Saturday, August 13, 2005

How many reasons to hate BushCo do you have? 

Mark Kleiman gives us number 4:
The thing I hate fourth-worst about the Bush regime -- after the way they're screwing up the country, dishonoring the flag, and making the world a more dangerous place -- is all the ammunition they supply the tin-hat brigade. How am I supposed to convince my students not to believe in elaborate wicked conspiracies when we've got an elaborate wicked conspiracy running the damned country?
Read the whole thing. My country has become a twisted paperback.


The Poorman Sings Kokomo for the Wingnuts 

I haven't posted much about Cindy Sheehan (except the link below to a cartoon). She's a brave woman, and my heart goes out to her. She asks the one question the Bushistas cannot answer.

Meanwhile, all of Wingnutia seems to be going ape shit over an American mom who lost her son in a completely unnecessary, senseless war, and would like the Chimp-in-Chief to tell her why.

So the wingnuts are blaming Atrios. Go figure. The Poorman responds. It's the best read of the weekend.


White House in Chaos -- Madness takes its toll 

AMERICAblog noticed a couple of press pieces that show the preznit, the sec def, and the generals all singing different songs, thus leading to specualtion that Karl Rove may be a bit distracted these days.

But the money quote was this one, seriously understated.
The Washington Post called the confusion a case of "seemingly mixed signals" and suggested Bush's people were no clearer than anyone else about what should be happening or when.
No clearer than anyone else. Leaders of the Free World, et al.


Friday, August 12, 2005

Bring 'em on 

. . . except mothers of war dead.


Thursday, August 11, 2005

Goat Theory 

Publius tells us what should really be taught in science classes.


VA Doubting War Vets' Claims 

Very troubling piece by Mark Benjamin at Salon. The VA can't figure out why in the last few years the number of veterans claiming PTSD has gone up dramatically.

Only in this adminstation could cluelessness be so tragically institutionalized.
The U.S. government is reviewing 72,000 cases in which veterans have been diagnosed with severe post-traumatic stress disorder, claiming that misdiagnosis and fraud have inflated the numbers. Outraged vets say the plan is a callous attempt to cut the costs of an increasingly expensive war.

[ . . . ]

LaBranche, however, may have to prove to Veterans Affairs a second time what the war has done to his mind. In a recent move that has set off a firestorm among veterans, the Department of Veterans Affairs has decided to go back and review more than 70,000 individual cases of vets who in the past five years have been considered disabled and unemployable because of mental trauma. Veterans like LaBranche now stand to lose some or all of their monthly payments.

To outraged veterans groups, the review smacks of a convenient way to cut costs during an increasingly expensive war and reflects a reluctance by the department to take PTSD seriously. "The V.A. hopes to trim costs for existing war veterans and recently returning war veterans by targeting PTSD," says Steve Robinson, executive director of the National Gulf War Resource Center, a veterans advocacy organization in Silver Spring, Md. "This is a desperate and despicable move by an administration caught without a plan, the money or the staff to care for our nation's wounded warriors."
There are times when I'm not beyond considering lining these folks up and offering blindfolds. Thanks to AMERICAblog for the link.


Straightening Out the Boys 

Via Digby, Sadly No picks up on radical cleric James Dobson's advice on how to spot a budding homosexual son and the steps that fathers need to take to immediately to rectify the situation -- like a little rough and tumble play, followed by showering together so he can see your big gun.

Does the General know about this?


Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Standing Up for GLBT Vets 

Good article in the Chronicle about the San Francisco American Legion Post.
Gay veteran -- it's a hybrid identity that is sometimes problematic. The military is anti-gay, and much of the gay community is anti-military, along with San Francisco as a whole.

"We're straddling two worlds," Wilson said. "Within the gay community, we don't find easy embrace. And the local American Legion just didn't want us. They'd think of everything -- like losing our application again and again. Cheap stuff like that. It's still not lovey-dovey. We've sued them twice."

As for the national American Legion, Puliatti said, "They hate us. Just the fact we exist is a thorn in their sides."

But March, spokesman for national headquarters, merely said, "I wouldn't venture there. Our slogan is, 'A vet is a vet is a vet.' "
My experience with the American Legion is that the national office tends to be dominated by right wing idealogues who remain in denial about how the BushCo administration continues to abuse veterans at every opportunity. But at the local level, it's actually a good organization. Certainly seems to be in The City.

Thanks to AMERICAblog for the link.


Air Force Humor 

Back in my reckless youth, an NCO in 5th Group said to me, "You know who has the smartest NCO's (that's sergeants for you non-military folks) in the military?"

"I give up," I replied. "Who?"

"The Air Force."

"The Air Force. Give me a break. Those guys are barely in the military. The Air Force is more like a big corporation -- sort of the other Big Blue."

"No, no, think about it," he said. "Who else gets to slap the officers on the back and send them out to fight the war, and then, when the pilots return, gets to give them a ration of shit for getting their planes all shot up. Those guys are smart."

That's just a segue into pointing you toward Jabba's 125 things he is no longer allowed to do in the Air Force. It gets funnier as it rolls along.


The Smell Test 

When Montana Democrats starting running ads pointing out that Senator Conrad Burns seems to be a bit, uh, ethically challenged, the National Republican Senate Committee sent in their attack dog lawyers to start stinking the place up.

Be careful where you step.


Monday, August 08, 2005

Obstruction of Justice is an Impeachable Offense 

Mark Kleiman notes that when Bush fired a prosecutor to keep him from going after a political crony, he crossed the line.

Mark doesn't think that lying about the reasons for going to war reaches the standard for the Big I, but obstruction of justice does.

Being a reality-based attorney, Mark also observes:
The truly scary thing is that, whatever Bush does, he can count on the support of a big chunk of the press, a big chunk of the blogosphere, and virtually every Republican on Capitol Hill.
Fucking zombies.


What Went Wrong 

Over at TPMCafe there's an interesting post by Larry Diamond, a collegue of Condi Rice at Standford, who she recruited to go to Iraq to assist with the "political transition."

Now Diamond has written a book, Squandered Victory. Based on this little preview, Diamond does a good job of describing "mistakes we have made in Iraq, mistakes not just of strategy and preparation but, crucially, of attitude and demeanor as well."

When the history of The Worst President Ever is written, Diamond's book is likely to provide some useful footnotes.


In case you had any doubt 

David Neiwert provides photo evidence that The Minutemen is a home for extremists. Too much good stuff to quote it all. Go read.

Maybe that's why Chimp-in-Chief doesn't want to change Global War on Terror (GWOT) to the Global Struggle Against Violent Extremism (Gee-SAVE) . Too many supporters among the domestic extremists.


Sunday, August 07, 2005

Bumper Sticker Report 

Two I saw this weekend in Arizona:
Practice Compassionate Impeachment
Come the rapture, can I have your car?


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