Friday, November 16, 2007

Cookie Got Caught...

...with his hand in the cookie jar, it seems.
Because We Live in a World...

...where Tweety and Pumpkin Head personify the "serious" press corpse, it's not surprising you'd see something like this happen.
The Administration's Ally

In case anyone really wonders whether or not the Bush administration is even a little sincere about promoting the rights of women in Muslim countries...


An appeal court in Saudi Arabia has doubled the number of lashes and added a jail sentence as punishment for a woman who was gang-raped.

The victim was initially punished for violating laws on segregation of the sexes - she was in an unrelated man's car at the time of the attack.

When she appealed, the judges said she had been attempting to use the media to influence them...

According to the Arab News newspaper, the 19-year-old woman, who is from Saudi Arabia's Shia minority, was gang-raped 14 times in an attack in the eastern province a year-and-a-half ago.

Seven men from the majority Sunni community were found guilty of the rape and sentenced to prison terms ranging from just under a year to five years.

But the victim was also punished for violating Saudi Arabia's laws on segregation that forbid unrelated men and women from associating with each other. She was initially sentenced to 90 lashes for being in the car of a strange man.

On appeal, the Arab News reported that the punishment was not reduced but increased to 200 lashes and a six-month prison sentence.

Blaming the wonder Team Bush loves them some Saudis so much.
The "Mississippi Miracle," In Three Words

Screw the poor.
More Training...

They say this stuff's gonna help me be "more productive."

Back later.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Just Wondering...

Is this who we really want coming up with a plan to "ease congestion" in the skies?
It's Nouri's Fault

You know they're running out of options when they're desperately trying to foist blame on our "ally," the "government of Iraq" (which, as I've pointed out before, makes South Vietnam look like a rock of stability in comparison). By the way, it's time again to link to Chuck O'Connell's pre-war predictions, at least one of which: "Eventually the misery of the Iraqi people will be blamed on the Iraqis themselves" is pretty well spot-on.

And if they can't stick it on him, well...there's only one option left...

Yep--blaming the Clenis.
Stuff Happens...Again...and Again...and Again


So, I guess this one gets filed under "fog of war," as opposed to "tragic accident," "isolated incident," "terrible anomaly," "regrettable loss of life," "collateral damage," or whatever euphemism of the day they conjure up.

Oh, and equally just plain sick is the smug statments wafting from wingnuttia regarding the VERY slight downtick in Iraqi violence being indicative of some sort of grand victory. Earth to wingnuts: a temporary lull in your dysentary is not definitive proof that the bed is uncrapped.
On Company Time

Duty calls...back a little later.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Wingnutter Joe

Born 99 years ago today--wow, the things you can learn browsing the internets.
Won't Bogart That Joint

Al's Cockburn and Giordano offer their perspectives on the Democratic front runner today--Cockburn's is part I of a three part series, but Giordano has the best line:

One of the paradoxes of the 2008 campaign is that [Clinton's] electoral base is considered to be fellow and sister members of the sixties generation and yet--like her spouse who "did not inhale" (it's one of the few statements that Bubba has made that I tend to believe; who else would fake smoking a joint?)--Clinton's path bypassed the pleasure politics that bonded so many of her peers, and, significantly, most of us that came afterwards. (my italics)

That said, it speaks volumes as to how skewed electoral politics are these days--H. Clinton is routinely lambasted for her "librul" world view; in truth, Ms. Clinton grew up as quite the conservative Republican...and now, like her husband, is quite the conservative Democrat. Yet, in the political realm, they essentially define the outer limit of debate.

That probably goes a LONG way in explaining why the public--in favor of ending the war, in favor of a woman's choice, in favor of universal health care--can be so routinely ignored...
Ascent of Man Descent of Wingnuts

I'll usually tune into Countdown if I've got nothing else planned for the evening; last night, however, I decided to check what was on PBS's degenerate, atheist, communist, librul agenda.

I'm glad I did. Talk about a well deserved smackdown of genuine lizard-brains who either can't or refuse to get through their pinheads the difference between school and Sunday school. You may recall the case NOVA referred to...and some may remember another pinhead, the "reverend" Pat Robertson all but wishing out loud for some sort of foul pestilence to befall on Dover, Pennsylvania, where this modern version of the Scopes trial played out. How Christian of him.

I don't see any link to a webcast, though I'm pretty sure an announcement at the end of the program indicated it was or soon would be available for viewing...if you have the time, it's well worth it. And, as this post at TPM Cafe points out, the "debate" isn't merely about what biology text should be used in the classroom, but is in fact a microcasm of a broader political conflict between, well, adults and morons.
"And as Human Beings, You and I Need Fresh, Pure Water to Replenish Our Precious Bodily Fluids."

YRHT has the details.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Rated "C" for Craptacular

I'm the, I'm the, I am. No, you are.

Maybe Shrub really did look 'em in the eye and liked what he saw.
No Good Deed...

FEMA's plan


In what some see as another bureaucratic absurdity after Hurricane Katrina, FEMA is refusing to pick up the cost of restocking New Orleans' aquarium because of how the new fish were obtained: straight from the sea.

FEMA would have been willing to pay more than $600,000 for the fish if they had been bought from commercial suppliers. But the agency is balking because the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas went out and replaced the dead fish the old fashioned way, with hooks and nets. That expedition saved the taxpayers a half-million dollars but did not comply with FEMA regulations.

"You get to the point where the red tape has so overwhelmed the process that there's not a lot you can do to actually be effective," Warren Eller, associate director of the Stephenson Disaster Management Institute at Louisiana State University, said of FEMA's actions.

Katrina knocked out power to the tourist attraction at the edge of the French Quarter in August 2005, and the staff returned days four days later to find sharks, tropical fish, jellyfish and thousands of other creatures dead in their tanks.

Aquarium officials wanted to reopen the place quickly. So even before the $616,000 commitment from the Federal Emergency Management Agency came through, they sent a team on an expedition to the Gulf of Mexico, the Florida Keys and Bahamas, where they caught 1,681 fish for $99,766.

Despite the clear savings, the dispute has dragged on for 17 months.

"FEMA does not consider it reasonable when an applicant takes excursions to collect specimens," FEMA quality control manager Barb Schweda wrote in a 2006 e-mail. "They must be obtained through a reputable sources where, again, the item is commercially available."

And these are the folks who haughtily had the nerve to lecture Louisiana about "corruption" (while managing to lose--literally--TONS of cash in Iraq). These are the folks who snidely yank out their clipboards and bark about rules or regulations, even as they move mountains...or even more astonishingly, cut short The Decider's vacation when the issue is deemed "worthy."

They better hope there ISN'T a God...because otherwise She would be PISSED.
A Special Mix of Hubris and Stupidity...

...and not just from Butthead-in-Chief, from whom we've come to expect this sort of idiotic drivel, but from a press corpse that's given up on any sort of meaningful journalistic discipline. The fact that Shrub can bitch himself a big ol' hissy fit over "earmarks" without being gut-laughed off of whatever stage/podium he spoke from speaks volumes. It's as if they've spent the last six plus years in a hypnotic daze.
Who Would Jesus Deport?

Why, the widow of a US serviceman killed in Iraq, of course...and their small child.
Wishful Thinking Versus Reality

h/t Rising Hegemon for Ronnie and the lawn jockey pic

It's good to see Bob Herbert shine the light on Ronald Reagan the person as opposed to the myth of St. Ron promulgated by professional ditzes (e.g. Peggy Noonan). The cult of Reagan, which has become so extreme that some zealots want to stamp his visage on the dime or name something after him in each state is an insult to those of us in the reality-based community.

Now, compared to Shrub, Reagan wasn't as bad, but that's like comparing a convict doing time for fraud and extortion to a raving lunatic axe murderer. Neither one is particularly suited for, oh, I don't know, THE HIGHEST ELECTIVE OFFICE IN THE LAND.

To be sure, Reagan's racism wasn't the rabid, let's burn some crosses while wearing white sheets variety...but it was no less virulent (take a look at The Autobiography of Malcolm X for an excellent analysis of rabid versus passive racism). By the way, Paul Krugman pointed to a few more examples of the Gipper's rather ugly reality in this regard over the weekend. And, I recently came across this quote from wingnuttia's sacred hero:

Reagan on his promise to repeal California's fair housing act when he was running for governor in 1966: "If an individual wants to discriminate against Negroes or others in selling or renting his house, he has a right to do so."

Maybe they can put THAT on the dime, next to "In God We Trust."

Or maybe they can just put a picture of St. Ron having a good laugh in Philadelphia, Mississippi, without so much as saying a word in honor of three American heroes who paid the ultimate price in defense of our freedom.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Have a Nice Day

You know, one really astonishing and shocking thing about this whole sordid mess is that the Bush administration--well, the Cheney administration--began their surveillance well before 9/11...which makes you wonder just what exactly they wanted to listen in on. Something is really, really fishy...

And that makes the Democratic cave-in to these thugs all the more shameful and pathetic. No, they don't give a flying Big Time about our rights as citizens...and, sad to say, I've come to expect that...but they also don't seem to care that the Rethugs might well be monitoring THEM. After all, there's a history of that behavior with the GOP.

And don't even get me started on the whole "but we're in a war" nonsense/crap.