Friday, September 14, 2007

The Incredible Shrinking Senator

From the Incredible Hulk to Senator Mini-Me in the blink of an eye. Enjoy your unrenovated jail cell, Ted.
High Road? Low Road? No, Stupid Road...

Will Bunch:

Tonight was the eighth major prime-time TV address of President Bush’s tenure that dealt with the same subject -- Iraq. Only a handful of times has he used the bully pulpit of network TV to talk about any other issue, and that has mainly been the threat from al-Qaeda.

Most of the eight were slightly different variations of the exact same theme, "stay the course." About the only way the message hasn’t yet been delivered has been for Bush to appear on Univision to declare: "Permanezca el curso!"


...Meanwhile, while Bush was crossing the “t”s in “stay the course,” Hurricane Humberto was forming in the globally over-warmed waters of the Gulf of Mexico in a record-fast 18 hours, shocking the weather forecasters.

In five years of little else besides Iraq, how many other gathering storms are we not picking up?

More amazing to me is the Team Bush mule-headed insistence on sticking with things doomed to fail, while ignoring if not scorning things that would bring them success. I mean, c'mon: US Gulf Coast recovery and restoration is truly a drop in the bucket compared to the Mesopotamian Madness, and a damn good investment as well. But they really are the moral if not economic equivalent of Trust Fund Babies, wasting lives and money as fast as they can...without realizing that Mommy and Daddy aren't there to clean up the mess for them anymore...
A New Way Forward

Prepping for Operation Dolchstoßlegende

September 14, 2007
Op-Ed Columnist
A Surge, and Then a Stab
To understand what’s really happening in Iraq, follow the oil money, which already knows that the surge has failed.

Back in January, announcing his plan to send more troops to Iraq, President Bush declared that "America will hold the Iraqi government to the benchmarks it has announced."

Near the top of his list was the promise that "to give every Iraqi citizen a stake in the country’s economy, Iraq will pass legislation to share oil revenues among all Iraqis."

There was a reason he placed such importance on oil: oil is pretty much the only thing Iraq has going for it. Two-thirds of Iraq’s G.D.P. and almost all its government revenue come from the oil sector. Without an agreed system for sharing oil revenues, there is no Iraq, just a collection of armed gangs fighting for control of resources.

Well, the legislation Mr. Bush promised never materialized, and on Wednesday attempts to arrive at a compromise oil law collapsed.

What’s particularly revealing is the cause of the breakdown. Last month the provincial government in Kurdistan, defying the central government, passed its own oil law; last week a Kurdish Web site announced that the provincial government had signed a production-sharing deal with the Hunt Oil Company of Dallas, and that seems to have been the last straw.

Now here’s the thing: Ray L. Hunt, the chief executive and president of Hunt Oil, is a close political ally of Mr. Bush. More than that, Mr. Hunt is a member of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, a key oversight body.

Some commentators have expressed surprise at the fact that a businessman with very close ties to the White House is undermining U.S. policy. But that isn’t all that surprising, given this administration’s history. Remember, Halliburton was still signing business deals with Iran years after Mr. Bush declared Iran a member of the "axis of evil."

No, what’s interesting about this deal is the fact that Mr. Hunt, thanks to his policy position, is presumably as well-informed about the actual state of affairs in Iraq as anyone in the business world can be. By putting his money into a deal with the Kurds, despite Baghdad’s disapproval, he’s essentially betting that the Iraqi government -- which hasn’t met a single one of the major benchmarks Mr. Bush laid out in January -- won’t get its act together. Indeed, he’s effectively betting against the survival of Iraq as a nation in any meaningful sense of the term.

The smart money, then, knows that the surge has failed, that the war is lost, and that Iraq is going the way of Yugoslavia. And I suspect that most people in the Bush administration -- maybe even Mr. Bush himself -- know this, too.

After all, if the administration had any real hope of retrieving the situation in Iraq, officials would be making an all-out effort to get the government of Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki to start delivering on some of those benchmarks, perhaps using the threat that Congress would cut off funds otherwise. Instead, the Bushies are making excuses, minimizing Iraqi failures, moving goal posts and, in general, giving the Maliki government no incentive to do anything differently.

And for that matter, if the administration had any real intention of turning public opinion around, as opposed to merely shoring up the base enough to keep Republican members of Congress on board, it would have sent Gen. David Petraeus, the top military commander in Iraq, to as many news media outlets as possible -- not granted an exclusive appearance to Fox News on Monday night.

All in all, Mr. Bush’s actions have not been those of a leader seriously trying to win a war. They have, however, been what you’d expect from a man whose plan is to keep up appearances for the next 16 months, never mind the cost in lives and money, then shift the blame for failure onto his successor.

In fact, that’s my interpretation of something that startled many people: Mr. Bush’s decision last month, after spending years denying that the Iraq war had anything in common with Vietnam, to suddenly embrace the parallel.

Here’s how I see it: At this point, Mr. Bush is looking forward to replaying the political aftermath of Vietnam, in which the right wing eventually achieved a rewriting of history that would have made George Orwell proud, convincing millions of Americans that our soldiers had victory in their grasp but were stabbed in the back by the peaceniks back home.

What all this means is that the next president, even as he or she tries to extricate us from Iraq -- and prevent the country’s breakup from turning into a regional war -- will have to deal with constant sniping from the people who lied us into an unnecessary war, then lost the war they started, but will never, ever, take responsibility for their failures.
This Year's Model

The All-New Bush "Surge"--2 Lives a Day--30,000 Wounded Soldiers--Half a Trillion Dollars--As Seen on TV

OK, to be fair, Tweety Matthews seems like he's either off the Kool-Aid or developed too much tolerance, and McClatchy Newspapers has always seemed relatively immune...but it sure seems from taking a quick look around that the ONLY people willing to pay for the rustbucket Bush policy are the screetching, batshit insane elements of wingnuttia and their inside-the-Beltway media enablers.

News Flash: it's not like "the policy" hasn't been test-driven. After four years, a bucket of shit isn't going to turn into shinola.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Surrender Monkey in Chief

Others who know far more than me can parse each paragraph of Bubble Chimp's speechfying, but did anyone else notice that Shrubble (Shrub+Bubble) pretty much waved the white flag when it came to the Iraqi insurgency? Instead, it was Al Qaeda this, al Qaeda that, al Qaeda's standing on your front door mat (so stay scared and stupid).

Indeed, de-Baathify became re-Baathify, and, as I suspected (look for the Countdown transcript tomorrow--Thomas Ricks pointed this out), Abdul-Sattar Abu Risha isn't exactly Bernard Montgomery...or Charles DeGaulle...or even "Uncle Joe" Stalin, for that matter.

But, by the magic of redefinition, he became an "ally." Shrub evidently doesn't care that Abu Risha had American blood on his hands...which makes his call for what amounts to more American deaths all the more galling.

Now, if nothing else, the sheer LACK of Al Qaeda presence in Iraq might make it easier for Shrub to pull the plug--however, as he made clear, his own "exit strategy" make it to the finish line of January 20, 2009, whereupon he washes his hands of the whole affair. As far as this particular effort--well, call it the political equivalent of him putting the best face on his Harken Energy debacle and pawning it off to anyone dumb enough to buy it. He really thinks we're all a bunch of suckers.

Any takers?
The Chimperor's Reverse Draft Lottery


Mother of All--
Who Had Strings Pulled For Them
Goof Offs in the Champagne Brigade of the Texas Air National Guard, and
Draft Dodgers

To play THIS ugly little game--a short reprieve for 5700 who've worked FAR harder than the Texas Souffle ever has.

No Blood for Oil

Nope, no blood for oil...either more pathetic, or more cynical, depending on your point of view, is Shrub's latest scheme--buying time with the stuff. Of course, it's not HIS blood, or the blood of anyone his narcissistic rat-assed self gives even half a damn about.

Just how sick and demented is this? Well, consider: back in the day, Ted Bundy's last-ditch attempt to save HIS narcissistic rat-assed self from an appointment with Old Sparky was called "Ted's Bones for Time Scheme," i.e., he began a rambling series of kinda, sorta confessions, cruelly dangling the prospect of closure to grieving families in exchange for extra days.

In Shrub's case, it's merely his political life, and again, it's not like he's ever going to hurt for anything, even IF somehow the Democratic party developed a functioning spine and impeached him for any of the dozens of legitimate reasons. If Chimperor lost his government golden retirement package, Daddy would certainly step in with the needed funds. Still, it's instructive to watch the dauphin as he flounders ever more obviously, clinging the shreds of his legacy...and offering Fate more of OUR blood and treasure as...a stalling tactic.

If THAT doesn't tell you what sort of people we're talking about, I don't know what does...

Oh, and I guess everyone saw the headline today--in a classic "if Fredo were the Don" situation, a nominal "ally" got the kiss of death from Shrub--in person. After all, why save such things only for your enemies, eh?

To be honest, I wonder just how "friendly" Sheikh Abdul Sattar REALLY was--alliances shift faster than the sands over there--but it certainly underscores the fact that everything Chimperor touches turns to shit...or dust.
Ripped From the Headlines...

Robot Maker Builds Artificial Boy.

I thought Roy was joking, but he claims he's no good at that stuff.
Ready for Its Closeup?

Pravda-Upon-Hudson previews K-Ville:

The show’s two main characters, both flawed policemen, are overt symbols of the city. Mr. Anderson’s character was abandoned by his partner during the hurricane. Mr. Hauser plays a criminal-turned-cop trying to remake his life. "New Orleans is not just a location. It’s a character," Mr. Hauser said, echoing a sentiment voiced by almost everyone involved in the show.

When the crew arrived to shoot the pilot in March, the conditions were considerably grimmer than they are now. Mr. Anderson said it was disheartening to come to New Orleans and see it still looked "like a war zone."

But, he emphasized, the show was not "picking on the city."

"It’s not about Katrina," he said. "Katrina is the backdrop. It informs the relationships and informs the situation."

Mr. Liguori said he hoped "K-Ville" would be "gritty and authentic." But Fox doesn’t want the show to focus too heavily on the harsher realities. Mr. Lisco said he had "gotten messages" from the network and the production studio that the stories could not be too negative, something he said he understood "from a marketing standpoint."

In his opinion, "the aggregate effect is very positive for the city," he said. "I worry more as a creator about ignoring the problems that exist in New Orleans."

Well, I unfortunately have other plans Monday; otherwise, I'd give the show a look despite it being on Faux.

Mr. Nagin: not that I'd personally refer to a major American city as a "brand," but IF I did, this is how to "keep the brand out there" as opposed to this.

Oh, and K-Ville producers, I've got an idea for an episode: you see, you've got this guy who's a Senator, publicly a real "family values" type...turns out, though, all along he's been whoring around...and, better still, he's got a weird diaper fetish (product placement/tie-in opportunity?)...I'd say its got real potential, and maybe Woody Harrelson could reprise his Larry Flynt role in a cameo.

Whaddya think? Hey, let's do lunch.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


I dunno, but it just seems like Mitt lecturing his rivals on "lack of experience" is like Miss Teem South Carolina offering advice on how to handle the Q&A part of the beauty pageant.
Designer Crude

And maybe you'll have to schedule an appointment to get it refined...
John Boehner's Sacrifice

He's fighting as hard as he can on the front DC, so he KNOWS it's worth it.'s pronounced "BAY-ner," know.
He Who Must Not Be Named...

A Moderate

I was reading Stan Goff's analysis of the Petraeus clown show and his accurate description of Iran as "diabolus ex machina" reminded me that Rising Hegemon caught this small story about the REAL player behind the scenes in the Middle East...our "ally" Saudi Arabia:

Despite six years of promises, U.S. officials say Saudi Arabia continues to look the other way at wealthy individuals identified as sending millions of dollars to al Qaeda.

"If I could somehow snap my fingers and cut off the funding from one country, it would be Saudi Arabia," Stuart Levey, the under secretary of the Treasury in charge of tracking terror financing, told ABC News.

You know, a big, obvious reason why the so-called "war on terror" is such a crock is that the very countries that you'd need to invade in order to take it to them, as it were, are specifically OFF the list. Of course, the big reason why that's the case is that, deep down, I don't think ANY of us are willing to pay the cost, namely, an end to the global economic system as we know other words, despite the grunting and teeth grinding of the mouth breathers, it's a--oooh, here's the word--nuanced thing.

Too bad it's not really nuanced at all for those who are actually, you know, fighting.
Everyone Knows It's Vitty **

Sure, I don't mind admitting a bit of schadenfreude about the ongoing public humiliation of diaper dandy David Vitter, junior senator apparently in more ways than one...anyway, I dunno--maybe I'm just in a bad mood today, but it seems that Vitter, and for that matter fellow public servant Dollar Bill Jefferson, sure are revealing their true selves, stubbornly opting for "me first" at a time when that's the very last thing The Gret Stet needs. And that dampens any amusement I might derive from witnessing moral and ethical hypocrites exposed for what they are.

Of course, Vitter and Dollar Bill really are small change compared to the true outrage of Team Bush...nonetheless, they--and professional incompetents like Ray Nagin--provide ample excuse to those who'd sell Louisiana down the river even as they plunder our resources, ruin our coastline, and then turn their back without so much as an apology.

And, while it's never fun to have to 'take one for the team,' it's not like the bottom would truly drop out for any of these clowns. Their parachutes are golden, their safety nets well-woven, unlike those of the tens of thousands displaced because of storms or floods. No, it wouldn't be pleasant, but they'd survive.

Their stubborn refusals to step aside, at all of our expense, are the real moral and ethical pitfalls, if you ask me...

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

And if That Doesn't Work...

Maybe try the twinkie defense, Senator Craig.

Larry Craig says he was "deeply panicked." Oh, okay.
Meet the Mouth Breathers

One third of Americans STILL believe Saddam Hussein was personally involved in the 9/11 attacks.

As others have noted, it's probably not entirely coincidental that Shrub's approval numbers are roughly the same.
Bring On the Doubleplusgood Hallelujah Chorus

Dear Leader insists that it's not a clusterfuck, it's just a quagmire. Rinse, repeat. The Eurasians have always been our enemy. Or is it the East Asians? Oh, I don't know...
Playing the Blame Game
blame copy

I pretty much agree with Juan Cole's rather pessimistic assessment of the next four years, and the preparations being made by yer neocon/wingnut GOP to ensure this eventuality:

But in all likelihood, when the Democratic president pulls US troops out in summer of 2009, all hell is going to break loose. The consequences may include even higher petroleum prices than we have seen recently, which at some point could bring back stagflation or very high rates of inflation.

In other words, the Democratic president risks being Fordized when s/he withdraws from Iraq, by the aftermath. A one-term president associated with humiliation abroad and high inflation at home? Maybe I should say, Carterized. The Republican Party could come back strong in 2012 and then dominate politics for decades, if that happened.

It is all so unfair, of course, since Bush started and prosecuted this disaster in Iraq, and Bush is refusing to accept responsibility for the failure, pushing it off onto his successor...

...from the moment Bush went into Iraq, Americans were screwed. And that includes the Democratic Party, which is being set up to take the fall.

Would the Rethugs do such a despicable thing? Duh--of course they would. Look how they've exploited 9/11, which, by ANY analysis, is the epitome of abject failure on the part of Team Bush--as is their Mesopotamian debacle, as is their handling of the economy, as is pretty much everything Shrub's ever put a finger on, career-wise. Nonetheless, like goddamned rabid weasels backed into a corner, they've continued to spit foam and flash their fangs, hoping to hang on until January 20, 2009, whereupon we'll see THE shortest political "honeymoon" in modern history, namely, the time it takes for Hillary, or whatever Democrat is elected, to get from the steps of the Capital to the White House.

And the idiot press will ride along ("You name it - I'll throw rocks at it...")

Note: Again, sorry for the slow start--it's been a little busy here at work, plus Imageshack looks to be down for the count. Well, maybe Imageshack's problem is good--recently, at Dangerblond's suggestion I FINALLY began to organize and backup some of my pics using a Flickr account. That little project will continue and I might as well start using them to host my stuff anyway...and maybe it'll make things load faster.

Meanwhile, I hope Imageshack comes back on line, but if they don't, I'll repost some of the previous pics with the new Flickr account, too.
Busy Morning

Back after lunch...
UPDATE: Hmmm...just noticed that imageshack's website is down. That's not real good...guess I'll check again this afternoon. Sorry for the lack 'o pictures.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Madman Theory Redux *

Alexander Cockburn corresponds with now-certified demon Noam Chomsky (after all, Noam's been given the Al Qaeda stamp of approval...well, at least the bin Laden imprimatur) on the possibility of a desperation strike by Team Bush on Iran...personally, I'm skeptical; however, I tend towards rational behavior...there's no accounting for actions undertaken by loons.

As a side dish, Cockburn also reveals his father's 'secret' for getting a scoop, although I suspect the elder Cockburn never actually had to resort to such a thing:

One morning, as we at length relaxed at breakfast by a brazier on the terrace of the Café du Dôme, he [Robert Dell, the diplomatic correspondent of the Manchester Guardian] said to me: "Do you want to get what used to be called a 'scoop' for your horrid little paper every day?" (The "horrid little paper" was, of course, the Daily Worker, whose diplomatic correspondent I then was.)

"That would be nice."

"Well then, all you have to do is to read all the continental papers available every morning, take lunch with one or more of Europe's leading politicians or diplomats, make up your mind what is the vilest action that, in the circumstances, the French, British, Italian or German government could undertake, and then, in the leisure of the afternoon, sit down at your typewriter and write a dispatch announcing that that is just what they are going to do. You can't miss. Your news will be denied two hours after it is published and confirmed after twenty four."
Tag Team Twins of Delusion

From WIIIAI...It simply isn't possible to get more head-in-the-clouds-while-buried-in-the-sand than this drivel spat forth by...who else?--Senators Lieberman and McCain, the former as desperate to "prove" his manhood as the latter is ready to grovel and humiliate himself in exchange for a presidential brass really is pathetic exercise in opinion writing and literally sickening to read when you consider that the stale, bland, empty-calorie rhetoric they employ would be bad enough if the stakes were merely high office or "respectability." But their argument boils down to pleading for more shattered bodies and wasted dollars while they try to weasel their way out of what was supposed to be the Easy Street of if there could ever be such a thing.

And even more galling is that they seem quite comfortable doing so. Personally, I think they both ought to be put to work as orderlies at Walter Reed or other suitable facility, where they can witness first hand the effects of their advocacy.
Petraeus: "The Best Surge Evah"

General David Petraeus and Friend

Shocking, no? Petraeus insists that the surge is going sooooo well that we'll finally be able to, oh, what was the expression back in '06?--yeah, right: stand down as the Iraqis stand up...or something like that.

He also insisted that he wasn't parroting White House spin--nope, not David "[t]estifying in a military uniform bearing four general's stars and a chestful of medals" Petraeus. Nope, not him.

Asked about his 'friend,' Petraeus insisted, under oath, that it most certainly was NOT a pig wearing lipstick...and the committee wholeheartedly agreed.

Oh--and it probably isn't know, with David Petraeus saying things are going so good and all, but, if you search around the internets, you can find out that seven more US soldiers died (but it was "just" a vehicle "accident" so that's okay in wingnut eyes)...and, even less important is this little story about Iraqi volunteers who daily collect as many of the dead as they are able to and try to give them decent, proper burials. After all, in wingnut eyes, Iraqis aren't human--just statistics to use when convenient.
Or Not to Have a Mind At All...

I was just sort of skimming through this rather light article about a study suggesting that "liberals and conservatives think differently" etc., etc...the kind of thing that, if someone mentioned it to Shrub, he'd probably say something like "that's interesting" while making it clear that no he wasn't interested in the slightest...

Then I saw a link to a different story at the bottom of the page that brought home just what a silly luxury the whole "mode of thinking" study is, and how obscene Shrub's "splendid little little war" has become. I can't imagine veteran soldiers wondering about such things as they cope with traumatic brain injury and or PTSD, both of which are now at epidemic levels in the military. No, I expect that for thousands, "mode of thinking" is far less a concern than "restoring as much function as possible."

My local paper ran a story about TBI as well.

Sad to say, my guess is that our president would also find that "interesting" in an "I'm not interested at all" sort of way. After all, it undercuts what's sure to be a massive amount of spin chronicling how well the surge has gone...