Saturday, March 24, 2007

Important blog site

All sites I list in my blogroll are important or they wouldn't be there. I call your attention to one now. Foreign Policy Watch

I may do this in the future, but, being lazy, I might not.

Anyhow let's get on with this. Jeb is a kid. Hey, at my age a 19 year old is a kid and so is someone who's 40. He posts good stuff and is serious about foreign policy. Give him a look.

And remember Jeb's name. He's gonna make a difference. You heard it here first.

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Do you think I'm angry?

Is that how I come across? Do you envision some raving maniac sitting at a computer (nude?) attacking, attacking, attacking?

Well the nude part is right* but...

Do you think I wake up each day and wonder how many news items I can find to rail against? How many times I can use the word "fuck" and its variants to show my outrage? How I can feel hurt and how much horror I can take? How I can attack Bush and his hyenas? How I can find comfort in the new Democratic government?

Hahaha. That last sentence is ridiculous. That would never enter my mind.

But, to continue with my original train of thought. Not hardly. I wake and think today will be good. Except for the fact I'll spend the next 12-15 hours of my life feeding the beast known as the SPIIDERWEB™ blog site.

Unfortunately I also face that blank page (writers can relate). And then the news stories start coming at me. I am alternatively incredulous, mystified, angered, confused, cynical, dumbfounded, vindicated, outraged, amused (sometimes), shocked (rarely), impotent (mentally), lethargic and worried.

No, never fearful except for others. I'm not sure WWIII isn't just around the corner. I trust that much of Bush

Many anguishing hours later I find I've posted many items and can relax. Until that time comes, my shoulder muscles are tight and I'm "this close" to getting a stress headache.

So, if you are contemplating starting a blog...don't!!!1!! That is a political blog. If you want to post about you're life and your cats and such, fine, but political blogging is a barrel of monkeys you don't want to open.

* That's a joke folks.

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When dogs die

Sometimes I feel so fucking naïve. From the start of this whole dangerous pet food story I wondered why the animals were dying as were many other people.
Rat poison was found in pet food blamed for the deaths of at least 16 cats and dogs, but scientists said Friday they still don't know how it got there and predicted more animal deaths would be linked to it.

After the announcement, the company that produced the food expanded its recall to include all 95 brands of the "cuts and gravy" style food, regardless of when they were produced. The company also said it would take responsibility for pet medical expenses incurred as a result of the food.

The substance in the food was identified as aminopterin, a cancer drug that once was used to induce abortions in the United States and is still used to kill rats in some other countries, state Agriculture Commissioner Patrick Hooker said.

The federal government prohibits using aminopterin for killing rodents in the U.S. State officials would not speculate on how the poison got into the pet food, but said no criminal investigations had been launched. [emphasis mine]

OK, let's get this straight. Somehow an illegal poison found its way into the pet food chain. But, heaven forbid a huge corporation be investigated for illegal activity.

All I'm sure of is this - killing thousands upon thousands of dark skinned people is one thing Americans can tolerate, but ya better not fucking kill their cats and dogs. Now you're asking for trouble for sure.

(read more)


Must read IMHO

Its David Swanson so you know its goodness.


Army Revises Upward Number of Desertions in ’06

A couple things come immediately to mind. First is, if the troops are all so gung-ho about this occupation, why are so many fleeing?

The second thing is the highlighted words. What the fuck is this? The Army has to "calculate" desertions? They don't know? The soldiers are there or they are not there. What's to "calculate"? Call roll. If someone doesn't answer, you pretty much can assume they're gone, right?

I will give a little quarter here. If you call roll in Iraq or Afghanistan and someone doesn't respond, they might be MIA (missing in action) or POW (prisoners of war). So some "calculating" is necessary. But even then, I would assume they had already been accounted for as captured or a probable casualty.
A total of 3,196 active-duty soldiers deserted the Army last year, or 853 more than previously reported, according to revised figures from the Army.
Skip to next paragraph

The new calculations by the Army, which had about 500,000 active-duty troops at the end of 2006, significantly alter the annual desertion totals since the 2000 fiscal year. [emphasis mine]

(read more)

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For your amusement

If you don't get this, rest assured you aren't alone.

Gotta stay eclectic and feed the other nerds on occasion.

(via xkcd)


For your amusement

There's no way in hell I'm doing this.

Its much easier to read at the source. Sorry.

(via xkcd)


MoveOn moves in with Pelosi

Sometimes it can be ridiculously difficult to ignore the siren's song. Perhaps MoveOn has found it impossible?
When Eli Pariser, the executive director of, looks at the Iraq spending bill that Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic leaders are rallying to pass today, what he sees is a way to end the war. The bill commits $124 billion to fund operations in Iraq, but it calls for removal of American combat troops by the summer of 2008. The plan is not perfect, Pariser concedes. It does not require complete withdrawal. Still, this week, MoveOn signed on to Pelosi's supplemental funding bill, citing a poll of its members showing overwhelming support of the idea.

MoveOn's longtime allies in the antiwar movement, however, look at the bill -- and MoveOn's support for it -- and see something very different. Groups who call for immediate withdrawal argue that MoveOn's position is a betrayal of their cause, and that Pelosi's bill merely continues the war while allowing Democrats to say they've done something to oppose it. Cindy Sheehan, the "peace mom" who favors immediate withdrawal, describes MoveOn as supporting "the slow-bleed strategy of the Democratic leadership." Gail Murphy, of the group CodePink, says, "MoveOn has taken a compromised position -- in fact I think they were involved behind the scenes in creating a compromised position." Other peace activists call MoveOn's e-mail poll of its membership a sham. If MoveOn's millions of members knew the full details of the bill, they would surely oppose it.

And for Christ's sake, Cindy, quit spouting Cheney's talking point of "slow-bleed strategy". We aren't for that, never were and you know it. Don't feed the fire by perpetuating that terminology.

(read more) (registration required at Salon)

H/T Booman Tribune.

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Cat blogging

Gotcha again!


John Bolton: Death = good politics

Yeah, ya can't beat some good old killing as a political tool.
Mr Bolton now describes it as "perfectly legitimate... and good politics" for the Israelis to seek to defeat their enemy militarily, especially as Hezbollah had attacked Israel first and it was acting "in its own self-defence".

(via Digby)

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Friday, March 23, 2007

I love this

Must read IMHO

But be ready with the tissues. This is an ugly story.


Arlen Specter is a sniveling little rat-faced git

Dear Jill, you are just coming to realize this?

(read more)


Boy asks Mexican Congress to lobby Washington to stop his mother's deportation

This is the true face of immigration law. There's much more to it.
Mexico's Congress was swayed Tuesday by a 7-year-old boy on a mission to save his mom.

Second-grader Saul Arellano, a U.S. citizen, appeared in Mexico's 500-member Chamber of Deputies to plead for help in lobbying Washington to stop the deportation of his mother, an illegal immigrant who has taken refuge in a Chicago church.

His efforts paid off with a resolution calling on the U.S. Congress to suspend the deportation of Elvira Arellano and any other illegal immigrant parents of U.S. citizens.

If the U.S. agrees, it would "create a precedent that will benefit more than 4.9 million children who have been born in the United States and whose parents live under the threat of deportation," said Mexican congressman Jose Jacques, who lived in the United States for 33 years and has an American daughter and granddaughter.

Flashing cameras and swarms of reporters surrounded the boy as he entered the chamber. Lawmakers rose from their seats to shake his hand. But instead of stepping to the podium, he was swept into a side room, where he hid his face and ducked under a table.

"I think being so small he was kind of freaked," family friend Jesus Carlin said.

Saul then took the microphone and spoke to reporters in Spanish, describing what he wanted from Mexico's lawmakers: "I want them to tell President Bush to end the deportations so that my mother and other families can stay together in the United States."

(read more)


Ya got road rage?

Yes, I know its a Photoshop® job, but its a great one.

(via Jonco)


Nukular power

This is rich.
A stranger was seated next to a little girl on the airplane when the stranger turned to her and said, 'Let's talk.. I've heard that flights go quicker if you strike up a conversation with your fellow passenger.’

The little girl, who had just opened her book, closed it slowly and said to the stranger, 'What would you like to talk about?

'Oh, I don't know', said the stranger. 'How about nuclear power?'

'OK'. she said. 'That could be an interesting topic. But let me ask you a question first.

A horse, a cow, and a deer all eat grass, the same stuff. Yet a deer excretes little pellets, while a cow turns out a flat patty, and a horse produces clumps of dried grass. Why do you suppose that is?'

The stranger thinks about it and says, 'Hmmm, I have no idea.'

To which the little girl replies, 'Do you really feel qualified to discuss nuclear power when you don't know shit?'

(via Jonco)

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Must read IMHO

Ya like boisterous manly men? Pshaw! You wuss!

(read more)


Memo to regular readers

That is regular readers with blogs. If I know of your blog, I read it regularly. Most times I just lurk and don't comment because I can't think of anything pithy, witty or intelligent to say (heavy emphasis on intelligent).

If I don't know you have a blog and especially if I don't know you blogroll me, its your fault and you will go to hell for it...or to Peoria. The Peoria thing is a joke, folks. Don't break my balls about it.

You are all important to me and, because you like my posts, you have similar sensibilities and I enjoy your offerings.

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May I make a suggestion?

I will not post about Ann Coulter, Robert Novak, Rush Limpdick nor some others. I suggest you also not post. These are despicable people who deserve absolutely none of our attention.

Yes, John Edwards and others should respond to their heinous attacks, but we don't have to give them even more visibility. I may be wrong about this, but seriously doubt it.

When reasonable righties (oxymoron?) challenge positions of candidates or Dems, we have an obligation to engage them, but aforementioned persons don't deserve our attention.

Shit! I just posted about Ann Coulter, Robert Novak and Rush Limpdick!

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Thursday, March 22, 2007

Bush doesn't learn from history?

I know, the headline is rhetorical. I got the idea for this post from watertiger who is riffing on John Bolton.

We should have turned Iraq over to the Iraqis sooner. We should have sent in many thousands more troops. We shouldn't have deposed Saddam. We shouldn't have disbanded the Iraqi Army. We should have supported the Iraqi people better. We should have never entered Iraq. We should have continued economic sanctions. We should have bombed Iraq into a sheet of glass. We should have tried more diplomacy. We should have enlisted the help of Iraq's neighbors to calm the country. We should have dealt with Muqtada al-Sadr earlier.

Even with the glorious luxury of hindsight, no one agrees on what should or should not have been done which is precisely why we should never have invaded in the first place. Duh!

Bush never understood the Mid-East nor does now, as if most westerners do, but he charged in like John Wayne anyway. There must have been some reason former presidents, including Bush 41 didn't invade. Double duh!

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UN Secretary-General escapes Iraq blast unharmed

Anyone care to go over with me how the SURGE™ is supposed to make everything safer or how well its going?
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was unharmed, but ducked behind the podium after a rocket or mortar landed near Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki’s office today while the two men were speaking to reporters at a Baghdad news conference.

Small chips of debris floated down from the ceiling above the UN chief after the big explosion rattled the building in the Green Zone.

Yes, inside the Green Zone. The Fort Knox of Iraq.

Note to military: You need not mention the insurgents are getting better, more sophisticated, smarter and dangerous. Its obvious as hell.

(courtesy link)

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Won't bother to link to one of the hundreds of stories. I'm sure you all know it. You can also find the video if you wish.

And I won't bother with the issue except to say it appears someone made a clever, passionate video on his own time in support of his candidate which was also a severely career limiting move.

He's paid the price for his actions and whether he quit or was fired really is of no consequence unless he wants to draw unemployment compensation or wants an unblemished CV.

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FDA dilutes advisory conflict

There's absolutely we can all delve deeply into the rules of different agencies. That said, does it surprise you this was not already the rule in the FDA?
Expert advisers to the government who receive money from a drug or device maker would be barred for the first time from voting on whether to approve that company's products under new rules announced Wednesday for the FDA's powerful advisory committees.

Such doctors who receive more than $50,000 from a company or a competitor whose product is being discussed will no longer be allowed to serve on the committees, although those who receive less than that amount in the prior year can join a committee and participate in its discussions.

A "significant number" of the agency's advisers will be affected by the new policy, said the FDA's acting deputy commissioner, Randall Lutter, although he would not say how many. The rules are among the first major changes made by Andrew von Eschenbach since he was confirmed as Food and Drug Administration commissioner late last year.

Before it was something like this?

"Thank you Mary for your vote on whether to approve this new Pfizer drug."

"Joe, how's that new boat?"

"Its just great, Randy. Handles like a dream. I named it the Pfizer Pfloat. I uh, guess I vote to approve. Can't bite the old hand that feeds."

(General laughter all around)

(read more)

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Global boom in coal power - and emissions

Al Gore? Are you there? They aren't listening. Speak louder.
Former Vice President and now environmental activist Al Gore descended on Capitol Hill Wednesday, telling two congressional panels that global climate change represents the most dangerous crisis in American history and that the measures needed to fix the problem are far more drastic than anything currently on the table.

Forget the documentary "An Inconvenient Truth." Disregard rising public concern over global warming. Ignore the Kyoto Protocol.
The world certainly is – at least when it comes to building new electric-power plants. In the past five years, it has been on a coal-fired binge, bringing new generators online at a rate of better than two per week. That has added some 1 billion tons of new carbon-dioxide emissions that humans pump into the atmosphere each year. Coal-fired power now accounts for nearly a third of human-generated global CO2 emissions.

So what does the future hold? An acceleration of the buildup, according to a [Christian Science] Monitor analysis of power-industry data. Despite Kyoto limits on greenhouse gases, the analysis shows that nations will add enough coal-fired capacity in the next five years to create an extra 1.2 billion tons of CO2 per year.

(read more)

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Fidel Castro health watch

He's currently alive and increasingly revitalized.
Stepping back from previous assertions that Fidel Castro was near death, U.S. officials say that the image of an increasingly revitalized Castro is impeding the island's day-to-day leadership from making major changes.

(read more)


Bush aides ordered to testify

I'm no expert on such things, but just how does Bush oppose subpoenas? He can't just veto them, right?
A US congressional panel has authorised legal orders for several White House aides to testify under oath about the firing of eight prosecutors.

A House of Representatives judiciary sub-committee agreed to authorise subpoenas if Karl Rove, a senior political adviser to the US president, and others refuse to testify voluntarily under oath.

The action came a day after George Bush vowed to oppose any subpoenas. He offered instead to allow aides to answer questions from investigators, but only behind closed doors, not under oath and with no transcript taken of their exchanges.

Democrats called the offer unacceptable. [duh!]

(read more)

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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Dem or Repug?

This is just soooooo true.
A woman in a hot air balloon realizes she is lost. She lowers her altitude and spots a man fishing from a boat below. She shouts to him, "Excuse me, can you help me? I promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago, but I don't know where I am."

The man consults his portable GPS and replies, "You're in a hot air balloon, approximately 30 feet above a ground elevation of 2,346 feet above sea level. You are at 31 degrees, 14.97 minutes north latitude and 100 degrees, 49.09 minutes west longitude.

She rolls her eyes and says, "You must be a Democrat!"

"I am," replies the man. "How did you know?"

"Well," answers the balloonist, "everything you tell me is technically correct, but I have no idea what to do with your information, and I'm still lost. Frankly, you're not much help to me."

The man smiles and responds, "You must be a Republican."

"I am," replies the balloonist. "How did you know?"

"Well," says the man, "You don't know where you are or where you're going. You've risen to where you are, due to a large quantity of hot air. You made a promise that you have no idea how to keep, and now you expect me to solve your problem. You're in exactly the same position you were in before we met, but, somehow, now it's my fault.

(via Jonco)


Give us all a break

Jesus H Christ with herpes, I was watching Faux News and they're still flogging the dead body of Anna Nicole Smith. Was her death a killing?


Blog influence

I'm no A-list blogger and have no influence, but some bloggers do.

So what can they do?

1. Bloggers can alert people to stories and items they might not learn from the MSM.

2. Bloggers constantly search other non-MSM news sources for stories of import the MSM deem insignificant. I don't think it necessary to provide examples.

3. Bloggers regularly call bullshit on stories which are nothing more than Bushci talking points.

4. The A-listers? They're concerned with political posturing and electability. Give me a break.

5. Today elections are determined by appearance and presentation. Do you think Abraham Lincoln would have a fucking chance of being elected president today? Just asking.

6. We have to convince the voters to consider substance. They need to focus on the issues and not the persona.

7. Does it matter if Bush is someone you want to have a beer with, especially knowing he's an alcoholic, or does it matter the person has a useful vision for American and a plan to get there?

We can help, but only so much.

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World's Most Important Food Crops Hit by Global Warming Effects

Some things are insidious. They creep up on you bit by bit and its easy not to notice. Thank you Al Gore for bringing global warming to the attention of the world.
Rising temperatures between 1981 and 2002 caused a loss in production of wheat, corn and barley that amounted in effect to some 40 million tons a year - equivalent to annual losses of some £2.6bn ($5.05bn).

Although these numbers are not large compared to the world-wide production of cereal crops, scientists warned that the findings demonstrated how climate change was already having an impact on the global production of staple foods. "Most people tend to think of climate change as something that will impact the future, but this study shows that warming over the past two decades has already had real effects on global food supply," said Christopher Field of the Carnegie Institution in Stanford, California.

(read more)

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Bush's Book List Gets More Islamophobic

This "must read IMHO" reminds me of Faux News watchers and Limbaugh acolytes. They only want to hear what they believe. They narrow their vision to their ideologies and refuse to recognize reality or any arguments which contradict their own opinions.
Accounts of a Feb. 28 "literary luncheon" at the White House suggest that President George W. Bush's reading tastes -- until now a remarkably good predictor of his policy views -- are moving ever rightward, even apocalyptic, despite his administration's recent suggestions that it is more disposed to engage Washington's foes, even in the Middle East.


What is remarkable about all of these books is -- much like the cherry-picked and manipulated intelligence stovepiped to Bush in the run-up to the Iraq War -- both their extraordinary ideological narrowness and their utility in the pursuit of a neo-conservative agenda, especially in the Middle East.

Yeah, I'm probably guilty of this behavior too. I do try to consider the "other side's" position, but can't contort my body to emulate it.

Don't you love how I eventually tie my graphics/photos into the post? Just asking

(read more)

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The definite spin zone

I will take advantage of this "brief?" window of opportunity to post a couple other things.
The fear that virtually any piece of communication will have to be turned over has paralyzed department officials' ability to communicate effectively and respond in unison to the crisis, as has the fact that senior Justice officials themselves say they still don't know the entire story about what happened that led to the crisis. So they are afraid that anything they put down on paper could be viewed as lies or obfuscation, when in fact, the story is changing daily as new documents are found and as the Office of Legal Counsel conducts its own internal probe into the matter.

I'm having a problem with this, but am not sure what all I think.

In political positioning and strategizing, inside and outside government, there is brainstorming and suggestions on how to spin information or gain political advantage.

In some cases these email exchanges might include illegal activity because the author doesn't realize they are illegal. Such strategies, if not enacted, aren't necessarily illegal activity.

How can government or a company function if every word put in an email must be considered, by non-attorneys, for its legal ramifications and the realization it may become evidence in a future grand jury or criminal investigation or lawsuit?

In the US attorney firings, the emails are very good evidence and I'm glad we have them, but the ramifications are frightening.

I seriously doubt there is anything illegal with the firings. Immoral, political, unethical, vindictive, shameful all apply, but not illegal. Bush can fire any US attorney at any time. That he did it for political reasons is beside the point. Attacking a foreign country and killing civilians is illegal. Choose your fights.

Perhaps my unease is this. I'm not allowed to wire-tap an individual. So why am I now privy to personal emails between government employees? Maybe only prosecutors with a "need to know" should be accessing such things. They can interrogate the people involved to attempt to determine the level of legal understanding and criminal intent, but the political manipulation should be withheld from public scrutiny.

From The Anonymous Liberal
I think we should gum this to death: ask the Senators to give Tim a chance, meet with him, give him some time in office to see how he performs, etc. If they ultimately say "no never" (and the longer we can forestall that the better), then we can tell them we'll look for other candidates, ask them for recommendations, evaluate the recommendations, interview their candidates, and otherwise run out the clock. All of this should be done in "good faith," of course.

This isn't anything any politician wouldn't try to do to game the system. Don't kid yourself. The Dems are exchanging emails which are precisely the equivalent of some of these emails and they would look just as ugly. Politics ain't a pretty game.

Why can't the world be black and white as it is for Bush?

(read more)

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Is this thing working?

Not sure if this post will work. Blogger hasn't for hours now. If so, here we go.

Bush just planted a great big fat wet kiss of death on Alberto Gonzales' lips and Al probably doesn't even realize it. To wit.
Call it the wrong phrase at the wrong time but "Brownie, you're doing a heckuva job" was named on Thursday as U.S. President George W. Bush's most memorable phrase of 2005.

Calling himself "the decider" the President today launched a second public defence of Donald Rumsfeld, insisting he will remain in the job.


President Bush pushed back against some suggestions by some skeptical Republicans that Harriet Miers was not conservative enough, insistin on Tuesday that his nominee to the Supreme Court shares his strict-constructionist views.

"I know her heart," Bush told a Rose Garden news conference. "Her philosophy won't change."

George Bush sought to patch up relations with Iraq's prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, at a brief summit in Amman yesterday, describing him as the "right guy for Iraq and we're going to help him".

OK, so this guy is still around, but not for long. Just you wait and see.

The White House expressed President Bush's support Monday for Secretary of State Colin Powell in response to a report that he did not plan to serve in a second term.

"The president thinks he is doing an outstanding job and appreciates the job that he is doing," Press Secretary Scott McClellan said. "The president looks forward to Secretary Powell continuing to work with him in our foreign policy realm."


Ya need any more examples? Look them up yourself. I'm too lazy.

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Monday, March 19, 2007

Ready for your closeup?

America the movie

Is it only me or does it seem Americans are living in a Hollywood movie?

Start with 911.

Oooh! Everyone is scared.

But not to worry.

Enter the hero on a white horse, George W, to save us all.

George W attacks Afghanistan and then Iraq. He announces “mission accomplished” and the Taleban has been vanquished and the audience (Americans) relax.

Saddam Hussein is captured and the evil is under control.

More relaxation for the audience.

Ah, but the mission isn’t quite accomplished. The insurgents appear. Oh no, so does the Taleban.

No problem. John Wayne Bush is in control.

The audience goes for snacks.

But the insurgents seem to know how to blow up people and, more importantly, know how to blow fucking US helicopters out of the sky. Ouch!

What did I miss? Oh fucking hell! It might have been the best scene.

Then our forces capture number 2 or 3 or whatever of the al-Qaeda organization.

The audience issues a sigh of relief.

But we can’t trust what the “leader” says.

More tension for the audience.

This thing will never end while Bushco is in charge.

I know I’m missing many subtle sub-plots and nuances. I’m not a screen writer.

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This Is Disgusting

From a 2002 interview with Ariel Sharon. Do you believe in malevolence? Just asking.
"Oh," Sharon said, "we'll make a pastrami sandwich of them." I said, "What?" He said, "Yes, we'll insert a strip of Jewish settlement, in between the Palestinians, and then another strip of Jewish settlement, right across the West Bank, so that in twenty-five years time, neither the United Nations, nor the United States, nobody, will be able to tear it apart".

(read more)

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GOP wants answers on prosecutor firings

Yes you read that headline right. The GOP wants answers, not just the Dems. Perhaps sanity is returning to the Senate.
Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee say the Bush administration needs to be more straightforward about the White House's role in the dismissals of eight federal prosecutors.

"I've told the attorney general that I think this has been mishandled, that by giving inaccurate information ... at the outset, it's caused a real firestorm, and he better get the facts out fast," said Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas).

(read more)

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U.S.: Dispute on N. Korea funds resolved

I don't know about you, but this always seemed to me to be a red herring.
The United States and North Korea have resolved a dispute over $25 million in frozen North Korean funds in a Macau bank that had threatened to hamper progress on nuclear disarmament negotiations, a top U.S. official said Monday.

Hell, if necessary, I could hide money better than this. NKoreans aren't idiots. We have idiots in charge.

Now maybe we can get on with the business of diplomacy and prevent more bloodshed.

(read more)

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Sunday, March 18, 2007

Now you have a choice

Having trouble deciding who to vote for in 2008? How about drafting SPIIDERWEB™?

I’m not sure if this post will cost me readers, but I hope not.

Here are my positions in no particular order:

Medically safe abortion: For
Fighting global warming: For
Electronic voting: Against
Pre-emptive attack: Against
Tax reductions for the rich: Against
Tax rebates for oil companies: Against
Balanced budget: For
Transparent government: For
US Constitution: For
US Bill of Rights: For
Torture: Against
Solar power: For
Wind power: For
Domestic spying: Against
Habeas corpus: For
Geneva Convention: For
Special rendition: Against
War: Against
Deceit: Against
Cronyism: Against
Apples: For
Public political funding: For
Secret prisons: Against
Veteran support (fighting): For
Veteran support (medical): For
Lobbyist gifts: Against
Cuba embargo: Against
Gun control: Against
Ammunition control: For
Stricter CAFE standards: For
Universal health care: For
NOLA reconstruction: For
Medical marijuana: For
Child pornography: Against
Civil unions: For
Sexual orientation acceptance: For
Freedom of religion: For
Freedom from religion: For
Religious acceptance: For
BLTs: For
Dictatorship: Against
Bestiality: Against
Labour unions: For
Free speech: For
War on drugs: Against
Prevention of terrorism: For
Immigrant amnesty: For
Profanity: For
Social security: For
Poverty: Against
Hunger: Against
HIV/AIDS: Against
Stem cell research: For
Racial profiling: Against
Cloning (sheep): For
Cloning (velociraptors): Against
Creationism: Against
MSM: Against
Blogging: For
Honesty: for
Welfare: Against
Support: For
Congressional oversight: For
Impeachment: For
Abstinence only education: Against
Condom use: For
Diplomacy: For
Chocolate: For
Imperialism: Against
Privacy: For
Police state: Against
Free education: For
Nanny state: Against
Intelligent politicians: For
War: Against
Negotiation: For
Planning: For
Incompetence: Against
Political retribution: Against
Increased minimum wage: For
Troop withdrawal: For
Junkets: Against

I may flesh these out in future, but I doubt it because I’m lazy. Feel free to ask about any of them.


What is the world coming to?

File under: I can't make this shit up.

Ya gotta protect yourselves. the zombies are coming. How long before the GOP starts flogging Americans with this newest non-threat threat?
The Zombie Preparedness Initiative is a knowledge base provided by a community of citizens concerned about the impending zombie invasion and the iminant disaster that is sure to follow. We are not claiming to be experts on anything, we are merely doing what we can to gather knowledge and share the aquired information with the public. By doing this, we hope to help people prepare for the very real threat that we shall face when zombies show up and governments have not taken the time to prepare.

Now the vampires do scare me. I think my neighbor is one. Or, he just loves red wine. I'm keeping an eye on him.

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A TEENAGER has turned down £8.5million to sell his website

Eight and a half British pounds is approximately $17.3 million.

Doesn't this kid have parents who can slap him up side the head? He can always start another sight.

If someone offered me $17,000 for my site its theirs. But $17.3 million? I kiss their fat asses and give 'em the site.

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Bloggers may take advantage of the FOIA

Well that's a bit of an overstatement. If a blogger has a large enough readership (not defined) then they will be able to make FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) requests and such a request "has" to be honored.
Freedom of Information Act Amendments of 2007 - Amends the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to prohibit a federal agency from denying a requester status as a news media representative for purposes of determining FOIA request processing fees solely on the absence of institutional association. Requires an agency to consider the requester's prior publication history or stated intent to distribute information to a reasonably broad audience.

According to The Gavel, this bill to amend the FOIA has been passed by the House. Come on Senate.

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Several large US military projects under fire

Color me completely surprised...not. And, again as always, ya gotta love the GAO.
The Pentagon is facing mounting criticism over the awarding of several large contracts because of deficiencies and irregularities in the procurement of new age military machines.

Thursday, the US Government Accountability Office [GAO], a congressional agency responsible for keeping tabs on federal spending, revealed delays in developing an advanced combat Joint Strike Fighter [JSF] and costs had swollen 12 percent.

"Total JSF program acquisition costs (through 2027) have increased by 31.6 billion dollars," the GAO said. [emphasis mine]

Yes you read that right. The increase was 31.6 billion. They throw around billions like you or I might throw coins into a fountain.

Oh yeah, if they are predicting 31.6 billion now, wouldn't you expect several revisions over the next 20 years?!!!1!!

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When Loyalty Is Not a Virtue: A Glimpse into Bush's Amoral World

This is a must read for sure. I've touched on this subject many times because allegiance to Bush is always Bush's top priority. He couldn't care less about Americans.
Although loyalty is always highly valued among our politicians, George W. Bush has shown himself exceptional in placing so high a priority on loyalty in assessing his people.

While in many contexts loyalty is rightly regarded as an important moral virtue, Bush’s excessive valuing of loyalty is less a sign of his appreciating a moral virtue than of his inhabiting a world in which true morality is scarcely relevant.

That’s what underlies Bush’s pronounced penchant for appointing cronies rather than well-qualified people, and of his bestowing honors on people who have stood by him while failing the country.

So when this president bestows the Medals of Freedom on a George Tenant, whose failures in the pre-war intelligence helped plunged America into a disastrous war, or on Paul Bremer, whose misjudgments helped squander what chances there were of avoiding disaster, it is indeed a scandal. For these honors are supposed to acknowledge achievements in the service to the nation as a whole, and to the nation’s values, and not just loyal service to an individual.

But while calling it a scandal is a valid moral judgment on this president’s actions, we should also understand that Bush’s excessive valuing of loyalty is a clue to why this president consistently works to advance his own power at the cost of the nation’s good order.

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Bush: Dems try to micromanage war

Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. This is hilarious.
Bush said some lawmakers see a chance "to micromanage our military commanders, force a precipitous withdrawal from Iraq and spend billions on domestic projects that have nothing to do with the war on terror."

Sorry, but it isn't funny at all. He probably really believes this and doesn't have a clue what he's doing.

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Kewl bus graphic

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Must Read IMHO

Its sort of a "keep your eye on the ball" thingie. From The Anonymous Liberal.
As the scandal over the politically-motivated firing of eight U.S. Attorneys continues to grow, it's important to keep in mind that there have been a number of incidents over the years involving Alberto Gonzales that likely would have generated similar headlines and calls for resignation had Congress chosen to investigate them.

One such incident was first reported in July of last year. In response to revelations that the Justice Department had approved the use of warrantless surveillance in direct contravention of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), the DOJ's Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) launched an investigation into the propriety and legality of that authorization. This investigation was quickly killed, however, when the President took the unprecedented step of denying to OPR officials the security clearance necessary to conduct their investigation.

Bear in mind Gonzales' first allegiance is to George W, not the American people...always.

There are many reasons Gonzales should go. Strong arming and replacing US Attorneys is just the latest of his nefarious actions.

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Need some mental exercise?

Try Games for the Brain.

Warning: Some games take more bandwidth than I have. The game What Was There was OK for me, but Rotate really reacted slowly.

Oh yeah, as the arrow at the top of Rotate suggests, each picture segment will rotate 90° to the right each time you click on it.


Bush attempts to unseat Iraqi government for future Iran plans

Can you say coup d'état? Yeah, I thought you could.
Despite denials from Washington, there are growing signs that the Bush administration has issued threats to its puppet government in Baghdad to meet US-dictated “benchmarks” or face the consequences. The White House aims not only to end the military disaster in Iraq and open up the country’s oil for exploitation, but to fashion an Iraqi regime more supportive of US preparations for aggression against Iran.

Associated Press reported on Wednesday that Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki feared the Bush administration would “torpedo” his government if it failed to meet US demands. The article highlighted a US threat to withdraw support from the government if it failed to pass a draft hydrocarbons law by the end of June that would open up Iraqi oil and gas fields to American corporations.

And somehow it always comes back to the oil which, of course, had nothing to do with the requisite regime change in Iraq. Despite all the secrecy, lies, deciept and subterfuge, Bushco is transparent as cellophane.

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Fidel Castro health watch

I'm a bit behind the curve on this due to my so called life.

Fidel Castro is neither dead nor dying. In fact...
The Cuban president, Fidel Castro, will be in "perfect shape" to stand for parliament again in a year's time, the head of the country's national assembly has said.

"I would nominate him," said Ricardo Alarcon told reporters yesterday. "I'm sure he will be in perfect shape to continue handling his responsibilities."

A personal note. I've had intestinal surgery and it takes one hell of a long time to recover. And I'm much younger than Castro. The human body doesn't like to be invaded and, I would guess aside from heart or brain surgery, there's no more violent invasion of the body than an operation on the intestines.

Hell, my stomach now looks like a road map and I have two navels.

Meanwhile, Bushco is collectively crying because Castro isn't on his last legs.

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McCain's "Truth in Advertising Express"

Sorry, but that should be the “Straight Talk" express”. My bad.

Behold a reporter acting like a reporter. Is there some way we can get the NYT's Adam Nagourney to follow all the candidates for a while?
Q: “So no contraception, no counseling on contraception. Just abstinence. Do you think contraceptives help stop the spread of HIV?”

Mr. McCain: (Long pause) “You’ve stumped me.”

Q: “I mean, I think you’d probably agree it probably does help stop it?”

Mr. McCain: (Laughs) “Are we on the Straight Talk express? I’m not informed enough on it. Let me find out. You know, I’m sure I’ve taken a position on it on the past. I have to find out what my position was. Brian, would you find out what my position is on contraception – I’m sure I’m opposed to government spending on it, I’m sure I support the president’s policies on it.”[emphasis mine]

What the fuck is that? He thinks he used to know what he thought about the subject, but doesn't think he knows what he thinks now? Talk about unbelievable conviction.

Ah, but there's more.

"Uh, sorry. I'll have to get back to you. I think I jotted my thoughts on a Post-it® Note or a napkin somewhere. Just have to find the fucking thing. But trust me. I do have a position. I just don't remember what it is. Is it just me or it getting damn hot inside this bus?"

Ya wanna let this guy lead you with his unwavering authority? Just asking.

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Quote of the day


These have sorta piled up on me. Maybe this category was a bad idea.

If you get bored, be sure to drop down to the last 3. Its worth the trip.

From Absolutely Bananas.

This is the conversation that CJ and I had last night over dinner.

CJ: You're dumb.

Me: Don't say that. that's not nice. We don't say people are dumb.

CJ: No, you told me to say 'dumb' instead of 'stupid.'

So I did. Hmmm...

Me: Yeah, but you don't call people dumb. It hurts their feelings. You wouldn't like it if I called you dumb, would you?

CJ: I AM dumb.

Me: No you're not. Don't say that.

CJ: I'm stupid. (satisfied smirk)

There are days where I really don't think I'm smart enough to be this child's mother.

From Overheard at the Beach.
Four-year-old boy: Wild for penis! Wild for penis! Wild for penis!

--Long Island Beach Club, Long Island, New York

Father pointing to ocean: Hey, John, look at the dolphins! [Seven-year-old boy looks around, not seeing them.] You're missing them! You're missing them like you miss everything! You're just like your mother!

--Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

Drunk mother: So, do... When we should send the kids to bed?
Drunk father: Well, the older one can stay up later tonight... What the fuck is that kid's name...?
Drunk mother: Brianna?
Drunk father: Who the hell...? I mean, Sabrina.
Drunk mother: You're holding Sabrina.
Drunk father: Cassie! Send the other two to bed in an hour or so, but Cassie can stay up later. [Baby in his arms starts to cry.] Shut the hell up, Cheyenne.

--Beach campground, Mindon, Ontario, Canada

12-year-old girl: Mom! She's throwing up pickles in the pool!

--Ixtapa, Mexico

From Overheard in New York.
Little boy: Daddy, why did you yell at that man?
Dad: Because he's an asshole! ... Like your brother!

--Penn Station

11-year-old boy #1 playing with toy gun: You fucked my mom in the ass! [Makes shooting noises, then ducks.]
11-year-old boy #2, nervous, to perplexed passerby: Uhhh, he wasn't talking to you...

--10th & 7th, Park Slope

Eight-year-old boy to younger kid: If we were in prison you'd be my bitch!

--Hudson & Christopher

Mother to toddler son: Now, honey, close your eyes. This isn't for you.

--Frederick's of Hollywood, King's Plaza

Little girl in stroller pointing to Bodies Exhibit poster: Mama, what's that?
Mom: That's what the inside of your body looks like. That's what your heart looks like. I don't know what everything else is.
Little girl: Where's all the blood?
Mom: Well, I guess they drained the blood. Isn't it pretty?

--LIRR, Penn Station

Six-year-old girl pointing to painting of naked man: I like that one!
Mom: You would.

--Brooklyn Museum

Child: Mommy! Mommy! [Pointing at track worker] Look, that man is going to kill himself.
Mom: No, honey, he is just fixing the tracks so we don't crash with another train.
Child: So that means he is saving our lives by risking his. What a dumbass!

--7 train

Wailing six-year-old boy: But whyyy?!
Mom: Well, I know, honey, but kick him in the shins, don't kick him in the balls!

--Prince & Broadway

Mom: Well, now we're all going to visit Grandma.
Anxious child: No, Mommy! I don't want to go to the hospital!
Mom: But we're going to visit Grandma today...
Anxious child, screaming: No! I don't want to go to the hospital! People urinate on the floor!
Mom: Everyone can hear you!

--1 train

Mother: You have to cut her chicken fingers up. I gave her a whole one the other day and she almost choked to death.
Father: I like for her to learn to take bites.
Mother: She's not ready.
Two-year-old daughter: I'm not ready, Dad.

--Diner, Midtown

Little boy: Mom, how did the dinosaurs cook their meat?
Mother: They didn't, they ate it raw.
Little boy: Oh. [Long pause.] Are Japanese people dinosaurs?

--Astoria Park

Six-year-old to guy stranger while hiding behind mother on cell: Hi.
20-something guy: Hello...
Six-year-old, grabbing guy's hand: Hi.
20 something guy, confused: Hello...
Six-year-old to mom: I picked one!
Mom: You picked what? No! I told you that you could pick out the stamps, not a person! Put him back!

--Post office

Mom to toddler screaming in stroller: That's it, sweetie. Let it all out. Doesn't that feel good?

--TJ Maxx, 19th & 6th

Mom to toddler: Joseph, stop walking like a tourist!

--51st & 5th

Mother to toddler running into automatic revolving door: You best not hurt yourself or I will fuck you up!

--Port Authority

Man to child in stroller: ... Then we push her over the edge of the cliff. That's called getting even!

--President & 5th Ave, Brooklyn

Mother to three-year-old daughter: Hey, it's Santa on the phone. And you know what he says? Stop taking my credit cards.

--Metro-North train

Mom to two small children struggling to get through the crowd: Just push them all as hard as you can! Use your fists and elbows, too!

--34th & 6th

Father hand-in-hand with seven-year-old boy who's singing national anthem: That's right, sing it loud and sing it wrong.

--Times Square

Six-year old boy: Mom, what's that?
Loud mother in cheery voice: That's your prostate!

--Bodies exhibit, South St Seaport

Actually this one isn't funny to me. I've never seen anything wrong with using correct medical terms when talking to a child. Boys don't have "wieners", they have penises.

Teacher: When you grow up you can be anything you want!
Second grader: I can be an elephant?!

--P.S. 121

Little girl after dropping lollipop: Shit!
Mother: Madison!
Little girl: What? It's not like I said 'fuck'!

--Dylan's Candy Bar

From Overheard in the Office.
Teacher: Can you tell me what states I might find on the West coast of the United States?
Student: The big one on the bottom. Mexico is part of the United States.
Teacher: No, that is wrong. Mexico is a country, try again.
Student: Look, my parents live here and they said we're American and they came from Mexico. It's part of the United States.
Teacher: I am telling you, you are wrong. Mexico is a country -- it has its own government.
Student: Look, if it was its own country then why is everyone just walking over here? That's what I did and I'm still here.
Another student pulls out cell: Not for long.

School, Desert Marigold Lane
Las Vegas, Nevada


US Attorney purge

Just had to weigh in on this. My personal life is still sixes and sevens, but this is something a blogger can't ignore.

Something has been bothering me about this whole US Attorney purge. Considering the number of US attorneys in the US, and only 8 were purged, how many others were willing to play ball?

Here’s where I’m coming from. Recognize I’m projecting my own position onto the attorneys in question. I’ve had choices to risk my career or “go along”.

In my corporate life I’ve often been pressured to “rethink” my analysis and conclusions on this or that subject. After initially protesting this as something akin to bullshit (a word I did use), I agreed. The reason I acquiesced is I knew full well I was more intelligent than the idiot who wanted a cooked report.

So, I consented to revisit my assumptions, analysis and conclusions and report back. Then I would choose the middle ground which didn’t include lies nor the final results requested (demanded?), but fell slightly short of complete honesty. However the resulting reports, which the idiots couldn’t really comprehend, came very close to the original report without being too blatant. Often my managers would receive extreme heat from their superiors who also didn’t want to hear the whole truth. Perhaps that’s why I didn’t get promoted as did the toadies.

Don’t get me wrong, I worked for some managers who didn’t want to hear what I had to say, but decided I was right and changed their positions. It happens. Not often, but it does. Everyone has a strong sense of self-preservation.

So this isn’t a condemnation of even a large number of the non-purged attorneys. Its quite possible they proceeded with investigations they knew were a waste of time at least and probably totally bogus. I’m no attorney, but am quite certain its possible to investigate Dem voter fraud for example with, shall we say, less than full enthusiasm, but it keeps the wolves from the door. I’m hoping this is the case.

My thinking is US attorneys are ambitious and seek power, authority and respect as do many of us, but those things come from intelligent judicial decisions and not from the stroking they get from the administration in power. They have a sense of morality and ethics and aren’t about to prostitute themselves just to hold onto their positions. This is a belief I honestly hope is true.

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