Thursday, August 17, 2006
I'll be away for the next couple of weeks, heading out West (sans toothpaste).
Flying the shampooless skies.
I've posted a bit this week about the Bush administration turning to fear mongering and terror trumpeting at politically convenient moments. While it does seem as though they ramp up the terror rhetoric whenever things go south for them, I'm really starting to think it may have something to do with me personally more than anything else. Seriously, every single time I have to fly, Director of Homeland Insecurity Chertoff dominates my TV screen and the threat meter skyrockets.
On the heels of the "massive" terror plot Bush so masterfully thwarted all by himself last week, here's just some of what's threaded into my consciousness as I prepare to fly:
Mid-air scare diverts DC-bound flight to BostonThat last one is particularly exciting as Seattle is where I'm headed. Oh, and right as I was about to hit 'publish on this sucker and head to the airport, I see this:
Threat causes evacuation of Fiji-Sydney flight
Port of Seattle evacuated after bomb scare
See you all in two weeks... I hope.
Oh, and Mr. Scarborough? The answer to your question is an unequivocal "yes".
Where the crap have you been? Douchebag.
You go Babyfishmouth!
One of my favorite character actors, Bruno Kirby, has passed on from complications related to leukemia. In his honor, I say we all put on "some Lawrence Welk, some Jim Nabors and certain ballads by Mr. Frank Sinatra."
I'd also like to use this moment to make an appeal. This Thanksgiving in Atlanta I will be walking a half-marathon to help raise funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. If you would like to donate, please do so here. Thank you for any help you can provide.
RIP Bruno, you'll be missed.
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
'Oh shit, terrorism! Everybody look busy!'
MCLEAN, Virginia (Reuters) -- Buoyed by a poll backing him on security, President George W. Bush paid a visit to the U.S. hub for counterterrorism on Tuesday and seized on a foiled bomb plot as proof the fight was far from over.Wait, is he talking about the Neocons in that last bit? Also, who ever said the fight was over? What is that bullshit all about?
"The United States of America is engaged in a war against an extremist group of folks, bound together by an ideology, willing to use terror to achieve their objectives," Bush said.
Honestly, I've got to call total shenanigans on this whole thing. For the Bushites to usurp the work done primarily by UK officials to break up the terror plot, then use it to argue that they are making us safer is beyond the pale even for this group. So let's get a few things straight, shall we?
1) At the same time the Brits were foiling the plot, this administration was quietly pushing to divert $6 million from anti-terror programs.This last point is perhaps the most frustrating. From the minute the illegal NSA wiretapping story broker last winter, the defenders of the program have cried that anyone critical of it were simply not interested in stopping terrorists. In fact, people like Russ Feingold are as determined to protect Americans as anyone else, we just don't feel that we have to shit all over the Constitution to do it.
2) Bush and his Homeland Security officials have known about the liquid bomb threat for years now yet have done nothing, nada, zilch, bupkus, to combat it.
3) And to you wingnuts using the terror bust as evidence that the same wiretapping techniques favored by Big Brother Bush saved everyone's life, just hold it right there. Yes, wiretaps helped take down the plot, no question, but they were LEGAL wiretaps, with warrants and everything.
The Executive Wash Room.
Oh, and can we please stop politicizing the politicization of politicized terror? Please?
Agitprop: Be Afraid!
Krugman: Hoping for Fear
Palast: So, Osama walks into a bar...
Sploid: Chertoff: Lock Up Everybody!
Countdown: The Nexus of Politics & Terror (C&L)
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
Wait, so Bush & Cheney were involved in an ill-conceived military campaign in which they misunderstood the stakes, failed to foresee the potential trouble spots and totally miscalculated the results of, then they publicly and prematurely crowed about the victory? No way!
That doesn't sound like the Bush & Cheney I know.
Monday, August 14, 2006
For once, this is not a political post, I promise. Rather, this a non-political call to action: Go See Little Miss Sunshine. It's hilarious, smart and, dare I say, heartwarming. Also, better than anything I've seen in a long, long time. See, no politics.
Oh, and George W. Bush sucks ass. (sorry, can't help it...)
Sunday, August 13, 2006
And the party's enemy? Thy name is logic...
The Bush Administration: Scaring the bejeezus out of for 6 long years.
My goodness (h/t Rummy), it's been a frustrating week, hasn't it? After an encouraging result from the Democratic primary on Tuesday, one that seemingly rewarded logic and reality-based thinking rather than empty rhetoric and rose-colored refusal to see things as they really are, the GOP terror exploitation machine revved up and went to work. In the wake of Leiberman's defeat, the Republicans, in all their desperation, pressed the false premise that Iraq and the War on Terror are one and the same, and that by calling for an abandonment of Bush's disastrous policies in Iraq, folks like Ned Lamont we're shrinking from the fight, failing to realize evil people are out to get us, and welcoming 'al Qaeda types' to attack us yet again. To that, I say 'pbbbbbbbbbbbt! America ain't buying that mularkey no more!'
That last nugget of propaganda, by the way, comes from none other than Big Dick himself, and was parroted across the entire spectrum right-wing bleaters, from Tony Snow to Ken Mehlman to FOX News, who all painted the Dems and their supporters, which apparently includes a good majority of the country, as "cut-and-run isolationists with their heads buried in the sand."
Of course, the charge is absolutely false. No Democrat or progressive has disagreed with the notion that there are extremists out there who want to kill us, nor has anyone called for America to "retreat from the world" as Mr. Mehlman and his cohorts say. Calling for a drastic change of course in Iraq, a misguided and poorly-managed campaign, does not equal "retreat," it equals common sense. By shedding unnecessary blood, diverting the country's military and anti-terror resources, draining the nation's coffers, and inflaming even greater anti-Americanism across the Muslim world, the Neocons Iraqi misadventure has clearly done more harm than good in the larger struggle against terrorism.
But before that counter-argument could even be made, like a gift from Allah, the UK airliner terror plot hit the airwaves and the Republican's twisted logic was swept under the Code Red carpet. Immediately the same illogical twats who trumpeted the cut-and-run meme pointed to the plot, screaming, "See! See! Evil People! Trying to Kill Us!" failing to even recognize that maybe, just maybe, the continued threat is more an indicator of Bush's inept policies than of the Dem's fecklessness. GOP strategists began foaming at the mouth, their enthusiasm triggered by the prospect of thousands of innocent civilians being blown out of the sky: "Weeks before September 11th, this is going to play big," said one. "In the short term, this definitely goes Bush's way," said another. And then they denied that they play politics with terror. Guffaw.
Truth be told, the fear of terrorism is the only card these scoundrels have left to play, save for the threat of boys kissing. And despite their remarkably shitty record in fighting the terrorist threat, they'll continue to prey upon American's base fear of being blown up to further their failed agenda.
An editorial in today's Daily News supports the 'stay-the-course, Dems-are-weak' Republican bullshit, and recounted the week that was as such:
... First up was President Bush, who said the plot was "a stark reminder that this nation is at war with Islamic fascists who will use any means to destroy those of us who love freedom, to hurt our nation." It will come as no surprise to regular readers that we're perfectly comfortable with the Bush formulation. We have used a variation, "Islamofascists," for some time in the conviction that it captures the character of an enemy that engages in the "suppression of the opposition through terror," as the dictionary definition goes.Hmmmm, 'suppression of opposition through terror'... These 'Islamofascists' must be Republican.
'Come on ya pussies!'
From NPR, a few days ago:
President Bush spent his afternoon not buried in Middle East diplomacy, but daring his staff at the ranch to join what he calls the "100-degree club." The phrase literally sends shudders down staffers' spines. The president challenged White House employees to run three miles in the central Texas heat across the scrubby terrain on his property.
Those finishing the three miles got a T-shirt from the president. Mr. Bush did the course on his bike (his bad knees prevent him from running these days), but rode back to join the runners as they came in. I'm told the president was friendly and encouraging in the most fatherly way -- as he pedaled around the sweaty troops. According to the Weather Channel, the temperature on this patch of Texas was exactly 100 degrees when the run took place. The heat index was 102.
Uh, looks like we're gonna need a new cabinet...
This really shouldn't surprise anyone, should it? Apparently, that torture doctrine applies to his own staff as well as the ter'ists. What an asshole.
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
Yesterday, in Delusionland, President Disconnect had this to say about Iraq:
"You know, I hear people say, 'Well, civil war this, civil war that'. The Iraqi people decided against civil war when they went to the ballot box."First of all, what a dumbass. Clearly, Bush doesn't know his history very well as it was the election of Lincoln, at the ballot box no less, that finally pushed the U.S. into its very own Civil War. Moran. (h/t Atta) Second of all, what a dick. Those 'people' he hears, that he's apparently annoyed by, are his own Generals. You know, the ones he insists he listens to?
'I can't heeeeaaar youuuuuu.'
Other things George has heard that he didn't give a shit about:
- "You know, I hear people say, 'Well, hurricane this, hurricane that'."
- "You know, I hear people say, 'Well, no WMD this, no WMD that'."
- "You know, I hear people say, 'Well, torture's bad this, torture's bad that'."
- "You know, I hear people say, 'Well, it's illegal this, it's illegal that'."
- "You know, I hear people say, 'Well, planes into buildings this, planes into building that.'"
Sunday, August 06, 2006
I failed to write about this when it first cropped up a few weeks ago, but this story examines the reasons behind the results of a recent Harris Poll which found that 50% of Americans still believe the cock-and-bull story that Saddam Hussein possesed WMDs. First of all, WTF??!
America: Keep away from shiny objects.
Second of all, while I think the reasons provided -- a constant drumbeat of false information from rightwing media, continued distortion and obfuscation from the White House, and good 'ol blind partisanship -- are all valid, the most obvious one seems to be missing. To find out how such results can still be achieved, one need look no further than the 'Most Viewed' articles on Yahoo News.
This past Friday, as World War III continued to rage in the Middle East, Americans felt the following three stories were of utmost importance:
- Breast isn't best: Readers tell US parenting magazine
- Elvis' teddy all shook up by jealous hound dog
- S.African hotel pampers worms to cut waste
So, FOX News just needs to flash the headline "Are Saddam Hussein's WMDs Now in Hezbollah's Hands?", then cut quickly to the latest news about Pamela Anderson and Kid Rock and the most likely conclusion their typical viewer will come away with is: 'Hezbollah took Saddam's WMDs... or something', and, 'Boy oh boy, does Pamela Anderson ever have big knockers'.
Two massive distractions.
My god, we are so screwed. So, so screwed.
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
Ok, here's my inevitable heatwave post. This thing has blazed across the entire country and now, here I sit, in my Brooklyn apartment, sweating from places that I didn't think could produce sweat (my knuckles are sweating for god's sake), just hoping the thermometer will dip below 95 at some point tonight. That would be nice. Only one more day -- we'll be down to a chilly 85 on Friday. I'd cheer for that, but my vocal chords are schvitzing too. I wasn't going to do one of these posts, but we set records today goddamit.
I really didn't want to post/complain about the heat because every time I start to kvetch a little, I just think what it must be like to be in heat 20 degrees hotter packing around 40-50 lbs. of body armor. Or packing up my entire family and fleeing from violence across the desert. I think about what our soldiers and what the Iraqi people are going through, and suddenly waiting for the F train on an overcrowded subway platform doesn't seem all that bad. So I'll shut up about it now.
I would like to quickly point out that Roy Blunt, House Majority Whip and proud member of the GOP, said that if his party were to maintain control in Congress this year he guarantees to do jack shit about global warming or climate change. The aptly named Blunt cites the fact that 'the information is not yet adequate' for them to do anything about it. Dude, step out of the comfort of your air-conditioned SUV and go outside for a minute. Feel that? How's that for adequate? Jackass.
Click to enlarge.
And how about our witless leader, how's he hanging in the heat? Well, fresh off a fit-for-duty physical at the modern, air-conditioned Bethesda Medical Center, he's set to take a two-week 'working' vacation in Crawford. No doubt he'll be pounding out a ceasefire with members of the 1978 Dallas Cowboys. Good luck and godspeed sir.
Oh, you think you're so cool, dont'cha? Well screw you polar bear! Screw you!
* thx to Neil Simon, via Eugene Morris Jerome
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
I must apologize. I was woefully remiss in yesterday's post when discussing Preznit Dipshit's reaction to Sunday's horrific bombing in Qana, the one which killed 37 children. While I did make mention of the public grief he displayed on the tee-ball field, I failed to detail the intense policy negotiations he engaged in with the undefeated 1972 Miami Dolphins championship team. From Froomkin:
Bush spent the evening at the exclusive Joe's Stone Crabs restaurant talking about sports and movies with a bunch of former Miami Dolphins football players, an actor and the flamboyant host of a raunchy and ribald Spanish-language variety show.It's hard work ladies gentlemen, real hard work.
It was only hours after Bush had learned that an Israeli air strike had killed dozens of Lebanese children, a moment for soul-searching if there ever was one.
But what did Bush want to talk about?
Former Dolphin Jim Kiick told Steve Wine of the Associated Press that topics of conversation included movies, the 1972 Dolphins and fellow attendee and former Dolphin Dan Marino's achievements -- but little politics.
W's Middle East envoys.