Sunday, January 30, 2005

It's Your Money

Isn't that what the Chimp likes to say?
The U.S. occupation authority in Iraq was unable to keep track of nearly $9 billion it transferred to government ministries, which lacked financial controls, security, communications and adequate staff, an inspector general has found.
$9,000,000,000 gone -- most of it probably in the blood-soaked hands of Bush's oil and defense cronies. ... While American troops still comb through Iraqi garbage dumps in their spare time for metal to protect their trucks (and bodies).

Don't hold your breath waiting for anyone to be held accountable. That wasn't part of the Mandate™.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

The Bush/Nazi Connection

Still thinking about Cheney wearing a "Staff" hat to the Auschwitz ceremony, Dan Brown writes this at DU:
Bush's grandfather, Prescott Bush, and Prescott's father-in-law, George Herbert Walker, helped finance the rise of the Nazi Party through their intimate entanglements with Nazi industrial, shipping and banking interests. This long (and well-documented) collaboration continued even after America was at war with Nazi Germany. … The Walker-Bush cabal's Nazi partners also helped finance – then profited from – the Auschwitz camp.

Finally, in 1942, the U.S. government seized the Walker-Bush Nazi assets under the Trading With the Enemy Act (the cash value was returned to Prescott in the 1950s, helping to fund his Senatorial race, and going into a trust fund that helped G.H.W. Bush in his political bids, including his runs for President, as well).
Federal documents show that the Bush/Nazi dealings continued until at least 1951. Also here and here and here.

P.S.: Another DU poster notes that Cheney "and his daughter went back the next day to lay flowers at the wall. He was dressed appropriately then. … I'm sure the 2nd day photo will be the official one ..."


Jordan Uffer, 7th-grade Class President, James A. Farley Middle School, Stony Point, NY, who organized "SpongeBob Support Day" on Friday:
He's a cartoon. I felt there was no reason for them to say that he was homosexual, and there isn't a real difference between gay people and not-gay people. We're all human beings.
Classmate Trevor Wargo added: "You're not going to grow up to be gay because you watched a television show. That's absurd."

Someone break the bad news to SpongeDob StickyPants.

The Patriot Act In Action

Via Slashdot:
Tukwila, Washington firefighter, Philip Scott Lyons found out the hard way that supermarket loyalty cards come with a huge price. Lyons was arrested last August and charged with attempted arson. Police alleged at the time that Lyons tried to set fire to his own house while his wife and children were inside.

According to KOMO-TV and the Seattle Times, a major piece of evidence used against Lyons in his arrest was the record of his supermarket purchases that he made with his Safeway Club Card. Police investigators had discovered that his Club Card was used to buy fire starters of the same type used in the arson attempt. For Lyons, the story did have a happy ending. All charges were dropped against him in January 2005 because another person stepped forward saying he or she set the fire and not Lyons.
I'm assuming Ashcroft didn't bother to revise his terrorist arrest totals.

Friday, January 28, 2005


Today's Washington Post (with photo):
At yesterday's gathering of world leaders in southern Poland to mark the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, the United States was represented by Vice President Cheney. ... dressed in the kind of attire one typically wears to operate a snow blower.

Cheney stood out in a sea of black-coated world leaders because he was wearing an olive drab parka with a fur-trimmed hood. It is embroidered with his name. It reminded one of the way in which children's clothes are inscribed with their names before they are sent away to camp. And indeed, the vice president looked like an awkward boy amid the well-dressed adults. ...

[Cheney wore] a knit ski cap, embroidered with the words "Staff 2001." It was the kind of hat a conventioneer might find in a goodie bag.

It is also worth mentioning that Cheney was wearing hiking boots -- thick, brown, lace-up ones. Did he think he was going to have to hike the 44 miles from Krakow -- where he had made remarks earlier in the day -- to Auschwitz? ...

Just last week, in a frigid, snow-dusted Washington, Cheney sat outside through the entire inauguration without so much as a hat and without suffering frostbite. And clearly, Cheney owns a proper overcoat. The world saw it during his swearing-in as vice president. Cheney treated that ceremony with the dignity it deserved -- not simply through his demeanor, but also through his attire. Would he have dared to take the oath of office with a ski cap on? People would have justifiably considered that an insult to the office, the day, the country.
What an asshole.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

No Free Lunch

Most patients at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington have a lot on their minds: the war they just fought, the injuries they came home with, the future that lies ahead. The last thing a wounded soldier needs to worry about is where the next meal is coming from. But for hundreds of Walter Reed patients, that's a real concern. Starting this month, the Army has started making some wounded soldiers pay for the food they eat at the hospital.
Every time I think the Bush Cabal cannot sink any lower, they do. The mystery is why I think there is a limit to their depravity.

How about this? "In an interview with the Wall Street Journal (1-25-05), Pentagon official David Chu, in a mockery of the contribution of veterans, defended a new round of cuts by ironically describing funding for programs like veterans' education and job training, health care, pensions, VA housing and the like as "hurtful" to national security."

And now Bush is asking Congress for another $80,000,000,000 -- bringing the total spent on the invasion to $280 billion. ... Really, how the hell do they expect the Army to afford meals for wounded vets on that kind of chump change? ... And the number of dead Americans has topped 1,420.

Peeance (and freeance) is on the march!

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

"A Bush Administration Make-Work Program for Third-Tier GOP Pundits"

That's Josh Marshall's description of the latest columnist to admit to being a whore for the Bush administration.

WaPo: "In 2002, syndicated columnist Maggie Gallagher repeatedly defended President Bush's push for a $300 million initiative encouraging marriage as a way of strengthening families. ... But Gallagher failed to mention that she had a $21,500 contract with the Department of Health and Human Services to help promote the president's proposal. ..."

Gallagher's defense?
I should have disclosed a government contract when I later wrote about the Bush marriage initiative. I would have, if I had remembered it. My apologies to my readers."
That's absolutely fucking priceless. ... Did she remember to cash her checks?

Outsmarted by the Plumber's Cleavage

Although I believe the 2004 election was crooked, David Podvin's comments remain valid:
It appears that John Kerry is planning to seek the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008, and assuming that General Custer is still unavailable, some Democrats will doubtlessly support the senator. I will not be joining them because, despite what many consider irrefutable proof to the contrary, I am not crazy. ...

If Thomas Jefferson was the mind of the presidency, and Abraham Lincoln its heart, then surely Bush is the plumber's cleavage. Nevertheless, the Purple Heart-laden Kerry was totally helpless against attacks on his patriotism by a deserter whose military career consisted of safeguarding Alabama taverns from Ho Chi Minh...
As All Spin Zone notes, "It only gets better from there..."

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

More Media Whoring

Media Matters:
Weekly Standard editor William Kristol lauded President George W. Bush's inauguration speech as "powerful," "impressive," and "historic," both in an article for the January 31 print edition of The Weekly Standard and as a FOX News political contributor during FOX's live coverage of Inauguration Day. Washington Post columnist and FOX News contributor Charles Krauthammer, also during FOX News' live Inauguration Day coverage, called Bush's speech "revolutionary" and compared it to former President John F. Kennedy's 1961 inaugural address. But Kristol and Krauthammer were consultants for Bush's speech -- a fact that neither disclosed.
And from The More Things Change Dept., we recall that in 1980, George Will helped prep Ronald Reagan for his debate with President Jimmy Carter and then (without disclosing that fact) praised Reagan to the skies on ABC afterwards.

P.S. Most scary overlooked sentence in Bush's psychotic spew: "America's vital interests and our deepest beliefs are now one."

Monday, January 24, 2005

"For millions of American women, Roe is already irrelevant"

My partner Laura has the top story currently posted at Common Dreams. Yay!

Sunday, January 23, 2005


In the middle of a story about how Bushbots at the coronation had to deal with annoyances like freedom of speech, I found this quote from Justin Moidel, 17: "I liked being part of history, and the passage of power. But the long lines and being protested against. ... There was one lady who yelled at me, 'Are you prepared to die?' I guess she thinks Bush is an aggressive leader who will get us into war."

Ummm, Justin ... you might want to check out a newspaper. Any newspaper.

Good toons here.

The Light of Reason

... is a blog I found through Atrios. Two recent entries are well worth your time.

The first is from Baghdad Burning, a blog written by a woman living in Baghdad. She writes:
There hasnt been a drop of water in the faucets for six days. six days. ... At first, I thought it was just our area but I've been asking around and apparently, almost all of the areas (if not all) are suffering this drought. ... It's amazing how as things get worse, you begin to require less and less. We have a saying for that in Iraq, 'Ili yishoof il mawt, yirdha bil iskhooneh.' Which means, 'If you see death, you settle for a fever.' We've given up on democracy, security and even electricity. Just bring back the water."
The second is entitled: "Playing God, And Embracing Nilhilism". It discusses the themes of Bush's speech the other day, which was so disturbing even Peggy Noonan got creeped out. ... And then the Misadministration had to quickly run out and explain that what Chimpy said wasn't really what he meant.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Here We Go Again

Boston Globe:
"The United States has been conducting secret reconnaissance missions inside Iran to help identify potential nuclear, chemical and missile targets, The New Yorker magazine reported Sunday.

The article, by award-winning reporter Seymour Hersh, said the secret missions have been going on at least since last summer with the goal of identifying target information for three dozen or more suspected sites. ...

Hersh reported that Bush has already "signed a series of top-secret findings and executive orders authorizing secret commando groups and other Special Forces units to conduct covert operations against suspected terrorist targets in as many as 10 nations in the Middle East and South Asia."

Defining these as military rather than intelligence operations, Hersh reported, will enable the Bush administration to evade legal restrictions imposed on the CIA's covert activities overseas.
The magazine will be on newsstands tomorrow.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Tortured Logic

To The Poor Man, I say: Fuckin'-A Right!

TBNNT's Handy Torture Gauge: "If you would be enraged knowing that American POWs were undergoing the same treatment, then it's torture."

By the way:
"At the urging of the White House, congressional leaders scrapped a legislative measure last month that would have imposed new restrictions on the use of extreme interrogation measures by US intelligence officers ... The Senate had approved the new restrictions, by a 96-2 vote, as part of the intelligence reform legislation. ...

But in intense, closed-door negotiations, according to congressional officials, four senior lawmakers from the House and Senate deleted the restrictions from the final bill after the White House expressed opposition to the measure. ..."
The "four senior lawmakers" -- all enablers of war crimes -- were Susan Collins (R-Maine), Jane Harman (D-California), Joe Lieberman (D-Connecticut) and Peter Hoekstra (R-Michigan).

Will even one of these murderers be held accountable?

Selections from a much longer list posted by Tempest at DU:
But for those who say we haven't found the banned manufacturing devices or banned weapons, they're wrong, we found them.
George W. Bush, Interview with TVP Poland, 5/30/2003

Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction.
Dick Cheney, Speech to VFW National Convention, 8/26/2002

There is already a mountain of evidence that Saddam Hussein is gathering weapons for the purpose of using them. And adding additional information is like adding a foot to Mount Everest.
Ari Fleischer, Response to Question From Press, 9/6/2002

Iraq has stockpiled biological and chemical weapons, and is rebuilding the facilities used to make more of those weapons. We have sources that tell us that Saddam Hussein recently authorized Iraqi field commanders to use chemical weapons -- the very weapons the dictator tells us he does not have.
George W. Bush, Radio Address, 10/5/2002

The president of the United States and the secretary of defense would not assert as plainly and bluntly as they have that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction if it was not true, and if they did not have a solid basis for saying it.
Ari Fleischer, Response to Question From Press, 12/4/2002

There can be no doubt that Saddam Hussein has biological weapons and the capability to rapidly produce more, many more. And he has the ability to dispense these lethal poisons and diseases in ways that can cause massive death and destruction. If biological weapons seem too terrible to contemplate, chemical weapons are equally chilling.
Colin Powell, Addresses the U.N. Security Council, 2/5/2003

There is no doubt that the regime of Saddam Hussein possesses weapons of mass destruction. And ... as this operation continues, those weapons will be identified, found, along with the people who have produced them and who guard them.
General Tommy Franks, Press Conference, 3/22/2003

We know where they are. They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat.
Donald Rumsfeld, ABC Interview, 3/30/2003

I'm absolutely sure that there are weapons of mass destruction there and the evidence will be forthcoming. We're just getting it just now.
Colin Powell, Remarks to Reporters, 5/4/2003

For bureaucratic reasons, we settled on one issue, weapons of mass destruction (as justification for invading Iraq) because it was the one reason everyone could agree on.
Paul Wolfowitz, Deputy Secretary of Defense, Vanity Fair interview, 5/28/2003
Also this one from Rumsfeld: "There's no debate in the world as to whether they have those weapons. ... We all know that. A trained ape knows that."

Also see this -- a searchable collection of 237 specific misleading statements about the threat posed by Iraq made by Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Powell, and Rice, prepared at the direction of Rep. Henry A. Waxman.

Meanwhile, Americans are being killed and maimed (and killing and maiming) day after day after day after day ...

... but hey, the mandate must roll on. Political capital must be spent. Will of the people and all that. Enjoy the inauguration.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

My Bad

Sorry about that! Posted by Hello

Flip Flop

Kid Rock's invitation to perform at a Bush coronation concert has been withdrawn.

Trying To Follow The Script

Bush's handlers must get concussions from slapping themselves in the forehead when the Idiot is turned loose on a crowd. Check out this exchange from Tuesday's invite-only "town hall" meeting:
MS. STONE: I would like to introduce my mom. This is my mother, Rhoda Stone. And she is grandmother of three, and originally from Helsinki, Finland, and has been here over 40 years.

THE PRESIDENT: Fantastic. Same age as my mother.

MS. STONE: Just turned 80.
Bush blows his line -- he was supposed to say "Same age as my mother" after Ms. Stone says "just turned 80."

Later on, Bush demonstrates that he can read minds:
MS. STONE: I wish we would have had a chance to put --

THE PRESIDENT: As additional -- as addition to the savings you set aside out of the personal savings accounts. I agree.
Quotes from the White House transcript. ... Tonight's rerun of The Daily Show should have clips of this train wreck.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

How Do They Get Away With It?

They, meaning the Bush administration. One very good reason is that the Democrats are spineless cowards. They live in constant fear of being smeared by the Republicans, but are apparently too stupid to realize is that they would get smeared even if they agreed with the Republicans.

A lot of the Democrats' act -- such as pretending to ask tough questions of Alberto Gonzalez but also saying that they'll confirm him as Attorney General no matter what -- makes me think they are simply playing their assigned role in some "good cop/bad cop" theater being foisted upon us all.

Here is another possibility. In his book "The Great Unraveling" (I had to buy the UK edition!), New York Times columnist Paul Krugman mentions a book published in 1957 by "a brilliant, iconoclastic young Harvard scholar" by the name of Henry Kissinger. Based on Kissinger's doctoral dissertation, "A World Restored" focused on the reconstruction of Europe after the battle of Waterloo.

Krugman says the first three pages of Kissinger's book "sent chills down my spine, because it explains so well the otherwise baffling process by which the administration has been able to push radical policies through, with remarkably little scrutiny or effective opposition."

Kissinger writes of establishment powers reacting to revolutionary change:
Lulled by a period of stability which had seemed permanent, they find it nearly impossible to take at face value the assertion of the revolutionary power that it means to smash the existing framework. The defenders of the status quo therefore tend to begin by treating the revolutionary power as if its protestations were merely tactical; as if it really accepted the existing legitimacy but overstated its case for bargaining purposes; as if it were motivated by specific grievances to be assuaged by limited concessions. Those who warn against the danger in time are considered alarmists; those who counsel adaptation to circumstance are considered balanced and sane. ... But it is the essence of a revolutionary power that it possesses the courage of its convictions, that it is willing, indeed eager, to push its principles to their ultimate conclusion.
Krugman says Kissinger had it exactly right: "People who have been accustomed to stability can't bring themselves to believe what is happening when faced with a revolutionary power, and are therefore ineffective in opposing it."

The Republican party is playing an entirely different game -- while the Democrats abide by an outdated set of rules, driven by some sort of professional courtesy. It doesn't excuse the Democrats' utter lameness, but it does make a lot of sense.

All Your Eyes Are Belong To Bush

1. "Other instructions given performers include a warning not to look directly at Bush while passing the presidential reviewing stand, not to look to either side and not to make any sudden movements."

2. "The police in Washington, D.C. are using new behavioral profiling methods ... Officers are now targeting people who seem to be looking around the station more than other passengers, avoid eye contact or seem to be loitering in stations. If riders meet these criteria, the police are stopping them for questioning. This is all part of security preparations for the upcoming second Bush inauguration."

Meet The New Boss

Probably our tax money too:
The electoral group headed by Iyad Allawi, the interim Iraqi prime minister, on Monday handed out cash to journalists to ensure coverage of its press conferences in a throwback to Ba'athist-era patronage ahead of parliamentary elections on January 30. ...

Many of the journalists accepted the cash - about equivalent to half the starting monthly salary for a reporter at an Iraqi newspaper - and one jokingly recalled how Saddam Hussein's regime had also lavished perks on favoured reporters.
Only $100?! In no way does that reach The Armstrong Line.

Family Values

Kid Rock has been invited to perform at a youth concert at Bush's coronation. Will he sing "Yo-Da-Lin In The Valley":
Slowly strokin, no jokin
My tongue just keeps on pokin
And the best type of oochie coochie
Is the type that tastes like sushi
Eat it, Watch a girl get frisky
And then wash it down with a shot of whiskey
Or "Balls In Your Mouth":
But before I could talk she go grabbed my dick
licked her lips and started talkin that porno shit
She said look here I know you're Kid Rock
then whispered in my ear "I wanna swallow your cock"
... And now I can't wait to get her back to my house
set her down on her knees and put my balls in her mouth
Or "Fuck U Blind:
Dumb bitch fuckin whore always wanted to get laid
But never gave the pussy up to anybody in her grade
Played me like a sucker, like a bitch like a punk
That little pussy lickin finger fuckin ho ass cunt
So many choices. ... Tracey Schmitt, a spokeswoman from the Presidential Inaugural Committee: "There's no greater defender of family values than President Bush."

Bush: Use Homeland Security Money For Inauguration

WaPo: "DC officials said yesterday that the Bush administration is refusing to reimburse the District for most of the costs associated with next week's inauguration, breaking with precedent and forcing the city to divert $11.9 million from homeland security projects."

DC officials should tell Chimpy McCokespoon to eff off and send two Boy Scouts with peashooters to protect the coronation.

Monday, January 10, 2005

On The Take

From DU's Top 10 Conservatives Idiots:
It was revealed last Friday that the Bush administration paid commentator Armstrong Williams almost a quarter of a million dollars to plug No Child Left Behind on his nationally syndicated TV show. According to USA Today, Armstrong had to "regularly comment on NCLB during the course of his broadcasts" - and in return, he received $240,000 of your money. Sweet deal! When Armstrong got caught out last week, he made a statement saying that, despite knowing the arrangement was highly unethical, "I wanted to do it because it's something I believe in." Clearly he didn't believe in it enough to do it for free.
David Corn of The Nation writes about his encounter with Williams this weekend:
And then Williams violated a PR rule: he got off-point. "This happens all the time," he told me. "There are others." Really? I said. Other conservative commentators accept money from the Bush administration? I asked Williams for names. "I'm not going to defend myself that way," he said. ... Does Williams really know something about other rightwing pundits? Or was he only trying to minimize his own screw-up with a momentary embrace of a trumped-up everybody-does-it defense? I could not tell. ...
The question on everyone's mind is: Who else is on the take? If Bush Co. was willing to pay $240,000 of taxpayer money to a relative lightweight like Williams, they are likely paying bigger bucks to bigger names.

I'm sure Williams hopes this will all disappear quickly -- he has said he's sorry (although he's keeping the cash) and the White House says this is an isolated incident.

Bonus: Rumsfeld, December 24, 2004:
"What hurts most is in the region where the neighboring countries whose help we need are constantly being barraged with truly vicious inaccuracies about what's taking place in this country. And it's conscious, it's consistent, it's persistent and it makes everything we try to do in neighboring countries where we're looking for support, vastly more difficult. And we, as a country, don't do that. We don't go out and hire journalists and propagandize and lie and put people on payroll so that they'll say what you want. We just don't do that and they do and that's happening. And Al Jazeera is right there at the top."
There you have it from the Secretary of Defense: Only EvilDoers™ put journalists on their payrolls.

No, It's Not The Onion

Wow. Guy Womack, the military lawyer for Spc. Charles Graner, the accused ringleader in the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal, on Monday defended piling naked prisoners in pyramids. "Don't cheerleaders all over America form pyramids six to eight times a year. Is that torture?"

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Because Terrorists Can Hide In Tall Grass

From Texas:
An audit of the state's spending of nearly $600 million in federal antiterrorism funds found that some of the money was spent improperly, including to buy a trailer that was used to haul lawn mowers to "lawn mower drag races."
In the wake of this disclosure, the Texas Engineering Extension Service "has begun requiring some grant recipients to report how they use equipment."


Paul Craig Roberts, former associate editor of the Wall Street Journal, former contributing editor for National Review, former assistant secretary of the US Treasury:
America has blundered into a needless and dangerous war, and fully half of the country’s population is enthusiastic. ... In the ranks of the new conservatives, however, I see and experience much hate. It comes to me in violently worded, ignorant and irrational emails from self-professed conservatives who literally worship George Bush. Even Christians have fallen into idolatry. There appears to be a large number of Americans who are prepared to kill anyone for George Bush.

The Iraqi War is serving as a great catharsis for multiple conservative frustrations: job loss, drugs, crime, homosexuals, pornography, female promiscuity, abortion, restrictions on prayer in public places, Darwinism and attacks on religion. Liberals are the cause. Liberals are against America. Anyone against the war is against America and is a liberal. "You are with us or against us." ...

There is nothing conservative about these positions. To label them conservative is to make the same error as labeling the 1930s German Brownshirts conservative. ... It is amazing that only a short time ago the Bush administration and its supporters believed that all the US had to do was to appear in Iraq and we would be greeted with flowers. Has there ever been a greater example of delusion?
Of course, the Bush Regime is not conservative at all; it is fascist.

In 2003, Laurence W. Britt looked at 7 fascist regimes -- Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, Franco’s Spain, Salazar’s Portugal, Papadopoulos’s Greece, Pinochet’s Chile, and Suharto’s Indonesia -- and identified 14 basic characteristics:
1. Powerful and continuing expressions of nationalism.
2. Disdain for the importance of human rights.
3. Identification of enemies/scapegoats as a unifying cause.
4. The supremacy of the military/avid militarism.
5. Rampant sexism.
6. A controlled mass media.
7. Obsession with national security.
8. Religion and ruling elite tied together.
9. Power of corporations protected.
10. Power of labor suppressed or eliminated.
11. Disdain and suppression of intellectuals and the arts.
12. Obsession with crime and punishment.
13. Rampant cronyism and corruption.
14. Fraudulent elections.
Sound familiar?

Capturing Bin Laden Counter-Productive

AB "Buzzy" Krongard, who stepped down six weeks ago as the CIA’s third most senior executive: "You can make the argument that we're better off with him (at large). Because if something happens to Bin Laden, you might find a lot of people vying for his position and demonstrating how macho they are by unleashing a stream of terror."

Yeah, fortunately, all his followers are laying kind of low at the moment. So don't get 'em riled up! ... According to this article, several US officials privately agree that capturing UBL might be counter-productive.

Two other quotes:

George Bush, March 13, 2002: "I just don't spend that much time on him ... I truly am not that concerned about him."

Joint Chief of Staff Chairman Richard Myers, April 6, 2002: “The goal has never been to get bin Laden.”

The orange text in the November 2001 entries here is worth reading.