Friday, January 05, 2007

Mak[ing] It Go Away
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Manufacturing confetti:

What do you do when there are public records showing the details of visits by a corrupt lobbyist and his associates? If you're the Bush White House, you do what you do best: make them disappear!
Just Awful

I didn't know the latest murder victim in the city, but a number of NOLA bloggers did. Reading what they've written is a very stark reminder--what normally is a mere statistic to digest, like, say, the death toll in Iraq--is as different as night is from day for those who've now lost someone...forever. Someone who, from what I've read, was quite extraordinary. Even worse, Ms. Hill was in the prime of life.

More here and here.

So many "if only's" come to mind, the biggest being "if only this country would get serious about taking care of its citizens."
Family Values
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Hal Turner's lunatic comments I'd seen earlier this week; I guess Glenn Beck let his inner more-loon-than-his-usual-loon out just last night. In comments over at Oyster's post, I said, "ah, family values...if your family name is Barzini or Tattaglia," but that's probably giving both of these peckerwood pashas a little too much credit.

No, they're just a couple of middle aged gasbags for whom cruel fate put their arrival on the planet a tad too late to don the white sheet and lynch with impunity. So instead they fantasize over the airwaves.

To paraphrase James Wolcott's description of Dennis Miller, Beck and Turner are mere oily stains capable of (hate) speech.
Sacrificer in Chief
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Call it Surge, call it Bump (the latter a term Shrub should know from his cokehead days), call it whatever. Shrub himself seems to be leaning towards one of his extra-favorite special words, "sacrifice." I'm sure in his pathetically puny mindset, "sacrifice" carries sufficient solemnity, "dignitude," and gravitas to again put off the day of reckoning for his literally unprecedented disaster in Mesopotamia.

Which, when you come to think of it, is probably THE major reason why the disaster has been allowed to continue without real challenge for so long: just CONSIDERING the policy ramifications is enough to give otherwise clear-thinking individuals the mother of all headaches, while fantasists like Shrub himself, and the ever dwindling army of neo-con wingnuts experience the bliss of ignorance...or chemicals, depending on the person and time of day.

Sacrifice. A word that carries a little extra special meaning--hmmm, a "bump" if you will--for the remainder of the Shrubian base. From death comes eternal life, etc. etc. etc.

But I began to wonder: ok, so Team Bush has stepped so deeply into the Mesopotamian pile-of-shit that they've been forced to retire the now long-forgotten slogan "Shock & Awe©," substituting ever heightened, frightening rhetoric--maybe not quite "The Mother of All Battles," but plenty close enough.

So, you'd think such lofty speechifying would be accompanied by, well, at the very least, some sort of symbolic action underscoring the, ahem, necessity of the "sacrifice" Shrub touts with such resolute certitude. In other words, an example to us all by way of emphasis.

And here it, I mean, was:

It became known that he refused to eat sweets while American troops were in Iraq, a partial fast seldom reported of an American president."

Seldom reported -- and apparently little observed. When the White House sent out the shared "pool report" of Bush's roundtable interview with reporters aboard Air Force One en route to Australia, it became apparent that the president had fallen off the candy wagon.

"And he was relaxed. Very relaxed," was the description. "As a reporter began to ask about the Middle East . . . Mr. Bush popped a butterscotch Lifesaver in his mouth. He smacked the candy as he said: 'Middle East, that's right.'"

Well, that speaks volumes. What's life or limb when the sacrificer-in-chief gives up a butter rum Lifesaver..well, for a little while, at least.

I was further reminded of the odd disconnect vis-a-vis the war and daily life over the long weekend. On the radio military families were interviewed about the war, the casualty count, and the very REAL sacrifices they've made. As one woman said (paraphrasing), the American military went to war, while America went to the mall.

For the most part, that's the case...except perhaps for people along the still-shattered United States Gulf Coast. Oh, and Shrub hasn't done much sacrificing for THAT either.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Master of Dignitude
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Shrubleroy on the execution of Saddam:

"I wish, obviously, that the proceedings had gone on in a more dignified way..."

And who knows more about that sort of dignitude than the decider hisself?
Politically Correct
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Goode to see there's still room for literal accuracy in the political arena.

Well, maybe not. The post says "BIGOT" was erased a couple of days ago. Well, accurate while it lasted...
Chief Justice Junkquist
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Inspired by Holden C at First Draft...

Lenny Bruce once said, "If heroin is a monkey on the back, what's a morphine suppository?"

Why, it's Bill Rehnquist, of course:

The documents show that the FBI was aware in 1971 that Rehnquist had owned a home in Phoenix with a deed that allowed him to sell only to whites. The restrictive covenant was not disclosed until his 1986 confirmation hearings, at which Rehnquist said he became aware of the clause only days earlier.

Also detailed in the declassified file was Rehnquist's 1981 hospital stay for treatment of back pain and his dependence on powerful prescription pain-relief medication.

The FBI investigated his dependence on Placidyl, which Rehnquist had taken for at least 10 years, according to a summary of a 1970 medical examination.

When Rehnquist checked into a hospital in 1981 for a weeklong stay, doctors stopped administering the drug, causing what a hospital spokesman at the time said was a ``disturbance in mental clarity.''

The FBI file, citing one of his physicians, said Rehnquist experienced withdrawal symptoms that included going to the hospital lobby in his pajamas in a bid to escape. He imagined that there was a Central Intelligence Agency plot against him, and he also seemed to discern changes in the patterns on the hospital curtains.

Rehnquist thought he heard voices outside his room discussing various plots against him.

You know, if this was only a matter of the former Chief Justice being a drug addict, that'd be one thing--I'm no innocent babe in the woods when it comes to legal addiction (tobacco dependence...I'm trying to wean myself off the stuff) and, ahem, other delights of the garden, lab, or distillery. In fact, I'd be inclined to have a degree of sympathy for the man (hell, I'd even cut genuine cretin Rush Lamebone some slack...though I guess Rush is trying to cut OUT the slack with surreptitious Viagra). But again, this is a matter of hypocrisy so extreme, could only be GOP, i.e., compassion and understanding for me, but not for thee.

How many people had their appeals of draconian sentences for drug crimes upheld--either actively or via denial of certiorari--by the stoner Junkquist court? Even more times, no doubt, than the many examples of moral "arbiters" of public decency like Lamebone, Bill Bennett, Jimmy Swaggert, or Ted Haggard revealed as charlatans, liars, frauds, or worse.

Barack Obama admits to having tried cocaine, and the wingnut spin machine cackles in delight--Shrub's quite evident history with the stuff--and his admitted chronic boozing--are dismissed by the same.

And, not entirely off-topic, but the Democratic Party hasn't been in control of Congress for a day...yet the GOP is already whining about so-called understandings that Digby reminds us (here and in his latest post) were never agreed to in the first place.

Cheap-assed, elitist whiners...OK, if that's how they wanna be...
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Call them the Franzia Party--cheap white wine in a box...for cheap white whiners.
Mail Fraud
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Courtesy of the great deciderer fraudster. (h/t Think Progress).

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Ice and Pebbles of Mass Destruction
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Somewhere Dick Cheney is salivating like one of Pavlov's dogs:

...the surface of Titan, Saturn’s largest moon, appears to be dotted with an abundance of lakes of liquid methane.

No wonder they've been pushing for a bold new space initiative...
"Don't Forget to Say Your Prayers"
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The McCain Doctrine's namesake apparently thinks God will sort it all out:

“I do believe this issue isn’t going to be around in 2008. I think it’s going to either tip into civil war … ” He breaks off, as if not wanting to rehearse the handful of other unattractive possibilities. “Listen,” he says, “I believe in prayer. I pray every night.” And that’s where he leaves his discussion of the war this morning: at the kneeling rail.

More here.

We all know what God thinks of Pat Robertson...that must go doubly for Robertson's fools...
Degenerate Infidel
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Keith Ellison is teaching several lessons to idiot Rep. (that's both representative AND Republican...and idiot, but I guess that's redundant) Virgil Goode.

First, that tolerance, not to mention multiculturalism, IS an American virtue.

And two, that Thomas Jefferson, unlike Virgil Goode, was intelligent to know this:

Rep.-elect Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress, found himself under attack last month when he announced he'd take his oath of office on the Koran -- especially from Virginia Rep. Virgil Goode, who called it a threat to American values.

Yet the holy book at tomorrow's ceremony has an unassailably all-American provenance. We've learned that the new congressman -- in a savvy bit of political symbolism -- will hold the personal copy once owned by Thomas Jefferson.

"He wanted to use a Koran that was special," said Mark Dimunation, chief of the rare book and special collections division at the Library of Congress, who was contacted by the Minnesota Dem early in December. Dimunation, who grew up in Ellison's 5th District, was happy to help.

Jefferson's copy is an English translation by George Sale published in the 1750s; it survived the 1851 fire that destroyed most of Jefferson's collection and has his customary initialing on the pages. This isn't the first historic book used for swearing-in ceremonies -- the Library has allowed VIPs to use rare Bibles for inaugurations and other special occasions.

Ellison will take the official oath of office along with the other incoming members in the House chamber, then use the Koran in his individual, ceremonial oath with new Speaker Nancy Pelosi. "Keith is paying respect not only to the founding fathers' belief in religious freedom but the Constitution itself," said Ellison spokesman Rick Jauert.

Jefferson, to be fair, had some pretty deep flaws of his own. But at least he wasn't a xenophobic nutjob.
God Issues a Clarification
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Go. Get out. Now. Please, just, GO!

Re: Pat Robertson's, um, vision, if you can call it that, God, aka Vishnu, YHWH, Allah, Jah, Anami Purush. etc. etc., issues the following by way of clarification:

What I told the self-styled "reverend" was that if he continues to behave like the bugfuck insane dweeb he is, I'll slap him so hard upside the head and jam my boot so far up his foggy bottom (contrary to popular belief, I have a Me-damn good sense of humor) that it'll FELL like a nuclear bomb went off.

That's nuclear. NOT nukular.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.


P.S. I don't look at all like the Michelangelo fresco, but you know how things were back then, misogyny-wise...even worse than y'all are now. Oh, and sorry about Shrub, but hey, free will and all. Scalia and Thomas will have some explaining to do, about the 2000 election...and a lot more...before they join their buddy Bill Rehnquist in, oh, the 9th circle or so.

Have a nice day. After all, I'm having a nice eternity, if you know what I mean.

Maybe It's Just Me, but...

But I find something deeply, deeply troubling about a system that now considers a legitimate quest for justice in the matter of the United States of America v. Richard M. Nixon to be "vengeance," while the-not-exactly-epic-phone-cam snuff film of Saddam Hussein at the gallows is considered "justice."

And the indictment of police officers in New Orleans who shot a retarded man in the back is hardly considered news at all.

Sorry for the slow pace of posts...again, the holiday vacation was nice...and today I'm going to be busy at work. Hopefully will be back in a bit.