Monday, April 30, 2007

Profile in Cowardice

Responding to former CIA Director George Tenet's appearance on 60 Minutes last night, former CIA officer Larry Johnson and five of his ex CIA colleagues blasted Tenet for not speaking up about the cooked information on WMD and a link between bin Laden and Saddam Hussein that Dead Eye Dick and Commander Codpiece used in the run up to the invasion of Iraq. "He could have stood up and spoke [sic] out when he had the job. . . .instead, he kept silent." And when he kept silent, he allowed the propaganda for the war to go unchallenged, and consigned over 3,200 - - and counting - - servicemen and women to their deaths. He collected the Medal of Freedom from the Preznit as a "thank you" for keeping quiet.

He doesn't bear quite the responsibility as Bush, Cheney and the neocon cabal, but he's really not far behind them at all.

The Hapless Mr. Hadley

The Bush Assministration's comical search for a "War Czar" continues. Several top candidates have turned the position down, including former Marine Corps General Jack Sheehan, who said that "the fundamental issue is, they don't know where the hell they're going." In today's New York Times, it's disclosed that Bushie National Security Advisor Stephen J. Hadley is in charge of recruiting the Czar. The task of War Czar would, as the Times says, "ordinarily fall to Hadley himself," but it appears the slippery Mr. Hadley wants to outsource that thankless role to someone else. Hadley, who was a Washington lawyer before joining Condi "Ment" Rice's crack National Security Council team, has no military experience and is an odd choice to be the recruiting officer. Then again, his bosses, Commander Codpiece and Five Deferment Dick probably wouldn't do much better. The Daily Show's John Oliver had a good summary of the situation a couple of weeks ago, which still holds today.

Hope for MSNBC?

Today begins Stephanie Miller's tryout on the a.m. MSNBC time slot vacated by Don Imus. Judging from this morning's effort, Stephanie (an Air America broadcaster) would be a welcome voice -- not to mention face -- in MSNBC's lineup, which currently has Keith Olbermann as the sole progressive voice in a wilderness of Tweetys, *uckers, and other creatures, mostly small. She would be a vast improvement over Michael Smerconish, the wingnut world's candidate host from the last two weeks whose head is as clear inside as it is outside.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Grim Old Party

Piling on is so much fun when it comes to Rethuglicans!! NYT's David "Mister Bobo" Brooks gives us this tasty dish about the fortunes of that party we love to hate (see below). "Grim Old Party." Yeah, we like that. And Down With Tyranny gives us this and this to fill in the GOP's Hieronymus Bosch landscape. (Must...stop...Schadenfreude ...from...overcoming...bwwaahahahahahaha!!)

Who Is A Republican?

On April 10, we ran a piece, "What Is A Republican?" Today, we look at who is a Republican. As with the "what," the "who" also isn't a pretty picture. But it is instructive. If you're a Republican, here's a representative look at the company you keep:

The Preznit, Dead Eye Dick, Karl "Turdblossom" Rove, "Man Tan" Boehner, Mitch "Mitzi" McConnell, "Opie" Putnam, L'il Pat McHenry, Jim "Oily and Gassy" Inhofe, "Bridge to Nowhere" Stevens, Walnuts McCain, Willard "Muff" Romney, Perfesser Newt "I'm on Number 3" Gingrich, Rudy "So Am I" Giuliani.

Pundits and Fillosofers
Rush Limpballs, Bill O'Really?, Glenn Beck, Field Marshal Hannity, Wee Willie Kristol, *ucker Carlson, Bow Tie Will, Kraphammer, Michelle (Jesse) Malkin, Krazy [D]Ann Coulter, Doughy Pantload, Brent "Bozo" Bozell. Junior Varsity: (most of whom don't rate nicknames) Melanie Morgan, Cal Thomas, Michael Wiener Savage, Pammy Jugs, Dennis Prager, R. Emmett Tyrell III.

Cons Past, Present and Future
Jack Abramoff, Scooter Libby, Tom DeLay, Duke "Not So" Cunningham, Bob Ney, Mark Foley, Claude "Lightfingers" Allen, Grover Norquist, G. Gordon Liddy, Ollie North, Reps. Renzi and Doolittle. Demeritus (R.I.P.): Richard Nixon, Spiro Agnew, John Mitchell, Maurice Stans.

Jerry Pharisee Falwell, "Diamond Pat" Robertson, James Dobson, Wm. Donohue, Richard Land, Tony Perkins, Gary Bauer, Ted Haggard. Deacons: Rupert Murdoch, Roger Ailes

Joe Lieberman (Likud-CT), Tweety, Broderella, Washington Post (Fred Hiatt), CNN, L'il Russ Russert, ABC/Disney.

Front Organizations
NRA, Focus on Family, Catholic League, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Faux News, NAM, Southern Baptist Convention, Rev. Moon Inc. (Washington Times, etc.), WSJ

A scary, sickening bunch of crackpots, sociopaths, hypocrites, liars, cowards, elitists, bedwetters and knuckledraggers, huh?! Makes us glad we're not who they are.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Saturday Trifecta

Three items that give a pretty good picture of how things are going in Preznit Chimpy's war on terror:

* Bomb blast in Karbala kills at least 55. Angry crowds later threw rocks at Iraqi police who failed to stop the bomber.

* Shiite militias vow to capture British Prince Harry when he is stationed in southern Iraq. A Mahdi militia commander says "every person who hates the British and Americans will try to get him, the mujahedeen in Iraq, the al Qaeda, and the Iranians."

* A Taliban supporter sets off a bomb during a meeting in northwest Pakistan involving the Pakistani interior minister and his son. At least 28 are reported killed.

"Only" 632 days left in this disastrous Assministration.

News You Won't See on Fox - Weekend Edition

Adding new meaning to the term "foreign aid," Bushie director of the U.S. Agency for International Development (A.I.D.) Randall Tobias resigned Friday after admitting he had used the "massage" services of Central American women, as well as the services of a high-priced call girl ring operated by the "DC Madam," a.k.a. Pamela Martin, a.k.a. Deborah Palfrey. Another in a long line of Rethug hypocrites, Tobias is 65 and married, and will doubtless be the subject of multiple news stories on Fox, as soon as they break into their 24/7 coverage of every "terrist" plot foiled, treasonous Democrat action, or candidate haircut/weight/accent/middle name humor.

BTW, just two days before, Tobias was at the White House, where Preznit Chimpy (always on top of things) praised his efforts coordinating global AIDS relief ("Heckuva job, Tobie"??).

Friday, April 27, 2007

Wolfie the Visionary

There are reports that a George Washington University law professor, Lewis D. Solomon, has a book coming out in June, entitled: "Paul D. Wolfowitz: Visionary Intellectual, Policymaker, and Strategist." Wait, hold on just a second. . . . bbwwahahahahahahahahah ahahahahahaha. . . . Whew! OK, there, that's better.

Professor Solomon has apparently written either a marvelous piece of satire, or a marvelous piece of, um, fiction. Perhaps he's drawing upon his areas of expertise at GW law in writing his book: corporate and securities law, taxation, business and estate planning. Certainly, he can't be aware of Wolfie's role in planning and executing the disastrous war in Iraq, which diverted resources from the fight against al Qaeda in Afghanistan and is wrecking our armed forces. Nor can he be aware of his misadventures at the World Bank, where his philosophy seems to be "do as I say, not as I do" in his purported fight against Third World corruption.

Professor, there's still time to edit the book/novel/love poem you've written. At least change the title; something like "Paul D. Wolfowitz: Neocon Artist, Wrecker of Our Military, and Lover." (photo: Wolfie playing "Eve of Destruction" on his comb)

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Haul Her Butt In

Secretary of State Condi "Mushroom Cloud" Rice is announcing that she will not condescend to appear, under subpoena, before Chairman Waxman's committee to investigate the use of bogus intelligence to justify the invasion of Iraq. Instead, she says that she'll answer the questions "again" in writing, as if they were honestly answered before in her confirmation hearings. This, of course, would not allow cross examination and follow up questions by the committee, which is no doubt what Rice intends. This is becoming a pattern with the Rethug regime: stonewall, lie, and avoid accountability. The pattern needs to be interrupted by forcing her to come to the hearing, sit in the witness chair under oath, and answer questions about why this Assministration lied about WMD, Saddam's connections to al Qaeda, etc. She can't handle that.

Go for it, Chairman Waxman.

Who's Laughing?

This is one of the best posts we've seen anywhere. Ellis Weiner totally nails the wingnut buffoon-ocracy in this Huffington Post piece.

"Buying the War"

Update on yesterday's post: here's the link to the Bill Moyers Journal "Buying the War," broadcast last night on PBS. Wow! This should be required viewing for every journalism 101 class in America (and as a refresher/reminder for every MSM "journalist" of what their profession is supposed to be).

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Poll Finds Public Sides With Dems Overwhelmingly

A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll just released shows that the Bush Assministration's Iraq policy is a "loser," with 55% saying that victory is not possible and that the war is going worse (49%) or about the same (37%) rather than better (12%) since the "surge" began nearly 3 months ago. The poll also found that 66% of the American people think the country is on the wrong track vs. 22% who think it's on the right track (and who also, coincidentally, are rooting for the Rapture). This is the lowest "right track" number in 15 years, since Poppy Bush was in office, and reveals the approximate dead-ender, hard-core Rebunglecan segment of the population.

Also notable, 56% support the Democrats' Iraq troop withdrawal deadline vs. 37% who support the Preznit's position. Maybe "9% Dick" Cheney should STFU?!

The Independent David Broder

We've seen how luminaries in the MSM world have been so very eager to play ball with the Rethug apparatus. As noted in the previous posting, tonight Bill Moyers will shed light on this phenomenon as relates to the lead up to the war. Another example of the coziness that has compromised independent journalism is the David Broder/Karl Rove association. This was Broder, "dean" of the Washington press "corpse", in 2003:

"I like Karl Rove. In the days when he was operating from Austin, we had many long and rewarding conversations. I have eaten quail at his table and admired the splendid Hill Country landscape from the porch of the historic cabin Karl and his wife Darby found miles away and had carted to its present site on their land." (5/18/03)

How nice. Broder needs to push himself away from "Karl's table" and check out what this Mayberry Machiavelli has been doing to undermine freedom and political discourse in this country (U.S. attorney firings, Hatch Act violations, etc.). Not that he really cares. For a good dressing down of the "dean", read Scott Horton's piece in Harper's. (photo: Broder strumming on friend Karl's porch)

Bill Moyers Is Back

Tonight, PBS is broadcasting the first of Bill Moyers' new series, "Bill Moyers' Journal." According to the preview, this report will deal extensively with the Bush Assministration's selling of the war with Iraq, and the MSM's role in cheerleading that disastrous enterprise. Some of the intrepid pundits who pushed the invasion from the start refused to be interviewed by Moyers, among them Chuck Kraphammer, Judith Miller, and Wee Willie Kristol. But Moyers gets a good knee in the groin, for example, with Kristol, who "led the march to Baghdad behind a battery of Washington microphones. . .[and] has not responded to any of our requests for an interview, but he still shows up on TV as an expert, most often on Fox News."

Watch it and weep.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Quote of the Day

"I'm not going to get into a name-calling match with somebody who has 9 percent approval rating" - - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, referring to Dead Eye Dick Cheney's mudslinging over the Iraq war funding bill. (photo: Dead Eye spreading the love)

They Lied

Today's compelling testimony by Kevin Tillman, brother of Pat Tillman, before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, reveals the extent to which the Bush Pentagon was willing to twist the truth about Pat Tillman's death in Afghanistan to suit their political needs. Kevin Tillman stated that the military saw an "opportunity" to exploit the death of his brother as the Abu Ghraib torture scandal was about to be made public, and that the stories of his death were "calculated lies" intended to distract attention. Specialist Brian O'Neal, who was with Tillman when he was killed, said that he was warned by superiors not to divulge the truth about his death.

McGovern Rips Cheney a New One

Former Senator and Democratic presidential nominee George McGovern gives Dead Eye Dick Cheney what fer in an op-ed article in today's LA Times. McGovern was responding to a speech Dead Eye made recently in Chicago, which was not unexpectedly full of distortions and lies about McGovern and the Democratic Party. McGovern contrasts his WWII combat record (volunteered for service, 35 B-24 combat missions, Distinguished Flying Cross) with Dead Eye Dick's ("five deferments and has never seen a day of combat") then goes on to contrast his record of integrity with that of Dead Eye and the Preznit:
"...I never broke my [campaign] pledge to speak the truth... It is my firm belief that the Cheney-Bush team has committed offenses that are worse than those that drove Nixon, Vice President Spiro Agnew and Atty. Gen. John Mitchell from office after 1972."
Still speaking the truth.

Monday, April 23, 2007

"Old School"

As a couple of old school Wisconsin alums, the Hackwhackers always take pride in the recognition of other Badgers (Ann [M]Althouse notwithstanding!). This week's Sports Illustrated has a featured article by Peter King ("Old School") that gives a nice profile of future first round NFL draft pick Joe Thomas. Thomas, 6'6" and 313-pounds, is a hard-working, well-prepared and physically gifted student athlete who will grace the offensive line of some lucky NFL team for a long time. King's profile also has some nice nice things to say about Madison, UW, and the football program.

Still Wanted: War Czar!

It's Day 13 and counting since the White House let it slip that the Bush Assministration was looking for an Iraq/Afghanistan "war czar" to function as, er, Commander-in-Chief. To date, 5 generals and an assorted number of chimneysweeps, sanitary engineers and chicken pluckers have declined the job. Even this guy wanted to make a go at it, but he's too... two-dimensional. So we'd like to help the process along by suggesting an eminently qualified multi-dimensional Bushie, who may soon need employment: none other than 'Berto Gonzales! Think about it - with his executive abilities, his mastery of legal issues relating to detainees and, most importantly, his unquestioning loyalty to the Preznit, 'Berto would be the ideal fit! Remember you saw it here first - Czar 'Berto the Forgetful!

Politics and the U.S. Attorneys

TPM Muckraker has a good insight on the behind-the-scenes manueverings of the Justice Department and the White House's Mayberry Machiavellis to try to suppress Democratic votes in 2006 and, more ominously, in the upcoming 2008 elections. The evidence in mounting that the U.S. attorneys have been used to press "voter fraud" cases against Democrats, which target blocs of minority and low income voters in swing states. This has always been the key issue relating to the attorney firings, along with prosecution/nonprosecution of corruption cases when they suit the Rethugs. They wanted to influence elections using the traditionally nonpartisan U.S. attorneys offices.


Bushville, A Gated Community, may not be part of the free, democratic Iraq that is about to emerge, after all. Upholding a tradition going back to the start of the Iraq occupation, the U.S. Ambassador said today that the Bush Assministration would, after the fact, comply with the wishes of the Maliki government and remove the wall being built around the Sunni district of Azhamiyah in Baghdad (see Hackwhackers item from April 21). One would have thought that by now the Bush Assministration would have learned a few lessons from the past 4 years, during which culturally and politically tone-deaf American officials (most likely, loyal Bushies with degrees from Regent University!) have made more than the usual quota of bumbling missteps, not to mention a catastrophic decision or ten. But these arrogant mouthbreathers will continue to stumble over their own knuckles as they amble off into the sunset - wait, that's not a sunset, it's a car bomb explosion! Nevermind!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Making Bigots Pay

In 2003, a mentally challenged African American named Billy Ray Johnson was brought to an east Texas "pasture" party by a group of teenage whites, given liquor, made to dance and taunted, before being beaten by four Redstate thugs. He was taken to a dump site, and thrown unconscious on a mound of fire ants. He suffered permanent brain damage as a result. Yesterday, an east Texas jury found the four thugs liable for $9 million in a civil suit (the earlier criminal case resulted in aquittals for two, and light sentences for the other two for "injury to a disabled individual by omission"). Representing Johnston was the iconic attorney from the Southern Poverty Law Center, Morris Dees. Dees, who has spent a lifetime fighting right wing racists such as the Klan and Aryan Nation, successfully argued that this was a race crime, not merely assault. It's people like Morris Dees who should be getting the Medal of Freedom these days, but they certainly won't be getting it from Dubya. (photo: Morris Dees)

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Bushville - A Gated Community

There are news reports today that U.S. troops are building a wall around the Sunni neighborhood of Azamiyah in Baghdad. Residents are highly resentful that the wall is being constructed without having consulted first with the local council. The reports say that the wall will separate the Sunni neighborhood from surrounding Shiite communities, and will be gated and guarded by Iraqi soldiers. Not only are we engaged in nation building, but now our troops are being asked to build walls around neighborhoods in Baghdad. Chances are they'll be the next symbol of occupation that will be targeted by bombs.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Doolittle's Doo Doo

Uh oh. Another Rethug Congressman in trouble over contractor corruption and links to Abramhoff and Cunningham? That would be Congressman John "Doo" Doolittle of California, who yesterday quit the House Appropriations Committee after FBI agents raided his home looking for evidence that his wife and he benefitted from the largess of defense contractors. The WaPo has the details.

'Berto Bombs Bigtime

That was an ugly hearing yesterday for soon-to-be ex-Attorney General Gone-zales. After spending weeks "preparing" for his make or break appearance, he ended up saying variations of "I can't remember" some 64 times when expectations were that he'd deal in specifics. His weak powers of recollection did not go unnoticed by a couple of normally sympathetic Rethug Senators, Sessions and Graham. One Rethug, Senator Coburn, actually called for him to resign. After the hearing concluded, members of the audience treated Gone-zales to a few bars of "Na Na Hey Hey (Kiss Him Goodbye)". He'll probably be hearing that more often. (photo: Bush: "Heckuva job, 'Berto")

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Voter Supression, Rethug-Style

Much of the controversy over the U.S. attorney firings involved their supposed lack of initiative in pressing "voter fraud" cases. In the Rethuglican political lexicon, "voter fraud" is permitting poor and minority citizens to vote Democratic. Greg Gordon, writing for the McClatchy Newspapers, has an excellent report on their strategy in the last election. It's becoming clear that, had the Justice Department not publically fumbled the firings, this strategy would have been in operation in the 2008 elections to try to stem Rethuglican defeats. Key passage:

"For six years, the Bush Administration, aided by Justice Department political appointees, has pursued an aggressive legal effort to restrict voter turnout in key battleground states in ways that favor Republican political candidates. The administration intensified its efforts last year as President Bush's popularity and Republican support eroded heading into a midterm battle for control of Congress. . ."

Going, Going, Gone-zales

In his testimony this morning before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Attorney General "Berto" Gone-zales described his previous misleading testimony as "imprecise and overbroad." Yes, that and dishonest. He went on to claim that he has "no basis to believe that anyone involved in this process sought the removal of a U.S. attorney for an improper reason." Of course, this is a carefully weaseled statement that relies on the modifier "improper." As we've seen in the "anything goes" Bush Assministration, proper is anything that keeps them in power, including political smears, pressure, etc. The questioning by Senators Leahy, Schumer, and Whitehouse, all former prosecutors themselves, should be very interesting to watch.

Holding Wingnuts to Account

We noted yesterday ("Profiles") that the wingnut world was already goose-stepping around a common theme regarding the Virginia Tech tragedy. Firedoglake also did a fine summary of all the outrageous and revolting wingnut takes on the shootings. Since there are no words to adequately describe the likes of Derbyshire, Schlussel, Steyn, Malkin, and their sociopath (hmm, there's a word) ilk, we won't go further, except to say that, once again, the "MSM" seems to be ignoring these horrific bleatings for now. We wonder if, after the mourning and healing process is further along, a spotlight will be shone on the comments of these contemptible things so that they might be held to account and (one can only hope) wither and blow away.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Meanwhile, In Iraq

Nine weeks now into the "surge," and 183 people died Wednesday in Baghdad, as four bombs exploded in areas around the city. The highest death toll was in the Sadriyah market area, where 127 people died and scores more were wounded. Throughout Iraq Wednesday, 233 people were killed or were found dead, the second highest total since May 2005.


The New York Times has heart-rending profiles of the victims in Monday's killings at Virginia Tech. It is impossible to get through the pictures and profiles without choking up. Reema Samaha, 18, was a beautiful, acomplished dancer and student and was praised for her kindness. Ironically, her family home was not far from the Centreville, VA home of the shooter. In CNN's coverage, her Lebanese-American father was interviewed, and showed unbelievable grace. Engineering lecturer and researcher Liviu Librescu, 75, was teaching a class in the Norris Hall and managed to block the doorway as his students escaped through the windows. A holocaust survivor, he died while saving the lives of his students.

Look at the pictures and profiles. The shooter didn't discriminate among men and women, old and young, Asian, black or white. Following Monday's shootings, some web wingers (Dirty Debbie Schlussel prominently) speculated wildly that the suspected "asian male" was Pakistani or otherwise Muslim. Malkin (h/t Tbogg) blames liberal academia and suggests that students be armed. A pantheon of winger haters made "worst person" on MSNBC's Countdown, as captured by Crooks and Liars. Their angry, twisted world view has no place in a good society. Absorbing the profiles should be enough to silence their "us versus them" babble for a while, but we're not counting on it.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Words Fail Us

We're watching the unfolding story about yesterday's massacre at Virginia Tech. Random killings, semiautomatic pistols, an angry alienated student, deja vu.

Light blogging today as we try to absorb this.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Conservatives With a Conscience!

No, not these two numbnuts. As reported in Time , the American Freedom Agenda, a group promoting conservative legal principles, has issued a two-page letter calling for AG 'Berto "Gone" Gonzales' resignation, saying that he has "proven an unsuitable steward of the law and should resign for the good of the country." The letter, signed by such conservative notables as Bruce Fein, David Keene, Richard Viguerie, Bob Barr, and John Whitehead, goes to show that there are, indeed, some conservatives with a conscience and a respect for the law. It will be illuminating to see how this is played - or underplayed, more likely - by the "MSM" in the run-up to 'Berto's Tuesday appearance before Congress to 'splain himself. [Update: Due to the Virginia Tech shootings, 'Berto's appearance has been rescheduled for the end of the week.]

Tragedy at Virginia Tech

Tragic events unfolding this morning on the campus of Virginia Tech University in Blacksburg, Virginia: at least 33 people dead (including the gunman), many more wounded by the gunman reportedly using two semiautomatic handguns. It's unclear what the motive, if any, was for the shootings, but the actions of the deranged person responsible for this horror and how he was able to obtain the guns, get them on campus, etc., will be analyzed closely in the days and weeks ahead. As it currently stands, the Virginia Tech shootings this morning would be the worst of any on an American campus, and the worst mass murder in American history.

What is also certain in the days and weeks ahead is that there will be a renewal of the debate on the accessibility of guns in American society in which we will see the usual suspects: the gun control advocates vs. the NRA. Do we expect there to be any change in the gun laws in the United States as a result of this tragedy? With the NRA firmly in charge at the RNC and in the halls of Congress? Riiiight!

Drifting Right

It's becoming increasingly clear that the Right has made significant inroads into what they used to decry as the "liberal media." Thankfully, Media Matters and other watchdog groups keep a close eye on the continuing evolution (devolution?) of American media to the right. One has only to look at a few examples, such as the formerly progressive Washington Post (now one of three right-leaning newspapers in Washington, DC), and media conglomerates that resemble nothing more than "Fox Lite." Take ABC/Disney, for instance, who infamously tried to smear Bill Clinton in their pre-election wingnut fantasy made-for-tv crapudrama about the lead-up to 9-11; their hiring of troubled CNN wingnut Glenn Beck for Good Morning America drop-ins; and their running Pat "Preacher to the Fascists" Robertson's 700 Club on the ABC Family cable network.

With well-funded "think" tanks like AEI, Heritage, Hudson Institute, etc., providing a bottomless barrel of Stepford monkeys to chatter off of RNC talking points, it's easy to see why the Right is looking like it's turning the media tide decisively in it's direction. In fact, other than the invaluable Keith Olbermann on MSNBC, it's hard to identify any regularly broadcast voice of the progressive viewpoint. (Even on Olbermann's network, look at the primetime lineup: Tweety, *ucker, Keith, Scarborough. Balanced? We think not.) In fact, the national conversation has drifted so far to the right since the Reagan years that what used to be called extremist or reactionary is now largely tolerated, if not accepted as legitimate, revealed truth.

Now that Democrats control Congress, it's time for the Fairness Doctrine (scuttled by Reagan's FCC) to be revisited. Otherwise, before they realize what's happened, progressives will have lost the media war to the insufferable, arrogant Rebunglecans.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Next Day, Same Story

Just days after the suicide bombing of the Iraqi parliament building, and the destruction of Baghdad's Sarafiya bridge, attacks earlier today in Baghdad and Karbala have claimed the lives of over 53 victims. In Baghdad, the Jadriya bridge was blown up, causing at least 10 deaths, while a car bomb in Karbala killed at least 43.

Yeah, the surge is working.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Low Hanging Fruit

Even in the undistinguished history of right wing punditry on the war in Iraq, Charles "Sour" Krauthammer's latest syndicated piece has to place near the bottom. Entitled "The Surge: First Fruits," Charlie's cherry picking the "good news" again. The alleged abandonment of the al Qaeda by Sunni tribes in Anbar province, prompting "thousands" of Sunnis to appear at police recruiting stations, has Charlie saying "for the first time. . .a Sunni police force fighting essentially on our side." Whoa, Charlie! Anbar is a Sunni province, so it would make sense for their police to be Sunni. It would be groundbreaking if they were Shiite recruits. And they're on our side? That would be with the Shiite-controlled government? But the Shiites are gunning for the Sunnis. And they're both gunning for us. That's "progress"?

The exquisite timing of his column one day after the bombing of the Iraqi parliament and destruction of the Sarafiya Bridge in Baghdad tends to indicate that the fruit's not ready for picking. Unless you like it bitter. (photo: Charlie proclaiming "I can see progress in Iraq with my eyes closed")

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Tall Tales

The Decider has been making the rounds for over a week now, blasting the Democrats for their reluctance to give him a blank check for his misadventure in Iraq. He's also been claiming that if he didn't get a "clean" funding bill, the tours of duty of soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan may have to be extended. As Tim Grieve notes in Salon, his tale was undercut by the leaked information from the Pentagon that active duty Army soldiers will have their stays extended from 12 to 15 months. They were trying to hold this information back to use it later as a political hammer, and claim the Democrats forced them into it. Slimeballs.

"How Conveeeenient"

It looks like e-mails dealing with the U.S. attorney scandal that were improperly sent through private Rethuglican party accounts are conveniently missing. Congress has been seeking these e-mails to get a complete picture of the suspected politicization of the U.S. attorneys in targeting Democrats, blocking corruption investigations of Rethugs, and bogus "voter fraud" investigations meant to suppress Democratic votes. Turd Blossom Rove, his deputy Scott Jennings, and other political operators in the White House bypassed the official White House e-mail system when they wanted to hide their operations. They will claim the e-mails were "political" business, but when they use the Government as an blunt force instrument of one political party over another, that's not "political", that's criminal.

Iraqi Parliament, Key Bridge Attacked; Bush, Walnuts Maintain Surge is Working

In a stunning security breach inside the Green Zone today, a bomb exploded in the cafeteria of Iraq's parliament building, killing two legislators and wounding four others. One of those killed was Mohammed Awad, a member of the Sunni National Dialogue Front. The bomb went off as legislators entered the cafeteria for lunch. Also Thursday, a bomb collapsed the historic al-Sarafiya bridge in Baghdad, killing at least 10 and wounding 26. Patrol boats are searching for survivors in the Tigris River, believing that at least 20 people were in cars that plummeted into the river when the bridge collapsed.

Meanwhile, Bush enabler and BFF Sen. Johnnie Walnuts (Deadender-AZ) told an audience at the Virginia Military Institute yesterday that the war was "necessary and just," and demanded that the surge be allowed to succeed. In response, Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) called for a "surge in honesty," challenging Walnuts' claims of improving security and saying Walnuts was measuring progress using "the same ideological fantasies" that led America into war.

UPDATE: The parliament death toll has now risen to eight, including 3 legislators (2:30 p.m. edt).

Kurt Vonnegut, 1922-2007

Novelist and writer Kurt Vonnegut died Wednesday night in New York City. Vonnegut was a pioneering, influential force in 20th-Century American literature, penning such masterpieces as "Slaughterhouse Five," "Cat's Cradle," and "Breakfast of Champions." His best-selling 2005 collection of short articles, "A Man Without a Country," pinpointed the Bushies as "upper-crust C-students who know no history or geography." A fighter for freedom of expression, Vonnegut was a member of the PEN writer's aid group, the ACLU, and American Humanist Association. He was 84.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Help Wanted: War Czar (Rummy, Socks, "Dumb Doug" Feith Need Not Apply)

According to an article by Peter Baker and Thomas Ricks in today's WaPo, Preznit Moe wants to appoint a "high-powered czar to oversee the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with authority to issue directions to the Pentagon, the State Department and other agencies..." Exsqueeze us, but isn't that the Preznit's job?

Anyway, it seems there are no takers out of three generals asked so far. Says Marine Gen. Jack Sheehan (ret.), one of the unwilling,
"The very fundamental issue is, they don't know where the hell they're going...So rather than go over there, develop an ulcer and eventually leave, I said 'No, thanks.'"

Sheehan's frustration also stems from his belief that Cheney and his neocon dead-enders remain more influential than the pragmatists looking for the exit door. More optimistically, we see this as an opportunity for the military expertise of Wee Willie Kristol, R. Emmett Tyrell, Field Marshal Hannity, or one of the other neocon chickenhawks to be utilized! The Preznit and Dead Eye Dick await your application!

Monopoly in Action

Today's syndicated column by Harold Meyerson lays out some stark figures describing how 90% of Americans are losing ground economically, while the top 10% are doing just fine, thank you. For instance: total reported income increased by 9 percent from 2004 to 2005 but all of that increase went to the wealthiest 10 percent of Americans. The wealthiest 1 percent had an increase of 14 percent in their income. This contrasts sharply with the period from 1947 through 1973, when family income rose 104 percent, exactly the rate of growth in productivity. The corporate and conservative assault on labor unions and export of jobs overseas has brought this about, in large part. And, as Meyerson points out, they offer no remedy except for more of the same: privatize Social Security, keep 47 million Americans out of access to health insurance, and bust organized labor.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Wait A Minute. . . .

You mean we're not the father of Anna Nicole Smith's baby?? It's Larry Birkhead? Dayuuum! Guess we have to return the Rolls to the dealer.

In a related development, Prince Anhalt von Stupplefingernitz, spouse of Zsa Zsa Gabor who claimed paternity of Anna Nicole's baby, has just announced that he is the father of Larry Birkhead.

More I-Man

A must read: Gwen Ifill has the definitive slap-down of radio jock Don Imus in today's New York Times. Well said. Oh, and I-Man? Cowboy hats? You're a Noo Yawker. Male "ho's" have been known to wear them in Noo Yawk. Lose it, along with your producer, Jerk McGuirk.

What Is A Republican?

We are pausing in our inexorable pursuit of the nimrods and poindexters who generally occupy the "trees" of the wingnut world to observe the "forest" -- that is, to ask the fundamental question,what is a Republican? We want to state in no uncertain terms that what follows is not meant to impugn the good people who find it somehow necessary to vote Republican. In fact, we have family members and friends who unfortunately vote Republican. Rather, we are attempting to sketch the party in terms of its leadership, philosophy and behavior patterns, in the objective "we report, you decide" manner we so admire.

A summary of several issue areas (Iraq, fiscal policy, immigration, and "values") should help provide a picture, in a broad but necessarily limited sense, of what it means to be a Republican. Please be forewarned, it's not a pretty picture.


Leadership:Neoconservatives, sometimes known as "chickenhawks" for their willingness to send others into harm's way when they themselves never faced combat (Bush, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Feith, nearly all of the wingnut media and blogosphere).
Predominant philosophy:Unilateralist interventionist; establish "democracy" in the Middle East; deemphasize diplomacy, especially with states you consider "the enemy."
Behavior pattern:Ready-shoot-aim; naive; lack of historical and cultural perspective and awareness; cherry pickers (facts must fit preconceived notions to be useful).

Fiscal (tax) policy

Leadership:Wall Street/country club wing of the party; Bush, Cheney, supply side/voodoo economics remnants.
Predominant philosophy:Tax cuts for the wealthy, even in time of war; trickle down; "deficits don't matter" - Dead Eye Dick.
Behavior pattern:Unprecedented redistribution of wealth since 2000; no sacrifice asked in time of war (except giving up "peace of mind"); "Never has so much been done for so few who need so little;" cry "class warfare!" if Democrats bring up any of these points.


Leadership:Bush and business groups vs. Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO), Bill O'Really?, Lou Dobbs.
Predominant philosophy:A divided party, the Bush wing wanting to secure borders with guest worker program, and the Tancredo wing wanting to secure borders with no "amnesty" in any way, shape or form.
Behavior patterns:Nativists want action now, White House wants to defer action as long as possible to avoid internecine bloodletting; Bush has photo-ops on border, but doesn't put heat on his own party hacks to get in line.


Leadership:The American Taliban (James Dobson, Richard Land, Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, "Catholic League," American wing of the Likud party, etc.); Karl Rove, main organizer and cheerleader.
Predominant philosophy:Anti-choice, anti-gay marriage, anti-stem cell research; pro-government intervention in the moral life of the average American; authoritarian; flat-earth thinking predominates.
Behavior patterns:See Mark Foley, Jack Abramoff, Grover Norquist, Bob Ney, Newt Gingrich, Bob Livingston, Rudy Giuliani, Duke Cunningham, Terri Schiavo, Claude Allen, Ralph Reed, etc., etc. Hypocrisy and greed running rampant; "do as we say, not as we do;" divide, divide, divide; waiting for the Rapture.

Well, there it is, in a "nut"shell, so to speak. We warned you it wouldn't be pretty...

Monday, April 9, 2007

Sock It To Me!

No wonder neocon master planner Paul "Socks" Wolfowitz can't afford a new pair of hosiery! He's tapped out having to pay his mistress Shaha Riza (yes, she's Arab; he's not kosher) upwards of $200,000 a year for sexual favors while she was "employed" at the World Bank and, on loan, to the State Department. Let the countdown to Socks' termination at the World Bank begin! And a note to Ms. Riza: To do what you do for whom you do it, your services come mighty cheap!

Soldiers: The Preznit Cares

Today's article on the Salon website confirms what many have believed for some time: belying his photo-op sessions with U.S. service men and women, Bush really doesn't give a damn about them. He is all too happy to send injured soldiers back to combat when they're not healed, into the meatgrinder his failed policies have created in Iraq. If this were being done by a President who himself served honorably in combat (see John Kerry), it would be lamentable; for this privileged shirker, who wouldn't finish his stateside National Guard duty that his daddy arranged, it's nothing less than obscene.

Rebunglecans Take Dead Aim At...

REBUNGLECANS! Hot off the presses today: Newt "I'm on Number 3" Gingrich is now saying AG 'Berto "No Comprende" Gonzales should consider resigning:
"I think the country, in fact, would be much better served to have a new team at the Justice Department...This is the most mishandled, artificial, self-created mess that I can remember...The buck has to stop somewhere, and I'm assuming it's the attorney general and his immediate team."

Yesterday, on CBS' "Face the Nation," Rebunglecan presidential candidate Mike Huckabee commented on fellow candidate Willard "Mitt" Romney's recent claim to be a lifelong hunter:
"I think it was a major mistake. It would be like me saying I've been a lifelong golfer because I played putt-putt when I was 9 years old and I rode in a golf cart a couple of times."

And we're only in April 2007!!

Saturday, April 7, 2007

On Pratfalls and Fumbles

Today's editorial in the New York Times, "The Real Fumble in Damascus," properly frames the real issue concerning Speaker Pelosi's trip to Syria: that the Bush Assministration's refusal to have discussions with Syria over a range of issues is what is truly "unproductive." It contrasts with Thursday's opinion on the neocon editorial page of the Washington Post ("Pratfall in Damascus") that mocked the Speaker's efforts. Key quote in the Times' editorial:
"Such Congressional visits can serve the useful purpose of spurring a much needed examination of the administration's failed policies."


Friday, April 6, 2007

Connecting the Dots

An interesting story from the Carpetbagger Report involving a Federal appeals court's quick dismissal of charges against a Wisconsin employee accused of corruption by steering a contract to supporters of Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle. It seems that the Rethuglican U.S. Attorney Steven Biskupic had the thinnest of evidence against the employee, but brought the charges nonetheless, conveniently weeks before last fall's elections. The same pattern seems to have occured in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, among other states, with Rethuglican U.S. Attorneys bringing specious charges against Democrats right before elections. See the relevance to the current U.S. Attorney scandals? It is and was all about getting bogus cases brought against Democrats prior to the 2008 elections.
Feel the love; smell the Rove.

"The Lie Factory"

That's the title of an article published over 3 years ago in Mother Jones that describes the manipulation of information and outright lying that went into building the case for invading Iraq. The group ("the Lie Factory") within the Pentagon that was responsible for developing the "story" about why war with Iraq was necessary was headed by noecon Doug Feith

Today's article in the WaPo confirms that the intelligence used by the Bush Assministration was incomplete and not credible. There was a clear mindset - - exemplified most by Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and Feith at the Pentagon, and Cheney in the White House - - that war with Iraq was necessary, no matter how bogus the casus belli, whether it was weapons of mass destruction, connections to al Qaeda, or other threats to America. Not surprisingly, Dead Eye Dick was still peddling lies yesterday about al Qaeda's presence in pre-war Iraq, even as the contradicting Pentagon report was released.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Enjoy This Picture While It Lasts

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is working on the final pages of its voluminous report on global warming, which is expected to be issued in a few days. The IPCC is composed of scientists from 120 nations. In February, the IPCC's assessment of the human factor in global warming set off a furor with the carbon industry and their political bag men (Sen. "Ass" Inhofe, R-OK). They mounted a furious attack on the assessment, repeating the discredited mantra "there's no consensus." The 20 chapter, 1572 page report is awaiting completion of a 21-page summary for policymakers.

For the Decider, a comic book version is also in preparation.

Swift Boat Sam Returns

UPDATE - Looks like Swift Boat Sam Fox is going to Brussels after all. The Decider used a recess appointment to name Fox ambassador to Belgium after withdrawing his nomination on March 28, hours before it would have been rejected by the Senate. Fox is a major Rebunglecan fundraiser and was a key financier of the "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" smear campaign in '04. Clearly, this is part of the Decider's strategery to seek better relations with Democrats, and will have the same results for him as his Iraq strategery. In the meantime, Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) says he will seek an opinion on the legality of the Decider's appointment from the GAO, adding,
"This is underhanded and an abuse of Executive authority. Sadly this behavior has become the hallmark of this administration."

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

The O'Briens Out at CNN

CNN announced yesterday that "American Morning" anchors Soledad O'Brien and Miles O'Brien will be replaced by John Roberts and Kiran Chetry. We don't want to come down too hard on the O'Briens. God knows there are "anchors" out there that are bigger dimbulbs (insert Faux News slam here). But the O'Briens in style (too much) and substance (too little) are symptomatic of the breed of newsreaders, if not outright hacks, that have replaced journalists in the tv/cable medium. Not sure yet if the switch to Roberts and Chetry is a trade up or not. Meanwhile, why does CNN continue to carry that unspeakably awful Glenn Beck?

"Foxes in the Henhouse"

Ruth Marcus put her finger on the problem when you have little regard for the government you're ostensibly supposed to be managing (eg., the Bush Assministration). Her article in today's WaPo points to several instances (out of many) of Assministration officials disdaining the laws they're supposed to enforce and taking a "spoils-of-war" approach to governance (several of the names - J. Steven Griles and Lurita Doan - are all-too-familiar to abuse of power afficionados). Marcus notes that "there is something in the 'loyal Bushies' mind-set of this administration and its fundamental scorn for government that contributes to this arrogant misbehavior."

Karl Rover, Karl Rover, We Dare Turd Blossom Over

Students at American University in D.C. gave a rousing send off to Turd Blossom Rove last night after he appeared at a campus College Rethuglican weenie roast and Bushie love-in. "Turd" was heard to remark as he was ushered into his waiting car, "Hey, that's dog s**t they're throwing. . . .this is fun!"
(photo: Rove receiving the College Rethug's coveted "Leader" ears)

Drudge Sludge

Jon Swift has a thorough wrap up of the controversy sparked by unnamed sources claiming the CNN correspondent Michael Ware "heckled" Sen. "St." John McCain in his recent Baghdad new conference. The "sources" fed wingnut gossipmonger Matt "I Gossip, You Swallow" Drudge, who faithfully spread the report without fact checking it. Keep in mind that Mr. Sludge hasn't been to Baghdad, hasn't even broken suction on his chair in years, and is calling out a reporter who's been in a war zone for roughly four years.

Un-for-tu-nate-ly, video evidence of the press conference shows that Ware didn't even speak, much less heckle. Uh oh. Well, guess this means a retraction from Mr. Sludge, right?

**crickets chirping ** **crickets chirping **


Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Talkin' Tough, Lyin' Like A Cheap Rug

The Decider's spin on the military funding bill is that Congress is denying funds to the troops in harm's way. In fact, Congress has fully funded the troops, but has required a timetable for withdrawal - - reflecting the wishes of the American people.
So when Chimpy vetoes the the funding bill, he is the one denying funds. However, some in the media are playing along with the Bush Assministration, rather that asking the question "when will the Iraqis provide for their own security" so that the U.S. can stand down.

Bush "Stratergery" on Car Pollution Rebuked

Yesterday the Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, rebuked the Bush Assministration's jaw-dropping claim that the Clean Air Act did not authorize the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate tailpipe emissions from new cars and trucks. The majority found that the Clean Air Act does, in fact, give the EPA that authority, and also found that states have the right to sue the EPA to challenge its decisions. The dissenters were the "Flat Earth Four," Rebunglecan troglodytes Roberts, Scalia, Thomas and Alito, who believe the government has no power to intrude, unless it's in a recount, in the bedroom, or between a doctor and patient.

As David Doniger of the Natural Resouces Defense Council said, "this administration's legal strategy for doing nothing has been repudiated." As a result, automakers are now clamoring for national standards rather than facing the prospect of state-by-state regulations. The decision also raises the likelihood of comprehensive legislation on global warming that would provide an economy-wide approach to the problem.

Monday, April 2, 2007

We Pity the Fools!

In honor of April Fool's Day, publicist Jeff Barge and Opinion Research Group issued their annual list of "Most Foolish Americans." Topping the polling this year: Britney Spears, followed by Paris Hilton, Michael Jackson, George W. Bush, O.J. Simpson, Dick Cheney and Mel Gibson. No need to editorialize further...

The Wacky Mr. Kondracke

The ever-moderate Morty "Neo" Kondracke sermonized on the Pox network on the dastardly Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats forming a "hanging party" for the innocent Justice Department Rethugs. Morty adheres to the "any President can fire political appointees for any reason" talking points. You'll never catch Morty entertaining the possibility that the White House expected U.S. attorneys to lay off on solid corruption investigations of Rethug politicians and supporters, and pursue bogus investigations of Democrats. Morty's a purveyor of the "I see nothing wrong" brand of right wing punditry when it concerns Bushies. He's part of the wingnut Wurlitzer now, and there's no going back.

Johnnie Walnuts Tours Baghdad

Sen. Johnnie Walnuts (R-Ariz.), joined by other delusional Rebunglecans, made a surprise visit to Baghdad this past weekend. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-Closet) purchased some to-die-for rugs while Walnuts, touring the same central Baghdad market, voiced "cautious, very cautious optimism about the effects of the new strategy." He also criticized the news media for not giving the American public the "full story" on Iraq - i.e., the "good news" that Walnuts apparently thinks is being shrouded by... what is that obfuscating material?... oh, yes, the smoke and dust from the bombs going off this weekend:
-- a parked car exploding in a garage in western Baghdad, killing three and wounding 10;
-- a suicide car bomb exploding in southern Baghdad killing four, including two policemen, and wounding six;
-- a roadside bomb killing six U.S. soldiers southwest of Baghdad on Sunday.

Please note when you see Walnuts touring the "safe" market in central Baghdad that he is wearing a flak jacket and has a security cordon of about 100 troops and five helicopters overhead. Not what the average Iraqi would be able to call upon when going out to shop.

The Party Snatchers

Long time GOP operative and writer Vic Gold has come out with a new book, offering scathing views of what has become of the Rethuglican Party. Entitled "Invasion of the Party Snatchers: How the Holy-Rollers and Neocons Destroyed the GOP," Gold labels Bush as "Dan Quayle in cowboy boots," mocking his supposed "stong' image. He's disgusted with religion in politics, expanded government, the war of choice in Iraq, and the curtailment of individual liberties. In the WaPo interview, Gold says:

"I really came to the conclusion that there was a threat to our system, to our way of life, and it was coming from those I thought were my people"