I seem to have forgotten to go to bed again. It's now 5:08 AM in North Bumfuck (to quote a regular reader here).

If I hurry, I can get 7 minutes of sleep before it's time to awaken and start the whole wonderful existence all over again.

Good night!...er... morning.

Keith Olbermann: "Worst Person In The World"

While I don't even promote sales of my own books here, one good turn - like Keith Olbermann's special comments on Wednesday night - deserves another. You can order your copy of Keith's new book, "Worst Person in the World", at Powells (a union book store). Promotion of his title on Crooks and Liars on Friday sent it to #18 on the bestsellers' list (O'Reilly's latest is #728... heh).

Given today's climate, I like to promote those FEW journalists who I feel actually act like journalists which - on some days - amounts to only a handful more than Keith and Greg Mitchell of Editor & Publisher (also, Amy Goodman of Democracy Now, Greg Palast of BBC, Helen Thomas, et al).

Speaking of the Pentagon and The Lies of Donald Rumsfeld

[Ed. note: For those who missed it, Keith Olbermann's special comments on Donald Rumsfeld's shameful lies and rhetoric, go here.]

This past week [see "Rummy's Rampage" at Countdown with Keith Olbermann], when Secretary of the Indefensible Defense Donald Rumsfeld whined apoplectic that it was a SAD COMMENTARY that a search of newspaper databases turned up SOOOOO many stories about a single case of abuse at Abu Ghraib while almost NO articles about the first person to win a medal in the "global war on terror" (which, for the Bushies, means a war against everything from Democrats and the middle class to any nation with oil reserves that won't just hand them off to Halliburton, Unocal, ExxonMobil, and Dick (and what a dick!) Cheney), you should have been just as pissed off as I am.

See, Mr. Rumsfeld is far more responsible for the soldier - and the climate that created the situation - charged with the torture and prisoner abuse in Iraq than he is for anything else. To PRETEND that he cares about the soldier winning the medal is bullshit.

Mr. Rumsfeld is the man who sent countless troops into battle without body armor. Without armored vehicles. Without enough bullets. Without a plan. Without any good reason. Meanwhile, I hear that Rummy gives some of the most elaborate and expensive dinner parties in ALL of Washington. I mean, nothing says "respect for our troops" being paid less than minimum wage for Bush's Blunders like Rumsfeld serving $50 a bottle wine and the finest pate in ALL of America, right?

So Donny Boy, save your hyperbole and false piety for somebody who gives a fuck about you. WE as progressives and liberals and centrists care FAR more about the troops than you and your sick fuck ilk EVER will.

NEWSFLASH! Must Be End Times Because The Pentagon Forgot (Only Momentarily, Mind You) To Lie

You know how bad things are in Iraq when even the Pentagon tells a teeny weeny, itsy bitsy molecule of the truth:

Sectarian violence is spreading in Iraq and the security problems have become more complex than at any time since the U.S. invasion in 2003, a Pentagon report said Friday.

In a notably gloomy report to Congress, the Pentagon reported that illegal militias have become more entrenched, especially in Baghdad neighborhoods where they are seen as providers of both security and basic social services.

The report described a rising tide of sectarian violence, fed in part by interference from neighboring Iran and Syria and driven by a "vocal minority" of religious extremists who oppose the idea of a democratic Iraq.

Death squads targeting mainly Iraqi civilians are a growing problem, heightening the risk of civil war, the report said.

"Death squads and terrorists are locked in mutually reinforcing cycles of sectarian strife," the report said, adding that the Sunni-led insurgency "remains potent and viable" even as it is overshadowed by the sect-on-sect killing.

"Conditions that could lead to civil war exist in Iraq, specifically in and around Baghdad, and concern about civil war within the Iraqi civilian population has increased in recent months," the report said. It is the latest in a series of quarterly reports required by Congress to assess economic, political and security progress.

Iraqi forces were dealing with more violence Friday...

Kurt Vonnegut, A Hero of Many, A Class Act Allllllll The Way

Also at Blah3, Monkeyfister points us to an article in Rolling Stone on the one, the only, the incomparable Kurt Vonnegut who says we really ARE at the end of the world (I'm quite sure he feels the Bushies are helping this along).

Read it or weep!

Foreclosing Upon Bush's "Ownership" Society

I guess the ownership Bush and his pee-ons meant was the banking industry holding the mortgages upon which they could foreclose at new record rates. From Stranger at the bountiful Blah3:

Atrios has a post up about those rapacious Option ARMs and how people are getting suckered into even higher mortgage rates by seductive numbers that turn out to be flat-out false, then follows it up with a 'cautious prediction' of a massive wave of foreclosures that is about to hit homeowners at all income levels. He suggests that the Dems get out in front of this by coming up with solid proposals to ensure that people all over this country don't get tossed out of their houses en masse.

While it can be pointed out that there's a sucker born every minute and that the people going for these mortgages are doing so willingly, the banks are guilty of putting thousands of families in jeopardy of losing their homes. That isn't right, and there should be a crackdown on these lending practices. Dems are the ones who could do it, and they should. It's a good idea, and it would be a good policy idea even if there weren't a foreclosure epidemic looming on the horizon. Bush and his thugs have let the banks get away with murder when it comes to bad lending practices (see Bankruptcy Bill), and the Dems should start casting themselves as the Protectors of the Little Guy now. As in yesterday.
As for the "sucker every minute", I suspect a fair number of these folks "buy" into this awful plan because circumstances have already pushed them into such dangerous financing in the misguided hope (impossible in the Bush years of only billionaires being worthy) of holidng onto homes already set for foreclosure, thinking they could pull themselves up and out later.

I myself have been in this position, but have not gone for the mad financing. Instead, my home and I are about to part company. ::sigh::

Talk About a Cluster Fuck: Screwup Halliburton May Acquire Dubai Ports Thanks to Bush

Buzzflash brings this bit of truly evil news re: Halliburton (who screws up everything and always at a much-inflated price for bad work) to our attention (and at Associated Content where I am a contributor, too). Buzzflash may be very correct here: this may truly show Bush's motivation for this entire comprehensive cluster fuck to date.

The British Film Portraying Bush's Assassination: Apparently Some Fictions Are More Acceptable Than Others

All the hue and cry the last few days about this Brit-produced film which is supposed to portray the fictional (obviously!) ass-asination of President Bush strikes me as pretty damned stupid.

First, it's FICTION. For slow learners, FICTION is NOT meant to be treated as factual (except when the Bushies' release such as reports; example: "The war in Iraq is doing just peachy!").

Second, the Bushies are just FINE with fictional portrayals like that awful film on one of the cable channels after 9/11 that portrayed Bush as this great smart, sensitive man who, so worried about the American public on 9/11, that he tried to fight his Secret Service people to defy his own safety to be with and protect his citizens. ::barf::

Third, I'm sure the Bushies had a hand in the 9/11 movie coming up on ABC in which they put the entire blame for 9/11 not even on Osama bin Laden (or in Bush's case, Osama been Forgotten) but on.. oh yes... Bill Clinton. I mean, this week we even heard about Bill Clinton was responsible for the poor Katrina response even though it happened YEARS after he left office. At this rate, I fully expect to hear how Clinton is also responsible for Lincoln's assassination as well as that of Archduke Ferdinand AND John Lennon.

Fourth, this is an administration that is just FINE with threatening the lives of other leaders and leaving rather blunt suggestions out there some "hero" might want to take one or more of them out. Examples: Kim Jong Il. Ahmadinejad. Aristide. Saddam Hussein. Fidel Castro. Hugo Chavez (whom Bush DID try to take out with that silly coup). And that's just to name a few.

And fifth? Bite me.


Just Coincidence?

I'm sure there is only pure coincidence at work here:

Tonight, just as I heard them announce that pert, perky, and oh too precious Katie Couric would begin as the CBS Evening News anchor on Tuesday (September 5th), I had to race for the bathroom to toss my cookies (and no, no real cookies were involved).

Eww...just talking about it (Katie, not cookies) is making my stomach churn again.

The Donald and the No Confidence Vote by Dems

From The Blue State, which goes along with my mention on Thursday that Barbara Boxer (Senate: D-CA) - from her interview on MSNBC's "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" - will introduce a non-binding resolution calling for Secretary of Defense (and the Indefensible) Donald Rumsfeld to be fired:

Even though the Democrats have been the targets of the Administration's foreign policy offensive all week long, this is also a great opportunity for them. Last week, there were murmurings inside circles of the Democratic Party about calling for a no-confidence vote of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, anticipating that many moderate Republicans up for reelection would join the resolution.

With the Defense Secretary's latest tirade this week where he compared war critics to Nazi appeasers, the Democrats may have their best opportunity to introduce the "no confidence vote" resolution.

To The Gangrenous GOP, Goading Into War Is Fully Justified So Long As It Brings Them The Votes

Probably for my own mental health (what shreds of it remain), I've avoided discussing former - and failed - Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich since he claimed that it would be to the GOP's incredible advantage to turn Lebanon - and Iran and Syria - into World War III to guarantee righteous Republicans the fear vote this November mid-term as well as the presidential race in 2008.

However, Glenn Greenwald updates us on Gingrich's war-mongering tyranny:

Newt Gingrich spoke at a fundraiser for a GOP Congressional candidate yesterday and made explicit one of the core issues that the 2006 election will resolve:
    To deal with the threat [of "nuclear bombs destroying U.S. cities"], he said, "we want to replace the North Korean regime. We want to replace the Iranian regime and the Syrian regime. We would like to replace them without using military force if we can."
When Gingrich says "we would like to replace them without using military force if we can," he means, of course, that he wants military force used (i.e. new wars waged) on those countries. It is almost certainly the case that military force is the only way to accomplish regime change in those three countries. That means that, in addition to staying in Iraq indefinitely, we will have three new Iraqs -- including in two countries with far greater military force than Iraq could have dreamed of having (one of which has nuclear capabilities).

It is hard to overstate how extremist is the warmongering agenda of those who exert the most influence among Bush supporters. Isn't that what Democrats should be asking Americans most clearly and aggressively - do you really want to stay in Iraq indefinitely, and on top of that, have whole new wars with Iran and Syria, perhaps with North Korea? That is what Newt Gingrich says he wants, and he is hardly alone.

Evolution, America, and the Pin-Headedness of Penn Jillette

Watching "Real Time with Bill Mahr" just now, I'm reminded of something I read recently: that only places like Turkey have more people who do not believe in the concept of evolution than today's United States.

Penn Jillette is one of the guests tonight and his argument is that all the people in the U.S. who "need" to know about evolution (as in scientists) do and the rest don't matter.

Say what?

Americans don't need to have any basis in science? Granted, we managed to "select" a president who does not understand the most fundamental and simplest foundations of science, but I'd like to think most American parents would hope that - and aspire to a reality where - their children will be brighter than George Bush.

While we may not know all there is to know about evolution now, it is NOT a "theory", no matter how hard the far righties try to turn Charles Darwin into the anti-christ. From DNA on down, we know evolution is real.

As a society, we cannot afford to have whole generations of people no more intelligent that George Bush and yes, even the so-called doctor Bill Frist. If we do, we're going to lose even more of our power and possibilities than we already have. And remember, George Bush has helped seriously usher in a time where adult children do NOT have a richer life than their parents (unless the child is a Bush or Cheney, for example). Do we want this to continue?

Penn Jillette should damn well no better than to make comments like that. But frankly, I stopped watching his Showtime program, "Bullshit", because he also ridicules government culpability in the attacks on September 11th, 2001 as well as global warming. So I suppose you could say I do not believe in Penn Jillette even though I know evolution and global warming are indeed real. "Bullshit" is apparently not just his show's title, it also represents Jillette himself.

Why The Bushies And the Far Right Try to Destroy The Reps of Anyone Released By So-Called Terrorists

They did it to Jill Carroll, the Christian Science Monitor journalist held for more than 80 days in Iraq before her release. Now they're doing it to the two Fox News journalists just released by Palestinians. Glenn Greenwald has the story here.

Another GOP Politician As Cruelly Dumb As Bush And Just As Bigoted As The Rest of The "New" GOP

The Blue State brings us this horrendously awful story which combines bigotry, with idiotic talking points, and comes wrapped up in a red, white, and blue IQ of less than 70 in yet another Republican politician (my God, he's running for governor!):

Now this is enough to get your blood boiling. Colorado Republican Congressman Bob Beauprez, who is also running for governor in that state, said in a radio interview on Monday that 70% of all African-American pregnancies end in abortion:
    "In some of our ethnic communities, we're seeing very, very high percentages of babies, children, pregnancies end in abortion," Beauprez said in an interview broadcast on Colorado Public Radio. "I've seen numbers as high as 70 percent, maybe even more, in the African-American community that I think is just appalling."
It looks like someone is jealous of George Allen! Obviously the number Beauprez gave was inaccurate, and he apologized on Wednesday. Even though he did say he was sorry, Colorado voters have to ask themselves whether they want to elect a governor that just throws around numbers like that in order to score points with a fringe demographic.

Why The International Forces Coming to Lebanon Are Needed in Gaza and Elsewhere

Also from The Times (Select):

Line of Fire

Daoud Kuttab argues that the international military presence in Lebanon makes clear the need for the same strategy in the West Bank and Gaza.
I'm in almost full agreement with this author's point about that the international forces being used in Lebanon would be a wise addition in other areas where Israel strong arms.

We MUST get Israel out of the policing of Palestinians and other Arab-Muslim neighbors for a number of reasons, including:

a) Israel seems to be moving more and more strongly toward a policy of getting non-Jews out of the Middle East
b) More protection for non-Jews is desperately needed
c) Removing Israel as top dog cop should both reduce Israel as a target and to reduce their ability to hurt others which will hopefully quell some of the violence
d) The U.S. and Israel truly have an unholy alliance going

David Sirota: Pentagon Report Shows GOP Bankruptcy Vote Comes Back to Crush U.S. Troops

From David Sirota.

This is just simply heinous and one in a very long list of insulting and harmful actions by the Bush-Cheney-Rove GOP (and I still believe there is a very large part of the GOP who stands for FAR better things than these criminals) against the troops they depend to fight their cooked wars, are happy to have their pictures taken with such troops, only then to take measure after measure to hurt these troops and their families.

From David's article (and David, btw, tells us he will start work on Tuesday with the Ned Lamont campaign in Connecticut - three cheers and my fervent wish that David and Ned wipe the floor with Joe Lieberman):

Back in 2005, when the credit card industry lobbyists were corralling republican and Democratic lawmakers to vote for the corporate-written Bankruptcy Bill, Sen. Dick Durbin offered an amendment (details attached) to preserve existing protections for troops serving in Iraq. National guardsmen, for instance, sometimes are forced to take a pay cut from their regular jobs when they are called into service and deployed overseas. Lord knows our soldiers serving in Iraq have enough to worry about - and gutting their bankruptcy protections while they were deployed was something Durbin thought was unacceptable. Unfortunately, only 38 of his Senate colleagues agreed with him, and his amendment was defeated.

[Check out the names of these fuckers!]

Those voting against the amendment included Montana Sen. Conrad Burns (R), Ohio Sen. Mike DeWine (R), Virginia Sen. George Felix Allen [that's George "Macaca" Allen to you!], Jr., Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum (R), Missouri Sen. Jim Talent (R), Rhode Island Sen. Lincoln Chafee (R) - all incumbents facing serious challenges for reelection.

Now, according to a new Pentagon report highlighted by USA Today (story linked below), "As many as one in five members of the armed services are being preyed on by loan centers set up near military bases that can charge cash-strapped military families interestso of 400% or more." Let's be clear - trying to take advantage of soldiers at a time of war when they are under stress is a form of war profiteering. And thanks to our bought-off Congress - it's all perfectly legal. Here's hoping the senators who voted against Durbin's amendment get hammered for it.

Thomas Frank: Democrats Need to Learn to Discuss Class Issues Again

Here, from The Times (TimesSelect registration required - ugh):


Rendezvous With Oblivion
Everything I have written about in this space points to the same conclusion: Democratic leaders must learn to talk about class issues again.
I think Thomas Frank raises some decent issues here as he has before.

However, I do not feel that Democrats are alone in the strange relationship and communication about class issues. In fact, I think the "new" GOP (the face of Karl Rove, Bush, Cheney, Norquist, etc.) engage in an extremely morally bankrupt view of class while simultaneously accusing Dems of practicing class wars.

WHY Is Federal $2 Billion in Funding for AIDS At Risk?

I find this matter - how the chowderheads in Washington are playing with $2 billion in federal funding for AIDS - massively infuriating. Anytime these dickheads choose to perceive any issue as "controversial" or one their more narrow minded constituents may view as "well, if these people lived a Godly life, they wouldn't HAVE this problem", they totally trash it.

Remember that the far right's "Great Saint" Ronald Reagan was HUGELY responsible for allowing AIDS to take such a hold here because he wanted to ignore it altogether. While AIDS would still be a horrible issue regardless of Reagan, his myopic and hypocritical administration cost us millions of lives and led to a much greater problem.

First, even if AIDS were "only" a gay plague, as it was so often represented in the past and continues to be again by the narrow minded, we still owe it to our citizens - of which gays represent at least 10% or about 30 million souls - to fund research, treatment, etc.

But AID is NOT a gay plague. It strikes throughout the population, with African-Americans and others of color at a much higher percentage than average. Black women are especially hard hit.

While Other Countries Pledge $940 Million to Help Rebuild Lebanon

According to WaPo, that is... the U.S. is still planning to give Israel at least least $2 Billion to offset Israel's expenses bombing the bejesus (er...) out of Beirut and the rest of largely Christian Lebanon. Why does that still strike me as enormously obscene, just like how much of our hardware killed all those Lebanese children?

Washington PostGlobal: How to Counter Anti-Americanism

Mind you, my first and foremost recommendation to counter anti-Americanism - and please, this is not being sarcastic or even partisan - is to literally impeach the entire Bush Administration and put them to a War Crimes tribunal, an act that would restore some faith in us around the world. But definitely check out some of the many opinions from thoughtful people 'round the world.


John Lehman: "How We're Losing The War"

Check it out - at the risk, of course, of Mr. Rumsfeld calling you a fascist enthusiast, Bush calling you a defeater, and Cheney calling you a terrorist:

How We're Losing the War
» John Lehman Are we killing, capturing, or deterring jihadists faster than they are being produced? The answer is an emphatic no.

One Important Additional Detail on Electronic Voting Systems

To follow up my previous post on Kerry, Blackwell, voting irregularities and such, let me add that you can't be complacent thinking that if you happen to vote - as I do by "Australian" paper ballot here in Vermont - by paper or other non-techie voting, your vote may STILL be "stolen".

This is because paper ballots frequently (as in the vast majority of the time) get optically scanned, another form of electronic voting systems. These are also proving very easy to tamper with.

We DESERVE to have every vote counted and counted CORRECTLY to reflect our will as the people of this country. This isn't a partisan issue, although the GOP has been the greatest benefactor of fraudulent votes thus far.

Democrats, Republicans, Independents, and all others should demand a fair and accurate vote. The Bushies and the Karl Rove arm of the GOP do NOT want this to happen. We must let our will stand and theirs go into the boys' bathroom where they belong.

Speaking of Questionable Validity of Electronic Voting Systems...

As many of you probably know, John Kerry (finally!) has questioned some of the voting count and practices from the 2004 presidential election in Ohio which - as you also remember - was the tipping point state for the so-called Bush win. Only almost two years late, John, but... well.. there are huge questions about the Ohio vote that have never been adequately answered, including a whole host of irregularities on a rather monumental scale. [Here are some links to stories this week covering it in detail: The Free Press, Tom Paine's articles declaring that Kerry actually won Ohio, and a must-read from Harpers here.]

Much like in Florida four years before with Katherine Harris both serving (in her capacity as Secretary of State) as the person in charge of validating the vote AND acting as George W. Bush's state wide campaign coordinator (which she then used to ride into the House of Reprehensibles in 2002), Ohio's Secretary of State Ken Blackwell also was in charge of validating the votes AND being a Bushie operative. And again like Harris, Blackwell is now running for office himself, and counting heavily on support from the GOP who owes him a great debt for making certain Dubya won.

If Ohio had not been "declared" as a win for Bush in 2004, Dubya would not have had a second term (and his first ride into office in 2000 was more a matter of selection than election). The vote as counted was EXTREMELY narrow, with Bush counted for a win of less than 118K votes out of the 5 million cast. This "tip" gave Bush the electoral college votes needed to continue destroying U.S. and the planet for another four years. [For some of the details, check the archives of the Toledo Blade as well as this article from January 2005 Rolling Stone magazine. Searching on "Blackwell Ohio Toledo Blade" for example gives you a big start.]

Mind you, it's bad enough that a very significant percentage of the U.S. population believes that two if not more vote counts have been "fixed" (example: electronic voting manufacturer Diebold had its top man promising to "deliver the vote" for Bush). At least twice, there is very good reason to believe that the wrong man (if you call Dubya a man) was sent to the White House.

But what is far more criminal is that there is NOTHING in place to prevent this from continuing, while almost every week, there is a new disclosure at how easy it is to "fix" the electronic voting systems. We need to be screaming loudly and following it with action.

Florida Poll Worker Fired For Daring to Suggest Electronic Voting Systems Need a Paper Trail

Buzzflash points us to this astounding - except that it's Florida where corruption always seems to seek its own very base level - story about the poll worker who was cut just for recommending veracity in Florida voting.

Rumsfeld the Defeater, the Bully, the Architect of Defeat

Buzzflash points us to this important piece in the Boston Globe ("The True Iraq Appeasers") on how far Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense, overstretched himself at the American Legion on Tuesday much like he's exhausted the troops for the past five years.

And on related news, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) will offer a non-binding resolution next week in the Senate to call upon the president to fire Rummy's wrinkly ass.

President Bush and Reality: Never The Twain Shall Meet?

US News and World Report tells us that George W. Bush just isn't too worried about piddling little world events like lots of wars he created but can't win (despite the GOP's new message of "The war we did not start!"), the terrorism we've wrought on the rest of the world, and other silly little issues.

President Bush and Reality: Never The Twain Shall Meet?

US News and World Report tells us that George W. Bush just isn't too worried about piddling little world events like lots of wars he created but can't win (despite the GOP's new message of "The war we did not start!"), the terrorism we've wrought on the rest of the world, and other silly little issues.

From the Reddest State in the Union Comes An Incredible Protest Against The Emperor With No Clothes But Lots of War Talk

The Nation brings us this (and damned, I'm proud of Rocky Anderson and the brave people of Utah - I'm even willing to overlook the fact that coffee is not so popular there ::cough::):

A Mayor Challenges the 'Culture of Obedience'
As President Bush visited Salt Lake City Wednesday to shore up support for the Iraq War, Mayor Rocky Anderson addressed a peace rally at City Hall, accusing the Administration of leading the nation to the brink of disaster and sowing hatred that will take generations to uproot. Anderson said it's time to challenge the "culture of obedience" in American society and pursue peace as aggressively as the Administration pursues war.

Why We Went to Iraq: To Hand Their Oil Wealth to American Gas and Energy Companies

In an article entitled "Oil Pressure", Greg Muttitt at Foreign Policy in Focus gives a rather comprehensive run down (oh, wait, run down is what Bush did to Iraq) of how Mr. Bush went into the country with the third most oil reservoirs (Iraq), carved it up to hand off to American gas and energy companies like ExxonMobil, Unocal (just ask India how wonderful Unocal is), and ChevronTexaco.

Today, Iraqis have to IMPORT gas and oil... all thanks to George W. Bush.

Yeah, let's elect MORE oilmen like Bush and Cheney. There must be SOME part of the world they have not destroyed yet.

Bush Delivers Strongest Message Yet to Tehran and Iran: "We Can Nuke Everyone But You Can't Play!"

Bush has made it damned clear that he would be happy if every household in America had a nuclear reactor in the laundry room but our unprecedented president does NOT want Iran to have anything. Even though Iran is at least 8-10 years away from any definitive nuclear power, Bush wants to make war NOW because it's good for the GOP elections this November and in 2008.

Bush's platform of "Make War, Not Sense" is just one of the GOP messages for the election cycle.

"Beyond Macaca": The GOP's George Allen and a Sweet Little "Civic" Group Called the KKK uh... CCC

Funny how many of the great men of the GOP, like Southern governor Haley Barbour and Senator (as well as 2008 presidential hopeful) George Allen have made the acquaintance and embraced the support of the Council of Concerned Citizens, which calls itself a civic organization.

The CCC may not mean anything to you unless you happen to know that the CCC is today's face of another civic organization, the Ku Klux Klan. Ring a bell? A discordant one, perhaps.

Max Blumenthal at The Nation tells you why Senator George Allen, who thoroughly enjoyed calling a man of a different hue than Allen's pals at the CCC "macaca" (which can mean shit or monkey or something even worse) probably doesn't want some photos with old "friends" to see much light of day.

Considering both Presidents Bush owe their wealthy lineage to a man who made a fortune off the Nazis, Allen would seem like a great next-in-line for the White (and oh, so very white) House. Here's a bit of the very fragrant story:

According to Baum, Allen had not naively stumbled into a chance meeting with unfamiliar people. He knew exactly who and what the CCC was about and, from Baum's point of view, was engaged in a straightforward political transaction. "It helped us as much as it helped him," Baum told me. "We got our bona fides." And so did Allen.

Descended from the White Citizens' Councils that battled integration in the Jim Crow South, the CCC is designated a "hate group" by the Southern Poverty Law Center. In its "Statement of Principles," the CCC declares, "We also oppose all efforts to mix the races of mankind, to promote non-white races over the European-American people through so-called "affirmative action" and similar measures, to destroy or denigrate the European-American heritage, including the heritage of the Southern people, and to force the integration of the races."

The CCC has hosted several conservative Republican legislators at its conferences, including former Representative Bob Barr of Georgia and Senator Trent Lott of Mississippi. But mostly it has been a source of embarrassment to Republicans hoping to move their party beyond its race-baiting image. Former Reagan speechwriter and conservative pundit Peggy Noonan pithily declared that anyone involved with the CCC "does not deserve to be in a leadership position in America."

Bad, Bad, Bad in Baghdad

A single attack today has killed 47 people in Baghdad (and Jim Lehrer just said another 68 were killed in another Baghdad bombing with more than 200 additional Iraqis wounded), while US News & World Report brings us both President Bush's announcement that "we must win" in Iraq, as well as this:

The rocky course of the Iraq war is at another critical juncture, as U.S. and Iraqi troops try to stop a surge of violence. In frank interviews, the top commanders at the front assess the campaign and what must happen next. Read more »
As for Bush's pronouncement, hey:

a) He's welcome to send the Bush twins over; perhaps they can get the insurgents drunk and partying
b) I'd like to be 5'8 and maybe 10 years younger; it'll happen sooner, I suspect, than Bush winning in Iraq

Bad, Bad, Bad in Baghdad

A single attack today has killed 47 people in Baghdad (and Jim Lehrer just said another 68 were killed in another Baghdad bombing with more than 200 additional Iraqis wounded, while US News & World Report brings us both President Bush's announcement that "we must win" in Iraq, as well as this:

The rocky course of the Iraq war is at another critical juncture, as U.S. and Iraqi troops try to stop a surge of violence. In frank interviews, the top commanders at the front assess the campaign and what must happen next. Read more »
As for Bush's pronouncement, hey:

a) He's welcome to send the Bush twins over; perhaps they can get the insurgents drunk and partying
b) I'd like to be 5'8 and maybe 10 years younger; it'll happen sooner, I suspect, than Bush winning in Iraq

Why Will the US Subsidize The Israeli Destruction of Lebanon?

OK, let's say I believe that Israel ONLY went into Lebanon to go after Hezbollah.

Even given that, there was NO need for the destruction of nearly the entire Lebanese infrastructure and the grave negligence (at best) toward Lebanese civilian life, with more than 30% of the dead being children.

So why is the U.S. hemming and hawing about giving even just a petty $30 million to Lebanon (to rebuild the entire infrastructure???) while it is now almost a given that the Bush Administration will give - at Israel's request - up to or exceeding $2 Billion (that's with a B) to Israel to help defray its costs in leveling Lebanon?

To do this is insane. To do this also proves the point that Israel was just the front man for a Bush proxy war in yet another Arab-oriented country.

Walter Pincus Shows Us The New Bush "Lipstick on a Pig" Express

From Walter Pincus in the Washington Post:

U.S. military leaders in Baghdad have put out for bid a two-year, $20 million public relations contract that calls for extensive monitoring of U.S. and Middle Eastern media in an effort to promote more positive coverage of news from Iraq.

The contract calls for assembling a database of selected news stories and assessing their tone as part of a program to provide "public relations products" that would improve coverage of the military command's performance, according to a statement of work attached to the proposal.
The request for bids comes at a time when Bush administration officials are publicly criticizing media coverage of the war in Iraq.

The proposal, which calls in part for extensive monitoring and analysis of Iraqi, Middle Eastern and American media, is designed to help the coalition forces understand "the communications environment." Its goal is to "develop communication strategies and tactics, identify opportunities, and execute events . . . to effectively communicate Iraqi government and coalition's goals, and build support among our strategic audiences in achieving these goals," according to the statement of work that is publicly available through the Web site http://www.fbodaily.com .
So this will be a big time version of how, when I criticize Mr. Rumsfeld or question the Pentagon, I get contacted BY some part of the Pentagon. Great.

Last Night's Passionate, Fiery Keith Olbermann Speech on The Shame and Lies of Donald Rumsfeld

I posted on this last night and pointed you to the transcript on Keith Olbermann's blog, but the marvelous Jamie Holly posted the video for you to watch on Crooks and Liars.

Good Night, Glenn Ford

Glenn Ford has died at the age of 90.

While many - even those older than me - may not remember this one time Hollywood leading man-slash-"hunk", I discovered him in movie reruns as a young child. I not only liked his acting style, but - quite personally - he both reminded me of my dad in his delivery and in his overall appearance. OK, a more erudite and less "Good Ol Boy" type than my father (the loyal Republican and Mason) but.. still... my dad polished nicely. ;)

Say hello to...

Afromix where a blog in Somalia (sorry, I think that anyone able to blog in a place like Somalia is waaay cool considering how tough life there can be) linked to one of my posts (which just happened to mention the much-needed spanking of our "president", George W. Bush).

Although my blog is not promoted (by choice), I enjoy everytime I see people from new countries drop by, including in the past several weeks visitors from Iran, Uzbekistan, this one in Somalia, some fairly far flung places in China (which usually needs a gateway to access here which I assume has to do with restrictions in place), and deep into Central and South America, to name but a few. Most of Europe and Canada are regulars.

While I'm not sure any of us can "completely" trust our political leaders, I like to believe that, as individuals, perhaps we can reach across continents and oceans and arrive at a meeting of minds that the motivations of our leaders would otherwise prevent. I'm thrilled every time someone sends a comment or email saying, "Wow... not every American thinks like Bush."

(As an American, I am not at ALL certain Mr. Bush can think.)


The More I Work on the Missing Links On The Sidebar...

... the more fouled up it gets.

I'll be back tomorrow... er... uh.. later today. Right now, I've got a date with Chapter 29 of "Insect Dreams" by Marc Estrin which you should really find and read.

Powells is a good place: a union bookstore - find "Insect Dreams" here! I happened to notice there that my fellow Vermonter, Thom Hartmann, is their #1 bestseller: Screwed: The Undeclared War Against the Middle Class and What We Can Do about It

Another good place is Bear Pond Books - they ship.

Martha Rainville, GOP Candidate for Bernie Sanders' Opening U.S. House Seat

As regulars know, I am not a Democrat or a Republican. I made this decision when I knew at 18 I would become a journalist and felt it was not right to adopt a partisan view. My vote - on good old Vermont paper ballot - is always a real mix-up between parties.

I actually rather like Martha Rainville, the former head of Vermont National Guard, who runs as the GOP candidate for Vermont's SINGLE U.S. House seat. I believe Peter Welch (Dem) will get my vote, but Martha has not thrown the slime and scum that her GOP colleague Rich Tarrant has done toward Bernie Sanders in the U.S. Senate race.

Tarrant would not get my vote if he held a gun to my head. His primary residence was NOT in Vermont when he started running for this state. He sold his medical billing firm for mega-mega-mega bucks to a division of (get this): General Electric ("We bring bad wars to life!"). But even if I did not know the rest of it, if I only went by Tarrant's campaign lit, he would not get my vote. He's another privileged Bushie piece of crap. He would be very BAD for the people of Vermont.

I can only hope Jim Douglas loses the vote for governor, but I doubt it. He got the majority of votes from both parties two years ago. While he hasn't been horrendously horrible, he IS a Bushie through-and-through, by his own campaign work for Bush.

Talk About GOP Talking Points

To be quite fair, I usually find U.S. News and World Report fairly comprehensive and often willing to address touchy subjects. But, since Keith Olbermann tonight said I could find from US News' report that Stephen Hayes (a "journalist" who decides the truth by listening to the Bushies and then continues "on message" even when the Bushies give it up) has been chosen to write Dick Cheney's auto-biography (man, he'll be tough on Cheney, no?), I visited.

Almost every article I saw listed sounded like a GOP talking point:

No Child Left Behind
Study: Most support law's goal, but not strategy (right: a plan to eliminate public schools through bureaucracy while making it possible for the goverment to torment high school kids into joining the military for Bush's wars)

Inside the Beltway

'Security moms' still on board, Republicans say
Congress Watch

GOP suggests August was a good month

White House Watch
Bush's summer reading list

Addendum to 20/20's Top 10 Threats to the World

To followup my last post, I thought I should "slip" the top threat to the future of humanity and this earth for those who didn't catch ABC's 20/20 tonight. Here he is - and his name is not just George W. Bush, it's also:

Blind greed
Failure to be a steward to the land

ABC 20/20 Tonight Gets It Right on Nuclear

We do NOT need to spend out time focused on North Korea or Iran.

The elephant in the room, as the experts say, what will MOST LIKELY kill us if not the rest of the world with it, is that the U.S. alone has the power of 80 THOUSAND Hiroshimas. Also, that the U.S. and Russian have NOT stood down from mutually assured destruction from the Cold War.

I know a bit about Hiroshima and Nagasaki because my dad was one of the first soldiers who landed there after the blast. The malaria my dad kept suffering all his life until his death two days before his 40th birthday, I realized only recently was probably NOT malaria but radiation poisoning. He died not able to remember most of his children. Somehow that 21 gun salute and full military funeral as a "hero" of World War II just didn't make up for the fact that I lost my dad at age four... or that I lost him four months before his death because he did not recognize me as his child and threw me from his bed. His youngest child was just a few months old and eventually, I would have to raise the son he left behind.

But you know what? Compared to what happened in Nagasaki and Hiroshima and all.. my younger brother and I... and even my father... got off easy. This is why I do NOT support nuclear work period. We know too little and we take too many horrendous risks coupled with outlandish mistakes.

So How Many Continuing Education Credits Does Bill Frist Get...

for his by-video diagnosis of a woman (Terri Schiavo) who turned out to have a so long ago-irreversibly damaged and shrunken brain, when Frist said he KNEW this woman could see and think and wanted to live. I think that's worth an educational credit of maybe -3 billion?

Geez, I think Bill Frist's medical license should have been pretty much fucking well taken away and burned at the stake THEN.


More Than 200 Dead in Iraq, Just Since Sunday

Uh huh.. in a follow-up to my previous post.

Gee, I'm really amazed this wasn't in my CentCom daily press release. Yes, I really, truly am.

We May Not Have a Winston Churchill to Stand Up to a Neville Chamberlain, But We Do Have a Nobel Vanguard to the Legacy of Edward R. Murrow

His name is Keith Olbermann and tonight he delivered a seven minute thoughtful, amazing, and very proper response especially to Mr. Rumsfeld's address yesterday at the American Legion but to this entire Administration with its new "This war that we didn't start" (say WHAT?) message.

You must, you really must read the transcript of it posted on the Countdown blog.

"The Mess in Iraq: Holding Bush Accountable"

Out of the mouthes of babes, so to speak, from the U of Illinois at Urbana campus newspaper:

The Bush administration is one of the most secretive and corrupt administrations of modern times. George W. Bush will be President until 2009 and only time will tell what this man will further accomplish in his quest to make war, endanger the lives of Americans, and shift wealth from the hands of those who have little to those who have much. The Bush administration has been marked by contempt for the law, disregard for American lives and gross incompetence.

Bush's presidency has been riddled with scandal from day one. In early 2001, Dick Cheney's energy task force met behind closed doors. The result was energy policy largely written by officials from the energy industry. In 2002, thanks to the Freedom of Information Act, the secret proceedings of this task force were ordered to be disclosed, but this has not yet happened. A couple of things from the meetings that have seen the light of day are maps of Iraq's oil fields and a document called "Foreign Suitors for Iraqi Oilfield Contracts." It is worth noting that the energy task force met before Sept. 11.

Bush's warrantless domestic spying, which the administration had attempted to hide from the American people was recently declared illegal. Who would have thought? What is surprising is that leading up to the recent ruling, Department of Justice lawyers didn't even attempt to defend the legality of the program. The argument of Bush's legal team was that the NSA wiretapping was so secret that Judge Anna Diggs Taylor had no authority to rule on it. The Department of Justice did not even choose to argue against the claims of the plaintiffs, only that the program couldn't be ruled illegal, because it was secret.

It's arguable which of these individual scandals would be considered high crimes or misdemeanors. But no scandal of the past six years can compare to the invasion and occupation of Iraq. Bush and his friends lied to us in front of our very eyes. Bush warned us about weapons of mass destruction he knew never existed.

Say Hello to...

The Blue State.

And 66 More Dead Today Just in One Report in Baghdad Alone

... but CentCom every day tells me how much better Iraq is. I have the email. You want to see? How THIS month will have only a third of the nearly 3,000 dead in just ONE morgue LAST month.

CentCom wouldn't LIE, would they?

And yes, that's sarcasm, something not allowed under the Rumsfeld Pentagon regime.

As a Followup to Think Progress on Fox News and The Drum Beat Toward War with Iran

Josh Marshall reminds us - since many of us are acutely aware of it already - that the dialogue being espoused here for a war with Iran by the Bushies and the far right, and supplemented by Israel - is getting quite surreal.

Fox News: Let's Attack Iran!

Think Progress reminds us that Fox News - ever acting like the best tradition of William Randolph Hearst in trying to gin up a war to spark a larger audience - is now trying to beat a louder drum towards war with Iran.

That it is a war completely unnecessary and will bring us far worse than Iraq has probably does not bear mentioning since the Bushies have already taken us TWO wars (Afghanistan was to route out bin Laden and Al Qaeda, not done and Iraq was to "free" Iraqis, apparently to free them from life and freedom and hope) on lies and we seem willing to let the Boy King Fraud Bush remain in office.

Gunter Grass and Prescott Bush

I hear a lot about writer Gunter Grass' "shameful" Nazi past...

But where is the shame in that we've now had TWO presidents named Bush whose family fortune CAME from Prescott Bush (Poppy Bush's Poppy Bush) who funneled lots of Nazi money (if you aren't named Bush, this is called "war profiteering" and "money laundering" and oh... heck... since it happened during WWII while the U.S. was involved, fucking treason?) through a NY bank? Why does this never get any attention?

Now, I say this while also acknowledging that I don't necessarily like every decision rendered by my two ancestors who sat on - and one headed as Chief Justice - the U.S. Supreme Court and also noting that my family, at one sorry time, was both involved in shipping "black gold" (slaves) and in pillaging the rights of American Indians in Kent, Connecticut (the Schaghticoke tribe) by acting as "land managers". I'd like to think that I'm going to be one of those members who leaves this earth contributing more than taking FROM my society... but I'm not dead yet so we'll see.

"Downward Mobility" Or How Bush America Will Kill You Financially

From today's NY Times (but mind you, the 46.6 million uninsured were figures used more than three years ago - it's bigger now, trust me):

If you’re still harboring the notion that the economy is “good,” prepare to be disabused.

Even the best number from yesterday’s Census Bureau report for 2005 is bad news for most Americans. It shows that median income rose 1.1 percent last year, to $46,326, the first increase since it peaked in 1999. But the entire increase is attributable to the 23 million households headed by someone over age 65. So the gain is likely from investment income and Social Security, not wages and salaries.

For the other 91 million households, the median dropped, by half a percent, or $275. Incomes for the under-65 crowd were hurt by a decline in wages and salaries among full-time working men for the second year in a row, and among full-time working women for the third straight year. In all, median income for the under-65 group was $2,000 lower in 2005 than in 2001, when the last recession bottomed out.

Despite the Bush-era expansion, the number of Americans living in poverty in 2005 — 37 million — was the same as in 2004. This is the first time the number has not risen since 2000. But the share of the population now in poverty — 12.6 percent — is still higher than at the trough of the last recession, when it was 11.7 percent. And among the poor, 43 percent were living below half the poverty line in 2005 — $7,800 for a family of three. That’s the highest percentage of people in “deep poverty” since the government started keeping track of those numbers in 1975.

As for the uninsured, their ranks grew in 2005 by 1.3 million people, to a record 46.6 million, or 15.9 percent. That’s also worse than the recession year 2001, reflecting the rising costs of health coverage and a dearth of initiatives to help families and companies cope with the burden. For the first time since 1998, the percentage of uninsured children increased in 2005.

The Christian Right And "Messing With God"

Read Pat Murphy in the Idaho Mountain Express:

Although it has received scant national attention, two crooks running the Baptist Foundation of Arizona were convicted by a Phoenix jury in July of fleecing 11,000 gullible religious investors out of $585 million. They each face 46 years in prison.

Then there's the darling of the religious right, baby-faced Ralph Reed, the oily architect of Pat Robertson's Christian Coalition. Reed was thoroughly drubbed in the July primary for Georgia lieutenant governor.

Why didn't Reed's sham as a man of faith work with voters? Because like most gluttonous opportunists posing as godly, Reed was outed as a liar and imposter.

Even as he piously claimed special virtues, Republican Reed secretly was demanding several millions of dollars from convicted Washington Republican racketeer-lobbyist Jack Abramoff as payment for recruiting Christians to oppose Texas legislation that would've damaged an Abramoff gambling client.

Presbyterian Reed might've saved himself if he'd honored Chapter 15, Verse 6 of the Presbyterian Westminster Confession of Faith: "He that scandalizeth his brother, or the Church of Christ, ought to be willing, by a private or public confession and sorrow for his sin, to declare his repentance to those that are offended, who are thereupon to be reconciled to him, and in love to receive him."

Iranian President Challenges American President To A Debate!

Hey, I'm game.

Say what you will about Iranian Prez Ahmadinejad, I daresay he MUST be able to speak the English language better than George W. Bush. And I have HEARD Ahmadinejad pronounce n-u-c-l-e-a-r correctly which Bush CANNOT do (it is NOT nukular because we're talking about the division of an atom which has a n-u-c-l-e-u-s, not a n-u-k-u-l-u-s).

And perhaps Ahmadinejad can remind Bush of how much of its nuclear material came from God Bless America! to prop up the shah who wasn't exactly ::cough::cough:: a democratically elected leader. I remember when the shah fell, actually, because my class in early grade school took in a few children of the shah's top men who escaped.

And Speaking of the U.S. Senate Race

There are more than Rich Tarrant (Money) and Bernie Sanders (Indy) running for U.S. Senate from Vermont; actually, several if you count the Marijuana Reform Party and others who run regularly up here.

But one - Steve Moyer (Independent) - happens to have the dubious distinction of sleeping in my loft, eating a dinner with us, and then having his Web campaign site picture taken outside my guest house. (He's a friend of my partner, John.)

Which reminds me: I have the unique situation of needing to return a U.S. Senate candidate's socks and shirt left behind.

What A World

I just got email from "Hizbullah".

In it is a stock tip for an Israeli oriented product now going IPO.

Strange thing is I "like" it better than all the Rich Tarrant candidacy mail. Almost every freaking day, we get (2 each, one addressed to the Chase family, and one to the Bedell family) snail mailings, and almost every day, one or two emails. Rich Tarrant is SCUM (and not just because he's barraging us).

Maureen Dowd: "Begat, Bothered and Bewildered"

And Maureen Dowd chimes in with this on Bush and Katrina:

Doing his stations of the Katrina cross, President Bush went for breakfast with Mayor Ray Nagin at Betsy’s Pancake House.

As Mr. Bush tried to squeeze past some tightly placed tables, a waitress, Joyce Labruzzo, teased him, saying, “Mr. President, are you going to turn your back on me?’’

“No ma’am,’’ he replied, with a laugh and a pause for effect. “Not again.”

It was a rare unguarded moment — showing that his towering Katrina failure is lodged somewhere in the front of his cerebral cortex — in a trip of staged, studiously happy settings, steering away from the wreckage of buildings and people so searing for anyone who loved the saucy and sauce-laden New Orleans of old.

W.’s anniversary contrition for the cameras was a more elaborate version of his famous Air Force One flyover a year ago, when he had to be shown a DVD of angry news coverage of apartheid suffering here before he belatedly and grudgingly broke off his five-week Crawford vacation.

In an interview on the Upper Ninth Ward’s desolate North Dorgenois Street, the president told NBC’s Brian Williams that, besides Camus, he had recently read a book on the Battle of New Orleans and “three Shakespeares.” A White House aide said one of them was “Hamlet.”

What could be more fitting? A prince who dithers instead of acting and then acts precipitously at the wrong moment, not paying attention when someone vulnerable drowns.

Asked by the anchor whether he was asking people in the country to sacrifice enough, he replied briskly, “Americans are sacrificing — we pay a lot of taxes.”

The last two days in Mississippi and New Orleans were W.’s play within the play. He took the role of the empathetic and engaged chief executive, rallying resources to save the Gulf Coast, even as the larger lens showed a sad picture of American communities that are still decrepit and hurting, while the Bush administration’s billions flow to reconstructing — or rather not reconstructing — Iraq.

You longed for this Crawford Hamlet to just go out there and say, “This just isn’t good enough.”

Instead, he gritted his teeth and put on his blandly optimistic cheerleader-in-chief role and talked about restoring “the soul’’ of New Orleans. It always makes me nervous when W. does soul talk.

He was brazen enough to pose as the man of action even in a city ruined by his initial and continuing inaction. “I’ve been on the levees,’’ he told a crowd at a high school here yesterday. “I’ve seen these good folks working.’’
Read the rest at Rozius.

Frank Rich: "Return To The Scene Of The Crime"

Frank Rich writes on Bush, Cheney, Katrina, and a "Return to the Scene of the Crime":

PRESIDENT BUSH travels to the Gulf Coast this week, ostensibly to mark the first anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Everyone knows his real mission: to try to make us forget the first anniversary of the downfall of his presidency.

As they used to say in the French Quarter, bonne chance! The ineptitude bared by the storm — no planning for a widely predicted catastrophe, no attempt to secure a city besieged by looting, no strategy for anything except spin — is indelible. New Orleans was Iraq redux with an all-American cast. The discrepancy between Mr. Bush's "heckuva job" shtick and the reality on the ground induced a Cronkite-in-Vietnam epiphany for news anchors. At long last they and the country demanded answers to the questions about the administration's competence that had been soft-pedaled two years earlier when the war first went south.

What's amazing on Katrina's first anniversary is how little Mr. Bush seems aware of this change in the political weather. He's still in a bubble. At last week's White House press conference, he sounded as petulant as Tom Cruise on the "Today" show when Matt Lauer challenged him about his boorish criticism of Brooke Shields. Asked what Iraq had to do with the attack on the World Trade Center, Mr. Bush testily responded, "Nothing," adding that "nobody has ever suggested in this administration that Saddam Hussein ordered the attacks." Like the emasculated movie star, the president is still so infatuated with his own myth that he believes the public will buy such nonsense.

As the rest of the world knows, the White House connived 24/7 to pound in the suggestion that Saddam ordered the attacks on 9/11. "The Bush administration had repeatedly tied the Iraq war to Sept. 11," Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton write in "Without Precedent," their new account of their stewardship of the 9/11 commission. The nonexistent Qaeda-Saddam tie-in was as much a selling point for the war as the nonexistent W.M.D. The salesmanship was so merciless that half the country was brainwashed into believing that the 9/11 hijackers had been Iraqis.

To achieve this feat, Dick Cheney spent two years publicly hyping a "pretty well confirmed" (translation: unconfirmed) pre-9/11 meeting in Prague between Mohamed Atta and a Saddam intelligence officer, continuing to do so long after this specious theory had been discredited. Mr. Bush's strategy was to histrionically stir 9/11 and Iraq into the same sentence whenever possible, before the invasion and after. Typical was his May 1, 2003, oration declaring the end of "major combat operations." After noting that "the battle of Iraq is one victory in a war on terror that began on September 11th, 2001," he added: "With those attacks, the terrorists and their supporters declared war on the United States. And war is what they got." To paraphrase the former counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke, this was tantamount to saying that the Japanese attacked us on Dec. 7, 1941, and war with Mexico is what they got.
Read the entirety at The Progressive American.

Albert Einstein's Contribution to the 1939 World Fair's Time Capsule

In Marc Estrin's book, Insect Dreams (I mentioned this title before and recommend it... taking the metamorphosed cockroach from Kafka and giving him a new life through the greatest and worst of the first half of the 20th century), he reminds us of the time capsule contributions interred during the '39 World's Fair in New York.

One of these quotes is from Albert Einstein that seems at least as apt today as then:

"Present production and distribution of commodities is entirely unorganized so that everybody must live in fear of being eliminated from the economic cycle...
Furthermore, people living in different countries kill each other at irregular time intervals...
for this reason, anyone who thinks about the future must live in fear and terror."

Imagine The Future

I think this quote is from Orwell's 1984:

"If you want a picture of the future,
imagine a boot stomping on a human face - forever.

Imagine The Future

I think this quote is from Orwell's 1984:

"If you want a picture of the future,
imagine a boot stomping on a human face - forever.

The Right's Attack On Anyone Who Delivers Less Than Corporate Or Official GOP Talk On The News

Keith Olbermann who tends to cover issues and slants that few other mainstream TV news programs has been a frequent target by the far right and GOP message masseuses (why doesn't that look spelled right?). Now they're (here, specifically: National Review) going after Buzzflash and others who say Olbermann does a good job (the airwaves should ONLY be filled by Fox News, don't you know?).

The New Killing Fields: Iraq's Hospitals

Jesus Christ, how fucking much worse can Iraq possibly get? I think we've now waaaaayyyy exceeded Saddam's torture/death rate and far exceeded the conditions he made the "least" of his people live within.

Ah, but CentCom keeps telling me (wanna see my email?) that Iraq is getting Sooooo wonderful we all want to go there on vacation. Y'know, maybe in another millenium or two.

Please Forgive Me

Blogger spent the last few days not letting me in at all... Last night, I was finally able to get regular comments restored (less of a pain than Blogger comments) but the links and the rest of the sidebar remains a mess. I will get to this as soon as possible.

If you're a blogger I've usually listed and you don't see your blog back in the next few days, shout!

And shout may be needed. For some odd reason, my eyes have decided to stop working as well as usual. I've never gone through the "40" eye change of becoming better far sighted and now I'm down to being sighted just to the end of my nose. But I also suspect this is temporary and perhaps just an effect of too much reading, too little nutrition, stress, y'know.. the usual shit.

Maureen Dowd: President Bush Needs a Spanking

Here's a snip from Maureen Dowd's "Junior Needs a Spanking" (funny, Martha Stewart said the same thing on her show several months ago after the elder "Poppy" Bush said he had never spanked his son, which prompted Martha to say, "Perhaps he should have" to much audience applause):

The Old King put the Boy King over his knee yesterday and gave him a good thwack with a lobster-shaped paddle.

O.K., that didn't happen, but don't you wish it had?

Junior certainly deserves it, with recent attempts to blame his dad for policies that led to 9/11 and the rise of Osama and Middle East terrorism.

As with so many things about this byzantine, Shakespearean relationship between father and son, reunited here at last for a wedding, a christening and a funeral this weekend, it's an ironic turn of events.

The son was furious when the father was painted as a wimp in the 1988 campaign, and now he and his spinners are painting 41 as a weak leader. W.'s pain at what happened to his aristocratic dad with "the wimp factor" led him to overreact in the other direction when he became president, embracing a West Texas-tough, muscle-bound foreign policy that shunned diplomacy, nuance, compromise, multilateral treaties and allied coalitions as measures that reflected impotence.

And now it has led him to scapegoat his own father, and Bill Clinton, for sending signals of weakness that encouraged the terrorists — even as many Middle East experts say it is W.'s culturally obtuse, diplomatically averse and morally simplistic style that has spurred terrorism and made the world more dangerous.

The Bush spokesman Tony Snow recently told reporters that "when the United States walked away, in the opinion of Osama bin Laden in 1991, bin Laden drew from that the conclusion that Americans were weak and wouldn't stay the course, and that led to September 11th."

Afterwards, questioned by furious Bush I foreign policy types, Bush II officials tried to claim that Mr. Snow was talking about President Clinton running away from Somalia, but clearly the spokesman was referring, as he originally confirmed, to the truncated end of Desert Storm.

In Crawford recently, the president also criticized previous administrations for policies that indicated that "stability is more important than form of government."

Translation: Dad cuddled up to the corrupt Saudi monarchy and other Middle East dictators and let Saddam stay in power and was tough on Israel. I got rid of Saddam to establish a democracy and uncritically sided with Israel, a democracy.

Of course, now W. has now been reduced to pleading with dictatorial Mideast leaders to help him quell the violence engulfing Iraq and Lebanon, and with the military dictator Musharraf to help him capture Al Qaeda members.
Someone noted yesterday - not sure whom - that Bill Clinton has actually paid more visits to the Bush Kennebunkport retreat than Dubya has.

Considering what a complete and huge ass "don't clutter my beautiful mind with thoughts of war-dead body bags" Barbara Bush has been, I question the former President Clinton's taste in companionship.

At least Monica Lewinsky used her mouth for better purposes. ::cough::cough::


Paris Hilton Music CD Bombs

For all the hype, Paris Hilton's debut music CD tanked with just 75K sold since its release.

Hell, one of my tech books sold more copies than that, albeit not in one week.

Ms. Hilton is supposedly furious because Elijah Blue (Cher's kid) went on Howard Stern's satellite radio program to say that after having sex with Ms. Hilton, he was so concerned about catching a sexually transmitted disease that he scrubbed his genitals with Tilex.

Uh... ouch.

What's the Difference Between a Mac Laptop Battery Fire and a PC Laptop Battery Fire?

An Apple laptop battery fire is much like a PC laptop battery fire (Dell, for example) EXCEPT that's it's more hip and condescending.

Don't blame me. It's from Conan O'Brien's writers.

I wanted to be in bed by now but my strange declining vision kept me up.

Paul Krugman On Katrina and "Broken Promises"

Here (or, as Conan O'Brien just said, it's the one year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and the six (6) month anniversary of President Bush learning about it):

Last September President Bush stood in New Orleans, where the lights had just come on for the first time since Katrina struck, and promised "one of the largest reconstruction efforts the world has ever seen." Then he left, and the lights went out again.

What happened next was a replay of what happened after Mr. Bush asked Congress to allocate $18 billion for Iraqi reconstruction. In the months that followed, congressmen who visited Iraq returned with glowing accounts of all the wonderful things we were doing there, like repainting schools and, um, repainting schools.

But when the Coalition Provisional Authority, which was running Iraq, closed up shop nine months later, it turned out that only 2 percent of the $18 billion had been spent, and only a handful of the projects that were supposed to have been financed with that money had even been started. In the end, America failed to deliver even the most basic repair of Iraq's infrastructure; today, Baghdad gets less than seven hours of electricity a day.

And so it is along our own Gulf Coast. The Bush administration likes to talk about all the money it has allocated to the region, and it plans a public relations blitz to persuade America that it's doing a heck of a job aiding Katrina's victims. But as the Iraqis learned, allocating money and actually using it for reconstruction are two different things, and so far the administration has done almost nothing to make good on last year's promises.

It's true that tens of billions have been spent on emergency relief and cleanup. But even the cleanup remains incomplete: almost a third of the hurricane debris in New Orleans has yet to be removed. And the process of going beyond cleanup to actual reconstruction has barely begun.

For example, although Congress allocated $17 billion to the Department of Housing and Urban Development for Katrina relief, primarily to provide cash assistance to homeowners, as of last week the department had spent only $100 million. The first Louisiana homeowners finally received checks under a federally financed program just three days ago. Mississippi, which has a similar program, has sent out only about two dozen checks so far.

Nameless Senator Puts "Secret Hold" On Bill To Open All Federal Records To Scrutiny

Curious and curiouser:

In an ironic twist, legislation that would open up the murky world of government contracting to public scrutiny has been derailed by a secret parliamentary maneuver.

An unidentified senator placed a "secret hold" on legislation introduced by Sens. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., and Barack Obama, D-Ill., that would create a searchable database of government contracts, grants, insurance, loans and financial assistance, worth $2.5 trillion last year. The database would bring transparency to federal spending and be as simple to use as conducting a Google search.

Katrina: FEMA And Other Four-Letter and F Words

Pensito Review brings us 10 of the most doltish Bushie quotations from the tragedy that was Katrina.

Bush, a man who wants us to believe he read Albert Camus' The Stranger and found it a "quick read". Anyone ever read Camus? Let alone "The Stranger?" and what the topic of that book is?

Unless they put out a Camus Cliff Notes Comic Version, I doubt it.

Apropos of Nothing: If You Ever Want to Feel Better About Your Art Skills...

just take a gander at any of Leonard DaVinci's drawings of cats.

They look like dragons and weasels, mostly the latter.

The Media Feeding Frenzy and Hopeless Diversion That Is John Mark Karr, Who Only Imagined He Killed Beauty Queen JonBenet Ramsey

OK, John Mark Karr actually outdoes Patsy Ramsey and that tabloid reporter Jeff Shapiro in Larry Schiller's "Perfect Murder, Perfect Town" for nuttiness. Editor and Publisher gives us the beef.

The Bush Record, Greater Poverty, Greater Uninsured

Read this (and please, check out the comments, too) at Think Progress... can you imagine a person who can survive on the $9300 the government says one person can live on even if in poverty?

Second: this figure of 46.6 million Americans uninsured has been with us for YEARS now. The figures today are MUCH higher and it is my understanding that this number rises MONTHLY in Bush America.

How the Fascists Are Ruining the Constitution, aka Pennsylvania, Do All Your Senators Have to Spew Shit?


A bill that expands President Bush's ability to wiretap American phones and conduct other forms of domestic surveillance will likely appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee next Thursday, RAW STORY has learned.

The bill, which was written by judiciary chairman Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA), and which has been widely and publicly excoriated by Democratic members of the committee, contains provisions—such as the institution of program-wide warrants, and warrants that do not expire for a year—that would weaken the strict limits that currently govern the FISA courts.

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) was written nearly 20 years ago and offers guidelines about the legal use of wiretaps on phones inside the United States. It includes provisions for the use of courts to issue warrants if the government’s case against a suspect meets legal scrutiny.

The judiciary committee originally sought to bring the NSA wiretapping program into compliance with FISA, but in practice, critics claim, Specter’s FISA amendments actually give the president freedom to expand his wiretapping activities.
A statement released by the office of Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) states that Specter’s bill “gives him even more power than he has asserted under his illegal NSA wiretapping program.”

Richard Armitage and PlameGate

Did you notice how when Newsweek broke the story that Richard Armitage, former 2nd in command of the U.S. State Department under Colin Powell, we kept being told (not all that subtly) that it was better it was Armitage because he's such a "moderate" and wasn't an Iraq chicken hawk?

Lessee... outing a CIA operative whose job is national and global security is STILL bad, whether it's Rove (who was involved, too) or Armitage or Cindy Sheehan or Captain Kangaroo! OK?

And second of all.. let's pretend for a moment that Mr. Built Like a Post-Katrina Swelled Brick Shithouse Armitage "was" opposed to the Iraq war. What the fuck does it matter?

And third, Armitage is NO saint. Wanna talk war on drugs? Ask Armitage how he spent some of the Vietnam war running drugs to support "American causes".

See, "The War on Drugs" is only apt if you change it to read: "The drugs that feed the wars" because it may well be extremely correct to say that the biggest drug dealer of all is the American government, sometimes to pay for wars and special ops. Like the Pentagon and such doesn't already get most of the budget dollars. Heh.

The Frist Boys: Let's Beer Up And Then Bomb Some Brown People!

Wow... ONE of the GOP presidential candidates ACTUALLY has Rhodes scholars as IMPRESSIVE as the Bush Twins! The brothers Frist:

AS the leader of the Republican party in the US Senate and a possible presidential candidate, Senator Bill Frist of Tennessee has a reputation for sober rectitude. The same cannot be said of his son Jonathan, a Vanderbilt University student who recently appeared on the internet wearing six cans of beer strapped to his belt.

Nor has Jonathan’s brother Bryan done much to help his father’s attempts to strike a reasonable note about US involvement in Iraq. “I was born an American by God’s amazing grace,” wrote Bryan Frist in an online profile. “Let’s bomb some people.”

While the Bible warns that the sins of the father may be visited upon their sons, the injunction may need to be revised in the age of the teenage blogger and online social networks. The sins of the sons — not to mention the daughters — are making the titans of Washington and Wall Street nervous as the internet opens public doors to what would once have been private family business.

Frist is one of at least half a dozen US politicians — and at least one US Supreme Court judge — whose public images have been dented in recent months by the internet antics of their offspring. Pictures of scantily clad daughters whooping it up have become a staple of internet gossip.
Read on; it actually gets... well, it not worse, at least more perverted.

Miami Herald: (Dick) "Cheney Can't Scare Me Anymore"

Here's a snip:

A recent analysis of President Bush's popularity poll numbers startled me.

It noted, with apparent surprise, that Bush's approval rating didn't rise noticeably after the announcement that the British had foiled a terrorist plot to destroy 10 transatlantic passenger jets in flight from England to America.

I wondered, ``Was it supposed to rise?''

The perception that Bush's popularity grows as the threat of terrorism rises remains a powerful one, particularly with Vice President and chief White House ideologue Dick Cheney. If news reports are correct, Cheney both pressured the British to reveal their investigation earlier than they felt necessary, then used this prior knowledge to try to frighten U.S. voters inclined to support anti-Iraq war candidates like Ned Lamont, who upset Sen. Joe Lieberman in Connecticut's recent Democratic primary.

This perception is built on the notion that a frightened, trembling America is a pro-Bush America. It certainly seemed so in the period after Sept. 11, when most Americans gave Bush high marks for his war on terror. And, as reflected by a compliant Congress, they also gave him carte blanche to fight it.

Business Week: The Bushies Terror Talk Is Nose Diving American Economy Again!

Here. Another read it and weep.

Remember that Bush and Cheney drove us into a much deeper recession at the changeover from Clinton to Bush than was needed by making it sound like Clinton, the harbinger of surplus and the paying off of national debt, had ruined the economy. Then September 11th happened and we all know the culpability the Bushies have there, in at least INaction if not outright complicity (and I do not rule out complicity); another huge tank.

Now the Bushies are killing the economy again.

Tip to the extreme Christian right: Christ got tossed out of the temple by the Moneychangers LONG ago! How come I realize it when you can't?

Earth to extreme Christian right:

If the Messiah should come again, the corporate owned media would make faster taco meat work of him than the Jews and the Romans ever did the first time.

Here's A First: I Agree With Donald Rumsfeld On One Key Point

Donald Rumsfeld talked at the American Legion today about the dangers of fascism. My god, of course, I agree.

But here's where the Secretary of Defense and I differ (and man, I know I'll get EXTRA mail from CentCom tomorrow for stating this - it's amazing how CentCom keeps up with bloggers - if Iraq was watched as much as bloggers are watched there would be NO fucking insurgency!):

The fascists that are hurting my country are named:
George W. Bush
Dick Cheney
Donald Rumseld
Condoleeza Rice
Michael Chertoff
John Negroponte
Stephen Hadley

Spike Lee's "When The Levees Broke" Is Stunning, Effective, An American Classic

While I haven't always enjoyed Spike Lee's "fictional" dramatic films (loved some, uncertain about others), I have to say that "When The Levees Broke" is one hell of a stunning piece of film making.

Tonight's been my first chance to see it on HBO and I'm riveted even though I have other things I should be doing. And no, it's not just because so many are angry at Bush (and that wonderful ER physician in Mississippi who told Dick Cheney to "go fuck yourself!")

Anyone else have opinions who has seen it?

Now That You've Seen All Those Images From New Orleans...

can you figure what your $100 B-I-L-L-I-O-N dollars in YOUR tax dollars has paid for in New Orleans? I saw YOUR tax dollars because millionaires like Bush and Cheney got HUGE tax breaks in the last few years.

And did you notice that Mr. Bush (the man who couldn't watch a fucking news cast unless someone burned a DVD and handed him a bag of pretzels so he could fucking watch it like a NetFlix selection) was bragging about all he's done in Katrina rehab?

Note to authorities: do NOT let me near Mr. Bush. EVER. I'm a pacifist. I'm not someone who has physically slapped someone in my adulthood. But I am NOT certain I could maintain my composure. Oh, I wouldn't kill him. I wouldn't even seriously harm him. But I guarantee I'd wipe the smug look off his fucking face.

Uh... Are We Back With Normal Comments?

And am I finally able to post posts?