Friday, August 17, 2007

Friday "Cat's Map of the Bed Blogging"

From Strange Maps, original here.
Following the Leader

Boys will be boys...right?

The LA Times reports on a disturbing trend:

Nationwide, an increasing number of animal cruelty cases are being reported outside city limits: Horses, cows, goats and other farm animals are being killed, authorities say, often by angry, reckless youths, perhaps acting on dares...

Studies suggest that youths who engage in animal cruelty often commit violent criminal behavior as adults. Among those who preyed on animals before turning on people were mass killers Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy and Albert DeSalvo, the Boston Strangler.

The random killing of larger animals signals a troubling psychology that experts are only beginning to understand. Even when caught, most youths refuse to talk about their crimes.

Disturbing, but not altogether a recent phenomenon:

"We were terrible to animals," recalled [Bush pal Terry] Throckmorton, laughing. A dip behind the Bush borne turned into a small lake after a good rain, and thousands of frogs would come out. "Everybody would get BB guns and shoot them," Throckmorton said. "Or we'd put firecrackers in the frogs and throw them and blow them up."

That's bad enough...what's even more disturbing is the potential for violence in some of the returning veterans, for whom 'going postal' might be as normal as the sun rising in the east.
Must Be One Hell of a Fancy Lock Washer

h/t Suspect Device

On a more serious note, this is the sort of crap that's absolutely infuriating--no money to repair roads, bridges, LEVEES, and other vital public works, but the government's got a million bucks for some shit-clown in exchange for two 19-cent lock washers shipped via slow boat?

Gimme a goddamned break.

And who knows how much more cash is being looted from the treasury in the name of "defense." Sheez--they can't even properly audit the Pentagon.

I'd like to shove a few lock washers, threaded plugs, and cotter pins down the goddamned throats of all those who blithely, blindly approve of any and every appropriation, no matter how harebrained, because it's listed as being "for defense."

Let 'em shit goldbricks.
Ground Zero, Club Macanudo...What's the Diff?

America's Mayor, there "in spirit."

Rudy's "as much, or more" time at Ground Zero than the rescue and recovery workers amounted to a whopping 29 hours in the first quarter following the attack. Well, I guess that qualifies as "presidential" by George W. Bush standards.

Oh, and here's some analysis of Rudy's latest foray into the world of foreign policy...short version: putting the nut into wingnut.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

File This Under "You Learn Something New Every Day, I Guess..."

Lucy Johnson Nugent? Well, I'll be damned...
Great Moments in Team Bush Jurisprudence

It used to be that justice was blind...not anymore. Now, it's the defendant and counsel.
L'etat C'est La Famille Barbour

Well, no wonder Haley thinks it's all wine and roses:

The $15 billion or more in federal aid the former Republican national chairman attracted has reopened casinos and helped residents move to new or repaired homes.

Among the beneficiaries are Barbour's own family and friends, who have earned hundreds of thousands of dollars from hurricane-related business. A nephew, one of two who are lobbyists, saw his fees more than double in the year after his uncle appointed him to a special reconstruction panel. Federal Bureau of Investigation agents in June raided a company owned by the wife of a third nephew, which maintained federal emergency- management trailers.

Meanwhile, the governor's own former lobbying firm, which he says is still making payments to him, has represented at least four clients with business linked to the recovery.

But for those who continue to languish in the absence of family connections--or a firm commitment from the government to either compensate losses, or, AT THE VERY LEAST, to compel insurance companies to act in good faith--well, I guess Barbour, et al, must be thinking "let 'em eat cake:"

Many Gulf Coast residents still feel the wallop of Hurricane Katrina nearly two years later.

Mental illness is double the pre-storm levels, rising numbers suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, and there is a surge in adults who say they're thinking of suicide.

A government survey released Wednesday to USA TODAY shows no improvement in mental health from a year ago.

About 14% have symptoms of severe mental illness. An additional 20% have mild to moderate mental illness, says Ronald Kessler of Harvard Medical School, who led the study.

The big surprise: Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which typically goes away in a year for most disaster survivors, has increased: 21% have the symptoms vs. 16% in 2006. Common symptoms include the inability to stop thinking about the hurricane, nightmares and emotional numbness.

Maybe everyone should change their name to Haley Barbour...or Trent Lott.
I Can Haz...


Link. And check out the multimedia series here.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Unionz Rule, or Union Rulz


Sorry for the lack of production's been kind of busy over here, and I'm a little tired/under the weather today...
Iraq is the New Black Byzantine

No wonder wingnuttia can't keep things straight and William Kristol strayed from the least the reservation as it stands today. Tomorrow might well bring a different story, the next day something else, and the day after that, back to square one in the Orwellian nightmare:

US commanders seem to have no trouble detecting the hand of Tehran everywhere. This largely evidence-free blaming of serial setbacks on Iranian forces is a bad case of denial. First, the insurgency is overwhelmingly Iraqi and Sunni, built around a new generation of jihadis created by the US invasion. Second, to the extent foreign fighters are involved these have come mostly from US-allied and Sunni Saudi Arabia, not Shia Iran. Third, the lethal roadside bombs with shaped charges that US officials have coated with a spurious veneer of sophistication to prove Iranian provenance are mostly made by Iraqi army-trained engineers – from high explosive looted from those unsecured arms dumps.

Shia Iran has backed a lot of horses in Iraq. If it wished to bring what remains of the country down around US ears it could. It has not done so. The plain fact is that Tehran’s main clients in Iraq are the same as Washington’s: Mr Maliki’s Da’wa and the Supreme Islamic Council of Iraq led by Abdelaziz al-Hakim. Iran has bet less on the unpredictable Moqtada al-Sadr and his Mahdi army, which has, in any case, largely stood aside during the present troop surge.

So, in sum. Having upturned the Sunni order in Iraq and the Arab world, and hugely enlarged the Shia Islamist power emanating from Iran, the US finds itself dependent on Tehran-aligned forces in Baghdad, yet unable to dismantle the Sunni jihadistan it has created in central and western Iraq. Ignoring its Iraqi allies it is arming Sunni insurgents to fight al-Qaeda. And, by selling them arms rather than settling Palestine it is trying to put together an Arab Sunni alliance (Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia) with Israel against Iran. All clear? How can anyone keep a straight face and call this a strategy?

If you've got a few minutes, take a look at the entire article, which does a pretty decent job of summarizing an outrageously complicated web that's resulted in completely, utterly needless death.
The Peter Principle in Action

Meet your new death penalty czar.

In case you were wondering, Abu has a history with this sort of thing.
"And Bushie, You're Doing a Heckuva Job"

He's with Stupid.

Taking the soft bigotry of low expectations to new heights:

The Los Angeles Times reports that Gen. David Petraeus’ upcoming Sept. 15 report on Iraq will be authored by the White House:
Despite Bush’s repeated statements that the report will reflect evaluations by Petraeus and Ryan Crocker, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, administration officials said it would actually be written by the White House, with inputs from officials throughout the government.

And though Petraeus and Crocker will present their recommendations on Capitol Hill, legislation passed by Congress leaves it to the president to decide how to interpret the report’s data.

I hear they're also going to congratulate themselves on their quick and timely response in New Orleans when the levees broke.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Operation Dropkick The Ball

"We also calling it the 'surge.'" *

Those darned Iraqis sure are making it hard for Team Bush to declare a smashing victory over the weak-kneed, surrender-and-Al-Qaeda-loving-libruls in Warshington, um, I mean, the various insurgencies and associated guerrilla movements created by Operation Enduring Clusterfuck:

Four suicide bombers hit Kurdish Yazidi communities with nearly simultaneous attacks on Tuesday, killing at least 175 people and wounding 200 others, said Iraqi military and local officials in northwest Iraq...

The death toll was the highest in a concerted attack since Nov. 23, when 215 people were killed by mortar fire and five car bombs in Baghdad's Shiite enclave of Sadr City.
Waddling Off Into the Sunset?

Looks for Denny to be personally filling the booth at any number of all-you-can-eats in Illinois' 14th District.

Hastert might well be unique in managing to turn the most powerful position in Congress into nothing more than an afterthought...
George Casey, Kumbaya

George Casey says Iraq could be "a remarkable country" if we stick around for another decade or so, presumably at the same or perhaps even greater cost in lives and money...then General Casey started babbling about the universe in his fingernail.

OK, so maybe I made up the part about the universe.

Hell, General Casey--if you think a decade-long committment to Iraq would work wonders, imagine how good a similar committment would work RIGHT HERE.

You might have highway bridges that don't collapse during rush hour. Or levees that didn't fail.

Sure, maybe it wouldn't be Futurama, but right now I think the public would settle for decent infrastructure...better still, you wouldn't have soliders getting killed or grievously wounded in the name of fostering fundamentalist Islam.
"Thank You For Your Sacrifice, Karl"

I couldn't help but notice that the Boy King didn't have nearly as much to say yesterday for four soldiers who've paid a bit higher of a price in service to their country than the soon-to-be-ex-deputy-chief-of-staff-for-policy-matters.

And that speaks volumes.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Mission Accomplished

Thers reminds us that the Rovester was at least at one time in charge of the recovery effort in New Orleans, and provides graphic evidence. Funny how everyone seems to have forgotten this, including...Shrub and Rove themselves.

Thers also links to the RisingTide2007 site. Hope to see you there...

Tax breaks for luxury condos in Tuscaloosa? Sure, why not?

Comprehensive policy plan for sound water resource management? Nah, too expensive.

And why did I include Bobby with Shrub? Well, why not?
Love Shack

It's just a little old place that happens to be New York's Emergency Command Center where Rudy and Judith can get together...

Hmmm...I don't know if great minds think alike, but Rudy and fellow narcissistic asshole Bernard Kerik were/are certainly on the same wavelength.
Turd Blossoms Available in the Home and Garden Center

Just as Sam Walton didn't invent retail sales, neither did Karl Rove invent sleazy campaign tactics...he merely made good use of such tactics, aided by an utterly amoral political movement as well as an "opposition" hardly worthy of the name.

The fact that the media's in awe of the guy speaks volumes...about how utterly cowed the media is these days.

Anyway...something tells me this isn't the last chapter of Turd Blossom's policial career, unfortunately.