Video Surfaces Showing Iraqis Beheaded on Sidewalk

Lovely. Just lovely.

I noticed the words "civil war" were used to refer to Iraq again and again today while the president choice never to mention either Iraq or terrorism yesterday. But boy did he pepper his speech with tyrant.

Does he really have no clue that this is exactly how the rest of the world - and 49% of Americans - see him?


The Bush "horn" sign

Ray asked about this in comments so let me answer it broadly related to the Bush family hand signs during the inauguration, since someone else IMed me about it, too.

My understanding is that dumb hand signal has to do with supporting some dipshit Texas team. But the horns of Azmodeus, as the signal is often called, seems really weird for a crew that believed even John Ashcroft didn't belch enough brimstone.

I'd think the far-flung Christian quotient would be pissing themselves over the hand gestures because it's believed to be Satanic (I'm not one of those Christians who subscribes to the belief that there has to be a devil). If Kerry did that, they'd be burning him at the stake. But Laura was doing it yesterday with her little white gloves on.


Maureen Dowd Does Some Math Today

and concludes that Condi Rice is a negative number.


Condi may not know Einstein's theory of relativity, but she has a fine grasp of Cheney's theory of moral relativity. Because they're the good guys, they can do anything: dissembling to get into war; flattening Iraqi cities to save them; replacing the Geneva Conventions with unconventional ways of making prisoners talk. The only equation the Bushies know is this one: Might = Right.

Iraq: That Big Missing Word Today

How could the president speak SO much and not once reference Iraq?

Who Knew SpongeBob SquarePants was the Demon's Spawn?

Well, James Dobson (I won't call him a doctor or a man of God since he's neither) says he is.

This with the president giving the "devil's horn" sign countless times today. It was damned weird.

Pull DOWN that Curtain!

The Myth of Red Dominant America

Look here.


The Terror Level

Wow... since the election, suddenly there's no chatter, no indication of attacks, no nothing. Gee, that's soooo strange. They're saying there's like no terror worries about the inaugural tomorrow at all, even though they're spending the most money ever for it. You'd almost think the Bush Administration wanted to color the vote (or de-color the vote, if you will) and now, since Diebold delivered, they had no more need.

That's of course a cynic's view. Sadly, I also think it's dead on true.

Boxer Has Balls Indeed

The great Madeleine Kane has another blog, devoted to the subject of courageous California Senator Barbara Boxer. Says Madeleine:

Why President Boxer?

Republicans feel free to create their own realities, so why can't I? And in my idealized reality, Senator Barbara Boxer is the President of the United States.

She's a true liberal, she does her homework and, unlike the weenie-dems in the Senate and House, she has the courage of her convictions.

Barbara Boxer's actions throughout the Ohio vote and Condi Rice hearings are more than enough to earn my support. Moreover, Boxer puts her fellow democrats to shame.
Hey, I'd take her over rehashed Kerry anytime, and Gore is really no longer viable. His chance to run was 2004. There won't be another.

By 2008, however, the Dems-in-the-know will be telling us we have to vote for a man who personally ate the heads off Osama's men, believes women should be barefoot and pregnant and gagged, and who feels that Wal-Mart isAmerica and democracy at its best. Ugh.

New Poll: Americans Split Over Whether Bush is a Uniter or a Divider

That's really just so apt.

It's a Three-Mile Island - No, it's a Chernobyl. NO! It's Faux News Having an Off-Script Meltdown!

Courtesy of Oliver Willis, here's a video example of what happens on Faux when they accidentally have someone as a guest who refuses to polish the boy king's hairy little butt.

Gee, $40 million would pay for a lot of school books, veteran health care, and troop body armor plus bullets. Point back to other presidents, sure, but understand that the coronation of this boy king - not something you might expect in a democracy is seeing unprecedented corporate money and pomp n circumstance at a time when this country is hurting very badly. The corps are buying influence when no normal mortals can attend this shindig. It's the Bush White House's way (yet again) of screaming Fuck You at all of us.


Juan Cole on Iran

Juan's been extremely savvy about what's going on abroad, and here's his take on the Hersh/Iran story:

I don't think there is any doubt that Bush and his appointees at the head of the Department of Defense intend to do something to Iran. If Iraq had gone well, they probably would already have attacked it. Since their land army is tied down in Iraq, they have to use special operations forces for aggressive action against Iran. The Pentagon and also Pakistan are denying the report heatedly. But it makes sense. Iran has formed a close military alliance with India, Pakistan's chief rival in South Asia, and Iran has come out on top in the new Afghanistan, with Tajik and Hazarah allies displacing the largely Pushtun, Pakistan-oriented Taliban. And Pakistan has reason not to want Iran to get nukes, thus surrounding Pakistan with nuclear powers on both the east and the south. So Pakistan has every reason to cooperate with the US against Iran.

As for Bush and his DoD hawks, they have been quite clear about their intentions. They announced that Iraq and Iran were part of an axis of evil, and we have already seen what happens to regimes so categorized.

The potential for trouble for the United States if the Bush administration acts aggressively toward Iran is enormous. It could turn the Iraqi Shiites and the Afghan Hazarahs decisively against Washington. An Iran in chaos similar to that in Iraq would be three or four times the problem for the US and the world that Iraq is.

Ironically, Bush revealed the day before Hersh's article that he has learned nothing from his mistakes in Iraq.

Barbara Boxer and the Rice Hearings

I thought she made some good points. Unfortunately, I don't think this will do a damned thing for keeping Rice out of the SoS office.

Happy Fatherhood

Best wishes to Jerome Armstrong, his wife, and their new baby, Maya. And no, Maya was not paid for by Howard Dean either.

Well, I Would Agree Rev. King Would Be Appalled But...

I differ on what he would be appalled by.

This from Media Matters:

In a "Talking Points Memo" devoted to "[h]ow Martin Luther King would view things today," FOX News host Bill O'Reilly declared that King "would be appalled by the secular culture" and by "the attacks on Christmas, the demonizing of Christianity." Media Matters for America has documented how in late 2004 O'Reilly used a recurring segment titled "Christmas Under Siege" to hype a series of bogus "anti-Christmas" stories, distorting and omitting key facts to declare that "progressive secularists" were "attacking" Christmas as part of a broader campaign to advance a radical agenda of "gay marriage, partial-birth abortion, euthanasia, legalized drugs, [and] income redistribution through taxation."
What I think King would be appalled by is the way Christianity is being used as a sword to draw and quarter anyone who doesn't agree with the right wing. He'd also be appalled with the way Bush is using African Americans to exemplify how Social Security is unfair, but saying that the thing to do is privatize and bankrupt SS faster rather than address the real problem: that our society is set up in such a way that African American males live shorter lives than their white counterparts.

He's also be appalled that Bush pulled out the "Help America Vote" act that forced electronic (rigged) voting down the throats of everyone on MLK's birthday a few years back, particularly ironic because it's often people of color and the poor who are often disenfranchised under the Bush system.

In fact, had King lived, I doubt very much we would have reached a point where Mr. Bush would have made it to office once, let alone twice.


The Rewards Keep Coming

From The (UK) Guardian:

Two US defence contractors being sued over allegations of abuse at Abu Ghraib prison have been awarded valuable new contracts by the Pentagon, despite demands that they should be barred from any new government work.
Oh, yes, let's reward these people. After all, the more one screws up and cost lives in the Bush universe, the more they should receive accolades and large sums of cash. Oy! (and from a goy!).

Nods to Cookie Jill at Skippy who posted a link to this.

(And a question: With a track record like this, why hasn't Anna Nicole Smith been named to some high-paying intelligence position? She's certainly at least as competent as Mr. Bush or Ms. Rice.)

"We have nothing to fear but fear itself."

Late last night, unable to sleep, I began to think about this quote from the first of Franklin D. Roosevelt's four inaugural speeches and how Bush - just as he's sought to destroy everything else FDR set out - has never embraced this quote.

In Bush's world, Americans have to fear everything: God, brown people, Muslims, compassionate Jews, Social Security, librarians, thinking, people who won't sign loyalty oaths, judges who act like they're meant to uphold laws and not God's dictate, and most of all, fear those who say the emperor has no clothes given the enormous amount of money the emperor spends on fabric.

Bush can't rule the world unless we're terribly afraid because only people who are scared shitless would put up with all this horrific nonsense.

So what if we stop playing? What if we stop being afraid? I used to feel that I was much more afraid of Bush and his minions than I was of anything Osama could do to us. But you know what, I refuse to do that anymore. I'm not playing this fear game. Fear makes you hope and pray and do other basically ineffective things because you're too scared to actually do anything.

Thus, I repeat FDR's bold words: We have nothing to fear but fear itself.

Me Thinks They Doth Protest Too Much

The White House is in overdrive disputing and trying to discredit Seymour Hersh's article about how Iran is our next target and that it's likely we'll be hitting them by summer. But as former Defense Secretary William Cohen noted, Sy Hersh has a better history of accuracy than this White House.

We should all be gravely concerned. Iran sits right in the middle of what we've already bombed to hell.


Charles Graner, Abu Ghraib and Torture

I've been struggling with the results from the CNN poll asking if Graner's (the man often referred to as the leader of the abuse movement at the prison and presumed father of "leash girl" Lindy England's baby) 10 year sentence is too light, too harsh, or just about right.

Set aside for the fact that the majority of respondents say it's either too light or too harsh (a sum total of about 56%). The single largest majority was 44% saying it was too harsh.

Do I believe Graner acted on his own? Absolutely not. I think orders came directly from the Pentagon on down. But even with that, there's a difference between "softening up prisoners for interrogation" and what we saw done at that prison. Graner may not have acted in a vacuum, but how can one excuse what was done? To men, women, young boys? How can one justify that 10 years is too harsh?

Struggling with this, I happened to find a link to Ratboy Anvil from Karlo at SwerveLeft (another very good blog) and I'm glad I discovered it. Here's what Ratboy Anvil wrote:

How can 44% of polled people think that a ten year sentence for Charles Graner is too harsh in light of what he did to the detainees at Abu Ghraib prison? I believe him when he complains that he was just following orders, but that didn't wash at Nuremberg when the Nazi's tried that excuse and it certainly doesn't apply to him.

Something to bear in mind is that the detainees were just that; detainees, not convicted criminals or known terrorists, most were simply rounded up in sweeps and detained with little or no evidence of any wrong doing, many eventually released. Graner is a bully and an asshole who gets no sympathy from me whatsoever because his actions are exactly what lent legitimacy to the insurrgency.
Well said. I'll definitely be visiting this blog again.

"Kerry for Prez in 2008? Over My Dead Body!"

From John in DC at AmericaBlog:

He has got to be kidding.

The man couldn't even beat the totally lame George Bush, and now he's hinting at running again? No. Good God, imagine if Kerry had to go up against John McCain next time? He'd be obliterated.

People didn't like Kerry. Hell, Democrats didn't like Kerry. What would be so different next time he runs? His history of waffling (and let's face it, he does waffle - his positions on gay issues were alone proof of that, let alone the old "I voted for it before I voted against it")? His war record? His personality and warmth? And how exactly would Kerry overcome his already signficant negatives in the public eye?

I mean, look, I voted for the guy, I wanted him to win, truly. But Kerry was just like Gore, the candidate WE HAD rather than the candidate WE WANTED. And the candidate we had was a nice man who simply was not good enough. Close, but no cigar. Do we get Bob Shrum again? And how long will it take next time before Kerry decides to fight back? Will he develop an actual opinion on the war on terror next time?

Hiding Indeed

Check out Oliver Willis' powerful representation of the Post article I cited late last night with Bush's limp-minded response.

If we wanted to find Osama, we would have. So you might want to ask yourself why we don't.

Sy Hersch: We Could Be Fighting Iran by Summer

That's what he's saying on Wolfie's show on CNN now. Funny thing is, whenever they show Wolfie why Sy's talking, Wolfie looks like he's reading a take-out menu.

Holy crap, Batman.

Where exactly will we find the troops to do this - setting aside, of course, the moral reprehensibility, the fact that the rest of our War on Terror has done little except produce more terrorists, and the fact that this president has largely bankrupted the U.S. for decades to come.

Why Haven't We Caught Bin Laden? Bush: "Because He's Hiding."

From Sunday's Post - the president endangers everyone and everything in the world to (supposedly) hunt him down, but we're supposed to believe that our lack of success is just because he's "hiding". More bu'shit.

From the same article:

President Bush said the public's decision to reelect him was a ratification of his approach toward Iraq and that there was no reason to hold any administration officials accountable for mistakes or misjudgments in prewar planning or managing the violent aftermath.

"We had an accountability moment, and that's called the 2004 elections," Bush said in an interview with The Washington Post. "The American people listened to different assessments made about what was taking place in Iraq, and they looked at the two candidates, and chose me."
Fuck THAT! And I'm not even talking about the rigged voting.

Really? Even you Bush voters: is that the only accountability this president needs to withstand for sending your sons, daughters, fathers, and mothers to death?