Friday, May 11, 2007

Merchant of Death

Dick has an aircraft carrier moment of his own today.

Well, isn't it nice that the Iraqi parliament's decided to "compromise:"

The most recent irritant among U.S. lawmakers was a report that Iraqi officials would break for two months this summer.

"Our armed forces are up to 150,000 troops; we're over $600 billion appropriated for this, lost 3,300 lives, 25,000 wounded fellow citizens. ... And the Iraqi answer? We're taking a summer off. Goin' fishing," said Rep. Rahm Emanuel (news, bio, voting record), D-Ill.

Saleh said he expects the vacation to be shortened by at least a month, although nothing had been decided. He added that Iraqis value being independent and do "not take kindly of (U.S. officials) telling us when to recess."

Just one month? By Shrubian standards, that sure is some "hard work." (Though, as most of us already know, Iraqi representatives aren't exactly engaged in due diligence when it comes to quorum calls.

Anyway, this plea from about as nominal a government as has ever existed (Jeez, they make South Vietnam look like a functional nation-state) underscores just how little has been been accomplished since, ahem "Mission Accomplished," and how pathetic Shrub truly is when it comes to possessing even a modicum of leadership. Basically the message from the Iraqi "government" is that they are a house of cards, extant ONLY because of a mix and match of US soldiers on site and 25 foot blast walls around a pitifully small section of Baghdad.

At this point, ONLY the delusional can have any sense that even a modestly "acceptable" solution can be worked out. The cynic in me thinks that our esteemed Iraqi legislature is looking for one last gravy train (maybe another $8 billion in unaccounted for cash), a final payday before heading off to exile. Meanwhile Shrub doesn't mind the additional waste of lives and money, because anything that postpones his day of reckoning is is just fine by him. Denial ain't just a river in Egypt: it's also an official Team Bush policy.
Abu Decoy

He's not even a clay pigeon:

Today's attorney general breezes into the chamber with the certain knowledge that having bottomed out in April, he has nothing left to prove. His only role in this scandal is as decoy: He's the guy who runs out in front of the hunters and draws their fire so nobody pays any attention to what's happening at the White House...

Since the career attorneys actually run the department, Gonzales is freed up to have no opinion about whether the DoJ should produce documents Congress is seeking ("I am recused from that decision"). He also needn't bother discussing this matter with his deputies, former deputies, or superiors. He can similarly accept full responsibility for decisions that he cannot begin to explain. He also shifts ground, in small but telling ways. He tells Mel Watt, D-N.C., that John McKay, former U.S. attorney in Seattle, was fired not so much because he "pushed an information-sharing system," (the old pretext) but for "the manner in which he pushed the information-sharing system." He tells Brad Sherman, D-Calif., that he stands by his ultimate decision to dismiss the eight attorneys, then insists that if the process had been more rigorous, different people would likely have been fired, which he apparently also would stand behind.

Finally, the AG proves himself to be as defiantly incurious as his boss. He tells the committee at various times that he didn't read the CRS report detailing how previous administrations handled U.S. attorney dismissals. He didn't read the University of Minnesota study that broke down the disparity in investigations of Democrats over Republicans He tells Maxine Waters, D-Calif., that he still has not read the fired U.S. attorneys' personnel files. He notes several times that he hasn't much read the newspapers. He tells Sanchez that he still doesn't know who at Justice had more than "limited input" into these decisions. The most revealing moment, perhaps, is when Gonzales inadvertently confesses that some members of this secret cabal of senior leaders may not have even "known that they were involved in making this list." Poor James Comey thought he was making cocktail-party conversation, when in fact Kyle Sampson was using his judgments on U.S. attorneys as ammunition against them.

Robert Wexler, D-Fla., finally loses his temper and starts hollering: "You did not select Iglesias for the list." (No). "Did Sampson select him?" (No). "Did Comey?" (No.) "Did McNulty?" (No.) Did the president? (No.) "Did the vice president? (No)." Then Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., follows up with one of the best queries of the day: "If you don't know who put Iglesias on the list, how do you know the president or the vice president didn't?"

Long silence. Pause. "They wouldn't do that," hems Gonzales. "The White House has said publicly that it was not involved in adding or deleting people from the list." Someone needs to tell that to Kyle Sampson. And as for Gonzales, he has made himself immortal by merely willing himself to be so. That must be what accounts for his Zenlike state today. It's an ingenious strategy. Instead of letting the president throw him under the bus to protect Karl Rove, Gonzales just lies down in the road, then giggles as the bus runs over his head.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Road Home to Nowhere

Jeffrey accurately describes it as "the most sadistic reality game show ever."
The Grim Freeper

Ask not what Giuliani can do for you, ask what you can do for Giuliani:

Last weekend Deb and Jerry VonSprecken of Olin received a call from former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s campaign office asking them if they would be interested in holding a campaign rally on May 4, after she had donated to his campaign.

“We thought it would be an honor and agreed,” said Jerry...

On Tuesday Deb received a call from Giuliani’s Des Moines office and was asked to call New York.

“They wanted to know our assets,” she revealed, and added that she and Jerry have a modest 80 acre farm and raise cattle.

Later she received a call from Tony Delgado at the Des Monies location.

“Tony said, ‘I’m sorry, you aren’t worth a million dollars and he is campaigning on the Death Tax right now.’ then he said they weren’t going to be able to come,” Deb continued.

Full story here.

Guess they're not "the have mores."
When a Caption Writes Itself

He's The Texas Chainsaw Massacre-er
Hit Me

The US Military now admits that 21 civilians were killed in Afghanistan during a recent airstrike which comes on the heels of another admission from the military that 19 civilians were killed and approximately 50 wounded after a reaction/overreaction to a Taliban ambush in March.

Um, I don't think I'm stepping out on a limb to suggest that this won't win many hearts or minds.
Role Play

It's 'game time' and dress up for Dick.

For others, it's not a game at all. And instead of dress up, it's dressings for their wounds.

But leave it to a five deferment guy to call a bloody, ugly war a "game." It is to him.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Why Would Anyone Want to Live...

It's looking like that expression of disdain could now apply to pretty much the whole country--fires, floods, storms--about the only thing missing is an earthquake or mudslide, and it's not like both won't happen again at some point.

So, I wonder if the Gulf Coast naysayers are now ready to write off the entire nation...
If He Only had a Brain...

I see Maximum Leader Shrubusto went to Kansas today, presumably promising Greensburg the New Orleans treatment, i.e., you too can be the backdrop of a photo-op...and then you'll be ignored, forgotten...and blamed.
From the Laboratory

Shrub administration "scientists" have produced the latest in cutting-edge obfuscation--a perpetual corner-turning machine, pictured above. However, in order for it to fully function, it old crank.

Mission accomplished:
Speaks Volumes

Dick and Nouri share a laugh during the former's "surprise" visit to Baghdad...I dunno, maybe someone was kicking a puppy off-camera or something. And pay no attention to the explosion outside, Dick: it's only your legacy going up in flames...well, that and the Iraqi nation.

Oh, and CNN decided to run a story today about Iraqi "justice" in the post-Saddam era, which sounds remarkably like "justice" in the Saddam era.

Maybe that's why Cheney's grinning.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

"There is Nothing Particularly Romantic About Death in Combat"


And now Team Bush is admitting that death in combat is also a life sentence for our military.

You know, that admission won't even interrupt their shopping habits, much less cause them to lose any sleep, I'd bet...
What a Fool Believes

It's a race to the bottom when it comes to being the GOP standard-bearer, and Willard's doing his best to let out his inner mouth-breather:

Last night on Fox’s Hannity & Colmes, host Sean Hannity asked Romney whether he thought Iraq hid weapons of mass destruction in Syria prior to the invasion. “It’s entirely possible,” Romney said.

This, of course, on the heels of his insistence that there's a sept ans démangent rule in France when it comes to marriage...I expect his advisors have him trained in some sort of Pavlovian method to NEVER, EVER, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES SAY THE WORD "brainwashing" (something tells me a cattle prod was involved), but at this point I wouldn't take a bet against the idea of Mitt citing "the radio people" before the 2008 GOP convention, if not prior to the primaries.

How much of a lunatic do you have to be to get nominated for president by the GOP?

It's Not Delivery, It's DiGiorno Jihad

"One large, hand tossed..."

Run for your lives everyone--paintball playing pizza delivery persons hate you because they hate freedom.

More seriously: um, so these six individuals were going to...attack a United States military installation? And because the "ringleader" of the plot used to deliver pizza on base he "knew it like the palm of his hand?"

Jersey Six, meet the Miami Seven.

Talk about soft bigotry of low expectations. Hell, next thing you know, the administration will pass out medals to people whose name tags are spelled properly. Geez: in ANY other administration, this sort of nonsense is dealt with routinely, without the ridiculous self-congratulatory trumpeting.

Just another example of how there's literally NO level Team Bush won't stoop to when it comes to playing politics...

Thanks to Holden at First Draft for the link and initial graphic.

Monday, May 07, 2007


I'm sure there's room for another

As I expected (and have posted about in the past), in Shrub's limited yet grandiouse (albeit flaccid) self-conception he's another Lincoln, or, at the very least, another Harry Truman...the latter having undergone a rather substantial historical reinterpretation over the last thirty years or so (to paraphrase a Hunter Thompson line, maybe the then new-found respect for Truman was actually more retrospect, considering what followed). Anyway...

Shrub can fantasize all he wants...but it STILL doesn't make him an Abe Lincoln...OR a Harry Truman, for that matter. No, I'm afraid the Chimperor will forever be placed in history's context alongside those who truly paved his way: James Buchanan, Franklin Pierce (an ancestor of Shrub's on BOTH his mother and father's side), Lyndon Johnson (though possessing neither Johnson's charm nor intellect)...and Richard Nixon (likewise not possessing any of Nixon's considerable skills, though virtually all of his flaws and then some).

Welcome to the club, Shrub. That said, humiliation is a pretty small price to pay, considering how much your administration has cost some people.
Great Minds Think Alike...So Do Dim Bulbs

Ayman al-Zawahiri says we should stay the course.
The Enemy of the Enemy is my Friend

SINV-1 is part of MY coalition of the willing:

Researchers have pinpointed a naturally occurring virus that kills [fire ants], which arrived in the U.S. in the 1930s and now cause $6 billion in damage annually nationwide, including about $1.2 billion in Texas.

The virus caught the attention of U.S. Department of Agriculture researchers in Florida in 2002. The agency is now seeking commercial partners to develop the virus into a pesticide to control fire ants.

The virus was found in about 20 percent of fire ant fields, where it appears to cause the slow death of infected colonies.

"Certainly, we are excited about it," said Bob Vander Meer, the leader of the USDA research team in Gainesville, Florida. "I think the virus has great potential. No question about it."

The massive fire ant colonies destroy crops, damage farm and electrical equipment and hasten soil erosion. Humans and livestock are particularly vulnerable to the insect's stinging attacks.

With no natural predators to keep them in check, fire ants have spread across the U.S., where their numbers are now 10 times greater than in their native South America. They thrive in open sunny areas such as cropland, pastures, and urban lawns, and they like moisture.

"Sustained control is what we're trying to achieve," said Steve Valles, an entomologist in the Gainesville research lab. "Eradication is not going to happen."

Fire ants have been detected in 13 states, covering 320 million acres, and are spreading northward. The pest has been found as far north as Virginia and along parts of the California coastline.

In the laboratory, the virus, SINV-1, has proven to be self-sustaining and transmissible. Once introduced, it can eliminate a colony within three months.

Hey, is Valles some sort of John Kerry librul? "Sustained control"??? Ha! You're either with us...or you're with the fire ants, etc. etc. etc.

I'd suggest putting Team Bush in charge of the operation as an appropriate outlet for their screeds/rhetoric, but god knows they'd screw THAT up, too: Bush would claim after a few months that he's really not that concerned, Halliburton would score a massive, multi-billion dollar federal contract...and do nothing, except perhaps hire a few illegal immigrants to clean up Cheney's yard. Fire ants themselves would spread even further...

On the flip side, though, it'd be amusing to watch administration big shots try to deal with fire ant stings, which, as anyone who's ever been bitten knows all too well, really suck.
Two Regions, Separated by a Common Idiot

From YRHT and Cunning Realist, an Iraqi perspective on New Orleans:

What shocked me the most in this trip was how the city looked like Baghdad. New Orleans looked like Baghdad after the war in 1991; I swear I kid you not. The devastation, empty houses, the people returning to their life in the city, the “rituals” people practice before they completely come back, the bumps in the streets and the smell of destruction [it has a distinctive smell people. Yes it does.]

Read on.

Oh, and in another ironic twist-er (link via Dependable Renegade), the Kansas National Guard is unable to proceed with post-tornado cleanup at a normal pace because...much of their equipment is in Iraq.
Homeland Security that ignores disasters isn't worthy of the appellation.