Sunday, April 30, 2006


Friday, April 28, 2006

Bush Involved in Friday Night Surprise!

No, not that Bush and nothing political.

It turns out the Houston Texans have chosen not to take Reggie Bush as the Number One pick in tomorrow's NFL draft. They have comitted to taking NC State defensive end Mario Williams.

It's hard to call it a mistake, as both are such great talents ... but I don't think I'm alone in saying I'd definitely buy a ticket to watch any team - weak or strong - just to watch Reggie Bush. I'll watch Mr. Williams on TV.

The New Orleans Saints are now in position to get the next Barry Sanders with the No. 2 pick.


Does anyone doubt that Hastert also took advantage of the SUV tax loophole (a Section 179 deduction) on that big fucking rig of his? Another step - though probably a small one - toward a more fuel efficient America would be to get rid of that large incentive for the purchase SUVs.

Via Kevin Drum

April: The Worst Month for Coalition Troops This Year

75 coalition troop fatalities with 69 of them Americans.

We are now spending close to $100 billion per year in Iraq and the torture and violent deaths of Iraqis continues at a rate which appears to be greater than what was occurring under Saddam during containment.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

$100? Give Everyone $1,000

Kevin Drum has the story on the plan by Bill Frist and other Republicans to give out $100 checks to help offset the effect of skyrocketing gas prices.

It's not just bad economics but its the grossest form of election year pandering.

A reader has suggested that the Democrats can trump the Republicans by offering a plan that gives everyone $1,000. Why the hell not ... if you can give the oil industry $65 BILLION worth of oil and natural gas from federal land with no royalties, just declare free money time for everybody. Destroying the economy ... let's just get the whole thing over with.

Family Values Republicans

Looks like allegations are bubbling up that part of Mitchell Wade's bribes to Republican Congressman Duke Cunningham involved hooking him up with prostitutes.

Anyone still waiting for the ethics investigation to begin in Congress? How about the investigation by anybody as to how the Pentagon turned a blind eye to this corruption and whether it involved others?

Filibuster Underway!

Humphrey at DK has a post up about Ron Wyden's filibuster of the emergency spending bill:

Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) is currently filibustering the emergency spending bill in the Senate. He is offering an ammendment that would eliminate royalty relief for oil companies when the price of oil is above $50 a barrel. He simply wants a vote on his ammendment. This vote would eliminate subsidies to the oil companies costing billions of dollars. Obviously the Republicans do not want this ammendment to come to a vote as it would hurt big oil. It would put the Senators in a difficult position.

Of course, Repubs typically would spin this as Wyden being against the troops --- except that they've kinda handcuffed themselves by diverting some of the military spending in this bill and by Bush's threatened veto of any changes against the bill. I've also heard a rumor that the Jon Kyl, the Republican Senator from Arizons, is supporting this filibuster.

Or are they all against the troops? I mean isn't that the position one must take to be consistent with past rightwing nuttery.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Oprah Honors Holocaust Remembrance Day

Never again.

Today Oprah took those words to heart. The systematic slaughter of 6 million Jews is something we can never forget. A modern holocaust is now happening in Africa and we must honor those killed at places such as Aushwitz by standing up to further acts of genocide happening in places like the Darfur.

Oprah's show today focused on the modern tragedies that are taking place in Northern Uganda, Southern Sudan, the Congo and the Darfur region of Sudan.

Just in the Darfur, it is believed some 200,000 people have died as a result of the violent unrest mainly being perpetrated by the Arab Janjaweed militia. 2 million Sudanese, mainly ethnic Black Africans, have been displaced ... and malnutrition amongst the displaced is on the rise. This is a critical time for action.

Oprah does a lot of good. Her book club has been a huge boon for good literature. Today she did another good thing, using her platform to raise consciousness of this all important issue. In fact, it's a life and death issue. Thank you, Oprah, for honoring Holocaust Remembrance Day in a most befitting manner.

Simply talking about it is one way to raise the profile of this issue and to give our government the political capital necessary to take more action. Oprah has also provided a list of charities for those who can donate to organizations providing assistance to the victims of these horrible tragedies. The International Rescue Committee is on the frontline providing immediate survival assistance at the massive refugee camps growing in the area of the border between Sudan and Chad.

Never forget and never again.

Bush's Timetable

Just in time for the upcoming 2006 elections (and as Murtha predicted), Pentagon planners have announced a "hoped" for troop reduction of 30,000 by as early as November.

Bush Demotes Tony Snow

Having called Bush an embarassment, Tony Snow was demoted today from his cushy, high-paying job in the Republican machine as an "Anchorman" at Fox "News." He has been assigned to the lowly job of White House Press Secretary.

Of course, Snow knows exactly what he must do to get back into the good graces of Bush and the machine ... lie.

Should be fun!!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Meet Senator Leaky Roberts (R KS)

Looks like Bush bagman, Pat Roberts, has a wee problem with leaking classified intelligence.

So does his friend ... Senator Leaky Shelby (R AL).

When's the right going to call for their prosecutions like they are for Mary McCarthy? When are they going to denmand accountability from the leakers of Plame's identity? Uhm ... Never ... because, to most of them, it's not about principles; it's simply a team sport.

The Flip Flopper-in-Chief

Bush on the Strategic Oil Reserves in 2000:

The Strategic Reserve is an insurance policy meant for a sudden disruption of our energy supply or for war. Strategic Reserve should not be used as an attempt to drive down oil prices right before an election. It should not be used for short-term political gain at the cost of long-term national security.

And just last week, Bush's Energy Secretary said the strategic reserve should NOT be used to lower gas prices.

And now Bush does the opposite. What a difference the polls make!

We also have Bush telling us how he's "the Decider," but an astute reader has e-mailed me the following from an interview in January of 2006:

SCHIEFFER: Well, let's talk about that a little bit. Now, some Democrats have called for a timetable for withdrawal. You have said that that's not a good thing to do because you're just giving the enemy the message, well, hang around until next date, we'll be out of there. But can you give the American people, Mr. President, some sort of a time frame, for example, where do you think we're going to be three months from now there, and what will troop levels be, say, come the fall?

PRESIDENT BUSH: You see, I--I can understand you wanting to ask that question and the American people, some wanting to--want me to give the answer to that. I can't give the answer to that because I'm not the--the decider. What I can assure the American people of is that we've got a strategy to victory. We got a plan to see that the Iraqis take the fight. More and more Iraqis are taking the fight, and I'm going to listen to our commanders.

Monday, April 24, 2006


The latest poll - this one from CNN - has Bush falling to 32% approval and a 60% disapproval for a whopping disparity of minus 28.

The question on everyone's mind --- can this guy slip into the twenties?

Bush, Cheney & Rice Hid "No WMD" Evidence

The Big News came from 60 Minutes last night. Tyler Drumheller, retired former chief of the CIA's Europe division, divulges that the CIA flipped the Iraqi foreign minister --- a man in Saddam's inner circle. While news regarding securing that source was initially met with cheers, the information ultimately received from rthe source - that Iraq had no active WMD program - was ignored and kept from the public in the run-up to the war.

Josh Marshall has the secondary story ---- how this evidence was ignored by both the Roberts Committe and the Robb-Silberman Commission. Of course, the truth doesn't pay as well and all the lil Robbs and lil Silbermans will be eating well for decades to come.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

The Bogus Promise to Stop Iraqi Prisoner Abuse

Is it a lie when you promise to inspect all of the more than one thousand Iraqi detention facilities and almost 6 months later you've only inspected 6? Didn't we all understand that we were executing an 80 year plan?

In case you were wondering, as I was, the Washington Post updates us on the promised inspections of Iraq's prisons. Only six inspected ... and evidence of abuse of prisoners found at all of them.

We are helping install guys who think Saddam was only bad because of what he did to their sect but not because of the methods he used.

Let's be honest --- the slow pace of the inspections and the lack of candor about the ones that have occurred is for one reason --- to mislead the American public; both as to the moral low ground occupied by the new Iraqi government and the Bush administration's knowledge of it.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Good Tunes Friday

Here are some great new discs you should check out:

Ben Harper - Both Sides of the Gun (Disc One): this is the mellow disc from Ben's new two disc set. Most of Harper's past outings (with the exception of the classic Fight for Your Mind) have been inconsistent - mixing 4 or 5 great tunes with a number of throwaways. This disc is strong throughout. Set your player to repeat and press play. The tunes feature lush string arrangements and, as always, great guitar work. But it's Harper's vocals that carry the day. The dude is as passionate about his music as Marvin Gaye or the seventies era Stevie Wonder. And if you want a religious experience better than church, go see Ben Harper live. He offers incredible musicianship (he's got a great band) and tunes that immediately take a hold of you.

Neko Case - Fox Confessor Brings The Flood: One of my ATF female vocalists. I own everyone of her solo outings and - though very different - this one rivals Furnace Rooom Lullabies as Case's best. This one's a lot less alt-country and is really genre-less. The album is a bit odd in that many of the songs lack a chorus but, thankfully, not Neko's great melodies. Like Harper's set, the vocals rule, followed closely by the lyrics. Neko's got some stories to tell.

Ghostface Killah - Fishscale: Urban radio - at least where I live - sucks right now. They play the same ten songs over and over to the point it sounds like one never-ending bore-a-rama. It's a shame because there is some truly great hip hop being made. Last year, we got the DangerDoom album. This year, an early entrant for album of the year, regardless of genre, is the new Ghostface Killah onslaught. Instead of trying to sound like the Neptunes (like virtually everybody else), Ghostface relies heavily on vocal samples which by themseelves might sound weird but come across spectacularly when coupled with deft beats. Killah's forte is storytelling - but he's telling different stories than Neko.

Mylo - Destroy Rock & Roll: Electronic melodies with only the rare spoken vocal. Great for background music but also offering amazing subtlety for those who give it a closer listen.

Pink Sings For The President

Check it out.

You gotta love the update on the "Marilyn Monroe singing to the Prez" thing.

Did The Dude Get The Digits?

Courtesy of The Majority Report here are some photos of Katherine Harris giving an interview to some kid from the student newspaper at the University of Florida.

Cheney At Work During President Hu Visit

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Al Gore Was Right!

But righties would rather further global warming than admit that.

As The Bushista Predicted ...

The Bush Apologista (or Bushista, for short) predicted that calling out Bush on his bio-weapons trailer lie would cause a resurgence in Bush's poll numbers.

Today his approval rating hit ...




Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The Exploding Costs of the Iraq War

The Raw Story has a sneak preview of tomorrow's Washington Post story about the incredible increasing costs of the war in Iraq.

Here's a key excerpt:

With the expected passage this spring of the largest emergency spending bill in history, annual war expenditures in Iraq will have nearly doubled since the U.S. invasion, as the military confronts the rapidly escalating cost of repairing, rebuilding and replacing equipment chewed up by three years of combat. The cost of the war in U.S. fatalities has declined this year, but the cost in treasure continues to rise, from $48 billion in 2003 to $59 billion in 2004 to $81 billion in 2005 to an anticipated $94 billion in 2006, according to the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.

The U.S. government is now spending nearly $10 billion a month in Iraq and Afghanistan, up from $8.2 billion a year ago, a new Congressional Research Service report found. Annual war costs in Iraq are easily outpacing the $61 billion a year that the United States spent in Vietnam between 1964 and 1972, in today's dollars.

Is there any end in sight? Not as long as Bush is President.

And where was the fair assessment of these costs before the war? Where did they ever tell the American public that this was what to expect?

Shorter New York Times

Rove decreases policy role to focus on smearing the shit out of people in upcoming elections.

Rebuilding Iraq: The 3% Completion Rate

ABC has the story --- in March of 2004, Parsons Global was awarded a $190 million contract to build 150 health clinics in Iraq. After two years, 5 are complete.

This isn't to say the contractor is to blame. Security concerns and U.S. and Iraqi government mismanagement seem to top the list.

This seems to support the arguments of the "more troops" crowd. Yet, I've never been convinced as to where all these hundreds of thousands of additional troops were to come from.

Repressing Your Inner "Whore"

There's a fun lil story going around as to why some women will publicly bare their breasts.

On the rightwing blogsphere - here and here - the answer is, of course, much more simplistic --- these women are just sluts or whores.

Of course, these righty posts just reek of a repressed inner whore.

And since we are on the topic of the sexually repressed, here's a letter from Jesus' General applauding Ken Mehlman's abstinence-only lifestyle.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Who Gives A Fuck?

... well, other than the late night comedians.

Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes had a baby girl today.

I'm of the school of giving your kids names that are original but not weird original.

They named their baby Suri ... that's from the "we're just plain fucking weird" school.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Another Republican for Good Government!

Former Illinois Governor George Ryan has been found guilty on numerous racketeering and corruption charges.

The Tolerant Right: Sad Sack Malkin

Ezra Klein has a great takedown of Michelle Malkin's latest hate spree.

Turns out she took the home phone numbers and personal e-mail addresses of some student protesters of military recruitment at UC Santa Cruz and posted them publicly on her blog.

The predictable rightwing death threats and harassment followed.

What a sick and twisted jerk.

Any Pre-Laura Bush for Bush?

Atrios raises a question for the abstinence-only right ... how many of them actually saved it?

The Duke-Lacrosse Rape Claim

I don't get why people - and there seem to be plenty on both sides of this one - feel the need to jump to quick conclusions before there is sufficient evidence to reach a rational decision as to whether or not a crime took place.

Evidence has been leaking out through the press. Statements from the neighbor don't sound good for the boys and the initial DNA results and the police report of intoxication do not sound well for the gal.

Still I would say the evidence publicly available - especially given the fact that the DA is more constrained from getting evidence out than the defense attorneys - is insufficient to make any reasonable determination as to what really happened.

Kafka Is A Uighur

The U.S. Supreme Court today turned down the appeal of two ethnic Uighurs who were "mistakenly" scooped in Afghanistan four years ago and have been held at Guantanamo Bay since.

Our government claims it can't find a country that is willing to take them and will not let them go in the U.S. Look, after fucking these guys lives up for the last four years, let them go wherever the fuck they want ... and you might want to give them a fucking public apology upon their release.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

I Did Not Know That

Tiger Woods got criticized and has apologized for using the word "spaz" (Kevin Drum posts on it here).

I thought my knowledge was deep on derogatory words. Jeebus ... I don't use the word "gyped" because I'm aware that it's derogatory to Gypsies. But I never knew the word "spaz" was deemed derogatory by many in the disabled community.

My guess would be most don't know ... so the PC police need to cut Tiger some slack and good for him for issuing an apology as well.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Another Bush Administration Lie: ``We have found the weapons of mass destruction.''

Reuters breaksdown Bush's false statement in May of 2003 that: ``We have found the weapons of mass destruction.''

Bush was refering to two trailers found in Iraq as biological weapons facilities.

Yet, those investigating the trailers had unequivocally determined two days earlier that the trailers were not mobile weapons labs.

Of course, the reports regarding these trailers remain classified. Bush apparently is not-so-much interested on the truth when it hurts.

Expect the Bush apologists on the right to claim ignorance as a defense. Of course, if you used the right's parsing in favor of Bush, you could never call anyone a liar. Funny thing how they seem to use the term all the time then.

UPDATED: Here's Bush's full statement in May of 2003 of finding mobile weapons labs in Iraq:

We found the weapons of mass destruction. We found biological laboratories. You remember when Colin Powell stood up in front of the world, and he said, Iraq has got laboratories, mobile labs to build biological weapons. They're illegal. They're against the United Nations resolutions, and we've so far discovered two. And we'll find more weapons as time goes on. But for those who say we haven't found the banned manufacturing devices or banned weapons, they're wrong, we found them.

The Bush Apologista are arguing that there were others who were taking the position that the trailers were, in fact, weapons labs (though we don't know who or whether they, in fact, were making any disclaimers or equivocating themselves) --- the issue was "hotly debated" they point out. But that's not what Bush said --- he says unequivocally that the trailers were biological labs and that the critics then saying the bio labs have not been found are wrong. It is not that hard to understand --- if you take a disputed issue and state it as established fact, you are lying. If you unequivocally say somebody is wrong when you possess evidence that they may be right, you are lying.

Moreover, when the final report came out three weeks later, Bush never steps up and corrects his false statement but allows it to stay out there to be repeated over and over again in the blogosphere by the Bush Apologista at that time. I remember it well.

Here's a proposal to get fully to the bottom of this issue --- Bush claims that he believes in declassifying to get at the truth, well give us all the prelimibnary reports as well as the final one and let us determine the full extent of Bush's duplicity here.

Michael Yon's Dirty Words

Opps ... it looks like the right's favorite journalist on Iraq has admitted that what dare not be spoken on the right ... "Iraq is in a Civil War."

What ... the Grinch Wasn't Available?

The Washington Nationals had Dick Cheney throw out the first pitch today.

Predictably, he got booed ... which makes me wonder why he did it. Is he so out of touch that he doesn't realize how hated he is?

Think Progress has the video and the line of the day ...

"The good news: Cheney’s pitch landed in the dirt, not in someone’s face."

UPDATE: Cheney looks really happy to be there too.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Bush: Zarqawi Da Man!!!

Paging Spc. Flowers ---

It looks like the military's latest effort to mislead the "U.S. Home Audience" involved misportraying the role played by terrorist scumbag Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi. The Washington Post states in its lede:

The U.S. military is conducting a propaganda campaign to magnify the role of the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq, according to internal military documents and officers familiar with the program. The effort has raised his profile in a way that some military intelligence officials believe may have overstated his importance and helped the Bush administration tie the war to the organization responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

Again, it appears the tool of choice was a "selective leak" to a New York Times reporter.

This story does, however, serve to remind us of the media's big forgotten story about Zarqawi --- that Bush passed up trying to take Zarqawi out before the war because Bush apparently needed Zarqawi alive to spin the Iraqi-terrorism link (though failing to act has ultimately resulted in an untold number of Iraqi and probably Coalition troop deaths).

Why Leak Instead of Openly Declassify? To Deceive

The New York Times, the recipient of the Bush-Libby-NIE leak, finally weighs in with a breakdown of the deceptive nature of the leak entitled Iraq Findings Leaked by Cheney's Aide Were Disputed.

Here's a key portion of the story, though the whole thing deserves a full read.

The court filing asserts that Mr. Bush authorized the disclosure of the intelligence in part to rebut claims that Mr. Wilson was making, including those in a television appearance and in an Op-Ed article in The New York Times on July 6, 2003. The filing revealed for the first time testimony by Mr. Libby saying that Mr. Bush, through Mr. Cheney, had authorized Mr. Libby to tell reporters that "a key judgment of the N.I.E. held that Iraq was 'vigorously trying to procure' uranium."

In fact, that was not one of the "key judgments" of the document. Instead, it was the subject of several paragraphs on Page 24 of the document, which also acknowledged that Mr. Hussein had long possessed 500 tons of uranium that was under seal by international inspectors, and that no intelligence agencies had ever confirmed whether he had obtained any more of the material from Africa.

Too bad the NYT didn't think enough of the American public to bring a lil skepticism to the Bush administration's leaks back in the day. Liberal indeed.

Friday, April 07, 2006

The Next Question

Did Bush's authorization include the release of Plame's identity?

And, if so, was that done without forewarning the CIA and Plame herself?

All In The Family

There's another story out about a Republican who has used his governmental position for familial gain. This time its Crazy Curt Weldon and his daughter.

We already know about John Doolittle's wife skimming a percentage of all his fundraising money and how Tom Delay's wife was being paid a "consulting" fee for those looking for favorable treatment.

Why do righties continue to tolerate this culture of corruption?

Leaky Bush: The Breakdown

Some of our friends on the right are (predictably) arguing the revelation regarding Libby's testimony that Bush authorized his leaks is insignificant. They argue that it wasn't technically illegal. While they are probably right on that issue, there are numerous other reasons why this matters beyond mere legality.

First, the story if true (and to date it is not being denied by Bush or Cheney) further destroys the fraudulent image of Bush as a Washington outsider who detests the dirty side of Washington --- mainly leaks.

Second, it shines further light on how Bush and his entire administration abuse security classifications for political purposes as opposed to reasons of national security. In effect, the Bush defenders are arguing that they are O.K. with Bush (and Cheney) declasifying information on the fly, in an ad-hoc manner that ignores the declassification procedures and without informing others, specifically the American public, when information is declassified. As this instance shows, their ad hoc, declassification process has more to do with politics than anything else. Yet, we live in a democracy that is supposed to value transparency over gamesmanship. We know that this administration is the worst abuser of classifying information to keep politically harmful information from the public. Now it appears that the president himself declassifies so that anonymous sources can then spin the media and ultimately manipulate the public for purely political purposes. Americans do not view governments that engage in this stuff as moral, think the USSR and Pravda. Nor should Bush's actions in this regard be viewed as moral.

Third, the issue raises a myriad of questions about the President's innvolvement in manipulating the case for war generally and, more specifically, as to what role he may have played in the leaking of Plame's identity. Ignoring the prewar stuff for now, one question that needs asking is was Plame's identity one of the items Bush "declassified" in this ad hoc manner so that Libby and Rove were authorized to leak it. If so, it points out a stark problem with this ad hoc procedure being employed. Isn't it obvious that it is extremely dangerous to be revealing the identity of CIA NCOs without first telling the CIA and that agent?

Just because the President has legal authority to do something does not mean that he should. Further, doing something, at best, immoral and, at worst, a heinous act putting the lives of other people in danger is worthy of criticism at least.

UPDATE AT 04/07/06 at 11:47 am: Kevin Drum has a concise post up as to what's wrong with Bush's leak and he adds a second post quoting Andrew Sullivan's also concise takedown of this tactic.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Will Bush Fire Himself?


We got a hot one here tonight!. The big story of the day is that Libby testified before the grand jury in the Plame case that Bush authorized him to leak classified information contained in the National Intelligence Estimate. While the story doesn't say whether he was specifically authorized to leak Plame's identity, if memory serves, the NIE included a discussion regarding Plame's identity.

Remember how Bush hates leaks and has promised to fire anyone involved in the Plame leaks. Well, he's got some 'splaining to do.

More importantly, will this story open up pandora's box (knocking Pat Roberts off the lid) as to what exactly the White House did to massage the intelligence and manipulate the American public into supporting a bogus war.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

"You Gotta Be One To Know One"

... apparently, that is the Department of Homeland Security's new motto ... or is it a hiring requirement?

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Beat It, Bitch

Monday, April 03, 2006

Fuck, It Really Was About The Oil

Here's today's must-read.

Now we already know that $9 billion from the Iraqi oil funds has gone MIA while under the neglectful control of the CPA.

But now we also learn that the Iraqi oil flowing out of the country is completely unmetered.

Why the fuck do we put up with assholes like Norm Coleman who, on the taxpayer's dime, goes on wild-eyed rants against George Galloway but who then misses the elephant sitting on the sofa.

The UN oil-for-food scandal looks like a snatch & dash of a 75 cent Snickers bar compared to this heist of the Iraqi people's most valuable resource.