Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The Weekly "We've Turned The Corner" Report

The Boston Globe reports that the frequency of insurgen attacks is at its highest level since we started keeping track of such attacks two years ago.

Sure reeks of desperation, if you ask me.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Haditha and the 2 Hour Gap Allegation

MSNBC provides a timeline based on the accounts of Iraqi witnesses at Haditha.

In it, there is a two-hour gap between the killings of the first 19 civilians (shortly after the IED attack that killed the Marine Miguel Terrazas) and the killing of the final 5 civilians.

Bush in Sudan: Dirty Deals Done Dirt Cheap

Ricken Patel has a guest post up at TPMCafe regarding the Bush administration's dirty, two-faced dealings with the Islamic Fundamentalist dictatorship of Sudan; a government that is largely responsible for the genocide in the Darfur.

"Never forget"? Not for the Bush administration. You don't need to forget what they can hide.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Jaw Dropper of the Night

It's late and I don't have time to comment more fully, but check these graphs contained in an ABC News report on Hadditha:

More than two months after the incident Time magazine asked the military to respond to allegations of the killings.

The magazine says a Marine spokesman responded with an e-mail stating, "I cannot believe you're buying any of this. This falls into the same category of Al-Qaeda in Iraq propaganda."

It was only after Time magazine showed a video in February to another military spokesman in Baghdad that an investigation was begun.

Then there is the interview in the LA Times with a Marine who came to the scene in Hadditha:

Briones said he took pictures of at least 15 bodies before his camera batteries died. He said he then helped other Marines remove the bodies and place them in body bags. He said his worst moment, and one that haunts him to this day, was picking up the body of a young girl who was shot in the head.

"I held her out like this," he said, demonstrating with his arms extended, "but her head was bobbing up and down and the insides fell on my legs."

As he spoke, his mother, Susie Briones, 40, a Hanford community college teacher, who was sitting beside him at the kitchen table, silently wiped away tears.

Earlier she confided to a reporter that her son called frequently from Iraq after he experienced nightmares over the little girl.

"He called me many times," she said, "about carrying this little girl in his hands and her brains splattering on his boots. He'd say, 'Mom, I can't clean my boots. I can't clean my boots. I see her.' "


What a shit day -

A day of bombings in Iraq leaving 40 dead

Anti-American riots in Kabul leaving at least 14 dead and more than 90 injured

An IED kills CBS cameraman Paul Douglas, soundman James Brolan, an American soldier and an Iraqi interpreter ... and Kimberly Dozier is fighting for her life.

Friday, May 26, 2006

We're All Criminals Now

What do Dubya and Hillary have in common?

They're both music pirates.

This just goes to show the absurd lengths to which the music industry has gone in its attack on the concept of "fair use" and its ceaseless efforts to pilfer from music lovers.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Streched Out & Stressed Out, Part II

A second report of Marines engaged in cold blooded killing of an innocent has hit the media.

As many as seven Marines are accused of dragging an innocent Iraqi man from his home in April, killing him in cold blood and then trying to cover up the crime, NBC News has learned.

Further, military officials tell NBC that at least one of the Marines has reportedly confessed in the killing, saying they find the allegations especially disturbing because the case appears to have been a premeditated killing and not carried out in the heat of combat.

The revelations come on the heels of a visit to Iraq by the commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps to address concerns that Marines are becoming indifferent to killing and death.

There is no doubt that the vast majority of troops are not engaging in cold blooded killings or other human rights abuses in Iraq but are busting their asses to do the best they can to make Iraq secure. The various insurgent groups and militias are also engaging in such atrocities to a far greater extent than coalition troops.

Yet, one would have to be naive not to have expected incidents like this, though rare and exceptional, would occur among troops being asked to do so much without sufficient resources. This is another cost that when piled on top of all the other loss of life and limb, the enormous monetary expense, the lost opportunity costs of being able to address other foreign policy, the damage to our international credibility made this war not worth it from the outset.

Kenny Boy Goes Down!

No link needed --- by now, everybody knows two more corrupt corporate conservatives went down --- Big Time!

I wonder if guys like these two can turn to their friends for comfort during their times of trouble.

More Rightwing Affirmative Action

From The Harvard Crimson:

A 26-year-old college dropout who carries President Bush’s breath mints and makes him peanut butter-and-jelly sandwiches will follow in his boss’s footsteps this fall when he enrolls at Harvard Business School (HBS).

Though it is rare for HBS—or any other professional or graduate school—to admit a student who does not have an undergraduate degree, admissions officers made an exception for Blake Gottesman, who for four years has served as special assistant and personal aide to Bush.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Hiding Out With Hastert

Shortly after condemning the FBI's warranted search of William Jefferson's office, Republican House Speaker Hastert was seen plodding down the streets of D.C. toward his office muttering, "Sanctuary! Sanctuary!"

Turns out, we now learn, Hastert's under investigation for putting the clamps down on a Native American tribe's casino bid shortly after receiving 26 Big Ones from a fundraiser held by Jack Abramoff (who was representing competing tribes opposed to the new proposed casino).

This also explains Hastert's recent support for "English only" legislation --- apparently he believes, under that bill, no one can legally utter quid pro quo.

The Living Dead - Blowing A .72

Jeebus ... have you seen the report on the gut in Lithuania who, upon being pulled over for driving his truck down the center of a two-lane highway, blew a .72 blood-alcohol level. "He was of high spirits and grinning the whole time he was questioned."

I remember when country great Keith Whitley died of alcohol poisoning with a level purportedly in the 40s. The article even says a .35 is lethal for most. How is this Lithuanian not dead?

I'm a bit suspicious about this one. The story doesn't even tell you if he, at least, booted.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Pat Robertson Smashes Leg Press Record

Think Progress, just for the sake of perspective, did some research into Pat Robertson's claim to have leg pressed 2,000 lbs. as a result taking his "age defying protein shakes."

Whimpy Clay Travis, the leg press recordholder at Florida State University, could only muster 1,335 lbs and burst capillaries in his eyes while doing so.

Certainly, there can't be anything holding back Robertson from going solo after Hugo Chavez.


The New York Times covers the tantrum Dennis Hastert and John Boehner are throwing over the FBI search of William Jefferson's office.

These dipshits have turned a blind eye toward torture, rendition, warrantless wiretaps of American's international calls and warrantless data mining of domestic calls only to get the red-ass when someone dares investigates Congressional corruption VIA A COURT-ISSUED, PROBABLE-CAUSE-SUPPORTED WARRANT.

Boehner - who used to hand out lobbyists' checks on the House Floor - is probably worried someone will want to peek to see if he simply moved his unethical practices into his office.

Nothing To See Here

From The Mail & Guardian:

Acts of violence have killed nearly 2,500 people [which only includes numbers from the Baghdad morgue] and forced more than 85,000 to flee their homes in Iraq, the United Nations assistance mission in Iraq said on Tuesday in a March-April report on the human rights situation.

Monday, May 22, 2006


Representative William Jefferson (Dem LA) has got some splainin' to do ... the feds claim they videotaped him taking $100K and that $90K of that was later found hidden in Jefferson's freezer. (Of course, the National media has front paged Jefferson's investigation even though it yawned at the Duke's investigation and the high-level convictions of Republicans in the New Hampshire vote suppression scheme).

While Jefferson was already on my roster, two more Republicans have now joined up.

Republican Kentucky Governor Ernie Fletcher has been INDICTED and ...

Representative Jerry Lewis (Rep CA) is under investigation.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Baghdad ER

This Sunday I'll be watching the HBO documentary Baghdad ER. It's an upclose view of wartime medicine in Iraq and, as it is real, it is graphic and heartbreaking.

ABC interviewed Paula Zwillinger, the mother of a soldierwho dies on the operating table in the film's emotional closing, about the film.

"I can only tell you I wanted to touch him, I wanted to reach out and touch him because you're really right there," Zwillinger told ABC News.

Painful as it is to watch, she calls the movie a blessing.

"To see him alive, moving, was wonderful," she says. "Having to come to terms with losing him and watching is something else, but literally it allowed me to be there with him in his final moments."

Uh Oh

Growing Concern Over Internet Addiction

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

My Lai, Iraq?

In the past, I've written about how the military time and again spins stories instead of being truthful with the American people about the costs of war.

Last November, more than a dozen Iraqi civilians were killed in an incident involving the U.S. military. First, we were told the civilians died as the result of an insurgent's IED. Turns out, however, witnesses were able to confirm the dead had bullet wounds.

Story No. 2 then became the civilians were killed in the crossfire during a battle with insurgents.

Rep. John Murtha is now stating a report of an investigation into the deaths will show there was no firefight and that the civilians were killed in cold blood by over-reacting soldiers.

Is it just a matter of "bad things happen in war" or is it that these type of things occur due to war mismanagement --- undertraining, overextended troops worn down by pressure, etc.?

UPDATE: MSNBC has just posted a late night report on this tragedy. “This one is ugly," one official told NBC News.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Condi's Mix Tape Sucks

E&P has the breakdown on Bono's request for Condi to provide her top ten music picks. Here's her picks:

1. Mozart
Piano Concerto in D minor
"I won my first piano competition at the age of 15, playing this work."

2. Cream
'Sunshine of Your Love'
"I love to work out to this song," says Rice. "Believe it or not, I loved acid rock in college - and I still do."

3. Aretha Franklin

4. Kool and the Gang
"It's just such a great song."

5. Brahms
Piano Concerto No 2

6 Brahms
Piano Quintet in F minor

7. U2
Rice, a big fan, is happy to listen to any of their tunes.

8. Elton John
'Rocket Man'
"It brings back memories of college, friends, my first boyfriend."

9. Beethoven
Symphony No 7
"Quite simply the greatest symphony of all time," is how Rice describes Beethoven's Seventh.

10. Mussorgsky
Boris Godunov

What's worse --- the pathetic suck-up pick of Anything by U2 or the tone-deaf pick of nauseating, wedding-fave "Celebration" by Kool & the Gang? Yet, Comedy Central would be well seved if it could get a hold of Condi working out to Cream.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Bush On Immigration: "I Got Nothing"

He hinted at amnesty but claims its not amnesty and wasn't really sure what all would be involved for somebody to obtain "not amnesty" anyway. He mentioned a guest worker program - something that already exists and will continue to exist - but took no solid position on expansion or retraction. He wants to replace "catch and release" with "catch, hold longer in some imaginary facilities and then release."

It really was a purely political spectacle where a bunch of words spilled out signifying nothing. Oh sure, his spinners will take those words and spin them one way to Latinos and another way to the Tancredoistas. But really this was nothing more than an effort to say nothing while creating some ability to claim credit for whatever happens in the future.

... okay, he did offer one substantive item - sending some 6,000 folks from the National Guard to patrol the border temporarily (ignoring the fact the cut the budget to prevent the hiring of some 2,000 additional border patrol officers this year). The National Guard deployed to the border will not engage in law enforcement, mind you, but will, I guess, point out immigrants as they passby. Apparently Bush wants to one up Bill Frist for blatant political pandering. But with Bush you simply get the idiotic idea whereas you would've got a hundy in your pocket with Frist's pawing.

So How Many Terrorist Operatives Has the NSA Domestic Spying Program Netted?

Via Liberal Oasis, here's what happened when Blitzer popped the question to Bill Frist:

BLITZER: Are you comfortable with this program?

FRIST: Absolutely. Absolutely. I am one of the people who are briefed --

BLITZER: You've known about this for years.

FRIST: I've known about the program. I am absolutely convinced that you, your family, our families are safer because of this particular program.

I absolutely know that it is legal.

The program itself is anonymous, in the sense that identifiers, in terms of protecting your privacy, are stripped off.

And, as you know, the program is voluntary, the participants in that program...

...the only way to connect [the] dots is to use 21st-century technology that protects your privacy, and that's exactly what this does.

No “I can’t confirm or deny” business from Frist. He confirms. He details. He likes.

So Blitzer then tried to ask the question again:

Can you tell the American people right now that over these past almost five years since the phone records have been collected ... has [the program] resulted in thwarting one terrorist attack in the United States?

Suddenly, Frist’s interest in confirming and detailing fades:

FRIST: You know, I am not going to comment on the program until the appropriate time.

There has not been even a confirmation of the USA Today program itself. I --

BLITZER: But have you been briefed on one success story?

FRIST: I can tell you I've been briefed in a classified way, and I can tell you that I am absolutely, 100 percent sure, confident that this has protected and saved lives in the United States of America.

BLITZER: But has there been one success story that you can point to?

FRIST: I just don't want to be pulled in --

BLITZER: Without specifics, just tell us that there has been a terrorist attack that was plotted and, as a result of collecting these phone calls, was thwarted.

FRIST: You know, in appropriate hearings and settings, this will come out.

But this is classified information about a classified program.

You know, the more we talk about these programs, the more we're giving our playbook to the terrorists...

Of course, Frist wasn’t “giving our playbook” away 30 seconds prior when he was happily describing the program.

Only when asked, “did you actually catch anybody,” did answering become so fraught with danger.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Your Fair & Balanced Media At Work

The Washington Post covers the Minuteman rally in D.C. and, in doing so, gives free space in its paper and on the MSNBC website (top bullet point when I looked) to the rants and raves of whackjob Jim Gilchrist.

The turnout at the rally ---

"about 150 people"

Shit, I've thrown parties to which more than 150 people came. And what's with the "about" 150. The Washington Post's crack staff couldn't muster an actual count and had to estimate. Jeebus, there was probably 131 and the Post wanted to give the fuckers the benefit of the doubt.

Is there any conservative cause, argument, spin, etc. for which the Washington Post won't put on the kneepads?

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Click ... Click ... BOOM!!!


... and rumor has it that Fitzy's grand jury is set to meet tomorrow.

Stright Shooter Gonzalez

TPMmuckraker gives us this interesting piece of testimony from the ever duplicitous Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez:

NADLER: Number two, can you assure us that there is no warrantless surveillance of calls between two Americans within the United States?

GONZALES: That is not what the president has authorized.

NADLER: Can you assure us that it's not being done?

GONZALES: As I indicated in response to an earlier question, no technology is perfect.


GONZALES: We do have minimization procedures in place...

NADLER: But you're not doing that deliberately?

GONZALES: That is correct.

Nerd News: PS3 With Blu-Ray?

Sony made its big announcement just before the start of E3 this week --- Sony's latest incarnation of its video game console, the PLaystation 3, will be released in the U.S. on November 17th, just in time for Holiday shopping. Additionally, Sony announced it will come in two incarnations --- a version with a 20 gigabyte drive for $499 and a second version with 60 gigs for $599.

Reaction was mixed --- August Pollack, one of the left's best cartoonists and commenters, expressed surprise at hearing of a game console selling for $600. Yet, he overlooks the fact that the PS3 has been advertised as being much more than just a game console. It provides a digital music center than can be plugged directly into your home entertainment set up (see ya, cds) and, most important to the high tech geek, its supposed to include a blu-ray DVD player (this is Sony's version of high definition dvd --- a technology that will blow away the current DVD format in terms of clatirty).

Upon release as a stand-alone, a blu-ray dvd player is expected to cost in the neighborhood of $1,000 and, with a game console comparable to an Xbox 360 that goes for $400, a PS3 for $600 actually comes off sound like a bargain.

But as I previously, and correctly, doubted Sony's prior assertions of a Spring release for the PS3, I was skeptical that Sony could actually pull off all that it is now promising.

Lo and behold, the BBC has an update in which Sony is already doing some backstepping:

Sony announced the launch date and price for the PS3 at a big news presentation at its studios in Culver City in Los Angeles.

At the time it only talked about the difference in the size of the hard drives. The basic model has a 20GB drive, while the model costing $599/599 euros comes with a 60GB one.

Only later, after detailed press releases were distributed, did it become apparent that there were other key differences.

The lower end model lacks wi-fi, a slot for memory cards and, in particular, a port to hook up a HDMI lead for high-definition programmes.

The decision to offer a model without HDMI has raised concerns about the high-definition compatibility of the PS3.

Mr Harrison shrugged off these fears, insisting that the both models would offer full HD output.

My guess is that the PS3 will launch on November 17th but that the blu-ray player will not be included but available as an add-on.

The Latest Travesty

I'm not referring to Bush's domestic spying shenanigans just yet.

Just wonderin' how this guy got prematurely booted off of American Idol?

I, of course, don't watch the show ... but people who do told me this guy should've easily made it out of the latest round.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

A Man of Conviction

Sounds like Tommy Noe is about to cop a guilty plea.

The Republicans' Three-Monkeys Solution for Iraqi Reconstruction Corruption

The Carpetbagger has the breakdown on the latest pro-corruption Republican stunt.

To avoid corruption charges from popping up regarding the massive new reconstruction funding, the Republican's in Congress (apparently at the White House's behest) have shifted oversight from an aggressive auditor to a branch that will not and, indeed, could not provide sufficient oversight.

See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil.

Problem solved ... and just when you didn't think the Republicans could make your jaw drop lower.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Keep Your Fingers Crossed

Only three more days until the filing deadline for Republicans who want to run for the U.S. Senate seat in Florida.

So far only one major Republican candidate has filed ...

Please don't cheat us out of the comedy gold that will be this whackjob's kamikazee run for the Senate.

The Political Culture of Corruption Roster


Gov. Ernie Fletcher
Rep. Tom Delay
Rep. Duke Cunningham - CONVICTED
Gov. John Rowland - CONVICTED
Gov. George Ryan - CONVICTED
James Tobin - CONVICTED
David Safavian (White House)
Jack Abramoff - CONVICTED
Scooter Libby (White House)
Tommy Noe
Michael Scanlon - CONVICTED
Claude Allen (White House)
John Colyandro
Jim Ellis
Shaun Hansen
Adam Kidan - CONVICTED
Allen Raymond - CONVICTED
Warren RoBold
Mitchell Wade - CONVICTED

Rep. Jerry Lewis
Sen. Conrad Burns
Rep. Bob Ney
Gov. Bob Taft
Karl Rove (White House)
Dusty Foggo
Nine Fingers
Ed Buckham
Brent Wilkes


Brent Pfeffer - CONVICTED

William Jefferson

UPDATED 5/22/06: To add Fletcher and Lewis ... and George Ryan, too.

UPDATED 5/23/06: I received an angry phone call from John Rowland who apparently was upset that he had been left out. Jeebus ... how easy it is to get lost among the muck & the mire.

Bush's Housing Secretary Affirms Use of Political Patronage

Think Progress has the break down on HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson openly admitting that a government contract was denied to a business because its CEO admitted to not liking President Bush.

While we've known that the Bush Administration has opened the public coffers to Republican campaign supporters, it still is striking to see the practice admitted to in such a bold fashion.

Of course, the obvious results of awarding government contracts based on political identity as opposed to competence has been borne out by CusterBattles with regard to Iraq and with overpriced & unused beds and ice deliveries to New England with regard to Hurricane Katrina.

Monday, May 08, 2006

8,000 Soldiers With Traumatic Brain Injury

The military has not made data documenting the number of wounded soldiers coming home from Iraq readily available.

Rolling Stone, one of the remaining outlets of true investigative journalism, did a heartwrenching story on one courageous soldier who took a deflected bullet through his skull into his brain thereby suffering a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Not only was a large amount of brain tissue destroyed but, from the wound and subsequent operation, he lost approximately one-third of his skull.

Rolling Stone asked the question about the number of soldiers returning from Iraq with a TBI and got an official and shocking answer - 8,000 with additional "thousands" coming home with Post Concussion Syndrome. The cost of treating and supporting these soldiers - people who've made a great sacrifice doing what was asked of them by their country - will undoubtedly be enormous. More important is the human costs in terms of pain and emotional stress these permanently injured soldiers and their families will bear.

Sgt. Scott Thorne, the soldier in the story, is a man who defies death and who courageously battles his severe injury all the while with the noble yet impossible notion of rejoining his team. Thorne was team leader of highly trained recon scouts who were being used outside of their intended purpose - though apparently due to necessity - for police work in Mosul. One must wonder about the secondary cost we as a country incur when we lose the benefit of having such a highly skilled and motivated soldier. It can't be easy to replace a soldier like Sgt. Thorne and I wonder if the war in Iraq is decreasing our to perform recon and other highly specialized military functions in situations much more critical to fighting terrorists than policing Mosul was.

Failed Ideologies - Communism & Conservatism

As the Republican control of the federal government continues its spiral down the toilet, the latest ass-saving tactic of conservatives appears to be to claim that Bush is not a conservative.

This is just like the communists, who upon the collapse of the Soviet Union and its Eastern European satellites, claimed the fault was not of communism but of those who misapplied it.

The Bush Presidency and the Republican controlled Congress are the pragmatic application of conservatism. Left unchecked, conservatism destroys itself through corruption, foreign policy arrogance and overreaching and domestic policy cronyism and callousness.

The only question left is what moment will be remembered as Conservatism's Berlin Wall?



Sunday, May 07, 2006

The Two Americas: The Rich and the Rest

Jared Bernstein in the LA Times gives us a great, albeit cheeky, take on the economic reality of the Two Americas. GDP up, real wages for the working folk down.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Meet the New Saddams - The Ayatollah Sistani Version

The Independent gives us the story of the killing by Iraqi Police of a 14 year old "for being homosexual."

Human rights groups are particularly concerned that the Sadr and Badr militias, both Shia, have stepped up their attacks on the gay community after a string of religious rulings, since the US-led invasion, calling for the eradication of homosexuals.

Grand Ayatollah Sistani recently issued a fatwa on his website calling for the execution of gays in the "worst, most severe way".

What a sick SOB ... and remember, this is the guy we've been hailing for helping bring a government of "national unity" to Iraq. I guess freedom, minority rights or even human rights just aren't his forte.

Special Treatment for Patrick Kennedy

From the reports I've read, there can be little doubt that Patrick Kennedy got special treatment by not being subjected to a field sobriety test immediately at the scene of his accident.

Will the right ever acknowledge the special treatment Dick Cheney got after he shot a guy in the face?

Special treatment has less to do with party affiliation and more to do with wealth and power.

Uh Oh

Bombshell ... Porter Goss has just resigned as CIA Chief.

Now the fun begins ... what got him? His incompetence? His cronyism? Pushback from his attempted purge? Watergate shenanigans? A mix? Something else?

Humane Immigration

Given the feisty comments evoked by my post celebrating the pro-immigrant demonstrations, I've decided to write a lil more on the issue.

Immigration from Mexico has been a politically contentious issue for, at least 30 years (it now also includes greater immigration from Central and South America). An unacknowledged compromise of political convenience has set in and has existed for more than a decade. Politicians would pound their chests about being against illegal immigration as well as restricting large-scale legal immigration while at the same time they underfunded border enforcement and have looked the other way when it came to the massive use of undocumented workers by American businesses. Indeed, in 2004 under Bush, in a dramatic decrease from past lax enforcement, only 3 employers were served with notices of intent to fine.

The obvious result is a wave of immigrants making the dangerous crossing over the Mexico-U.S. border to obtain the better paying jobs being provided in the U.S.

Opponents to this wave of imigration argue that it is causing those of us already here adverse economic impacts. But there does not appear to be a good argument that this wave of Mexican and Central American immigration is causing economic damage to the American worker. In my view, the other burdens on society - emergency room visits, the increased expense to our criminal justice system to deal with immigrants who commit crimes, etc. - are outweighed by the daily benefits we receive from these immigrants - loving and cost-effective day care for our children, a hard-working labor force that creates more affordable products and sevices, people willing to take on the risks of hazardous military service, etc.

We are a nation of immigrants that is a beacon to the world because of the opportunity we have provided to peoples of all races and nationalities. In my view, the Latino immigrants who have come to this country over the last few decades have added greatly to our cultural vibrancy as well as our economy. I believe legal immigration has been unduly and unfairly restricted to this wave of immigration and, because of that, I believe there needs to be a broad amnesty program for many of those immigrants who came here illegally but who have been productive members of this society. Additionally, I support reform that expends upon the guest worker programs already in place and that provide for a realistic path to citizenship for those who come here and contribute to our economy and society.

The fears that Mexican immigration would collapse our society have been voiced for decades and have not been borne out. It is time to recognize the great contributions that have been made by the Latino immigration and to provide a more humane immigration policy.

Faith-Based Blogging Friday

Thanks to Alicia for the divine inspiration.

Here's my entry:

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Bush Was For Anthem In Spanish Before He Was Against It

Too funny.

Bush apparently has sung the Star Spangled Banner it in Spanish himself when courting the Latino vote.

Not to be deterred by the fact that the whole thing is really just a silly issue unbefitting of comment by the President, Bush is now telling us the anthem "ought to be sung in English."

With his numbers in the dumps, Bush apparently feels he needs to work on building the support of his xenophobe base and can afford to throw the Latinos from the bus. Maybe the xenophobes are the last barrier to impeachment.

Monday, May 01, 2006

A Big Up ...

to all my brothers and sisters that participated in the nationwide demonstrations today.

I am fortunate to work in a big city and got to witness one of the large marches. American flags were everywhere. Loud chants of "USA, USA" would erupt from the peaceful and joyous protesters.

Hopefully this will be the death knell for the Republicans' punitive attempts at immigration reform.

Stephen Colbert: Truthiness Shall Set You Free

Here are a couple of my favorites from Stephen Colbert's appearance at the National Press Corps dinner with Bush present:

Over the last five years you people were so good over tax cuts, W.M.D. intelligence, the affect of global warming. We Americans didn’t want to know, and you had the courtesy not to try to find out. Those were good times, as far as we knew.

But, listen, let’s review the rules. Here’s how it works. The President makes decisions, he’s the decider. The Press Secretary announces those decisions, and you people of the press type those decisions down. Make, announce, type. Put them through a spell check and go home. Get to know your family again. Make love to your wife. Write that novel you got kicking around in your head. You know, the one about the intrepid Washington reporter with the courage to stand up to the administration. You know, fiction.


Mrs. Smith, ladies and gentlemen of the press corps, Mr. President and first lady, my name is Stephen Colbert and it's my privilege tonight to celebrate our president. He's not so different, he and I. We get it. We're not brainiacs on the nerd patrol. We're not members of the factinista. We go straight from the gut, right sir? That's where the truth lies, right down here in the gut. Do you know you have more nerve endings in your gut than you have in your head? You can look it up. I know some of you are going to say I did look it up, and that's not true. That's right, but you looked it up in a book.

Next time, look it up in your gut. I did. My gut tells me that's how our nervous system works. Every night on my show, the Colbert Report, I speak straight from the gut, OK? I give people the truth, unfiltered by rational argument. I call it the "No Fact Zone." Fox News, I own the copyright on that term.

CONFIRMED! Bush Gave Zarqawi A Pass

I have posted previously about how Bush failed to take down Zarqawi before the war when he had the chance and again about his use of Zarqawi for PR purposes.

Now, Michael Scheuer, former head of the CIA's Bin Laden Unit, confirms that Bush passed up the opportunity to take out Zarqawi. Scheuer suggests it was because Bush didn't want to offend the French.

Scheuer is, however, giving the spin he unbdoubtedly heard about Bush's reason not to take out Zarqawi a little too much credence. We were already bombing in Iraq and were doing everything to smear the French publicly for not giving U.S. war plans a blank check. Why would the French give a shit about us blasting Zarqawi? The French were, in fact, very active in assisting us against Al Qaeda and related terrorists. Moreover, are we really to believe that Bush actually was so intent on appeasing the French that he let a known and dangerous terrorist who was openly sympathetic to Al Qaeda have a free pass to kill again?

I still believe the decision had everything to do with allowing the Bushies to continue making the highly misleading but technically accurate argument that Al Qaeda sympathizing terrorists were present in Iraq so as to justify the coming invaision. You simply have to remember how the rightwing blogosphere so fervently bought into this argument and continued to pimp it as a justification for war well after the initial invaision.