Friday, November 04, 2005


Next week posting will hopefully be a bit more frequent; my class just let out and by Monday I'll have probably forgotten most of what I learned...oh well.

Anyway, I've been seeing quite a bit of general material floating around the internets lately as to Operation $2 billion dollars a week with neither an end nor victory anywhere in the same galaxy--Shrub hisself got a reminder of how odious the rest of the world considers his dirty war to be while in South America (along with a few extra headaches, courtesy of Chavez, Maradona, Esquivel, and even a few journalists daring to show a bit of backbone)...which might explain why, the day before yesterday, I wrote a small reminder that I, um, promptly forgot until today.

In brief, I was trying to remind myself of a few things in light of the revelations re: Plamegate, the ongoing clusterfuck in Iraq, the half-baked Democratic opposition (indeed, the unbaked opposition back in 2002), and recent non culpas brayed by the GOP in response to a grim reality that can no longer be ignored (as they haughtily did a year or so ago).

What I wrote (paraphrasing from abbreviated scribbles here) is that it's pretty clear, albeit in 2005, that an invasion of Iraq was TOTALLY unnecessary in 2003. There were no weapons of mass destruction, there was no Iraqi support for fundamentalist religious terrorism, Hussein was essentially defanged (indeed, reports are surfacing about Hussein possibly accepting exile as well as a story from, IIRC, sometime early in 2004 that Iraq was ready to accept almost ANY demand made by the US in exchange for calling off what was supposed to be Shrub's ultimate display of manliness). And, regardless of how long and shrill GOP'ers might holler, a winning political argument can be fashioned against them on that basis.

As they did this week, GOP'ers will bark and bray about the war being ultimately Bill Clinton's fault--but the public knows that's a lot of horseshit. Now with Scooter's day in court approaching, there's the slight possibility that we'll discover a LOT MORE horseshit--most of it emanating from the Executive Branch of the Federal Government, i.e., from Biggus Dickus himself (Little Lord Shrubleroy was just along for the ride).

Regardless of what one thinks of the Dems--lesser-of-evils or spineless supplicants--it's important that they yank out their baseball bats, axe handles, or whatever they've got in the arsenal and bang away at the wounded, rabid curs running the show. Hindsight or not, it was simply stupid to demand war in 2003 UNLESS it was all designed to be a political charade to allow a little man the chance to don a flightsuit and strut around like a damn peacock on the USS Abrahan Lincoln. Anyone reading this humble blog already knows about the lack of basic equipment for soldiers, the piss-poor planning that went into the conflict itself, the lack of understanding the region (including an appalling lack of decent Arabic speakers), the incompetent if not outright criminal insistence on ordering the WMD snipe hunt while ignoring conventional weapons that daily extract their toll on US soldiers, Iraqi civilians, and so on--and finally, the gigantic Mess-o-Potamia that only the MOST delusional (see Rice, Condoleezza) believe can be rectified with...yet more sham elections. All resulting in a blunder of such massive proportions that nobody really wants to consider the consequences--consequences which will be all too real, even for the reality denying branch of the GOP.

(side note: a little off topic, but the Jeffrey Goldberg article on reality based GOP'er Brent Scowcroft is now available online and is worth a look).

Oh--and while Dick and Shrub's ship of fools dumps money into the desert, they've suddenly discovered their inner miser when it comes to helping citizens suffering in their OWN country.

By this time next year, assuming Team Bush continues to display their telltale obstinate behavior, we'll be up to $300 billion or so in Iraq spending, casualties will likely be roughly 2800 or so dead, 23,000 wounded on the US side, lord knows how many more Iraqis--and the situation will be, AT BEST, the same. $300 billion is an awful lot to spend just to stay in place, particularly when "in place" also involves shattered bodies and more coffins.

But remember, regardless of who voted for what, this is TEAM BUSH'S war--THEY decided when to invade, THEY decided on the strategy, THEY handled all the logistics. It's their baby--and it's an ugly child. Unfortunately, we're ALL paying for it.

Which is why, come the next election cycle, we need to pin this debacle where it belongs--squarely on THEIR shoulders. And we need to remind the public that, regardless of how they feel about government, at the very least we need competent public servants--not village idiots who equate playing soldier with being strong.

Have a good weekend.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

It's in the (e) Mail

Mike Brown sends email--too bad he hasn't the first clue as to how email is stored (hint: on the email server, idiot):

On Friday, Aug. 26, as the hurricane was making its way to Louisiana, Brown e-mailed his press secretary, Sharon Worthy, about his attire, writing: "Tie or not for tonight? Button down blue shirt?"

On Monday, Aug. 29, between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. on the day the hurricane struck, Brown exchanged additional e-mails about his attire with Cindy Taylor, FEMA deputy director of public affairs.

Taylor wrote Brown: "I know its early, but … My eyes must certainly be deceiving me. You look fabulous -- and I'm not talking the makeup!"

Brown's reply was: "I got it at Nordstroms. … Are you proud of me?" An hour later, Brown added: "If you'll look at my lovely FEMA attire you'll really vomit. I am a fashion god."

Several days later, Brown received yet another e-mail about his attire. This time, Worthy instructed Brown: "Please roll up the sleeves of your shirt … all shirts. Even the President rolled his sleeves to just below the elbow. In this cris[is] and on TV you just need to look more hard-working … ROLL UP THE SLEEVES."

Brown also found time to send multiple e-mails about his reputation. Alerted by a friend, Howard Pike, that the media was investigating his tenure at the International Arabian Horse Association, Brown asked Pike to direct the media to people who would defend him: "Can you make the connections?"

Brown then forwarded Pike's message to Natalie Rule, a Department of Homeland Security press contact, and Lea Ann McBride, Vice President Dick Cheney's press secretary, saying: "Howard Pike is the former head of the Air Line Pilots Association and a good friend of mine. I'll get on my laptop and get his contact info shortly."

Brown also sent a message to Andrew Lester, an Oklahoma lawyer, asking him to call reporters about the issue.

On Tuesday, Aug. 30, the day after the hurricane struck, Brown sent an e-mail to his assistant, Tillie James: "Do you know of anyone who dog-sits? Bethany has backed out and Tamara is looking. If you know of any responsible kids, let me know. They can have the house to themselves Th-Su."

In his e-mail to Taylor on the morning the hurricane struck, Brown wrote, "Can I quit now? Can I come home?" A few days later, Brown wrote to an acquaintance, "I'm trapped now, please rescue me."

Poor guy. Wonder if the death and destruction affected his appetite. Oh, right--it didn't.

Consider: this is the guy whom Shrubusto praised--"heckuva job." In other words, Mike Brown is a Team Bush symbol of success. No wonder they act so unconcerned about the multiple clusterfucks they're presiding over...on the contrary, they think it's all been a smashing success. Guess they still think reality is something to be denied.

On other fronts: one more day of training class, then back to a semblence of normality, at least blog-wise. AND I've got the added bonus of being able to read/post from home. That's right--I've rejoined the wired nation after a brief absence. It's nice to be back.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Wednesday Wrap-Up

I'm trying to be philosophical about the class I'm in--supposedly, if all goes to plan, I'll be getting a small raise in salary by taking it...on the flip side, I'll have to do a bit more work, but the extra $$$ will be be the difference between cheap Chilean merlot ALL the time versus, um, most of the time these days.

Anyway, I'll defer again to the NOLA bivalve, who has a couple of posts up that show just how blatantly the present-day leadership in DC is willing to stick it to Gret Stet denizens: "thanks for the oil and kiss your stet goodbye." Amazing how we're taken for granted, eh? Roughly a penny on the dollar is what the Feds think is "fair."

Then again, perhaps the feds have more on their minds these days, particularly the clowns running the show. I mean, geez...remind me to NEVER schedule any surgery with Dr. Frist, for instance: no telling what might happen if he decides to have that extra cup of coffee. Hey, Bill--maybe you'd like to channel your rage into something productive, like figuring out why the hell we're in Iraq, for instance...

Speaking of: six more soldiers, at least twenty more civilians will never see another day thanks to Team Bush. And staying on subject, here's something I found on Cursor that definitely gives you an idea of how death arrives for most of our soldiers in or two at a time, under horrific circumstances.

I first saw this at Firedoglake--congratulations, neo cons! You're truly bridging the ideological gap between your Trotskyist elements and Stalinism. You should be proud...the rest of the country should be feeling nauseous.

Note: the report is about secret US prisons established in, among other places, Eastern Europe. Let's did Animal Farm end? Oh yeah:

Twelve voices were shouting in anger, and they were all alike. No question, now, what had happened to the faces of the pigs. The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.

And, since I've tangented over to someting about pigs, I'd be remiss without linking to Crooks and Liars post re: Rick Santorum and Don Imus. I normally have little use for either, but Santorum sure has a way of revealing his inner frat boy.

Finally, on the subject of frat boy...again, from Firedoglake

Sometimes a picture really is worth a thousand words.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Tuesday Miscellaneous

Again, in class all week, and it's not real easy to blog...while at home, it looks like Thursday will be the magic day for restoration of my internet service.

Anyway, for an appetizer, Oyster offers some essential reading from the Pic (I think you have to be native--or native enough--to refer to the Pic as "da Paper"). Sample:

What New York has in its plenitude and wealth and Los Angeles pretends to have, New Orleans possesses in fact: the only authentic indigenous urban culture on the continent, the defining soul of a nation sorely in need of one.


Meanwhile, in DC, Bill Frist has his panties all in a knot over Harry Reid forcing the Senate into closed session to discuss national security matters. Crooks & Liars has video for those who like to watch. Then again, it's not like the GOP has shown any sort of affinity towards national security, except as a backdrop for politics--example: Operation Mesopotamian Clusterfuck, Operation Drop Tons of Money into the Pentagon Sinkhole With NO IDEA How it's Being Spent (hint: it ain't going for armor--neither human nor Humvee), Halliburton, etc.

Changing the subject, sort of, it looks like Texass must have special rules for cornered rats: they get some degree of veto power over judges. It'll be interesting to see how this rule gets applied to all defendants equally under the law.

On the Scooter story, Firedoglake pointed to an EJ Dionne op-ed that asks the same question I had yesterday: what if Libby takes the fall, only to get a free pass courtesy of a lame Shrub? Just asking...

And, in this truncated post for All Saints' Day, I'll close with the following observation re: Plamegate...right now, Team Bush is acting an awful lot like they did during the "Mission Accomplished" days back in 2003. In other words, they seem to think the only thing left is mopping up and moving on. However, I have a feeling this is just the beginning, whether or not we're treated to Shrubleroy barking some version of "bring em on."

Back tomorrow.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Scalito & Libby

Have to admit I knew next to nothing about Judge Alito--though the internets certainly make it easy to learn a great deal...Let's see: supports the right to strip-search 10 year olds, demands spousal notification for other words, a strict constructionalist, minus the 4th, 9th, and 10th amendments, not to mention the 14th--and the 5th (due process at the federal level).

Billmon notes the potential for the Alito swing vote to render null and void everything from Griswold v. Connecticut on.

Oh--and then there's the whole machine gun thing. Short version: Sam loves 'em...wants you to have one too...

Shifting gears for just a moment, I've been considering the Libby indictment over the weekend, as has everyone else. I'm holding out hope that he's still bait on the hook, but I began to wonder: IF Scooter takes the fall for them all, what's to keep Shrub from folding up the tent and saying, "Scooter, PARDON." ? I'm not losing any sleep over that, but it's in the back of my mind.

Finally, while DC engages in navel gazing, Operation Destroy Our Military continues full-swing in Mesopotamia--six more dead over the last couple of days. You'd think Team Bush might give a shit--but, looks like they're more concerned about their OWN asses (pun intended) than the folks they've sent off to play the real life version of the Shirley Jackson short story.

Outta here--back tomorrow.
Pardon the Interruption

I'm in class this week--posting will be light during the day--hopefully I'll be able to put in a few words come evening.

Back then.