Thursday, July 12, 2007

Best Signage Ever 

I'm with Susie on this. Best Freeway Blogger signs I've ever seen.


Quote of the Day 


Used by TPM commenter JeffGee in reference to radical Christianists who disrupted the morning invocation at the US Senate because it was being offered by a non-Christian.

Land of the Free, and all that.

More here:
"When you stand up and are arrested, and the Hindu is allowed to go free, this country has gone upside-down," Benham added — though when asked, he later clarified that he does not believe people of other religions should be arrested for their beliefs."
Honey, the loonies are getting restless again. I'm going out to get another couple boxes of ammo.


When Republicans say Congress polls worse than the Preznit, 

it's because the Republicans in Congress are dragging its ratings down.

According to the new Harris Poll, negatives for the Democrats in Congress are 64. For Repubublics in Congress, they're 76 (and that's worse than Dead-Eye Dick Cheney's negatives).

Positive numbers for Cheney remain lower than whale shit.

And perhaps tipping off a national trend, Bush's negative number (73) is now worse than Congress as a whole (72). Talk about that at the water cooler.

Thanks to Atrios for the link.


Hilarious! Dog Days of Summer, I guess. 

New Homeland Security Threat Advisory System. (h/t Ed Partridge)

Warning!!! We may need a Heartburn Advisory System to go along with it.


There's no tellin' where the money went 

Except it likely went to finance one or more of the many groups intent on killing each other in Iraq.

If "fifty thou a year will buy a lot of beer", then I'm guessing $300,000,000 (that's almost a third of a BILLION, for those of you keeping score at home) will buy a shit-load car bombs and IEDs.

Just another deadly serious reason to Bring Them Home Now.


When you lose Merle Haggard, 

[I'm moving this up, just in case you missed it on Sunday. ed.]

You've lost the American people.

Not that the Cheney administration will ever care.

h/t to NewMexiKen via Jess.

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There's McCain's "gay" sweater, 

then there's solicitation in a restroom, by the co-chair of his Florida campaign (h/t Josh).

The dumb sweater is the least of his problems.



Early on the morning of Nov. 13, 2006, members of the bipartisan Iraq Study Group gathered around a dark wooden conference table in the windowless Roosevelt Room of the White House.

For more than an hour, they listened to President Bush give what one panel member called a Churchillian vision of victory in Iraq and defend the country's prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki. "A constitutional order is emerging," he said.

Two hours later, around the same conference table, CIA Director Michael Hayden painted a starkly different picture for members of the study group. Hayden said "the inability of the government to govern seems irreversible," adding that he could not "point to any milestone or checkpoint where we can turn this thing around," according to written records of his briefing and the recollections of six participants.
Hayden. Raving liberal. Defeatist. Probably wants the terrorists to win.


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Impeach Now! 

Josh has found us a felony. The more reasons the merrier.

Now if only we can find people in Congress with some spine. Oh, I am such a dreamer.


Take the Poll 

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, the wingnut Arizona legislature made the sale of a certain anit-war t-shirt illegal in Arizona.

Now the Tucson Citizen wants to know what you think about that. Take the poll. (It's over in the right-hand column.)



Recruiters, Cocaine, and Rigged Test Scores 

Times were hard and recruits were hard to come by, I guess.

The test monitor was taking bribes, and the recruiters were dealing coke out of the trunks of their cars.
The Tucson FBI office got several tips in 2001 that military test scores were being rigged. When an undercover FBI informant met a National Guard recruiter in a Tucson parking lot to pay for a rigged test, the recruiter opened the trunk of his government vehicle and also tried to sell the informant part of a kilogram of cocaine, the agent testified.

That led to the creation of a fake cocaine ring the FBI used to see how many other military personnel and public officials would be willing to take part in drug running for money.

Dozens did, leading to cocaine-related criminal charges against more than 60 defendants.
Back in basic training we used to sing:
Hi Ho Fiddledy Dee
My Recruiter Lied to Me
Guess that wasn't all they did.

h/t Man Eegee


Objectives must be achievable 

Bill from Portland Maine thinks the Iraqi government needs some revised benchmarks.

I'll bet, with a little coaching, even President Bush can achieve some of these.


God, save us from religous nut jobs 

Some over there. Some over here. Ed covers if pretty well.

It does trouble me that there are so many people who are so insecure about their own faith, that they consider it the only possible way to get where ever the hell it is they think they're going.

I'd offer the analogy about this big mountain outside my window, at that there are lots of ways to get to the top, even though they seem to be coming from opposite sides and traveling in opposite directions. But you either get that already or you probably won't, so I'm not going to bother.

End of sermon. Go in peace.


Ramblin' Man 

Fred Kaplan:
It was, even by his standards, an unusually rambling speech, alternately folksy and haranguing, most of it about the virtues of tax cuts and private health care. A half-hour passed—and the cable news channels cut away to an incident at the Oakland airport a couple of times—before he came to the main point, the reason they were carrying the speech live: to articulate his latest views on Iraq.

And the startling thing about these views is that they haven't changed a bit.
Ah, but still a man of faith.
Unlike earlier talks of this sort, in which Bush's speechwriters at least assembled some stray facts and passed them off as evidence of progress, this speech—which seemed entirely improvised—was founded on nothing but faith.

"We can accomplish and win this fight in Iraq," Bush said at one point in the speech. "I strongly believe we will prevail … that democracy will trump totalitarianism every time," he said later, as if the war in Iraq is somehow about democracy and totalitarianism.
Can't tell the difference between chaos and totalitarianism. Let us pray.


Not Working 

But as the experience of the troops in Ubaidi indicates, U.S. forces so far have been unable to establish security, even for themselves. Iraqis continue to flee their homes, leaving mixed areas and seeking safety in religiously segregated neighborhoods. About 32,000 families fled in June alone, according to figures compiled by the United Nations and the Iraqi government that are due to be released next week.

U.S. forces have staged offensives to push insurgents out of some safe havens. But many of the insurgents have escaped to new areas of the country, launching attacks where the U.S. presence is lighter.

And there has been no sign of any of the crucial political progress the administration had hoped to see in Iraq.
But the cry for more Friedmans will continue forever.


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

They don't call it the fact-free administration for nothing, baby 

WASHINGTON, July 10 — Former Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona told a Congressional committee today that top officials in the Bush administration repeatedly tried to weaken or suppress important public health reports because of political considerations.

Dr. Carmona, who served as surgeon general from 2002 to 2006, said White House officials would not allow him to speak or issue reports about stem cells, emergency contraception, sex education, or prison, mental and global health issues because of political concerns. Top administration officials delayed for years and attempted to “water down” a landmark report on secondhand tobacco smoke, he said in sworn testimony before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
But he was told to mention President Bush at least 3 times on every page.


Perjury used to be a crime 

I realize that Dub won't let Gonzo do any time, since, you know, prison is so icky for nice loyal Bushie Republicans. But perjury is an impeachable offense, isn't it?



Goose Eggs in Iraq:
A progress report on Iraq will conclude that the U.S.-backed government in Baghdad has not met any of its targets for political, economic and other reform, speeding up the Bush administration's reckoning on what to do next, a U.S. official said Monday.
More likely, it will be a reckoning on how to package "stay the course" so it sounds smarter and can therefore be marketed to gutless congresspersons so they can buy in for a few more Friedmans.

Meanwhile, over here, the Army seems to be a having a little benchmark problem of its own:
The Army missed its recruiting goals in June for the second straight month, as rising casualties in Iraq and a strong economy at home kept the service from enlisting enough new soldiers, Pentagon officials said.
Not sure about that strong economy at home BS. I guess if we keep enough National Guard and Reservists on active duty, it makes the unemployment numbers look real sweet. But, hey, can't really surge without them, now can we?


Monday, July 09, 2007

$12 Billion here, $12 Billion there, 

Pretty soon you're talking about serious debt.

Might as well start writing those apology letters to your grandchildren now.

Oh, and Digby reminded me, we should start apologizing to our veterans, too. Got to cut their health care funding to pay for that big war they just fought.

These bastards really have no conscience at all.


Quote of the Day 

Should have done this one over the weekend, but I was consumed with impeachment fever. From the brilliant and beautiful Digby:
It reminds of an early-ish Bush campaign speech in which he quoted Pericles and I just about fell off my chair laughing. You just knew they'd had to tell him how to pronounce the name...


Who is really in charge in the Cheney administration 

McJoan at DKos pulled this jem out of the Isikoff piece in Newsweek on the Libby deal:
"I'm not sure Bush had a choice," says one of the advisers. "If he didn't act, it would have caused a fracture with the vice president."
Yep. Bush sure as heck didn't want to piss off President Cheney. Big Dick might have taken Shrub's scotch away. Or maybe his rubber ducky.


Double Impeachment Entendre 

Cute graphic at Avedon's blog.

I thought it meant "Impeach Bush." I only got part of it right. Maybe I'm horticulturally challenged. See if you can figure it out (without cheating).


White House Iraq Dilemna 

It goes kind of like this:
Since more senators seem to be defecting each day, the president is running out of GOP support for the disastrous Bush-Cheney-McCain-Lieberman Iraq war.

But if he signals a willingness to begin withdrawing troops, that will only inspire those mean guys in Congress to press for even more and sooner withdrawal.
But he's got to do something, because the whole country has already decided that they're fucking tired of it. Or, as the New York Times quotes an anonymous White House source:
“Lots of people are concluding that the president has got to get out ahead of this train.”
Well, that certainly conjures up a vision or two.

Atrios manages to keep this current round of intentional leaks and mangled speculation in perspective:
It might have an exciting new name, it might have enough rhetorical flim-flam to let Official Washington provide cover for wavering Republicans, but there's no way Bush is going to even an announce an intention to maybe withdraw some troops, except with the caveat "if a bunch of stuff which isn't going to happen actually happens."

So: "We're looking at the possibility that if we find the pony we can withdraw some troops" might happen.

"We're looking at the possibility that we can withdraw some troops" won't.
Or, as Greg Sargent notes at TPM Election Central:
So the White House is debating whether to announce that it has the "intention" of beginning a "gradual" withdrawal at some point.

This is very nice to hear, but according to The Times, the explicit goal here is merely to prevent GOP defections on actual legislation that would accomplish a pullout. So doesn't it seem likely that such a White House announcement would simply give GOPers the cover they need not to defect and thus not to support any actual withdrawal policies?

Sure, an announcement of this sort would give war opponents some more leverage. But it would also allow Republicans allegedly thinking about defecting to say, you know, "the Commander in Chief has said he intends to begin pulling out, so let's pay him deference and give him the time and flexibility he needs to do this right," yada yada yada.
There it is. Anybody who is holding their breath over this should exhale now.


Sunday, July 08, 2007

The Tide turns Anti-War 

Over at Daily Kos, DemFromCT picked up on this editorial in the Tuscaloosa News:
In truth, that time arrived long ago, when it became obvious to most Americans that the government in Iraq has chosen to leave the heavy lifting to our country. Voters expressed their displeasure at the polls last year but Bush’s response was to intensify the war effort through a “troop surge.”

It has failed dismally and there is little surprise that people like Domenici are defecting now. They haven’t given up on Iraq as much as they have given up on Bush.

The changes of heart by the key senators may lead, in time, to a welcome change in direction in Iraq. But it’s unlikely to come in the twilight years of this administration. Yet there is no less violence, no tangible sign of a government willing to shoulder the mantle of Iraq’s future.

To date, there have been almost 3,600 American casualties. Thousands upon thousands of Iraqi civilians have died. It’s a terrible price to pay for a flawed vision, stubbornly held.
In terms of a shift in public opinion, this is huge. Tuscaloosa, home of the University of Alabama, is smack dab in the heart of red state Dixie.

Back in my army days, I would sometimes go there to train elements of the Alabama National Guard's 31st Armor Brigade. The 31st was headquartered just across the Black Warrior River from Tuscaloosa, in the town of Northport.

The 31st Armor was the kind of unit that, if they liked you, they'd present you with a certificate naming you an "Official Colonel" in the Alabama State Militia. I still have mine in a box somewhere.

We'd often go to lunch, in our BDUs, to the Globe restaurant in Northport. There was a waitress there whose brother was a Ranger who was wounded in the Battle of Mogadishu, made famous by the book and film Black Hawk Down.

I mention all this as a frame of reference, I guess. Despite being a university town, Tuscaloosa is not a hotbed of anti-war liberalism. It is far from it. Generally speaking, they care a whole lot more about the Crimson Tide football team than they do about international relations.

So, asking if they're against the war in Tuscaloosa is like asking if it will play in Peoria. This should be viewed as a bell-weather of red state public opinion about the Bush-Cheney-McCain-Lieberman war in Iraq.

When Tuscaloosa turns against the war, there won't be very many pockets of resistance remaining to fall.

Which is why Harry Reid knows that Congress is way behind the American people on the issue of getting the hell out of Iraq.


Why bother involving Shrub? 

U.S. Aborted Raid on Qaeda Chiefs in Pakistan in ’05
Spokesmen for the Pentagon, the C.I.A. and the White House declined to comment. It is unclear whether President Bush was informed about the planned operation.
But you can bet President Cheney was in the loop. Of course, if they destroyed al-Qaeda, they'd have to declare victory, essentially ending the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT). And then the Cheney administration wouldn't have all those wartime rationales for the crimes they commit, now would they?



Send a digital postcard. Time to get this thing moving.

Acknowledgement: The term "Dickpeachment!" comes to us compliments of Eschaton commenter gimmeabreak, who hangs his hat here.


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