Friday, March 17, 2006

He Hath Spoken!


I haven't forgotten my promise to monitor the White House website for updates on what--if anything--Team Bush is doing in response to Hurricanes Katrina AND Rita (this morning the radio reminded me that it's now been six months since the latter storm).

Well, there's finally been an update:

Statement by the President
I applaud the House for its quick passage of legislation to provide vital resources for two of our Nation's top priorities. This bill will give our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan tools they need to prevail in the war on terror. The legislation also provides for additional resources for the people of the Gulf Coast as they continue the work of rebuilding their lives and communities. I urge the Senate to act promptly to pass legislation providing for these critical funds.

And that's it. Nothing more.

No wonder "incompetent" and "idiot" are the top two descriptives of one George W. Bush, according to recent polling data.
Maybe Play the Wagner on Kazoos

"That's not a crack pipe, Mr. pResident."

According to Chris Albritton, Operation Swarmer is a lot of buzz, but little sting:

...according to a colleague of mine from TIME who traveled up there today on a U.S. embassy-sponsored trip, there are no insurgents, no fighting and 17 of the 41 prisoners taken have already been released after just one day. The “number of weapons caches” equals six, which isn’t unusual when you travel around Iraq. They’re literally everywhere...

As noted, about 1,500 troops were involved, 700 American and 800 Iraqi. But get this: in the area they’re scouring there are only about 1,500 residents. According to my colleague and other reporters who were there, not a single shot has been fired.

“Operation Swarmer” is really a media show. It was designed to show off the new Iraqi Army — although there was no enemy for them to fight. Every American official I’ve heard has emphasized the role of the Iraqi forces just days before the third anniversary of the start of the war. That said, one Iraqi role the military will start highlighting in the next few days, I imagine, is that of Iraqi intelligence. It was intel from the Iraqi military intelligence and interior ministry that the U.S. says prompted this Potemkin operation. And it will be the Iraqi intel that provides the cover for American military commanders to throw up their hands and say, “well, we thought bad guys were there.”...

But Operation Overblown should raise serious questions about how good Iraqi intelligence is. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told by earnest lieutenants that the Iraqis are valiant and necessary partners, “because they know the area, the people and the customs.” But when I spoke to grunts and NCOs, however, they usually gave me blunter — and more colorful — reasons why the Iraqi intelligence was often, shall we say, useless. Tribal rivalries and personal feuds are still a major why Iraqis drop a dime on their neighbors.

So I guess it’s fitting that on the eve of the third anniversary of a war launched on — oh, let’s be generous — “faulty” intelligence, a major operation is hyped and then turns out to be less than what it appeared because of … faulty intelligence.

Mission Accomplished...
A Reader's Guide

Shrub's copy

From my sister:

1. The Wall Street Journal is read by the people who run the country.

2. The Washington Post is read by people who think they run the country.

3. The New York Times is read by people who think they should run the country and who are very good at crossword puzzles.

4. USA Today is read by people who think they ought to run the country but don't really understand The New York Times. They do, however, like their statistics shown in pie charts.

5. The Los Angeles Times is read by people who wouldn't mind running the country - if they could find the time, and if they didn't have to leave Southern California to do it.

6. The Boston Globe is read by people whose parents used to run the country and did a far superior job of it, thank you very much.

7. The New York Daily News is read by people who aren't too sure who's running the country and don't really care as long as they can get a seat on the train.

8. The New York Post is read by people who don't care who's running the country as long as they do something really scandalous, preferably while intoxicated.

9. The Miami Herald is read by people who are running another country but need the baseball scores.

10. The San Francisco Chronicle is read by people who aren't sure there is a country, or that anyone is running it; but if so, they oppose all that they stand for. There are occasional exceptions: if the leaders are handicapped, minority, feminist, atheist, or dwarfs who also happen to be illegal aliens from any other country or galaxy, provided, of course, that they are not Republicans.

11. The National Enquirer is read by people trapped in line at the grocery store.

12. And, finally, the country is run by someone who doesn't read a newspaper at all...
March of the Lemmings

Oyster has a few more quotes along the lines of those Atrios posted the other day. And Tom Tomorrow found some gems, too. Your Wingnut Echo Chamber in action.

Full disclosure: one reason why I'm posting these (second time for the FAIR page) is that I'll hopefully remember the day/date of the post for future reference. I added a comment over at YRHT stating my opinion that the news cycles generates its own "memory hole" and quotes from the 'nuts end up being (for them, conveniently) forgotten.

Take a good look--you'll notice several things, not the least being that the wingnut position, far from having ANY degree of concern for Iraq or "the Iraqi people," was from the beginning a very cynical attempt to demonstrate 'nut "strength" versus "liberal" weakness. That even a successful war along the lines of Gulf I would certainly involve very ugly varieties of death, injuries, maiming, and so on didn't matter one bit: casualties were just so much meat to the slaughterhouse. No, the WHOLE point of Gulf War II was theater--hence, "Mission Accomplished," "Bring 'em on," "Last throes," dinner party jokes about no WMD's, etc. In fact, until quite recently, it was impossible to get most nuts to even grudgingly admit that Operation Enduring Clusterfuck was anything less than a smashing success (as recently as this week dingbat Ed Rogers was barking about how great things were in Mesopotamia, which I guess makes it easier to understand the response to Hurricane Katrina).

Well, their fodder for dinner party jokes just took an extra $91 billion dollars from the US Treasury that could've been earmarked for Gulf OF MEXICO Coast recovery, while the casualty count for US soldiers stands at roughly 20,000 (2300 dead, approximately 17,000 wounded)...Iraqi dead number, at the very least, in the tens of thousands, the new Iraqi parliament's first session lasted, fittingly, about as long as your average sitcom, and, in the words of Zalmay Khalilzad, we've opened a Pandora's Box with our foolish invasion.

And it was all about playing politics.

Which speaks volumes about the people running the government...
Note: Post delayed an hour and a half...thanks, Blogger.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

It's Hard Out Here for a Fat Cat

"Put it on Shrub's tab."

Must be nice if you're connected:

The government wasted millions of dollars in its award of post-Katrina Hurricane contracts for disaster relief, including at least $3 million for 4,000 beds that were never used, congressional auditors said Thursday.

The Government Accountability Office's review of 13 major contracts — many of them awarded with limited or no competition after the Aug. 29 hurricane — offers the first preliminary overview of their soundness...

"The government's response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita depended heavily on contractors to deliver ice, water and food supplies; patch rooftops; and provide housing to displaced residents," said the report by the GAO, Congress' auditing arm. "FEMA did not adequately anticipate needs."

Of more than 700 contracts valued at $500,000 or greater, more than half were awarded without full competition or with vague or open-ended terms, including politically connected companies such as Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg, Brown & Root, Bechtel Corp. and AshBritt Inc.

Democrats, in particular, in recent weeks have called for limits on no-bid agreements, which they say have been awarded to politically influential companies at the expense of a slow Gulf Coast rebuilding effort.

"Previous reports of waste in the aftermath of Katrina have been bad, but this one is worse," said Rep. Henry Waxman (news, bio, voting record) of California, the top Democrat on the House Government Reform Committee.

"The Bush administration has learned nothing from its disastrous contract management in Iraq," he said. "The administration seems incapable of spending money in a way that actually meets the needs of Gulf Coast residents."

The bipartisan leaders of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee said the report's findings were troubling.

"After a disaster strikes is too late to start the contracting process for critical goods and services," said committee chair Sen. Susan Collins (news, bio, voting record), R-Maine. "Known emergency commodities and services must be pre-positioned."


Among the findings:

_Nonexistent communication with local officials led to misjudgments on the need for temporary housing. They included $3 million that FEMA spent for 4,000 base camp beds that were never used and $10 million to renovate and furnish 240 rooms in Alabama that housed only six occupants before being closed.

_Poor coordination between FEMA and the Army Corps of Engineers contributed to waste in an Americold Logistics LLC's contract for ice. "The local Corps personnel were not always aware of where ice might be delivered and did not have authority ... resulting in inefficient distribution," it said.

_Inadequate planning led to the award of a Mississippi contract for classrooms without competition. "Information in the contract files suggests the negotiated prices were inflated." A review of that specific contract, with Akima Site Operations LLC, was continuing.

_FEMA had only 17 of the 27 monitors it deemed necessary to oversee the installation of temporary housing in four states, leading to inadequate controls.

The 13 Katrina contracts reviewed involve the following 12 companies: C. Henderson Consulting; Americold Logistics; Clearbrook LLC; CS&M Associates; Gulf Stream Coach Inc.; Morgan Building & Spas Inc.; Bechtel National; Fluor Enterprises Inc.; CH2M Hill Constructors Inc.; E.T.I. Inc.; Ceres Environmental Services Inc.; and Thompson Engineering Inc.

Some of the firms, including Gulf Stream Coach and Bechtel, have close ties to the Bush administration or have contributed significantly to the GOP.

.pdf here
Cue Up the Wagner

Operation Fucktard--2003

Operation Swarmer--2006

Maybe pull this up in a separate window.

Two words: Last throes.

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- About 1,500 Iraqi and American forces stormed into a restive region north of the capital Thursday, searching for insurgents and terrorists, the U.S. military said.

More than 50 aircraft and 200 tactical ground vehicles are involved in Operation Swarmer, a mission to find insurgents in rural areas of Salaheddin province northeast of Samarra.

Six words: Dick Cheney is full of shit.

And this, from Steve Gilliard:

A tribal sheik who lives on the outskirts of the troubled Anbar town of Ramadi, who asked that he be identified as Abu Tahseen instead of by his full name out of fear of possible retribution, said that the strikes create more insurgents than they kill because of the region's tribal dictates of revenge.

"They (the Americans) think: `As long as there are resistance fighters operating in this spot, we will wipe it out entirely,'" Abu Tahseen said, using the term for insurgents favored by Iraqis sympathetic to their cause. "As you know, our nature is a tribal one, and so if one from us is killed, we kill three or four in return."

Anyone who thinks this operation--or, for that matter, ANY combat operation--can be accomplished "cleanly" is as full of shit as Cheney--and his equally full of shit cronies. And remember, this is their war and their model for how they pretty much deal with everything.

"Incompetent?" That's being awfully generous.

"We could call it DICK-col."

Won't cure what ails you--but it might make you sick:

Halliburton Co. failed to protect the water supply it is paid to purify for U.S. soldiers throughout Iraq, in one instance missing contamination that could have caused "mass sickness or death," an internal company report concluded.

The report, obtained by The Associated Press, said the company failed to assemble and use its own water purification equipment, allowing contaminated water directly from the Euphrates River to be used for washing and laundry at Camp Ar Ramadi in Ramadi, Iraq.

The problems discovered last year at that site — poor training, miscommunication and lax record keeping — occurred at Halliburton's other operations throughout Iraq, the report said.

"Countrywide, all camps suffer to some extent from all or some of the deficiencies noted," Wil Granger, Theatre Water Quality Manager in the war zone for Halliburton's KBR subsidiary, wrote in his May 2005 report.

AP reported earlier this year allegations from whistleblowers about the Camp Ar Ramadi incident, but Halliburton never made public Granger's internal report alleging wider problems.

Yer humble blogger also noted the earlier report.

Halliburton was headed by Vice President Dick Cheney for several years before he ran for vice president. Its KBR subsidiary, also known as Kellogg Brown & Root, works under contract to provide a number of services to the U.S. military in Iraq, including providing water and purifying it.

The contaminated, non-chlorinated water at Ar Ramadi was discovered in March 2005 in a commode by Ben Carter, a KBR water expert at the base. In an interview, Carter said he resigned after KBR barred him from notifying the military and senior company officials about the untreated water.

A supervisor at Ar Ramadi "told me to stop e-mailing" company officials outside the base and warned that informing the military "was none of my concern," Carter said. He said he threatened to sue if company officials didn't let him be examined to determine whether he suffered medical problems from exposure to the contaminated water.

Granger's report cited several countrywide problems:

_A lack of training for key personnel. "Theatre wide there is no formalized training for anyone at any level in concerns to water operations."

_Confusion between KBR and military officials over their respective roles. For instance, each assumed the other would chlorinate the water at Ar Ramadi for any uses that would require the treatment.

_Inadequate or nonexistent records that could have caught problems in advance. Little or no documentation was kept on water inventories, safety stand-downs, audits of water quality, deliveries, inspections and logs showing alterations or modifications to water systems.

_Relying on employees the company identified as semiskilled labor, and paid as unskilled workers in the pay structure.

The report said the event at Ar Ramadi could have been prevented if KBR's Reverse Osmosis Units on the site had been assembled, instead of relying on the military's water production facilities.

"This event should be considered a 'near miss' as the consequences of these actions could have been very severe resulting in mass sickness or death," Granger wrote.

Hmmm...sounds like the rest of the Cheney/Bush administration: incompetent and corrupt to the core.
National Security for Nitwits

33 Percent Approval Rating

Since the new Political Correctness disdains reference to World War II era regimes, I won't say that Shrub's new coloring book sounds a lot like pronouncements emanating from the Berlin Bunker in April of '45. Yeah, that's so out of date...

No, the latest pronouncement from Team Bush is more like those of Baghdad Bob in March and April of 2003 (and, for those keeping score, here are some more hilarious instances of punditry, courtesy of the wingnut press corps--thanks for posting them, Atrios). Part chickenhawk posturing, part sniveling, part flat out lying, the 49 page document will make for decent enough fuel should the need ever arise.

Shrub's living in fantasy land...

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Democrats: You're Running Away From THIS?

In the red corner...*

Molly Ivins has had enough:

Mah fellow progressives, now is the time for all good men and women to come to the aid of the party. I don’t know about you, but I have had it with the D.C. Democrats, had it with the DLC Democrats, had it with every calculating, equivocating, triangulating, straddling, hair-splitting son of a bitch up there, and that includes Hillary Rodham Clinton.

I will not be supporting Senator Clinton because: a) she has no clear stand on the war and b) Terri Schiavo and flag-burning are not issues where you reach out to the other side and try to split the difference. You want to talk about lowering abortion rates through cooperation on sex education and contraception, fine, but don’t jack with stuff that is pure rightwing firewater.

I can’t see a damn soul in D.C. except Russ Feingold who is even worth considering for President. The rest of them seem to me so poisonously in hock to this system of legalized bribery they can’t even see straight.

Look at their reaction to this Abramoff scandal. They’re talking about “a lobby reform package.” We don’t need a lobby reform package, you dimwits, we need full public financing of campaigns, and every single one of you who spends half your time whoring after special interest contributions knows it. The Abramoff scandal is a once in a lifetime gift—a perfect lesson on what’s wrong with the system being laid out for people to see. Run with it, don’t mess around with little patches, and fix the system.

As usual, the Democrats have forty good issues on their side and want to run on thirty-nine of them. Here are three they should stick to:

1) Iraq is making terrorism worse; it’s a breeding ground. We need to extricate ourselves as soon as possible. We are not helping the Iraqis by staying.

2) Full public financing of campaigns so as to drive the moneylenders from the halls of Washington.

3) Single-payer health insurance.

Every Democrat I talk to is appalled at the sheer gutlessness and spinelessness of the Democratic performance. The party is still cringing at the thought of being called, ooh-ooh, “unpatriotic” by a bunch of rightwingers.

Take “unpatriotic” and shove it. How dare they do this to our country? “Unpatriotic”? These people have ruined the American military! Not to mention the economy, the middle class, and our reputation in the world. Everything they touch turns to dirt, including Medicare prescription drugs and hurricane relief.

This is not a time for a candidate who will offend no one; it is time for a candidate who takes clear stands and kicks ass.

Who are these idiots talking about Warner of Virginia? Being anodyne is not sufficient qualification for being President. And if there’s nobody in Washington and we can’t find a Democratic governor, let’s run Bill Moyers, or Oprah, or some university president with ethics and charisma.

What happens now is not up to the has-beens in Washington who run this party. It is up to us. So let’s get off our butts and start building a progressive movement that can block the nomination of Hillary Clinton or any other candidate who supposedly has “all the money sewed up.”

I am tired of having the party nomination decided before the first primary vote is cast, tired of having the party beholden to the same old Establishment money.

We can raise our own money on the Internet, and we know it. Howard Dean raised $42 million, largely on the web, with a late start when he was running for President, and that ain’t chicken feed. If we double it, it gives us the lock on the nomination. So let’s go find a good candidate early and organize the shit out of our side.

*Homo Simpleton and other items can be purchased at this website. I hope they don't mind me using the picture in exchange for this small attribution.
War, Peace, and the Ides of March

It's good to see some people recognize the relationship between the disaster in Mesopotamia, and the disaster right here in the United States:

Hurricane victims and war veterans set out Tuesday on a march to New Orleans to protest the war in Iraq and what they view as a lack of relief aid for storm victims.

Paul Robinson, the local chapter president of Veterans for Peace, said the 140-mile "Walkin' to New Orleans" march is scheduled to end Saturday.

He said marchers, including several victims of Hurricane Katrina, are demanding not only an end to the war but also a large increase in resources to help hurricane victims rebuild their lives. He expected about 300 marchers to join in, some walking the entire distance and other joining at the end.

Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan, who spent a month protesting outside President Bush's ranch last summer, was expected to join the marchers in New Orleans, her sister, Dede Miller, said Monday.

"I'm marching because this will bring attention to the war and what's going on here in the South. It's outrageous," Miller said.
Our Government--Chickenhawks vs. Chickenhearts


* *

Glenn Greenwald weighs in on the incredible shrinking Democratic party as exemplified by people like Kevin Drum re: the Feingold censure resolution.

Rather than copying/pasting passages, I'll just suggest reading Greenwald's post...and I'll repeat what I wrote yesterday: the fact that no one's demonstrated any difficulties in obtaining a FISA warrant--and the dearth of fluent Arabic speakers in the United States' government--means any Team Bush excuse about "only going after the terrorists" is is a big old pile of fetid hogshit. The decision to embark on such a program is purely a power grab, and a power grab designed to undercut basic democratic principles. I mean, geez--look at the, well, fetid piles of hogshit in power: not ONE of them can claim any fealty to the democratic process. To them, it's a mere obstacle to overcome in their zeal to accumulate political and economic power. Greed is their muse.

And, sadly, on the other side of the aisle, we've got lukewarm mush on soggy milquetoast. Good god: after witnessing the pathetic Shrubian response to Hurricane Katrina--not to mention their equally pathetic "plan" for "victory" in Iraq--it should've been evident that Team Bush consists of folks who find tying their shoelaces a "challange" (and successful tying of shoelaces "Mission Accomplished"). Instead, they chicken out and run (The Rude Pundit hit it dead-on today when he wrote, "Feingold must be stunned, like a soldier leading his machine gun-toting men into battle who then run screaming away from the rock-throwing enemy."

So, in honor of those who run screaming away, Senator Reid, I offer the following:

Brave Sir Robin ran away,
Bravely ran away, away
When danger reared its ugly head, he bravely
turned his tail and fled
Yes, brave Sir Robin turned about
And gallantly, he chickened out
Bravely taking to his feet
He beat a very brave retreat
Bravest of the brave, Sir Robin

He is packing it in and packing it up
And sneaking away and buggering up
And chickening out and pissing off home,
Yes, bravely he is throwing in the sponge

(mp3 featuring the first stanza only here)
Your Disaster Recovery Plan

"You're not Halliburton."

I think Oyster might have mentioned this a while back, but it's worth a second look:

The White House has rejected hurricane disaster-recovery loans at a higher rate than any other administration in the last 15 years, according to a congressional study by Democrats.

The report, expected to be released Wednesday, said business and home loan approval rates averaged about 60 percent after Hurricane Andrew devastated much of south Florida in 1992. The trend continued through the rest of President George H.W. Bush's administration and into the Clinton administration, according to Democratic members of the House Small Business Committee.

After Hurricane Wilma surged ashore in south Florida last year, the approval rate for low-interest, taxpayer-guaranteed loans by the Small Business Administration had dropped to barely 15 percent. Overall, Democrats said, approval rates for home and business disaster loans since 2004 have averaged about 35 percent.

They'll pay millions to haul "sailboat fuel,", billions to subsidize drug companies (the Medicare "prescription plan"), potentially TRILLIONS to bring Islamic theocracy to Iraq--but has little or nothing when it comes to American citizens...who are requesting LOANS, not grants. Unbelievable.
I Don't Think Anybody Anticipated a Break in the Levees

"Later, Daddy and I are goin' fishin' on Canal St."

It's from yesterday, but I couldn't post it because of Blogger problems.

Scientists knew some twenty years ago the floodwalls around New Orleans could collapse:

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' built a levee and floodwall system to test a design similar to the 17th Street Canal in 1985, which "indicated that failure was imminent," according to a statement from Raymond B. Seed and Robert G. Bea, in charge of the National Science Foundation's Independent Levee Investigation Team.

"Not only did they have that in their repertoire of information, they failed to use it, as best we can tell," Seed said in a telephone interview from the University of California, Berkeley.

Corps spokesman Wayne Stroupe said his agency knew about the 1985 test, and that he would forward the scientists' statement to a Corps official for a response...

Beyond the 1985 test, the Corps should also have known about the soft clay behind the levee, the independent scientists said, since the complex and challenging geology of the region had been noted in past studies.

"The Corps should not claim that the weak foundation soil strata at the 17th Street canal breach site were unexpected," the scientists' statement said.

Seed also said two other problems could have caused the floodwall to fail, which his team will study and then discuss in May.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Signing Off for Today

Blogger is as dead as Marley right now, and I don't need the frustration. Maybe tomorrow things will be a little better...
Democratic Devo--a Study in Contrasts

Feingold: Definite Vertebrate

Other Democrats

Blogger has thoroughly stunk every bit as bad as Team Bush's Iraq policy today. This post is already almost 45 minutes in the making...and not just because I was actually able to post photos. Getting to the interface is like watching a Shrub press conference: the equivalent of stammered half responses, tortured grammar and syntax, head shaking, and so on. Pathetic.
Update: actually, the photo post DID fuck up...which had added another 20 minutes. And, of course, not a word on the status page. I'm not surprised.

Anyway, I'll add my voice to the others applauding Senator Russ Feingold's decision to propose a resolution of censure (.pdf) because Smirk-Chimp BROKE THE FUCKING LAW. Plain and simple. Watching the Rethuglicans knucklewalk, pound their chests, and/or hoot/holler is one thing: I expect that from degenerates like Frist, Cornyn, Hutchinson, Santorum, Lieberman...and even Specter.

But watching Democrats slither about on a cut and dried matter like this is truly shameful. I'm STILL amazed that no one has asked a very obvious question: When has a FISA judge not authorized a warrant? That should be a pretty easy to demonstrate--unless Team Bush never bothered to follow the law.

"The War on Terror" (or, as WIIIAI calls it, TWAT), shouldn't preclude highly paid professionals from doing their jobs AND following the laws, particularly since I've yet to see any credible evidence pointing to any difficulties in following the laws. And blather about "aiding the terrorists" is just so much whipped bullshit on a stick.

Besides, the real problem the country faces in regards to intercepting and interpreting "terrorist communications" is a deceptively simple matter of finding fluent Arabic speakers, given that the language itself is difficult to learn...oh, and what someone's taught in college bears as much resemblence to the myriad versions of spoken Arabic as, say, Shakespeare's English bears resemblence to ours.

Which brings up an interesting point: since the administration ADMITS a dearth of capable Arabic speakers, just what the hell ARE they monitoring? And once they admit that they're mostly monitoring English conversations, well, that pretty much blows them out of the water when it comes to matters of national security...I mean, geez--when you stop and think about it, even the SIMPLEST of coded speech would baffle the operation. That, to me, means: they don't actually give a shit about being able to monitor terrorists. Their aim and goal is to stifle dissenting views.

And, like most actions designed to suppress, the active element doesn't need to be extensive. As long as there's THE FEAR of consequence, most folks will suppress themselves. That's what Team Bush, their water-bearing Rethuglicans--and, sadly it seems, their Democratic syncophants--want.

One party, two names? If the Democrats aren't ready to discover their collective lost spines, I don't think they deserve to be given THAT much credit...
Sans Photos

I've only been trying to upload pictures since around 10 this morning...I guess it's just not gonna happen, and, of course, there's no explanation on Blogger's status page, much less any indication that they'll actually fix the problem...

Anyway, this post was to be entitled something like "When the Levees Break--in Mesopotamia," given the latest news on the internets. The stench of Team Bush's "policy" is so awful that even they're basically ignoring it, sort of like a Katrina Fridge on the neutral ground.

What we're seeing in Iraq right now is the political equivalent of what everyone knew about New Orleans, pre-Katrina...and with similar "plans" from Shrub, et al, that is to say, pretty much no plan at all. The US military, perhaps wisely, is on the sidelines, England is starting to pull troops, James Baker is being called on for political damage control, not that it's gonna matter a fuck of a lot. At this point, the United States is merely along for the ride.

Quite a departure from the halcyon days of Mission Accomplished--or should I say hollow days? And, not that the wingnuts actually give a shit, but the folks they claimed to be liberating will be liberated--from electricity, that is--this summer, which, as anyone with a brain knows, Senator Hatch, is more than just a bit on the warm side in Mesopotamia. Nice going.

At this point, there's only ONE way that the US could salvage even the semblence of a "victory" in Iraq. Unfortunately, it's the "annihilate them all, or at least as many as we can without regard" option, which kind of undercuts any claim of concern for human rights and individual dignity (not that the 'nut crowd ever actually BELIEVED that)...and, another thing that I find interesting is that at this point we've pretty much used every tactic to maintain "order" once employed by Saddam Hussein: torture, rape, hostage taking, group punishment, etc.--all for the low, low price of-- 2300 US soldiers killed, some 17,000 wounded, and not quite $250 billion dollars--and counting.

And Democrats are worried about censuring Smirk-Chimp for breaking the law? Geez.

Monday, March 13, 2006

5, 4, 3, 2, 1

Even though I saw Olbermann promoting his appearance on C-Span, I still missed it last night. Damn. Fortunately, Cursor provided a link to the transcript.

Sorry for the slow and short posts today...
Thy Name is Woman...

The best comment I've seen recently re: the lunatic South Dakota legislature's decision that women have even fewer rights than rapists/male relatives who molest them comes from WIIIAI:

The abortion issue really makes the antis feel okay with expressing their normally better-hidden contempt for women. SD state Rep. Roger Hunt, for example, said that the SD law didn’t provide for the prosecution of women who have abortions because “the woman may be getting so much pressure she’s not thinking clearly,” while the doctor “should be operating in a calm and collected manner, have identified all the risks to the woman; he’s counseling the woman. We think it’s appropriate to place a greater burden upon the doctor.” You will have noticed which gender Hunt assumes the doctor belongs to, because the boys become doctors and the girls become... incubators.
GOP Devo--Arlen Specter Edition

TPM and Atrios are both commenting on the Senior Senator from Pennsylvania's craven apologies for warrantless wiretapping.

That said, in comparison, Santorum is a plasmodial slime mold.
Iraq: The New Strategery


Actually, I'll start by pigs. But a metaphor is a metaphor, and I hope the porcines (the genuine, four legged ones, not the town clowns of Team Bush) don't mind me taking advantage of the cliche.

That said, take a look. Shrub may be putting the proverbial lipstick on a pig--but the policy, or the pathetic equivalent thereof--is nothing but pure, 100 percent raw tripe.