Saturday, March 31, 2007

Update to Bush, Tillman Story

Background. From the Marine Corps Times (

In his memo, McChrystal said he had heard Bush and Brownlee “might include comments about Cpl. Tillman’s heroism and his approved Silver Star medal in speeches currently being prepared, not knowing the specifics surrounding his death."

Go back to this post and read the speech that Bush gave two days after that memo was sent. One can logically assume that the White House Correspondents Association Dinner speech was one of those "...speeches currently being prepared..."

Notice it does not "include comments about Cpl. Tillman’s heroism [in any way that could be later called directly about his death] and his approved Silver Star medal."

It's evident that if not Bush, then the people writing his speech knew about the circumstances surrounding Pat Tillman's death.

Old Dog

Old Dog

Get the Apple, Boy. Get the Apple

Dog saves owner with Heimlich maneuver. (Via)

Parkhurst said she was home alone with the dogs Friday afternoon when she decided to snack on an apple.

Suddenly, she said, a chunk of the fruit became wedged in her windpipe.

“It was lodged pretty tight because I couldn’t breathe,” she said. “I tried to do the thing where you lean over a chair and give yourself the Heimlich, but it didn’t work.”

Parkhurst said she then began beating her chest, an action that might have attracted Toby’s attention.

“The next think I know, Toby’s up on his hind feet and he’s got his front paws on my shoulders,” she recalled. “He pushed me to the ground, and once I was on my back, he began jumping up and down on my chest.”

Toby’s jumping apparently managed to dislodge the apple from Parkhurst’s windpipe.

“As soon as I started breathing, he stopped and began licking my face, as if to keep me from passing out,” she said.

Nine Months of Pregnancy in 30 Seconds

This is fun.

Australian "Terrorist" David Hicks: 9 Months

Hicks has spent more than five years in U.S. custody, most of it on Guantanamo. For the first two and a half years he had no access to a lawyer. For the first five he was not tried. Now he's had his trial.

He's been sentenced to nine months in prison. Nine months.

And he had to agree to certain things:

Australian David Hicks pleaded guilty at the Guant‡namo Bay Navy Base yesterday to supporting terrorism in exchange for a nine-month prison sentence under a plea deal that forbids him from claiming he was abused in U.S. custody.

Can you believe that? A deal, in an American court, that stipulates what he can say? WTF?


Friday, March 30, 2007

Pat Tillman's Mom

Pertaining to the last two posts, an excerpt from Keith Olbermann and Dan Patrick's radio show.


Did the President Deceive Pat Tillman's Family?

Did President Bush know how Pat Tillman died just a week after his death and go along with the deception of his family? A speech may hold some clues.

Two days after a memo was sent (link to post below) by an Army general warning that "our country's leaders" might face "public embrassment" if they spoke wrongly about Tillman, President Bush spoke at the White House Correspondents Association Dinner. He closed that speech talking about Tillman:

The loss of Army Corporal Pat Tillman last week in Afghanistan brought home the sorrow that comes with every loss, and reminds us of the character of the men and women who serve on our behalf. Friends say that this young man saw the images of September the 11th, and seeing that evil, he felt called to defend America. He set aside a career in athletics and many things the world counts important: wealth and security and the acclaim of the crowds. He chose, instead, the rigors of Ranger training and the fellowship of soldiers and the hard duty in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Corporate Tillman asked for no special attention. He was modest because he knew there were many like him, making their own sacrifices. They fill the ranks of the Armed Forces. Every day, somewhere, they do brave and good things without notice. Their courage is usually seen only by their comrades, by those who long to be free, and by the enemy. They're willing to give up their lives, and when one is lost, a whole world of hopes and possibilities is lost with them.

This evening, we think of the families who grieve, and the families that wait on a loved one's safe return. We count ourselves lucky that this new generation of Americans is as brave and decent as any before it. (Applause.) And we honor with pride and wonder the men and women who carry the flag and the cause of the United States.

May God bless them, and may God continue to bless the United States of America.

The warning in the memo from Gen. McChrystal:

I felt that it was essential that you received this information as soon as we detected it in order to preclude any unknowing statements by our country's leaders which might cause public embarrassment if the circumstances of Cpl. Tillman's death become public," McChrystal wrote on April 29, 2004, to Gen. John Abizaid, head of Central Command.

"Unknowing statements" would be ones that contained words like "killed by a terrible enemy" or something along those lines. Words the kind of which President Bush utters every time he gets a chance. But words like that could have gotten get Bush in trouble if it later came out that he knew about the fratricide.

That speech does it. It could be about a guy who…died in a friendly fire accident.

Crossposted here

Memo: Pat Tillman's Killing "Might Cause Public Embarrassment" for Bush

if that's not true, then it's certainly true that a whole lot of higher ups in the Pentagon knew about it [link fixed]. (Via)

Just seven days after Pat Tillman's death, a top general warned there were strong indications that it was friendly fire and President Bush might embarrass himself if he said the NFL star-turned-soldier died in an ambush, according to a memo obtained by The Associated Press.

It was not until a month afterward that the Pentagon told the public and grieving family members the truth — that Tillman was mistakenly killed in Afghanistan by his comrades.

This is beyond sick. Imagine being Pat Tillman's mother or father or his friend today. Jesus. Sick bastards.

Look at what this Major General of the Army wrote one week after Pat Tillman's death:

"I felt that it was essential that you received this information as soon as we detected it in order to preclude any unknowing statements by our country's leaders which might cause public embarrassment if the circumstances of Cpl. Tillman's death become public," McChrystal wrote on April 29, 2004, to Gen. John Abizaid, head of Central Command.

They were worried about embarrassing George Bush, while his parents were being told a lie about his death. Someone should go to prison for this.

And notice what the memo says: "...might cause public embarrassment if the circumstances of Cpl. Tillman's death become public."

If they become public? Are you kidding me? That implies intent to hide the story. I can't believe I'm reading this shit.

No sports in Greece for Two Weeks


Greek authorities have cancelled all team sports matches for two weeks after a mass brawl between rival women's volleyball fans left one man dead.

A volleyball match. Crikey.

On a related-only-in-my-mind note, I was in Greece for several months in the 80s and at one point required medical treatment of, uh, a delicate nature. It turned out to be bad timing to have a medical problem of any nature in Greece...since all the doctors in the country were ON STRIKE.

Doctors. On strike. That was a new one to me.

I had to go to a Red Cross unit, where patients were being treated in a large room with beds divided by curtains. I was, uh, opened, with a small scalpel, not deeply, after a spray-on anesthetic had been applied. And the table of surgical tools resting on my back. They ended up on the floor, and they had to pry my fingers from the doctor's - if that's what he was - neck. I'm probably exxaggerating about that, but I remember a bit of a commotion, at least.

Greece. I miss the place.

Folk Music Blog

Looks promising. Has stuff like this Richard Shindell video:



Hit the baby and go get the Little Thom CD Bottomfeeders at the great Portland internet store, CDBaby. You can even listen to some samples over there.

Or get it by the song straight to your computer at iTunes.

That is all.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

UPDATED: "Political" and "Performance Related"

Via TPM Muckraker, Kyle Sampson, in his opening statement to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary just now:

Thus the distinction between ‘political’ and ‘performance related’ reasons for removing a United States attorney is, in my view, largely artificial.

The chief aide to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is right now saying to the Senate that, well, you just saw it. But if there's not difference between "political" and "performance related" firings, then why, on January 19, did Gonzales say to this same committee:

I would never, ever make a change in a United States attorney for political reasons or if it would in any way jeopardize an ongoing serious investigation. I just would not do it."


Mr. Gonzales to the Senate: "I would never fire an AG for political reasons."

Mr. Gonzales' chief aide, to the Senate: "Firing an AG for political reasons is fine."

Which one is it, guys?

UPDATE: From commenter RobbyLove at TPM Muckraker:

Ok. Now wait a minute.

First he says that these USAs were near the end of their 4 year terms and that's why they were considering them.

NOW he says they were selected by asking other people who they felt were underperforming.

Someone needs to pin him down on that.


Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Oregonians for Honest New Mexicans

I hereby announce the launch of the brand new and extremely great political action committee, Oregonians for Honest New Mexicans.

Thank you.

I'm launching the committee in response to a bunch of lying New Mexicans I read about over here (via over there). They call themselves New Mexicans for Honest Courts, but that title is a GREAT BIG NEW MEXICAN LIE. And this proud honest Oregonian ain't gonna take it.

The Lying New Mexicans for New Mexican Lies put out this ad, which is, according to their mandate, full of lies and distortions.

And just who runs this river of New Mexican lies? Linda Chavez Krumland, says the Web site.

Now I haven't confirmed this, but I'm pretty sure that Linda Chavez Krumland, with her husband Tom, run a Toyota dealership in Roswell. I mean I'm really pretty fantantiscally sure.

[UPDATE: CONFIRMED Here's the reg. form for this PAC of lies, with phone number, and here's the phone number entered into Google. Roswell Toyota.]

And you simply will not believe this:

The owner of Roswell Toyota offered an apology Thursday to local veterans upset about a fighter-jet flyover at the grand opening of a car dealership Nov. 10.

An Air National Guard flyover for the opening of an auto dealership? WTF? He got the flyover with help from a buddy in Congress, Rep. Daniel Foley—who had turned down a flyover for the Veterans administration!

But wait there's more!

Tom Krumland said he had invited the entire public to the grand opening event on a radio program but not veterans groups specifically.

“Let me apologize if we offended anyone,” he said, adding that there was nothing he would ever exclude veterans from.

What did this patriotic and honest court-loving New Mexican say?

Santiago Vasquez, junior vice commander of the VFW post, said New Mexico veterans were “incensed” by the flyover and comments made by Krumland to KOB-TV.

In a Feb. 1 story on the KOB-TV Web site, Krumland, in reference to the flyover, said, “If we offended anybody, then they’re unpatriotic.”

That would be unpatriotic veterans he was referring to.

More later...

Poem of the Week

Recommended by Steve Clemons of the Washongton Note, the Poem of the Week. Put here to force my brain around words other than the drivel of news, and because reading poetry slows my brain down. Makes it hurt, really, in a good way.


I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: "Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
`My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!
'Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Sabres over Capitals 3/21/07

Go to about the 3 minute mark for the goal by Drew Stafford. Beauty.

Friday, March 23, 2007

EMail to MSNBC and Norah O'Donnell

Regarding this travesty of reporting. (Contact info here.)


What an appalling performance by Norah O'Donnell with Sen. Leahy. Is the job of your Chief Washington Correspondent to parrot the White House's press secretary? O'Donnell said, and I quote: "Tony Snow said today that 'you guys want the truth, and in this interview you're going to get the truth from Karl Rove.' What's wrong with that?"

That is shocking. As a viewer I can only take from this that O'Donnell agrees with Tony Snow. While that's obviously her right as a person, as a reporter isn't it her job to give viewers unbiased information? I can picture her saying, "Tony Snow said today that 'you guys want the truth, and in this interview you're going to get the truth from Karl Rove.' How do you respond to that?" Then we get the White House's side and Leahy's side. That's fair reporting. For O'Donnell to inject herself into the story - I don't know what to say. It's just shocking. Aside from all the reasons that many of us viewers might not believe that we're "going to get the truth from Karl Rove" under the White House's proposal - it's just awful reporting.

A short time later O'Donnell said: "...and Tony Snow said today 'I thought this was a fact-finding mission, not a ratings-finding mission' - that you're trying to create a courtroom atmosphere."

That's just unbelievable. Again, aside from parroting - in a tone and in the wording of agreement - the WH press secretary, which you have to admit is just flatly wrong for a reporter to do, O'Donnell here does worse. A reporter could and should with Snow's statement point out the glaringly obvious without a bit of bias: that a "courtroom atmosphere" is, when you think about it for about a millisecond, a pretty darn good place for a "fact-finding mission." What exactly about speaking under oath goes against finding facts? Doesn't it actually improve the chances that you're going to get the truth? It of course does.

Again: appalling. Terrible, and appaling. [Note to self: That's "appalling," dumbass]

Video of the clip here.

15 British Sailors Seized by Iranian Forces

"We may well find that this is a simple misunderstanding at the tactical level."

Hope so.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Tony Snow: Congress Has No Oversight Ability

From TPM Muckraker we get to watch Tony Snow say:

The executive branch is under no compulsion to testify to Congress, because Congress in fact doesn't have oversight ability.

If you don't think that's a significant quote, it's not because you're not a constitutional scholar. It's because you didn't pay attention in elementary school. We should all know this. Think of the one glaring example: impeachment. Would Tony Snow say that Congress didn't have that ability? That oversight ability? Would he have said that when they impeached President Clinton? It's unbelievable that we live in a time we're such a thing could even be uttered by a White House official without that official immediately turning bright red, pissing his pants, and calling out for his momma.

Here is an excellent report (pdf), prepared for Congress in January, 2006, on congressional oversight of the presidency. The summary:

Congressional oversight of policy implementation and administration has occurred throughout the history of the United States government under the Constitution. Oversight — the review, monitoring, and supervision of operations and activities — takes a variety of forms and utilizes various techniques. These range from specialized investigations by select committees to annual appropriations hearings, and from informal communications between Members or congressional staff and executive personnel to the use of extra congressional mechanisms, such as offices of inspector general and study commissions. Oversight, moreover, is supported by a variety of authorities — the Constitution, public law, and chamber and committee rules — and is an integral part of the system of checks and balances between the legislature and the
. This report will be updated as events require.

And a great excerpt:

The authority to oversee derives from these constitutional powers. Congress could not carry them out reasonably or responsibly without knowing what the executive is doing; how programs are being administered, by whom, and at what cost; and whether officials are obeying the law and complying with legislative intent.

Video Montage to 2006-7 Buffalo Sabres

A thing of beauty. Wish I could post the goal from last night by Briere. Not up yet.

NYC: Illegally Parked Cars Shown on Web Site

The debate about them here, and the Web site here.

It's pretty funny. One story, with photo, at the site: "If you look closely at the 2nd photo, you can see the officer eating at the Chinese restaurant in the window."

Man Has Piece of Pizza Tattoo on Head

With pineapples.

Heaven's Gate Survivor Speaks

Remember them?

When I asked about the dropouts who later killed themselves, Rio was impassive. “People ask: ‘Why would they do that?’ ” he said. For him, their copycat suicides only further proved the point. “It doesn’t make sense to give up everything. Unless... you know. Unless you know what they knew. And what I know.” Which is? “That DO was the second coming of Jesus Christ. That’s what I’m here to help people understand.”

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Flaunt Your Culture

A truly warped person:

She said, "It made me very angry, and I grabbed it. When you come to the U.S. you have to become an American. You can't flaunt your culture on us."

I hereby invite people from around the world to "flaunt their culture" on us whenever or wherever they like. Especially Mongolians - they're just so colorful and austere.

And in the same breath this candidate for sainthood said, "I praise God in this. I give Him all the glory," and, of the two people who disappeared, "I hope they are at the bottom of the river."

Two New Links: Romenesko

I just added two new links to the news and blog rolls: Poynteronline and the Obscure Store and Reading Room, both run by Jim Romenesko. More on him at Wikipedia.

Why We Need to Fight the Right People

Because they're really sick bad horrible twisted people.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Tony Joe White

Just found this looking around the world in the box on my desk at work - which I get paid to do - and found this. I remember this song from my young days, most likely the version by Brent Brooke from 1970, but TJ White wrote it in 1962. Here's him playing it in 2006:

Here's another one of his songs you might recognize. 1969:

Memorize This Quote

But first, guess who said it:

So let’s get something straight right now. To point out that our military has been overextended, taken for granted and neglected, that’s no criticism of the military. That is criticism of a president and vice president and their record of neglect.

Yup. It's George W. Bush, not "s'portin' the troops, on the campaign trail in 2000.

More here.

The History of International Women's Day

Born in the worker's rights movement. More here.

Cheryl Hines Saves Man From Murder Charge

The story doesn't say that, but I'm sure that's what happened.

LOS ANGELES- A man who was cleared of murder when outtakes from the HBO comedy "Curb Your Enthusiasm" put him at Dodger Stadium when the crime occurred will get $320,000 in a settlement with the city.
The Los Angeles City Council agreed Wednesday to settle the police misconduct lawsuit filed by Juan Catalan, who spent nearly five months in jail before footage from the show cemented his alibi.

Catalan, 28, was arrested for the May 2003 slaying of Martha Puebla, 16, outside her Sun Valley home. He told detectives he was innocent and was at a Dodgers game when the crime occurred.

His defense lawyer, Todd Melnik, went through footage of crowd shots from the televised game between the Dodgers and the Atlanta Braves, but did not find his client. Then he learned that the HBO comedy starring former "Seinfeld" co-creator Larry David had been shooting at the ballpark that day.

"There he was in the outtakes," said Gary S. Casselman, the attorney handling Catalan's lawsuit.

Catalan was not a fan of "Curb Your Enthusiasm" before his time in jail.

"He is now," Casselman said.

Is there anything she can't do?

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

He Might As Well Just Say "Gergen Gergen Gergen Gergen Gergen..."

I got this CNN story and quote from CNN contributor David Gergen via TPM. It will make your head explode:

"This is an administration that has been mostly free of scandal over the last six years and now they have the taint that they cannot erase."

Blink. Blink. Blink.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Report: Israel on Alert After Kidnapping Iranian General

Israel Puts Embassies on Security Alert Following Reports It Kidnapped Irania (Via)

March 06, 2007 2:12 PM
Brian Ross and Hoda Osman Report:

Israel has issued a worldwide security alert to its embassies in the wake of reports it may have kidnapped a top Iranian general in Turkey, a senior Israeli official tells ABC News.

"This could be a reason for the Iranians to respond against us," said the official...


Saturday, March 03, 2007


Powered by

heagh heagh heagh

Tony Lagouranis: Former Army "Torturer"

From Metafilter: Confessions of a Torturer: An Army Interrogator's Story.

And there, as an army interrogator, he tortured detainees for information he admits they rarely had. Since leaving Iraq he’s taken this story public, doing battle on national television against the war’s architects for giving him the orders he regrets he obeyed.

Ai yai yai. What a world.

More here, here, here, and a response from the Army (Jan., 2006).

Speaking of Idiot Savage, Here's Some Freddy Mercury

I was just writing about this guy. Rock it, Freddy.

Melissa Etheridge Indirectly Punks Idiot Savage

Puke on that, asshole.

More from Gen. J.C. Christian, patriot.

Don't Fear the Rabies Shots

People are still afraid to get rabies shots:

The man — who lives east of Edmonton — did not get vaccinated after he was attacked in August 2006 and is now in serious condition in hospital, said Dr. Karen Grimsrud, a provincial health officer.

Grimsrud said the Alberta man woke up in the middle of the night when the bat bit him, but he didn't show any symptoms until January.

"Once you develop the neurological symptoms, there's very little that can be done," Grimsrud said Friday. "All we can do is make them comfortable."

It used to be 26 shots—directly into the stomach. And it hurt, they say, a lot. BUT THINGS HAVE CHANGED. Read:

DON’T WORRY; it’s not twenty shots in the stomach anymore. Today, the rabies vaccine has only 5-7 shots in the arm and the butt. The shots are spread out on different days, and they help your body fight the rabies virus, so you don’t catch the disease. If you get the shots started in time (usually within 7 - 10 days), you shouldn’t catch the virus at all. Your body fights it off. Without the treatment, a person bitten by a rabid animal will probably die.

That's my community service report for the day. Best of luck and health to the poor guy in Edmonton.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Can You Read This: 少許 托馬斯 Blog?

I don't speak Chinese, but found an online translator to translate "Little Thom's Blog" into traditional Chinese characters: 少許 托馬斯 Blog.

If you can read it, can you tell me how it came out?

Merle Haggard Pens a Song For Hillary

Oh man, this is going to grow someone onions in the bathroom, which is a country expression I just made up.

About half-way through his set at Spokane’s INB Performing Arts Center Monday night almost 70-year-old country star, Merle Haggard played a song he told the audience he’d just finished up that morning.

It had a one-word title, he said, and was likely to “piss off” at least half of the audience. A few might even walk out, he said. But, an assistant brought out a music stand and Merle started crooning about a woman named “Hillary.”

“The country needs to be honest,” he sang. “Change needs to be large.”

“Let’s put a woman in charge.”

Too funny.

Here's a gem: