Friday, February 10, 2006

Ankle Biting at High Levels of Government

Things finally have calmed down a bit over here, and I'm catching up with the internets at last. Hmmm...

To begin, Heckuva Job Brownie did his best John Dean impersonation on Capitol Hill today, lending credence to the old saying about tragedy being repeated as farce, with Norm Coleman apparently playing the part of the fools' chorus. Not that we didn't know, but Brownie's newfound penchant for candor--sorta--makes it pretty clear: the Bush administration is to governing what pornography is to sex, i.e., decidedly not the real thing, or even reasonable facsimile...though most of us ARE getting screwed. Today's revelations are part of a--no pun intended--flood of news articles that pretty much demonstrate beyond any shadow of doubt the incompetence, the mendacity, the stupidity, the arrogance, and so on, of Team Bush--Firedoglake has a nice summary (they don't archive individual posts, so you might have to scroll down). Let's see: Brownie's spilling the beans re: Katrina, the "L.A. shoe bomb terror threat" trial balloon they floated turns out to have more holes in it than an erector set, former CIA middle east analyst Paul Pillar is yet the latest expert to point out that intelligence for Team Bush was "cart first, then the horse," Plamegate's back on the front burner...the president who vowed to "defeat the terrorists" is reduced to whimpering about cartoon for that, by the way, WIIIAI really got it right with this observation:

Condi Rice has found the real culprit in the Cartoon Wars: Iran and Syria, who have “gone out of their way to inflame sentiments and to use this to their own purposes. And the world ought to call them on it.” Yeah, I’d hate for the smoking cartoon gun to come in the form of a cartoon mushroom cloud.

Oh, and while I doubt the media will take much note of this, The WaPo reports on Jack Abramoff's rather extensive contact with Shrub (and, they give credit where it's due, to Think Progress)...that is to say, the boy-king is telling big, fat lies when he claims he doesn't know the disgraced lobbyist/criminal.

But, of course, the national press is only concerned about lying when it involves Bill Clinton and a young female intern...

Still, though, you've gotta think--again, no pun intended--the figurative levee that keeps Team Shrub from drowning in scandal is at the breaking point. I mean, for chrissakes, not only does everything they touch turn to shit, they're not even particularly good at being a bunch of crooked, lying, sonsofbitches. At least the McMahon family upped the production values when they transformed pro-wrestling from the various regional circuits into a national gig. King Dubya the Dense and his Lying Circus don't even cut it by Austin standards. We're talking Crawford Little Theater here...Mike Brown as John Dean? [shaking my head].

And Bush as Peckerwood Il Duce...damn--you know, the other day, I actually thought of that too, but I didn't act on it like Watertiger did...well, what the hell:

Shrubolini doesn't really look all that different from the original. Figures...
Grind Isn't Just About Coffee

A little later today I WILL be back to posting, but once again the bosses have me on their time.

Last night turned into a wash thanks to no heat over at my place. In a small way--a VERY, EXCEEDINGLY SMALL way--I'm getting a taste of what NOLA citizens have endured for months...and unlike them, I at least have electricity, so I can run a couple of space heaters. I also have hot and cold water...

Still, it's chilly here in the Gret Stet, and this weekend will be the coldest of the year--oh well, my bad luck. And I do have some savings to replace the furnace.

But so much for a vacation this year...ah, the joys of home ownership.

Back later.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

That's Why They Call It "Work"

Another busy one over here...apologies. Looks like I'll be earning my pay until at least the middle of the afternoon. Hopefully will be back no later.

Or, if I need to, I'll post from home later today.

Back then.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The More Things Change...

GOP "Acceptable Behavior" for African-American Funerals

Looks like the wingnut faction is all in a tizzy over yesterday's eulogies for Coretta Scott King. Apparently boy chimps-in-chief aren't supposed to have to deal with anything more stressful than groveling masses when they deign to commune with the non-prescreened "public."

The MyDD link has a commentor who noted what is both classic wingnuttery AND apparently Bush administration policy:

[a] neanderthal...posted a comment suggesting that Bush withhold New Orleans aid until they came "begging for it." Just shows you what the right really thinks about African-Americans: the same thing they've thought about them for hundreds of years. This is the same mindset that informed Bush's New Orleans policy: black problems are not America's problems.

The fact is that ever since the GOP adopted "the Southern Strategy" they've been as racist as the old Southern Democrats who couldn't line up fast enough to switch allegiance. However, they're quite sensitive about such things--recall Shrub adamently stating "I'm not a racist" when asked about his worse-than-abysmal response to Hurricane Katrina.

But I think Shrub--and his fellow GOP'ers--doth protest WAY too much.
Is That a College Diploma on Your Resume? I Didn't Think So...

NOT a College Diploma

Lying comes early and often for Republicans:

George C. Deutsch, the young presidential appointee at NASA who told public affairs workers to limit reporters' access to a top climate scientist and told a Web designer to add the word "theory" at every mention of the Big Bang, resigned yesterday, agency officials said.

Mr. Deutsch's resignation came on the same day that officials at Texas A&M University confirmed that he did not graduate from there, as his résumé on file at the agency asserted.

Tbogg has additional, thoughtful commentary.
"That Dessicated Waste of Space Kate O'Beirne"

From Hullabaloo.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Personal Responsibility

Team Bush has turned to "tough love" re: Katrina evacuees living in, I've read differing opinions about the evictions: some folks argue that people won't move out of high end hotel accomodations...on the other hand, can ANYONE trust FEMA?

Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco complained that FEMA was pulling the plug on the hotel program before securing other housing.

Outside the Crowne Plaza, protesters held up signs that said: "No trailers. No eviction."

Brittany Brown, 21, wept as she explained that although she had been given an extension, eviction was now looming next week. She applied for a trailer in October and, although she keeps calling, her trailer has yet to show up.

Speaking of Governor Blanco, the online Pic's story about her opening address to the leg. is worth a look. YRHT did and what he says I'm pretty much in agreement with. And yes, I think bringing the offshore oil leases into play is a good move, as are her assertions re: Gret Stet'ers being treated as second-class citizens.

Meanwhile, Team Bush, the administration of personal responsibility, the "daddy" administration as professional idiot David Brooks brayed back in demonstrating they're actually the diddly administration, and I don't mean Bo Diddley...instead of formulating and implementing a plan of action, they continue to dick and dink around, looking for ways to screw over the entire region, but particularly New Orleans...and I think we all know why.

And, finally, on THAT subject, I guess most everyone stopping by here noticed John McCain revealed his true color in attempting to Sister Souljah fellow Senator Barack Obama. How nice. TalkingPointsMemo ably explains broader implications of McCain's very Shrubrovian attack on Obama:

But the key here to note is what's behind this dust-up. Obama is a rising star among the Democrats. Republicans want to lay a backstory for feature criticisms and character attacks against him. So, for instance, if Obama is the vice presidential candidate in 2008, they want to have a history of attacks on him banked, ones that allege he's a liar, or too partisan, or untrustworthy, whatever. It doesn't even really matter. What matters is that there already be an established history of them. Point being, that in early 2008, they want to be able to simply refer back to Obama's 'character issue', the questions about his honesty, etc. rather than have to make the case on its merits.

That's not surprising. One only needs to think back to the Gore story, etc.

What shouldn't be missed here, though, is that Sen. McCain is quite consciously and deliberately making himself a part of this. Why? Simple. Because he needs to get right with the GOP establishment in DC. (Indeed, he probably also wants to be the future beneficiary of the sliming.) Being loved by moderates and progressives doesn't cut it for getting the Republican presidential nomination in 2008.

In other words, you've got to cover yourself in slime if you want to be a GOP standard bearer. I'm not all that surprised...most slimeballs insist on dragging people down to their level, and McCain now has a LONG history of demonstrating his willingness to kiss ass AND shamelessly pander.

For this, the media, no stranger to asskissing and pandering themselves, dubs him "maverick."

Which explains a lot...
S'il Vous Plait?

Thanks to Ashley Morris for the link.

Might as well--Team Bush is giving us the finger, if not the shaft:

Shortcomings in aid from the U.S. government are making New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin look to other nations for help in rebuilding his hurricane-damaged city.

Nagin, who has hosted a steady stream of foreign dignitaries since Hurricane Katrina hit in late August, says he may seek international assistance because U.S. aid has not been sufficient to get the city back on its feet...

"France can take Treme. The king of Jordan can take the Lower Ninth Ward," he said, referring to two of the city's neighborhoods...

Nagin said his message to President George W. Bush would be that the federal government needs to refocus on the devastated area.

"We need your undivided attention over the next six months," he said. "We need backup. We need for you to make the words that you spoke in Jackson Square a reality."

Nagin was referring to the president's Sept. 15 address to the nation from New Orleans, in which he pledged "we will do what it takes, we will stay as long as it takes" to rebuild.

French Transport Minister Dominique Perben, leading the French delegation to a city that was founded by France in 1718, said, "This catastrophe has deeply upset the French people and the French government."

France, Perben said through a translator, "wants to be a long-term partner for Louisiana and New Orleans."

Whatever else you want to say about Nagin, he's spot on with this: first, the inattention and incompetence by Smirk-Chimp's administration is beyond outrageous, and second, the Gulf Coast region REQUIRES the nation's undivided attention. Washington has made it clear that it gives not one shit...which, in normal times, would alone be grounds for impeachment, if not grounds for running the entire gang out of government on a rail.

Morris got it right: "Fuck America. They aren't helping us, fuck them."

I don't recall the rest of the country abandoning California in 1989, or 1994...nor do I remember Smirk-Chimp telling Indonesia "well, that's a lot of money." In 2001, we ALL became New Yorkers. No one looked at Ground Zero and announced that it was mostly landfill...landfill held in place only by a slurry mix hardened into a concrete "bathtub."

But in 2005, Team Bush couldn't be bothered, then they could only point the finger at others...we now know WHAT finger they were pointing.

You know, I actually hope France and Jordan DO provide aid and assistance--and I hope it's heavily publicized in such a way that it humiliates the administration (though that'll be tough...that gang of shitheads has almost NO shame).

And, hell yeah, I'll learn French, if that's what it takes. And I'll at least give Arabic a shot (I learned exactly three Arabic words/phrases on a trip to Morocco ten years ago...well, it's a start...and they were nice enough to put up with my survival French).

Merci beaucoup, France and Jordan...
Fun With Photoshop--An Ongoing Series
+ =

Original here.
Rummy the Muckraker

Donald is quacking again--this time about Iraqi corruption:

Continued corruption in Iraq could damage efforts to create a democracy there, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Tuesday, adding that it is up to the Iraqis to seize control and take more responsibility for their country.

Ah, just three years, not quite 2260 dead and 16,500 wounded soldiers, at least 30,000 or so Iraqi civilian deaths, $239 BILLION dollars, and an entire US region in ruins, from

"Free people are free to make mistakes and commit crimes and do bad things."

It's also a tacit admission that Operation-They've-Reduced-It-All-To-Being-About- Saving-Chickenhawk-Face is beyond damage control mode and is now...pretty much solely about saving Chickenhawk Face, i.e., dead soldiers, dead Iraqis, severely wounded news anchors, a country devastated (and a toxic cesspool) mean...

...not a goddamned thing to these assclowns. Their ONLY concern is maintaining the fiction that Mesopotamia isn't a total, long-term nightmare thanks to their incompetent meddling. So, we have Rummy announcing that "corruption"--something he knows all-too-well--threatening "Iraqi democracy," as if there's an Iraqi democracy to threaten.

Hmmm...passing the blame buck is about the only thing Team Bush really takes seriously. In turn, they've blamed 9/11 on the Clinton administration, Hurricane Katrina on Blanco and Nagin, and now their abject failure in Iraq...on the Iraqis themselves.

So much for "personal responsibility."

Monday, February 06, 2006

I DON'T Solemnly Swear

There's a lot out there re: Abu G. and the Senate Committee, but, all things considered, perhaps the most important item on today's agenda was something that DIDN'T happen:

Republican senators refused to put Attorney General Alberto Gonzales under oath in his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee about President Bush's clandestine wiretap program...

In other words, he's been given a license to lie by Specter, et al.


And, well, some days I just don't have a lot in the tank--it's been a busy one here (and tomorrow might be the same, we'll see)...apologies...hopefully I'll have a little more tomorrow...
The Lundegaard Factor

Apologies for such a slow start, but it's been one of those days...and I'm still catching up.

The big news around bloglandia is the Senate hearing re: Team Bush breaking the law...and I might have something to say about it in a bit, but for the moment I'd like to stroll down Memory Lane, if only because Friday night I came upon Fargo while I was cooking up dinner.

Having spent a lot of time in the Upper Midwest (10 years), I can attest to some degree of accuracy with the accents, though, to be fair, they were a bit over the top at times...but that wasn't what caught me. No, what I kept noticing was the degree of similarity between character Jerry Lundegaard (played by William Macy) and a certain Smirk-Chimp-in-Chief. Damn if they weren't at least cut from the same cloth, if not virtual clones. For example:

Jerry looks up and freezes, mouth hanging open, brow knit
with worry.

Marge sticks her head in the door.

Mr. Lundegaard? Sorry to bother
you again. Can I come in?

She starts to enter.

Yah, no, I'm kinda - I'm kinda
busy -

I unnerstand. I'll keep it real
short, then. I'm on my way out
of town, but I was just - Do you
mind if I sit down? I'm carrying
a bit of a load here.

No, I -

But she is already sitting into the chair opposite with a
sigh of relieved weight.

Yah, it's this vehicle I asked you
about yesterday. I was just
wondering -

Yah, like I told ya, we haven't had
any vehicles go missing.

Okay, are you sure, cause, I mean,
how do you know? Because, see,
the crime I'm investigating, the
perpetrators were driving a car
with dealer plates. And they
called someone who works here, so
it'd be quite a coincidence if
they weren't, ya know, connected.

Yah, I see.

So how do you - have you done any
kind of inventory recently?

The car's not from our lot, ma'am.

but do you know that for sure
without -

Well, I would know. I'm the
Executive Sales Manager.

Yah, but -

We run a pretty tight ship here.

I know, but - well, how do you
establish that, sir? Are the
cars, uh, counted daily or what
kind of -

Ma'am, I answered your question.

There is a silent beat.

... I'm sorry, sir?

Ma'am, I answered your question.
I answered the darn - I'm
cooperating here, and I...

Sir, you have no call to get
snippy with me. I'm just doin'
my job here.

I'm not, uh, I'm not arguin' here.
I'm cooperating... There's no, uh
- we're doin' all we can...

He trails off into silence.

Sir, could I talk to Mr. Gustafson?

Jerry stares at her.

... Mr. Lundegaard?

Jerry explodes:

Well, heck, if you wanna, if you
wanna play games here! I'm
workin' with ya on this thing, but

He is getting angrily off his feet.

Okay, I'll do a damned lot count!

Sir? Right now?

Sure right now! You're darned

He is yanking his parka from a hook behind the opened door
and grabbing a pair of galoshes.

... If it's so damned imporant
to ya!

I'm sorry, sir, I -

Jerry has the parka slung over one arm and the galoshes
pinched in his hand.

Aw, what the Christ!

He stamps out the door.

Check out the script for a number of other examples: there's a father figure (in the movie, an in-law, but still) who's FAR more successful; Macy's character is busily engaged in fairly large scale theft (some $320,000 dollars worth), the kidnapping, i.e., again, breaking the law with Lundegaard's tacit assumption that all will work out/it's for a higher good (money for his investment)...finally, everything's wrapped up in a heartland vista that differs from the redneck south mostly in terms of climate only.

Watching the movie again was a REAL eye-opener for me. I especially like the end, when Lundegaard's nabbed trying to sneak out the bathroom window of a cheap motor inn. Crying like a baby, he's cuffed by the locals.

I love happy endings...