Saturday, May 31, 2008

McCain: Bush's Third Term

With even more confusion and propaganda!

Frank Rich points out that McClellan's book has brought the Iraq war front and center. McCain is in a difficult spot:
Now Mr. McCain is chastising Mr. Obama for not having visited Iraq since 2006 — a questionable strategy, you’d think, given that Mr. McCain’s own propagandistic visit to a “safe” Baghdad market is one of his biggest embarrassments. Then again, in his frantic efforts to explain why he sided with Mr. Bush to oppose an expanded G.I. bill that the Senate passed by 75 to 22, Mr. McCain has attacked Mr. Obama for not enlisting in the military.

Besides making Mr. McCain look ever angrier next to his serene opponent, this eruption raises the question of why he chose double-standard partisanship over principle by not applying this criterion to the blunderers who took us into Iraq. Unlike Mr. Obama, who was 7 years old in 1968, Mr. Bush and company could have served in Vietnam as Mr. McCain did.

The McCain campaign may have no choice but to double down on Iraq — what other issue does the candidate have? — but it can’t count on smear tactics or journalistic and public amnesia to indefinitely enforce the McCain narrative. As the McClellan circus shows, unexpected bombshells will keeping intervening — detonating not only on the ground in Iraq but also in Washington, where more Bush alumni with reputations to salvage may yet run for cover about what went down in 2002-3.

What happened and then..

What actually happened.

Did you in the media think we didn't notice what you were doing?

Did you think we were impressed by your embarrassingly softball questions to anyone in the Bush administration when we knew what questions real reporters would ask; what we desperately wanted you to ask? Did you think we would forget what real journalists and real news looked like when we watched you become simple stenographers? Did you realize how many readers, watchers, customers turned their backs on your obedient spewing of the daily White House talking points and found real news on the internet?

We did notice. From the beginning. From the very start, the stench of catapulted propaganda made the media reek. We could see it, smell it.

Did you think we were stupid? Did you think we wouldn't mind being shoved off the air, mocked off the newspapers, scorned in the public square and literally told to shut up for daring to even question the motives of the Bush administration? Did you really think you could make your own irresistible reality and we would buy into it?

We didn't. Not once.

We could see all the wires, red herrings, curtains with small egos behind them. We could hear every subtle shift in the explanations, reasons, and increasingly bizarre excuses. We could hear every tone, vowel emphasis, verb choice. It exposed all your actions, intentions, projections. We knew you were lying.

We know this has been going on for a long time, but right now we're addressing George Bush's two horribly long terms of office. Where countries fell because of your unquestioning support of the worst administration ever. Where people were tortured, families separated, soldiers died because you decided to buy into what Bush was selling. Where land was poisoned, allies insulted, treaties broken because you asked no questions but assured us this was okay. Where people drowned, species were lost, toxic toys were played with as you assured us this was the way to do business.

You may be just waking up from the delirious fog that was piped into Bush's bubble, but we've been watching from the outside. You might want to tell us you didn't know, you weren't in the loop, you weren't there, but we know you were. You lied to us.

That's what happened.

And we won't forget.

crossposted at American Street

Driving the Straight Talk Express right into a wall

Via Mustang Bobby at Bark Bark Woof Woof:



McCain: Bush's Third Term.

South Korea doesn't want our beef...

I wonder why that is?:
SEOUL, South Korea - Tens of thousands of South Koreans rallied Saturday night against a government decision to import U.S. beef in the largest demonstration in a month of almost daily protests.

A crowd estimated by police at 38,000 people filled a plaza in front of city hall. Protesters lit candles, waved placards and chanted slogans criticizing President Lee Myung-bak.

South Korea agreed in April to reopen what was formerly the third-largest overseas market for U.S. beef. It had been shut for most of the past 4 1/2 years following the first U.S. case of mad cow disease in a Canadian-born cow in Washington state in 2003.

That deal, coupled with some sensational media reports, sparked fears of mad cow disease and triggered protests calling for scrapping or renegotiating the agreement.
Oh, c'mon! Our beef is totally safe! Totally! Tot.. ah ...
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Bush administration on Friday urged a federal appeals court to stop meatpackers from testing all their animals for mad cow disease, but a skeptical judge questioned whether the government has that authority.
Ah... hmm: (my bold)
TUESDAY May 13, 2008 (foodconsumer.org) -- The Bush administration on Friday asked a federal appeals court to stop meatpackers from testing all their animals for mad cow disease, USA Today reports.

A low court ruled early that Kansas-based Creekstone Farms Premium Beef can conduct mad cow disease testing in all animals. The company pursues the testing to meet the demand from foreign markets like Japan, which requires the testing for every domestic cow.

But the United States Department of Agriculture strongly opposed such a testing saying meatpackers have no right to such a testing. And it also said such a testing would undermine consumers’ confidence in domestic beef safety.

Creekstone Farms sued the government and won the first round in a low court.

In May 2007, Consumer Unions wrote to the USDA asking the agency not to appeal the March 29, 2007 low court ruling. Regardless, the government appealed to a federal appeals court to block the low court’s ruling that allows the meatpacker to conduct the test.

In the United States, less than 1 % of slaughtered cows are tested for mad cow disease under the USDA guidelines, according to USA Today. USDA argued that widespread testing does not guarantee food safety and could cause false positive results that scare consumers.
HhhhooooOOokaaayyy... my confidence is a bit shaken but maybe there's not that many mad cows out there. There shouldn't be any other concerns, right?: (my bold)
Milk and meat from cloned cows could hit grocery shelves in a few years if the FDA approves the process soon, as is expected.

But would the products be safe? Scientists and consumer advocates disagree on the answer.

The Food and Drug Administration has been wrestling for more than five years with the question of whether or not to allow the use of milk or meat from cloned cows, swine and sheep, with a voluntary ban on such products in place for now. Cloning companies and many scientists say the products are safe to eat, while consumer advocacy groups argue there are unaddressed concerns.

Several researchers told LiveScience that the FDA approval is inevitable. The Wall Street Journal reported last week that it could come as soon as this week.

But milk and meat from cloned animals is unlikely to hit grocery store shelves for a few years. Clones must grow up before products from them can be used. And since creating them is expensive, they will likely be used for breeding, not for direct consumption, experts say.

Cloning concerns

Reports of abnormalities, higher disease susceptibility and early deaths of clones have prompted many of the concerns about using their milk and meat. (Dolly, the sheep that was the first animal cloned by this process, was euthanized at the early age of six, though scientists at the institute that created her stated the disease she was suffering from was unrelated to her being a clone.)
Riot, South Koreans!! Go! Go!

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crossposted at American Street

Friday, May 30, 2008

Proving that terrorism lurks within our very suburbs

Red alert!!

The Catrrel! ...hmmm... can't be the sqrat because that's a cross between a squirrel and a rat..... uh .. the Squircat!

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Man the hoses, and guard the apricot tree!

One more that I will have to beat to death

When it shows up on my doorstep...

Via wtfwjd? at the Tower of Dabble:



Update: Took a bit to find, but I had to repost this video:

They are really getting desperate

And have proceeded to make complete morons of themselves:
Okay, so we have supposedly learned that it was Obama's Great Uncle that liberated a sub-section of Buchenwald, not an uncle at Auschwitz. But if sources are correct and unless there’s some arcane military history in his favor, Obama still has a problem.
Dear god. I betcha Obama doesn't know what his Great Uncle's sister's second child's name was either. This can be only good news for McCain's campaign!

D. Aristophanes of Sadly, No!
also notes the resulting Best Bitch Slap EVAR.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Why was it obvious to everyone else but you?

Poor faithful Scottie:
"'The media won't let go of these ridiculous cocaine rumors,' I heard Bush say. 'You know, the truth is I honestly don't remember whether I tried it or not. We had some pretty wild parties back in the day, and I just don't remember.'"
Let's break it to him gently:

Think pretzels and convenient biking accidents:

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Think vacations:

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Think the confusion of world leaders as they look at Bush:

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Or don't look at him:

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Think about the lack of appreciation for education because of the wild partying that went on:

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The inability to make sense:

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I think it's been pretty obvious:

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crossposted at SteveAudio

Notice the key word

ELECTED.
TEHRAN: A rival to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was elected by an overwhelming majority as speaker of the Iranian Parliament on Wednesday, a strong signal of growing impatience with the president's economic policies and a possible sign of a political shift in the country.
Hey, Georgie! Look at this, a democracy! And this is the one country in the region you want to nuke?

What the hell are they asking us to eat?

Our food products are being poisoned.

The USDA wants to cut pesticide reporting:
A coalition of U.S. public interest groups including Pesticide Action Network, Center for Food Safety, Natural Resources Defense Committee (NRDC), Union of Concerned Scientists, and The Organic Center are protesting budget cuts that will kill the collection and public reporting of pesticide use by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), according to the Associated Press. In a letter to USDA Secretary Ed Schafer, 45 public interest groups argued that the NASS’s Agricultural Chemical Usage reports are the only reliable, publicly available source of data on pesticide and fertilizer use outside of California. According to NRDC's Jennifer Sass, "eliminating the program will severely hamper efforts of the USDA, the EPA, and state officials to perform risk assessments and make informed decisions on pesticide use." PAN's Science Department Director Brian Hill commented: "Allowing growers and applicators to use highly toxic pesticides without a comprehensive, national reporting structure is as dumb as flying in a storm without instruments." NASS, a program that has published pesticide use data since 1991, has been dramatically scaled back by the Bush administration. First, the agency’s annual surveys were cut to biennial reviews. In 2007, data collection was reduced to just three crops—cotton, apples and organic apples. Now, NASS has announced it will not collect agrichemical use data on any crops during the 2008 growing season.
Monsanto wants to patent living genetic material that you are going to eat.

And hidden away in a report about rising food prices is this stunner of a sentence: (my bold)
Record prices for farm crops should gradually come down, but they will remain substantially higher than average over the next decade because of fundamental changes in demand, according to a report released Thursday by the United Nations and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

[snip]

The report also encouraged countries that have balked at allowing genetically modified crops to reconsider their use as a way to improve yields.
Um... has anyone been reading the news? Genetically modified crops do not give you more yield. In fact, the crops produce LESS.

Buy locally. Grow your own.

It's only money

Halliburton rakes in the dough:
Economists are forecasting a recession, U.S. company profits in almost all sectors are taking a hit, and many American families cannot say they are better off than they were eight years ago. But one giant oil services company is weathering the economic storm quite well. Reuters reports Halliburton “said on Monday that first-quarter profit rose 6 percent as customers in markets including the Middle East and Asia spent more on oil and gas exploration and production”:

In North America, Halliburton’s revenue rose 11 percent to $1.86 billion while operating income was nearly flat at $491 million.

Halliburton said revenue outside North America soared 24 percent to $2.16 billion, while operating income rose 21 percent to $422 million.
Tengrain of Mock, Paper, Scissors shows us an insolvency graph:

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and details Georgie's Grand Adventure with our economy.

Steven Pearlstein of the Washington Post:

Energy and food prices are soaring. The housing market continues to collapse. Government revenue is falling, and taxes are rising. Airlines are jacking up fares and fees while reducing service. Banks are pulling credit lines. Auto companies are cutting production once again. Even investment bankers are losing their jobs.

The tendency is to see these as separate developments, each with its own causes and dynamic. Fundamentally, however, they are all part of the same story -- the story of the global economy purging itself of large and unsustainable imbalances that for a time allowed many Americans to think they were richer than they really were.



A fascinating photo album of business offices that have gone bankrupt, life interrupted, shot by photographer Phillip Toledano:

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Shut up and die

Admiral Mullins tells the soldiers fighting for freedom to shut up:
He told the troops to keep quiet in voicing their opinions when it comes to the presidential race:
The highest-ranking U.S. military officer has written an unusual open letter to all those in uniform, warning them to stay out of politics as the United States approaches a presidential election in which the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will be a central, and certainly divisive, issue.

“Keeping our politics private is a good first step,” he added. “The only things we should be wearing on our sleeves are our military insignia.”

Mullen said he was inspired to write the essay after receiving a constant stream of legitimate, if troubling, questions while visiting U.S. military personnel around the world, including, “What if a Democrat wins?” and, “What will that do to the mission in Iraq?”

Gee. What will happen to the glorious Mother of all Quagmires if a Democrat wins?

Update: Bryan of Why Now? puts me straight:
This isn't a change; this is what should have been happening. When you are identifiable as a serving member of the US military, you are not allowed to engage in any political activity. The rule goes back to the Civil War.

The Hedgemony has been enforcing the rule selectively against anyone who disagrees with them, but it applies to partisans of either side.

No one who worked for me ever knew who I voted for in elections when I was serving. There are no campaign signs on military bases.

This shouldn't be happening, and Mullen knows it, and is concerned about it. Politics and religion have no place in the military. Do what you want off-base, off-duty, and out of uniform, but not when you are identified as a member of the military.
My question: So will Georgie stop using the soldiers as a backdrop to his speeches? And when will Petraeus get yanked off the national stage?

Update 5/31: Think Progress says McCain agrees it is wrong to be using a picture of Petraeus for fundraising:
On Memorial Day, Joint Chiefs Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen published a letter to uniformed soldiers warning that “the U.S. military must remain apolitical at all times.” Just three days later, however, Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) presidential campaign sent out a fundraising appeal featuring a picture of McCain with Gen. David Petraeus. McCain spokesman Brian Rogers told ABC News’s Jake Tapper that “the image of Petraeus is not at all contrary to the spirit of Mullen’s directive.” But in a press conference today, McCain himself admitted that it was inappropriate, saying “it won’t happen again.”

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Mars

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Via Bryan of Why Now?, the BBC news:
A Nasa spacecraft has sent back historic first pictures of an unexplored region of Mars.

The Mars Phoenix lander touched down in the far north of the Red Planet, after a 680 million-km (423 million-mile) journey from Earth.

The probe is equipped with a robotic arm to dig for water-ice thought to be buried beneath the surface.

It will begin examining the site for evidence of the building blocks of life in the next few days.


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Before you have that mammoth garage sale...

Make sure you go through all the boxes:

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LONDON (AFP) - An ancient gold cup mysteriously acquired by an English scrap metal dealer is expected to fetch close to a million dollars at auction after languishing for years in a shoe box under its current owner's bed.

Owner John Webber says his grandfather gave him the 5.5-inch (14-centimetre) high mug to play with when he was a child, back in 1945.

He assumed the golden cup, which is decorated with the heads of two women facing in opposite directions, their foreheads garlanded with two knotted snakes, was made from brass.

But he decided to get it valued when he was moving house last year and was told it was actually a rare piece of ancient Persian treasure, beaten out of a single sheet of gold hundreds of years before the birth of Jesus Christ.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Who takes care of the jailed immigrants' children?

Born in America, they are Americans. They are often separated from nursing mothers, left wandering the streets, stuck at daycare, abandoned to strangers, lost in the Child Services system.

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WATERLOO, Iowa — In temporary courtrooms at a fairgrounds here, 270 illegal immigrants were sentenced this week to five months in prison for working at a meatpacking plant with false documents.

The prosecutions, which ended Friday, signal a sharp escalation in the Bush administration’s crackdown on illegal workers, with prosecutors bringing tough federal criminal charges against most of the immigrants arrested in a May 12 raid. Until now, unauthorized workers have generally been detained by immigration officials for civil violations and rapidly deported.

The convicted immigrants were among 389 workers detained at the Agriprocessors Inc. plant in nearby Postville in a raid that federal officials called the largest criminal enforcement operation ever carried out by immigration authorities at a workplace.

Matt M. Dummermuth, the United States attorney for northern Iowa, who oversaw the prosecutions, called the operation an “astonishing success.”

Oh, good for you, Mr. Dummermuth. The article continues: (my bold)

The unusually swift proceedings, in which 297 immigrants pleaded guilty and were sentenced in four days, were criticized by criminal defense lawyers, who warned of violations of due process. Twenty-seven immigrants received probation. The American Immigration Lawyers Association protested that the workers had been denied meetings with immigration lawyers and that their claims under immigration law had been swept aside in unusual and speedy plea agreements.

The illegal immigrants, most from Guatemala, filed into the courtrooms in groups of 10, their hands and feet shackled. One by one, they entered guilty pleas through a Spanish interpreter, admitting they had taken jobs using fraudulent Social Security cards or immigration documents. Moments later, they moved to another courtroom for sentencing.

The pleas were part of a deal worked out with prosecutors to avoid even more serious charges. Most immigrants agreed to immediate deportation after they serve five months in prison.

Why is there such frantic haste? Why are they pushing these raids just before a presidential election? ... oh.

Remember what has happened to other immigrants who were swept up into the private prison system

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(which is doing a very nice business at the moment), do we know what is happening to them? Do they have access to their families?

The article points out the evilness of these aliens:
All but a handful of the workers here had no criminal record, court documents showed.
And clearly, the businesses who hired these evil illegal aliens have been jailed or at least fined, right? The article continues:

No charges have been brought against managers or owners at Agriprocessors, but there were indications that prosecutors were also preparing a case against the company. In pleading guilty, immigrants had to agree to cooperate with any investigation.

Chaim Abrahams, a representative of Agriprocessors, said in a statement that he could not comment about specific accusations but that the company was cooperating with the government.

Ah. The corporations actually are pissed because lack of exploitable workers raises prices. They've even tried treating workers from India as they do the Mexicans, but it didn't go very well.

Note this amazingly unacknowledged fact:
"In 2001, the Social Security Administration concluded that undocumented immigrants "account for a major portion of the billions of dollars paid into social security that don’t match SSA records," which payees, many of whom are undocumented immigrants, can never draw upon. As of July 2003, these payments totaled $421 billion."
How about we spend the money intended for the border wall to start businesses in Mexico and Guatemala so these desperate families stay home?

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Making these undocumented workers the scapegoat for our economic ills has been a traditional ploy in our political theater. It also brings out the truly ugly part of our society.

Is this the America we want to be?

crossposted at SteveAudio

Now I will kill you until you die from it!

We have the capacity to blow ourselves out of orbit and into the sun....

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LONDON (Reuters) - Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter has said Israel holds at least 150 nuclear weapons, the first time a U.S. president has publicly acknowledged the Jewish state's atomic arsenal.

Asked at a news conference at Wales's Hay literary festival on Sunday how a future U.S. president should deal with the Iranian nuclear threat, Carter put the risk in context by listing atomic weapons held globally.

"The U.S. has more than 12,000 nuclear weapons, the Soviet Union (Russia) has about the same, Great Britain and France have several hundred, and Israel has 150 or more. We have a phalanx of enormous weaponry ... not only of enormous weaponry but of rockets to deliver those missiles on a pinpoint accuracy target," he said, according to a transcript of his remarks.

While the existence of Israeli nuclear weapons is widely assumed, Israeli officials have never admitted their existence and U.S. officials have stuck to that line in public for years.

The Nobel Peace Prize winner said Washington should talk directly to Tehran to persuade it to drop its nuclear ambitions.

Years of U.S. policy, including sanctions and a debate about the possibility of military strikes, have not persuaded Iran to abandon its ambitions to produce enriched uranium.

President George W. Bush has branded calls for negotiations with Iran's president as comparable to the appeasement of Adolf Hitler before World War Two.

Carter was president from 1977 to 1981. During that time, he helped negotiate a peace treaty between Israel and Egypt and concluded a strategic arms agreement with the Soviet Union.

More:
In an article published Monday in the Times, Carter said Israel's cache of 150 nuclear weapons proves Teheran couldn't develop a nuclear arsenal secretly and therefore the international community should open dialogue with the Islamic Republic to dissuade them from developing nuclear weapons.

Carter's assessment of Israel's nuclear capabilities has not been confirmed by Israeli government officials nor other heads of state. It's highly unusual and some here in Israel believe it is inappropriate for a former U.S. president to speculate about Israel's nuclear capabilities.

"We need to talk to Iran now and continue our discussions with Iran to let Iran know the benefits and the detrimental side of continuing their nuclear program," Carter said.

Remember this?:
Night Watch: RIYADH - It seems Washington used the recent visit to West Asia (Middle East) by Vice-President Dick Cheney to alert the House of Saud the U. S. has completed preparations for a missile-air attack on Iran's nuclear facilities in April. PressTV reports the Saudi paper Okaz mentioned a meeting of the Saudi Shura Council after the Vice-President's visit in which the council approved preparations to counter "radioactive fallout" due to a U. S. attack on Iran. There has also been a recent deployment of a U. S. nuclear submarine in the Persian Gulf. That is why I suspect the real reason for the current three day visit by U. S. Secretary of State Dr. Condoleezza Rice to Israel is not to discuss the removal of road blocks in the West Bank but to alert Jerusalem.
And earlier I quoted from Chris Floyd's article:
I. One Tick Closer to Midnight

Last Friday, Dick Cheney was in Saudi Arabia for high-level meetings with the Saudi king and his ministers. On Saturday, it was revealed that the Saudi Shura Council -- the elite group that implements the decisions of the autocratic inner circle -- is preparing "national plans to deal with any sudden nuclear and radioactive hazards that may affect the kingdom following experts' warnings of possible attacks on Iran's Bushehr nuclear reactors," one of the kingdom's leading newspapers, Okaz, reports. The German-based dpa news service relayed the paper's story.

Simple prudence -- or ominous timing? We noted here last week that an American attack on Iran was far more likely -- and more imminent -- than most people suspect. We pointed to the mountain of evidence for this case gathered by scholar William R. Polk, one of the top aides to John Kennedy during the Cuban Missile Crisis, and to other indicators of impending war. The story by Okaz -- which would not have appeared in the tightly controlled dictatorship without approval from the top -- is yet another, very weighty piece of evidence laid in the scales toward a new, horrendous conflict.

We don't know what the Saudis told Cheney in private -- or even more to the point, what he told them. But the release of this story now, just after his departure, would seem to be a clear indication that the Saudis have good reason to fear a looming attack on Iran's nuclear sites and are actively preparing for it.
So, has Carter thrown a wrench into the neocon agenda of nuking Iran by admitting to the world Israel has such weapons? Has he helped prevent Iran, Syria, or Saudi Arabia from attacking Israel?

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Just what is wrong with John McCain's health?

That he pulls a 'now you see it, now you don't' Rovian style stunt? The man is 72 years old, for god's sakes! There will be things clearly going wrong with him and all this stupidity does is focus even more closely on him: (my bold)

After a long delay, John McCain finally allowed a hand-picked group of journalists very limited access to a small portion of his medical records. The campaign is spinning the event as a release, but it's no such thing. McCain hosting a game of telephone and congratulating himself for transparency.

The LA Times got the real story behind the so-called release: all the strings attached. Campaign staffers told the paper that the chosen reporters would be given only three hours to view about 400 pages of documents from 2000 to 2008. They wouldn't even allowed to make photocopies for their own reference, or to show to experts.

Curiously, this year's crop of journalists were not given access to the records that McCain released to an equally select group during his last presidential bid. The last batch of records covered McCain's lifetime medical history through 1999.

The favored news outlets are the Washington Post, the Arizona Republic, Bloomberg, Reuters, and the Associated Press. All other media will have to make due with a pool report generated by the elect, a 90-minute conference call with McCain's doctors and campaign-produced summaries to be posted online.

McCain let a group of hand picked lay-people view an incomplete set of medical records for a ridiculously short period of time. Their access was so limited as to render their opinions worthless.

This so-called release was a clever bit of media manipulation. The campaign made its hand-picked journos complicit in the records charade. Friendly media got a scoop. With that scoop came a vested interest in downplaying the ridiculous restrictions placed on them. If the public understood the conditions under which their were reporting, their coverage wouldn't seem impressive at all.

Does he have Alzheimer's? He's getting kinda confused. Did the few reporters get to that page? Did they call any recognizable disease by another more obscure name so they can say they told us? How will we know? Just how many cancers have they found in him? Can we ever actually know?

This is stupid. Why on earth would anyone vote for someone who clearly has something to hide? Or, maybe, McCain can let the reporters actually do their job and assure the American people that McCain is really and truly healthy rather than just guessing.

Mukasey stands with the torture attorneys

Attorney General Michael Mukasey is defending former government lawyers who drew up the legal basis of the Bush administration's use of harsh interrogation methods against terror suspects.

Mukasey told Boston College Law School graduates Friday that lawyers doing their part to protect the country in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks should not now be held liable or face criminal charges for doing so.

Mukasey did not mention any specific lawyers by name.

Former Deputy Assistant Attorney General John Yoo is facing at least one civil lawsuit and demands for his firing from Berkeley Law School. Yoo worked in the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel from 2001 to 2003.

While there, he wrote several memos legally defending the use of harsh interrogation tactics which are now under criticism by human rights groups and members of Congress. Yoo's memos concluded that President Bush has broad, unfettered wartime authority that cannot be limited by domestic law or international bans on torture.

No matter which way you turn

Phila of Bouphonia's Friday Hope Blogging is always within pouncing distance.

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Texas, the lone idiot state....

Bablogger of Bad Astronomy:
Well, it’s truly official: Texas is doomed.

Why? I’ve talked before about the guy that’s the head of the State Board of Education. His name is Don McLeroy, and he’s perhaps the least qualified guy on the planet to head a BoE. He’s a creationist. He thinks science is evil. The list of his disqualifications to be in charge of a BoE would be so big… well, it would be Texas-sized big.

I predicted nothing but doom and shame for the BoE this year, and it brings me no joy at all to say I was right. McLeroy’s latest antic — though I would call it the first shot fired in a war, a war on reality — was over, of all things, the English standards. According to an article in the Dallas Morning News, teachers and experts had worked for two and a half to three years on new standards for English. So what did McLeroy do? He ignored all that work entirely, and let "social conservatives" on the board draft a new set overnight.

Overnight? Think that’s better than Standards teachers and experts spent nearly three years on?
He warns that where Texas goes in schooling, the nation follows. Let's hope this time he is wrong.

Why don't we get graffiti like this?


MUTO a wall-painted animation by BLU from blu on Vimeo.

Going from Holy Crusader Deciderer Commander Guy

To Toxic Man in seven years:

A planned mega-fundraiser for the GOP, featuring President Bush and John McCain, has now been scaled back in the face of a daunting problem: Too few people actually wanted to buy tickets.

According to the Phoenix Business Journal, fundraiser set for this Tuesday in the city's convention center failed to sell enough tickets, leading to fears that the anti-Bush protesters might end up outnumbering actual attendees.
As Georgie dances his way to the exit...

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Friday, May 23, 2008

If only Georgie would tell us to go shopping again...

Because we obviously don't elect Republicans to govern and to lead because they truly hate government and governing, but to be father figures and lay comfort on us poor folks:
Concerns about the direction of the country and personal finances rose sharply, and dissatisfaction with Bush, Congress and the administration's economic and foreign policy all climbed.

Bush's approval rating fell 4 percentage points to 23 percent, a record low for pollster John Zogby, and positive marks for the U.S. Congress fell 5 points to tie an all-time low at 11 percent.

The number of Americans who believe the country is on the right track fell from 23 percent to an abysmal 16 percent, another record for pessimism, as uncertainty about the economy and rising gas prices fuelled growing doubts about the future.

"Bad economic news is settling in and Americans are getting anxiety ridden," Zogby said.
See? We need someone to give us sympathy in our hour of need!

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The frightened population needs reassurance:

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And then we need to given something to strive for:

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There. Don't you feel better? I knew Bush understood us:

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Notice anything odd?

P.Z. Myers of Pharyngula has:
Minneapolis is hosting the Republican National Convention this summer, and that means we're seeing an uptick in sleaze (you might want to avoid public restrooms when these guys are in town). The most bizarre part of it all is that the FBI is looking for villains in all the wrong places.
What they were looking for, Carroll says, was an informant--someone to show up at "vegan potlucks" throughout the Twin Cities and rub shoulders with RNC protestors, schmoozing his way into their inner circles, then reporting back to the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force, a partnership between multiple federal agencies and state and local law enforcement. The effort's primary mission, according to the Minneapolis division's website, is to "investigate terrorist acts carried out by groups or organizations which fall within the definition of terrorist groups as set forth in the current United States Attorney General Guidelines."
I'm sure the Pentagon is just itching to use this on any dangerous hippies!:



And I will be interested to see if the FBI has as much concern over keeping the peace for the Democratic National Convention....

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Mad cow was not enough?

The Bush administration thinks it's a good idea to import more problems?:
WASHINGTON - Congressional investigators have concluded that the Bush administration lacks evidence that it would be safe to research highly infectious foot-and-mouth disease on the U.S. mainland.
You can see how competent Georgie's loyal Bushies non-scientists are! What on earth could possibly go wrong?

All that flipflopping must be making him dizzy

Omg, Bush's bestest buds are appeasers!

To refresh memories:
Appeasement:
to yield or concede to the belligerent demands of (a nation, group, person, etc.) in a conciliatory effort, sometimes at the expense of justice or other principles.
So what do you call this?
PESHAWAR, PAKISTAN -- Pakistani authorities announced Wednesday that they had struck a truce with a militant faction that moved last year to impose Taliban-style rule in a once-popular tourist area.

The deal between government officials and Islamic militants in the scenic Swat valley could presage broader accords with militants in the tribal areas bordering Afghanistan.

The 15-point pact was signed despite explicit expressions of concern from the United States about such truces -- the latest warning delivered only a day earlier by Deputy Secretary of State John D. Negroponte in Washington.

Pakistan's new coalition government, which took office seven weeks ago after winning parliamentary elections in February, has said it is willing to talk with extremists who are prepared to renounce violence. But the Bush administration and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization say they believe that Islamic militants will use respites to strengthen and rearm themselves and resume attacks when it suits them. They also say cross-border strikes aimed at Western troops in Afghanistan have edged up since negotiations began.

[snip]

Under the pact, the government appeared to have made significant concessions. It agreed to begin pulling back troops, provided that attacks against the military cease. The government suggested that Fazlullah, previously one of the country's most wanted men, would not be actively pursued. It also agreed that the Swat valley would come under a system of Sharia, or Islamic law, with Islamic clerics and scholars advising civil judges.

In return, the militants softened some of the harsher measures they had taken to enforce their stringent form of Islam. They agreed to stop their campaign against polio vaccinations, which they have denounced as a Western plot, and girls' schooling. They also promised to stop terrorizing barbers who shaved men's beards and blowing up music and video stores.

As part of the agreement, Fazlullah's followers pledged not to display weapons in public, though they did not agree to disarm. The group's former heavily fortified headquarters is to be turned into a university, both sides said.
Pakistan's last consession allowed the Taliban to reorganize and gain strength. What is this going to do?

And, clutch those pearls, Mabel, Israel is an appeaser, too!:
JERUSALEM -- In February 2007, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, met privately for more than two hours in Turkey.

The two leaders concluded that the time was ripe for Turkey to mediate indirect peace negotiations between longtime enemies Israel and Syria.

The existence and extent of those negotiations were acknowledged by all sides Wednesday, prompting speculation as to the timing, goals and prospects for success.

Syrian President Bashar Assad disclosed the negotiations last month, saying Turkish mediators had informed him that Israel was willing to return the disputed Golan Heights to Syria.

Israel declined to confirm the talks at the time, but an Israeli official said Wednesday's coordinated statements out of Jerusalem, Damascus and Ankara were a sign that "the discussions had advanced" to a more serious level.

The Israeli official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the U.S. government had been "fully briefed" from the start on the initiative.
Georgie, you knew about these dangerous diplomatic appeasement-related program activities for a year? And didn't tell us?

I thought talking to the enemy was evil and bad?

crossposted at SteveAudio

Rove is not gone

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He's just mutating...

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Prepare for incoming cesspool smearing:
Last year, in the middle of the U.S. attorney scandal, former Karl Rove protege Tim Griffin resigned as the interim Eastern District U.S. attorney in Arkansas. Griffin had become the poster boy for the politicization of the U.S. attorney process after the Justice Department fired Bud Cummins to make way for him.

Now, Robert Novak reports that Griffin will be returning to his roots as a member of the RNC’s opposition research team. According to Novak, Griffin is being brought in as part of “the McCain campaign’s plan” to “turn his fire against [Sen. Barack] Obama“:
McCain, however, is not prepared to disarm himself unilaterally. Tim Griffin, the crack opposition research operative, is about to move into the Republican National Committee to turn his fire against Obama. McCain strategists see their only hope is to focus on the real Barack Obama.
This is all the Republicans have, isn't it? Hate and fear and all that shit.

Get out your umbrellas and ready your buckets....

crossposted at American Street

Update 5/28: Griffin says he is too busy with his own work to come back to the RNC.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Was, too!

Uh HUUHHhhhHH! We did too think there were WMDs and mushroom clouds and chemical and biological weapons, and dozens of weapons of mass destruction-related program activities...
Yesterday, Iraq War architect Douglas Feith spoke to the National Press Club to promote his book, “War and Decision,” and its revisionist description of the Bush administration’s pre-war planning.

At the event, Feith repeated his claim that the faulty intelligence regarding weapons of mass destruction in Iraq was an “error,” not a lie. Additionally, he insisted that the U.S. had in fact found “a serious WMD threat” in Iraq:

While the failure to find presumed stockpiles of dangerous weapons “was catastrophic to our credibility,” he said, it was not a result of government deception.

“It was an honest error, not a lie,” he said. “Even if you correct for that error, what we found in Iraq was a serious WMD threat.

Can't a guy make an honest mistake around here with getting stomped on? Sheesh!

A reminder:
Before the war in Iraq, the Iraqi National Congress proposed recruiting a brigade of Free Iraqi Forces to enter Iraq with the Americans. Feith supported the idea behind the project. United States Army General Tommy Franks did not, as reported in the book Cobra II: "Franks remained unenthusiastic, to say the least. After a briefing from [Feith's aide Bill] Luti on his pet project, Franks turned to Feith in a Pentagon corridor, letting him know where he stood: 'I don't have time for this fucking bullshit,' Franks exclaimed."[30]

Franks, according to Plan of Attack, says of Feith: "I have to deal with the stupidest fucking guy on the planet almost every day." (p.281).[31][32] In his autobiography, American Soldier, Franks describes a conversation with his subordinates who were upset with Rumsfeld, Feith and Paul Wolfowitz; Franks tells them, "Here's the deal, guys. I know OSD - Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, and Feith - are demanding a lot. But they are not the enemy. Don't start thinking good guys-bad guys. We're all on the same side." They could see I was serious. "I'll worry about OSD, all of them - including Doug Feith, who's getting a reputation around here as the dumbest fucking guy on the planet," I continued. "Your job is to make me feel warm and fuzzy. Look, we're all professionals. Let's earn our pay."[33]
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Freedom of Speechifyingnessissity!

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Some faculty members at Furman University have suggested they won't attend graduation ceremonies because President Bush is scheduled to speak, but a group of conservative students wants the university to step in and block the protest.

Bush is scheduled to give Furman's graduation speech May 31 at the fairly conservative school of 2,625 undergraduate students with Baptist roots.

More than 500 members of the Furman community signed a letter released Monday asking that administrators refuse to allow faculty members to skip ceremonies in protest of the Bush visit. The move comes after more than 200 students and faculty members signed a statement earlier this month criticizing the Bush administration's handling of the Iraq war and environmental issues.

"Some professors seem intent on turning what should be a celebration of their students' accomplishments into a forum to air their political differences with President Bush," said the letter, released Monday by Conservative Students for a Better Tomorrow.
Well... you know Georgie's speech will be short. He will use about 50 words and repeat them in variations over and over again. He will do his squint, his head bob, slur his words, chuckle in the wrong places...

Should be fun!

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Hovering at the edge of the Dark Ages

One in eight U.S. high school teachers presents creationism as a valid alternative to evolution, says a poll published in the Public Library of Science Biology.

Of more than 900 teachers who responded to a poll conducted by Penn State University political scientist Michael Berkman and colleagues, 32 percent agreed that creationism and intelligent design should be taught as scientifically unsound. Forty percent said such explanations are religiously valid but inappropriate for science class.

However, 25 percent said they devoted classroom time to creationism or intelligent design. Of these, about one-half -- 12 percent of all teachers -- called creationism a "valid scientific alternative to Darwinian explanations for the origin of species," and the same number said that "many reputable scientists view these as valid alternatives to Darwinian theory." (The full study makes for interesting reading: Evolution and Creationism in America’s Classrooms: A National Portrait.

What I want to know is...

How did the archeologists know what they were looking at? They don't sell these at Wal-Mart!

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KEY WEST, Fla. - Experts found a tiny gold combined toothpick and earwax spoon, believed to be more than 385 years old, during the search for a shipwrecked Spanish galleon off the Florida Keys.

The late 16th or early 17th century grooming tool, which weighs only about an ounce, was located Sunday by Blue Water Ventures diver Chris Rackley as he searched the area about 22 feet below the surface and 40 miles west of Key West. He says its value could exceed $100,000.

The divers, who are searching the shipwreck trail of the Spanish galleon Santa Margarita that sank in a 1622 hurricane, also recovered ceramic pieces, spikes, ships' fittings, rigging elements and two skeleton keys.

[snip]

Almost a year ago, Blue Water divers located gold bars, gold chains and a lead box containing thousands of pearls that were carried by the Margarita. The value of that find was estimated at more than $2 million.

I'd be digging in the ocean in a minute for such wonderful treasures if I wasn't so spooked by deep sea diving and sharks and weird blobby fish with teeth and sharks and stuff....

Quote of the decade

When we find ourselves believing that killing a man makes us more of a man, but loving a man makes us less of a man, it’s probably time to reexamine our criteria for manhood.”

If you are reading this, you're probably on the list

To be rounded up. Pack a toothbrush:

Govt. May Have Massive Surveillance Program For Use In ‘National Emergency,’ 8 Million ‘Potential Suspects’
Last year, former deputy attorney general James Comey revealed that in 2004, he refused to “certify” the legality of certain aspects of the National Security Agency (NSA) spy program. Comey witnessed Alberto Gonzales and Andrew Card try to force a bed-ridden John Ashcroft to approve the program. Comey, however, did not publicly give specifics as to what program he opposed.

CAP’s Peter Swire wrote on ThinkProgress at the time that Comey’s testimony implied that “other programs exist for domestic spying” outside of the NSA program. Radar’s Christopher Ketcham suggests that another spy program does exist: “Main Core,” a program that authorizes “computer searches through massive [unspecified] electronic databases” in order to discover “potential threats” in the event of a “national emergency”:

According to a senior government official…”There exists a database of Americans, who, often for the slightest and most trivial reason, are considered unfriendly, and who, in a time of panic, might be incarcerated. The database can identify and locate perceived ‘enemies of the state’ almost instantaneously.” … One knowledgeable source claims that 8 million Americans are now listed in Main Core as potentially suspect. In the event of a national emergency, these people could be subject to everything from heightened surveillance and tracking to direct questioning and possibly even detention.

Remember the ten easy steps to fascism:
1. Invoke a terrifying internal and external enemy
2. Create a gulag
3. Develop a thug caste
4. Set up an internal surveillance system
5. Harass citizens' groups
6. Engage in arbitrary detention and release
7. Target key individuals
8. Control the press
9. Dissent equals treason
10. Suspend the rule of law
This explains all those secret private prisons around the country, the odd obsession that Cheney and Rumsfeld had about playing shadow government games, Cheney's claim that the Vice President was outside the law and the Constitution, the indifference to foreign workers, the ICE raids, Blackwater mercenaries, Gitmo, Tasers being issued to police and being scrubbed from autopsy reports, identifying every crime and misdemeanor as terrorism, and the officious arrogance of the airport security, doesn't it?

These loyal Bushies must have been promised really neat uniforms and high glossy black boots so they could shock and awe their craven neighbors. Is that why they gutted the treasury? To create a depression that would make Americans desperate to support a fascist regime? It might have worked when Georgie's grandfather Prescott Bush tried to start a coup against FDR.

Are they hoping another terrorist strike will do the trick?


crossposted at SteveAudio and American Street

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Free speech means even the people you hate get to talk

You don't have to listen.

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Senator Lieberman's staff identified numerous videos that they believed violated YouTube's Community Guidelines. In response to his concerns, we examined and ended up removing a number of videos from the site, primarily because they depicted gratuitous violence, advocated violence, or used hate speech. Most of the videos, which did not contain violent or hate speech content, were not removed because they do not violate our Community Guidelines.

Senator Lieberman stated his belief, in a letter sent today, that all videos mentioning or featuring these groups should be removed from YouTube -- even legal nonviolent or non-hate speech videos. While we respect and understand his views, YouTube encourages free speech and defends everyone's right to express unpopular points of view. We believe that YouTube is a richer and more relevant platform for users precisely because it hosts a diverse range of views, and rather than stifle debate we allow our users to view all acceptable content and make up their own minds. Of course, users are always free to express their disagreement with a particular video on the site, by leaving comments or their own response video. That debate is healthy
We might even find out that Iran is filled with innocent Iranians and that most of them have no desire to attack Israel or the United States...

Bush's Legacy

The destruction of the middle class:
A former loan processor, the 67-year-old mother of three grown children said she never thought she'd spend her golden years sleeping in her car in a parking lot.

"This is my bed, my dogs," she said. "This is my life in this car right now."

Harvey was forced into homelessness earlier this year after being laid off. She said that three-quarters of her income went to paying rent in Santa Barbara, where the median house in the scenic, oceanfront city costs more than $1 million. She lost her condo two months ago and had little savings as backup.

"It went to hell in a handbasket," she said. "I didn't think this would happen to me. It's just something that I don't think that people think is going to happen to them is what it amounts to. It happens very quickly, too."

Harvey now works part time for $8 an hour, and she draws Social Security to help make ends meet. But she still cannot afford an apartment, and so every night she pulls into a gated parking lot to sleep in her car, along with other women who find themselves in a similar predicament.
That's ok. She was probably just lazy, right, Georgie?

Nope. Not me. Ah'm not allowed to even touch the button.

(edited to include this necessary pic)
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Unka Dick is going to do it.

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WASHINGTON
- The White House on Tuesday denied a published report in Israel that said President Bush intends to attack Iran before the end of his term in January.
A story in the Jerusalem Post quoted a "senior official" there as saying that Bush plans to attack Iran in the coming months. The story says the unidentified official claimed that a "senior member" of Bush's traveling entourage made the statement about attacking Iran in a closed meeting. Bush was in Israel last week.

The article also says the unnamed Bush official said that Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney "were of the opinion that military action were called for."

[snip]

Perino said the "president of the United States should never take options off the table, but our preference and our actions for dealing with this matter remain through peaceful diplomatic means. Nothing has changed in that regard."

Diplomacy? Isn't that appeasement to Georgie? I think this means we're going to attack Iran before the year is out.

And McBush apparently doesn't give a fuck who is actually in charge in Iran:

Yesterday, the Wonk Room’s Matt Duss noted that Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) often incorrectly portrays Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as if Ahmadinejad has a significant role in formulating Iranian foreign policy. He doesn’t. Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and Iran’s National Security Council set Iran’s foreign policy.

Yesterday, Time’s Joe Klein pressed McCain on the issue, but McCain refused to concede he was wrong, saying he disagreed that Khamenei runs Iranian policy behind the scenes. McCain added that because the “average American” thinks Ahmadinejad is Iran’s leader, that’s good enough for him:

MCCAIN: I mean, the fact is [Ahmadinejad’s] the acknowledged leader of that country and you may disagree, but that’s a uh, that’s your right to do so, but I think if you asked any average American who the leader of Iran is, I think they’d know.

Ahmadinejad? Khamenei? What does it matter if we're going to nuke the place anyway?

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crossposted at SteveAudio

Monday, May 19, 2008

Here's another viewpoint

On California allowing gay marriage. Basically asking why this was brought up in an election year. We don't need to galvanize the wingnut base anymore than they are already.

That was my reaction at first, but I really can't see it doing harm to the Democratic challengers. I believe most people are so throughly disgusted with the Republicans and their utterly disastrous eight years of full control of the country that they will see this as a vote of wonderful tolerance rather than a frightening taste of what Democratic leadership will bring.

Now it finally creeps out from the woodwork

Into the light of day: racism.

Glenn Greenwald of Salon:

In one of the most repellent columns one will ever read, syndicated columnist Kathleen Parker defended Fry's claim that Obama is something other than "a full-blooded American." Advancing an argument that Atrios guest blogger aimai aptly described as "Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein F├╝hrer!," Parker said "we now have a patriot divide" in America that "has nothing to do with a flag lapel pin . . . or even military service." Instead:

It's about blood equity, heritage and commitment to hard-won American values. And roots.
[snip]
It goes on and on like that. So according to Parker, what makes McCain a "full-blooded American," but not Obama, has to do with "blood equity," "heritage," "rapidly changing demographic[s]," and "bloodlines." She then wrote that "white Americans primarily -- and Southerners, rural and small-town folks especially -- have been put on the defensive," and that:
What they know is that their forefathers fought and died for an America that has worked pretty well for more than 200 years. What they sense is that their heritage is being swept under the carpet while multiculturalism becomes the new national narrative. And they fear what else might get lost in the remodeling of America.
Obama's grandfather fought in World War II -- for America -- and enormous numbers of people who are something other than "white Americans" have fought in one American war after the next. But never mind that. These arguments about "bloodlines" are Parker's reasons why Obama shouldn't be President and why he's not a "full-blooded American."
He's different? He's black? He's not one of us? Are you kidding me? What century is this woman living in?

Jesus Christ, why on earth are they letting Kathleen Parker have any ink at all?

Preparing for Bush's third term

A preview on how the Republicans are preparing for the 2008 election.

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Coming apart at the seams

Mick Arran of Fact-esque

There are so many cliches and well-worn similes that one hardly knows which to use. The "House of Cards"? The "Falling Dominos"? The "Chickens Coming Home to Roost"? The "Iceberg Metaphor"?

Well, whichever nod to ancient wisdom is your favorite, they all apply. The illusions on which the Age of Bush is based are coming apart at the seams. From every possible direction, ugly realities are forcing themselves into the florid dreams of conservative optimists and turning them into fetid nightmares.

As anyone with a lick of sense knew they would.

Read his list and rejoice.

Continuing the fine Republican tradition

Of declaring support for democracy, mother, apple pie and flag lapel pins, yet doing absolutely anything for money:
John McCain's chief strategist Charlie Black isn't losing any sleep about his firm's involvements with some of the worst dictators and human rights abusers in the world. Responding to a MoveOn video seeking to have Black removed from McCain's campaign, the lobbyist-turned-adviser had this to say:
"I'm not ashamed of anything the firm did," McCain adviser Charlie Black says of his days as the principle in one of Washington's most influential lobbying firms. "If they want to use it to fire up the left wing, well, that's fine."

Black is referring to a campaign by liberal watchdog and political groups to pressure McCain into dumping Black, now a top McCain campaign strategist. Today, MoveOn's political action fund released a video accusing Black of lobbying "for some of the world's worst tyrants."
[snip]
But despite renewed scrutiny, the new policy is unlikely to to cut short the career of McCain's chief political adviser Charlie Black, who is a notorious lobbyist with connections to several unsavory dictatorships. Campaign Money Watch has penned an open letter urging the removal of three lobbyists/adivsers, including Black, who have or currently represent regimes know for committing human rights abuses. Meanwhile, MoveOn.org has published a short video of his most nefarious clients, and is seeking Black's ouster from the McCain camp.

John McCain says we're fighting in Iraq to plant "the seeds of democracy," but the firm of his "chief political adviser" Charlie Black made millions lobbying for the world's worst tyrants...


...Ferdinand Marcos, who executed thousands of his own citizens in the Philippines...

...Zaire's Mobuto, who publicly hanged his opponents and looted his country's vast mineral wealth...

...and rebel leader Jonas Savimbi, a mass murderer, who covered Angola with landmines.

Charlie Black said he didn't do anything wrong. John McCain should tell Black he did. Call John McCain and tell him to fire Charlie Black.
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Saturday, May 17, 2008

It's all part of their evil plan

Albanians may have found a new villain to blame for the frequent power cuts that have been blighting their lives.

The country's main electricity company says a cat chasing a mouse caused a 72-hour blackout in parts of the capital, Tirana.

The animals ran into an area of high-voltage cables and were electrocuted, a spokeswoman for the firm - Kesh - told Reuters news agency.

"We took pictures because we've never had anything like this," she said.
They think this is an accident! But they have even more dastardly things to come! Ever wonder why your cat stares at you while you're watching tv? It's learning how to work the remote! They're plotting to take over the world!

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Don't tell me I didn't warn you!

Oh my god.

Mark Adams of American Street found this Bushism:
"I'll be long gone before some smart person ever figures out what happened inside this Oval Office."—Washington, D.C., May 12, 2008
Jesus, Georgie! It doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure out what has gone on ... or hasn't gone on in the Oval Office. Just poke your head out of your bubble and take a look in any direction!

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Appeasers!

Bring out the scarlet letters!:

During a speech to the Israeli parliament yesterday morning, President Bush attacked Barack Obama, comparing him to Nazi appeasers for the Illinois senator's willingness to hold discussions with Iran.

One problem: Bush's speech came just hours after The Washington Post reported that Bush's defense secretary, Robert Gates, said that the United States needs to "sit down and talk with" Iran. Not only that, Gates added, "We can't go to a discussion and be completely the demander."

Oops.

Naturally, then, a media firestorm erupted, with the Bush administration and its political allies questioned all day about whether Bush has any idea what he is talking about, whether he has lost control over the Pentagon, whether Gates will be fired, what Gates thinks about Bush's comparison of those (like Gates) who advocate dialogue between the United States and Iran to appeasers of Adolf Hitler, and whether the fiasco will remind voters that the Bush administration's foreign policy has been marked by incompetence and dishonesty, thus doing irreparable electoral damage to John McCain and other Republican candidates.

Sorry -- what was I thinking? That didn't happen.

Instead, much of the news media got busy pretending the Post article didn't exist and that Gates had not undermined Bush's political attack on Obama. Instead, many news outlets simply rushed to repeat Bush's assault over and over again, as though it had merit.

Just like this guy... who had no clue what Neville Chamberlain had done and what appeasement actually means:
to yield or concede to the belligerent demands of (a nation, group, person, etc.) in a conciliatory effort, sometimes at the expense of justice or other principles.




crossposted at SteveAudio

Always fresh

Always wonderful.

Phila of Bouphonia's Friday Hope Blogging
!

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Friday, May 16, 2008

Friday Cat Blogging

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Keith Olbermann was much too polite. I would have worded it just a bit differently...

It's hard to make yourself heard

When they're rolling around on top of the mountain of dollar bills, huh, Georgie?
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia - Saudi Arabian leaders made clear Friday they see no reason to increase oil production until their customers demand it, apparently rebuffing President Bush amid soaring U.S. gasoline prices.

During Bush's second personal appeal this year to King Abdullah, Saudi officials stuck to their position that they are already meeting demand, the president's national security adviser told reporters.

"What they're saying to us is ... Saudi Arabia does not have customers that are making requests for oil that they are not able to satisfy," Stephen Hadley said on a day when oil prices topped $127 a barrel, a record high.

The Saudi oil minister, Ali al-Naimi, said there was no need to increase production now. "Supply and demand are in balance today," he told a news conference. "How much does Saudi Arabia need to do to satisfy people who are questioning our oil practices and policies?"
I don't think you need a translator to help you understand what was just said, Georgie. What's Saudi for 'hell, no'?

Fat lot of good your kissing and hand-holding did.

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Or maybe ... that request was for the benefit of the Merkin folks and you really are happy with the state of things?

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It all makes sense now...

Update 5/17: Distributorcap of Distributorcap NY reminds me that the Saudis agreed to a small increase. But Bush tells us we still need to drill in Anwar and not to get our hopes up:
SHARM EL-SHEIK, Egypt (AP) -- President Bush said Saturday that the Saudis' modest increase in oil production "doesn't solve our problem," and that the United States must act itself to help bring down soaring gas prices.

"We've got to do more at home," the president said on the lush lawn of a resort overlooking the Red Sea in Sharm El-Sheik, Egypt.

Speaking after a private meeting with Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai, he mentioned moves that have long been part of his agenda but stymied in Congress, such as developing alternate fuels, improving conservation and expanding domestic exploration.

Bush said he told Saudi King Abdullah during talks Friday that the kingdom should be concerned that high energy prices are hurting some of its biggest customers, including the United States.

He asked Abdullah for an injection of oil supply to help ease the pain. "High energy prices are going to cause countries like mine to accelerate our move to alternative energy," he said he told the king.

But Saudi oil minister Ali al-Naimi said Friday it had decided a week before Bush's visit to raise production by 300,000 barrels a day to 9.45 million barrels a day and didn't see any need to do more. Energy analysts called the boost a token -- it represents just 3 percent of the total -- and it was seen as a rebuff, if a gentle one, of Bush by Abdullah.

One way we are working right now to control our energy needs, Georgie, is to get a Democratic candidate into office while we get you and Dick Cheney OUT of office.
Americans get a reminder of President Bush’s failed energy policies every time they gas up their cars. The average gallon of regular gas cost only $1.44 when Bush took office on January 20, 2001, and diesel cost just $1.53 per gallon. Yet today, gasoline and diesel fuel prices are at all-time highs, with gas prices at $3.60 per gallon and diesel prices at $4.17 per gallon.
Update 5/18: Speaking of appeasers, Watertiger of Dependable Renegade found this appropriate cartoon:

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