Friday, April 13, 2007

A Relative Scale

Compared to Baghdad, human life in Casablanca was a precious commodity:

Figures compiled by the AP from Iraqi police reports show that 1,586 civilians were killed in Baghdad between the start of the offensive and Thursday.

That represents a sharp drop from the 2,871 civilians who died violently in the capital during the two months that preceded the security crackdown.

Outside the capital, 1,504 civilians were killed between Feb. 14 and Thursday, April 12 compared with 1,009 deaths during the two previous months, the AP figures show.

And how is this being presented? Why, as a cause for celebration. Baghdad's only chin deep in blood...last month it was eyeball deep. Woo-hoo. at Shrub's place!

Oh, and can you believe this? With a straight face, Bush "renews call for a culture of life.". I mean, c'mon: there's not enough soap in all the world to wash the blood off him.
Turdblossom's Lament

Bush's Brain is forced to claim that he's actually as stoopid as his boss.

Nice try, Turds. And Dana. But right now the only real "defense" you've got is running out the clock/stalling. Ah, the truest test of legal for time.

To be honest, they've got a chance to do just that, especially since the media's on their side. Well, to quote Philip Baker Hall in Secret Honor, fuckpissshit.

But I'll take small comfort in knowing that Rove, and the rest of Team Bush, is officially toxic/radioactive at this point. So much for the "permanent Rethuglican majority."
The Bush Family Expresses Their Support for the Troops

I wonder how Jenna and/or Not-Jenna would react to getting their chain yanked like this? Ah, but we'll never know, because the "defining conflict of the 21st Century" finds them, and other privileged sons and daughters, conspicuously absent:

They found out by reading exasperated e-mails from their spouses, hearing somber announcements from their platoon commanders, seeing snippets of the secretary of defense at a televised news conference: The American soldiers who thought they were staying in Iraq one year would now stay 15 months. All of them.

From Texas to Baghdad and Baqubah to the Beltway, the reaction Thursday among U.S. soldiers and their families to the news of the mass extension was akin to a collective groan.

"It flat-out sucks, that's the only way I can think to describe it," said Pvt. Jeremy Perkins, 25, who works in an engineering battalion that clears roadside bombs in the embattled city of Baqubah, about 35 miles northeast of Baghdad. "I found this out today from my squad leader. I still haven't told my wife yet. I'm just trying to figure out exactly how I'm going to break it to her that 'Honey, uh, yeah, might be home before our next anniversary. Sorry I missed the last one.' "

For Perkins, as for many other soldiers in Iraq and their loved ones back home, the dismay derived not so much from surprise -- rumors of such a possibility had been circulating for weeks -- nor even from extra time in war zones. The worst was the prospect of the continued strain of missing friends and relatives.

And let's be totally clear about this: the war is OVER, and the continued tragedy, the continued loss of life and suffering, is ONLY happening because Shrub isn't man enough to face the truth. Death as an ego salve.


Thursday, April 12, 2007

Rogue's Gallery

From Atrios--hey, I hear he's making quite a name for himself on the internets.

More seriously, though, while I don't endorse jail terms for this list of assclowns (and Ann Coulter, whom I added on general principles), they are certainly a group that Josef Goebbels would be proud of...and what more do I need to say?

Am listening to Bob Herbert on Countdown right now--and damn if he's not accurate: I think a lot of people ARE simply tired of listening to puerile tripe, be it from Imus, Coulter, Weiner...or rappers, as he points out (speaking of, Steve M. points out that folks like Rev. Al Sharpton have been critical of demeaning rap lyrics for quite some time...and that wingnuts are often a little too dense to consider using The Google).
In Way, Way Over His Head

This is really pathetic. From WIIIAI:

Bush had some comments. “First of all, I strongly condemn the action.” Was it strictly necessary to say that? He went on: “It reminds us, though...” I’m interrupting to point out that tell-tale word “though,” which indicates that, for George, there is a positive side to the bombing, which is that he can make use of it for his own propaganda purposes: “It reminds us, though, that there is an enemy willing to bomb innocent people in a symbol of democracy. In other words [!], this assembly is a place where people have come to represent the 12 million people who voted.” However, while the Iraqis might foolishly think that this incident is about them, it’s not: “There is a type of person that would walk in that building and kill innocent life -- and that is the same type of person that is willing to come and kill innocent Americans.”

Condi had some comments: “we’ve said there are going to be good days and bad days concerning the security plan.” I’m guessing this would be one of the bad days; I’m also guessing there have been no actual good days. “I don’t think anybody expected that there would not be counterefforts by the terrorists to undermine the security progress that we’re trying to make.”

John McCain, who was next to her...had some comments, calling the bombing “tragic and yet... not unexpected” and said it shouldn’t “change the larger picture, which means that we are achieving some small successes already”. So it’s, you know, too bad that two Iraqi MPs were blown up, but at least it wasn’t, say, a visiting American senator.

We've officially reached the point where foreign policy is as much a product of delusion as anything else.
"Nope, No Emails Here"

OK, I'm calling bullshit--I don't care WHAT Scott Stanzel, Dana Perino, or anyone else says: it's NOT that easy to thoroughly scrub/delete email, even WHEN you're trying. And YES, I know what I'm talking about.

Leahy's right--some teenager could probably do a real number on the various RNC mail servers/server clusters, and, before too long, restore pretty much everything that actually HAS been deleted. And that's whether or not the servers are Windows, Unix, Linux, Solaris, or whatever. Note: my guess is Windows or Linux. To be fair, I'm not a Linux sys admin, but I know plenty about Microsoft Exchange/Outlook. Sure, it's not impossible to thoroughly scrub a mail server on a periodic basis...but between Personal Folders, backups, archives...or the relative ease in restoring readable data from even deliberately erased disks, I'd call any claim about "lost" emails dubious at best.

Funny enough, a few years ago there was a minor email scandal right here in the Gret Stet: Senate Secretary Mike Baer claimed he was trying to "delete" a mildly raunchy email...instead, he sent it to the entire Senate mail list.

When I heard Baer's "explanation," I laughed out loud, because this wasn't like, oh, I don't know, a car wreck when you hit the gas pedal instead of the brake. No, this was Mike Baer, well, lying through his teeth. I'm guessing he wanted to send his video of crotch-shots to a personal list...oops. Then, instead of apologizing for bad taste and/or misuse of state resources, he fibbed. Turned out to be a pretty expensive fib, considering he lost a job that paid a six-figure salary.

Note: searching for a link to the Baer story, I came across a link to the great Timshel himself. Hope all is well, Mr. Prado.

Anyway, my guess is that, unlike Mr. Baer, the RNC is hiding something a bit more explosive than a tawdry video.
Off Site

...back this afternoon.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

No Nutritional Value

Matt Taibbi:

I've started to see the first examples of what I call the "Sweet n' Blow" campaign article hit the front pages in recent weeks. The Sweet n' Blow, as the name suggests, is a no-calorie substitute for real journalism, a gossip column masquerading as political reportage. It's one of the key techniques for use in turning the election into a politics-free character drama. A true Sweet n' Blow piece makes it from the lede all the way to the last line without saying one fucking thing about what the candidate actually stands for. Instead, it will tell you a lot about the candidate's strategy for improving his "image," which incidentally had originally been created, at least in part, by the very reporter writing this new article.

Makes a Twinkie looked like a balanced diet...

Not that Shrub could be trusted with that particular task, either...geez, I can picture him chainsawing bystanders in half, while putulantly insisting the resulting condition was actually better for them.

Anyway, TPM says it as good as anyone:

I'm not sure I've ever seen a better sign -- though wrapped in a humorous package -- of why this president really can't be trusted to be in charge of anything and why the Republic is genuinely in peril as long as this pitiful goof remains in office. Bush wants to find a general to do his job for him. But he can't get anyone to agree to do it.
Cheat Farm

Chiseler, thy name is State Farm:

E-mails sent by officials of an engineering firm that assessed Hurricane Katrina claims suggest that State Farm Insurance Co. wanted engineers to blame damage on flooding so that it could make minimum settlements with policyholders.

The e-mails, obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press, indicate that State Farm was threatening to dismiss Raleigh, N.C.-based Forensic Analysis & Engineering Corp. less than two months after Katrina hit on Aug. 29, 2005.

Attorneys for homeowners suing State Farm claim the e-mails support their argument that the insurer pressured its engineers to alter their reports on storm-damaged homes so that policyholders' claims could be denied.

The government turned its back...the insurance companies reneged on their contractual obligations.

And people wonder why Gulf Coast residents are upset.

Don't forget to send a postcard! Come to think of it, that's about how much your president values your commitment.

Pentagon Considers Extended Tours for All Soldiers.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

"Violence on the TV Screens"

Being an adult means recognizing reality-based, well, horrible as it might be:

A raging, daylong battle erupted in central Baghdad on Tuesday and four Iraqi soldiers were killed, 16 U.S. soldiers were wounded and a U.S. helicopter was hit by ground fire at the close of the second month of the massive security crackdown on the capital.

Sixty miles to the north, in the mostly Sunni city of Muqdadiyah, a woman with a suicide vest strapped beneath her black Muslim robe blew herself up in the midst of 200 Iraqi police recruits. The attack killed at least 16 men waiting to learn if they had been hired.

This is FOUR YEARS into Operation Mesopotamian Tragedy. But don't expect pouting-little-baby-in-chief to behave in a manner even approaching that of an adult, much less own up to his utterly awful judgment, and beg forgiveness...

Continued war...continued death and little more than balm for an administration's ego.

Don Imus, as puerile as he was/is, doesn't even come close.
Piss Pooh

h/t Suspect Device

Well, Thomas Kinkade's still full of shit.
The Banality of Stupid: Don Imus Edition

The Tears of an Assclown

I dunno--maybe it's just me, but I never "got" Don Imus--it must've been in the late 80's/early 90's when I first heard of him...right around the time I first heard of Howard Stern and Rush Lamebone, for that matter. Anyway, I remember first catching him one day while flipping through tv channels--C-Span was running a simulcast.


About the only "unique" Imus quality, IMHO, was his ability to somehow be both puerile and curmudgeonly in virtually the same breath: AARP mixed in with "hey, pull my finger." And this without even the novelty of, say, a REAL native New Yorker's perspective, or even the native/urban tone and manner. No, just a generic (and geriatric) case of arrested development.

Anyway, for whatever reason--because it's not like he lacks a history of boorish crudeness--he's finally getting called on his crap. Predictably, his response is a mix and match of self-pity and self-promotion. Imus isn't the first asshole to point, in a panic, to his charity work...which, yes, IS nice, but, you know, a LOT of people would be just as generous if they raked in that kind of cash. But maybe we don't think it's right to profit hugely on being a professional boor.
When not even the Soft Bigotry of Low Expectations Can Save You

When Ed "A-Horse-Is-A-Horse" Gillespie gives you the thumbs down, it's gotta be pretty bad. Geez.

On the other hand, I now see exactly why Team Bush would fight to keep him. Shrub looks almost competent in comparison.

Monday, April 09, 2007


It's ironic, although in an unbelievably sad and tragic way, is that even as political leaders in this country follow Shrub's lead in flaunting their contempt for public opinion, not to mention the military, and even as "the Iraqi people" becomes little more than a lead-in for even emptier rhetoric (if wingnuttia gave even a nano-damn about "the Iraqi people," I'd eat my shoe)...anyway, even as all this plays out in an ever more absurdly dumbed down grading curve as to what "benchmarks" the Iraqi government might conceivably achieve--as if it actually mattered in the hellish mess Team Bush has made of a certain sense, Iraqis DO have a means of exercising public opinion. And the US government would do well to heed it:

Tens of thousands of Shiites — a sea of women in black abayas and men waving Iraqi flags — rallied Monday to demand that U.S. forces leave their country. Some ripped apart American flags and tromped across a Stars and Stripes rug.

Um, that leaves the Kurdish north as the last remaining region of US support...which, by the way, was/is to use one of Secretary Rice's favorite expressions, more or less the "status quo ante." Except that instead of having an isolated and boxed in Saddam Hussein lording despotically over a stable country, you've got nascent civil war in the same, and the virtual certainty that, before it's all over, a religious theocracy with strong Iranian ties will consolidate power.

To paraphrase a dim-bulb-in-chief this time, I'd call that a "heckuva job, Bushie."
Ein Volk. Ein Reich. Ein "No Fly List."

Take your shoes off...and relax, since you're going to be here for a while. And no, Team Bush DOESN'T give a shit about your service to your country:

"When I tried to use the curb-side check in at the Sunport, I was denied a boarding pass because I was on the Terrorist Watch list. I was instructed to go inside and talk to a clerk. At this point, I should note that I am not only the McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence (emeritus) but also a retired Marine colonel. I fought in the Korean War as a young lieutenant, was wounded, and decorated for heroism. I remained a professional soldier for more than five years and then accepted a commission as a reserve office, serving for an additional 19 years."

"I presented my credentials from the Marine Corps to a very polite clerk for American Airlines. One of the two people to whom I talked asked a question and offered a frightening comment: "Have you been in any peace marches? We ban a lot of people from flying because of that." I explained that I had not so marched but had, in September, 2006, given a lecture at Princeton, televised and put on the Web, highly critical of George Bush for his many violations of the Constitution. "That'll do it," the man said. "

"After carefully examining my credentials, the clerk asked if he could take them to TSA officials. I agreed. He returned about ten minutes later and said I could have a boarding pass, but added: "I must warn you, they're going to ransack your luggage." On my return flight, I had no problem with obtaining a boarding pass, but my luggage was "lost." Airlines do lose a lot of luggage and this "loss" could have been a mere coincidence. In light of previous events, however, I'm a tad skeptical."

Well, on the bright side, Herr Chertoff wishes you a nice day.
What's the Difference...

...between Tom DeLay and pond scum?

Pond scum doesn't stink as much, and is easier to wash off your shoes.
President Doofus

Why is Dick smiling?

h/t Dependable Renegade.

And he thinks he can guide us through two wars? Jesus...


Credit Ford Motor Co. CEO Alan Mulally with saving the leader of the free world from self-immolation.

Mulally told journalists at the New York auto show that he intervened to prevent President Bush from plugging an electrical cord into the hydrogen tank of Ford's hydrogen-electric plug-in hybrid at the White House last week. Ford wanted to give the Commander-in-Chief an actual demonstration of the innovative vehicle, so the automaker arranged for an electrical outlet to be installed on the South Lawn and ran a charging cord to the hybrid. However, as Mulally followed Bush out to the car, he noticed someone had left the cord lying at the rear of the vehicle, near the fuel tank.

"I just thought, 'Oh my goodness!' So, I started walking faster, and the President walked faster and he got to the cord before I did. I violated all the protocols. I touched the President. I grabbed his arm and I moved him up to the front," Mulally said. "I wanted the president to make sure he plugged into the electricity, not into the hydrogen This is all off the record, right?"