Monday, October 31, 2005


No... energy... can't... lift fingers to blog... "Scalito." Posting this... instead...

A major research institution has announced the discovery of the heaviest element yet known to science - "governmentium." It has 1 neutron, 12 assistant neutrons, 75 deputy neutrons and 111 assistant deputy neutrons for an atomic mass of 312. These 312 particles are held together by forces called morons that are further surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like subparticles called peons.

Governmentium has no electrons and is therefore inert. It can be detected, however, since it impedes every reaction it comes into contact with. A tiny amount of governmentium can take a reaction that normally occurs in seconds and slow it to the point where it takes days.

Governmentium has a normal half life of three years. It doesn't decay but "re-organizes," a process where assistant deputy neutrons and deputy neutrons change places. This process actually causes it to grow, as in the confusion some morons become neutrons, thereby forming isodopes.

This phenomenon of "moron promotion" has led to some speculation that governmentium forms whenever sufficient morons meet in concentration forming critical morass. Researchers believe that in governmentium, the more you re-organize, the morass you cover.


Saturday, October 29, 2005

Why I bother

The vast majority of Americans are too busy living their lives to waste time on political blogs. Maybe they've never cared about politics, or maybe they've given up because it's hopeless, or maybe they're working far more effectively than we at change in some direct way, or maybe they think we're just delusional and should get a life. In short, most people I know wouldn't spend a minute doing what I do. But here's why I bother:

Sen. Kennedy,

I find your dKos diary -- "This Indictment Is Not the End" -- truly disheartening. Your unwillingness to honestly name that which has ripped apart our country since 2001, reads more like the reflexive equivocation of a career politician, than the call from a champion of the people.

You sir, more than anyone here and perhaps the majority of your colleagues, know well that the premise of "failed intelligence" is a disception. And by promoting the image that this administration was incompetent, and not willful, you are doing your country a grave disservice.

In truth, the Bush adminstration's "intelligence" was a ringing success, accomplishing exactly that which they sought, before crumbling into dust: Saddam Hussein has been removed and we have an occupying force in the heart of the Middle East. ...

[Emphasis added.] This is the intro to a long letter to Sen. Edward Kennedy posted this evening on DailyKos by Todd Johnston. Mr. Johnston is nobody famous as far as I know. He's just a thoughtful working adult with no special access to any persons of power. He doesn't spell or punctuate especially well. And yet I know his letter will be carefully read by a Kennedy staffer. It will be certainly be brought to the senator's attention. Sen. Kennedy may even read the letter himself, and he will most definitely be involved in crafting a reply. He might even sit down and type it himself.

Why? Because Daily Kos is the largest political blog on earth. It averages 2 million page views per week and rising. Its audience is educated, affluent, overwhelmingly Democratic, and activist - 63% have donated money to political causes. According to a recent study, it outranks the top five GOP blogs combined. And if Mr. Johnson's letter reached the top of the Kos recommended list (which it did), then it will be read by all those activists along with every other legislator in DC on both sides of the aisle, all of the strategists and most of the media. You can bet Sen. Kennedy will pay attention.

Daily Kos got where it is through a combination of luck, timing, and smarts. Media windbags may have painted the site as hard left, excitable, dismissible... but those who visit on a regular basis understand that its population is diverse and generally thoughtful, with writers from the far corners of law, politics, business, academia, media, and even some of those continents way over there in Europe. The main thing Kos readers have in common is that they are SERIOUSLY pissed off. That doesn't mean they're foolish or naive.

I don't write much on that site. But it's the daily visits of people like me - asking questions, commenting, pushing up the stats, sending more people to the site, responding to calls for action, sending money - that have built the first stirrings of a left wing echo chamber. People are hearing us, and it is starting to make a difference.

Citizen Johnston puts some excellent questions to Sen. Kennedy about Iraq, intelligence, weapons, and the runup to the war. Imagine the senator reading this section knowing that a million people of influence are looking over his shoulder:

[W]here were you in 2003? In his State of the Union address, President Bush lied to the American people, citing debunked and forged intelligence. The president directly contradicted the Oct. 1, 2002 National Intelligence Estimate to state as fact that which George Tenet had called "weak" and "not particularly significant" four months earlier.

You and your colleagues allowed this campaign of fear to continue without significant challenge, as our soldiers were used like chess pieces and poker chips. And you were not hoodwinked by misrepresentations and hidden documents, because as we now know, in 2002 the CIA told Congress "that the Africa story [was] overblown" and that Iraq's reported attempt to purchase uranium was "one of the two issues where [the CIA] differed with the British." (SSCI report on the IC's Prewar Intelliegence Assessment). ...

or this one:

So why, Sen. Kennedy, is there such a deficit of courage and leadership that our country's best hope for redemption sits on the shoulders of a former U.S. ambassador?

The ending's pretty good, too:

Forgive me if am I not compelled, Senator Kennedy, to step forward at your call to arms, the timing of which, quite frankly, feels a little like opportunism. To be clear, no one wants this adminstration held accountable more than I, but during this current dearth of leadership, I've been learning to do it myself.

So, I am instead compelled to ask "where were you, Sen. Kennedy, when your country needed you most," because the indictment of I. Lewis Libby did not result from the "Kennedy Investigation."

Senator Kennedy is friend not foe, but friends need to be held accountable when it's a matter of importance. This is such a matter. And while he may not give us satisfactory answers, he will at least think about the questions. In my tiny way I helped make this possible. And that's why I bother.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Now what?

Raw Story - controversial, inflammatory, loaded with popups and other annoying features but usually accurate - reports what happens next:

Those close to the investigation say inquiry expanding... State Dep't and National Security Council figures probed... Rove may be in hotter water: Sources say he was offered a perjury deal but turned it down.... At least three officials in the case have agreed to provide additional information, setting the stage for an explosive, continuing probe... Lawyer for Joseph Wilson plans 3 p.m ET press conference; Civil suit expected...

For what it's worth.

Waiting for justice

I like the way James Moore puts it:

Leaking the names of CIA agents is not politics; it is a crime. Lying to congress about evidence for a war is not politics; it is a crime. Failing to tell a grand jury that you met with a reporter and talked about the CIA agent is not forgetfullness; it is a crime. Deceiving your entire nation and frightening children and adults with images of nuclear explosions in order to get them to support a bloody invasion of another country is not politics; it is a crime. Anyone other than Karl Rove and Lewis Libby and Tom Delay who does not get this, please raise your hand. The three of you will need to stay after class for further instruction in civics.

We're all hoping that Mr. Fitzgerald's announcement today marks the beginning of the end of our national nightmare.

Diversion #643

Do yourself a favor and drop in one last time at Harriet Mier's Blog to say goodbye to the plucky ex-nominee. And do NOT miss her link to Princess Sparkle Pony's Photo Blog (keeping track of Condoleezza's hairdo so you don't have to).

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Another hopeful sign

Are Democrats starting to get the hang of this media thing? First, Reid frames the Miers withdrawal as Bush caving to the radical right. Then, Pelosi gives a press conference:

Q. To follow up on the other question about the agenda, when do you think we might be able to get an idea about the Democrats' agenda that you were talking about?

Ms. Pelosi. When we are ready to do so. As I said, it would be helpful if there were no arrests, subpoenas, or indictments on whatever day it is. We would like a clear shot at it.

Heh. Hat tip Mike S.

Push polling

If it works in elections, why not use it all year long?

Toadies & brownies & suckups, oh my!

Paul Begala, a Clinton survivor, has an insider's appreciation of living through bone-crushing stress in a bunker White House while a federal criminal investigation unfolds under klieg lights. He says Bush has to be feeling mighty poorly right now.

Even better, he notes an important difference between Monicagate and Treasongate (aside from their subject matter, purpose, the number of people killed by them, the intellect of the presidents involved, and every other single thing): the president's ability to listen.

Whereas Clinton called in tough-minded advisors and listened to them, this president "likes having his assed kissed." The Miers-Bush correspondence "belongs in the Brown Nosers Hall of Fame." The current staff - "a C team if ever there was one" - is loaded with "weak-kneed toadies," "suckups and sycophants," throne-sniffers, over-the-shoulder-lookers, and people who have stopped taking notes in meetings but continue to assure the Beloved Leader he's the victim of a partisan plot.

Best paragraph ever written about our titanic mediocrity in chief:

The last thing this President wants is the first thing he needs: someone to slap his spoiled, pampered, trust-funded, plutocratic, never-worked-a-day-in-his-life cheek and make him face the reality of his foul-ups.

Hope he doesn't get it anytime soon.

Hat tip brandido.

Don't be distracted

The Miers withdrawal is no surprise, nor is its timing. Jeff Feldman warns us that this is just the first in what will be a blitzkrieg of distractions thrown our way and offers some pointers for getting through the next 24 hours:
  1. The White House will be running a communications strategy, so beware of anything they say. In the past 24-hours, the President has given a series of speeches discussing every aspect of his presidency (e.g., business as usual). But they will go on the attack very soon.

  2. Listen for magic words. Expect the White House to try to control debate by repeating keywords over and over again. So far, they have been quiet. But the specter of 9/11 is never far off. Beware of White House spokesmen who try to discuss 9/11.

  3. Stay focused. The real issue tomorow is crimes committed by the White House to trick the American people into supporting a war. There is no other issue that comes close to this, tomorrow.

  4. Do not talk about whether we should stay or pull out of Iraq. That is an important topic, but it will be a distraction tomorrow. The issue is crimes committed against the American people by top officials at the White House.

  5. Read the White House website. This will help to understand what strategy they are launching.

  6. Use only the President's name. This crisis is about the President of the United States, the people he hired, the decisions he made and the methods he used. Do not get distracted by too much talk about the names of aides.

  7. Read a variety of news sources. Follow the story in a variety of media (e.g., print, TV, blogs) to get a full picture of what is going on. Don't become a CNN zombie.

  8. Talk to co-workers and friends about what's happening. It is important that all Americans follow what is happening. Spread the news. Be the media.

  9. Keep following the story. It is likely that the story will change several times before it is over.
Somewhere I heard rumors of an actual Bork nomination in the wind. Other tinfoilers are warning of Terra Alerts. Be prepared.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

In her own words

"People always say that I didn't give up my seat because I was tired, but that isn't true. I was not tired physically, or no more tired than I usually was at the end of a working day… No, the only tired I was, was tired of giving in."
Rosa Louise Parks, 1913-2005
Rest in Peace

(arrest photo via

Your tax dollars, their rules

Jesus H. Christ. First the Bush Administration uses Katrina to suspend Davis-Bacon. Then they give no-bid contracts to Halliburton and other out-of-state friends. Then Halliburton fires 75 local electricians and replaces them with, among others, illegal immigrants.

Great way to rebuild community. (Hat tip Aravosis)

Monday, October 24, 2005

The heart of the matter

It's finally happening: they're attacking each other in public. And for what? They have to be sweating bullets over Treasongate, even if they do call it just a lil' old technical perjury. But did it get them riled enough to go for blood? No.

Was it... losing Osama Bin Laden, not finding WMD's, faking the connection between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein? ...Gitmo, Abu Ghraib, forged Niger documents, 51 ignored FAA warnings about Al Qaeda hijackings? dropouts, intelligent design, fear of Avian flu, skyrocketing deficits, increased abortions, explosive government spending, ...even the tragic aftermath of Katrina? No. It was Harriet Miers.

I know these folks have been waiting biblical eons to claim their Total Victory of Righteous Dominion Over the Courts Forever, but still. All that fabled discipline, undone so fast? It's startling.

Mind you, I am not complaining. Listen

Harriet Miers is an abominable writer. Harriet Miers has offended United States Senators. Harriet Miers is a broken promise to the social conservative movement. Harriet Miers has a wretched grasp of the very Constitution she will supposedly defend on the Supreme Court. All these things are irrelevant. Right now, she is to ascend to the highest court in the land because George W. Bush is comfortable with her.

Those are the words of Josh Trevino, a fiercely conservative and influential writer for the other side. He continues:

This personal-comfort-as-principle is not merely the measure of the President's men, but of his governance. It is the enshrinement of whim and gut feeling as analysis. It is the elevation of Kentucky windage to a faux science. It is the same phenomenon that expresses itself cruelly in Iraq, erratically in policy, and as farce in the judiciary. …

Neither Left nor Right, Democrat nor Republican may justly claim that Harriet Miers stands at the cusp of the Supreme Court by dint of any sense of responsibility, conscience, propriety or mission. How then do we explain her? How do we interpret the stupefying accident of history whereby we must consider this titanic mediocrity as an arbiter of our very Constitution?

The answer lies in the titanic mediocrity who leads our nation.

"The titanic mediocrity who leads our nation." Gaze at those words a moment and smile. Who cares what made them speak out, when they get to the heart of matter like this?

Hat tip to mcjoan and to this writer (link now broken).

Danger! Danger! Danger! (framing alert)

I'm with Digby on this one:

...I seem to be unusually sensitive to Republican rhetorical hanky-panky ("pro-life," "tax relief," etc), and I couldn't help but notice some spanking new jargon bubbling up into the mainstream:

...the deeper meaning here is ideological: George W. Bush’s father was committed to a realist understanding of foreign policy. This served him well in Iraq, and not so well in Bosnia. George W. Bush, on the other hand, has become a leading proponent of democratic transformationalism; he believes it is America’s job to help non-democratic countries become democratic. The realists don’t believe that the internal organization of another country is any of our business; George W. Bush, evidently, does.


Are the conservatives turning against the neoconservatives?

They’ve been doing so for some time. Just read George Will. Their complaint is that neoconservatives aren’t conservative; they’re liberals with guns. [emphasis added.]

You got that? "Democratic transformationalists" are "liberals with guns." Those are the clowns that got us into that stupid mess in Iraq.

In other words, the term "conservative" has been surgically removed from the failed ideology of neoconservativism and replaced with the word "democratic." This of course is purely coincidental, no associations to a certain political party should be inferred.

Cheny, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Rice, Feith: l******s with guns. (First rule of framing: don't repeat the enemy's frame.) Be on the alert. We've been warned.


Ever wonder whence came the name "Chimpy"?

Hat tip to Sharon Jumper.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Change of pace

Winner No. 9 from the International Pun Contest, and I have no idea why I'm posting this:

Mahatma Gandhi, as you know, walked barefoot most of the time, which produced an impressive set of calluses on his feet. He also ate very little, which made him rather frail and with his odd diet, he suffered from bad breath. This made him (Oh, man, this is so bad, it's good)..... A super calloused fragile mystic hexed by halitosis.

Thanks, Jerome a Paris.

Blue nation

October's disapproval figures for Bush, courtesy of Delaware Dem.

  • Blue = net disapproval
  • Red = approval
  • Purple = tied
Only 6 states approve of Bush now, down from 12 last month.

UPDATE: Duh. That would be seven states approving if you remember to include Alaska.

Dean: We are the party of moral values

Howard Dean spoke in Lewiston last night and sounds like he hasn't lost any of his fire. He called to end the GOP's "culture of corruption." He said he was tired of the "ayatollahs of the right wing." And he said that Democrats would make sure all Americans have access to health insurance:

If 40 industrial nations can do it and balance the budget at the same time, it's time to have somebody in the White House who can chew gum and think at the same time.

Meanwhile, over at ABC's This Week, Dean spent Sunday morning elaborating what sounds like a pretty good Democratic agenda:
  • Strong national defense (which includes never sending troops abroad without telling them the truth about why they're going and adequately arming them)
  • Honesty in government
  • Balancing the budget after the most fiscally imprudent administration in our lifetime
  • Restoring jobs
  • Repairing the shredded social safety net for middle class Americans
  • A health care system that benefits everybody
  • An education system that gives opportunity to all Americans again
  • Freedom from government interference in private lives
  • Ethics legislation, electoral reform, campaign financing reform
  • An honest plan for getting out of Iraq
Best of all, he pointed out that the majority of Americans agree with our values:

The truth is the Democrats are the party of moral values….. The President's attack on Social Security wasn't just about money and neoconservative nonsense. It was about a fundamental attack on the notion that America is one community and we have responsibility for each other.

[Emphasis added.] He was by all accounts direct, tough, and candid. Dean is getting pretty good at staying on message, avoiding minefields, and still managing to sound genuine. One viewer said watching him made her wistful thinking of what might have been: "a smart, competent, compassionate leader in for the common good and not for himself." Anne from Vermont agreed, adding she'd often thought the big difference between the two parties could be stated very simply:
  • Conservatives: Me
  • Democrats: Us
Thank you, Dr. Dean.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Being Scooter Libby

Wolcott has outdone himself in Scooter Libby, Sharkbait.

Read if only for the image of Bush, deprived of his evil genius Rove, "reduced to wandering around the White House bumping into walls like a robot on the blink."

UPDATE: I changed the link so it would lead to Wolcott's home page, as his permalinks don't seem to be working.

Friday, October 21, 2005

God Bless Our Yellow Ribbons (and all our SUVs and Hummers, too)

"Patriotism is not short, frenzied outbursts of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime." - Adlai E. Stevenson

So here's an excellent diary on how not to support the troops.

And for more ammo and a bit of a shocker, check out conservative congressman Curt Weldon (R-PA) comparing Rumsfeld to Kim Jong-Il (transcript, audio), invoking the wisdom of Cynthia McKinney (D-GA), and calling administration smear tactics "unacceptable," "unimaginable, " and "un-American."

Just as a footnote, you don't suppose Mr. Weldon's sudden fit of courage has anything to do with that challenge from Fighting Dem and Iraq veteran Byran Lentz?

Ermine robes and flight jackets

Please go read Digby on media culpability, Republican worship, and the whole jingoistic circus:

After eight long years of being fed the juiciest tabloid lies from a masterful Republican disinformation campaign and a group of friendly GOP special prosecutors, the media became joined with the republican establishment and took on its cheap ethics and ruthless attitudes. They began to identify with them. They helped them destroy Bill Clinton's reputation and piled-on to keep Al Gore from the presidency with a puerile smear campaign which they admitted to waging just because they found it amusing. And when George W. Bush became president, their condescending refrain to the majority of the country who didn't vote for him was "get over it."

That cozy relationship among the purveyors of Republican cant led directly into an unquestioning acceptance of administration lies after 9/11. The country would have rallied temprorarily regardless of the media's complicity in GOP messaging during that time, but the previous 10 years of confederacy between the hungry media and the Republican noise machine established a system in which it was possible to perpetrate one of the most outrageous frauds in history --- the Iraq war. The culture that marginalized dissent, that mocked anything other than manufactured beltway conventional wisdom and that normalized character assassination as "fair game" created a jingoistic circus that can be best illustrated with the allegedly liberal icon Dan Rather, saying: "I would willingly die for my country at a moment's notice and on the command of my president…."

While we're on the subject, don't miss Eric Alterman's latest media analysis at The Nation: Corrupt, Incompetent, and Off-Center.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Deja vu all over again

Disturbing stories are starting to leak out indicating that we are already conducting military operations in Syria. You can find diaries here and here along with a NYT article dated October 14 here.


Looks like Harriet Miers was suspended not only from the D.C. bar for late payment of dues, but also from the Texas bar. This from a candidate who may not have the judicial chops of a Scalia or a Bork but is fabulously detail-oriented and meticulous and likes to make sure everything is just perfect.

UPDATE from Aravosis, who notes that Bork thinks the Supreme Court is "left-leaning" despite the fact that 7 out of 9 justices were appointed by Republicans:

Here's a wacky thought. Maybe today's "conservatives" are so far out of the mainstream of American thought that even their own court appointees think they're nuts. That doesn't make those justices "liberal," it makes Bork, and the religious right horse he rode in on, fringe freaks.

Fighting Dems

If you have not yet checked out Air America's Fighting Dems, do yourself a favor. It's a joint project of Majority Report and DailyKos that airs every Tuesday night, profiling Democratic veterans who are taking another step in public service by running for office.

This is Bryan Lentz, running for Congress in Pennsylvania's seventh district (suburban Philadelphia) against Republican Curt Weldon. Lentz, a Major in the U.S. Army, served in Iraq and oversaw civil reconstruction efforts around Mosul. Understandably, he has a great deal to say on the subject of Iraq, troop withdrawal, the administration's failure to plan, and other related topics. Here he is on reconstruction efforts:

We need to remove reconstruction command authority from civilians and place it directly in the hands of the military; and, we need to transfer as many of the reconstruction contracts as possible directly to Iraqi firms. Not one cent of the remaining taxpayer money that we sent to rebuild Iraq should go into the pockets of American firms profiting from this war. The American and multinational companies that are currently handling reconstruction in Iraq have all been awarded "cost-plus" contracts which assure them a profit and leave them no economic incentive to actually finish the jobs they've been hired to undertake. As a result, enormous sums of money have been diverted to security services for American contractors, and generous salaries for American businessmen working in Iraq.
I have witnessed this madness first hand, and it has to stop.
He notes that Republicans will continue to brand anyone questioning the war effort as anti-war, anti-troop, anti-American and calls this tactic "a cheap trick." Best quote:
[T]his is not a question of being "pro-war" or "anti-war." It's about acting now to stop the spiral of failure that George Bush, Curt Weldon and the Republican party have created.
They will try, but I doubt even the GOP can smear Lentz as unAmerican.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

This is how it's done

Attention, media whores: please check out White House correspondent Helen Thomas and ABC News reporter Terry Moran standing up to Lyin' Scott McClellan (transcript, video) and not being struck by lightning, falling into an abyss, or being torn to shreds by a mob of angry patriots. Evan Derkacz has the short version:

"What does the President mean by 'total victory' -- that we will never leave Iraq until we have 'total victory'? What does that mean?"

And just as Scott McClellan had pressed play on his response reel, Thomas interrupted the geyser of platitudes to ask about the will of the Iraqis. McClellan then took himself off of pause and redirected the conversation back to Iraq... war on terror... you're getting very sleepy... 9/11..., at which point Thomas interrupted again to remind the spokesman:

"It has nothing to do with -- Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11."

This pissed him off sufficiently to respond to her personally:

"Well, you have a very different view of the war on terrorism, and I'm sure you're opposed to the broader war on terrorism..."

ABC's Terry Moran came to her aid. Read the whole transcript, it's very Center Cannot Hold.

See, former journalists? It's not that hard.

Monday, October 17, 2005

They have a lot to answer for

Krugman (still available for free at TruthOut) on the media:

...Now that Mr. Bush's approval ratings are in the 30's, we're hearing about his coldness and bad temper, about how aides are afraid to tell him bad news. Does anyone think that journalists have only just discovered these personal characteristics?

Let's be frank: the Bush administration has made brilliant use of journalistic careerism. Those who wrote puff pieces about Mr. Bush and those around him have been rewarded with career-boosting access. Those who raised questions about his character found themselves under personal attack from the administration's proxies. (Yes, I'm speaking in part from experience.) Only now, with Mr. Bush in desperate trouble, has the structure of rewards shifted.

And let's start with the New York Times.

UPDATE from PBJ Diddy:

Try saying this without smiling: (it actually cures the hiccups)

"I refuse to divulge the name of the person who was not the source who didn't give me the information I am not withholding."

If hiccups persist, after 85 days repeat the sentence adding "Just Kidding" at the end.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Americablog to Maine!

and for a great cause:

I am heading to Maine this afternoon with "Joe in DC," who is from there. Tomorrow, I'm speaking at a fundraiser for Maine Won't Discriminate, hosted by Joe's sisters and friends. Then back in DC on Monday.

For those of you who may not be aware, Maine passed a law this year banning discrimination based on sexual orientation. The far right is trying to repeal the law through a referendum. In their world, it's okay to fire someone for being gay... or to deny housing to a lesbian... or to refuse service to a same-gender couple.

We're still on our Great Western Grandchildren Odyssey but I'd be there in a heartbeat otherwise. Please consider showing up on Sunday afteroon in Portland, Munjoy Hill - details at Maine Won't Discriminate, and consider giving them a donation while you're at it. Thanks.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Miers and sex (I know, I know)

What Aravosis said.

It would be the height of hypocrisy for a conservative to embrace her party’s most extreme views while simultaneously embracing a member of the same sex. The GOP rank and file takes its values seriously. Just imagine the outrage were Rush Limbaugh revealed to be a drug addict, William Bennett a compulsive gambler, Gary Bauer a philanderer, Strom Thurmond the father of a black child, or George Bush a coke fiend. They’d never work in this town again.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005


There are 21 players in Plamegate to date:

Karl Rove
I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby
Condoleezza Rice
Stephen Hadley
Andrew Card
Alberto Gonzales
Mary Matalin
Ari Fleischer
Susan Ralston
Israel Hernandez
John Hannah
Scott McClellan
Dan Bartlett
Claire Buchan
Catherine Martin
Colin Powell
Karen Hughes
Adam Levine
Bob Joseph
Vice President Dick Cheney
President George W. Bush

And the WSJ and Bloomberg (goddamn librul media) are going after... Rove and Cheney!

Hat tip to madhaus.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Veteran serves his country till the end

This is a real obituary spotted in the Chicago Tribune:

Theodore Roosevelt Heller, 88, loving father of Charles (Joann) Heller; dear brother of the late Sonya (the late Jack) Steinberg. Ted was discharged from the U.S. Army during WWII due to service related injuries, and then forced his way back into the Illinois National Guard insisting no one tells him when to serve his country. Graveside services Tuesday 11 a.m. at Waldheim Jewish Cemetery (Ziditshover section), 1700 S. Harlem Ave., Chicago. In lieu of flowers, please send acerbic letters to Republicans. Arrangements by Chicago Jewish Funerals, Douglas MacIsaac, funeral director 847-229-8822,

Hat tip to sara seattle.


William Kristol is upset and Digby is all over it:

Yes, that criminalization of politics is a real bitch, isn't it Bill? Now that Republicans have a professional federal prosecutor on their asses for serious crimes they are, predictably, stomping their tiny feet and wailing like a big bunch 'o babies.

Tell it to Bill Clinton and all the people who worked for him who were never convicted of anything but had their careers ruined by Kristol's hit men during the 90's --- a decade of nonstop trivial GOP smears to which he gladly lent his stentorian hectoring about about morality and "the rule of law."

Meanwhile, the WSJ wrings its hands over the prospect of Bush having to run the country into the ground all by himself.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Remember Freeway Bloggers?

They're still on the job.

Playing God, Part 2

The Guardian has more reminders of Bush Administration demagoguery:
  • God wanted him to run for president
  • God speaks through him
  • God directs our policies in the Middle East
  • Our nation's enemies will be destroyed in a great crusade
  • American liberty is God's gift to humanity
  • The war against terror is a war against Satan
  • God put Bush in the White House, since the American people certainly didn't.*
* Lieutenant General William Boykin, now deputy under-secretary of defence for intelligence.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Danforth slams American Taliban

Former GOP senator John Danforth of Missouri, also an ordained Episcopal minister, has lately been speaking out and writing forcefully against the ugly politics of the Christian Right (which we all know is neither). Last month, he had this to say at Harvard's Memorial Church:

"I've been away from (the Senate) for more than 10 years, and I see politics from a distance. And I'm appalled by what I see," said Danforth, who uses the nickname Jack.

"Right there in the midst of all the partisanship, in the midst of all the nastiness, right there with their wedge issues and litmus tests and extreme rhetoric, right there as the most divisive force in American life, are my fellow Christians."

He has unique credibility on this issue and may just make a difference:

In terms of eliciting response, he seems to be succeeding. He said "scores" of Republicans -- including top fundraisers, ambassadors, senators and Cabinet secretaries -- have privately encouraged him with such comments as, "It's about time somebody said this."

Here's a thought: maybe it's about time somebody in that group of "top
fundraisers, ambassadors, senators and Cabinet secretaries" found the moral fiber to speak up directly instead of making Danforth do all the work. It's got to be safer to come out of your foxholes now anyway, what with the poll numbers and all.

Hat tip to KTinOhio.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Can you say "megalomania"?

Word is out that the BBC will air a three-part series on the Middle East in which Bush is said to have instructed Palestinian leaders that he is on a mission from God.

The story has been circulating for several years and dismissed as internet crankery, but now we have this:

Bush's declaration of his divine mission is confirmed on film by both Abbas and Palestinian Foreign Minister Nabil Shaath. In the film, Nabil Shaath says: "President Bush said to all of us: 'I'm driven with a mission from God. God would tell me, "George, go and fight those terrorists in Afghanistan." And I did, and then God would tell me, "George, go and end the tyranny in Iraq …" And I did. And now, again, I feel God's words coming to me, "Go get the Palestinians their state and get the Israelis their security, and get peace in the Middle East." And by God I'm gonna do it.'"
Thanks to Chris Floyd at Empire Burlesque.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

At home with Scott McClellan

I've got work to do but could not resist:

Wife: My mother's coming over for dinner – is that OK?

McClellan: The president and I consider your mother to be a valued ally in the global struggle for nightly sustenance and...

Wife: But do you mind?

McClellan: I've already answered that question.

Wife: Is that a yes or a no?

McClellan: It would be premature and irresponsible to speculate...

Wife: OK, OK, what if she brings dessert?

McClellan: There you go with the "what if" game again. And we can play "what ifs" all day long. I've made very clear that I'll work closely with your mother going forward, but right now I'm focused on seeing that food is delivered to our family tonight.

Wife: [Sigh] Are you going to mow the lawn this weekend? It's pretty damaged after all the rain.

McClellan: Well, again, in terms of the lawn and the rain, we're still focused on the immediate needs of the people on our street and working with them to make sure that our lawn is mowed in accordance with community standards. I'm determined to learn the lessons of the last time I mowed the lawn and --

By Bob Geiger at Yellow Dog.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Robert Bork she's not.

Oh, this is beautiful. Here's conservative David Frum at the National Review on our new Supreme Court nominee:

"Harriet Miers is a taut, nervous, anxious personality... In the White House that hero worshipped the president, Miers was distinguished by the intensity of her zeal: She once told me that the president was the most brilliant man she had ever met."

And Bush returns the favor, calling her "a pit bull in size 6 shoes."

If you have time to spare and a few mean bones in your body, then you should check out the Miers parody blog. Sample entry:




Bonus: it's all in pink.

Slogans for a new America! (Let's give them a hand)

Tidewater's DSL line has been down since Saturday night. Still catching up.

Meanwhile, Kos noted the other day that Bush is not only looking tired, he's sounding tired. His message, once so crisp and disciplined, has been recycled so often it sounds shopworn even to true believers. "Stay the course," "We will not fail," "Strong," "Hard work," etc., etc.... Snore.

So as a public service, Kos invited his readers to come up with fresh new slogans that better capture the spirit of this administration and all it can do. Kossacks jumped right in:

Hey, America: Eat Shit and Die!
- BlackMax

This Job Sucks. Can I Be Baseball Commissioner Now?
- miasmo

9/11 Blah Blah Blah 9/11 Yada Yada 9/11
- Paul in Berkeley

We Had to Destroy the Country in Order to Save It
- For Dean in Dixie

Don’t Worry – Jeb’ll Fix Things
- George

Our Long National Nightmare of Peace and Prosperity Is Finally Over
- The Onion

Ha! Fooled You Twice!
- Haywood

If Your With Us, Your Dumb as Dirt
- rok for Dean

That last one is my personal favorite, but this next one is pithier and probably more workable:

Death and Tax Cuts
- requestedusername

I'd love to see "Death and Tax Cuts" bumper stickers made up for every GOP candidate in the 2006 elections.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Talk about your framing!

Frank Rich calls the current administration a "vast Boschian canvas of depravity."

(No link. NYT op-eds are now behind a subscription wall.)

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Rhetoric 101

Fire Bill Bennett.

Don't demand an apology from the gambling-addled morals czar. Don't settle for his reedy "hypothesis" defense. A hypothesis is, after all, somebody's educated opinion auditioning for the truth.

Let's consider Mr. Bennett's educated opinion. Mr. Bennett didn't say that aborting poor babies would reduce crime. He did not discuss illegitimate babies, or unwanted babies, or babies born in crime-ridden neighborhoods, or babies born to teenagers, or babies born to ignorant people, or babies born to drug addicts, or babies born in districts with abysmal public schools. We've all read Freakonomics; we understand that such a list has a place in an economic theories about crime. We also know that hypothetically aborting that list would - given the nature of our American underclass - net lots of hypothetical black babies, along with plenty of babies answering to other descriptions. It would also be ethically abhorrent.

Mr. Bennett did not say this. His said that aborting "every black baby in this country" would reduce crime. (And would be ethically abhorrent.)

Should we infer that Mr. Bennett meant "black" here as shorthand for "a great big catalog of pathologies"? Heaven forfend. Mr. Bennett was engaging in hyperbole. Silly reader! He took a point to its ridiculous extreme to show the dangers of unwarranted extrapolation.

But according to this argument, Mr. Bennett could with equal ease have theorized that crime rates would drop if we aborted all white babies, or male babies, or babies born in cities, or babies born below the Mason-Dixon Line, or babies born in states beginning with the letters S, T, U, P, I, or D. Going further, Mr. Bennett could have posited that aborting all babies would reduce future crime.

Mr. Bennett did not say this. He said that aborting "every black baby in this country" would reduce crime. (And be ethically abhorrent.)

Forget that his hypothesis might test out mathematically. So might all the others - every crazy last one of them. Ask yourself this: With regard to black people, what is the educated opinion of Mr. Bennett?

Then fire his ass.

Hat tip to balletshooz for picture and righteous rant.