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Thursday, September 29, 2005
DeLay Must Appear in Austin on Charge:
DeLay's attorneys were working out the details of when the 11-term congressman would return to Texas in hopes of saving him from further embarrassment, they said.How do they do it in Gitmo? That seems like a perfectly reasonable set of procedures to follow.
Wednesday, September 28, 2005
House Majority Leader Tom DeLay Indicted:
A Texas grand jury on Wednesday charged Rep. Tom DeLay (search) and two political associates with conspiracy in a campaign finance scheme, an indictment that could force him to step down as House majority leader.My favorite part? I read it first on Fox News!
Don't you find it interesting when the following phrases all appear in the same news story?
gangland-style executionIf it walks like a duck...
Thank goodness my tinfoil hat is waterproof.
The Guardian has the most bizarre Katrina story of all:
Armed dolphins, trained by the US military to shoot terrorists and pinpoint spies underwater, may be missing in the Gulf of Mexico.(Via The Last Liberal in Central Florida)
Sunday, September 25, 2005
The foreign press takes note of the
Military families and others defending the war in Iraq took their turn Sunday to demonstrate on the National Mall, if in much smaller numbers, and counter the massive protest against the war a day earlier.OK, so 100 people showed up to support the war (a pretty fucking sick thought, when you get down to it) versus anywhere from 100,000 to 500,000 anti-war protesters. By my crude math, that's at least a thousand-to-one ratio.
But this, this was my favorite part:
War supporters said the scale of the anti-war march didn't take away from their cause.Does that phrase sound familiar? Go back and read Richard Nixon's infamous "Silent Majority" speech, delivered November 3, 1969. The echoes of the current campaign are almost surreal:
I believe that one of the reasons for the deep division about Vietnam is that many Americans have lost confidence in what their Government has told them about our policy. The American people cannot and should not be asked to support a policy which involves the overriding issues of war and peace unless they know the truth about that policy.I am not quite sure what Nixon meant when he said that the death toll in Vietnam was only 1000 Americans when he took office in 1969. Over 14,000 Americans were killed in action in Vietnam in 1968.
Regardless, everything that Nixon said he feared actually came true. We didn't exit Vietnam with peace or honor. And when all was said and done more than 50,000 were dead, for what turned out to be a monstrous folly.
Iraq is worse. Far worse. It's hopelessly broken, and even the best-case scenarios make Vietnam look like a picnic. I assume that Bush will declare victory (again) sometime soon and begin drawing down U.S. forces in time for the 2006 midterm elections. But the violence is going to get worse, not better. Iraqification is no different from Vietnamization. The poorly trained, unmotivated army fighting in Iraq for a corrupt government doesn't have a chance, and we're probably going to see full-scale civil war in the next year or so.
Does a "silent majority" really support that? Here's one difference:
In October 1969, an opinion poll showed that 71% of Americans did support Nixon's Vietnam policy. Within two years, however, when that policy had turned out to be a disaster, the tide of public opinion turned:
Opinion polls indicate Nixon's approval rating among Americans has dropped to 50 percent, while approval of his Vietnam strategy has slipped to just 34 percent. Half of all Americans polled believe the war in Vietnam to be "morally wrong."The parallels to Bush are startling. In 2003, the public mostly approved of the glorious adventure in Iraq, just as those 1969-era Americans were ready to give Nixon a chance to clean up the mess in Southeast Asia. But two years later, the latest CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll shows that today's "silent majority" thinks Bush is bungling Iraq, big time:
[S]upport for his management of the war in Iraq has dropped to 32 percent, with 67 percent telling pollsters they disapproved of how Bush is prosecuting the conflict.It's 1971 all over again. I really didn't like this movie when I saw it the first time. I'm afraid the sequel's going to be far worse.
Saturday, September 24, 2005
Billmon delivers a shot to the gut:
Read the whole thing.
Thursday, September 22, 2005
Yes, yes, the right squeals like Ned Beatty in Deliverance when they get compared to Nazis, but goddamn it's just so easy.
So today I refer you to a pair of fabulous sources on the subject.
Start with the Project for the OLD American Century, home to really great graphics like this one:
And then read Digby, who has a brilliant excerpt from Dr. Lawrence Britt that lists the 14 defining characteristics of fascist regimes of the 20th Century - Hitler, Mussolini, Franco (who's still dead), Suharto, and several Latin American despots. The "odd melding of corporatism and cronyism" that defines BushCo fits very well with this gang.
We have the National Enquirer:
Faced with the biggest crisis of his political life, President Bush has hit the bottle again, The National Enquirer can reveal.Huh. I've been yelling that at him for the past five years.
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
The Washington Post reports:
The Bush administration is seeking to appoint a lawyer with little immigration or customs experience to head the troubled law enforcement agency that handles those issues, prompting sharp criticism from some employee groups, immigration advocates and homeland security experts.Good heavens! Isn't this an important job?
Its personnel investigate immigrant, drug and weapon smuggling, and illegal exports, among other responsibilities.But she must be a good manager, right?
In written answers to questions from Congress, Myers highlighted her year-long job as assistant secretary for export enforcement at Commerce, where she said she supervised 170 employees and a $25 million budget. ICE has more than 20,000 employees and a budget of approximately $4 billion.Oh dear. So this is like someone who's run a dozen McDonald's franchises suddenly being promoted to CEO of McDonald's. Why on earth is this happening?
Myers held a variety of jobs over the past four years at the White House and at the departments of Commerce, Justice and Treasury, though none involved managing a large bureaucracy. Myers worked briefly as chief of staff to Michael Chertoff when he led the Justice Department's criminal division before he became Homeland Security secretary.Well. Glad they've learned their lessons after that Brownie/FEMA debacle.
I like Billmon's take:
I don't have anything original to add -- other than my deeply held suspicion that God has subcontracted the fashioning of reality to the spirits of Mark Twain and Franz Kafka, who are sitting around in heaven like a couple of coked up screenwriters, dreaming up ever more ridiculous characters and swapping increasingly absurd story lines.And look, here comes another hurricane!
Monday, September 19, 2005
Last week, The Onion reported on a new no-bid Halliburton contract:
On Tuesday, Halliburton received a $110 million no-bid government contract to pry the gold fillings from the mouths of deceased disaster victims in the New Orleans-Gulf Coast area. "We are proud to serve the government in this time of crisis by recovering valuable resources from the wreckage of this deadly storm," said David J. Lesar, Halliburton's president. "The gold we recover from the human rubble of Katrina can be used to make fighter-jet electronics, supercomputer chips, inflation-proof A-grade investments, and luxury yachting watches."I'm laughing, but I don't quite know why.
New Gallup poll:
And support for [Bush's] management of the war in Iraq has dropped to 32 percent, with 67 percent telling pollsters they disapproved of how Bush is prosecuting the conflict.Mission accomplished!
Oh, and Democrats, you are fucking paying attention, aren't you?
Saturday, September 17, 2005
Tired of having to hold it while you're sitting through those tedious General Assembly meetings? Avoid embarrassing bathroom breaks with our portable U.N. urinal! Just slip it between your legs, unzip your zipper and you're good to go -- so to speak. The Pee Wee Model (shown here) and can easily fit up to 3 inches, and comes with a handy female adaptor, for that special diplomat in your life!
Also available in AWOL Yellow, GOP Red and New Orleans Brown.
Matching presidential guitar available while supplies last! Order today!
Thursday, September 01, 2005
Just think about this: we've all made a lot of jokes about the Department of Homeland Security over the past four years. But apparently, the Department of Homeland Security has absolutely no plan for dealing with devastation on this scale, which is supposedly the thing we've all been worried about for four years.
Neither do they seem to have given much thought to the transportation of refugees after a catastrophic event. In this case, we had 24 hours notice and the vast majority of the population got out on their own. If a terrorist attack of this magnitude were to occur, it would occur without warning, and the refugee problem would be exponentially greater. But right now, they can't even get in enough busses to get those people out of the Superdome.
It may turn out that that stupid color coded chart really is Homeland Security's proudest achievement.
That was then:
This is now:
"When you live in a fishbowl, everything seems a little distorted... I keep thinking it's Tuesday."
Tap tap tap
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Your flag decal won’t get you into heaven anymore
Funniest line of the year (so far)
Lunacy in Colorado Springs
Joe the Economist?
Limbaugh: How low can you go?
Understanding talk radio
Paranoia strikes deep…
After eight years, Americans finally get it
Whiskey Bar (Billmon)
Talking Points Memo
The Poor Man
The News Blog (Steve Gilliard)
the american street
The Daily Howler
Abused by the News
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MaxSpeak, You Listen!
The Nation Weblogs
Change for America
Seeing The Forest
Blog for America
Why Kirghiz Light?
Ask Thomas Pynchon
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