Friday, October 19, 2007

The Fear Factor

from Michael Gene Sullivan's "Making a Killing" piece on Huffington Post


Sad, isn't it? This is what our citizens have been reduced to. Afraid to be seen at a show that questions this administration and the corporatocracy, fearful the people they know will turn against them for being exposed to something besides Fox News, scared their neighbors will see them as traitors for watching a play about governmental corruption.

This is the real effect of six years of the Patriot Act, and seven years of paranoid ineptitude at the highest levels. Fear of your fellow citizen. Fear of being identified as less than mindlessly loyal, fear of being identified by your friends as an Enemy of the State, a traitor, because you question authority. By even listening to someone point out the lies and transgressions of those who are undermining the very Constitution they swore to uphold you are somehow the renegade, and have changed from one of "us" to one of "them."

Centuries of struggling for civil rights, and we live in a country where people are scared to see a mime troupe.

Ladies and gentlemen, the terrorists have won.

Just a thought

... sources on the Hill expressed a deep-seated fear as well, just not of the variety being peddled by the Bush administration. "Yes, of course I am concerned for what lies ahead for this Country," explained one of those sources. "However, my gravest concern is that the most insidious of enemies of the United States' Constitutional traditions lies not thousands of miles away in some desert somewhere in the Middle East. In fact, my concern pertains with the enemy from within, as 19 thugs have, perhaps predictably, convinced a large portion of the American populace, including America's leaders, that their traditions of privacy, freedom, and liberty are no longer feasible, and that perpetual war is not only normal, but to be expected for the foreseeable future. Now that's really scary."

The Spoof. So, obviously, it shouldn't be taken seriously, should it?

President Bush Demands Congressional Medal Returned

This morning during a press conference President Bush, the leader of the most free country in the world, demanded that the Dalai Lama give back the Congressional Medal awarded by Congress on Wednesday.

Bush said, "I didn't know he was an Atheist! I thought he was a Buddhist! Jesus told me personally that Atheists are not patriots and they aren't Americans!"

But when asked by reporters about the previous meetings with the Dalai Lama and that this sort of discussion should have been reviewed by Bush's advisors, Bush said, "Hey, that "Officer and a Gentleman" actor liked him. I was told that it would be good for getting on board with him because "He isn't just an officer, he's a gentleman, too!" I like that! That's good for our country!"

When the press conference ended Bush was over heard saying, "Get The Marines on the phone, I want to invade Tibet".

On The Spoof.

Bush told reporters, "That Dalai Lama didn't tell me Christ wasn't his Savior!"

Pot calls kettle black

The Dallas Morning News

A prominent Dallas minister told his congregation that if they wanted to elect a Christian to the White House, Republican Mitt Romney wasn't qualified.

Dr. Robert Jeffress, pastor of First Baptist Church of Dallas, said Mormonism is a false religion and that Mr. Romney was not a Christian.

"Mitt Romney is a Mormon, and don't let anybody tell you otherwise," Dr. Jeffress said in a sermon on Sept. 30. "Even though he talks about Jesus as his Lord and savior, he is not a Christian. Mormonism is not Christianity. Mormonism is a cult."

More after the click ...

My take on it? Only the good Dr. Jeffress knows the true mind of god! What a marvel that is! A hillbilly, bible-thumping, televangelist from the wilds of Texas has been singled out and trusted with the secrets of the Universe!

Well, I've got news for the good Dr. Jaffress. The Pope in Rome thinks the good Doctor is the member of a cult.

But then, the Indians of Brazil think the Pope is a member of a cult. I guess your point of view is determined by where you stand.

Another one to file under "My imaginary friend is more real than your imaginary friend".

Proof against the re-writing of history

Your BEST source of fake news. It's the truth in satire that makes it funny.

Beginning today, eight years of episodes of “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” are fully accessible on the show’s Web site.

Videos of every skit, every joke and every guest are available for free, fully searchable on According to Comedy Central, 13,000 videos will be stored in the database.

In an interview today, MTV’s Erik Flannigan said he doesn’t believe any other television program has opened its archives so freely on the Internet.

“There are many many years of shows that haven’t been seen since the day they aired,” said Mr. Flannigan, the executive vice president of digital for MTV Networks Entertainment Group. “It’s not a show that would go on DVD and it’s not a show that would go into syndication, so it’s essentially been lost to history.”
Jon StewartJon Stewart, the host of “The Daily Show,” now fully searchable online. (

Now the content can live forever online. While Web sites increasingly offer streaming versions of television shows, “The Daily Show” is unique because the videos have been made fully searchable through a system of tags. Thanks to those tags, the site serves as a handy archive of correspondent reports: 301 videos are tagged with Steve Carell’s name; 187 are tagged Mo Rocca. It also records years of jokes about newsmakers: a search for George W. Bush finds 844 videos; a search for Al Gore returns 159. Mr. Flannigan said the show’s writers and producers are thrilled to use it as a resource.

Sourced from: The New York Times

The DailyShow Archive, here.

The Things Done In Your Name

Canadian Rendition Victim Testifies On Extraordinary Rendition
By Dan Robinson
Capitol Hill

A Canadian citizen detained by U.S. authorities in 2002 on suspicion of having links to al-Qaida, and sent to Syria where he was tortured, has testified for the first time before a congressional committee. VOA's Dan Robinson reports, Maher Arar addressed a panel examining extraordinary rendition, in which U.S. authorities have sent terrorist suspects to other countries for interrogation.

A Syrian-born Canadian citizen, Arar was detained in September 2002 at New York's Kennedy Airport, on suspicion of having links to al-Qaida, which was responsible for the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States.

The information came from a Canadian police report describing him as well as his wife as Islamic extremists with suspected terrorist links.

Against his protests and after interrogations by U.S. officials, he was deported to Syria via Jordan, where he says he suffered severe torture for 10 months at the hands of Syria's Military Intelligence, before his release in October 2003.

Arar was never formally accused of any crime in the United States or Canada. A 2.5-year Canadian investigation cleared him of any links with terrorist organizations or activities, and ordered that he be paid more than $10 million in compensation.

More after the click ...

My take? NEVER FORMALLY ACCUSED OF ANY CRIME? I'd like to see you defend yourself against charges when you don't know what the charges are, when you don't have access to an attorney, when you're locked in a room in a foreign country thousands of miles from home. It could happen to you ... explain to me how it can't.

In the United States of America you no longer have to be charged with a crime to be held indefinitely. In the United States of American it no longer requires that you be proven guilty of anything before you can be sentenced to life in prison.

We used to condemn other countries for that. We condemned Nazi Germany for that. We condemned the USSR for that. We've condemned Castro for that. We've condemned China for that.

We must be silent now. We have sacrificed our moral authority for a false sense of security. We have become what we once condemned.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Republicans need a REAL candidate ...

or get the video here ...

Speaking of buying on credit ...

The Stinkiest Credit Card Around?
By Selena Maranjian October 18, 2007

A bad movie can be entertaining. A review of a bad movie almost always is. But a bad credit card? Well, I can find some humor in that -- but it's always tempered with sadness, because some people will invariably sign up for such a thing, and will pay for it.

I recently ran across a description of the "world's worst credit card" at the Continental Finance MasterCard. I'll note upfront that in the card issuer's own words, it "was developed specifically for individuals with bad credit or those who had a previous bankruptcy. It is riskier, and consequently more expensive, to issue credit cards to individuals with a poor credit history."

Okay, fair enough. So just how bad is this card? Well, it has a $300 credit limit, but you'll spend more than that just to get and keep the card. The fees include $99 to set up the account, and $49 as an annual fee. It costs you $89 for a "program participation fee," too. Oh, and you know that annual fee? Well, that's separate from the monthly "account maintenance fee" of $10 ($120 per year!). The interest rate on purchases: 20%.

More after the click ...

My take: This is what you get if you "Borrow and Spend" beyond your means.

God's honest truth?

Andrew Brown / The Guardian (UK)

The Swedish government has announced plans to clamp down hard on religious education. It will soon become illegal even for private faith schools to teach religious doctrines as if they were true. In an interesting twist on the American experience, prayer will remain legal in schools - after all, it has no truth value. But everything that takes place on the curriculum's time will have to be secular. "Pupils must be protected from every sort of fundamentalism," said the minister for schools, Jan Björklund.

Creationism and ID are explicitly banned but so is proselytising even in religious education classes. The Qur'an may not be taught as if it is true even in Muslim independent schools, nor may the Bible in Christian schools. The decision looks like a really startling attack on the right of parents to have their children taught what they would like. Of course it does not go so far as the Dawkins policy of prohibiting parents from trying to pass on their doctrines even in their own families - and, if it did, it would certainly run foul of the European convention on human rights. It does not even go as far as Nyamko Sabuni, the minister for integration - herself born in Burundi - would like: she wanted to ban all religious schools altogether. But it is still a pretty drastic measure from an English perspective.

Get the rest after the click ...

My take: Public schools are a responsibility of the state - thats why we pay school taxes. There should be a separation of church and state. Churches would be very unhappy if the state tried to tell them what they should preach within their churches. Churches should be satisfied with being able to teach their doctrines within their own church sponsored schools with impunity, leaving the public schools to be managed for the benefit of all the people regardless of belief.

Besides, given the number of "true religions" who claim to have THE TRUTH, how does one objectively decide which one has the monopoly on truth. After all, they can't all be right. It's even objectively possible that all of them are wrong!

Where and how should you place your bet? If you bet on Christianity, then which band; Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, one of the Born-Again Evangelical flavors, Lutheranism, Mormonism?

There are several flavors of Islam including (but not limited to) Sunni, Shia, Sufi, and then there's Yazidi, Druze, Ahmadiyya, Bábí, Bahá'í, Berghouata and Ha-Mim religions either emerged out of Islam or came to share certain beliefs with Islam. Sikhism, founded by Guru Nanak in late fifteenth century Punjab, incorporates aspects of both Islam and Hinduism. Let's not even get into the Black Muslims of the United States.

Then there's Theravada Buddhism, Mahayana Buddhism, (sometimes called Northern Buddhism) is largely found in China, Japan, Korea, Tibet and Mongolia) and Vajrayāna Buddhism (a.k.a. Tantric Buddhism, Mantrayana, Tantrayana, Esoteric Buddhism, or True Words Sect). Some consider this to be a part of Mahayana Buddhism; others view it as a third Buddhist path.

Are you confused yet?

How about Judaism which is sub-divided into Orthodox, Conservative and Reform, not to mention the hybrid flavors of Jewish Humanism, Messianic Judaism, and Black Hebrew Israelites, all of which blend Old Testament beliefs with some New Testament thoughts.

Place your bets on who's God's favorite. You only get one bet and if you're wrong, its everlasting damnation for you ... because God loves you. He just wants you to get your theology straight and will fuck with you for eternity if you don't guess right in this high stakes game. It's not enough to simply make your life miserable, ya see. Guess wrong and even death won't protect you from the consequences.

Better that public schools just stay out of the game altogether.

A note from a friend

My mailbox this morning brought the following note from a friend who actually reads all this stuff:

"I'm very concerned about the debt we're acquiring. I've heard that someone (Forbes maybe?) suggested a "wealth tax" to help alleviate our debt. Have you heard of that?

We seem to be in a weird place right now. On the one hand, the stock market is sky high. On the other, the Looney is worth the same as the dollar. What gives?"

So I spent a few minutes trying to figure out what a good answer might be to both questions. Here's what I came up with:

I hadn't heard of the "Wealth Tax" ... though I suspect if we closed the loopholes for the wealthy in the current tax code (originally written as a progressive tax) ... at least placing a similar burden on their income as the burden you and I shoulder, we'd do alright. To some (the wealthy, I'm sure), placing the wealthy on the same tax footing as the rest of us would, in effect, be a "Wealth Tax" ... but it sounds to me more like framing the issue. Calling something a "Wealth Tax" does not necessarily make the underlying mechanism a bad thing ... it just makes it sound bad. Sort of like framing an issue in terms of "Tax and Spend" when a more factual representation of it would be "Pay and you go".

My read on the strong market / weak dollar issue, and I'm shooting from the hip here, is the stock market is an artificial and, at best, secondary gauge of the health of the economy overall. That is to say, pointing to the ever upward stock prices as being a sure sign that we have a strong economy is misleading. I think that for the simple reason that there are trillions of dollars tied up in 401K and IRA programs that have automatic deposits. That means every month there are literally billions of dollars flowing into the market looking for something to buy. The companies that manage those 401Ks and IRAs cannot simply sit on the money. They must, by law, invest the money in something - they must BUY some instrument - either stocks (equity) or bonds (debt) that will, in theory, yield a positive returns on the investment. . With all those "new" dollars flowing into the market looking for something to buy, prices have to go up overall - regardless of the fundamental, intrinsic value of the stocks overall.

The weak dollar is an indication that internationally, other countries are less and less interested in loaning us money (buying our bonds/debt). Probably a better gauge of where we stand with the economy than the stock market.

If stock (equity) prices go up on the domestic market while owning our debt is less and less attractive on the international market ... perhaps the increases in equity prices are a better indicator of the effects of inflation than the Fed is letting on? You HAVE to ask yourself, if the economy is doing so well, how come no one wants to hold our markers?

Like the housing market, which is currently in a state of utter collapse (remember, I'm trying to sell a house here so I'm pretty zoned in on what's happening in that segment of the economy), easy credit had the effect of inflating the prices of homes above and beyond their intrinsic value. The easy credit that allowed lenders to make sub-prime and Alt-A loans resulted from the so-called "fiscally responsible" factions that favored less and less government regulation. Keep in mind that government regulation exists primarily to protect the citizen from the abuses of corporations. (Keep in mind that Teddy Roosevelt was a conservative Republican who's legacy was "Trust Busting" - reining in corporate monopolies because the corporate agenda of sheer profit (that's the only reason corporations exist) often runs contrary to the common good of the citizenry.) The easy, almost totally unregulated, credit allowed people to buy houses they probably had no right to buy based on their financial means ... but everything was just fine as long as the Ponzi Scheme was working in the short term. The problem is that if the underlying value is not there in the investment, eventually (long term), the house of cards is doomed to fall and the last suckers to buy in get screwed big time.

Lest you think I'm totally anti-corporation, let me say that corporations have a right to make a profit. That they make a profit is a good thing and it should be encouraged. However, they should not be allowed to make a profit at the expense of the citizenry - and that's where government comes in. Government is supposed to be the representative of the people - doing the will of the people collectively, and doing collectively for the people what the people cannot do for themselves individually. It's mandate is supposed to be to protect the people from all enemies both foreign (that's why we have armies and navies) and domestic (that's why government regulation).

The Legacy Conservatives Would Rather You Ignored

The Growing Price of U.S. Debt

The U.S. public debt is currently $9 trillion. That's an average debt for 303 million U.S. residents of about $30,000, or for 135 million U.S. taxpayers of about $67,000. (The numbers are about six times bigger if we add unreported U.S. liabilities.) This debt is being financed by our children and by the rest of the world, at the cost of U.S. influence in the world arena.

U.S. debt has grown 14-fold in real terms over the past 65 years. It grew five-fold during World War II and since Reagan's accession it has grown another 350 percent. Under Reagan the United States flipped from being the world's largest creditor nation to being the world's largest debtor nation. The growth of the national debt slowed and briefly reversed during the Clinton years, but then resumed its rapid upward march.

More here ...

My take on it: To help understand the mortgaging off of your country by the "fiscally responsible", "government-is-the-problem", conservative Reagan Republicans -

  • Ronald Reagan was in office from 1981 to 1989
  • George H. W. Bush was in office from 1989 to 1993
  • William Clinton was in office from 1993 to 2001
  • George W. Bush was elected to serve from 2001 to 2009

Match the dates above with the increases in the debt to which your children have been obligated. Look for the trends and for any attempts at reversal. Note who was playing fast and loose with your children's credit card and who understood that debt always has to be repaid ... someday.

"Tax-and-Spend" has been turned into an epithet. What it really means is that you raise the money now to take care of current obligations. Since Reagan "Tax-and-Spend" has been replaced by "Borrow-and-Spend" but those who implemented the policy don't call it that. They have mortgaged your country to the hilt, extended tax cuts to whose who need them least (Warren Buffett pays a 15% tax burden on the income from his billions while his $40,000/year secretary pays about a quarter of her wages in taxes). It's all done for the sake of maintaining a "strong" consumer economy. The net effect is we have put off the bills until a later date ... we're paying the interest along the way ... but it's an adjustable rate mortgage and the balloon payments are starting to hit in the form of a dollar that's worth less today than it was yesterday.

It's akin to you mortgaging your home to the hilt so you can drive a Porsche, put wide screen HDTVs in every room and keep up with the fashion trends you see in Cosmo and GQ ... while the company you work for keeps finding ways to pay you less and less real income. If I suggested you should welcome those circumstances, you'd tell me I was being irrational. However, that's just what's been happening since 1981 on a national scale.

The people who brought you these wonderful circumstances would have you believe that running a national government is different than managing a family budget. The only difference I can see are the number of zeros to the left of the decimal point. There are only two ways for a government to raise money. one is to levy taxes and the other is to borrow against the future. Tax cuts always sound great. We all hate to pay taxes - even us Libertards. But the fact of the matter is, if you're not paying the bills with taxes, then you're borrowing to pay the bills.

The government in a democracy is not someone else. In a democracy, YOU are the government. The bills are yours. They represent the things you need and want in terms of educational systems, highways and infrastructure, police security and the myriad of other things that we do for ourselves collectively because we cannot do them for ourselves individually.

So, quick question. How long would your "lifestyle" last if you started paying all your bills with a credit card and then only paid the credit card company the minimum payment every month?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Republicans are literate AND they don't write hate mail

From: Kelsy Subject: piece of shit!!

Do you people really have nothing beter to do with ur pathetic time than to critizize our President?…and the republican party!!.WOW!…Are u people really so LOW that u cant even stand back to see that freedom ISN’T FREE!..U dumbasses..God…this shit pisses me off when I see it!.And I know…it is really sad what this world is comming too..All u ignorant bastards beleive everything that u see on TV.and dont really know what GOOD we are actually doing for our country and their’s as well.My husband is in the Marine Corps and he was wounded in Iraq..And if u were to ask him..he would go back in a heart beat!..Because he knows the truth of what good is being done over there!!…And beleive it or not the people that wanna be free actually like us over there…and As for the retarted people who dont get more money from the governmaent..umm..heres and Idea..GET A JOB! everyone else!!…I was poor as shit growin up…my dad worked 3 Jobs…and my mom worked 2!..And I had my first job by the time I turned 14. My mom is a democrate and my dad is republican…Just so u know my mother was so ashamed of the freaking LIBERALS representing the democrats that after 30 years of being in that party she switched!.MAkes u think.huh?..well just before u go and freakin posting stupid shit up about how Our President is a redneck and the republican party is too..umm…maybe you should think about who else is gonna be reading this..I am a republican and I am NOT a redneck..U Are the peice of shits that have NO pride for ur country and are willing to go on the freaking myspace and express ur opinions..well…I respect the fact that u all have opinions..but seriousley GET SOME CLASS!..Can u people please just for like one conversation not act like complete white trash?…or is that impossible for you?…and how about U go over to Iraq to see whats really going on..then come back to this stupid myspace for retards page and put ur oppinions up…You would probly gain a lot more respect…
Have a Nice DAy!

Source: Wonkette.

OK ... now what?

SCHIEFFER: Senator, we don’t want generals making policy. That’s for the civilian leadership. But should they resign? Should they be willing to speak out when they don’t agree with the policies? What should they do?

Sen. McCAIN: At the confirmation hearing of all senior–of these senior officers, the questions asked at the Armed Services Committee, `Will you give this committee your honest and candid opinion if there–and personal opinion if directly asked?’ They always say yes, they will. That’s number one. Number two is, if you think the country is going in the wrong direction, and it’s going to cause the needless loss of American–young Americans’ lives, then of course you should stand up and you should leave your position.

And I know that’s a very tough decision for people to make. But first of all, I would start by giving my candid and honest and personal opinion when asked by Congress because–during their confirmation hearings, which means they are appointed to the rank that they are nominated for, then they should give that opinion at that time. Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen very often.


Sen. McCAIN: And one of the reasons, in all due respect, my friend, is because General Shinseki gave his opinion and got fired.

Source: Face The Nation transcript.

Reading the pictures

... and getting the message.

A few thoughts that rush to mind:

  • Quit whining. You did it to yourselves.
  • You voted for him. You got suckered.
  • I told you so in 2000.
  • So, now ya see what happens when blind ideology trumps reason.
  • It's about friggin' time.
  • My daddy used to tell me that the best way to show someone they're full of s#!* is to let them have their own way. Well, you've had your own way for 7 years now. Guess what!

The Real Iraq We Knew

By 12 former Army captains

Today marks five years since the authorization of military force in Iraq, setting Operation Iraqi Freedom in motion. Five years on, the Iraq war is as undermanned and under-resourced as it was from the start. And, five years on, Iraq is in shambles.

As Army captains who served in Baghdad and beyond, we've seen the corruption and the sectarian division. We understand what it's like to be stretched too thin. And we know when it's time to get out.

What does Iraq look like on the ground? It's certainly far from being a modern, self-sustaining country. Many roads, bridges, schools and hospitals are in deplorable condition. Fewer people have access to drinking water or sewage systems than before the war. And Baghdad is averaging less than eight hours of electricity a day.

Iraq's institutional infrastructure, too, is sorely wanting. Even if the Iraqis wanted to work together and accept the national identity foisted upon them in 1920s, the ministries do not have enough trained administrators or technicians to coordinate themselves. At the local level, most communities are still controlled by the same autocratic sheiks that ruled under Saddam. There is no reliable postal system. No effective banking system. No registration system to monitor the population and its needs.

The inability to govern is exacerbated at all levels by widespread corruption. Transparency International ranks Iraq as one of the most corrupt countries in the world. And, indeed, many of us witnessed the exploitation of U.S. tax dollars by Iraqi officials and military officers. Sabotage and graft have had a particularly deleterious impact on Iraq's oil industry, which still fails to produce the revenue that Pentagon war planners hoped would pay for Iraq's reconstruction. Yet holding people accountable has proved difficult. The first commissioner of a panel charged with preventing and investigating corruption resigned last month, citing pressure from the government and threats on his life.

Against this backdrop, the U.S. military has been trying in vain to hold the country together. Even with "the surge," we simply do not have enough soldiers and marines to meet the professed goals of clearing areas from insurgent control, holding them securely and building sustainable institutions. Though temporary reinforcing operations in places like Fallujah, An Najaf, Tal Afar, and now Baghdad may brief well on PowerPoint presentations, in practice they just push insurgents to another spot on the map and often strengthen the insurgents' cause by harassing locals to a point of swayed allegiances. Millions of Iraqis correctly recognize these actions for what they are and vote with their feet -- moving within Iraq or leaving the country entirely. Still, our colonels and generals keep holding on to flawed concepts.

U.S. forces, responsible for too many objectives and too much "battle space," are vulnerable targets. The sad inevitability of a protracted draw-down is further escalation of attacks -- on U.S. troops, civilian leaders and advisory teams. They would also no doubt get caught in the crossfire of the imminent Iraqi civil war.

Iraqi security forces would not be able to salvage the situation. Even if all the Iraqi military and police were properly trained, equipped and truly committed, their 346,000 personnel would be too few. As it is, Iraqi soldiers quit at will. The police are effectively controlled by militias. And, again, corruption is debilitating. U.S. tax dollars enrich self-serving generals and support the very elements that will battle each other after we're gone.

This is Operation Iraqi Freedom and the reality we experienced. This is what we tried to communicate up the chain of command. This is either what did not get passed on to our civilian leadership or what our civilian leaders chose to ignore. While our generals pursue a strategy dependent on peace breaking out, the Iraqis prepare for their war -- and our servicemen and women, and their families, continue to suffer.

There is one way we might be able to succeed in Iraq. To continue an operation of this intensity and duration, we would have to abandon our volunteer military for compulsory service. Short of that, our best option is to leave Iraq immediately. A scaled withdrawal will not prevent a civil war, and it will spend more blood and treasure on a losing proposition.

America, it has been five years. It's time to make a choice.

This column was written by 12 former Army captains: Jason Blindauer served in Babil and Baghdad in 2003 and 2005. Elizabeth Bostwick served in Salah Ad Din and An Najaf in 2004. Jeffrey Bouldin served in Al Anbar, Baghdad and Ninevah in 2006. Jason Bugajski served in Diyala in 2004. Anton Kemps served in Babil and Baghdad in 2003 and 2005. Kristy (Luken) McCormick served in Ninevah in 2003. Luis Carlos Montalván served in Anbar, Baghdad and Nineveh in 2003 and 2005. William Murphy served in Babil and Baghdad in 2003 and 2005. Josh Rizzo served in Baghdad in 2006. William "Jamie" Ruehl served in Nineveh in 2004. Gregg Tharp served in Babil and Baghdad in 2003 and 2005. Gary Williams served in Baghdad in 2003.

Source: The Washington Post.

When will we run out of those damned phony soldiers!

What ever happened to those old fashined solutions?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Wingnut Haven

... click the graphic, get the video.

“If you look at the people who are advising Rudy Giuliani it turns out that they seem to be all the people who were too insane or too extremist to even get on the George W. Bush team.”

Josh Marshall / TPM

Caption Contest

And then some things are just too funny for words.

Myth: Republicans are good for business.

Business abandons GOP for Democrats

By: Jeanne Cummings | Politico

Lag, lag, lag. That’s all you hear these days regarding Republican fund raising compared with the Democrats’.

Now we can add a new word: abandoned.

The business community that celebrated the Republican takeover of Congress in 1994 by spending millions to prop it up for more than a decade is in full retreat.

All 10 of the top-giving industries tracked by the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan money and politics watchdog group, are now donating more cash to Democrats than Republicans. A year ago, Republicans had the edge in six of the 10 sectors.

More after the click.

What Would Jesus Do?

Why, he'd lock and load, of course!

Get your "Lock and Load Jesus" ashtray at MissPoppy's.

The holidays are just around the corner so, don't forget your friends! I can sure tell you, it'd put a smile on MY face to find one in my stocking hung by the chimney with care on Christmas morning!

We are under attack!

Norman Podhoretz's War Prayer
by Muhammad Sahimi

The June issue of Commentary featured a long article by Norman Podhoretz, the godfather of the neoconservatives, titled "The Case for Bombing Iran." A shorter version of the article had already been published in the Wall Street Journal, and the piece itself was based on a speech that Podhoretz had given at a summit of the Israeli lobby, "Is It 1938 Again?"

Podhoretz's article is a blueprint for how to make people believe that Iran is "an imminent and present danger" to the United States and Israel without presenting any credible evidence whatsoever. It is replete with astonishing exaggerations, half-baked half-truths, out-of-context quotations, amazing exhibitions of ignorance and imbecility, and a complete lack of understanding of Islam and its teachings. It reminds me of what Reichsmarschall Hermann Goering of Nazi Germany once said:

"Naturally, the common people don't want war … but after all it is the leaders of a country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked …"

Follow it here ...

Monday, October 15, 2007

yawn ...

Brown County (Wisconsin) GOP Chairman Donald Fleischman has resigned his post, says a spokesperson, after being accused of enticement and fondling of an underage boy, reports the Green Bay Press-Gazette Saturday.

Fleischman, 37, is free after posting a $20,000 bond on September 28. "My client is innocent of the charges," says attorney Jeff Jazgar, who "declined to discuss specifics."

"Our plan is to get some witnesses to testify and present enough information to dismiss the case."

The boy was found by police in Fleischman's home on two occasions in late 2006 while being sought as a runaway from Ethan House, a home for at-risk youth. Now 17, he says he stayed with Fleischman at his house and a cabin, where he was provided with alcohol and cannabis, and regularly fondled.

The rest after the click ...

My take on it? You'd think after at least 23,427 Republicans have been caught being pre-verts in the last ... um ... month and a half ... the rest of them would at least lay low for a while. Maybe I should rephrase that?

Maybe Ann Coulter should rethink her "fag" joke targets?

Americans Have Become 'Good Germans'

By Frank Rich, The New York Times.

"Bush lied" doesn't cut it anymore. It's time to confront the darker reality that we are lying to ourselves.

Ten days ago The Times unearthed yet another round of secret Department of Justice memos countenancing torture. President Bush gave his standard response: "This government does not torture people." Of course, it all depends on what the meaning of "torture" is*. The whole point of these memos is to repeatedly recalibrate the definition so Mr. Bush can keep pleading innocent.

By any legal standards except those rubber-stamped by Alberto Gonzales, we are practicing torture, and we have known we are doing so ever since photographic proof emerged from Abu Ghraib more than three years ago. As Andrew Sullivan, once a Bush cheerleader, observed last weekend in The Sunday Times of London, America's "enhanced interrogation" techniques have a grotesque provenance: "Verschärfte Vernehmung", enhanced or intensified interrogation, was the exact term innovated by the Gestapo to describe what became known as the 'third degree.' It left no marks. It included hypothermia, stress positions and long-time sleep deprivation."

Still, the drill remains the same. The administration gives its alibi (Abu Ghraib was just a few bad apples). A few members of Congress squawk. The debate is labeled "politics." We turn the page.

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* Right up there asking what the meaning of "is" is ... only the soul of a nation is at stake, now.

You've probably heard it a million times. "Those who don't study history are doomed to repeat it." They are doomed to repeat it because they don't see the parallels, the similarities or the warning signs. They don't see that we (or someone) has been down this road before. They don't see where that road leads ... where that road always leads.

Things are NOT different now. They are too much the same and that's the problem.

A Love of America Turned Ugly [Photo Essay]

Photographs and interview - White House photographer Christopher Morris reveals how American pride has blinded us to the reason others hate us. Hint: It's not because we love freedom. An interview follows.

Christopher Morris: In the Name of God the Flag and Bush Almighty. This is my America, my New Republic. If the hijackers on September 11 accomplished anything, this is it. They have given us the divine Bush. A man who has said, "you're either with us or against us." A man who teaches our children that "they hate us because we love freedom".

This is my America. An America with Homeland Security, a Patriot Act. An America with paranoia. An America with hatred and ignorance. An America that wraps itself in its President and its flag. This is my America.

Now when I see the eagle of freedom, I see an eagle of fascism. Now when I see the American flag, I'm afraid for my America. We have become an ugly nation. A nation that has wrapped its eyes so tightly in red, white and blue that it has gone blind. Blinded by nationalism. This is my America. And this is why they hate us, and its not because we love freedom. They hate us because we think like that.

How many Republicans does it take to screw in a light bulb?


1. One to deny that the light bulb needs to be changed.

2. One to attack the patriotism of anyone who says the light bulb needs to be changed.

3. One to blame Clinton for burning out the light bulb.

4. One to tell the nations of the world that they're either for changing the light bulb or they're for darkness.

5. One to give a billion dollar no-bid/cost-plus contract to Halliburton for the new light bulb.

6. One to arrange a photograph of Bush, dressed as a janitor, standing on a stepladder under the banner: "Light Bulb Change Accomplished."

7. One administration insider to resign and write a book documenting in detail how Bush was literally in the dark.

8. One to viciously smear #7.

9. One surrogate to campaign on TV and at rallies on how George Bush has had a strong light bulb changing policy all along.

10. Finally, Joe Lieberman to confuse Americans about the difference between screwing the light bulb and screwing the country.