Friday, May 16, 2008

Game Over?

Hans von Spakovsky is giving up on his effort to infect the FEC with his presence in order to spend more time with his money...which means Mr. Straight Talk better be able to conjure up jolly good excuse for his gaming of the campaign finance system.

Again, imagine if a Democratic candidate had as many pretzel twists as the man from Arizona...the media would be literally laughing when not postulating about a "GOP century."
Just What We Need...Another Pest from Texas

Maybe Tom DeLay could do something useful for a change and go back to his first career:

Scientists do not quite know what to call them, they are so new. But folks in the damp coastal belt south of Houston have their own names (some of them printable) for the little invaders now seemingly everywhere: on the move underfoot; infesting woodlands, yards and gardens; nesting in electrical boxes and causing shorts; and even raising anxiety at Hobby Airport and the Johnson Space Center.

"We call them running ants," said Diane Yeo, a homeowner in suburban Pearland, turning over a planter by her swimming pool to reveal a seething carpet of ants, yes, running, each about the size of the letter "i" on this page.

That was not the worst of it. "Looks like they’re carrying eggs," said her husband, Bob.

The ant is a previously unknown variety with a staggering propensity to reproduce and no known enemies. The species, which bites but does not sting, was first identified here in 2002 by a Pearland exterminator, Tom Rasberry, who quickly lent his name to the find: the crazy rasberry ant.

"I sprayed some pesticide just to knock them down," Mr. Rasberry recalled on Thursday. "But the next year I went from seeing a couple thousand to millions of them."

More info here, with a downoaded Google maps pic showing distribution at present.

No word on whether or not they'd lie to get us into a war and eavesdrop on our electronic communications without a warrant. But if they'd pledge not to, I'd vote for them over George W. Bush.
Fine Sense of Humor You Got There, Mr. Huckabee

If Mike was delivering his speech to the NRA in 1968:

"That was Bobby Kennedy...somebody aimed a gun at him and he dove to the floor. Nah, not really--he FELL to the floor...with a bullet in his head! Hehehe!"


"That was Martin Luther King, Jr. Looks like he forgot to duck. Yuck, yuck yuck!"

Or maybe Mike meant to say

"That was Barack Obama, he just tripped off a chair...well that, or the chair was yanked from under him! Looka that boy dance! Yee-haw!"

"Thanks, I'll be here all week! Try the Obedience-to-the-law-is-freedom fries!"

From First Draft.
Lather, Repeat

I'll grant there's a certain instinctual, insect-like tenacity to the wingnut talking points, in this case Cliff May insisting that it's "fair game" to smear Michelle Obama, who, last I saw, wasn't running for any elective office.

And it's not like it isn't part of a long-term pattern in wingnuttia, that is, reduction to the point of absurdity. Atrios wrote a small post along the same lines as to yesterday's deserved smackdown of Kevin James by Chris Matthews...and hey, credit where credit's due--Matthews showed that good, solid journalism can enlighten by exposing sheer ignorance.

Off-hand, I can think of any number of ignorant wingnut expressions that never garner the sort critical examination a responsible free press would provide in highlighting the utter absurdity: "the Move On wing of the Democrat Party," or "the Michael Moore wing;" previous iterations were "government is the problem," "states' rights," "private sector efficiency"...I could go on and on. Now it's "Reverend Wright," "Michelle Obama..." and then you've got the dog-whistle stuff like "Dred Scott" and "just a comma."

Now, any thinking person realizes that dog don't hunt...but a lazy press repeating Swift Boat mantras can do plenty of damage simply by forcing a particular candidate to waste resources with a defensive strategy that ITSELF becomes the story, to the point where "business as usual" is a campaign devoted not to critical issues, but flag pins, the Pledge, a non-understanding of "appeasement," etc.

And, at least this time around, we're seeing what happens if the mud doesn't stick: wingnuts retrieve, and fling again...and again...and again. Thankfully it doesn't seem to be working this time, although I wonder when the press will decide to gang up on Obama...

Or maybe it's just that--sadly--hate is a luxury of sorts, and these days people have so much to worry about that it's a luxury they can't afford.

Oh, and watch: IF Obama wins, the wingnut shitstorm will try to smear all the Bush administration crap onto him...and they'll do so with the sort of sickening glee generally seen only in suicide bombers...

One more thing: sorry for the late start. Had a busy morning.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Tears of a Clown

The Grand Sacrificer gets emotional when considering how much he's done for us...
More Nixonesque "Credibility" from Straight-Talking John

Given his own documented inability to grasp the very basics of the Middle East, you'd think John McCain might want to focus on other issues.

But, then again, he's just as far up shit creek when it comes to the economy...or pretty much anything else. In fact, at this point, about all McCain can really do is stamp his feet, flail his arms to the extent he's able, fling some mud, and hope something sticks.

Either that or spend some quality time in the company of his personal tutor Joe Lieberman, who might one day manage to pound the difference between Shi'a and Sunni into his thick skull...
It is Dummythustra Who Speaks

Take a good, long look at the picture (photo downloaded from The Rude Pundit) long as you can stand to. Yep, that's the assclown, who, a day after claiming--falsely, it turns out--that his grand sacrifice for the troops is to give up golf now tries to equate Barack Obama with Nazi appeasers. Link.

Now, I'll grant that the Bush family has what you might call a unique expertise regarding Nazi appeasement, but I digress. Again, look at the picture...think about his grand sacrifice that is actually a flat out, bald faced lie. And then consider this latest example of moronic, nonsensical gum-flapping.

There's not a person with functioning brain cells who should take ANYTHING Shrub says seriously...which is why Joe Lieberman DOES.

Oh, and while I'm thinking of it, Dick Cheney is NO Darth Vader. Big Time is a grumpy old man who shot an even older man in the face with a shotgun, demonstrating remarkable stupidity as to basic hunting safety...he then reacted to his accident by hiding and getting drunk.

Hell, they make Beavis and Butthead look like valedictorians.

At this point, ANYTHING they say should be considered in the context of it being the equivalent of a two year old playing with his own excrement. And if either one tries to DO anything beyond collect a paycheck over the next eight or so months, let's hope that someone applies the same rules that they had for Nixon in the final days.

And, you know, if the electorate actually falls for such nonsense, then maybe we really do deserve four more years of Shrub in the form of Crazy John...
First as Tragedy, Then as Farce

I see John McCain's now touting a 'secret plan' to end the war in Iraq by, where have I heard THAT before?...

Oh, right.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Edwards Has Landed

In addition to the actual news of the endorsement by John Edwards--but not, it should be noted, Elizabeth Edwards, and yes, I think that's important--I got treated to some pearls of wisdom from none other than one of my latest bete noirs, Mudcat Saunders himself.

David "Mudcat" Saunders, a chief adviser for Edwards on rural affairs during his presidential campaign, said the timing of the endorsement couldn't be better given Obama's resounding loss in West Virginia on Tuesday.

"For Barack Obama, I think he ought to kiss Johnny Edwards on the lips to kill this 41-point loss," he added. "The story is not going to be the 41-point loss. It's going to be Edwards' endorsement."

Gee, thanks for your usual astute analysis, Mudcat. I doubt anyone would've realized...

For those of us who aren't enamored of Democratic "strategery" that panders to NASCAR Dads or whatever flavor of the month...a strategy, by the way, that will NEVER win, because it's patently phoney from the's more analysis from Al Giordano, along with a link to a site that the geek in me finds fascinating: live tracking of private or commerical flights, including the flight Edwards took from Raleigh to Grand Rapids...hey, wait a second. I've been to both airports, although Grand Rapids only because it's the only "incident" I've ever experienced in the air (after safely landing, the pilot explained that his windshield developed a significant crack in mid-flight)...

Anyway...wish there'd been a website like this available while my father was alive. He was a licensed pilot, and it would've been fun to track his flights (for the record, he had a full career as a carrier based pilot in the United States Navy, then continued flying as a company pilot for a Louisiana business. The planes I remember him flying were the E-1b, the C-2, and, in private aviation, a Beechcraft King-Air).
Not a Particularly Comforting Notion

Self-Fulfilling Prophesy?

David Corn offers a somewhat ominous reason for Hillary Clinton to stay in the race, basically, the schadenfreude option.

While the sheer voltage of ugly racism in the United States has never ceased to amaze me, I continue to hope that in the end it's a luxury that most Americans simply can't afford in these exceedingly anxious times. Save the race-hate for AFTER the mortgage crisis, the jobs crisis, the fuel crisis, the goddamn grocery bill crisis, and so on, have at least managed to become, um, managable...

But back to Corn--he gives Hillary a HUGE benefit of the doubt, I hope with good reason, re: would she campaign vigorously to ensure a Democratic victory in 08 even if it signals the end of her viable presidential ambitions? Cockburn and St. Clair have previously suggested the opposite, that is, a McCain victory, perhaps assisted in part by a lackluster Clinton effort, leaves the door just open enough for a 2012 run.

I dunno, maybe it's my lack of ambition, but I'd be pretty satisfied with being a multi-term Senator...
Just Playing Through

Imagine the manufactured shitstorm courtesy of the GOP and the Russert/Drudge media wingers if it was Bill Clinton making as dubious a claim as Dubya about his "sacrifice."

I mean, Jesus H. Christ on a stick, this administration lies compulsively. Remember Furnituregate? Or the "Gulfstream V" nonsense (#4) on the original "surprise" visit to Baghdad? Or, as Atrios noted, the equally untrue "sacrificing sweets for the war" or the just plain bizarre "American citizens sacrifice their peace of mind" when we view the "violence on the teevee screens" (absent ANY evidence to demonstrate this supposed fact).


You've gotta believe this is part and parcel to the entire country being sick of him and Grumpy, aka Big Time, aka Dick (calling him "Darth" implies a level of competence that's clearly lacking).
That Smell

Click on image for full size

I still miss Molly Ivins, who saw this coming four years ago:

My friend John Henry Faulk always said the way to break a dog of that habit is to take one of the chickens the dog has killed and wire the thing around the dog's neck, good and strong. And leave it there until that dead chicken stinks so bad the dog won't be able to stand himself. You leave it on there until the last little bit of flesh rots and falls off, and that dog won't kill chickens again.

The Bush Administration is going to be wired around the neck of the American people for four more years, long enough for the stench to sicken everybody. It should cure the country of electing Republicans.

I can think of nothing more likely to convince the people not to vote for Republicans again for a long, long time than four more years of George W. Bush.

The ONLY way this election should be even moderately close is if the media's so deep in the tank for Johnny Mac that they need gills to breathe.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Ministry of Desperation, Division of Batshit Insanity

If the "Barack is a Mooooslim" smear doesn't gain the desired traction, I guess the wingnut reaction is to proffer the "Barack ISN'T Moooslim" smear instead:

In Islam, however, there is no such thing as a half-Muslim. Like all monotheistic religions, Islam is an exclusive faith.

As the son of the Muslim father, Senator Obama was born a Muslim under Muslim law as it is universally understood. It makes no difference that, as Senator Obama has written, his father said he renounced his religion. Likewise, under Muslim law based on the Koran his mother’s Christian background is irrelevant.

Of course, as most Americans understand it, Senator Obama is not a Muslim. He chose to become a Christian, and indeed has written convincingly to explain how he arrived at his choice and how important his Christian faith is to him.

His conversion, however, was a crime in Muslim eyes; it is "irtidad" or "ridda," usually translated from the Arabic as "apostasy," but with connotations of rebellion and treason. Indeed, it is the worst of all crimes that a Muslim can commit, worse than murder (which the victim’s family may choose to forgive).

Sigh. Where does one begin with these assclowns? I don't know about other people, but I'm beginning to really understand the "life is too short" point of view, and I guess my attitude is to tell Luttwak that, well, he's wack. See Cheney, Dick's, reaction to Pat Leahy for more specific instructions.

Luttwak, by the way, is ass-ociated with the Center for Strategic and International Studies--which includes such "luninaries" (typo is deliberate) as Arnaud de Borchgrave, Michael Ledeen...and Madeline Albright, for "balance," I presume.

No wonder they're trying their own "kitchen sink" approach...because even though Barack Obama is by NO means any sort of radical--hell, I expect him to disappoint me early and often should he be elected--he does represent a threat to business as usual, if only in the matter of certain individuals' economic self-preservation...
A Bit of Projection, Maybe?

Doug Feith all but declared us 'the stupidest f*****g people on the planet.'
It's Like "Military Intelligence"...

Maybe it's just me, but I can't imagine Ray Nagin as a "super" anything...
RIP Rauschenberg

From the NY Times obituary (which itself appears to be a mix and match of off-the-shelf and recent updates):

The process -- an improvisatory, counterintuitive way of doing things -- was always what mattered most to him. "Screwing things up is a virtue," he said when he was 74. "Being correct is never the point. I have an almost fanatically correct assistant, and by the time she re-spells my words and corrects my punctuation, I can’t read what I wrote. Being right can stop all the momentum of a very interesting idea."

This attitude also inclined him, as the painter Jack Tworkov once said, "to see beyond what others have decided should be the limits of art."

He "keeps asking the question -- and it’s a terrific question philosophically, whether or not the results are great art," Tworkov said, "and his asking it has influenced a whole generation of artists."

Monday, May 12, 2008

Add a Foreclosure Sign, and it'd be like California--Well, with a Homicide Rate About a Thousand Percent Higher, Of Course

Patrick Cockburn reports on the latest "success" in Iraq, that is, the turning of Mosul into a ghost town.

Soldiers shoot at any civilian vehicle on the streets in defiance of a strict curfew. Two men, a woman and child in one car which failed to stop were shot dead yesterday by US troops, who issued a statement saying the men were armed and one made "threatening movements"...

I had been to Mosul down this road half a dozen times since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003 and on each occasion the military escort necessary to reach the city safely has grown bigger. Squinting through the small glass portholes it was clear that local people were taking the curfew seriously. Even the miserable cafes used by the truck drivers, and which I had imagined never closed their doors, had pulled down their metal shutters.
Sheer Gnatlike Wisdom

Your president speaks:

President George W. Bush denounced the nation's military rulers over their slow response to the devastating cyclone.

"Either they are isolated or callous," Bush told CBS News radio in an interview. "There's no telling how many people have lost their lives as a result of the slow response."

Isolated, callous, resulting in needless loss of life, he said.
From the Department of "Duh"

Fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly...and Bush administration "allies" gotta be corrupt to the bone:

The Bush administration repeatedly ignored corruption at the highest levels within the Iraqi government and kept secret potentially embarrassing information so as not to undermine its relationship with Baghdad, according to two former State Department employees...

Sen. Byron Dorgan, head of the Democratic Policy Committee, said the latest testimony is disheartening in light of al-Radhi's previous estimate that corruption had cost Iraq--and U.S. taxpayers--some $18 billion.

You know, on one level that at least demonstrates a minimal level of intelligence amongst the Malaki crowd. I mean, what the hell else can they do except try to line their pockets like kids looting a candy store before the pathetic excuse for a policy fails utterly. Otherwise, the "Iraqi government" is little more than a way station to the proverbial sticky end.

Get as much as you can while you can, and then hietail it out before things get really ugly...hey, just like Dick Cheney.
Meet John McCain's Water Carrier

Holy Joe's disgusting little flirt-and-frolic should give everyone an idea of just how skewed the political dialogue is in this country. I mean, geez: Joe was the Democratic nominee for VP...oh, and he and both of the Clintons trace their friendship back to the late 60s, when salt-of-the-earth Hill and Bill were doing what all working class kids did back then: attend Yale Law School. No effete Hah-vahd U for them.

Maybe NASCAR should consider building a track in New Haven...