Thursday, March 29, 2007

Best. Pictures. EVER!

well....of Bush anyway...the Beautiful Nancy Pelosi in the picture doesn't hurt anything either......evidently this sequence was taken at last night's Radio and Television Correspondent's Dinner. More on that here and here.... but enjoy these( note you have to sit through a short commercial for the first one but it's worth it when Bush says that "The U. S. Attorney's scandal" is back because it actually makes people feel sorry for lawyers).

I'm absolutely dieing of curiousity ....wouldn't you just LOVE to know what she said to him?

Friday, March 23, 2007

Digby ends the week right....


What a week.....been busier than a one-armed paper hanger...a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest...okay...enough...I've been busy...

But Digby ended the week right for me....and gave me plenty to "riff on".

Let's review:

The Republican talking point de jour regarding the firing of the US Attorneys is that "it's perfectly normal, legal and common....fercrissakkes...CLINTON even did it." Even some liberal commentators, or perhaps members of the "chattering class" are parrotting the points that the Attorney's "Serve at the Pleasure of the President". It follows, then, that if those things are true, then this must be just some form of "scandal mongering" from the Democrats.

I have been forced to personnally defend this position a couple of times this week, and, as is my nature, my explanation tends to get lost in the details and overlooks the simple, straight-forward truth of the matter. Digby does much better. Here's how he explains it:

"What they don't expect is that the political apparatus of the White House will use the Department of Justice as a tool to protect criminal wrongdoing among their own and trump up charges against their political opponents. That is not just a different focus or legal prioity. That's corruption, pure and simple, and may constitute obstruction of justice. (And believe me, if there had been any evidence that Clionton had such motivations the Republican congress would have investigated it in 1994 when they took office. They investigated everything.) ..."

What lead Digby to go through this explanation for the "umpteenth time" is columnist Michael Kinsley at Time Magazines blogspot, The Swamp, who still can't see the problem with the firings....

It's the "obstruction of justice", Stupid! Could be the watchword now days.....

There's something even more ironic in Kinsley's article though, and Digby was quick to jump on it. It was that Kinsley essentially prefers that matters like this be handled through the ballot box as opposed to the "investigation and hearings " process.

The irony should be burning your soul by now.....because, the scandal was precisely about the Republicans trying to subvert the ballot box process through trumped up charges against democrats for even more trumped up charges of "election fraud" know, like registering voters, or maybe like allowing people of color to know, THAT kind of "election fraud".

It isn't a conspiracy theory any more. The Republican party apparatus intends (notice it's not the past tense, "intended") to create a permanent Conservative Majority by controlling the ballot boxes, the election process, and access to voting itself.

Of course, Digby writes much better than I so go read him.

He also links to: John Dean at Findlaw as well as Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

HowLOW can SNOW go?

This is just ridiculous.....Tony Snow up on the podium today spinning his a$$ off and then the Chicago Tribune Blog finds this:

It seems that during the Clinton trials and tribulations, Snow wrote a column about "executive privilege"....

"Evidently, Mr. Clinton wants to shield virtually any communications that take place within the White House compound on the theory that all such talk contributes in some way, shape or form to the continuing success and harmony of an administration,'' the columnist wrote. "Taken to its logical extreme, that position would make it impossible for citizens to hold a chief executive accountable for anything.''

ooohhhhh, but it gets even better.....

Mr. Clinton can't blame his lawyers for this latest feint. He alone can assert the privilege. The maneuver places him at the heart of his administration's ongoing effort to use executive privilege as a way of concealing the truth about whether the president exposed himself. It is almost impossible to think of this as anything but a tactic to delay independent counsel Kenneth Starr long enough for James Carville and other red-ant assailants to nibble at Mr. Starr and pump as much venom as possible into the political system.

Snow wrote that stuff ten years ago and now the shoe is literally on the other foot. How can he claim any credibility at all? How long can this administration hide behind the veneer of "statesmanship" when they are really nothing more than hypocritical political hacks?

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

A couple of personal memories...

Some of my families happiest days were when my dad was in the Navy and flew as a crewman aboard some rather obscure aircraft. I found some sad pictures..sad because these planes sit discarded and ready for the scrap heap....sort hurts.

To the left are two A3D Skywarriors known affectionately as "Whales" recently served with NASA for research. They sit in the desert, their fate uncertain....If you look just in front of the engine intake, on the fuselage, there is a painted-out looks like the old "Sea Dragon" Emblem of old VAH-3 which was the squadron my father retired from....My father flew in A3s with VAH-7 (Heavy Seven)you can see the emblem more clearly in the image below....

To the right is an A-5 Vigilante which is now in an outdoor museum in the desert. It is done up in the colors of VAH-3 and you can clearly see the sea-dragon emblem right behind the red intake markings....This is why my Dad had to quit flying..he had to either upgrade to become a B/N or the time he had only 2 years left which he spent in administrative the end he almost hated the Navy. I think it was because he couldn' fly anymore.

This is one of the most famous (and rare ) pictures of the AJ-2P "Savage" by North American Aviation. I know the history of this photo really well, because that was a Detachment from VJ-62 taken around 1954 when they were returning from Germany. They are flying over Sanford, Florida and the lake in the background is Lake Monroe. If you look at the lead aircraft you'll see the "third crewman" looking out the window toward the camera (the 3rd crewman sat facing backwards).....and that, would be my Father.....

Just sharing some memories tonight.....don't know why......

That dirty little secret....xpost

I'm cross posting this because I think it's important enough to share as widely as possible.....

I wasn't reminded of this until I read today's post by Prof. Juan Cole at Informed Comment, entitled "Bush's Top Ten Mistakes in Iraq during the Past 4 Years ". Most of us who have been paying close attention to the war in Iraq could probably make our own "top ten" list with very little trouble but that's not the point I want to make this morning. I was reminded of this point when I read "mistake #9" which was:

9. Declining to intervene in the collapsed economy or help put Iraqi state industries back on a good footing, on the grounds that the "market" would magically produce prosperity effortlessly.

Buried in there is the dirtly little secret that the neoconservatives don't want the public to know about.....EVER!

You see, there was a plan for Iraq after Saddam was removed from power. We often wrongly criticize Bush for not having a plan, but there actually was a plan. Just exactly when and where it was developed is a little hazy but the the plan was called: Baghdad. Year Zero

The link takes you the Harper's Magazine article by Naomi Klein entitled Baghdad, Year Zero. It was written in September of 2004 to outline her trips to Baghdad to determine why things were still in disarray a year after "shock and awe". She discovered that Iraq was going to be the petri dish for neonconservative economic theory; it would the the ultimate free-market utopia that conservatives had always dreamed of but could never implement in existing economies. As Klein wrote:

"Iraq was going to change all that. In one place on Earth, the theory would finally be put into practice in its most perfect and uncompromised form. A country of 25 million would not be rebuilt as it was before the war; it would be erased, disappeared. In its place would spring forth a gleaming showroom for laissez-faire economics, a utopia such as the world had never seen. Every policy that liberates multinational corporations to pursue their quest for profit would be put into place: a shrunken state, a flexible workforce, open borders, minimal taxes, no tariffs, no ownership restrictions. The people of Iraq would, of course, have to endure some short-term pain: assets, previously owned by the state, would have to be given up to create new opportunities for growth and investment. Jobs would have to be lost and, as foreign products flooded across the border, local businesses and family farms would, unfortunately, be unable to compete. But to the authors of this plan, these would be small prices to pay for the economic boom that would surely explode once the proper conditions were in place, a boom so powerful the country would practically rebuild itself. "

pfffft.....and you said Bush didn't have a on:

Two months before the war began, USAID began drafting a work order, to be handed out to a private company, to oversee Iraq's “transition to a sustainable market-driven economic system.” The document states that the winning company (which turned out to be the KPMG offshoot Bearing Point) will take “appropriate advantage of the unique opportunity for rapid progress in this area presented by the current configuration of political circumstances.” Which is precisely what happened.

Get that?

Are you starting to guess the "dirty little secret"?

The dirty little secret is that their utopian neoconservative dream about "free markets" and business unfettered by government regulation doesn't work. Their little pipe dream is a farce and if the rank and file Republicans who have been sold this dream....actually this myth....ever learn the truth, they will abandon the party in droves and consign them to the status of a tiny lunatic fringe organization like they really are.

Take the time to read the whole article..I did when it first came out and I was stunned by it.

Monday, March 19, 2007

I can have friends...or...I can have principles...

I haven't written about this for a long time but somCheck Spellingetimes I need to remember


Did you ever hear that term? You commonly hear it in reference to the U.S. Senate but you may also hear it in reference to the members of any elected body. It is the respect they show for each other for being members of the same exclusive (semi-exclusive) club, thatclub of elected officials.

In the rules of "collegiality" you may not be hostile to other members. On the floor of the body in question you may not insult that member. You may not impune the members motives or call them names. You must, above all, be CIVIL.

It doesn't mean you can't disagree. You must do so only in terms of collegiality.....and in return, all your collegues will be your friends.

Nice, huh?....agree without being disagreeable...manners...civility....yeah, but there's a problem with that...

You see most of us Jack-Pine-Savages don't know that "collegiality" doesn't mean we have to agree with everybody doesn't mean that you have to "rubber stamp" everything that is proposed in order to keep from upsetting your "friends"....

So when something comes up that wrankles my principles, I have a choice of having friends or principles....

I think I'm down to having "man's best friend" now.

Friday, March 16, 2007


Did you hear the testimony today?

Did you hear Valerie Testify?

Did you hear Henry Waxman tear Victoria Tsoening apart?


Just Wow!
In the picture on the right, Ambassador Joe Wilson and his wife, Mother of Twins, NOC CIA operative and AK47 qualified VALERIE PLAME WILSON.....did I also mention that she's gorgeous?

Thursday, March 15, 2007

A. B. C. = Anything. But. Clinton.

Digby has another good post up about the driving forces behind American Foreign Policy under the Bush Administration. Here's an interesting snippet:

It is also the case that their animating principle in the first few
years of the administration was to do the exact opposite of Clinton in
all things
. It was a simple, easy to remember formula (for simple,
forgetful people) that unfortunately led them to reject long-standing,
bipartisan foreign policy along with everything else. When you combined
the neocon and harcore hawk track records with a mandate to reject anything that Bill Clinton might have endorsed, you ended up with the hacktacular mishmash of sophomoric chest thumping, mindless military actions and conscious rejection all mutual understanding with our allies.
It was an amazing thing to watch and I'm not sure we have enough distance from it yet to even begin to understand the full dimension of the errors that ensued.

Yes. In those awful early days of the Bush Administration, a lot of us liberals were licking our wounds over the recent Supreme Court Installation of Bush as President, but even with only half our attention span focused on Bush we could still see that Bush was determined to undermine ABSOLUTELY ANYTHING Clinton did while in the White House. I'm certain that if the White House Chef had told Bush that Clinton liked Cheeseburgers (purportedly one of Dubya's favorite "dishes") that Dubya would have banned them from being served at the White House.

Digby and Yglesias were right to this point but then they go on to say that U. S. Foreign Policy didn't need to be overhauled, it was working just fine (except for an occassional bone-headed move now and then).

Okay, fair enough but I think they're overlooking something important.

Prior to 9/11/01, Bush had already surrounded himself with some of the most flagrant "cold warriors" in the nation, particularly Cheney and Rumsfeld, and they, in turn, had staffed their office with only like-minded others and all of them ...all. of. them. were diciples of Leo Strauss.

When 9/11 did happen, these people rose to primacy within the Bush was the proverbial PERFECT STORM of FOREIGN POLICY HIJACKING. . It was no long just A. B. C. = Anything. But. Clinton. It was now a replay of the cold war played out in the oilfields of the Middle East

So Digby and Matt Yglesias are right to an DID start out as a repudiation of Clinton's policies but the ability to put the foreign policy strategies of Strauss into play took a remarkable event: 9/11. And nobody in Government would have accepted one single word of this crackpot scheme had it NOT been for 9/11.

Two words: BUT FOR

but for 9/11 the Straussian Neocons would have remeained in the background as a sick little joke. They would have been ridiculed until Bush was forced to disavow their crackpottery and they would have been shuffled off to the same dustbin of history where the Holucust Deniers dwell in their perpetual hell of denial. But For 9/11, Bush could not have afforded to embrace them with re-election looming in the future, and, always remember this: By September 1 of 2001, Bush's Presidency was already in trouble. He was looked upon as a "Johnny One-Note" (tax cuts, tax cuts, and tax cuts that was the only real policy interest he had at the time). But For 9/11, His approval ratings were already starting to slip to the 50% range.

Begs the question doesn't it?

You KNOW what question I' m thinking of, don't you?

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Be afraid VERY afraid....

Look at this cross post:

From Glenn Greenwald:

And the more unpopular the President becomes as a result, the more of a failure these policies are, the more strongly they tell him to ignore all of that, that none of it matters, that his God and history will conclude that he did The Right Thing, provided that he continue steadfastly to pursue their agenda. And the President believes that. That is why nothing will stop him in pursuing the path he created years ago when, in January, 2002, he became convinced to name not only Iraq, but also Iran, as standing members of the "Axis of Evil" (even though our relations with Iran were rapidly improving at the time) and cited the 9/11 attacks in order to all but vow war on those countries, despite their having nothing to do with those attacks. The President's "lessons" at the feet of neoconservatives continue, and he is as faithful a student as ever.

A small victory

For those of us who have been in a perpetual state of Depression since December 12 or '02, victories have been hard to come by but when they do, no matter how small they may seem, they must be savored like a fine wine or a sumptuous meal....

November of '06 was one such moment....

And now there is the Fox News "hissy fit" over the Democrats wising up and refusing to let Fox News host the first Democratic Presidential Candidate Debate in Nevada.

TRex at firedoglake has a great take on it and also gives us a peek at Matt Stoller's article concerning Fox News.

Stollers comments first:

Over the past three weeks or so, the progressive movement – bloggers,, grassroots activists, filmmakers – pressured the Nevada Democratic Party to drop Fox News as the host of a presidential debate in August. In pursuing this short campaign, we made two basic arguments that were eventually accepted by party leaders.

First, we argued that Fox News is not a news channel, but a propaganda outlet that regularly distorts, spins, and falsifies information. Second, Fox News is heavily influenced or even controlled by the Republican Party itself. As such, we believe that Fox News on the whole functions as a surrogate operation for the GOP. Treating Fox as a legitimate news channel extends the Republican Party’s ability to swift-boat and discredit our candidates. In other words, Fox News is a direct pipeline of misinformation from the GOP leadership into the traditional press.

Via Think Progress, we see a video of "BillO's" response on Fox:

Tonight, Bill O’Reilly attacked the “radical movement” that opposed the Nevada Democratic Party’s debate with Fox News. O’Reilly said that MoveOn, “the Daily Kos or whatever that stupid thing is,” and others “use propaganda techniques perfected by Dr. Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi minister of information. They lie, distort, defame, all the time.” Progressive activists attack Fox News
because “we report on them accurately,” O’Reilly said.

TREX responds:

No, dickhead. We don't want anything to do with Fox because you are (in the words of Mr. Dickens) "vile and slanderous calumniators". And trust me. We're not the Nazis here. If you're going to invoke Godwin's Law, Mr. O'Reilly, you should bear in mind that Hitler was NOT an out-of-control liberal, no matter what Ann Coulter says.

And finally, after all the back-and-forth, the bottom line from TREX:


Okay? Democrats, are you listening? Fox News is nothing but a propaganda mill. Any and all stories and commentaries on Fox News end the same way, i.e., Republicans are good and Democrats are bad. Period. They barely even play at a pretense of objectivity.

Any attempt by Democrats to make nice with Fox is doomed from the outset. The Nevada debate was a set-up, an ambush. Nevada Democrats did the right thing by telling Fox where they could stick it. We need more of this, please. And we, the netroots, need to pound this into the heads of any Democrats who will listen:

Fox News is determined to destroy you.

In their ideological casino, all the games are fixed and the house always wins. Unless you're Joe Lieberman, Fox is going to find a way to discredit, drown out, and humiliate you. It is their sole purpose in the world. Nothing that they say will ever, ever truly be "fair and balanced".

We actually won this one folks....we didn't give faux news the chance to ridicule, undermine, demean, mock or marginalize our candidates....we didn't let them develop a narrative for our primaries.....

ON EDIT 11:02 am

Woohoo! Digby joins in....beautifully!

But I am damned if I'm going to fail to exercize legitimate grassroots
political power in the nomination process of my party, which is what happened in
this case. It's called "democracy" and if certain political poohbah's and media
mavens don't like it, that's just tough. Candidates vying for the nomination of
the Democratic Party have to respond to the voters. Contrary to Kondracke and
O'Reilly's hysterical
that's as far from Stalinsim and Nazism as you can get.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

So who will tell the people?

Digby did a wonderful post this afernoon which he entitled "Lancing the Boil". I strongly recommend you read it. His post resonated well with me tonight because of the short blurb of Schieffer on Face the Nation this morning. I was fuming over his gratituous commentary on the Libby verdict and thought about how in step it was with the Washington establishment journalists who are no longer reporting public opinion but manipulating it. Okay ....a recap is in order...

What Schieffer said in the commentary consisted of these Republican/Conservative talking points:

Fitzgerald was out of control

Libby wasn't convicted for outing a CIA Agent, just Lying about it...

There was no underlying crime.

This came from a journalist who is supposed to be one of the last few men of integrity in American journalism, but in fact is just another shill for the Bush administration. Not only did he not recognize the fact that Libby's lies were obviously covers for a crime that was committed, but also tried his damnest to OBSTRUCT the investigation. Obstruction of justice was one of the counts Libby was found guilty on ....he was found guilty on four other counts. Shaeffer never mentioned those.

But the larger point is a Digby said.....the independent media no longer exists...they are shills of the administration, willing to repeat their lies and spin without question....


Who is left to tell the people?

Who is left to tell the truth?

My guess is that the only place where truth can be found these days is the blogosphere. The web has made each of us a journalist ...each of us a truth teller...each of us a watchdog on the media.

I say this only because I can't believe that there is any way to reform the media. I think they're beyond help.
A friend of mine once told me that I must always remember this truth:
The media does not exist to be a public service. They do not exist to tell the truth. They do not exist to insure the proper working of Democracy. They exist to make money and therein lies the unholy alliance. As long as the media and the power brokers make make money for each other they will continue to do each others bidding. Somehow, somewhere the cycle of money and power has to be broken.
I don't know how.
do you?

Dave Obey flap....

I've been occupied for the last 24 hours or so with the Dave Obey flap...he was caught arguing on tape with war protestors...he shouted and them and talked about "liberal idiots" who expected him to do the impossible....the video of that exchange became a "viral video" and spread around the Youtube sphere just like a virus....David Sirota published an excellent defense and, if it's any consolation, the Wisconsin forum on DU has been overwhelmingly supportive of Dave because of his almost spotless history of support of the liberal/progressive agenda.

I've known Dave for over 30 years. I posted elsewhere that arguing with Dave Obey is a lot like making love to a've gotta be careful. He IS volitile....but then again, his campaign slogan was so very, very was HE'S A FIGHTER FOR US! Exactly...that's what we love about Dave...he won't back down, he's combatative and he doesn't tolerate foolishness. He's been in Congress long enough to know how the system works and he is politically saavy enough to understand what is possible and what is not.....

As for Dave's comment about "Idiot Liberals" (which he repeated in his apology) I understand e nwhat he's talking about and also his frustration. On the local level, we've had to deal with elements of the liberal side of the agenda who have demanded of local elected officials that they support measures which would be political suicide in the name of political purity. I know what this is like on the local level so it is possible for me to visualize the incredible pressure that is exerted on political leaders on the national level...hence, Dave's frustration and, apparently, outright scorn.

I've been shouted at by Dave have a lot of us veterans of "The Fighting 7th CD" (lol...thanks to Stephen Colbert)...and as long as he keeps shouting at the Republicans in Congress, I don't mind it one little bit.

Friday, March 09, 2007


Courtesy of our friends at Crooks&Liars we get a screenshot from MSNBCs Countdown with Keith Olbermann....which adds more myrth to the Sanchez story...

I riffed on it a little bit late last night in this post....

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Oh. My. It happened again....

See the whole story here.....

photo courtesy of Americablog

There's NOTHING WRONG with being gay.....and, there's no political "litmus test" on being a consumer of porn....

That being said, however, there IS something wrong with being a

1. GAY

2. Porn Star

3. Hooker

While condemning :

1. Gay

2. Porn Star

3. Hookers

This seems to happen a lot in Conservative circles, eh?

The funniest part is that this guy received an award at the same conservative conference where Ann (with whom he is pictured above) made her FAGGOT slur against gays......these folks don't understand IRONY do they?

This courtesy of Americablog:

The real eleven inches of pure hypocrisy

Statement by Matt Foreman, Executive DirectorNational Gay and Lesbian Task Force

“While it may be delicious to watch our opponents twist and squirm after honoring and embracing a larger-than-life gay porn star, I don’t see any hypocrisy in U.S. Marine reservist Matt Sanchez’s actions. As is his right, he spoke out against what he believed was bad treatment by Columbia’s ‘radical anti-military students’ (Sanchez’s words). Right-wing pundits and organizations pounced on the handsome Latino Marine and showered him with praise and media exposure. Now, they’re scrambling for cover.

“Porn — gay or straight — has no ideology. Porn stars and porn consumers are Republicans and Democrats, liberals and conservatives, atheists and evangelicals. There’s no inherent contradiction between Matt Sanchez being pro-military and being part of the ‘adult film’ industry. The real hypocrisy expresses itself in two different and important ways. First, the failed ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ law requires Matt Sanchez and thousands of other loyal Americans to hide their sexual orientation to serve their country in the military. Second, Ann Coulter and her ilk lift a man to hero and spokesperson status until — gasp! — he is found out to be a ‘faggot’ (Coulter’s word).

UPDATE: Michelle Bachman (R-Minnesota) says Ann Coulter is "our hero". See the link here:


"In the terms of modern presidency, Ronald Reagan has been a tremendous hero of mine, as has Ann Coulter. I just adore Ann Coulter," Bachmann said in an April 2006 interview with

Another riff on the Right-Wing Wurlitzer

I took off on it this morning in this post..... but I really need to develop the thoughts I had on the "narrative" that should be played out in the MSM (Main Stream Media) right now....

We need to tell the public

or, as Scarecrow at firedoglake put it.....
"Lies never die with these people. The guilty verdicts changed nothing for them. All of the lies that have been repeatedly discredited are still being told by the Administration's supporters without shame and too often without response. The cover up continues and is in full force. ..."
This time, we should have OUR surrogates on the MSM asking these questions of the pundits and hosts:
Why did the Administration choose YOUR SHOW to trot out their talking points?
Who are the journalist they have chosen to spread their message?
Why are they pushing this line of talking points?
Are all these commentators, journalists and pundits part of the Bush Administration's
Why should we accept anything they say as anything more than
a paid, political advertisement?

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

DANGER...He's thinking again.....

I've read several posts where liberals are taken aback by the intensity, volume and sheer audacity of the right wing spin operation concerning the verdict in the Scooter Libby be honest, so was I....and wouldn't you just know got me thinking.....and I came up with these points....

First....what did we learn?

During the Libby trial, didn't we learn, first hand, under oath, under penalty of law, how this administration "plays" the it uses certain pundits, reporters, think tanks and press agents plant stories, distribute talking points, manipulate sources...on and on and on and on...

We saw it played out...we saw EXACTLY HOW IT WORKS.... and the high powered spin that we're seeing now?

Do we have any reason to believe that

ANY pundit who is defending Libby ...
ANY pundit who is repeating the talking points
ANY reporter who defends Libby


This is exactly how we should be countering the noise coming out of the great Right Wing's clear...they have "friends" in the media. ...they USE the media...they coordinate the media....they control the message...and they're doing it again...

They have no credibility. We simply need a clever, eye-catching catch-phrase to present this to the public with....

Point number two:

For the Administration to defend this so vociferously there must be something gigantic at stake....more than just "poor Scooter"....more than just exposing the lies that led us to war(that's already been done to some extent)...more than protecting the Vice President....

They are afraid of something....they're covering something bigger than we can imagine....what is it? They're skilled political pickpockets....they bump you in the chest so you don't notice that they're lifting your wallet.....

To all liberals, Democrats and Progressives out there....

be on notice...

keep your hand on your wallet!

note: blogger images are buggered at the moment (9:15PM)....I'll edit it later.

In case you missed it...


But the spin is making me dizzy....obviously the Republicans were expecting this because their legions were on every talk show spouting the same talking points...busting out the same spin...scarecrow over at firedoglake has a good overview of the spinmeisters at work
.....and worse yet, even the Washington Post is REPEATING the same lies which were debunked years ago about Joe and Valerie (Plame) Wilson. Attaturk does a good job of documenting it here....
That's Valerie and Joe in the picture at the right...
As a side note, I can picture Valerie as a "soccer mom" but the desecription of her being trained to use an AK-47 assault rifle just sort of ....boggles my mind....

Tuesday, March 06, 2007


I was reading through the "comments" section of Greenwald's post...and this comment by El Cid was just too good not to share with you:

For Rightwing, Reason & Thought Themselves Are 'Gay'

For the populist right, the idea of slowing down your contrived authoritarian impulses for even one moment to think about an issue, to reason something through, is, in itself, effeminate and probably gay.
Why is that? Because it's possible that thinking through an issue carefully and resorting to evidence may, just may, somehow contradict their desired agenda. So the most effective thing to do is discourage thought and reason in itself, so as not to risk your precious lunatic goals.
If the American right wing were going to design & build a bridge, there would be no architects with their big pointy heads and all their 'stoppin' and thinkin' about stuff' to hold back the large, fake macho dudes with hammers and nails who are then followed by the loudmouth brigade.
No, their chosen lunatic pseudointellectual would claim that he was able to draw out a bridge -- in fact he's got a glorious idea for a brand new bridge design that nobody done never thought none of -- and it wouldn't take him very long.
If the bridge collapses because the idiots don't know the first thing about building bridges, well, it's not their fault, some gay foreign terrorist guy must have somehow drove over a truck at the wrong time.


This of course is a nice riff on Greenwald's statement:

"And the ultimate expression of faux, empty, masculine courage and power is, of course, the Commander-in-Chief himself -- the Glorious Leader whom John Podhoretz hailed in the title of his worshippful cult book as The First Great Leader of the 21st Century -- with the ranch hats and brush-clearing pants and flight-suit outfits that would make the Village People seethe with jealousy over his costume choices. Just behold this poster which was a much in-demand item at past CPAC events (h/t Digby), which makes as clear as can be how these Bush followers have tried to idolize their Leader: "

Village People indeed!


Glenn Greenwald had another fascinating take on the Ann Coulter flap today. You can read the article on Salon if you sit through an advertisement.

Actually his post makes a couple of points that are worthwhile....

First he talks about Michelle Malkin's appearance on Bill O'Reilly's show last night where the Coulter atrocity was discussed. And MM told two awful truths, which are:

MM: She's very popular among conservatives. And let me say this. I have been a long-time admirer of much of Ann's work. She has done yeomen's work for conservatism. But I think, lately, over the last couple of years, that there has been this penchant for hurling these kinds of bombs.
And there is a divided opinion among grass-roots conservatives about what she did. I was one of the people who condemned the raghead comment last year . . . . If going into 2008, that is what the Republican Party is trying to do and win back the Congress and take the Congress and win the White House, having her there is not going to be a help.

Did you catch that?

Ann Coulter is not an abberation in Conservative circles....she's mainstream...and then, it's not that conservatives find her comments objectionable that they don't want her around, it's that she may drive off more moderate, centrist voters which the Conservatives (Republicans) need to take back Congress.

The second point that Greenwald makes is how Coulter seems to fit into the conservative, or neoconservative scheme of writing the narrative about us liberals.....She's key to it because her bomb-throwing can be "tsk-tsk'ed" by Conservatives for large scale public consumption but among the conservative base, they are accepting her words as "the truth nobody (else) dares speak"

The narrative is always the same, as Greenwald so accurately describes it:

And that is where Ann Coulter comes in and plays such a vital -- really indispensible -- role. As a woman who purposely exudes the most exaggerated American feminine stereotypes (the long blond hair, the make-up, the emaciated body), her obsession with emasculating Democratic males -- which, at bottom, is really what she does more than anything else -- energizes and stimulates the right-wing "base" like nothing else can. Just witness the fervor with which they greet her, buy her books, mob her on college campuses. Can anyone deny that she is unleashing what lurks at the very depths of the right-wing psyche? What else explains not just her popularity, but the intense embrace of her by the "base"?

And even our friend, Digby, gets his props in this article too.

Coulter plays a vital and irreplaceable role in this movement. The reason I linked to that Bob Somerby post on Maureen Dowd yesterday is because he makes the critical point -- one which Digby, among others, has been making for a long time, including in a great post last night -- concerning how the right-wing movement conducts itself and the rhetorical tool they use not only to keep themselves in power, but more importantly, to keep their needy, confused, and scared base feeling strong and protected. As Digby put it:

The underlying premise of the modern conservative movement is that the
entire Democratic party consists of a bunch of fags and dykes who are both too
effeminate and too masculine to properly lead the nation. Coulter says it out
loud. Dowd hints at it broadly. And the entire press corps giggles and swoons at
this shallow, sophomoric concept like a bunch of junior high pom pom girls.

I think he hit the proverbial nail right on the on the link and read the whole article, there's much more in it than I've described .

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Just me and Jesus (General, that is)

On second edit: OOOOPS ....MY BAD ...The General didn't write that was by Austin Cline , I have to pay more attention to the sig lines next time.....

Sorry for ruining your day General...Sir, worship? your grace?

Jesus General posted a piece today which closely mirrors my thoughts about the Republican Imperial Presidency and the reasons for it ....I've thought it for a long time and it's gratifying that somebody else is thinking along the same lines.

Here's today's post

In Gauntanamo, The War on Human Rights, by David Rose, Rose writes:

Past American presidents have tried to assume...exceptional powers in wartime, and all have eventually been overruled by the Supreme Court... In a 1967 case about rights to protest during the Vietnam War, Chief Justice Warren observed, “The concept of ‘national defense’ cannot be deemed an end in itself, justifying any exercise...of power designed to promote such a goal. Implicit in the term ‘national defense’ is the notion of defending those values and ideals which set this nation apart.”

In 1952, American Justice Jackson ruled similarily, and because he had been a judge at the Nurenburg Tribunals, was particularly sensitive to assumption of "additional powers" by the executive branch. He wrote:

Such an usurpation must never be permitted in America, Justice Jackson said, even in time of war. “The claim of inherent and unrestricted presidential powers has long been a persuasive dialectical weapon in political controversy.” But “the essence of our free Government is ‘leave to live by no man’s leave, under the law’ — to be governed by those impersonal forces which we call law. Our Government is fashioned to fulfill this concept so far as humanly possible. With all its defects, delays, and inconveniences, men have discovered no technique for long preserving free government except that the Executive be under the law, and that the law be made by parliamentary deliberations

Jesus General then reaches the same point I did in .this post...and even more so here

"Could this be because they recognize that too few people would agree with them if their plans were all laid bare? Are they consciously attempting to move America away from the principle of the rule of law in planned, gradual steps? America broke away from Britain in part because it no longer felt confident in the rule of a king and Americans refused to install a new king in George’s place; today, though, there is a indeed a new George in charge and we should not accept his arbitrary exercise of immoral, unlawful, and inappropriate power."

Earlier in his post, the General related that in times of crisis, natural or man-made, American Citizens tend to look for a strong leader to bring them safely through the crisis. Unfortuantely, we have an administration which is all too willing to take the people up on the offer and permanently assume more powers to themselves. This isn't exactly what we had in mind fact...

I think America really wants a SUPERMAN model of leader. Here's how we, the people really envision from our leaders.

We envision that the leader is always there but completely out of sight. The leader is perfectly willing to sit quietly and let us run our own lives without any interferrence whatsoever. (Analogy: Superman dwelling in his "ice castle" or being Clark Kent, not interferring in any way)

But if a crisis strikes, the leader springs into action. Habeus Corpus be damned! Due Process Be Damned! The evil-ones must be vanquished!

Once the evil-one is vanquished, we give accolades to the leader, praise him and reward him with continuing power, which he modestly declines and humbly retreats to the ice castle until the next crisis.

But the trouble with this administration is that they don't want to retreat to the ice castle....and worse yet...well

they haven't vanquished the "evil-ones"
they can't see that we will EVER vanquish the "evil-ones"
we're slowing learning that they LIED to us about exactly who the "evil-ones" really were....

One can't help but think it's deliberate.... what the hell happened to Superman?

Thanks for the thoughts Jesus (General)

note: edited for clarity at 2:25PM

Saturday, March 03, 2007

A jolt into reality again

I've written about the conservatives chidding us liberals because of our opposition to the war. Somehow or another if you don't support the war you are (if you're a male) a coward, gay, communist or you lack testicles...or testosterone...or, possibly, all of the above. If you're a female who opposes the war then, you're simply an unpatriotic communist. The debate has been raging for some time now and has become intertwined with all kinds of esoteric issues.

But here's a jolt.....

All those macho, brave, fearless hawks who think we should, as Ann Coulter has been credited as saying: " KICK THEIR ASS AND TAKE THEIR GAS!" aren't actually getting shot at.

Somebody posted this over at Democratic Underground earlier today. Click it.

Some especially poingent lyrics:

Hey bartender over here
Two more shots
And two more beers
Sir turn up the TV sound
The war has started on the ground
Just love those laser guided bombs
They're really greatFor righting wrongs
You hit the target
And win the game
From bars 3,000 miles away
3,000 miles away

We play the game
With the bravery of being out of range
We zap and maim
With the bravery of being out of range
We strafe the train
With the bravery of being out of range
We gain terrain
With the bravery of being out of range
With the bravery of being out of range
We play the game
With the bravery of being out of range

Yep....that's about's easy to be brave when you're out of range.

Well, the weather broke...

it's not snowing anymore anyway...getting a bit of wind...NOAA says 20-30 mph...

I'm a little sore from shoveling because the stuff that came down yesterday afternoon turned to slush...and, as any good Wisconsinite knows, snowblowers turn into really, really big SNO CONE MACHINES when it gets really sloppy.

I posted on the County dems website last night the rage against the North Korea intelligence debacle that broke on either Thursday or Friday. Actually Billycreek posted on it earlier in the week. He was pretty outraged by it, as we all should have been.

I know this probably isn't as important as ending the war in Iraq, keeping Dubya and crew from nuking Iran and everything, but I' m fascinated with the way the most recent Ann Coulter outrage is playing out. Espesially in light of Joe Klein, Howard Kurtz and other "serious" journalists dog-piling on "liberal bloggers" for their "incivility" and their "obscenity" and "name calling".....

After all that, the Queen of Right Wing Bile got up at a Conservative Conference for yourself...

Speaking today at the Conservative Political Action Conference, right-wing pundit Ann Coulter said: “I was going to have a few comments on the other Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, but it turns out you have to go into rehab if you use the word ‘faggot,’ so I — so kind of an impasse, can’t really talk about Edwards.” Audience members said “ohhh” and then cheered.

DNC Chairman, Howard Dean issued the following comment.

“There is no place in political discourse for this kind of hate-filled and bigoted comments. While Democrats and Republicans may disagree on the issues, we should all be able to agree that this kind of vile rhetoric is out of bounds. The American people want a serious, thoughtful debate of the issues. Republicans–including the Republican presidential candidates who shared the podium with Ann Coulter today–should denounce her hateful remarks.”

Will Joe Klein denounce Ann for her incivility?

Will Republicans demand she issue an immediate apology?

Will the MSM pick it up and cry loudly for Ann Coulter's head on a pike?

Or, maybe, just maybe...there is a double standard at play's okay for conservatives to say hateful, bigoted things about their opponents but if liberals dare to do so....well...that's just uncivil.

To help us poor, misguided liberal bloggers distinguish between what is uncivil and what is civil, The Poor Man Institute has provided us with a handy chart. Part of which I'll reprint here.

Incivil/Unserious Civil/Serious
“f*ck” Suggest that Arab countries, being too primative for democracy should be reduced to rubble.
“sh*t” Imply that the media is working with al Qaeda.
“w*nk*r” Wonder if the Clintons were involved in the murder of Princess Diana.
“d*mn” State that we are at war with France.
“*ssh*l*” Invent a quote from Abraham Lincoln saying that Congressmen who disagree with the President should be executed.
“d*ck” Congratulate people for recognizing that the ethnic cleansing of Muslims is inevitable.
“c*nt”/”c*ck” Point out that Arab Muslims are bloodthirsty savages.
“b*tch” Suggest that the government should begin murdering

I've butchered his chart quite badly, be sure to click the link and read it for yourself...and yes, clicking on the blue linky-things will take you to the quotes in question.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Guess what I did this morning?

Give Up?

You Wisconsinites on the blog were probably doing the same thing.....

By the way, I found that picture and a really NICE picture of Lake Superior from the U. P. side at Pasty's Site ...sort of nice really... here's the Lake Superior Picture.

I had a meeting that went sort of late last night so I'm a little lethargic this morning....that and having to blow the drifts out of the driveway early this morning so I could get the cars out. I understand Duluth, Superior (maybe) Bayfield and Ashland are getting hit really hard by this storm...we're getting a break from the snow until tonight....did I say "break"?....since when have I considered "freezing rain" a "break"....

Also as an aside, if you want to visit the site of another good, Wisconsin liberal, tryout BILLYCREEK,
We have a lot in common....(except I can't tie a fly lure worth diddley....)