Saturday, December 29, 2007

Happy New Year

Happy and Peaceful New Year to all of us.


Wish I knew what kind of flowers these were. Took the shot up in the Cascades.

Update: They kind of look like chicory. Says the flowers remain on the plant for only a single day. We might have been luckier than we knew. (Sure seems to be wild chicory)


Folksinger News: Chuck Brodsky


He's got lots of shows coming up, starting in North Carolina and heading to the West Coast through January. Check it out. If he's your way - do your life good and go see him.

Damn! I found a Youtube of Chuck. Excellent. REALLY great song.


Folksinger News: Chris Chandler

Dark day here. I should be working, but I'm listening to music.

Chris Chandler.


New Link: The Arabist

The Arabist.

"I wasn't necessarily referring to genocide..."

John Deady, the co-chair of New Hampshire Veterans for Rudy Giuliani, talks to TPM Central about the need to "get rid" of Muslims:

John Deady, the co-chair of New Hampshire Veterans for Rudy, is standing by the comments he made in the controversial interview with The Guardian we posted on below, in which he said that "the Muslims" need to be chased "back to their caves."

In an interview with me, Deady confirmed that when he made the comments, he was referring to all Muslims.

"I don't subscribe to the principle that there are good Muslims and bad Muslims," Deady told me by phone from his home in New Hampshire. "They're all Muslims."

Combine that view with some of Giuliani's and you get the idea of what kind of presidency his would be. Steve Benen at The Carpetbagger Report summed that up back in August:

And after having read the piece, I can safely say that Giuliani is as nutty as a fruitcake. His approach to foreign policy is spectacularly dangerous, irresponsible, and stupid. Imagine Dick Cheney with a loaded gun in one hand, and an empty bottle of antidepressants in the other, and you can start to get the idea.


Friday, December 28, 2007

John Bolton Blames America First

The Ambassador from Mustacheland joins the Blame America First Club:

John Bolton, former US ambassador to the United Nations, said it was a mistake to collaborate with Bhutto's "desire to get back into the game in Pakistan" and view her as an alternative to the country's current leader, Pervez Musharraf.

"We in effect helped -- helped -- precipitate this dynamic that led to her tragic assassination," Bolton said Thursday on Fox News' Hannity & Colmes.

We are now forced to ask, yet again: Why does John Bolton hate America? Why?


Oh Yeah: Rush Limbaugh is a Drug Addict

Not that there's anything wrong with that (well, according to some people anyway), but the first thing that pops into my head when I see the word "Oxycontin" Rush Limbaugh.

Oxycontin IS Rush Limbaugh.


Let's Have Another World War II So We Can Be As Good As the Greatest Generation

Not a new thought, but it struck me harder than usual yesterday that this really is the message of a lot of "thinkers" today. These are people who have sat down and counted on their fingers and toes the plusses and minuses of war - even global and/or nuclear war - and measured the answer against the plusses and minuses of peace - and concluded that war is better than peace. These are overwhelmingly people who have never experienced war. These are people considered "respected" social commentators; they write books and appear daily on our TV sets.

Just one of these great warriors (item 3).


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Oh Holy Crap

Another Jonah Goldberg post from Sadly, No!

...liberalism today sees no realm of human life which is beyond political singnificance, from what you eat to what you smoke to what you say. Sex is political...

Sex? Did Goldberg have an editor that was stupider than him? Is that even possible? Is he kidding? Sex? Liberals are the "totalitarians" about sex? God almighty, that's just embarassingly dumb.

Not to mention, "what you say." Regular old people like me have been accused of "Sedition" by people like Goldberg on a regualr basis for years.



Liberal Fascism at SadlyNo!

Several posts are worth reading as the SN! crew go to town on an elephant turd of a book.

Take this quote:

Consider two spheres of concern that dominate vast swaths of our culture today: food and health. The Nazis took food very, very seriously. Hitler claimed to be a vegetarian...


Jonah Goldberg, in a book, one that was published, and which people might actually buy, offers as evidence that American Liberals are Fascists - literally - because food and health are "two spheres of concern that dominate vast swaths of our culture today" ... and the Nazis took food "very, very seriously."

Nazis, it turns out, could not exist, like Jonah Goldberg, on their own feces. Friggin' American Fascists.


Tom Rush: No Regrets

From somewhere near the '60s:

And from, I believe, 2007:


I know your leavin's too long overdue
For far too long I've had nothin' new to show to you
Goodbye dry eyes I watched your plane
Fade off west of the moon
And it felt so strange to walk away alone

No regrets, no tears goodbye
Don't want you back, we'd only cry, again
Say goodbye, again

The hours that were yours, echo like empty rooms
The thoughts we used to share, I now keep alone
I woke last night and spoke to you,
not thinking you were gone
It felt so strange to lie awake, alone

No regrets, no tears goodbye
Don't want you back, we'd only cry, again
Say goodbye, again

Our friends have tried to turn my nights to day
Strange faces in your place can't keep the ghosts away
Just beyond the darkest hour, just behind the dawn
Still feels so strange to lead my life, alone

I've no regrets, no tears goodbye
Don't want you back, we'd only cry, again
Say goodbye, again


Time "Person of the Year": Vlad Putin

Whatever. I agree with Steve Clemons: It should have been the "Guantanamo Detainee."


The Cons Defined

From Neo- to Paleo- and beyond, a helpful list of definitions and defining characteristics:

As schisms in the GOP become more pronounced and erupt into a low-intensity civil war, a quick look at the party's factions will be useful for future scorekeeping.

Corporate Cons

These are Wall Street Republicans, hungry for big federal contracts, less business regulation, increased immigration, happy foreign trading partners, and the protection of the established corporate elite.

Government spending: Pro
Aggressive foreign policy: Against
Immigration: Pro
Traditional values: Irrelevant
Notables: Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani, Wall Street Journal editorial board


This are the old-school anti-communist, anti-immigrant, John Birch Society types. They loathe foreign entanglements, government spending, affirmative action, and multiculturalism.

Government spending: Against
Aggressive foreign policy: Against
Immigration: Against
Traditional values: Pro
Notables: Ron Paul, Robert Novak, Reagan Democrats


This is the Christian Coalition/Moral Majority crowd, desperate for the wedding of state and religion, desperate to prevent the wedding of same sex couples. Unafraid to spend tax dollars on "faith-based" initiatives, while seeing immigrants as a replenishing source of new converts and religious foot soldiers.

Government spending: Pro
Aggressive foreign policy: Against
Immigration: Pro
Traditional values: Pro
Notables: Mike Huckabee, Pat Robertson, James Dobson


These are the pointy headed "intellectuals" holed up at think tanks like the Project for a New American Century, moving their little armies around a Risk gameboard. Paranoid of the boogeyman under the bed, they feel secure only when dropping bombs on brown people overseas and are obsessed with keeping others as scared as they themselves feel.

Government spending: Pro
Aggressive foreign policy: Pro
Immigration: Against
Traditional values: Irrelevant
Notables: John McCain, Dick Cheney, Joe Lieberman, the Washington Post editorial board


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Rush Limbaugh: Aging American Women Should Be Forced to Wear Burqas

Via Digby:

Rush Limbaugh said this on his show yesterday about Hillary Clinton and her possible presidency:

So the question is this: Will Americans want to watch a woman get older before their eyes on a daily basis?

Roll that around in your mind for awhile. Let it foam up on your shoreline. Let it sink in.

Will Americans want to watch a woman get older before their eyes on a daily basis?

No, really. You haven't absorbed it yet. You have to hold it up, let the light shine through it.

Will Americans want to watch a woman get older before their eyes on a daily basis?

Overlay it with an image of your mother, or your grandmother, or your wife - or your young daughter.

Will Americans want to watch a woman get older before their eyes on a daily basis?

Can we stand such a hideous spectacle? Should we be made to? Is America not better than this? More decent? More modern?

Shouldn't she be covered up?


Note: Limbaugh is a coward, so he of course built himself what he thinks is an escape hatch for this story:

Now, I want to preface this by saying I know it's going to get out there. Media Matters is going to get hold of this and they're going to take it all out of context.

It's what he did with the Donavan McNabb story. It's what he does with much of what he puts out there. "They took me out of context!" No, that's not true. It's entirely his context. (Well, with a little help from Matt Drudge, as he says.) It's his question. It's his perspective. It didn't fall out of the sky. It's Limbaugh's. He's just way too much of a coward to admit it.


"Make Me a Pallet on Your Floor"

I also heard this song on KRRM the "Cream of Country Music" this morning, to give you a better idea of how good this station is (see below for more). I couldn't hind the writer, Mississippi John Hurt, doing it, but Mr. Doc Watson was a good substitute. (Version I heard this morning sounded like the Weavers, but I'm not sure.)


"That's How I Got to Memphis"

Couldn't find Tom T. Hall doing this song on YouTube, so we're going to have to make do with this Nahsvillified guy doing this great song. Heard it this morning on a rare, in my experience, anyway, country music station, KRRM, the "Cream of Country."


Monday, December 17, 2007

Raymond Carver Story Edited by - His Editor

Wanna be writers: go read. It has the entire story as Carver wrote it, and Gordon Lish's edits.

On a related note: I watched Jindabyne for the second time recently. It's based on the Carver story So Much Water So Close to Home.


Saturday, December 15, 2007

The Sexual Harassment Opera: Starring Bill O'Reilly

Via the good folks at C&L, sit back and have a laugh:


You are Free to Swear at Your Toilet

Thank god:

In what will undoubtedly be viewed by future generations as an landmark ruling, the Pennsylvania housewife charged with disorderly conduct for letting forth a stream of abuse during an overflowing toilet emergency has been acquitted, AP reports.


Whoopi Goldberg is an Idiot Misinformed

At least on the "Death Tax" issue she is:

It’s horrible. It doesn’t matter if you have or you don’t have money. Once you paid your taxes, it should be a done deal. You shouldn’t have to pay twice. No taxation without representation! Sorry.

Uh, you idiot.

First: You have representation. What the hell are you talking about?

Second: Goldberg fell for a con game with the "shouldn't be taxed twice" bullshit that attempts to distract those who won't or can't think. She lives in California, where she works and earns money - and is taxed by the federal government and the state government on that money. That's already having to "pay twice."

Why isn't Goldberg screaming about the unfair double taxation of federal and state income taxes? Because she's an idiot.

When she takes that money that she's already been taxed on - twice (we'll ignore that evey other tax after that is actually triple taxation)- and spends it in a store in California, she gets charged a sales tax of 7.25 %.

Why isn't Goldberg screaming about the unfair double taxation of sales tax? Because she's an idiot.

When Goldberg buys gas for her car - with money that she's already been taxed on - she pays about 50% in state and federal gas taxes.

Why isn't Goldberg screaming about the unfair double taxation of gas taxes? Because she's an idiot.

On and on and on and on. Double taxation already exists. Triple and quadruple and much higher already exists. Someone came up with the idea of railing against the "Death tax" by calling it (besides calling it the "Death tax," instead of the "Inheritance tax") a "double taxation," because they knew that idiots wouldn't think it through.


Drudge Headlines

Hilarious. Drudge links to this story with the headline:

Clinton Library Got Funds From Abroad; Saudis Said to Have Given $10 Million...

To be fair, the WaPo does have "Clinton Library Got Funds From Abroad" as their headline, but for Drudge to add the line about the Saudis, and leave out what comes in the second sentence of the story is just too funny:

Bill Clinton's presidential library raised more than 10 percent of the cost of its $165 million facility from foreign sources, with the most generous overseas donation coming from Saudi Arabia, according to interviews yesterday.

The royal family of Saudi Arabia gave the Clinton facility in Little Rock about $10 million, roughly the same amount it gave toward the presidential library of George H.W. Bush, according to people directly familiar with the contributions.

Why doesn't the headline say, "Bush Sr. Got Funds From Abroad"?



Rich Getting Richer WAY Faster

The Bush/Cheney years defined:

The increase in incomes of the top 1 percent of Americans from 2003 to 2005 exceeded the total income of the poorest 20 percent of Americans, data in a new report by the Congressional Budget Office shows.


The total income of the top 1.1 million households was $1.8 trillion, or 18.1 percent of the total income of all Americans, up from 14.3 percent of all income in 2003. The total 2005 income of the three million individual Americans at the top was roughly equal to that of the bottom 166 million Americans, analysis of the report showed.

The report (pdf).


Friday, December 07, 2007

All they will call you will be G.I.s

GOP Senate leader Mitch McConnell doesn't want you to give too much thought to soldiers dying in Iraq:

Nobody is happy about losing lives, but remember - these are not draftees, these are full-time professional soldiers.

Nevermind them and their extended or extra tours or the worries or grieving of their families - they're " full-time professional soldiers". That's less than human. They're practially like robots, programmed to die (even in unneccessary, preemptive wars).

A song:


Thursday, December 06, 2007

John Bolton: CIA = CI-betrAy-us

Steve Clemons gets in John Bolton's face.


Right Wing Blogs "regurgitate exactly and put up on their blogs what you said to them"


Dan Bartlett, White House Communications Director until 2005, and Counseler to the President until June, 2007, said this in November about the White House's relationship with Right Wing blogs:

That’s what I mean by influential. I mean, talk about a direct IV into the vein of your support. It’s a very efficient way to communicate. They regurgitate exactly and put up on their blogs what you said to them. It is something that we’ve cultivated and have really tried to put quite a bit of focus on.

It is so honest, so funny, so sad, and so embarassing all in one shattering moment.

It is Michelle Malkin - regurgitating.
It is Redstate - regurgitating.
It is Instapundit - regurgitating.
It is The Corner at the National Review - regurgitating.
It is Power Line - regurgitating.
It is All the bloggers at Townhall - regurgitating.

It's all of them. The New Stenographers. The Regurgitators. The Right Wing Blogs, revealed as the spectacular hacks they are by the very source of their hackiness.

Don't forget that quote.


Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Jim Hightower on Sweatshop Crucifixes

Just in time for Christmas comes something that Christians worldwide will consider to be an abomination: crucifixes and other religious articles made in deplorable sweatshops in China and being sold not only in America's Christian stores - but even in churches.

For information, call the National Labor Committee: 212-242-3002.


Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Deaf, Nearly-Naked Man Tased in His Home

There's a big anti-taser bandwagon happening right now - as it should be. On that note:

Donnell Williams had just gotten out of the bath tub, wearing only a towel around his waist, when he turned the corner to see guns pointing right at him.

"I ain't never been so scared," says Williams.

Police forced entry into Williams home while responding to a shooting, but it turned out to be a false call. They had no idea at the time the call wasn't real and that Williams is hearing impaired. Without his hearing aid he is basically deaf.

"I kept going to my ear yelling that I was scared. I can't hear! I can't hear!"

Officers were worried about their own safety because at the time it appeared Williams was refusing to obey their commands to show his hands. That's when they shot him with a Taser.

Because when cops are on a call for a possible shooting, even a guy wearing nothing but a towel around his waist and attempting to communicate that he CAN'T FREAKING HEAR deserves to be shot with a taser.

Is it safe?


Monday, December 03, 2007

Today is March 19, 2003

And we just got some interesting news in the form of a National Intelligence Estimate:

A new assessment by American intelligence agencies concludes that the government of Saddam Hussein does not possess weapons of mass desruction and is not a threat to the U.S. or any of its neighbors. The report contradicts everything the Bush administration has been saying about the Iraqi government for months, and brings to a sudden and complete halt calls for war with the nation.

Key Findings:

• We judge with high confidence that Baghdad has not reconstituted their nuclear weapons program, has not attempted to reconstitute its nuclear weapons program, and does not now, nor will any time in the foreseeable future, possess nuclear weapons

• We judge with high confidence that Baghdad does not possess biological or chemical weapons in any amount sufficient to be considered a threat to the security of the U.S. or any other nation

• We judge with high confidence that Baghdad is not “an imminent threat” to the U.S. or any other nation

• We judge with high confidence that Baghdad is not now nor have they ever been linked to Al Qaeda

Government officials who requested anonymity said that the release of the surprising findings may have averted a war that was as little as days away. Others say such talk is irresponsible and inflammatory and that the Bush administration had no set plans for war with Ira*.

It's a good thing that responsible and sane people in our government did what they had to do to make sure this report came out, huh? We could have been in a long and bloody - and unnecessary - war. Damn.


Can We Stop Calling Chavez a Dictator Now?

The guy seems like a tyrant-in-waiting in a lot of ways, but the fact that he called for a vote on changes to the constitution - and lost- and conceded defeat - means he's not a dictator.

Doesn't it?


Thursday, November 29, 2007

"We are where we are with the black folks..."

As Oliver says: Another Republican bigot eruption. And this one's a doozy:

Altes, who is white, wrote in the e-mail that he was in favor of returning illegal aliens to their countries, but "we know that is impossible."

"We are where we were with the black folks after the Revolutionary War," Altes wrote. "We can't send them back and the more we (anger them) [ed. note: that said "piss them off," I'm guessing] the worse it will be in the future.... Sure we are being overrun but we are being outpopulated by the blacks als

Am I confused, or did this genius just equate African Americans, whose ancestors were brought here as slaves, with illegal immigrats? Holy freaking crap. "We can't send them back." Holy shit. "We can't send them negroids back to Africa. We're stuck with em." And we better not piss them negroids off or they'll go all savage on us.

Holy shit. There is no way he survives this.


Lott's In-Law Lawyer Indicted for Bribery

Updating this story, the Picayune Item has details in the case of just-retired Trent Lott's just-indicted brother-in-law Dickie Scruggs:

The indictment accuses Richard “Dickie” Scruggs of conspiring to pay the judge $50,000 to rule in his favor in a lawsuit brought by other attorneys who sought fees for work on Katrina insurance litigation.

Circuit Court Judge Henry Lackey reported the “bribery overture” to federal authorities and agreed to assist investigators in an “undercover capacity,” according to the indictment.

Pdf of the indictment, via the Insurance Coverage Blog, where they also have much more in depth reporting.

And just a thought: If a prominent member of the Senate - who happened to be a Democrat - had two close relatives indicted on federal charges, how big of a story do you think this would be?

Still more from Slate.


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Kissinger: Screw Congress

More Nixon/Kissinger docs released:
It's December, 1973. Kissinger is meeting with Rui Manuel Patricio, the Foreign Minister of Portugal which was then a dictatorship fighting against guerrillas in its African colonies. American law forbade selling weapons to Portugal to fight the Africans.

The Portuguese F.M. said Soviet MIG planes would soon attack a Portuguese colony, Guinea.

K: The Congress has passed laws this year against our own U.S. interests. It will be nothing for them to pass laws against the interests of other countries. You saw what they did about Vietnam.

FM: But this concerns our survival.

K: Congress doesn't understand this. They are only interested when it is a question of the survival of Israel…You don't have to convince me. We will do what is humanly possible, EVEN IF I HAVE TO SHOOT A FEW OF MY COLLEAGUES IN THE STATE DEPARTMENT.

FM: This is a question of life or death for us.

K: I understand. There is a prohibition against sending arms to you in Africa. We could only send them to you for use in Portugal and there is a prohibition against a diversion. We must send them indirectly.

"It will be nothing for them to pass laws," indignant, bastard, Members of Congress! How dare they?


Bill Clinton: "That's why I supported the Iraq thing."

He says now he opposed the Iraq War from the start.

His own words in 2004:

"That's why I supported the Iraq thing. There was a lot of stuff unaccounted for"...



Tuesday, November 27, 2007

FBI Raids Trent Lott's In-Law's Office

Thursday Update: More here, including link to indictment of Scruggs and others. [end update]


Federal law-enforcement authorities on Tuesday searched the law office of a high-profile lawyer who represents hundreds of Gulf Coast homeowners with lawsuits against insurance companies in Hurricane Katrina's aftermath.

At least seven FBI agents and federal prosecutors were searching the Oxford law firm of Richard "Dickie" Scruggs for a document that could have an "ancillary" connection to Katrina insurance litigation, a lawyer representing the firm said.


Scruggs is the brother-in-law of Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss., who announced Monday that he will resign from office by the end of the year after 35 years in Congress.

Interesting timing, huh?

And here's an odd, related story:

Every eligible federal judge in north Alabama has stepped aside from presiding in the criminal contempt case of Mississippi trial lawyer Richard Scruggs, who is accused of disobeying an order by failing to turn over Katrina-related insurance documents to a court.

The 16 district judges and magistrate judges agreed to recuse themselves from the case at the request of Scruggs.

His lawyers contend none of them should hear the case since they are colleagues of U.S. District Judge William Acker, who initiated the criminal contempt prosecution.

Every judge? Because they knew the judge who initiated the charge? Could be right-on, just sounds weird.

***And who could forget this about Trent Lott and Katrina:

"Out of the rubbles of Trent Lott's house -- he's lost his entire house -- there's going to be a fantastic house. And I'm looking forward to sitting on the porch."

-- George W. Bush, Sept. 2


Larry Flynt Drops a Trent Lott Hint


HUSTLER Magazine has received numerous inquiries regarding the involvement of Larry Flynt
and HUSTLER in the resignation of Trent Lott.

Senator Lott has been the target of an ongoing HUSTLER investigation for some time now, due to confidential information that we have received.


More at Brad Blog.


Monday, November 26, 2007

Friday, November 23, 2007

Things That Are Unconstitutional for $600, Alex

Forced confessions:

Texas Youth Commission inmate Airick Browning finds himself in a no-win situation.

The McKinney youth insists he's innocent of the attempted rape charge that landed him in TYC, and his case is on appeal. But the only way he can go home soon is to confess to the crime as part of his TYC treatment.

Welcome to the U.S.'d to be of A.


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Punished Rape Victim Won't Be Silenced

You want a hero? Here's one:

A SAUDI woman sentenced to six months in jail and 200 lashes despite [for] being gang raped has vowed to challenge the ruling in a case that has received wide publicity, embarrassing the Saudi Government.

Say it plainly: the Saudi leaders are in matters regarding women's rights backwards, brain-damaged thugs. This is not about religion or about the freedom to practice religion or about respecting the religions of others. This is about inhuman thuggery. The world has to say that plainly and condemn this.



Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Few, the Proud, the Totally Screwed

Bushian style Support the Troops!

To get people to sign up, the military gives enlistment bonuses up to $30,000 in some cases.

Now men and women who have lost arms, legs, eyesight, hearing and can no longer serve are being ordered to pay some of that money back.

Call it a stark and simple allegory representing the core beliefs of the Modern Republican Party.


Friday, November 16, 2007


Alaska senator Ted Stevens has Josh Marshall quaking in his sneakers.

Better go watch the Alaska mucktacular! before the TPM team is iced. (Get it? Iced...Alaska? Nevermind.)


Thursday, November 15, 2007

This is Murder

These officers murdered this man. There is no other way to see it.

They went into that room already having tasering this guy in mind, as shown in the video, and within seconds did taser him, in response to exactly nothing like violence from him. Then they shot him again. Then he died. Then the cops lied about it, saying that he fought them. He didn't. They lied.

They murdered him, and they should be treated as murderers.


What Instaputz Said

More winning, Hollis Brown style.

And a great big WTF?

"This is a truly ominous development. The U of MD overseas program follows the military around the world -- thus clearly the contingencies for an occupation of several Middle Eastern countries is not only being contemplated, but actually set up."


Hollis Brown is Winning in Iraq

He can't hear anybody crying anymore. That means he's winning.
There's seven breezes a-blowin'
All around the cabin door
There's seven breezes a-blowin'
All around the cabin door
Seven shots ring out
Like the ocean's pounding roar


Support the Bridge Players!

When in doubt, throw a We didn't vote for Bush sign! It's better than trump!

And if you are ever in the presence of someone who casually tosses the word "sedition" around, ask them if they've heard of the Sediton Project. They'll say No.