THIS SICKNESS 8 from Bottomless Studio, featuring John Linton Roberson, Emily Kaplan, Chad Parenteau, Charles Alverson, Gianna Ratto, Chris DeWildt and a cover by Molly Kiely. 100 pages! Available in print & Kindle at Amazon!
I Didn't Write That!
30 June 2006
 
Rita Cosby: Dead and Remote

MSNBC has fired that former Fox moron Rita Cosby!

And in the meantime, Keith Olbermann's ratings are up, and O'Reilly's are very down. Click below for Keith's reaction.


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Why the Republicans Shot Their Wad

Apparently the matter of Terri Schiavo--remember her?--was mostly driven by, surprise, someone , or someones, who stood to gain from the matter financially. (This is aside from the additional fact that some right-wingers thought this might be the thin end of the wedge when it came to banning abortion)
In March 2005, The New York Times reported that Response Unlimited had cut a deal with Bob Schindler, the father of Terri Schiavo, a woman in a persistent vegetative state who was dying after a court authorized removal of her feeding tube. In return for the list of people who had donated money to Schindler, Zodhiates' firm agreed to send out an E-mail soliciting further donations for the Schindlers, who had battled Schiavo's husband over whether or not to retain the feeding tube.

Many found the list deal, made even before Schiavo finally died two days after the Times article appeared on March 29, ghoulish. One unpaid Schindler family spokesman, apparently unaware that Bob Schindler had authorized the deal, even told the paper it was "possibly the most distasteful thing I have ever seen."

According to the Times, Schindler cut his deal with Phil Sheldon, who is an officer of Response Unlimited. Sheldon is the son of the Rev. Lou Sheldon, founder of the Traditional Values Coalition, a group that also sent out appeals for support for Schiavo, who many Christian Right groups mistakenly believed was semi-conscious. Phil Sheldon is also partner with Zodhiates in a Web-based firm called Conservative Petitions that specializes in creating electronic petitions for right-wing causes.
David Niewert at Orcinus comments better than I could on the matter.

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29 June 2006
 
The Problem of No Sense of Irony

Democrats are telling Katherine Harris they hope she wins her current race. (As it happens, they're the only ones who do) But I don't think she understands why they would say that.
“I’ve had Democrats in the House of Representatives come to me and say ‘You know, we’d really like to take the majority in the U.S. Senate’ — these are Florida Democrats in the U.S. Congress — ‘but you’ll do so much more for us if you’re there. We hope you win,’” Harris told a crowd gathered at the Putnam County Shrine Club.
Sure they do. After all, who could do a better job showing the GOP at its worst than she? She'd be the GOP equivalent of Hillary Clinton or Ted Kennedy: something that rallies the base and motivates them to contribute to the party.

But Jesus Christ, she had better not win just the same.

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23 June 2006
 
Sears Tower: Bullshit Again

Oh my god! Brown men were planning to blow up the Sears Tower here in Chicago! Thank heavens the Bush people caught them in ti--

Oh wait, no, it's just another bullshit distraction.


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22 June 2006
 
They Also Serve Who Stand and Wait

Read this fascinating, and infuriating, article at Salon about Ron Suskind's The One Percent Doctrine. Then consider this statement at the end very, very hard:
Little by little, under the guise of "national security" -- since the birth of the republic, always the greatest threat to American values -- Cheney and his blustering, deeply devout accomplice have steered America away from its priceless legacy as a land governed by laws, debate and transparency, and toward something none of us would want to recognize.

While there is no danger that America will become a fascist, totalitarian or theocratic state, every step we take in that direction is a degradation and a danger. Yet somehow, it seems to be considered bad form to bring the subject up.

We are in a peculiar moment, one in which our politicians seem unable to articulate or even grasp the train wreck unfolding in front of them. Someday in the future, if the Democratic Party manages to transform itself from a cowering shadow to something approaching sentience, perhaps what really happened during the Bush era will be publicly debated.

Perhaps then we can ask how it happened that the government of the United States was hijacked by a bullying, fact-averse religious fanatic and his puppetmaster, an evil courtier out of Shakespeare. How we were plunged into a disastrous war simply because a cabal of ideologues and right-wing zealots, operating in autocratic secrecy, decided they wanted war. And how all of the normal workings of a democratic government -- objective analysis, checks and balances, transparency -- were simply trashed by an administration waving the bloody shirt of "terror."

But there is little reason for optimism that such a reckoning will take place anytime soon. The Democrats' failure to address the historic debacle that is the Bush presidency is so vast, so complete, that it must stem from reasons deeper than merely its pathetic fear of appearing to be weak on "national security" -- that meaningless shibboleth invoked by political consultants who would nervously triangulate if they were being devoured by a great white shark. Even the most hawkish Democrat must surely realize now that message separation is vitally needed, that merely quibbling around the edges of Bush's policies while waiting for him to collapse is a fool's game and leaves Democrats disorganized, confused and open to Karl Rove's cut-and-run smears. The best response to a bully is to hit him in the mouth -- as Rep. John Murtha did when he blasted Rove, whose combat experience consists of launching attack ads, as a fat-ass hypocrite.

That centrist Democrats like Hillary Clinton cannot clearly reject Bush's catastrophic war seems to reflect their deeper inability to articulate, or perhaps even to understand, two things: that Iraq has severely damaged our national security, and that the process by which the Bush administration sold their war has severely damaged our democracy. Yes, those are harsh claims, which go beyond Beltway decorum. And yes, we are at war. But gentlemanly behavior can be a betrayal of the country, as Suskind's sad portrait of Tenet makes clear. And the mere fact that troops are in the field should not end all debate. By refusing to use these legitimate arguments against Bush, the Democrats are not only committing a tactical political error, they are allowing the disease he imported to fester.

What it comes down to is this: Bush & Cheney, and their GOP, raped our country (and others), true.

But the Democrats held it down and covered up for it in front of the neighbors and friends, and that too is unforgivable.

Every single Democratic incumbent who aided in this should be taught a lesson. The Republicans--well, they simply needed to be taken from power; they never learn anything.

You never did nuthin'!
Mallory to her codependent mother,
Natural Born Killers

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  Good Advice, Odd Source

Bush today said that the example of Hungary's 1956 uprising against communist rule is an example that the people of Iraq should follow.

He compared Iraq's struggle to develop into a democracy to Hungary's effort to bring down communist rule 50 years ago and said Iraqis would need the same kind of patience as Hungarians as they try to establish a thriving democracy.

"Hungary represents the triumph of liberty over tyranny," Bush said in a speech on a hill from where Soviet troops fired on the capital Budapest in 1956 to put down the uprising.

"Hungary is now a valued member of NATO and the European Union. You know that the democratic journey is not easy but you continue to make the tough decisions that are necessary to succeed."

This is interesting coming from him, and a not-surprising display of historical ignorance that I'm sure made his Hungarian audience cringe, as Hungary's uprising was an insurgent struggle against a foreign imperialist power that had invaded them, not the struggle to learn how to be a democracy that Bush apparently thinks it was. So in this situation, we would be the Soviet Union.

So it's an apt bit of advice from a certain perspective, which the Iraqis seem to have already figured out. But why he should want to tell them this is perplexing. Perhaps it's rephrasing of "bring 'em on."

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21 June 2006
  Saving Face, Covering Asses, and Not Fighting Terror

Interesting revelations from The One Percent Doctrine making their way through the blogs, and why should this one be any different (though i have not yet read the book). From the sound of it, it's just more confirmation of what the rest of us have known all along. It's not everyone that gets to take an eight-year vacation, let alone in the Oval Office. But shouldn't Bush go now so that an actual president can do his job? Because this vacation of his, while definitely restful, hasn't been so good for the rest of us.

Here's two fun anecdotes to make your day that much brighter.

From
Salon:

Ron Suskind's "The One Percent Doctrine" is out this week, and the Washington Post's Barton Gellman says it's full of "jaw-dropping stories" about the Bush administration's war on terror.

Or lack thereof.

We've known for years now that George W. Bush received a presidential daily briefing on Aug. 6, 2001, in which he was warned: "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S." We've known for almost as long that Bush went fishing afterward.

What we didn't know is what happened in between the briefing and the fishing, and now Suskind is here to tell us. Bush listened to the briefing, Suskind says, then told the CIA briefer: "All right. You've covered your ass, now."

From Kos:

When Abu Zubaydah. Was captured he.. [was] described as al-Qaeda's chief of operations [however] ..Zubaydah, his captors discovered, turned out to be mentally ill and nothing like [who]they supposed him to be... [he] also appeared to know nothing about terrorist operations; rather, he was the go-to guy for ...minor logistics [like} travel for wives and children".

That judgment was ... briefed to the President ...yet somehow, in a speech delivered two weeks later, President Bush portrayed Zubaydah as "one of the top operatives ..planning death and destruction on the US"

And when Zubadayah couldn't deliver any info on terrorist plots:?

Well, Bush had already said it, and in the spirit of his adminstration's habit of "creating their own reality" it was now officially true, so when Zubaydah wasn't forthcoming with the details of plots he knew nothing about:

under White House and Justice Department direction, the CIA would make him its first test subject for harsh interrogation techniques.

And here's the Stunner. Bush Personally Ordered his torture, because he was worried about losing face:

"I said he was important," Bush reportedly told Tenet at one of their daily meetings. "You're not going to let me lose face on this, are you?" "No sir, Mr. President," Tenet replied. Bush "was fixated on how to get Zubaydah to tell us the truth," Suskind writes, and he asked one briefer, "Do some of these harsh methods really work?"
...

Interrogators...strapped Abu Zubaydah to a water-board, which reproduces the agony of drowning. They threatened him with certain death. They withheld medication. They bombarded him with deafening noise and harsh lights, depriving him of sleep

Now let's keep firmly in Mind all of this Torture (best to call things what they really are, I find) , was going on MONTHS after the CIA and the FBI had conclusive proof this guy was not merely insane, but actively suffering from multiple personality disorder:

CIA and FBI analysts, poring over a diary he kept for more than a decade, found entries "in the voice of three people: Hani 1, Hani 2, and Hani 3" -- a boy, a young man and a middle-aged alter ego. All three recorded in numbing detail "what people ate, or wore, or trifling things they said." Dan Coleman, then the FBI's top al-Qaeda analyst, told a senior bureau official, "This guy is insane, certifiable, split personality."

and it Bears repeating again:

Abu Zubaydah also appeared to know nothing about terrorist operations; rather, he was al-Qaeda's go-to guy for minor logistics -- travel for wives and children and the like. That judgment was "echoed at the top of CIA and was, of course, briefed to the President and Vice President," {long BEFORE the torture was ordered-ED}

Amazingly, after being tortured for weeks and months, the crazy Al-qaeda flunky suddenly remembered anything his interrogators wanted him to remember. Zubaydah, gave up details of All KINDS of terrorist plots. Too bad they were, technically speaking, completely made up fantasies:

Under that duress, he began to speak of plots of every variety -- against shopping malls, banks, supermarkets, water systems, nuclear plants, apartment buildings, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty

And of course:

With each new tale, "thousands of uniformed men and women raced in a panic to each . . . target."

Wasting, of course, thousands of man hours, Millions of dollars, and letting who knows how many REAL plots go undetected because our law enforcement apparatus was occupied chasing fantasies?

This is normally the part where I throw in a concluding paragraph telling you what I think It all means, but frankly I can't do better than this sentence from Suskind's book:

"the United States would torture a mentally disturbed man and then leap, screaming, at every word he uttered."

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The Next Bush Generation

Courtesy of Wonkette: the president's genius nephew Pierce Bush and what he thinks is dandy to put in his Facebook entry.


well, okay...


Not any worse than any of Jenna or Barbara's pics, I guess...


Wait, huh?


Uh...

Oh, and if you forgot the shrewd, debonair charm of Pierce, here you are:


Don't laugh. He may be president once George finally dies of old age one day.

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16 June 2006
 
Why Coulter Gets So Much Network Play

Peter Daou, who has featured this blog more than once on Salon's Daou Report, has a thoughtful post on NBC and why it would be giving Ann Coulter, who has been not just insulting her enemies but has since taken to inciting violence against them, so much play. For Ann's little tiff with Matt Lauer over the Jersey Girls on the Today Show was this week bookended with a plum appearance on the Tonight Show, on which an uncharacteristically muted George Carlin meekly let her spew her bullshit without one withering putdown. And we all know he could do it. But he's old.

Peter thinks that it's because the media are engaged in a mere "race to the bottom," and only care about causing an "uproar." And it kind of trails off at that point. But it might be more than that.

This week, fines were greatly increased for "indecency" on broadcast TV. If I were a major network, all of which are, by their nature, amoral beings only concerned with their own survival and bottom line(and NBC has historically been more the White House's ally than any other network), I'd be thinking about kissing the ass of the administration and its supporters a very great deal right now. I'd certainly try to do them a favor by putting someone like Ann Coulter on the broadcast airwaves, letting her out of her cable cage.

It's been a very bad couple of weeks of news for the Bush administration, the rather unimpressive killing of Zarqawi aside, and the Coulter matter has managed to push a lot of it aside. Plus which, she helps to spread talking points and rally the flagging, dispirited right-wing troops of America.

What you are seeing with NBC's participation in this is a big, wet, sloppy kiss to Bush's anus, little else.

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"I Can't Name The Rest"

Courtesy of Crooks & Liars: Stephen Colbert interviews a Georgia congressman who backs the Ten Commandments' display in courthouses, but can only name three (barely) of the Commandments themselves.
"I feel that without knowing them, we may lose our way."

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15 June 2006
 
Huffington Wants You To Forget Hillary Too

...in this essay, where she points out Hillary's equivocation is exactly the sort of thing that costs Democrats elections.
...will Democratic leaders ever learn that this kind of have-it-both-ways hedging on matters of war and security is electoral death? Voters have an instinctive aversion to it. Something in their gut tells them that if a leader can't take a stand and clearly speak their heartfelt beliefs on such life and death matters, then they won't be able to keep us safe.

When it comes to their security, people don't want finely-parsed calculations, they want confidence. Even misguided confidence like Bush's.

Listening to Hillary, you could almost smell the cold calculation hanging in the air like the smell of gunpowder after a shooting. Hillary has told confidantes that, as a woman, she cannot take a position against the war and be electactable. So her plan was obvious: try and seduce the audience of progressives by talking about all the things they agree with her on before finally -- at the very, very end of her speech -- bringing up Iraq (and then only briefly).

Here are the subjects she talked about before getting to Iraq: the integrity of our voting system, health care for children, health care for veterans, Social Security, consumer protection, FEMA, the environment, the economy, raising the minimum wage, congressional pay raises, student loans, the bankruptcy bill, Katrina, flex time for working moms and dads, paid parental leaves, climate change, foreign debt, and fighting HIV/AIDS, TB, and malaria.

I guess the thinking was that by the time she finally got to her Bush-like positioning on Iraq, the activists in the audience would say, "Okay, she's not very good on Iraq, but she's wonderful on flex time!" And, indeed, some I talked to at the conference had bought into this kind of thinking -- the kind of thinking that led to Democratic disasters in 2002 and 2004.

And when she finally talked about the war, Hillary was way worse than just "not very good on Iraq." She was godawful, announcing "there must be a plan that will begin to bring our troops home" but failing to offer even a hint at what this must-have plan might be. The debate over Iraq, she said, is "a difficult conversation." Difficult for whom? The American people have already had this difficult conversation, and 61 percent of them disapprove of Bush's handling of the war. The Democrats don't even have to lead. They just have to follow the people.

The Democratic leaders who still believe that the way to get elected is to be hawkish on the war, support the flag-burning bill, and share friendly photo-ops with Newt Gingrich, Bill Frist, and Rick Santorum, and be feted by Rupert Murdoch, should keep in mind that the president who shares that belief currently has a 33 percent approval rating.

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The NAFTA Superhighway?



Apparently the Bush administration is building such a thing down the middle of the U.S. from Mexico to Canada, and freaking out conservatives(I imagine CNN's Lou Dobbs will be foaming at the mouth tonight about it). Judge for yourself.

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14 June 2006
 
"Dumber Than A Suitcase Of Rocks"

I always suspected Keith Olbermann wasn't too happy having former Fox airhead Rita Cosby follow him, but now we know for sure.
"Rita's nice," Olbermann wrote to a fan from his MSNBC E-mail account, "but dumber than a suitcase of rocks." Yesterday Cosby retorted: "Keith got it wrong. I'm not that nice."

Hey, someone had to say it.

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How To Remove the Burden from Public Schools

Encourage the Southern Baptists in their desire to leave the system entirely. Not only will they no longer be there to get in the way of other children learning with their demands of prayer and scientific ignorance, but it'll cut down class size and make life easier for everyone else. And I must say, their spirit of volunteerism is inspiring. Many talk about improving public schools; with their plans for voluntary exit, the Baptists actually do something about it!

"We demand the conversion of churches
into schools so that, at last, something
useful may be taught in them."
--Peter Weiss, Marat/Sade


In other news, the daughter of gay-hating preacher Fred Phelps did some rather odd PR on Fox the other day...

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13 June 2006
 
Again, Please Please Please Forget Hillary

Because she's as tone-deaf as our president when it comes to the Iraq War, as she chose to prove today:

"I do not think it is a smart strategy, either, for the president to continue with his open-ended commitment, which I think does not put enough pressure on the new Iraqi government," said Clinton, before turning to the anti-war liberals' core beef with her.

"Nor do I think it is smart strategy to set a date certain. I do not agree that that is in the best interests," said Clinton, prompting loud booing from some at the gathering.

Well, what the fuck do you think, Hillary? Do you stand for anything, and anywhere else besides that fence?

Look. Idiot.The war is a failure. Your capitulation to Bush on your vote was for political purposes, because you thought voting against the war would come back to bite you on the ass.

But it's the vote for the war that has done that, and you still haven't realized it, because you are an Institutional Democrat that cannot think outside this death cycle of whimpering out Bush talking points watered down that you pretend to be against.

Hillary, Democrats like you are the problem with the party, and if you push your way into the candidacy, the election will be lost.
Clinton charged that the administration has a history of talking tough, without acting tough.
True enough, but this is rich coming from her.

Go away, Hillary, and clear the way for a woman or man who can win.

Everyone else, forget her. It would never have worked.

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"This Is My Happening and It Freaks Me Out!"

The classic Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, one of the most mind-bendingly funny films of the sixties(and the only one ever scripted by Roger Ebert), came out at last today on DVD. Get yourself a copy right now, willya?

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12 June 2006
 
Writerly

You might or might not have read the little fable The Upside-Down Castle that I posted to this blog last year, but now you can read it as a PDF, along with other very slight refurbishments to my Word page. Don't get excited; just some slight design changes to that. The short story is the only addition at the moment as far as content is concerned. There will be more soon, as I've been in kind of a writerly kinda mood lately.

You know, there are cases of fiction sitting here that I've never edited and gotten into proper reading shape. It's just that I'm scared to death to go through it all. I'm talking steamer trunks of paper. Hell, why do you think I ran screaming from it to cartooning? (Besides, I didn't say it was good, necessarily)

My plan is to have, within the next year, a number of actual books available for you to buy designed by myself, and will most likely be available in print-on-demand form. I'm exploring who does the best printing and binding job for the best price right now, and you'll know more as I do. After all, I want you to buy the damn things!

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Please Forget Hillary

Because John Edwards should have been the presidential candidate last time, and he should be president next time.



And, not at all to my surprise, he's polling ahead of Hillary Clinton, who cannot win in 2008, and that cart should be unhitched from her as soon as possible.

In 2008 the person who will win is the one that can be thought of as the uniter. Hillary is no such thing. Nothing will get the Republican voters, who may be flagging in their support by then out of justifiable bitterness and embarrassment at the failures of the GOP, to the polls faster than her. Sorry, it's true. Even if the GOP presidential candidate is David Duke, Republicans will turn out in mindless and slavering droves for the chance to, at last, vote her away from the Oval Office. They've been prepared by talk radio and Fox for that for years.


The mess we will be left with by 2008 needs this man, because there are "two Americas." And there shouldn't be.

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Does Coulter Take Requests?

We can only hope. (Note that when you go to the link Raw Story provides, the site is down for "maintenance." I'll bet)

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  It's the Phrasing, Stupid

A linguist explains why the Democrats seem to be at a loss for words.

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Why Do We Keep Giving Her Space?

Sigh, I don't know, but I do know I really loved Henry Rollins' video love letter to Ann Coulter. You may too. Watch it here. (or click below for a strangely-sped-up version from YouTube)

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11 June 2006
 
Bush, Taking Responsibility

From an e-mail from September 7, 2005, from the Executive Office of the President, leaked by good ol' Brownie:
I did hear of one reference to you, at the Cabinet meeting yesterday. I wasn't there but I heard someone commented that the press was sure beating up on Mike Brown, to which the President replied, "I'd rather they beat up on him than me or Chertoff." Congratulations on doing a great job of diverting hostile fire away from the leader.
His concern for the Katrina victims, as you can see, was first and foremost. What a great president!

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09 June 2006
 
Bob Ney: How To Get Reporters on Your Side



Ohio's Bob Ney, another sleazy, crooked GOP congressman (in fact, according to a very close friend of mine from Ohio, possibly Ohio's most crooked politician ever) brought to total disgrace by Jack Abramoff, seems to have lost his mind, sending angry and apparently drunken e-mails blasting reporters. Which is, of course, the best way to get reporters to say positive things about you. Interesting strategy! Here's a few bits:

...Ney, who four days later – on June 3 – had his thumbs flying over the tiny keyboard of his Blackberry, with punctuation and spelling often yielding to his evident anger.

“Let me tell you paul-last week you did not call us for comment ‘you were under deadline,’” began Ney, who then reflected his belief that his critics just keep recycling the same story about the golf trip. “Print the same story-change it to reprint the same story-people in new philly – d’s and r’s call it ‘elk’s politics.’”

He concluded his message with “Go for it – harass my wife and daughter a little bit more big man – maybe I will take out an add talking about your ethics.” The reference to his wife and daughter reflected his continuing anger that earlier this year another Copley News Service reporter, based in Ohio, interviewed his neighbors and knocked on his door seeking comment from his wife.

Lest there be any doubt about either his anger or his desire to vent that anger, the congressman sent a separate note from his Blackberry later in the day. “Please-please-print this paul-you don’t care about ohio-i am sick of your crap. You are a d c person who couldn’t find ohio unless we gave you a map. You don’t give two shoots about our people.”

I particularly like where he says "please-please-print this." Click the link above for more.

And to think: all this for golf. That game can't be that much fun.

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  Links Restored

If you'll notice to the right, the links and blogroll have been at last restored. Apologies again.

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Women Win, Fundamentalists Lose

Fundamentalists attempted, as I mentioned here some time back, to block a vaccine for HPV on the grounds that it would make women more inclined towards promiscuous sex. (and what's wrong with that anyway?--but...) Preventing that seemed to be a priority in the Christsuckers' minds over the prevention of a disease that often leads directly to cervical cancer. (which makes this the only kind of cancer you can actually vaccinate against)

In other words, it's better in these ignorant, fanatical bastards' minds that a woman should die, rather than, gasp, fuck. (or fuck and gasp. Now that really annoys the fundies.)


Well, that' s done with, and as usual, when it comes right down to it, nobody really cares what the fundamentalists think(if that's the word).

They may be loud, but Merck's need for a profit generator is louder.

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08 June 2006
 
"I'm The Decider and I Decide What's Best"

Bush doesn't just tell us that bullshit; he also tells his own (in retrospect, so very much wiser and more competent--and it makes me gag to think that) father.
Former President George H.W. Bush waged a secret campaign over several months early this year to remove Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. The elder Bush went so far as to recruit Rumsfeld's potential replacement, personally asking a retired four-star general if he would accept the position, a reliable source close to the general told me. But the former president's effort failed, apparently rebuffed by the current president. When seven retired generals who had been commanders in Iraq demanded Rumsfeld's resignation in April, the younger Bush leapt to his defense. "I'm the decider and I decide what's best. And what's best is for Don Rumsfeld to remain," he said. His endorsement of Rumsfeld was a rebuke not only to the generals but also to his father.
How many have died over Dubya's Oedipal problems? I don't think anyone so intent on being a shitheaded fool has ever occupied the White House. He has done all he can to earn the contempt of history. In fact, historians haven't even waited for the end of his presidency.
Sean Wilentz, Princeton Professor, recently wrote, "Many historians are wondering whether Bush will be remembered as the very worst president in all of American history." Some 81 percent of 415 historians surveyed by the nonpartisan History News Network concluded that the Bush presidency is a failure. After all, more than 50 percent of the public finds Bush both dishonest and untrustworthy. He is a war president who squandered the worlds' good will after 9/11, reinvented the doctrine of preventive war, discarded multinationalism, international law and the Geneva Convention, and brought us Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib and out country renditions. Said William Buckley, considered by many the founder of modern conservatism, "One can't doubt that the American objective in Iraq has failed."
Dubya once said that it was for history to make the judgements about him. I guess he assumed he'd be long dead by then. But in presidential terms, he's still relatively young, and will have a long time to face the shame and scorn. And possibly by himself.


Oh, If Only.

Good thing his old friend, the bottle, will always be there if he needs to talk. The world needs this man to drink himself to death.

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This Is What It Looks Like

For someone to have principles and courage and not care about the consequences, that is. I'm referring to First Lt. Ehren Watada, who, like many others, is applying for conscientious objector status and is refusing to go to Iraq because:
"The wholesale slaughter and mistreatment of the Iraqi people is not only a terrible moral injustice but a contradiction of the Army's own law of land warfare. My participation would make me party to war crimes," said Watada in a taped statement played at a Tacoma news conference...

Watada, 28, had been scheduled to be deployed to Iraq for his first tour later this month. He joined the Army in 2003, and has served in Korea.

Watada said his moral and legal obligations were to the U.S. Constitution "not those who would issue unlawful orders."

He's one of many more, right now and to come, and this may be the only thing that stops this fucking war. Worse for Bush, it's not usually a good sign for a leader when his army rebels against him.

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06 June 2006
 
Transsexual Pundit Has Opinions Again

Ann Coulter declared that...

Wait a second--who fucking cares what that transsexual cokehead has to say anyhow?


(from markdery.com)

Update: Christopher Durang, and his commenters, and others put it far better than I could.

From now on, it would be best to follow the suggestion of said commenters and simply boycott any news outlet that gives Coulter airtime, and don't buy her books even to attack them. She says nothing worth anyone's time and I've always been amazed that liberals treat her as a serious threat--she's only any such thing as long as she gets any attention.

She's only there to make liberals misdirect their anger. She's there to throw up flak. This isn't a politician; nobody elected her to anything; she's just a pundit and pundits depend on sales and ratings. Just don't look and she will disappear.

Besides, it's an easy boycott, much like avoiding Coors way back when. Is it really that difficult to not watch Fox?

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Manjoo vs. Kennedy Round 3

And RFK Jr. answers back to Farhad Manjoo's attempted debunking of his claim that the 2004 election was stolen.

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The New Joementum


The first Democratic incumbent to face justice over his cowardly vote for the Iraq war may be Joe Lieberman.

Lieberman, the party's vice presidential nominee in 2000, faces a growing challenge from a political neophyte who has rallied Democrats angered by the senator's enthusiastic backing of the war and willingness to support Republican President George W. Bush on other issues.

Challenger Ned Lamont's underdog bid to unseat Lieberman in Democratic-leaning Connecticut could offer an early gauge of the intensity of anti-war sentiment ahead of November's midterm elections, along with a measure of the influence of the Internet activists and bloggers who have flocked to his cause.

"Senator Lieberman has cheered on the president every step of the way when it comes to the invasion of Iraq, and he is too quick to compromise on core Democratic principles," Lamont, a businessman and former Greenwich town selectman, told Reuters.

"He's wrong on the big issues of the day and he is not challenging the Bush administration," added Lamont, who qualified for the August 8 primary ballot by winning 33 percent of the delegates at the state party convention last month.

Couldn't happen to a nicer guy!

It's appropriate that the first Democrat to face justice over this issue is a Republican anyway. I remember the morning after John Edwards received the VP nomination in 2004 and delivered one hell of a speech, a speech so fiery I wished he'd been the front-runner. a speech so definite, so strong, so unlike the rest of the Democratic party that Lieberman simply had to express his disapproval of Edwards' "radical" views on Fox & Friends first thing the next morning.

If Lieberman loves the Republicans so much, then he should ask for their vote, and the same should go for every other incumbent who's been serving our government on a silver platter to the GOP and our young soldiers to Moloch.

And the Democrats are going to learn the political price of giving a corrupt opposition party president who cares nothing for your party anyway and gives it not an inch(well, except when you're bent facedown on a table) whatever he freakin' wants for five years. At least, once his star has fallen. And the Republicans will in turn learn the price of blind allegiance, because if the Democrats can be hurt by being tied to Bush, what then when you are so close to him he might as well be a gut infection?

I predict a major turnover in many different ways in Congress this fall.

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05 June 2006
 
On Th' Tweak Again



I know it's a stereotypical way to view hillbillies, but: Were the soldiers in Haditha on crystal meth?

No, seriously, were they?
The wife of a Marine staff sergeant from the same battalion accused of killing civilians in Haditha, Iraq told Newsweek that "a total breakdown" in disclipine including drug and alcohol abuse may have been partly to blame.

"There were problems in Kilo Company with drugs, alcohol, hazing, you name it," said the woman unidentified by Newsweek. "I think it's more than possible that these guys were totally tweaked out on speed or something when they shot those civilians in Haditha."

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Blind Faith 0, Lions 2


If only more religious fundamentalists were as trusting. Sigh.


Oh, wait, they are.

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  Mould Blog

The late and fondly-remembered band Husker Du's Bob Mould has a blog!

Also: Your free Frank Rich for this week.

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  You Say You Don't Like the Geneva Conventions?

Then just cherry-pick the ones that aren't inconvenient yet so you still appear minimally human, and trash the rest.
...Among the directives being rewritten following Bush's 2002 order is one governing U.S. detention operations. Military lawyers and other defense officials wanted the redrawn version of the document known as DoD Directive 2310, to again embrace Common Article 3 of the Geneva Convention.

That provision — known as a "common" article because it is part of each of the four Geneva pacts approved in 1949 — bans torture and cruel treatment. Unlike other Geneva provisions, Article 3 covers all detainees — whether they are held as unlawful combatants or traditional prisoners of war. The protections for detainees in Article 3 go beyond the McCain amendment by specifically prohibiting humiliation, treatment that falls short of cruelty or torture.

The move to restore U.S. adherence to Article 3 was opposed by officials from Vice President Dick Cheney's office and by the Pentagon's intelligence arm, government sources said. David S. Addington, Cheney's chief of staff, and Stephen A. Cambone, Defense undersecretary for intelligence, said it would restrict the United States' ability to question detainees...

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  Brick By Brick

Christopher Hitchens builds another wall for his cell in Hell.

And he's right, you know. Iraq isn't Vietnam. Fortunately, we have atlases, so Hitchens has no further use.


My Lai





Haditha

Totally different. Also, this time we get more close-ups.


We are told the massacre is "not like My Lai" indeed that is true, for one thing some US soldiers intervened to stop the My Lai massacre, in this case they did not.
(from Hitchenswatch)


___________________

Labels: ,

 
 
My Ex-Wife Should Be Thrilled

Finally, a use for Barry Manilow.

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Eh...Canada

Thaat's what Bush's staff no doubt wearily said when they were trying to figure out in which nation to have a false terror alert this time to distract from the now-unstoppable news about Haditha.

Have a look at this list of past ones put together by Keith Olbermann some time back, and marvel at the terrorists' political helpfulness to Bush, and the awe-inspiring mystery of such a string of coincidences.
...After the roadside bombing, the Marines arrived first at the door of Abdul Hamid Hassan Ali, 89, an amputee who used a wheelchair. They shot him, then turned their guns on his three sons and their families, survivors said.

Waleed Abdul Hameed, a 48-year-old worker in Al Anbar's religious affairs office, was among the first of the family members to be gunned down. His 9-year-old daughter, Eman, said she was still wearing her pajamas when the Marines arrived. Her 7-year-old brother, Abdul Rahman, said he hid his face with a blanket when his father was shot.

A few minutes later, the boy saw his mother fall to the ground, dying.

"I saw her while she was crying," he said. "She fell down on the floor bleeding." Speaking days ago in Haditha, months after the attacks, the boy broke into tears, covered his eyes with his hands, and began to mutter to himself.

At his side, his elder sister began to speak again. Eman described how the two had waited for help, the bodies of their family members sprawled on the floor.

"We were scared," she said. "I tried to hide under the bed." With shrapnel injuries to her legs, she lay still for two hours.

When the shooting began, Eman's aunt, Hibba Abdullah snatched her 5-month-old niece off the floor. The baby's mother had dropped her in shock after seeing her husband gunned down. Clutching the child, Abdullah ran out of the house. She and the baby, Aasiya, survived.

The baby's mother "completely collapsed when they killed her husband in front of her," Abdullah said. "I ran away carrying Aasiya outside the house, but when the Americans returned they killed Asma, the mother of the child."

Abdullah's 39-year-old husband also slipped out of the house and ran to warn his cousins nearby. But he crossed paths with the Americans on his way back; he died of gunshot wounds to the shoulder and head, Abdullah said.

Seven family members were killed: Ali and his wife; their three sons and a daughter-in-law; and their 5-year-old grandson. Only one of the household's adults survived...

...The Americans yelled in the faces of her family members before shooting them, she said, then kicked them and hit the bodies with their guns.

The schoolgirl said she lay on the ground, covered with her sister's blood, and pretended to be dead while her family died around her. Her sister's blood spurted fast; it was like a water tap, she said.

"I feel sorry. I was wishing to be alive," said Safa. "Now I wish I had died with them."

The troops moved along the street to another home. There, they killed four brothers, whose ages ranged from 20 to 38, a woman from the family said. First the Marines herded the women outside, pointed guns at their heads and ordered them to stay still, said the woman, who did not want her name published.

The men were grouped inside. Then the sound of gunfire rang out.

"After some minutes the soldiers ran out and left the house," she said. The women went inside and found the men dead.

"They were shot in different parts of their bodies," the woman said. "Spots of blood covered the place. Blood was coming out."

The last to die apparently came upon the scene by chance. Four university students, two of them brothers, and their taxi driver drove too close to the spot where the families had been killed. Witnesses said U.S. troops stopped their car, ordered them to get out and shot them.

When the killing was over, the Americans continued to guard the street, keeping relatives away, townspeople said. Eventually, the troops took the bodies to the hospital, a medical source in Haditha said.

Since that November day, the people of Haditha have felt haunted. The survivors described sinking into depression.

Much of the talk has centered on the U.S. offer of $2,500 in compensation for each death. Some of the families said they turned the money down...


...Iraqis already have a tarnished view of the U.S. military, that the notion of foreign troops killing innocent civilians simply doesn't deliver much shock.

"It doesn't mean that much to hear that 20 people were killed by the Americans," said Hassan Bazzaz, a political analyst in Baghdad. "Every single day people are killed and thrown in the streets, in the garbage cans. They're scared to death. They don't even have time to think about what happened in Haditha."


(LA Times)

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04 June 2006
  Or Not?

Farhad Manjoo does his best to knock down RFK Jr.'s contention that the 2004 election was stolen.

Of course, usual apologist Manjoo's "best" is...well, judge for yourself.

It must be said that RFK's accusation would explain, particularly in the debates, why Bush looked like someone who didn't care if he won or not.

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03 June 2006
 
Haditha : Pictures

Why support our troops? (As though the government does)

Our government assembled an army of thugs, and the ones who aren't thugs mostly haven't the guts to say no to, or stop, things like this in Iraq. And we didn't have the guts to say no to Iraq, period. We all deserve shame, for a long time. Perhaps forever.
These pictures are hard to argue with.


"Hooah" indeed.

I don't think this child was plotting terrorism against anyone. Do you? Or these.


Have we accomplished anything in Iraq but piles of dead babies? I thought the Republicans were against that kind of thing.



And how now are we better than Saddam? What was the point of all this? Even from the most self-serving point of view, what has been gained and what can be gained by all this?

Our government and army are now nothing but criminals. Stop. Just stop.

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02 June 2006
  A: Well, Duh

Q: was the 2004 election stolen?

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