Friday, May 30, 2008

"I'd Have Called it The Inside Dope on the Dope Inside But That's Just Me"

Barry Crimmins on Scott McClellan's latest effort.
Technically Speaking, You Can Call it "Progress"

Horses are OLD, tanker trucks are more or less contemporary:

In a day of renewed violence in Iraq, insurgents converted a water tanker into a latter-day Trojan horse to carry out a surprise attack on a checkpoint near Saddam Hussein’s birthplace, Awja, Iraqi police said Thursday.

They said the police responded with heavy fire, killing 14 attackers, while two officers were seriously wounded. The American military said the police killed eight insurgents. Also dead was the truck driver, who detonated a suicide vest.

The attackers hid inside a Mercedes truck originally built to carry drinking water and cattle, which had been modified to hide the gunmen, a police spokesman said in Tikrit.

Yep, making real progress...
In Honor of the Fifth Anniversary of 'Suck.On.This'

Introducing the New Friedman Stick® for the 2008 model with lifelike "moustache of understanding."
This is Dick Cheney's Brain on Drugs

Any Questions?

h/t Library Chronicles

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Affirmative Neo-Conservative Action

One section of Greenwald's latest is devoted to the fact that neo-cons, at least in the media, seem to be given a sort of quota/free ride...ain't it funny how that goes...
Support Ignore the Troops

The nuts who screetch with delight about the war are as often as not just loudly express their disdain when told about this:

The number of Army suicides increased again last year, amid the most violent year yet in both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. An Army official said Thursday that 115 troops committed suicide in 2007, a nearly 13 percent increase over the previous year's 102. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because a full report on the deaths wasn't being released until later Thursday.

Of course, they'll yowl just as loudly about the fact that initially the number was suspected to be even if a final count of 115 is "progress" compared to an initial count of 122. Sigh.

Meanwhile, their comrades in arms were invited by a World War II veteran to return from whence they came.
The Neo-Con Movement Has a Thousand Eyes

Idea shamelessly stolen from Sadly, No!

It's instructive to watch and witness the extended reaction from Team Bush to Scotty's act of disloyalty. On the one hand, you've got their usual Pavlovian tendency towards demonizing; yet, instead of the monkey howling glee that normally accompanies this reaction, there's a certain tiredness, the same sort of tired you see when an old junkyard dog just gives up, realizing that even if it COULD chase whatever it is, what's the use? Almost makes you feel sorry for them...

Except for the fact that they've been taking a group shit on the Constitution as well as established principles of good government for the last eight years, basically working to turn this country into the world's largest banana republic (or Texas).

So, no, I don't feel sorry for 'em. To paraphrase their grand decider, they "brought it on."
Onward Christian Soldiers...

From First Draft, yet another instance of sheer out-of-control evangelical lunacy. People who hold sincere religious beliefs, REGARDLESS of what they may be--Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Daoist, Pagan, Wiccan--I repeat, REGARDLESS--should be outraged.

I've got nothing against soldiers holding or expressing religious belief--but they've got no business trying to force it upon others, be they friend, foe, or civilian. If nothing else, the more than just a little bit coercive element of war makes a mockery of any "success" anyway.

Sad to say, though, I'm not really surprised: as the public at large turns a blind eye towards civic duty, you can expect extremists to fill the void...

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Pity Party-er in Chief

Team Bush really knows how to whine and whimper...
Citizen's Arrest is Better Than He Deserves...

If there was any real justice, Bolton would hauled off to Guantanamo, if not dumped somewhere in Sadr City...or thrown under the first express bus that passes by.
I Guess You Could Also Say He's 'Bitter,' Dana

Scott McClellan is "disgruntled."
I Think We Can Assign Blame By Now

Not that it hasn't been as evident as an eight hundred pound gorilla in the room from the beginning, but there was always a part of me that really...REALLY...wanted to kick in the television screen whenever Dana Perino or one of her equally smug, ignorant colleagues insisted that "now wasn't the time to assess blame" for the federal government's stumblebum response to Katrina, the Flood--and Hurricane Rita three weeks later, even as Rove was orchestrating a massive "blame Blanco" operation that was as shameless as the Bush administration's response to the crisis was inept.

And the media fell for it hook, line, sinker, rod and reel. Just like they have for pretty much everything this pathetic excuse of an administration has proffered. Nice job, chumps.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

How Often Do We Need to Say It?

As New Orleans goes, so goes the nation, and that's not a joking matter, despite yet another embarrassing foot-in-mouth moment for Ray Nagin:

Mayor C. Ray Nagin recently suggested a way to reduce this city’s post-Katrina homeless population: give them one-way bus tickets out of town.

Mr. Nagin later insisted the off-the-cuff proposal was just a joke. But he has portrayed the dozens of people camped in a tent city under a freeway overpass near Canal Street as recalcitrant drug and alcohol abusers who refuse shelter, give passers-by the finger and, worst of all, hail from somewhere else.

While many of the homeless people do have addiction problems or mental illness, a survey by advocacy groups in February showed that 86 percent were from the New Orleans area. Sixty percent said they were homeless because of Hurricane Katrina. And about 30 percent had received rental assistance at one time from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Not far from the French Quarter, flanking Canal Street on Claiborne Avenue, they are living inside a long corridor formed not of walls and a roof but of the thick stench of human waste and sweat tinged with alcohol, crack and desperation.

The inhabitants are natives like Ronald Gardner, 54, an H.I.V.-positive man who said he had never before slept on the streets until Katrina. Or Ronald Berry, 57, who despite being a paranoid schizophrenic said he had lived on his own, in a rented house in the Lower Ninth Ward, for a dozen years before Katrina. Both men receive disability checks for $637 a month, not nearly enough to cover post-hurricane rents.

Actually, it shouldn't matter whether or not these individuals had NOLA addresses prior to the storm and flood...because they are CITIZENS of the United States of America. Yet, the Bush administration policy, whether by intent or neglect, is to treat these citizens as if they're Third World.

Just like they're doing to our soldiers. Just like they're doing to our children.

Admittedly, they're doing a bit worse to the Iraqi people, but that's hardly encouraging.

And if the mortgage crisis/fallout doesn't demonstrate that they'll do it to pretty much anyone, I don't know what additional evidence is needed...


And if you haven't seen this--focused on one individual but underscoring the VERY serious problem of soldiers horribly wounded by Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)...well, please take the time to give it a look.

Then consider how casually George W. Bush and Richard Bruce Cheney dismiss these consequences of their vainglory.
A Little More of Your Tattered Legacy Right Here, Mr. Bush

Expose infants--and fetuses--to potentially lethal doses of toxic and carcinogenic formaldehyde? The Bush administration says "no problemo!"

[Doctors]...fear...tens of thousands of youngsters...may face lifelong health problems because the temporary housing supplied by the Federal Emergency Management Agency contained formaldehyde fumes up to five times the safe level.


Members of Congress and CDC insiders say the agencies' delay in recognizing the danger is being compounded by studies that will be virtually useless and the lack of a plan to treat children as they grow.

"It's tragic that when people most need the protection, they are actually going from one disaster to a health disaster that might be considered worse," said Christopher De Rosa, assistant director for toxicology and risk assessment at the federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, an arm of the CDC. "Given the longer-term implications of exposure that went on for a significant period of time, people should be followed through time for possible effects."

Formaldehyde is classified as a probable carcinogen, or cancer-causing substance, by the Environmental Protection Agency. There is no way to measure formaldelhyde in the bloodstream. Respiratory problems are an early sign of exposure.

Young children are at particular risk. Thousands who lived in trailers will be in the prime of life in the 10 to 15 years doctors believe it takes cancer to develop.

I'll admit there's a certain consistency to this administration--over and over they've adopted an attitude of "screw 'em," be they the public at large, or our soldiers, or pretty much anyone who isn't already obscenely rich.
The Lone Fundraiser

I suppose it's some small solace that Shrub must be painfully aware of the fact that the ONLY thing he's good for these days is pulling in bundles of cash before he IS thanked and then told to beat it. At some level, that's gotta hurt, as will the his presidential ranking at the extreme bottom (don't believe for a second that he's unaware or isn't concerned about that stuff...bullshit.)

The AP story doesn't say exactly how he manages to pull in so much money, but I'm guessing it's a mix and match of the prestige of the office and that among the 20 percent diehards there are probably a few filthy rich dunderheads who've managed to do well enough these past eight years.

Still, so much for the permanent Rethuglican majority...thank heavens.

And you've gotta appreciate--but not in a good way--the sheer cynicism of this:

In a time-honored practice by presidents on the trail, Bush has scheduled non-campaign events on his three-day, five-state trip, which helps defray the enormous costs of hosting the presidential entourage for which candidates must pay.

So much for free enterprise...
Joe for Jesus

So, Holy Joe is casting his lot with the Holy Rollers. Nice.

The whole alliance between the Hagee types and the Likudists is deeply, deeply cynical and offensive...and not just to dyed in the wool secular humanists like myself. Sincere believers should also speak out against an alliance that makes a mockery of BOTH religions.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day

The caption reads
Statues on Whitney Plantation memorialize the 2,200 children of slaves who died before age 2 and were buried on the estate.

The Times reports on the Louisiana African-American Heritage Trail:

In a state that relishes its contradictions, Louisiana’s African-American trail is actually the brainchild of Mr. Landrieu, the white liberal scion of a famous Louisiana political family. In the 1970s, his father, Maurice Edwin Landrieu, known as Moon, made history, and his share of enemies, when as New Orleans mayor, he hired the first blacks into his administration. Mitch, a self-proclaimed champion of social justice, said he conceived the trail as a way of brokering dialogue between the races at a time when the nation sorely needed it, an idea that gained urgency in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

"We want to transform the discussion about race and poverty in America," said the 47-year-old Mr. Landrieu, who served 16 years in the State House of Representatives (his father and sister, Mary Landrieu, also a Democrat and currently a United States Senator, held the same seat). "Many, many white people and black people of good will have been separated by ideological fights that have been powerful. But you can’t transform the discussion if you can’t remember what happened."