Saturday, December 29, 2007

Saturday "What I Found on You Tube" Post

Appropriate for a solstice celebration.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Oxy and Contin

While Rush Lamebone was popping so much Oxycontin he destroyed his hearing, guess who handled PR for Purdue Pharma?

Rudy did.
But on Steroids

I already linked to the Juan Cole Salon article, but this observation is certainly worth more emphasis:

The question is whether President Musharraf now most resembles the shah of Iran in 1978. That is, has his authority among the people collapsed irretrievably?

If that IS the case, then things could go to hell in a handbag and in a real hurry. At least Iran didn't have nuclear technology then (despite the very foolish attempt by our country to provide him with it)...oh, and Pakistan is more than twice as populous.

And, dealing with this, is the Bush administration...which is sort of like having someone who failed basic algebra taking the calculus exam for you. Ouch.
"Down Goes Frazier Euthymius!"

I guess Gret Steters aren't the only ones with a somewhat unusual interpretation of the Christmas message (from AmericaBlog):

Greek Orthodox and Armenian priests attacked each other with brooms and stones inside the Church of the Nativity as long-standing rivalries erupted in violence during holiday cleaning on Thursday.

Tis the season.
Color Me Skeptical

Personally, I'm not buying the story that Bhutto accidentally killed herself. If you ask me, it sounds more like a crude, and somewhat clumsy attempt to calm, or at least confuse, things long enough to get a handle/put a lit on something that could blow up very easily.

If that's the best they've got, though, it sure as hell isn't good.
There's Slow, Then There's Bush Administration A.C.O.E. Slow *

You know, part of me is a little sympathetic to the request for more time to develop a coastal protection plan for Category 5 hurricanes...I mean, c'mon, any plan worthy of the concept will be neither cheap nor easy to implement. But any sympathy is tempered quite a bit by the fact that IF the Bush administration actually considered the needs of American citizens to be, you know, in the national interest, there WOULD ALREADY be a plan in the works.

It comes back to something Scout Prime wrote about at a TPM forum: what sort of government DO we want? One that responds to our needs, or one that doesn't give a shit (that is, doesn't give a shit about us--on the other hand, Dick Cheney and those connected to him are cackling giddily: government is certainly responsive to THEM). I mean, geez, every day I think about an astonishing array of things government could easily be providing--to all of us, regardless of location--instead of choosing to spend blood by the barrel and money by the billions, with plenty of the latter finding its way into Big Time's grubby fingers.

It's all a matter of priorities...and choices.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Shrub n' Huxley

What makes me think this is probably accurate is that Dear Leader didn't actually read the book...nor was it a book on tape:

In a new piece in Commentary magazine, Jay Lefkowitz -- who advised Bush on stem cells -- reveals how the President formulated his 2001 policy. While Bush heard from a variety of groups on both sides of the issue, the turning point appeared to come when Lefkowitz read from Aldous Huxley’s fictional novel, Brave New World, and scared Bush...

It’s unclear what passage Lefkowitz read, but Brave New World opens with a scene at the Central London Hatchery and Conditioning Centre, where embryos are turned into full human beings -- often dozens of pairs of "identical twins" to ensure "social stability."

Scientists are not proposing such fictional experiments and recognize the need to balance ethics with scientific progress. In fact, the legislation expanding embryonic stem cell research (vetoed by Bush) -- actually proposed ethics regulations that were stricter than Bush’s. Additionally, a bill banning human cloning was blocked by conservatives in Congress in June.

Six years since the President’s misguided, outdated restrictions, the scientific community has come together in support of lifting this ban. Even University of Wisconsin Professor James Thomson, whose work isolating embryonic stem cells has been used by the right wing -- including Lefkowitz -- as vindication for Bush’s policies, has stressed that the administration’s restrictive stem cell policies are "counter to both scientific and public opinion" and are inhibiting potential treatments.

Too bad Lefkowitz didn't read Bush any passages referring to the effects of soma...that might've made stem cell research a national sacrament.
Something's Missing...

This picture looks familiar, but...

Oh, right.

As so many, including myself, have said, this administration really has the anti-Midas touch. Everything they grab on to turns to shit.
From the Department of the Blindingly Obvious

From Cursor a Chicago Tribune analysis piece headlined "Bush was big spender in early years."

Ya think?

Like a certain NOLA blogger pointed out a couple of YEARS ago, the article notes that "Bush spent at a pace that exceeded that of President Lyndon Johnson in the Great Society years" while further nothing his latest, highly selective hissy fits over earmarks are an indication "that Bush has applied a double standard during his presidency."

Next thing you know, the Trib will have a "breaking news" report that the sun will "set in a southwesterly direction" this evening.

Bush, like his conservative forebears, has NEVER actually wanted to CUT government. That would be so monumentally stupid that even he knows better. Their interest is not in cutting, but shifting: shifting spending as far as possible to the the economic elite, while shifting costs (i.e., taxes) as much as they can to the middle and working class. Which, when carried to perverse extremes, results in a $15 billion dollar a month budget for "war,", with no one really knowing how much of that is waste/graft/profiteering or whatever you want to call it (my personal guess is substantially more that 50 percent).

And, of course, it's not like things are getting any more stable in the Middle East or South Central Asia.

But hey, we're not talking about a $750 projection screen tv, so I guess there's no real outrage...
Another Wingnut Welfare Program

I'm sure the Sunni insurgency is happy to eliminate, with extreme prejudice, some if not most of the genuine religious whack-loons floating around exchange for resupply AND salary.

The deaths of four erstwhile insurgents in a house raid merely underscores what should be pretty obvious at this point--in Iraq, human life is cheap. What's astonishing, and not in a good way, is that Team Bush is applying that particular rule to our own soldiers in the field, while delivering what amounts to aid and comfort to the enemy. Oh, sure, they'll "ally" with us--for now. But alliances in Mesopotamia shift as quickly as desert sand dunes, and watching this latest example of this administration's floundering and stupidity while insisting that all is well SHOULD be infuriating to anyone who actually gives a damn about this country and our military.

Team Bush is literally passing out welfare to insurgents who've killed Americans...and that's a VERY, VERY bad idea.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Ten Seconds of Time That Speaks Volumes

The Senate remains in pro-forma session in order to deliver an emphatic "NO" to Bush on torture.
From One Monster, Many

As an Iraqi put it, "the United States got rid of one Saddam only to replace him with 50".
Deep in the Heart of Texas

Texas takes the term "death penalty state" literally:

For the first time in the modern history of the death penalty, more than 60 percent of all American executions took place in Texas.

That's one way of putting yourself on the map. Another way is to make a mockery of judicial procedure:

The last execution before the Supreme Court imposed a de facto moratorium happened in Texas, and in emblematic fashion. The presiding judge on the state’s highest court for criminal matters, Judge Sharon Keller, closed the courthouse at its regular time of 5 p.m. and turned back an attempt to file appeal papers a few minutes later, according to a complaint in a wrongful-death suit filed in federal court last month.

The inmate, Michael Richard, was executed that evening.

Judge Keller, in a motion to dismiss the case filed this month, acknowledged that she alone had the authority to keep the court’s clerk’s office open but said that Mr. Richard’s lawyers could have tried to file their papers directly with another judge on the court.

Wouldn't want a life or death decision to get in the way of that evening's entertainment, I guess.
In the Reality-Based Community, It's Still Chickenshit

But in Bushworld, it's actually a tasty chicken salad! Mmmmm, delicious, says the media, especially with a little added surge.

I suppose it's appropriate, if not ironic, to sigh, "Jeeeesus H. Christ" when reading a this story at this time of year, particularly when a most inconvenient truth has been swept under the rug:

But tens of thousands of Baghdadis have found an antidote [to horrific traffic jams] in the venerable motor scooter. Often imported from China and bearing almost familiar names like "Yomaha" or "Mucati Classic," scooters have taken the city by storm, providing a nearly ideal way of getting about in a war-weary town riddled with checkpoints and bedeviled by car bombs.

Typical Pravda-Upon-Hudson: see--it's not so bad after all! Sure, their country is the trainwreck of all trainwrecks, but hey, take a spin on the scooter and feel the wind in your hair. Nevermind a FUEL SHORTAGE, no electricity or running water...or the suicide bombers that may still be active but I guess just don't count anymore or the VERY inconvenient fact that heretofore the one stable area in the country--the Kurdish region--isn't anymore. No, think about the scooters...and maybe give it another Friedman Unit.

Just don't let reality intrude upon the President and the modern conservative movement...that'd be rude.