

Time when the percentage of GDP belonging to wages and salaries was lower than in 2006, out of the 77 previous years for which these data are available: never

Projected total in Christmas bonuses that the five largest investment banks in New York City will pay out in 2006: $36 billion

Estimated additional amount U.S. workers would receive annually if all employers obeyed workplace laws: $19 billion

Ratio of compensation of CEOs of publicly traded defense companies to privates before September 11th, 2001: 190 to 1

Ratio in 2006: 308 to 1

Percentage increase in out-of-pocket medical expenses for the average American in the past 5 years: 93

Estimated amount the U.S. would save each year on paperwork if it adopted single-payer health care: $161,000,000,000

Date on which incoming Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson announced “Amid this country’s strong economic expansion, many Americans simply aren’t feeling the benefits. Many aren’t seeing significant increases in their take-home pay. Their increases in wages are being eaten up by high energy prices and rising health care costs, among others”: August 2, 2006

According to exit polls in the midterm elections, percentage of Americans who think life for the next generation will be about the same or worse respectively: 28, 40

In case you missed 'em, here are links to the sound-bytes that got Spocko in trouble

Just as a matter of curiousity, what ARE that filthy bint Melanie Morgan's official connections with the CAL-GOPhux? I heard/read she was involved in the Party hierarchy, but I don't know in what capacity...

Spocko's Revenge: Advertizers Flee KSFO In Droves

I was especially delighted to read this part (I'm pretty sure Spocko's Brain would regard this as "fair use"):

Morgan's morning co-host Lee Rogers was the most defiant. He claimed he didn't want to do the special, and that "if you're waiting for an apology, you'll be waiting a long time."

He also seemed to threaten former advertisers. Responding to an email question, Rodgers declined to name advertisers that have withdrawn their support, but added: "People who want to play that boycott game seem to forget this is a sword that cuts both ways. We have plenty of people that listen to this radio station that say 'hell, if somebody is trying to shut up the people on my favorite radio station, I don't think I want to give them any money,' so it could work two ways."

Although Morgan claimed that all but one of the departed advertisers had come back, she would not identify them. None of the four confirmed advertisers that departed--Visa, MasterCard, Federal Express and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation--were available for comment late Friday.

The entire special program can be heard at www.ksfo.com.

Emphasis on CONFIRMED advertisers that departed is mine.

I mean I can understand insulting their listeners, some people like that, but the time buyers at an advertising agency? I thought KSFO might get an * next to their name in time buyers computers from now on. After those comments I'll bet KSFO gets seven asterisks and an exclamation point!

That shitwhistle Lee Rodgers is a troglodytic piece of shit, n'st pas?

Monday, January 15, 2007

Spocko Got Some Lead In The NYTimes?

His latest blog entyry begins:
Greetings New York Times Business Section readers, and welcome!
You are joining “in medias res” First, Noam Cohen did a good job of summarizing the story so far. There are a LOT of issues in this story that you might care about. You might wonder, what does this mean to me? How does this impact MY business? What should I do? Well first things first. Get educated.

There then follows a page of so, with decent links, of good information from a fella in the bull's-eye of power.

The whole saga of Spocko's Brain, too long and complex to distill here in a few words, is a cautionary tale, but one that holds out some promise for bloggers willing to dig in and take on the dirt-bag CorpoRats.

Roll on, Spocko, roll on...

Here's a surprise: More Graft & Corruption In US Iraq Bidness

"Bearing Point, The American company appointed to advise the US government on the economic reconstruction of Iraq, has paid hundreds of thousands of dollars into Republican Party coffers and has admitted that its own finances are in chaos because of accounting errors and bad management...
"BearingPoint is being paid $240m for its work in Iraq, winning an initial contract from the US Agency for International Development (USAid) within weeks of the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003. It was charged with supporting the then Coalition Provisional Authority to introduce policies "which are designed to create a competitive private sector". Its role is to examine laws, regulations and institutions that regulate trade, commerce and investment, and to advise ministries and the central bank...
"Last week The Independent on Sunday revealed that a BearingPoint employee, based in the US embassy in Baghdad, had been tasked with advising the Iraqi Ministry of Oil on drawing up a new hydrocarbon law. The legislation, which is due to be presented to Iraq's parliament within days, will give Western oil companies a large slice of profits from the country's oil fields in exchange for investing in new oil infrastructure.

(More, at the link under the Title Box)

Sunday, January 14, 2007

"Well-Armed Lambs": Bill Moyers at The National Conference for Media Reform

http://www.freepress.net/conference/audio07/NCMR07_moyers.mp3

It's an hour long, but it's worth every minute. Moyers stemwinds like a touring preacher.

Here's the program with links to recordings from other conference sessions.

The afternoon plenary featured Rev. Jesse Jackson .

Also (e.g.): Inside Corporate Media: Can it Tell the Truth? (Steamboat)
Moderator: Phil Donahue, TV host; Jeff Cohen, author, Cable News Confidential; Juan Gonzalez, NY Daily News; Flavia Colgan, MSNBC and Philadelphia Daily News; Laura Washington, Chicago Sun-Times and In These Times

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Spiders on Drugs, Redivivus

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkdQzlrZAdw

Enjoy...it's very short...

(Thanks to The Old Man From Scene 24, Eschaton)

Osama Captured/Hanged?

I cannot personally attest to the veracity of the claims included in the message below. I received it from a credible source, but have not yet verified it. Still, I thought it not a bad idea to promulgate the info, on the chance that it was true...I have not myself received any such email as the one described...

Addendum: A poster, whom I believe to be credible, describes it as a "hoax, big time." Still, better safe than sorry, imho...

Addendum #2: I have decided, in order not to foster any undue concern, to erase the body of the warning which had previously occupied the rest of this post.

New Mexico: Land of Enchantment (And Impeachment!)

We RAWK!!!!!

There is a decent chance that within the next month or two the New Mexico State Legislature will ask the U.S. House of Representatives to begin impeachment proceedings against President Bush and Vice President Cheney. And there is the definite possibility that a Congress Member from New Mexico will take up the matter when it gets to Washington. The Jefferson Manual, rules used by the U.S. House, allows for impeachment to be begun in this manner. It only takes one state legislature. No governor is needed. One Congress Member, from the same state or any other, is needed to essentially acknowledge receipt of the state's petition. Then impeachment begins.

NM has (only) three Congresscritters: Heather Wilson and Steve Pearce are GOPhux, although Heather has recently seemed to begin to recognize her responsibilities repose more with the actual citizens of her constituency than with the Bushevik regime which, for the last 6 years, she has steadfastly rubber-stamped. Pearce is from the deep southern/creationist/fundie belt part of the State, often called "Little Texas," and so is an unlikely candidate to act progressively. It remains to be seen if Tom Udall, a back-bencher with DLC/BlueDog tendencies and allegiances, has the stones to take up the challenge. Still, he's the best chance there is.

Nuevo Mexicanos, ARRIBA!!!! VAMANOS!!! Time to tell the fascists "BASTA, bastardos!" We have the chance to actually be in the forefront of something important here. My old friend Jerry Ortiz-y-Pino, a state Lege from Albuquerque, is leading the effort in the 60-day session that just got underway. Call him and support him in his mission: jortizyp@aol.com or 505-986-4380.

Addendum: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2007/1/12/14726/1248
(Big, happy h/t to TJ posting this am on Eschaton)

I Really, Really LIKE "Non Sequitur"




Thursday, January 11, 2007

Not To Put Too Fine A Point On It: IT'S HEEEERRE

Glen Barry writes: "Global warming is not a slow, gentle, pleasant rise in temperatures to be savored. It is an abrupt fundamental breakdown in the Earth System's climate sub-system that threatens the Earth's, humanity's and your family's ability to live."

"Chortling teevee weather readers cheerfully discuss the "GREAT WEATHER we're having...." as if it were some happy benificence, and not the symptom that some vast balance had been seriously jolted, maybe already irretrievably and fundamentally changed in ways that could very likely occur faster, and under more severe conditions, than human evolution is equipped to adapt...

Considering this alternative, one wonders if the seemingly irresistible march of the Busheviks toward either literal or some other kind of Armageddon isn't the echo of a dark, atavistic instinct to kill yourself--or in any case, to fling yourself into the void--before the fire gets there...

Are The Busheviks Tempting Armageddon?

Bush, Blair and Olmert are three desparately damaged demagogues dangling dangerously over the void of their lost legacies. The invaluable Bob Parry, of Consortiumnews dot com, offers a fairly discouraging--albeit plausible and distressingly accurate--analysis of what their malign conjunction might portend for the prospects of a widening conflict in the Persian Gulf.

I am afraid what the assignment of a second carrier battle group (the Stennis is to join the Eisenhower) to the waters nearby suggests is that the conflagration is about to escalate, with air attacks on Iran.

Makes me very uneasy.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The Feds Want Your ISP To Keep Records Of The Internet Sites You Visit

Under the guise, camoflage, and rubric of 'pursuing child pornographers,' the Bushevik Justice Department has been negotiating for more than a year with the nation's Internet Service Providers, large and small, to set up a scheme by which it would be possible to track every internet site visited by an ISP's customers. The story is linked beneath the title of this post.

If kiddy porn is the price that must be paid to protect the privacy and the freedom of internet users, I say fuck the kids.

Which brings to mind a favorite snarky joke:
A certain Catholic school in the N'Awlins area rented a riverboat to take the kids on an outing down the river to the Chalmette battlefield. The field trip went splendidly, until the return voyage, when the riverboat was swamped in the wake of a huge tanker which didn't see the smaller boat. Aboard the little ship there was pandemonium, as the teachers, and other adults tried to calm the kids, while the crew struggled to save the boat. But the damage had been done, and the skipper of the riverboat gave the order to abandon ship. Aghast, the parish priest accosted the captain: "We cannot abandon the children,' the priest protested.
"Save yourself" the skipper replied. "Fuck the children!"
"Oh," said the priest. "Do you think there's time?"

Fun With Anagrams

I received this from my old buddy, Richard McCord:

DORMITORY:
When you rearrange the letters:

DIRTY ROOM


PRESBYTERIAN:

When you rearrange the letters:

BEST IN PRAYER


ASTRONOMER:

When you rearrange ! the letters:

MOON STARER


DESPERATION:
When you rearrange the letters:
A ROPE ENDS IT


THE EYES:
!
When you rearrange the letters:

THEY SEE


GEORGE BUSH:

When you rearrange the letters:

HE BUGS GORE


THE MORSE CODE
:
When you rearrange the letters:

HERE COME DOTS
!

SLOT MACHINES:

When you rearrange the letters:

CASH LOST IN ME


ANIMOSITY:

When you rearrange the letters:

IS NO AMITY


ELECTION RESULTS:

When you rearrange the letters:

LIES - LET'S RECOUNT


SNOOZE ALARMS:

When you rearrange the letters:

ALAS! NO MORE Z 'S


A DECIMAL POINT:

When you rearrange the letters:

IM A DOT IN PLACE


THE EARTHQUAKES:

When you rearrange the letters:

THAT QUEER SHAKE


ELEVEN PLUS TWO:

When you rearrange the letters:

TWELVE PLUS ONE



AND FOR THE GRAND FINALE:


MOTHER-IN-LAW:

When you rearrange the letters:

WOMAN HITLER


Yep! Someone with waaaaaaaaaaay
too much time on their hands! (Probably a son-in-law)

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Exxon Mobil Spent MILLION$$$ to Deny Global Warming

Hat tip to the Center for American Progress for highlighting a new report that finds Exxon Mobil Corp. spent $16 million to “manufacture uncertainty” about global warming:
Exxon “gave $16 million to 43 ideological groups between 1998 and 2005 in an effort to mislead the public by discrediting the science behind global warming,” a new Union of Concerned Scientists report finds.
The company, according to the report, “has adopted the tobacco industry’s disinformation tactics, as well as some of the same organizations and personnel, to cloud the scientific understanding of climate change and delay action on the issue.” Harvard professor Dr. James McCarthy said Exxon has tried to “create the illusion of a vigorous debate” about global warming.
A few of the other tactics the oil giant used are listed in the report: “funded an array of front organizations to create the appearance of a broad platform for a tight-knit group of vocal climate change contrarians who misrepresent peer-reviewed scientific findings; attempted to portray its opposition to action as a positive quest for ’sound science’ rather than business self-interest; used its access to the Bush administration to block federal policies and shape government communications on global warming.”
Last year, we reported how Exxon Mobil CEO Lee R. Raymond’s retirement in January 2006 coincided with record profits for Exxon Mobil. Upon retirement, Raymond was entitled to receive an estimated annual retirement benefit of more than $8 million. He chose instead to take a lump sum payment of $98 million. Raymond also will get an administrative assistant, company-provided life insurance, a car, driver and airplane use for two years.
Between 2002 and 2005, Raymond’s annual bonus more than doubled from $2.1 million to $4.9 million.
But while spending millions on its CEO and millions more to mislead the public into thinking this 70 degree winter weather is normal, the mega oil corporation isn’t too concerned with ensuring its own employees have secure retirements. According to BusinessWeek, Exxon Mobil’s employee pension plans have one of the biggest funding deficits of all U.S. corporations. The company’s own 2005 annual report admits its pension for its U.S. workers is underfunded by $1.2 billion.

(And you KNOW that they wouldn't spend tha kind of money if they didn't expect a GREAT reeturn on the investment.)

Monday, January 08, 2007

Hey? Listen! 3,000 dead soldiers ain't all that many for a four-year war, right?

Wow, after four years we have lost the same amount or less than we lost in single battles in former wars.

Thus was the argument expressed by some clown trool posting on Eschaton tonight.

The problem with this 'argument'--apart from its vicious inhumanity and appalling condescension-- is that it assumes that which is not yet, and perhaps may not be, decided.

The "sang froiders" (as I call them) case assumes that the combat in Iraq is worth fighting, for whatsoever reasons; that casualties were taken in an unexceptional cause: the line of duty, not unlike those incurred in other USer military adventures. The next phase in the rationale is to appeal to body count: "We're killin' 10 of them for everyone of them we lose. We'll win by attrition, if we just haang in there..."

What this position utterly denies even the existence of is not a contrary position. The counter-argument completely abnegates the ground for the sang froiders. This negation of the their hubris is the insistence of the immorality, a priori, of even one death in a war-of-opportunity, against a people which were not our foes, for reasons of basest personal and corporate ignomy.

It is NOT that deaths of 3000 USer soldiers--to say nothing of the maiming of countless thousands more--is 'too many' or 'comparably fewer than in previous wars,' or even that there were more murders in New Orleans.
We say one death in this immoral exercise in vicious, racist imperialism--one death by an American conqueror, one death by an innocent Iraqi child--is too many, is inexcusable, is intolerable, is outrageous, is criminal, is--in fact--treasonous.

This so-called war in the Mesopotamian desert so deeply violates the immemorial spirit of the founding of the country that it must be viewed as basest, foulest treachery and treason to those founding principles (no matter how shop-worn they've become with use and abuse), and should be treated as such, and excised--a very sharp knife is always best.

jeezis...

The Chimperor Gonna Send A "Surge" Into Iraq


Busheviks are primed to intensify the conflict in Iraq.

This, despite the fact that more than 75% of citizens polled on the matter oppose this 'escalation' proposal. A similar number reports opposing the Chimp's handling of the conflict.

But here's the truth of the matter:
It does and would not matter to the Busheviks if 95% of citizens oppose the escalation of the conflict in Iraq--or if that number oppose the prospect of an invasion of or an attack upon Iran--if the 5% who support it are the same 5% who own or control 75% of the wealth.

Sergeant Shovels Self-Serving Sentiments

This is the scope and scale of the rationalizations that keep the fucking clusterfuck in Iraq on track:

It is also now undeniable, irrevocable, that you will see your mission through. You will strive every day, you will live, though you are not ever again sure why. Ideals… are so… far, far away from the burnt stink of charred metal. I, we, must see it through to the end. They have seen every instant, every mission, every chore, every day through, not to its end but to theirs. How can you ever deny, degrade, desecrate their sacrifice and loss with anything less than all you have? Their lives are lost, whether as a gift, laid down at the feet of their friends, or a pointless discard of precious life… I doubt I'll ever know.

Read the whole thing and weep for this whole, poor, blood-ridden, cancerous, fucking country. It's a sad story. The troops fight only for each other, not for any larger idea, or cause or purpose. they fight because their buddies have been killed.

And the Sarge is never gonna get over the idea that to withdraw is to discredit his sacrifice and that of his buddies. And he's never gonna blame the Busheviks for their lies and deceptions that got his pals killed and himself scarred beyond repairing.

The invasion, conquest, occupation, rape & pillage of Iraq and the rest of the energy empire is NEVER going to end. The Busheviks will not withdraw, because to do so would be to have admitted defeat. The Dems cannot impede the funding of the continuing operations without being accused, immediately and profusely, and fatally (from the electoral point of view) of abandonning or otherwise harming the troops. The cannot do it, ever, as long as there are soldiers in harm's way. And neither the militarists nor the corporatists can stand the affront of failure that a withdrawal would portend.

It doesn't matter jack shit what the people want. The Oligarchy/Aristocracy/Corporatocracy NEEDS AND WANTS THIS. And they shall have it.

It's NOT going to 'end', folks...it's just not...

Spocko's Brain LIVES!!!

After being forced by threatened litigation to take down his blog, Spocko's Brain, Spocko has re-emerged as forcefully and as amusingly as ever to continue to stick a stinky, shit-encrusted finger in the eye of the fascist pigs ranting into the Bay Area ether from (Di$ney-owned) radio station K$FO.

In particular, he is trying to get Melanie Morgan, Larry Sussman, and a couple of their shit-eating minions kicked to the kerb by the stations' advertisers, to whom Spocko has sent e-mails and audio-files illustrating the usual, unexceptional quality of their odious, vile, racist, intolerant crap-trap.

If the reader would like to hear for her or himself the sorts of attacks, threats, and abuses launched daily by these paragons of the Flying-Monkey Rightiness into the People's airways, scroll down on this page a couple of stories and find links to those files.

Me? I shall only say, "Welcome Back, Spocko!"
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Sunday, January 07, 2007

Fred Kagan: The Face Of The New Heroic Class

Gaze upon this countenance, ye cowards and goldbricks, ye enemies of freedon and democracy, and feel fear; and wonder at the strength and character of this strongest and ablest warrior for the firthcoming "surge" in Iraq. Tis the Face Of VICTORY!!!

Hark! The Hero Speaks:
  • Victory is still an option in Iraq. America, a country of 300 million people with a GDP of $12 trillion, and more than 1 million soldiers and marines can regain control of Iraq, a state the size of California with a population of 25 million and a GDP under $100 billion.

Victory in Iraq is vital to America’s security. Defeat will lead to regional conflict, humanitarian catastrophe, and increased global terrorism.

Iraq has reached a critical point. The strategy of relying on a political process to eliminate the insurgency has failed. Rising sectarian violence threatens to break America’s will to fight. This violence will destroy the Iraqi government, armed forces, and people if it is not rapidly controlled.

Victory in Iraq is still possible at an acceptable level of effort. We must adopt a new approach to the war and implement it quickly and decisively.


Such new approach, needless to say, does NOT require Mr. Kagan actually to engage in the more odious rigors of war, himself. Who knew?

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Was Jerry Ford The Only Man Who Could Have Ended The War In Viet Nam?

Frank Rich makes some interesting associations in his column for today in a 'damned-with-faint- praise' semi-eulogy for ex-President Ford.

Now I wonder: Is Rich saying that, as Nixon, the GOP hawk, was the only President who could have reached a rapproachment with China without incurring the eternal enmity of much of his party, Jerry Ford was the only President who could have ended the war in Vietnam in the face of similar rebukes?

Because, since he apparently had so little political ego (I'm a Ford, not a Lincoln), he could afford to let it go, to bring it to an end, to absorb such opprobrium as there might befall for suc and act...

Does this suggest that such a figure be needed under the present, hopeless, disterous military adventure, which so closely resembles the one from which Ford withdrew the country?

And if that is so, who is the President who will end the clusterfuck in Iraq?

Jerry Ford was a loyal soldier who likely knew he was a caretaker, and it fell to him to clean up the mess, to put the last casualties out of their misery.

Will ANY of the contenders now champing at the bit have similar humility?

Care to name one?

(Thanks To JurassicPork/Potterville for reprinting the column.)
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A YouTube Tribute To Spocko, The Little Blogger Who Could

Click on the Title Box, or this link and watch...

If you want to join this effort to stick a sticky, stinky, shit-encrusted finger in the eye of ABC/DI$NEY, you can, by picking up the links in the post below this one and posting them, and by talking about this whole CorpoRat mess...

And thanks for your attention...

Cribbed from El Gato Negro's Site, Here's a Compendium of Spocko's Links and Sound Files

KSFO's Eliminationist Tendencies, caught on tape.

These are the WMA mp3 files of on-air personalities on KSFO spewing the eliminationist and wingnutty-bar invective.

Listen to them for jourself, then, por favor, post them far and wide.

Theenk of eet as an easy way to give Mickey Mouse the feenger.

so.

Brian Sussman tells caller to say 'Allah is a whore'

KSFO caller suggests bombing Syrian mosques

Brian Sussman wants military weapons in his home

Brian Sussman says he doesn't have to tolerate Islam

Brian Sussman says we should cut off detainee fingers and penises

Melanie Morgan and Ann Coulter say liberals should be executed

Coulter and Morgan say Bill Keller should be executed - sound effects by Officer Vic

Brian Sussman says Islam is a false religion

[More clips]

Officer Vic wants to send a hit team after photojournalists

More laughter about Bill Keller in the electric chair

Honky talk-show host is offended because Sen. Obama is a 'halfrican'

Paint a bullseye on Rep. Nancy Pelosi?

More bullseye talk about Rep. Pelosi

Morgan accuses SF Chronicle of 'blacking up' Richard Pombo Btw, Melanie - how did Pombo do in that election?

KSFO crew says 'dig up Rachel Carson and kill her again'

Coulter says 'at least they hit some UN peacekeepers'

Morgan says 'hang the NY Times editors'

KSFO crew wants to kill liberals

KFSO crew says 'liberal tree should be pruned'

KSFO crew says liberals should be 'stomped to death'

KSFO crew says 'gonna track that e-mail down and do something unpleasant to his cojones'... then Melanie does a live spot for Brite Smile

KSFO crew says 'then, attack the NY Times'

KSFO caller says Bill Keller should be 'lined up and shot'. KSFO crew says 'skip the trial'

KSFO says 'unpleasant things are going to happen to stupid liberals'

[More]

Lee Rodgers talks about civility, then says 'someone should have belted that chinless bitch a long time ago' This one is just precious.

Lee says we need to kill millions of Muslims in Indonesia

Lee says the AP should commit mass suicide

Lee suggests hooking a Sears DieHard battery to someone's testicles, then blowing them away


mp3 audio clips in zip (with KSFO contact info)

wma audio clips in zip (with KSFO contact info)

Friday, January 05, 2007

The Ballad of Spocko: The Next Verse

Through the energetic efforts of El Gato Negro, who has organized a widespread adoption of the Spocko story, apparently some more of the top-tier Bay-area media have taken an interest in the Spocko-vs-Disney/KSFO imbroglio. Click the link in the title box for the whole piece.

The key info is this:
My lawyer from EFF who is advising me said I should bring the site up at a new place and I have it in process, 23 hours till it is up again hopefully next news cycle.

So Spocko's Brain will once more adorn the blogosphere, confronting and confounding the murderous, bloody-minded infoNazis at Disney.

HUZZAH!!!

(A Note: Honesty compels me to proclaim that "Spocko" is a friend of mine and of this blog; ergo my endorsement of his cause might not be entirely based on an impartial assessment of the facts of the case. Fuck Disney!)

Free SPOCKO, Fuck Disney

KSFO/Disney Corp has used threats and intimidation to silence "Spocko," a Bay Area blogger noted formerly (til he had to take it down) for "Spocko's Brain," in which forum he has taken serious exception to the alarming tendency of many of KSFO's right-wing fucktard--that vicious, vapid, vacuous bint Melanie Morgan, among them--air personnel to enjoin and encourage their listeners to violence against politicians (e.g., Nancy Pelosi) and others with whom they have disagreements. The story of Spocko's fight, and his fate, is here.

The files over which the flap occurred, which Spocko used to persuade KSFO advertizers to drop KSFO's feculent, foetid hate-mongers and vicious, flying-monkey 2nd-raters can be found here.

When I figure out how to do it (Calling Curlytech!@!!!), I'll put up links.

Til then, please c&p this and any other info you might garner on this unfolding scandal and send it to anybody else who would like to stick a big, stinky, shit-covered finger in the ojos de Raton...

Bill Moyers: Power (Back to) The People, Right AWN!!!

Voters have provided a respite from a right-wing radicalism predicated on the philosophy that extremism in the pursuit of virtue is no vice. It seems only yesterday that the Trojan horse of conservatism was hauled into Washington to disgorge Newt Gingrich, Tom DeLay, Ralph Reed, Grover Norquist and their hearty band of ravenous predators masquerading as a political party of small government, fiscal restraint and moral piety and promising "to restore accountability to Congress...[and] make us all proud again of the way free people govern themselves."


Well, the long night of the junta is over, and Democrats are ebullient as they prepare to take charge of the multitrillion-dollar influence racket that we used to call the US Congress. Let them rejoice while they can, as long as they remember that while they ran some good campaigns, they have arrived at this moment mainly because George W. Bush lost a war most people have come to believe should never have been fought in the first place. Let them remember, too, in this interim of sweet anticipation, that although they are reveling in the ruins of a Republican reign brought down by stupendous scandals, their own closet is stocked with skeletons from an era when they were routed from office following Abscam bribes and savings and loan swindles that plucked the pockets and purses of hard-working, tax-paying Americans.

As they rejoice, Democrats would be wise to be mindful of Shakespeare's counsel, "'Tis more by fortune ... than by merit." For they were delivered from the wilderness not by their own goodness and purity but by the grace of K Street corruption, DeLay Inc.'s duplicity, the pitiless exploitation of Terri Schiavo, the disgrace of Mark Foley and a shameful partisan cover-up, the shamelessness of Jack Abramoff and a partisan conspiracy, and neocon arrogance and amorality (yes, amoral: Apparently there is no end to the number of bodies Bill Kristol and Richard Perle are prepared to watch pile up on behalf of illusions that can't stand the test of reality even one Beltway block from the think tanks where they are hatched). The Democrats couldn't have been more favored by the gods if they had actually believed in one!

But whatever one might say about the election, the real story is one that our political and media elites are loath to acknowledge or address. I am not speaking of the lengthy list of priorities that progressives and liberals of every stripe are eager to put on the table now that Democrats hold the cards in Congress. Just the other day a message popped up on my computer from a progressive advocate whose work I greatly admire. Committed to movement-building from the ground up, he has results to show for his labors. His request was simple: "With changes in Congress and at our state capitol, we want your input on what top issues our lawmakers should tackle. Click here to submit your top priority."

I clicked. Sure enough, up came a list of thirty-four issues-an impressive list that began with "African-American" and ran alphabetically through "energy" and "higher education" to "guns," "transportation," "women's issues" and "workers' rights." It wasn't a list to be dismissed, by any means, for it came from an unrequited thirst for action after a long season of malignant opposition to every item on the agenda. I understand the mindset. Here's a fellow who values allies and appreciates what it takes to build coalitions; who knows that although our interests as citizens vary, each one is an artery to the heart that pumps life through the body politic, and each is important to the health of democracy. This is an activist who knows political success is the sum of many parts.

But America needs something more right now than a "must-do" list from liberals and progressives. America needs a different story. The very morning I read the message from the progressive activist, the New York Times reported on Carol Ann Reyes. Carol Ann Reyes is 63. She lives in Los Angeles, suffers from dementia and is homeless. Somehow she made her way to a hospital with serious, untreated needs. No details were provided as to what happened to her there, except that the hospital-which is part of Kaiser Permanente, the largest HMO in the country-called a cab and sent her back to skid row. True, they phoned ahead to workers at a rescue shelter to let them know she was coming. But some hours later a surveillance camera picked her up "wandering around the streets in a hospital gown and slippers." Dumped in America.

Here is the real political story, the one most politicians won't even acknowledge: the reality of the anonymous, disquieting daily struggle of ordinary people, including the most marginalized and vulnerable Americans but also young workers and elders and parents, families and communities, searching for dignity and fairness against long odds in a cruel market world.

(MORE--Click on the "Title" box)