Wednesday, August 31, 2005
Still on hiatus here at Days, but had to break for a moment to offer my condolences and provide a few links to sites taking donations. If you can spare it, help out a little... it's horrific down there, and getting more so by the day. Even from the bluest of blue states, our thoughts are most certainly with you all in these trying times.
Habitat for Humanity
Network for Good (more orgs)
UPDATE: I'm a little late to the game here, but check out Truth Laid Bear's Blog Relief effort. If you make a donation, log it here. But most importantly, just help out if you can. Thanks.
Yahoo: Full Coverage and Slideshow
Times-Picayune: NOLA News Coverage and Blog
LiveScience: More to Come
Nation: Stooping So Low
NPR: Katrina Blog
WickedWish: Look at...
AND ANOTHER THING
I realize right-wingers will chastise anyone who tries to make political hay out of such a disaster, but there is simply too much evidence to NOT wave a blame finger at dear leader and his cadre of fools. Donate first, then have a look at this...
E&P: Did New Orleans Catastrophe Have to Happen?
AmericaBlog: Disaster Funds Used for Iraq, Tax Cuts
ABC26: La. National Guard Wants Equipment Back From Iraq
Times-Picayune: No One Can Say They Didn't See It Coming
Seattle Times: This is Hardly the Time to Destroy FEMA
Kos: The Reality of Katrina
Oh, and flybys and photo-ops unfortunately won't fix a damn thing.
Thursday, August 18, 2005
Ok, so I'm not going fishing, but I am going to be away for the next week or so. Like our dear leader, I too need to rest up so I can make "good, crisp decisions." Hell, if I follow his regimen, I just may manage to snub a grieving mother, ignore the entire nation and piss off the whole of the world. But I only have one week to his five, so maybe I'll have to skip the 'pissing off the whole world' part. We'll see.
Fishin' for that 'noble cause'.
I know my posts lately have been a little angry, what with all the hate and all. So I thought I'd leave you all with a few lighter items to get you through the rest of August. Enjoy.
- Calvin is Jack. Hobbes is Tyler. Discuss.
- Karl Rove has met his match. Meet Harlan McCraney.
- Bob Odenkirk: LINDSEY LOHAN AND YELLOBRIBBONS! SUPPORT!
- Pickin' on hillbillies. (oh, why not?) Don't worry, the South Will Rise Again.
- I just can't figure out why America is becoming so obese... it's weird, isn't it? Hey, anyone up for a Boston Cream Cheeseburger? Mmmmm, tasty.
- Prepare to be really, really offended: Cartman the Aristocrat.
- Speaking of people who offend, have I ever expressed my undying love for Sarah Silverman? Well, my love? It's undying. First, watch her roast Pamela Anderson. Then, watch the trailer to her forthcoming movie Jesus Is Magic. That bitch rocks.
- And speaking of Jesus, there's been a lot of talk lately about Intelligent Design vs. Evolution, but how come nobody seems to be talking about the Theory of the Flying Spaghetti Monster? No respect.
- We need a change in this country, and Christopher Walken is the man to deliver it. Hey, more cowbell? I'm all for that. Besides, the man can dance.
- Are your neurons bursting with memetic viruses? Find out with the Human Virus Scanner.
- You've seen it before, but you can never have too many badgers. Can you?
- Lastly, who brought the nearsighted kid to the pool??
Enjoy the dog days everyone. See you in September.
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
I will be attending a candlelight vigil at 7:30 tonight on the Brooklyn Promenade to show my support for Cindy Sheehan's valiant stand against the president and his war. This peaceful response to Cindy's effort should do wonders to counter the response from the other side which has included shotgun blasts, drive-by cross smashings, and, of course, all the smearing you can shake a hypocrisy stick at.
Enough is enough, it's time to get off our collective asses and make our voices heard. There are more than 1,500 vigils nationwide tonight, you can find one near you right here. Join us in telling the president how much we HATE HIS WAR.
UPDATE: Kos offers front-line reports from vigils across the country.
TDS: Texas Scold 'Em
Dowd: Biking Toward Nowhere
Nichols: Sheehan's Tragic Critics
AP: Parents of fallen marine make plea to Bush
Another Parent: I Need to Know Why
Truthout: Ongoing Coverage from Crawford
Monday, August 15, 2005
Over the weekend, our clueless president attempted to defend his refusal to meet with Cindy Sheehan, the mother of slain soldier from Bush's war:
"Whether it be here or in Washington or anywhere else, there's somebody who has got something to say to the president, that's part of the job," Bush said on the ranch. "And I think it's important for me to be thoughtful and sensitive to those who have got something to say. But I think it's also important for me to go on with my life."Hey, fuckwit, you know who can't "go on with his life"? Casey Sheehan. The president's schedule was pretty busy though, I'll give him that:
In addition to a two-hour bike ride, Bush's Saturday schedule included an evening Little League Baseball playoff game, a lunch meeting with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, a nap, some fishing and some reading.Shit man, I had a busier weekend than that. He also has time to go on a bike ride with Lance Armstrong and make a phone call to Phil Mickleson.
The gloves are off, I've had enough. I've said it before and I'll say it again:
Fuck you George W. Bush. We Hate Your War.
How old are you son? Wanna go to Iraq?
Another Mother: Tragedy of Errors
Hebert: Lives Blown Apart (It's Not Just the Dead)
Gilliard: Mayor of Simpleton
Kos: Getting on with Life
WH.org: Bush's Letter to Sheehan
Rich: Someone Tell the President the War is Over
DAYS: While You Were Out, Part One and Part Two
Bush, over the weekend, on Iran:
"As I say, all options are on the table. The use of force is the last option for any president and you know, we've used force in the recent past to secure our country."
Yes, he's actually thinking about this. Believe it.
Oh yeah, and that worked out realllllll well. It may seem crazy to even consider another military incursion what with the clusterfuck that Iraq has become, but don't think it won't happen. Some say this is simple posturing to keep the pressure on Iran, but isn't that what we said in the early days of the Iraq propaganda?
There several reasons this frightening scenario is possible:
- The biggest? It's part of the plan goddamit.
- Also, Bush now has his man in place at the UN to hype the bullshit and bash the skulls of anyone who dissents.
- Bush and his people are absolutely crazy.
- They also don't give one fuck what the people think. Clearly.
- Rumsfeld: Weapons Entering Iraq from Iran
- FOX News is making damn sure the threat is known.
- Syria and Iran appear to be getting cozy.
- Sites like this are popping up with more and more frequency.
- But the surest sign has to be the fact that Halliburton is poised to make a buttload of cash.
While Iran surely needs to be dealt with, the Bush people have proven repeatedly and at great cost that they are incompetent in such matters. They better not dare.
UPDATE: AgitProp was all over this before me, and did a much more thorough job. Go check it out.
BBC: Bush Warns Iran
A-Times: The Iranian Nightmare
VV: Playing Deadly Games
Silber: Entering the Anteroom of Hell and People Just Don't Get It
Friday, August 12, 2005
I know, I know, it's bad form to bother the president while he's on a, uh, 'working' vacation, so I must apologize in advance sir. I really didn't want to do this again, but I saw that you managed to take some more time away from the Ranch the other day to pad the pockets of the friendly folks who've helped you out through the signing of yet another Porktastic bill. I figured since you found the time to pass out a record $24 billion in 'special project' money (impressive!), perhaps you could let me bend your ear for a few moments. Got a minute?
Lay off, I'm on vacation here!
First off, I really think it may behoove you to spend a few moments with that woman camped outside your ranch, you know the mother of the slain soldier from your war? I realize you have important fundraisers to attend and stuff, but Mrs. Sheehan really just wants to ask you a few questions. She says this is your "accountability moment" (read this). I know you tend to shy away from such things as accountability, but you just may want to listen this time.
Your surrogates on the Right have tried to respond to Sheehan in the only way they know how: by smearing her. Yep, the best retort they've been able to come up with is to call her "a whore." Is that how you feel too? This disgusting tactic by your wingnut friends has even started to turn their own against them, and thank god for that. Seriously, you really don't want to leave it up to them to fill the void of inaction you've left by ignoring Sheehan, do you?
Wait, I'm sorry, you did try to answer her yesterday, didn't you? What was it you said?
“It breaks my heart to think about a family weeping over the loss of a loved one,” Bush said. “I also have heard the voices of those saying pull out now, and I've thought about their cry and their sincere desire to reduce the loss of life by pulling our troops out. I just strongly disagree.”
Hold on, are you saying you 'strongly disagree' with reducing the loss of life? That's not gonna help you. Why won't you just meet her? Seriously sir, as retired Gen. Barry R. McCaffrey says, "This thing [Iraq], the wheels are coming off it. We want to get out of this. The American people are walking away from this war."
And so Mr. President, with that head-butt of reality bouncing around in your feeble little mind, here are a few more tidbits you may have missed during your brush-clearing operation down there on the ranch. I just thought you ought to know.
Five U.S. Soldiers, 22 Iraqis Killed on Day of Violence It was part of a violent day in which assassins gunned down 10 city police officers in five neighborhoods during a one-hour period. Across the country, at least 22 Iraqis died in acts of violence. Insurgents killed a police officer in Baqubah and attacked a minivan full of pilgrims traveling to Iran, killing three, police said. A judge in Kirkuk narrowly escaped an assassination attempt, and a mortar shell exploded in the troubled Dora neighborhood of Baghdad, killing two people and injuring four. The U.S. military also announced Tuesday that a Marine had been killed a day earlier in Al Anbar province. At least 43 Americans and 124 Iraqis have been killed by insurgent attacks over the last two weeks.
Four US Troops Killed A large crater on the highway and an account from Iraqi police suggested U.S. vehicles had been struck by one of what appears to be a new breed of roadside bomb or land mine. The devices are more powerful than those that have killed hundreds of troops over the past two years and capable of penetrating American armor.
Fighting 69th Loses 2 "It hurts me to know my son is gone," said Kalladeen's heartbroken mother, Maria Vidal, who now lives in Reading, Pa. "He was supposed to be coming home by September or October." The two new deaths bring the 69th's death toll in Iraq to
Another Senseless Death He was ordered by his government to fight a war that he did not believe in. He told us that the conflict in Iraq was "a so-called war" and that he saw U.S. troops as caught in an impossible situation. In the end, Pellegrini's stay in Iraq lasted little more than eight months. Yesterday morning, his parents were notified that he had been killed in action.
Baghdad's Mayor Deposed Armed men entered Baghdad's municipal building during a blinding dust storm, deposed the city's mayor and installed a member of Iraq's most powerful Shiite militia. The deposed mayor, Alaa al-Tamimi, called the move a municipal coup d'état. He added that he had gone into hiding for fear of his life."This is the new Iraq," said Tamimi, a secular engineer with no party affiliation. "They use force to achieve their goal." (sounds sorta like the old Iraq, no?)
General Says Attacks on US Convoys Have Doubled These attacks account for a large number of the U.S. military deaths in the war, and commanders have said at least some of the bombs being used by the rebels now are more powerful than in the past. (what was that about "last throes" and "losing steam?")
Fuck You George W. Bush. We Hate Your War.
Sheehan: George Bush's Accountability Moment
Dowd: Why No Tea & Sympathy?
TDS: Jon Stewart hates your war/struggle too. (video)
Green Day: Wake Me Up When September Ends (video)
WaPO: Don't worry, this soldier doesn't want to see you.
Burka: Bush To Extend Vacation To Clear "Especially Pernicious" Brush
Wednesday, August 10, 2005
I was at a loss for words this morning when I read what the Pentagon has planned for the fourth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks:
Pentagon to host 9/11 march, showHow clueless are these people? First of all, why can't you schedule your little jingoism parade on any other day but this one? Why do you have to shamlessly march over the graves of my friends and thousands of others by turning their solemn day of memorium into some sick publicity stunt to continue selling your bullshit war? And second of all, Clint Black? What, was Dexter Freebish all booked up that day? The event is already tasteless enough, isn't it?
WASHINGTON - The Pentagon will hold a massive march and country music concert to mark the fourth anniversary of 9/11, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said in an unusual announcement tucked into an Iraq war briefing yesterday.
"This year the Department of Defense will initiate an America Supports You Freedom Walk," Rumsfeld said, adding that the march would remind people of "the sacrifices of this generation and of each previous generation."
The march will start at the Pentagon, where nearly 200 people died on 9/11, and end at the National Mall with a show by country star Clint Black.
What? What's the big deal?
Seriously, this is beyond the pale. I'm so sick and tired of these SOBs. You know what march I will turn up for? This one. And I don't think I'll be the only one.
Gilliard: Is he fucking kidding?
Wonkette: Walking Blues
Imus: 'That son of a bitch has to resign.'
There was a time when my energies, my focus and my passions were directed not towards the political games but rather the games themselves. My love of sports went unrivaled, unchallenged. You couldn't pull me out of the sports pages, you couldn't get me off ESPN no matter what was going on in the wider world. Hell, if election night happened to conflict with the World Series, I wouldn't even consider voting.
But times have changed. Last October, I chose the sport of presidential debate over a Red Sox/Yankees playoff game. I don't watch ESPN's SportsCenter because it conflicts with The Daily Show. And I now find myself unable to tell you off the top of my head, as I once could, who leads the National League in On Base Percentage.* It's sorta sad actually. But every once in a while I find salvation from the real-world insanity by flipping over to Baseball Tonight or picking up a copy of Sports Illustrated. Last night was one of those nights, and just look what I was treated to.
First off, I got to see young Yankee fan Scott Harper hurl himself off the upper deck of Yankee Stadium up 'der in the Boogie Down. Scott's buddies, who no doubt had everything to do with egging him on, say their friend hadn't had a thing to drink. That fact, while probably completely untrue, makes the feat more disturbing than it needs to be. I mean, really, if you're gonna do something that stupid at least give yourself an out and blame it on the beer. As a bonus, the hated Yankees lost the game to the ChiSox 2-1, prompting an angry George Steinbrenner to utter perhaps the quote of the year, saying Scott's leap "was the only exciting thing that happened today." Bravo George. Bravo.
Meanwhile, the Mets couldn't pull off a win out San Diego last night but third baseman David Wright pulled off what was perhaps the catch of the year when he dove into shallow left, reached over his shoulder with his bare-hand and snagged a sure bloop single off the bat of Brian Giles. Considering that Wright leads the Mets in errors, perhaps he should just lose the glove and go bare-handed full time. You can check out video of the catch here.
While my beloved Seattle Mariners have suffered through yet another tough year (feels like '83 sometimes, doesn't it?), there is some hope up in the Emerald City and that hope goes by the name of Felix Hernandez. The 19-year-old phenom pitched a gem of a ballgame last night for his first major league victory. The kid already has a nickname in Seattle, he's simply being referred to as 'The Future'. Let's hope so.
Lastly, to bring things full circle and back to politics, EA Sports give us this. To promote the release of Madden Football '06 the game company inserted George W. and his brother Jeb into the action, W in a Cowboys uniform and Jeb playing for the Dolphins. You can check out the short video on EA's website here. I don't know what it is, but there's something that makes me feel all gooey inside seeing the president get flattened, even if it is by his equally feckless boob of a brother Jeb.
See, isn't sports just so much more fun than the real world? In this reality, Jeb Bush helps his brother lose, not win. Oh to live in a video game.
Oh well, I guess it's back to the bullshit and hypocrisy now. Goodbye SportsCenter, hello CSPAN.
* It's Nick Johnson BTW. I looked it up.
Goddammit, how come nobody told me it was National Underwear Day today?? I so would have found a reason to be in Times Square this morning.
Actually, this just looks like Times Square at 4 a.m. but with more daylight. Or Times Square in 1979, only much classier. More photos at Yes But No But Yes. Enjoy.
Tuesday, August 09, 2005
With yesterday's announcement that Westchester DA Jeanine Pirro will take on Hillary Clinton, the 2006 New York Senate race is shaping up to be a saucy one.
These women have more skeletons in their collective closets than the whole of Wisteria Lane, which means the "issues" probably won't be the focus of the campaign... but who cares? I'd much rather read about mob ties, philandering husbands and bastard children than job stimulation and homeland security. Mud slinging? How about mud wrestling? Meoooow!
Wonkette: The Truth About Hillary? She's Made of Wood!
Voice: Dyke Hillary! Dyke Hillary!
NYM: Pirro Mania
IMDB: Married to the Mob
Monday, August 08, 2005
How's that vacation going sir? Enjoying yourself?
I'm hunting evildoers. Heh.
I know you've still got a full month of your non-vacation vacation to go, but I saw today that you took some time off from your busy brush-clearing schedule to pump some more cash into the coffers of your buddies from the energy industry. I figured since you have time for that, you may have a few moments to consider a few other developments since you've been away.
Roadside Bomb Kills 14 Marines in Iraq
Fourteen U.S. Marines were killed Wednesday when a huge bomb destroyed their lightly armored vehicle, hurling it into the air in a giant fireball in the deadliest roadside bombing suffered by American forces.
Three U.S. troops killed in Baghdad car bomb
The deaths bring to 28 the number of U.S. troops killed in action in Iraq in the past four days ... the highest rate of deaths since the first week of the war.
Surge in Deaths Reveals More Lethal Foe
One of the biggest one-week death tolls for U.S. forces in Iraq and a continuing surge in killings of Iraqi forces and civilians showed that the insurgency is increasing its lethality and expanding its scope.
Enemy in Iraq getting deadlier
Attacks have spiked in recent weeks: 30 U.S. servicemembers have died in the past week, compared with 18, 15 and six in the preceding three weeks. More than 1,800 U.S. troops have been killed since the war began.
While I know it's no Baghdad, I do understand it's been hot down there on the ranch, and I know you've been busy planning for some big 'ol hoedown fundraisers and preparing to meet with some of your "economic folks," but do you think maybe you could take a few minutes to invite Ms. Sheehan in for a nice, cold glass of iced tea? She apparently has some things she'd like to say to you. Or would you rather just disappear–erm, arrest her?
Come on George, meet with Cindy.
Oh, and by the way, Cindy isn't alone. Most Americans don't seem to be agreeing with your policies or strategy anymore. Go figure.
Just think, only 4 short years ago, in the summer of 2001, you were able to clear brush, golf, jog and fish in peace. The only distraction then was a pesky little memo about some crazy man in Afghanistan who was "determined to strike the US." You didn't let that distract from your vacation, now did you? So buck up little Georgie, don't let all the troubles of this world get you down. And definitely don't let some angry woman, who isn't even appreciative to you for letting her sacrifice her son to your 'struggle', ruin your vacation. Why don't you go lose yourself in the brush for a while and feel better, ok?
For ongoing coverage of White House West, go over and take a gander at Karena down in Texas. She's all over it. And then some.
PP@Kos: Mission Fucking Accomplished, Asshole.
Billmon: Isn't that the most important lesson of W.H.A.T.theF.U.C.K?
Lone Star Iconoclast: President Bush Ditches Mother of Slain Soldier
Spent a gorgeous weekend in Newport, R.I. at the famed Folk Festival. The entire 2-day bill (Elvis Costello, Del McCoury, Bela Fleck, Pixies, etc.) was fantastic, but for me the highlight by far was the song circle led by Bright Eyes' Coner Oberst and featuring M Ward and Jim James from My Morning Jacket.
All in a DAY'S work: Oberst, Elvis, Gillian Welch, M Ward & a golden sunset.
While it may be a bit premature for comparisons to Bob Dylan, Oberst's powerful, thought-provoking lyrics were on display Sunday afternoon.
Land Locked Blues
we made love on the living room floor
with the noise in the background from the televised war
and in the deafening pleasure
i thought i heard someone say
if we walk away they'll walk away
but greed is a bottomless pit
and our freedom's a joke we're just taking a piss
and the whole world must watch the sad comic display
if you're still free start running away
cause we're coming for you
p.s. The second best act of the festival? The always-brilliant Wiyos on the waterside stage. Catch them at Barbes in Brooklyn on 9/23 if you can, they're fantastic.
Wednesday, August 03, 2005
REMAINS of the DAYS: The One With the Perforated Colon
It's that time again. Time to grab as many missed morsels of miscellany as we can before they slip down the memory hole for good. Ahhhhh yes, Remains. This little collection should also serve to keep y'all sated for a while, a good thing since I plan to ease up on the blogging a little this month. I figure if the president and Congress can take the whole of August off, I can take a little break too. Hey, I've got my own brush to clear man, get off my back. And don't worry, I fully intend to resume full-force mockery come football season. Until then, let Jessica Simpson, Jane Fonda and Bobby Brown take you away. Mahalo.
- They bone horses don't they? Well, they do in Enumclaw apparently. If you haven't seen this story yet, a Seattle man recently died after having sex with a horse. Lovely. I really could've gone without reading the phrase "perforation of the colon", but thank you anyway.
- Speaking of horse molestors, President Bush met with reporters in Texas Monday and emphasized his support for the teaching of "intelligent design" alongside evolution theory in schools. Let me tell you something, if you need more proof that intelligent design is full-on malarkey, you need look no further than the president himself. Design? Maybe. Intelligent? Not so much.
- A report recently revealed that American workers waste more than 2 hours per day at work, costing employers $759 billion per year. Not sure what others are wasting their time on, but in my case, it starts with a 'b' and ends with a 'logging'.
- Speaking of blogs, this guy doesn't like them. At all. ("If minds had anuses, blogging would be what your mind would do when it had to take a dump.")
- Damn. After reading that, I think I'm suffering a bout of blog depression.
- Two guys compared and stroked their rockets on CNN one morning last week. Good times.
- Check it out! Hilarious jokes about the president! Knee slappers, each and every one. Ha.
- In case you missed the memo, the "War on Terror" is over, and the "Struggle Against Violent Extremism" has begun. Catchy, no? How about we just call it Newspeak, ok? War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength. Yada, yada, yada. Seriously, a struggle? Infants struggle when they're learning to poop. This is so not a "struggle.
- Now wait, is Iraq part of the "War on Terror" or is it part of the "Struggle Against Violent Extremism"? I'm getting confused. All I know is that Iraq falls within the Cone of Instability. Seriously, who's in charge here? What the hell is going on?
- Hey Barbarella, can I give you a quick piece of advice? Stay home. Please. I know you mean well, but I just don't think this is going to help the cause all that much. Hey, how about starting a blog? I hear good things. How about it? Here, start here.
- You're not the only one upset about Iraq Jane, no siiiireeeee. Jessica Simpson is right there with you sister. Apparently, Iraq isn't nearly as much fun as Disney wants you to think it is.
- Yeah, yeah, I know, this summer has sucked ass. Terrorism, Iraq, boring DC scandals that don't involve blow jobs or interns, Tom freakin' Cruise. But you know what saves the whole thing? Being Bobby Brown, that's what. Pure Salvation, and the FourFour has covered Every Little Step of it. God bless you FourFour. You and Bobby and Whitney have saved summer.
- Many people have asked "Hey, how is New York now with all those random bag checks on the subways and shit?" As I haven't been searched myself, I have to rely on The New Yorker's eavesdrop account from Day 1 of the searches which show just how weird things have become: "Here’s a little tip. I like chocolate-chip cookies.” And "Salad? I don’t eat salad." And “If I’d been a boy, my parents would’ve named me Atticus.” Yep, shit sure has changed.
- While our fears of being blowed up on the subway have increased of late, it hasn't stopped New Yorkers from turning the city into a giant playground. From Dodgeball, to Capture the Flag to city-wide assasination games, the whole of the city seem to be at recess this summer. Wait, assasination games? Aren't we already running around in fear thinking we're about to be killed? Not sure about that one... but if I get to smoke my boss, count me in.
- You know, Super Mario Bros. never had anything like this... although it was oddly erotic whenever Luigi would slide down that pole. Is that weird?
- Oh for Smurf's sake. In case you haven't heard, the Smurfs are hitting the big screen. But wait, didn't NBC already do this a few years ago? And then, of course, there was this. (So NSFW!)
- The Family Guy Takes On Me. Ah-ha.
- George W. on a train with Samuel L. Jackson, and on late night with Christopher Walken. Just watch it.
- If you missed this when it made the rounds, go smoke a fattie and check it out. And if you didn't miss it? Go smoke a fattie and check it out again. So freaky, yet so cool.
- Along similar lines, check out Stick Figure Kung Fu Fighting. Fast as lightning I tell ya.
- Mark your calendars, August 20th will be Ashtastic! Yep, Hunter S. Thompson, as he wished, will truly become cannon fodder that day. Mahalo Gonzo, mahalo.
- And don't forget THE LEAK. It's what's important.
Monday, August 01, 2005
Sorry to drop the f-bomb right up front, but Bush's super-sneaky appointment of John Bolton (aka Wally Walrus, Yosemite Sam, etc.) this morning is just too much.
W: "Questions? Comments? Concerns? Oh, wait, I don't give a shit."
Wally: "When do I get to start, uh, 'diplomatically' cracking skulls sir?"
If you work on the top 10 floors of the UN building here in New York, you may want to start packing up your office. On his way out the door this morning to spend a month at his ranch, President Bush ignored all concerns and controversy surrounding his raging, mustachioed nutjob of a nominee and utilized a "recess appointment" to install Mr. Bolton as the US representative to the United Nations. This is sort of the political equivalent of leaving a giant, steaming pile of crap on your own doorstep for the housesitter to clean up as you skip off on a month's vacation.
This appointment seems a disaster. In addition to concerns about Bolton's instant perception as a lame-duck and his heavy-handed tactics (i.e. throwing blunt objects, chasing people through hotels, suppressing relevant intelligence, pissing off allies, etc.), there is also the pesky matter that the guy is a flat-out liar. It was revealed last week that Bolton incorrectly answered a question ahead om his confirmation questionairre. The question asked whether Bolton had been interviewed as part of any federal investigations in the past five years. He answered "no." But wait, it turns out Bolton was interviewed, less than 2 years ago in fact, during an investigation into questionable intelligence ahead of the Iraq invasion, specifically about intelligence having to do with Saddam's alleged (and false) uranium shopping in Niger. Hmmmmm, wonder why he lied about that?
Bolton said he simply "didn't recall" the interview when he was filling out his questionairre. Seriously, he says he just forgot (oops!) and will correct his answer now. Uh huh. So I guess what we have here is either an out-and-out liar or a forgetful buffoon of epic proportions. Either way, it seems to me that he's not the kind of guy you want representing your country to the world. But Bush doesn't care about that. Apparently, this middle finger last week wasn't intended just for the press, but rather the entire world.
Bush's earlier bird.
But why would Bush risk even more of his nearly-gone credibility to push a proven liar into the UN? Because there's a plan you see, and Bolton is crucial to that plan. Arthur Silber says:
"Most people seem not to understand that when we deal with the Bush administration, we are dealing with something unique, and uniquely dangerous: an administration which is fully committed to an ideology—an ideology that is entirely self-contained and completely self-referencing. It is not concerned with facts, evidence, logic and argument. It is concerned only with its own internal vision of the world, and how that world should be constructed and howOh, and while it may seem impossible given are stretched military, current mess and lack of public support, a 'struggle' with Iran is seeming like a greater possibility with every passing hour. Damn logic. Damn public opinion. Damn the consequences. And damn the world.
it should operate."
UPDATE: Iran may be happening even sooner than I thought. *gulp*
WaPO: Round-up of Bolton Reactions
Stygius: Ongoing Coverage
WashNote: More Coverage
Bounded Rationality: Fun With Emoticons
Silber: Entering the Anteroom of Hell
YesterDAYS: I Am the Envoy, Goo Goo G'Joob