Wednesday, May 30, 2007

USAtty, Under Investigation for Election Fraud, Resigns

Greg Palast reported on May 4 that U.S. Attorney for Arkansas (Eastern District) Tim Griffin was under investigation for election fraud. And today he resigned from the post.

Forget that hoopla about becoming Fred Thomspon's campaign manager - it's a diversion.

Sad, Hilarious, Mystifying, Jaw-Dropping Stupidity

They just can't stop. They can't stop their stupidity, and they can't stop exposing under bright lights that stupidity.

Glenn Greenwald has post about the Plame document confirming her status as a covert CIA operative, and examples of the Right Wing's years of exact wrongs and/or lies on the issue.

Idiots, other idiots, and colossal idiots are now twisting themselves in knots trying to justify their years of lies and/or errors. Idiots and beggars. How embarrassing.

Mahablog explains to the cretins, or at least tries to, the difference between a name and an idea.

People Who Pray For War

People who hope and pray for more violence are broken. They are damaged, twisted, chemically unsound, insane people. They should always be looked at and treated like that. They should never be taken seriously. They have forgotten something elemental about being human: how to live and hope and act for somebody other than ourselves. Most especially the young. They have lost the courage to do that.

Norman Podhoretz has forgotten everything good about being alive. He is in the perfect service of himself and nobody else, and that self is tired, withered, and cowering in a darkened corner. It isn'tt even himself he sees in the glorious and righteous war he hopes and prays for. It is, of course, someone else. A whole bunch of mostly young someone elses. That is what Norman Podhoretz, in a major publication today, hopes and prays for.

What a perfect coward.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Cheney Visitor Logs Destroyed?

That's, uh, against the law, says CREW.

The public deserves to know how many times Jack Abramoff visited. And Ken Lay. And Satan.

When to Compare them to Nazis

Not in their entirety, of course, but you can hardly avoid it when they use their exact words. And tactics.

Declassified Docs: Plame Was Covert

Got some slow friends who still say she wasn't? Here's more to throw at them:

The employment history indicates that while she was assigned to CPD, Plame, "engaged in temporary duty travel overseas on official business." The report says, "she traveled at least seven times to more than ten times." When overseas Plame traveled undercover, "sometimes in true name and sometimes in alias -- but always using cover -- whether official or non-official (NOC) -- with no ostensible relationship to the CIA."

Plame was assigned to CPD, the article says, in 2002. That would make "at least seven times to more than ten times" that she traveled using cover in just the 18 months prior to Novak's article in July, 2003. One of the main charges made by the "Everybody knew she was a spy!" or "She wasn't a spy!" (so hard to keep them straight) hacks is that she hadnt traveled under cover in the last five years. I guess they'll admit their erroneous ways now, huh?

It's a Series of Jail Cells Tubes!

Sen. Stevens (R-UACON?) is the target of an FBI investigation.

Ward Churchill is an Ass

Reflecting on our own rights and wrongs is something bizarrely and sadly seen as weak or just wrong by way too many American "leaders" (and followers), but that's being said by many thoughtful and courageous people already. I don't need Churchill to add to that for me. Does anybody? I'll let them decide.

And this seems like an ass of an article:

DENVER, Colorado (AP) -- The president of the University of Colorado has recommended that a professor who likened some September 11 victims to a Nazi should be fired, according to the professor and the school.

Ward Churchill, a tenured professor of ethnic studies, has denied the allegations and threatened a lawsuit if he is dismissed.

Would you walk away from that thinking that Churchill "denied the allegations" of likening 9/11 victims to a Nazi? And that the president of CU was recommending his firing for that likening?

You'd be wrong. Later in the article:

University officials concluded he could not be fired for his comments because they were protected by the First Amendment, but they launched an investigation into allegations that he fabricated or falsified his research and plagiarized.

That is some seriously crappy reportage right there. These are the actual allegations that have prompted Brown to call for his firing.

10 More Gone

114 this month. 3,458 total, a fact the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff seems to think is isn't important enough to keep in his thoughts.

Drug Resistant Tuberculosis

It's finally coming to free us all from this living hell.

WASPS: Women Airforce Service Pilots

Kay (Chaffey) Gott, author of Women in Pursuit, was the featured speaker at Eagle Point National Cemetery yesterday.

She had a lot of stories to tell, was funny, joyful, sometimes forgetful, and humble. In other words - perfect.

And we learned something yesterday didn't know: There were some Native American representatives there, with feathered poles to offer along with the wreaths, and Kay Chaffey Gott mentioned the Navajo Code talkers, and a division made up of many tribes in Europe - that liberated Dachau.

It was a bit of exxageration, but not much. The 45th Infantry Division - The Thunderbird Division. Here's a book about them.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

As many as 30 DOJ Officials Threatened to Resign


Back at the Justice Department, there is an equally extraordinary scene. Appalled by the White House's heavy-handed attempt to coerce the gravely ill attorney general, virtually the entire top leadership of the Justice Department is threatening to resign. The group includes the director of the FBI, Robert Mueller, Associate Attorney General Robert McCallum and the chief of the Criminal Division, Chris Wray. Some of them gather in the conference room of Deputy Attorney General James Comey, who describes Ashcroft's bravely turning away the president's men from his hospital bed. The mood that night in the conference room was tense—and sober. "This was a showdown," says a former senior Justice Department official who was there. "Everybody understood the choice they were making and the gravity of the situation. Everybody knew what the stakes were." A different source estimated that as many as 30 top DOJ officials would have resigned.

Comey has said that the mass exodus was averted only when he met personally and alone with President Bush, where one can assume he told the president what would happen if he tried to push the program through. It would be speculation, but I don't think misplaced or silly speculation, to think that words close to or exactly "Worse than Watergate" were spoken in that room that night.

The thing I think is important about that night is: The fact that they tried to do what they did makes them as guilty of it as if they had. You don't get a pass when you try to rob a bank and fail. Bush, Gonzales, and Card, and who knows who else, tried to go around the actual Attorney General to get the not-Attorney General to sign off on what the Attorney General and not-Attorney General had already told them was an illegal program - while the not-Attorney General was ill.

Someone tell me how that's not a "high crime."

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Moore on Sicko

Looks like it's gonna be a ballbuster.

Tucker Doesn't Like Girl Germs

You've really got to wonder about people like this, and this, and if they just got an unlucky mix of chemicals when they were born.

Or if their fundamental philosophies were formed and cemented during one bad moment on the kickball field.

Gore is Running in '08

I'm sorry - did you think I got some scoop? Don't be silly. Gore is running. You know it. I know it. Everybody knows it. We don't need to wait for an announcement. Al Gore is running for president in 2008, and he's going to win the nomination. And he'll win.

Knowing that saves so much time and trouble.

Wolfowitz's Bitch

Much was made about the fact that Bush appointee Paul Wolfowitz not only lost his job at the World Bank, but also his girlfriend, who was at the center of the maelstrom that led to his early departure. What I haven't seen is the connection between the fact that he put much of the blame for the genesis of the debacle on his girlfriend :

In a written response, Wolfowitz maintained that he acted in good faith in seeking to resolve an obvious conflict of interest. He accused the bank's ethics committee of forcing him to oversee the raise for his longtime companion, Shaha Riza, as compensation for her transfer to a different job. The ethics panel was afraid to confront her, Wolfowitz said, because its members knew she was "extremely angry and upset."

"Its members did not want to deal with a very angry Ms. Riza, whose career was being damaged as a result of their decision," Wolfowitz said in his response to the investigating committee's report. "It would only be human nature for them to want to steer clear of her."

Holy crap. He may as well have said she was on the rag that week too. You've gotta imagine the conversation in the top floor penthouse after that bit on news came out. "You had to take care of your little bitchy bitch because she was just too hysterical to handle? Cuz I was too bitchy to handle it professionally? I'll give you BITCH, Pussowitz!" The flying Moet & Chandon and glass shards and all that following.

I mean, kicking a guy when he's down ain't a path to tread on a regular basis - but Wolfowitz is one dumb SOB, and I can't see Ms. Riza doing any different after that knuckleheaded shtick.

Playing Politics With the Troops

Who's really been guilty of that awful accusation all these year? Silly question, huh?

That don't even have to pull out new lies - they just repeat the same ones over and over again.

Friday, May 25, 2007

"These jackasses, they did it again"

I saw this last night on CNN. It's about the recent kidnapping of three American soldiers - a repeat performance of last year's kidnapping (and torturing and killing) - from fellow soldiers' perspectives. It was a powerful segment. You can watch it at the link.

Here Come the Judges

More on Goodling and the gang at the Justice Department. Reminds me of a song by a friend in which he sings: There are no such things as empty cans of worms.

Here's one that keeps getting less empty all the time. And it even links those hypocrite idiot "rioters" from the 2000 Miami-Dade election to a present immigration judge.


Quit Goodling With That!

TheNew Evangelical Peace Corps, going to remote and not so remote places around the U.S. government to root out constitutionality.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Administration Warned of Iraq Debacle

No surprise, but it has to come out.

U.S. intelligence agencies warned the Bush administration in early 2003 that invading Iraq could create internal conflict that would give Iran and al Qaeda new opportunities to expand their influence, according to an upcoming Senate report.

Officials familiar with the Senate Intelligence Committee investigation also say analysts warned against U.S. domination in the region, which could increase extremist recruiting.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the report's declassification is not finished. It could be made public as soon as this week.

The committee also found that the warnings predicting what would happen after the U.S.-led invasion were circulated widely in government, including to the Defense Department and the Office of the Vice President. It wasn't clear whether President Bush was briefed.

It wasn't clear? I'll make it clear: President Bush was briefed on it and he was too extremist and stupid to take the advice. Or he was such a second-hand patsy that it wouldn't have made any difference.

I met a writer for the Weekly Standard recently and he, a helluva nice and very smart guy, was big on the "What's done is done" thing that is very popular among "some people." There is of course truth to that, but it ignores something so fundamentally human: that examining our past is how we learn from our mistakes. And this is one of the big ones.

76% Say War is Going Badly

Meet the American people. The ones with "representational government."

Republicans Favor Amnesty

Don't let the screaming meemies fool you. The latest wedge issue is a non-seller.

Newsmax: Not Necessarily the News

"As a rule, it’s unethical to make substantive changes like this without alerting readers."

"He Cries More Often Later in the Day"

Ha. Rep. Boehner broke down again. And a Republican had a remark about that. Is somebody saying the afternoon drinks get to him?

Thank You Ron Wyden

My Dem. senator voted with and for the American people today.

"Blurring of the Genders"

Limbaugh's "Feminazis" hit the bigtime..

Hey - Oxycontin can cause decreased sex drive. Is Rush trying to make us all eunuchs?

My Response to Rep. Slaughter

Rep. Louise Slaughter from my hometown of Buffalo posted on Daily Kos today explaining the vote on the Iraq supplemental funding bill today. It was an honest and mostly reasoned explanation, but it was not well received. One line stuck out, and, I think, whether Rep. Slaughter would agree or not, is the crux of the case:

As such, we had a choice. We could send Mr. Bush the same bill, or allow something to pass that wouldn't be vetoed. And we elected to let something pass - to let Republicans, if they so choose, fund their own war.

"Their own war" is being fought by people dying under no party affiliation. It's not a "Republican" war, it's an American war. And Bush should have been sent another bill with a deadline. It may have, as she said, not resulted in a quicker end to the war. But it may have. For now we have no hope that it will.

And: They might have criticized us!

Maybe Frist Can Diagnos Poverty Via Video

Everything went from bad to worse, nominations never changed a thing.

Sen. Arlen Specter Sees Rove: “Something big must be happening”

Curious, if nothing else.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

INCOMING: White House Sued Over Missing Emails

Keep your eye on Raw Story. Looks like they're the ones breaking this.

More already. It's CREW. That gang knows how to do it.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Marines Waited 18 Months to Get Requested Bomb-Proof Vehicles

According to a Marine Corps document provided to DANGER ROOM, the request for over 1,000 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles came in February, 2005. A formal call to fulfill that order did not emerge until November, 2006. "There is an immediate need for an MRAP vehicle capability to increase survivability and mobility of Marines operating in a hazardous fire area against known threats," the 2005 "universal need statement" notes.

This news, along with the monumental cave by Dems today, has me more depressed than is healthy.

Buffalo Battle Lions Battle Crocs

Watch the whole thing.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Nuke Security Boss: I Was a Blackwater Assassin

From the "Stop and smell the WTF?" files:

Federal nuclear watchdogs and members of Congress are seeking answers after a former security director at a western Michigan nuclear plant gave a bizarre series of interviews to Esquire magazine in which he claimed to be a hired assassin.

William E. Clark, who until recently was security chief at the Palisades nuclear power plant near South Haven on Lake Michigan, told the magazine for an article in its June edition that he had worked as a government assassin, killing people in Vietnam, New Orleans and Iraq.

New Orleans?

Clark claims he worked - and killed - for Blackwater.

He has kept stuff, over the years, because he knows that nobody will believe him. He has kept the stubs from all the boarding passes, the keys from all the hotel rooms. There are hundreds of them, and he keeps them in thick wads and piles. He has kept a business card for one of his aliases, Zeke Senega, a reporter for The Irish Times in Dublin. He has kept his passports, including the diplomatic one that was required for the work he did for the State Department. And he has photographs.

Seemed like a Chuck Barris thing at first. Not so sure now; claiming to be CIA is so cliche - but Blackwater?

And it's kinda odd that the article in the Detroit News doesn't even mention Blackwater, just saying that Clark calls himself a "government assassin." Doesn't that make it a substantially different story credibility-wise? At least the feel of credibility, which I think is important.

We'll see.

"The secret Iraq documents my 8-year-old found"

Interesting article (Via) on the Coalition Provisional Authority by political scientist Pete Moore:

Nowhere in any of these theories, including the "boring" one, does the author address the dissolution of the Iraqi Army as a major contributor to the violence. Nowhere, in fact, does the author seem to know which "bums" or "losers" are attacking the Americans or why. Indeed, the most remarkable passage in the entire deletion is a simple statement by an Iraqi businessman, whom the writer quotes in passing while explaining why American-induced economic prosperity will end the fighting. "It is nothing personal," the Iraqi says. "I like you and believe you could be bringing us a better future, but I still sympathize with those who attack the coalition because it is not right for Iraq to be occupied by foreign military forces." In the world of the CPA circa 2004, first one American glosses over this Iraqi's prophetic words, and then another tries -- unsuccessfully, as it turns out -- to delete them.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Corrupt Bush Appointee Resigns; Employees "Clapping and Hugging Each Other"

I bet they were. (Via)

Now we need more information on Shaha Riza's myserious Pentagon contract.

Valerie Plame Civil Suit in Court Today

Lawyers for Cheney, Rove, Libby, and Armitage are trying to get the case thrown out.

Marines Speak Out About Torture


Fear can be a strong motivator. It led Franklin Roosevelt to intern tens of thousands of innocent U.S. citizens during World War II; it led to Joseph McCarthy's witch hunt, which ruined the lives of hundreds of Americans. And it led the United States to adopt a policy at the highest levels that condoned and even authorized torture of prisoners in our custody.

We have served in combat; we understand the reality of fear and the havoc it can wreak if left unchecked or fostered. Fear breeds panic, and it can lead people and nations to act in ways inconsistent with their character.

Our soldiers in Iraq confront real "ticking time bomb" situations every day, in the form of improvised explosive devices, and any degree of "flexibility" about torture at the top drops down the chain of command like a stone -- the rare exception fast becoming the rule.

It is time for us to remember who we are and approach this enemy with energy, judgment and confidence that we will prevail. That is the path to security, and back to ourselves.


Thursday Roundabout

Lessons for our future in Turkey today.

Mumps, Canada.

• Sex education banned in six Indian states. India has the most people in the world with HIV/AIDS.

Coup Coup Nest?

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Four Down, Three to Go

Welcome back to Buffalo.

Bubba's Got a Gun

Best line in this story:

Illinois gun laws are said to be among the strictest in the US.

• If it was scaled back before Comey signed off on it, how bad was the warrantless wiretapping program before?

• WarCzar anything else? Thank you for coming to Patsy Burger.

• Larry Flynt and Jerry Falwell: BFF.

• Hate Roe v. Wade? Welcome to the Iraqi Provisional Authority.

• And Carey can carry (nevermind that he's blind).

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Bush, Gonzales Attempted Their Own Twisted Saturday Night Massacre

In 2004 Alberto Gonzales, and Andy Card, acting for the White House, attempted to go around the authority of the Acting Attorney General, James Comey, who had refused to sign off on their warrantless wiretapping scheme. They did that by going over, and simultaneously under, his head, to out-of-commission Attorney General John Ashcroft, who was in the hospital.

It's the Saturday Night Massacre through a worm hole. They had different goals, obviously, but both Bush and Nixon tried to subvert the Justice Department. It led directly to the beginning of serious and publicly-supported impeachment proceedings against Nixon in 1973, and it should do the same against Bush today.

• Card and Gonzales try to get Comey to okay their wiretapping scheme. He refuses. They refuse to be refused. (Nixon orders Elliot Richardson to fire Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox. He refuses. Nixon fires him.)

• They go a medication-addled Ashcroft, who is hospitalized - that's why Comey had to take over - to get a signature from him. Ashcroft refuses, and has to remind Gonzales and Card that he's not the AG at this time. They refuse to be refused again. (Nixon orders Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus to fired Cox. He refuses. Nixon fires him.)

• Gonzales and Card say screw the legal OK - let's implement the illegal program anyway. (Nixon orders new Acting AG Robert Bork to fire Cox - and Bork does it.)

This makes Gonzales partly the forever-disgraced Robert Bork, as well as partly the forever-disgraced Richard Nixon. What an accomplishment! And it makes Bush purely Nixon.

Time for the Articles, Members of Congress, time for The Articles.

• Want resignation references to make the comparison more apt? According to Comey's testimony today:

...only when faced with resignations by a number of Justice Department officials including Comey, his chief of staff, Ashcroft's chief of staff, Ashcroft himself and possibly Robert Mueller, the director of the FBI, did the White House agree to make changes to the program that would satisfy the requirements of the Justice Department to sign off on it.

And add to that that there's plenty of evidence that they shouldn't have signed off on it even after the "changes."

Again: Time for The Articles.

3 Down, 4 to Go

Hey - it could happen.

There Are Dems in the Bush Admin.?

Maybe it's not being realistic for all of them, but shouldn't they have resigned a long time ago?

Monday, May 14, 2007

"What is Andrew Bacevich's Son's Life Worth?"

Steve Clemons has an absolute must read:

What is Andrew Bacevich's Son's Life Worth?

Or any of our sons? or daughters? on any side of this incredibly reckless escapade in Iraq?

Boston University Professor Andrew J. Bacevich is a brave, thoughtful public intellectual who has tried -- in reserved, serious terms -- to challenge the legitimacy of the Iraq War. He has been one of the most articulate leading thinkers among military-policy dissident conservatives who have exposed the inanity of this war and the damage it has done. He authored the critically-acclaimed book, The New American Militarism: How Americans are Seduced by War.

Now his son by the same name who was serving in Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom is dead.

Mr. Bacevich's article in the WaPo, July, 2006, in full:

As the war enters its fourth year, how many innocent Iraqis have died at American hands, not as a result of Haditha-like massacres but because of accidents and errors? The military doesn't know and, until recently, has publicly professed no interest in knowing. Estimates range considerably, but the number almost certainly runs in the tens of thousands. Even granting the common antiwar bias of those who track the Iraqi death toll -- and granting, too, that the insurgents have far more blood on their hands -- there is no question that the number of Iraqi noncombatants killed by U.S. forces exceeds by an order of magnitude the number of U.S. troops killed in hostile action, which is now more than 2,000.

Who bears responsibility for these Iraqi deaths? The young soldiers pulling the triggers? The commanders who establish rules of engagement that privilege "force protection" over any obligation to protect innocent life? The intellectually bankrupt policymakers who sent U.S. forces into Iraq in the first place and now see no choice but to press on? The culture that, to put it mildly, has sought neither to understand nor to empathize with people in the Arab or Islamic worlds?

There are no easy answers, but one at least ought to acknowledge that in launching a war advertised as a high-minded expression of U.S. idealism, we have waded into a swamp of moral ambiguity. To assert that "stuff happens," as Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld is wont to do whenever events go awry, simply does not suffice.

Moral questions aside, the toll of Iraqi noncombatant casualties has widespread political implications. Misdirected violence alienates those we are claiming to protect. It plays into the hands of the insurgents, advancing their cause and undercutting our own. It fatally undermines the campaign to win hearts and minds, suggesting to Iraqis and Americans alike that Iraqi civilians -- and perhaps Arabs and Muslims more generally -- are expendable. Certainly, Nahiba Husayif Jassim's death helped clarify her brother's perspective on the war. "God take revenge on the Americans and those who brought them here," he declared after the incident. "They have no regard for our lives."

He was being unfair, of course. It's not that we have no regard for Iraqi lives; it's just that we have much less regard for them. The current reparations policy -- the payment offered in those instances in which U.S. forces do own up to killing an Iraq civilian -- makes the point. The insurance payout to the beneficiaries of an American soldier who dies in the line of duty is $400,000, while in the eyes of the U.S. government, a dead Iraqi civilian is reportedly worth up to $2,500 in condolence payments -- about the price of a decent plasma-screen TV.

For all the talk of Iraq being a sovereign nation, foreign occupiers are the ones deciding what an Iraqi life is worth. And although President Bush has remarked in a different context that "every human life is a precious gift of matchless value," our actions in Iraq continue to convey the impression that civilian lives aren't worth all that much.

That impression urgently needs to change. To start, the Pentagon must get over its aversion to counting all bodies. It needs to measure in painstaking detail -- and publicly -- the mayhem we are causing as a byproduct of what we call liberation. To do otherwise, to shrug off the death of Nahiba Husayif Jassim as just one of those things that happens in war, only reinforces the impression that Americans view Iraqis as less than fully human. Unless we demonstrate by our actions that we value their lives as much as the lives of our own troops, our failure is certain.

Clemons finishes:

To answer my own question above. Andrew Bacevich's son's life was precious -- and his life and his untimely death matter greatly for just waking up and realizing we are achieving nothing in Iraq today and that responsibility must be borne by the perpetrators of this mess.

My sincere condolences to the Bacevich family.

McNulty "Never Intended to Stay Over Two Years"

Via Josh Marshall, Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty has announced his resignation after just 1 1/2 years at the post.

One of the expected talking points is already out:

McNulty has been considering leaving for months, and never intended to serve more than two years as deputy attorney general.

That AP says that without qualification. Did he tell them that when he was hired? And if he did, why? And again if he did, why would that make him an appropriate hire?

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Coulter Helped by FBI Agent—and Ex?

A shining example of Modern Republican hubris - and hopefully its disastrous costs - from one of Modern Republicans' media darlings, Ann Coulter.

If you haven't heard about the alleged voter fraud case involving Coulter, this site will give you some background as well as the update.

Coulter, we heard in the last few days, had her voter fraud case closed when a mysterious FBI agent interceded on her behalf. That raised some eyebrows - and some new allegations. Go read. It seems the agent, Jim Fitzgerald, was once Coulter's boyfriend. And the FBI is now investigating why he got involved.

Think about it: A Republican who makes he living touting her own "morality" getting caught in a simple crime and now potentially involved in another, and far worse, crime.

It is the perfect representation of the Modern Republican movement: hypocrisy, hubris, mendacity, corruption...

Oh, and a Jim Fitzgerald testified against the 9/11 conspirators.

That brings a few things to mind...


FBI Planted Fake Dem Candidate in 2004 W. Virginia Legislature Campaign [Updated]

Updated below.

No, you did not read that wrong. About the candidate, Thomas E. Espositio.

Esposito dropped out of the race a month before the election, and the operation resulted in the convictions of a handful of Democrats, and rightly so it appears. But as many asked at the time, how do you justify investigating election corruption by corrupting an election? Good question.

Thi happened under the watch of U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of West Virginia, Karl "Kasey" Warner, who now claims he was fired by the Justice Department during an important investigation.

Sounds like Warner did good by the Bush JD for a while, but maybe went a bit too far and was let go. Is he trying to get on the AttorneyGate wagon now to get back at them?

And you can see in the article that Warner's brother Kris was the Republican state party chairman.

UPDATE: The WaPo did a big story on the fake candidate in 2005. Kasey Warren isn't mentioned, though one of his assistant attorneys is, and he says the decision to run the scam was "approved by his office, the local FBI special agent in charge and the agency's Criminal Undercover Operations Review Committee in Washington."

Considering it was Dems in the noose, I bet it was. And I wonder how politicized the Criminal Undercover Operations Review Committee has become in the last six years - and if it's chaired by Alberto Gonzales.

Friday, May 11, 2007

FBI Probes Nevada Governor Jim Gibbons

Gibbons is accused of accepting cash gifts in exchange for helping get secret Defense Department contracts to longtime friend Warren Trepp, owner of the company eTreppid. They make, among other things, Automatic Target Recognition software being used right now by soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Feel safe?

The new governor of Nevada, Jim Gibbons, is being investigated by the FBI because of alleged gifts and payments from Warren Trepp, a defense contractor whose Nevada firm received tens of millions of dollars in federal contracts.

Sordid details:

Software designer Dennis Montgomery was also on that cruise with Gibbons. He estimates the trip cost "probably $20,000 a person." Montgomery says his former business partner Trepp chartered a 727 to fly guests from Nevada to Florida and back and picked up the tab for penthouse rooms, private meals and expensive wines.

In an exclusive interview with NBC, Montgomery — who's now at war with his former partner — makes an explosive charge. He says that near the end of the cruise, he saw Trepp pass money to the congressman.

Dennis Montgomery: There was a lot of alcohol and a lot of drinking. And that's when I first saw Warren give Jim Gibbons money.

Lisa Myers: How much?

Montgomery: Close to $100,000.

Myers: How can you know?

Montgomery: Because he gave him casino chips and cash.

Myers: Are you sure about what you saw?

Montgomery: I'm absolutely, positively sure.

Trepp was the chief trader for junk bond king Michael Milken.

He's also linked to recently convicted Ohio gangster Tom Noe.

Just the kind of guy you want supplying our Defense Department. (Support the Troops.)

Fort Dix "Terrorist" Reported Terrorism Threat

Put on you neck braces and take a wild ride on this story. It's about the Fort Dix "terrorists" and the role of FBI informants in the case.

Entrapment, the article says, is a very difficult defense, especially when it concerns terrorism-related charges. If the guys really did have bin Laden videos and said things about wanting to harm Americans, which it looks as though they did, then a jury would have a hard time buying that they were set up by the cops.

This, however, is different:

Also, one of the men, Tatar, called a Philadelphia police officer in November, saying that he had been approached by someone [the informant] who was pressuring him to obtain a map of Fort Dix, and that he feared the incident was terrorist-related, according to court documents.

Let me see if I can get this straight: In November, when the "terrorists" had already been under surveillance for 10 months, an undercover FBI agent tries to get map of Fort Dix from one of the terrorists; the guy calls the cops to report that someone is trying to get a map of Fort Dix and he thinks it may be terror-related; and in May we're hearing a big story about a terrorism bust? Why would you continue investigating a guy who tried to report a terrorism threat? Would a terrorist call police to report possible terrorism?

Maybe they decided Tartar was alright but they had to keep up the ruse to get other actual bad guys - but it doesn't really look that way. Tartar is the guy being paraded as the lynchpin to the plan - the pizza delivery guy who supposedly knew the base "like the back of his hand."

I don't know what else a defense lawyer would have to do to convince a jury that his client wasn't a terrorist than to show them that he called the cops to report a possible terrorist incident.

That's just weird. No, it's way beyond weird.

UPDATE: Via The Washington Times, the FBI explanation:

Two weeks earlier, according to an FBI criminal complaint, Tatar had attempted to find out whether the informant was a law-enforcement officer by contacting a sergeant at the Philadelphia Police Department, saying he had been approached by a man who pressured him to acquire maps of Fort Dix. He told the sergeant he did not supply the map and was fearful the incident was terrorist-related.

The complaint, by FBI Agent John J. Ryan, said the sergeant called the FBI in Tatar's presence and agents later were dispatched to interview Tatar. It said he told the agents he was not a part of the plot to attack Fort Dix and did not know of anyone who might be involved.

He went to the police to find out if his fellow conspirator was an informant. That wouldn't draw any attention to himself or anything, would it? Brilliant.

And on why knowing the difference between goofballs and actual terrorists matters:

Writing about these domestic terrorism busts is always a delicate task. Living in Manhattan terrorism is not an abstract issue to me. And so long as they are operating within the bounds of the law, I certainly hope the FBI and CIA have their ears and eyes on the look out for the next terror plotters. But the real jokers they actually bust turn out to be such hopeless goofs that it's hard to know whether to feel reassured that if Islamic terrorism is catching on in the US that it's only doing so among the deeply stupid or that these are the only ones our guys can catch.

Not to mention that these "Terror Plot Thwarted!" stories add to the already amped atmosphere of fear and violence, and even if you want to argue that we should be in such an atmosphere, it shouldn't be added to by bumblers like this.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

CBS Fires General Batiste

You can't be a consultant on CBS unless it's the right kind of consultant.

The self-described "die-hard Republican" has been asked to leave his position at CBS because he made an ad for a veteran's group speaking out against President Bush.

Your liberal media in action.

Important Programming Note

That is all.

Update: One down, four to go.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Bush Predicts a Dem President in '08

That's how I read it.

The president responded, “I don’t want to pass this off to another president. I don’t want to pass this off, particularly, to a Democratic president."

All the apparent lies in that statement aside, thanks for the vote, George.

Hey, Harold Ford's a Dick

It's just a thought after seeing him right now on a repeat of a recent Real Time with Bill Maher. "This Iraq Project"? WTFinghell?

Maybe I've gotta see a replay, but he came off as so freaking shruggin-off about this "Iraq Project" that he could have been playing an Enron CEO. Damn.

The Dog Ate Our Covert Activity


"The Committee was dismayed at a recent incident wherein the Intelligence Community failed to inform the Congress of a significant covert action activity. This failure to notify Congress constitutes a violation of the National Security Act of 1947."

"Despite agency explanations that the failure was inadvertent, the Committee is deeply troubled over the fact that such an oversight could occur, whether intentionally or inadvertently.

They forgot to tell Congress. The telling of which is required by law. But hey, it happens - ask NixonReaganBush. Fuhgetuhboutit.

And why does it say "Intelligence Community"? Is that DC-speak for CIA, or does it mean something else?

Take My Blog Reader Survey

Oh Gee-yad you don't know how hard I'm laughing right now. "Take My Blog Reader Survey." Oh that is GOLD. Really.


Hey! Have I told you about Falcom Cam?

Commanders On the Ground

Major General John Batiste, commander of the 1st Infantry Division in Iraq from August, 2002, until June, 2005, talks to President Bush:

...would expose Bush as a "Madman"

Did President Bush really suggest bombing Al-Jazeera headquarters in Doha, Qatar?

Would anyone be surprised if he had? If the memo indeed says that, why shouldn't it be publicly known today?

The Times Online on the decision to take the case to trial in the first place.

And don't let the title "civil servant" fool you: David Keogh was someone "with 25 years' experience of tough postings in places such as Islamabad and Khartoum, who was often involved in intelligence work," and, "must have felt exceptionally troubled by what he was seeing. Let us hope we find out what that is."

"Every Wednesday is Gallows Day"

Where? In the land of the Glorious Untold Good News. Where you can be tried and convicted of murder in one day, and allegations of confession-by-torture, though required by law to be investigated, don't really have to be.

"She survived today, but there's always next Wednesday."

Incan Bridges and Other Things

Incan bridges.

• I don't care what Rudy Giuliani did. I just don't.

Satan's Pear Pickers are Coming!

Nevermind that Triple-K business - he was just a "successful general."

• France: Your long national nightmare is over.

• Don't let them in the military.

• And The Long Take: The greatest tracking shots in cinema. (Via)

Don't Weep for All the Doctors Yet

One or the typical and regular cries against sensible changes to our country's health care system is "But what about the doctors?!" or some form of that, most often heard in relation to the "tort reform" scam that says doctors are being forced out of business because of huge insurance costs due to medical malpractice lawsuits. (Just one small view here.)

Here's a new wrinkle:

Two of the world’s largest drug companies are paying hundreds of millions of dollars to doctors every year in return for giving their patients anemia medicines, which regulators now say may be unsafe at commonly used doses.

Does that scream "tort reform" or "health care reform" to you? More:

Doctors receive the rebates after they buy the drugs from the companies. But they also receive reimbursement from Medicare or private insurers for the drugs, often at a markup over the doctors’ purchase price.

Hey - what about the doctors?

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

"Let them Kill Our Soldiers Over There" II

Referring back to this comment by Dick Morris, the "Flytrap Theory" was exposed for the sickness it is by Justin Raimondo in September, 2003:

With U.S. soldiers as bait, "sitting ducks," as Sullivan puts it, the strategy of the U.S. is to say, in effect, "Bring 'em on!" So what if we lose a couple of hundred – or a couple of thousand – GIs in the process of springing this clever little trap. Baited with plenty of juicy young American troops, just waiting to be picked off, Iraq will attract terrorists like a dead carcass attracts flies. "Operation Flytrap" – it's enough to make any decent person gag. As opposed to [Andrew] Sullivan, who opines:

"The extra beauty of this strategy is that it creates a target for Islamist terrorists that is not Israel."

"Beauty." Young Americans as "targets" is "beauty." It is really hard to fathom the depth of these peoples' twistedness.

Raimondo goes on:

Is it really possible for anyone but a moral monster to praise the "beauty" of a strategy that treats American soldiers like sacrificial lambs, moving targets in a shooting gallery, totally expendable? To say nothing of how it treats the Iraqis – who are discovering that the "liberation" of their country means turning it into a charnel house. A more profoundly evil scheme would be hard to imagine.

Yet that profoundly evil scheme exists, and was laid out again - yesterday - by Dick Morris.

There's a lot more - from nearly four years ago and too tragically prescient - at AntiWar.

The Oil-for-Food Tanker "Condoleezza Rice"

A big oily ship of droogs just pulled in to one of the Right Wing Blogosphere's favorite harbors. After years of harping on this, and I mean years, what will they say now?

I'll tell you what they'll say: Anything. Anything that mangles the truth into a grossly-misshapen lie that they hope makes it appear they're not the cowardly hypocrites they are. It won't work.

Digby has more.

"Let Them Kill Our Soldiers There"

You've got to see it to believe it.

With a straight face Dick Morris said this last night on Fox News:

One of the things though I think the anti-war crowd does not consider is that if we're putting the Americans right within their arms reach, they don’t have to come to Wall Street to kill Americans. They don’t have to knock down the Trade Center. They can do it around the corner, and convenience is a big factor when you’re a terrorist.

Holy shit.

So, if I can collect my brains from the hell they were just blasted into for just a second - we're "putting the Americans" - that is, our troops, in Iraq for the convenience of the terrorists?

Holy shit.

[Note: There is no absence of context here. None. Morris says that "the antiwar crowd" doesn't consider this salient point, obviously speaking of it approvingly. Unfathomable, and you can expect rapid and incessant "That's not what I meant.." from the bastard soon.]

Paintball Terrorists

Oh you've got to read about the "terror plot" that is causing the current Right Wing multiple orgasm.

• These guys were "planning to use automatic weapons to shoot soldiers at the Army post." Yeah - that'd work well. Just drive up to an army post and, uh, wait! Those guys have guns too! RUN AWAY!!!!!!

• They played paintball to practice their plot. OhHolyCrap that's funny. I wonder if they played with any unwitting Right Wing bloggers during their warrior training.

• This has got to be the best: "The Newark Star-Ledger reported on its Web site that the men took a videotape of their practice sessions to a store to have it burned to a DVD, and that a store employee contacted the FBI because of the video's contents."

Now that is some serious terrah minds right there. I wonder if they rented 300 - and Girls gone Wild - to get themselves fired up while they were waiting for their VHS tape to be magically turned into a DVD.

• An officer sums up the case: "While authorities are glad to have arrested them, the individuals are 'hardly hard core terrorists," one law enforcement source said. Another source said that while the allegations are 'troubling, they are 'not the type that made the hair on the back of your neck stand up.' "

Not unless you're a Right Wing Pant Wetter War Blogger.

If You Don't Want People to Think You're a Racist...

...then don't quote the founder of the KKK on the House floor.

This is a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, speaking on the floor of the House.

To go a little further: If you don't want people to think you're the party of racism...

UPDATE: Not "the founder" of the KKK - just an early and prominent member and one of the original "Grand Wizards." I feel so much better.

The Ecstasy of Terror

I said early yesterday morning: "I don't even have to go read to know that this must have the RW bloggers aflame." This being the backpack incident at the Luxor in Las Vegas.

Oh boy was I right. Just a few:

Malkin, Right Voices, Sistertoldjah, another, another, and another. And a bunch more.

It's nothing new to notice how this particular type of observer seems to be waiting with bated breath to see a bunch of Americans killed in some kind of attack, hoping, it can only seem, to fuel and to justify their fantasies of further violence on our part. But it's worth noticing again.

Oh but forget that - the kids got sick of their shiny red ball and found a new toy to play with.

They'll get sick of that one soon enough, and find another. And another...

Rumsfeld to the World Bank?

They're talking about allowing the U.S. to pick the next chief if Wolfowitz goes. What? The Bush administration has proven again and again that it can't be trusted with appointments. Why reward Bush for his and his appointment's incompetence and worse?

UPDATE: I'm missing some important pieces due to my ignorance of the World Bank world. Steve Clemons adds the pieces.

Falcon Cam

This is really too cool. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources has a put two cameras in the nest of a falcon mother and her chicks high up in downtown Indianapolis. It refreshes every minute and I've been watching it for some days now and seeing litle more than little white fluff balls.

Not today:


Ha! Too cute. That may be the first time that little falcon ever got that high upright, and the next photo a minute later showed him a prone fluffball once more.

Life is good.

Monday, May 07, 2007

News and Other Things

Man starts blog to find his sister, missing in Syria for six weeks.

"Firing Carol Lam was a crime." We don't know that yet, but the point is that it's worth a full-on investigation. An outside investigation.

"Journalists" and "partisans."

"The governor said the state's response was limited by the shifting of emergency equipment, such as tents, trucks and semitrailers, to the war in Iraq."

I don't even have to go read to know that this must have the RW bloggers aflame.

The Emascualted Douchebag.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

USAtty Office Shake-Up 2004

Adding to the post below, where two Asst. USAttys died and three others left within a three-month span in 2004, add another change in the office to the mix: the USAtty for that district himself.

UTA alumnus Richard B. Roper was sworn in Tuesday as the interim U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas and stands as the likely candidate to be nominated by President George W. Bush within the next month to fill the position permanently.

Roper was recommended to Bush by Senators Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn to be the successor of former U.S. Attorney Jane Boyle, who left the position to become a federal judge. If approved by the Senate, Roper will represent over 100 counties in North Texas. Roper was sworn in the same day Boyle was appointed as a federal judge.

That was on July 1, 2004, three weeks before the first mysterious death in the office, and three months before three veteran prosecutors left - two to the same defense firm. (See post below for details.)

Two Asst. U.S. Attorneys Dead; Two More "Retire", Go to Same Law Firm

Now this is just odd.

Two assistants U.S. Attorneys die mysteriously 7 weeks apart, and three more - big time prosecutors - all up and leave a month later. Two say they're going to the private sector, one says he's retiring. The two end up having a future intersection of sorts at a prominent Dallas defense firm, and the third isn't retired at all - he works at that same firm to this day!

Let's back up.

In the summer of 2004 two higher-up employees at the U.S. Attorney's office for the Northern District of Texas (offices in Ft. Worth and Dallas), the head of the Affirmative Civil Enforcement Unit, Thelma Quince Colbert, and Criminal Chief Shannon K. Ross, died less than two months apart, on July 20 and September 11 respectively. Colbert, 55, was found dead in her swimming pool. Ross, 44, died (the previous link says) as a result of a fall in her home.

Coincidences happen and people do of course die. There are head-scratching oddnesses to these stories (it's nearly impossible to find any info on the deaths - and they were in a U.S. Attorney's office), but we'll get into that another time. What would soon happen in that particular USAtty's office got stranger.

Just a month later, in October of 2004, the same office lost three of its most prominent employees in one fell swoop. (Wait: less than a month later. And still earlier.):

Three of the region's most experienced and skilled federal prosecutors recently left government service, creating a void at the U.S. attorney's office in Dallas, officials said. Two veteran prosecutors – Michael Uhl and Michael Snipes – are switching to potentially more lucrative jobs as white-collar defense attorneys. The third, Leonard Senerote, is retiring. The three, who have decades of combined experience on complex cases, are the last winners of the Greater Dallas Crime Commission's award for federal prosecutor of the year.

Michael Uhl, Michael Reuss Snipes, and Leonard Senerote. Remember those names.

Later in the article it says:

Mr. Snipes said he plans to work from the office of Jim Rolfe, a former U.S. attorney turned defense lawyer.

Mr. Uhl ... joins a newly expanded firm, Fitzpatrick Hagood Smith & Uhl.

Snipes went to work for Jim Rolfe and Uhl to Fitzpatrick Hagood Smith & Uhl. And in February, 2006, Jim Rolfe went to work for...Fitzpatrick Hagood Smith & Uhl. Did Snipes go with him? I don't know. And hey, coincidences happen, so it could be nothing. And anyway, Snipes is a State District Judge as of January, 2007. (A Democrat.)

But wait there's more!

Go back to the list of three names that quit the Ft. Worth U.S. Attorney's office one day in October, 2004, just months after two other names mysteriously died. It says the third, Leonard Senerote, is "retiring." Really? Then why is his name still listed as a partner at - wait for it - Fitzpatrick Hagood Smith & Uhl?

So, we've got five big players gone from one U.S. Attorney's office in a three month period. Two die mysteriously and two go to the same prominent law firm. Another goes to work for a lawyer who becomes a partner at that same law firm.

And this isn't - or wasn't - news?

For more on this, here's some background with links to more. And: Thelma Quince colbert was the lead AUSAtty charge of Medicare fraud, for what it's worth.

Goodling Fiddling Connection

TBogg finds the ironic convergence.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Linux Assistance

With my old pal Dave. He's the open source god.

Harlan Ullman Will Testify: Sex With Escorts

Harlan "It doesn't dignify a response" Ullman is in a squeeze play with the D.C. Madam.

She says there was no sex between her escorts and clients and has given client phone numbers to ABC so those clients, when questioned, will back up her story. It's not much of an offer, as anyone with sense won't believe it - especially the wives (husbands?) of those named.

Case in point: Harlan Ullman.

He's now saying, after intiially denying any involvement at all, that he'll say there was indeed sex between he the customer and an escort, attempting force Madam Palfrey to take back the charge.

Silly man.

ABC has the records, and the records show Ullman was a "regular customer."

Shock and awe, baby, shock and awe.

The War at Home

For her brother Andy.

Shake Those Pom Poms

Glenn Greenwald is a mean and nasty person He's just a big meanie.

D.C. Madam Outings Before ABC Tonight

Little prediction: Well before tonight's 20-20 special that will apparently out at least a few of the customers of Madam Palfrey we will find out who those people are. No big thing, but I doubt there'll be a need to wait for the show. Resignations will come before it airs.

Go, Dang It

The Buffalo News on the suddenly resurgent Sabres!

That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.

Presenting President Noah. And His Ark.

I was doing what any red-blooded American should have been doing during the Republican debate last night: drinking in the bar. Luckily, Crooks & Liars taped the best bits.

People have to step back - no, farther - and really think about this: We may have a Republican presidential candidate, a person who may very well, against all good sense, become president, who doesn't believe in evolution. In the 21st century.

We have to all retrace our steps and find out when this bus got so far off the track and sent us this deep into crazy land. Thirty years ago my Catholic priest in Sunday school even admitted to us kids that Adam and Eve weren't real. It wasn't a threat to his spiritual security to accept scientific findings. What the hell has happened to us?

Friday Roundabout

• The babies who run the world.

• John toad Gibson tries to use his brain. Again.

• Another mysterious and univestigated death in a prosecutors office.

• More on Karl.

• The U.N.'s World Press Freedom Award goes to Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya. Posthumously. More from the BBC on the danger to journalists around the world.

• Can't wait until this guy is back on the keyboard.

• And a Roller Derby slide show via

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Feinstein Bill Would Close Guantamo Bay Prison

Close it down.

The link has numbers so you can call your senators.

Brit SecDef: Cheney Called Shots on Iraq

Wow. This is the former British Secretary of Defense, Geoff Hoon, who was in that position at the onset of the war and in the inner circle as decisions were being made.

"Sometimes ... Tony had made his point with the president, and I'd made my point with Don [Rumsfeld] and Jack [Straw] had made his point with Colin [Powell] and the decision actually came out of a completely different place. And you think: what did we miss? I think we missed Cheney."

That's a body blow to the president, who has always sold himself as the powerful leader (though why anyone would buy it is beyond me). Now we hear from someone who sat in on the decision making process for the very biggest decisions of Bush's presidency - and Bush was at the kid's table.

Expect a huge and swift pushback from this.

He says a lot more, much of it offensively dismissive to the admitted mistakes in Iraq.

Big Bad Officials Afraid of Joan Baez

Won't allow her to sing with John Mellencamp at Walter Reed. Babies.

• Turkey rejects attempt to quash secular government. Will we have to do that?

• Israel's Foreign Minister calls on Olmert to resign over war debacle. More..

• Soldiers' right to freely blog - or email - stripped. (Personal emails have to be approved? WTF?)

• World Bank rejects Wolfowitz's medieval family planning plan.

Falcon Cam.

The Dukes of Justice

A Good Ol' Boy's Rundown of the Justice Department Scandal

I got me to thinking the other day that there's lots of folks out there that just don't seem to understand what the heck's going on in all this U.S. Attorney shenanigans we keep hearing about from them news people. A whole bunch of 'em keep telling us it's a whole lot a hoopla about nothin' - and a lot of folks seem to believe 'em. Well, I ain't so sure. And I think I got a little tale to tell to make it all a whole lot simpler to understand.

First off, I want y'all to think of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales as Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane. You know him: he's the #2 bad guy from one of the greatest, if not the greatest, TV shows of all time, The Dukes of Hazzard. The #1 bad guy on that particular program was, of course, Boss Hogg. In our story here, Boss Hogg's a combination of President George W. Bush and his wily Vice President, Dick Cheney, and their master political swami, Karl "Turdblossom" Rove.

Now how this here story matters to you and I is that all of us are the Dukes, the good, wholesome Americans just trying to make a good honest living in the great Hazzard County we call "America." And we're being thwarted at every twist and turn in that honest undertakin' by the nefarious doings of the Bosses and their chief law enforcement officer, Sheriff Roscoe Gonzales.

You see, Boss Hoggs and Sheriff Roscoe Gonzales are always up to some no good scheme that they hope will turn them into instant millionaires, or at least keep them in power through the next election, and it always involves some kind of law breakin' and hurtin' of the little guy. And the Dukes, mainly our heroes Bo and Luke Duke, hard workin' entrepreneurial brothers, and their wholesome cousin Daisy Duke, don't like no nefarious law-breakin', especially when it involves hurtin' the little guy. Like their kindly and honest Uncle, Jesse Duke. Jesse's a simple farmer, and his farm always seems to be in danger of closing down right to the nits and gnats when Boss Hoggs and Sheriff Gonzales are up to one of their no-account schemes. So the Dukes are always bustin' up the Bosses' plans and stopping their criminal enterprises in good and wholesome American ways that are inventive and wildly entertaining. That makes for a good program, whether it's on the TV or it's actual real life.

Now the Hoggs don't like that.

So they got themselves a plan: They decided that if they had a whole slew of their own personal law enforcement officers to be the official police force of Hazzard County, then they'd have a whole lot better chance of stopping us Dukes and getting away with their nefarious activities. With just such unjustful thinking in mind, they told Sheriff Gonzales to draw up a chart on every police officer in the county, seeing how loyal they were to the Bosses. And if they found ones that weren't loyal enough, well, they should make them "retire" from the force. Then the Hoggs could replace them with officers that were loyal to them and would look the other way when they up to no good.

And Sheriff Roscoe Gonzales did just that, 'cept it wasn't police officers, it was U.S. Attorneys. Eight of 'em. At least.

Now life would have been pretty awful for the Dukes - and you and I and everybody else in this great Hazzard County we call "America" - if the Dukes, and all their family and friends around the blogosphere, hadn't worked real hard to figure out what the Hoggs and the Sheriff were up to. And so yet another criminal enterprise by the Boss Hoggs has been busted up and good, and you and I and all the good ol' boys and girls in the country can get back to the farm and go about our good business.

Now that's a story any good American can understand.

* And lookey here: they even found some more shenanigans. God bless them Dukes.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Diary of a Mad Man

This is why you don't put religious nutjobs in charge of freaking countries and bombers and warships and nuclear freaking weapons. Because a leader who sees an international political situation that needs a serious, smart, and universally well-intenioned mind, and views it instead through the eyes of "Armegeddon" - God's gonna come down on a pretty white savage pony and save all the pure people like me - IS A CERTIFIED FRIGGING LUNATIC AND IS THE VERY LAST PERSON YOU WANT IN A SITUATION LIKE THAT. That would be the same for any leader of any religion who would think such a thing at such a time.

And now we have Bush, who hears God whispering in his ear. Good luck, humans. You're gonna need it.

Harper's: Crime Pays for Disgraced Reps

Rep. Renzi (R-Udone?) may just make this whole fall from grace business a, well, business.

Poem of the Week: Pablo Neruda

Ode to a Lemon

Out of lemon flowers
on the moonlight, love's
lashed and insatiable
sodden with fragrance,
the lemon tree's yellow
the lemons
move down
from the tree's planetarium

Delicate merchandise!
the harbors are big with it-
for the light and the
barbarous gold.
We open
the halves
of a miracle,
and a clotting of acids
into the starry
original juices,
irreducible, changeless,
so the freshness lives on
in a lemon,
in the sweet-smelling house of the rind,
the proportions, arcane and acerb.

Cutting the lemon
the knife
leaves a little cathedral:
alcoves unguessed by the eye
that open acidulous glass
to the light; topazes
riding the droplets,
aromatic facades.
So, while the hand
holds the cut of the lemon,
half a world
on a trencher,
the gold of the universe
to your touch:
a cup yellow
with miracles,
a breast and a nipple
perfuming the earth;
a flashing made fruitage,
the diminutive fire of a planet.

Bonus poetry from Poetic Justice

Feed Your iPod

I personally don't have one, but they tell me some folks do.

If you need a new song for such a device, or just to download to your computer, head on over to LT's place at iTunes and purchase a song or three. 99¢ a pop can't be beat. My personal recommendation: Sigh. Just because.

For hard copy you can go to the good folks at CDBaby from right here in the great state of Oregon. (A tiny Boing Boing review here.)

For even more options, go to the "Vital Links" section in the upper right-hand section of the site.

***This has been another edition of "This site doesn't have ads. Except ones like this."

Lessons in Good Government

How the Israelis just put the neocons to shame:

First, the contrast between how the Israelis address the failures of their war and the way Americans have addressed our failures in Iraq is depressingly stark. Whereas the Cheney/McCain/ Lieberman/Kristol faction continuously shrieks that recognizing our failures is to aid and abet the Enemy -- and therefore we should simply shut our eyes and yell "Victory!" as loudly as possible until we win -- the Israelis debated the war from the beginning as candidly and critically as can be, and recognized and openly acknowledged that it had gone terribly awry.

There's a lot more over there. Like this:

Mature societies do not make decisions by wondering what the Bad People want and then automatically doing the opposite. That is the mindset of a child.

Time to put the grownups in charge again.

Memories: The "Holy Hill of Crap" Version

Holy crap:

But I have to say that Bush and his team executed this war brilliantly. I have no problem saying that this was a right war to fight for a right cause and they fought it well. So I was impressed with Bush's speech tonight on the deck of the Abraham Lincoln (more impressed, by the way, than Glenn Reynolds, who's not as far right as many think but who's surely to the right of me).

It was the speech of a leader. He did not gloat but he did show a firm and clear direction. There will be controversy over some things he said, of course. Yes, he all but linked Iraq to 9.11 but, you know, it's not a far stretch in the minds of most Americans and for a reason: Looney fanatics from over there who hate us are birds of a feather. And there was a time in my life when I would have found the idea of smarter bombs to be distasteful, but now that I see the necessity of a war like this, even as I mourn the lives that are lost, I'm thankful for those that are not.

I'm still a liberal. I'm still not a Bushy. But give the man his due: He won the war against Iraq; right won the war against wrong. Well done.

"He all but linked Iraq to 9.11 but, you know," it's okay because a lot of people think that anyway. Probably because Bush told them exactly that for months - but that's cool. They're all "looney fanatics" over there in Camelville anyway.

FDA: Thousands of Pets Dead

Christine's been saying this for weeks. Working at a vet will do that to you.

As of April 26, 2007, FDA had received over 17,000 consumer complaints relating to this outbreak, and those complaints included reports of approximately 1950 deaths of cats and 2200 deaths of dogs.

That, remember, is conservative. Probably very conservative.


In an import alert buried deep on its website and just uncovered tonight, the FDA last Friday expanded its hold on imported foods from China - ingredients including Wheat Gluten, Rice Gluten, Rice Protein, Rice Protein Concentrate, Corn Gluten, Corn Gluten Meal, Corn By-Products, Soy Protein, Soy Gluten, Mung Bean Protein, Soy Bean Meal/Powder/Gluten/Protein Isolate, Soy Protein Powder, Wheat Gluten, Wheat Flour Gluten, Wheat Gluten, Rice Protein, Rice Gluten, Rice Protein, Corn Gluten, Milled Rice Products, Amino acids and protein hydrosylates.

Oh, damn - somebody went and printed the Colonel's secret recipe...

UPDATE: Dang, maybe I was right.

The War is Lost

Hey, don't look at me, he said it. Him too.

The #1 #2-man in al Qaeda in Iraq possibly but not positively almost uncertainly definitely maybe killed?

Reggie's back in L.A. Best caption they could come up with: "Alligators are not native to California."

Bush preparing his victory over Cuba speech. Special cigar-shaped codpiece being fitted.

CNN's headline: "Yankees fan who trained terrorists turns informant." Friggin' Yankees.

Mission Mission Accomplished accomplished.

Jindabyne, with Gabriel Byrne and Laura Linney.