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Saturday, June 18, 2005

Hair and Unbalanced

Big Babyhead Neil Cavuto must've spent the afternoon at the all-you-can-eat umbrage buffet before he "interviewed" Rep. Bernie Sanders yesterday. The topic: the bill introduced by Sanders that passed the House on Wednesday (with the support of 38 Republicans) which required the portion of the Patriot Act allowing law enforcement to access certain information without a search warrant to "sunset," as it was already scheduled to do.

If you thought the Patriot Act violated your right to privacy, then you're probably glad my next guest is on your side, because thanks to him, and pretty much him alone, investigators cannot check up on your books while you're checking out of the library....Are you concerned though, Congressman, that if there is another attack on this country, you might have, with the best of intentions, contributed? (my emphasis)
erinposte at The Left Coaster had this to say about Fox's own culpability in any such event:
Clearly, terrorists are the only ones to blame for terrorist attacks. That said, if we are "hit again", people like Neil Cavuto will be partly responsible for making it easier for terrorists to attack us because they have done far more than anyone else in aiding and abetting the lies and cover-up from the Bush administration on how they slept at the wheel prior to 9/11, ignoring Al Qaeda and terrorism despite repeated, myriad warnings....

Now Cavuto may want his sheep to believe that getting rid of a 'library' provision in the Patriot Act is more deadly than:

. sleeping at the wheel
. ignoring the real threat of terrorism
. underfunding key aspects of homeland security
. diverting America's resources and military might away from the real terrorist threat to focus on an enemy who posed no immediate or imminent threat
. tacitly or directly authorizing torture (which aids and abets the enemy) and
. increasing the risk and magnitude of anti-American terrorism dramatically in the process.
Wolcott, I think, cuts to the heart of the matter:
Mark Hertsgaard's scathing account of the fawning coverage Ronald Reagan enjoyed during his presidency was titled On Bended Knee. After September 11, the other knee dropped and has remained rooted.
It seems that OxyLimbaugh is breaking into the fashion business with his "Club Gitmo" t-shirts, in competition with those style-whores from Powerline. I think I'm going to join the fray and start producing a line of I Love Gitmo kneepads. I'll sell millions.


Friday, June 17, 2005

The Long Hard Folly of GWB

Proving that even a blind pig can turn up the occasional truffle, Thomas Friedman sez in the NYT:
The Bush team has been M.I.A. on energy since 9/11. Indeed, the utter indifference of the Bush team to developing a geo-green strategy - which would also strengthen the dollar, reduce our trade deficit, make America the world leader in combating climate change and stimulate U.S. companies to take the lead in producing the green technologies that the world will desperately need as China and India industrialize - is so irresponsible that it takes your breath away. This is especially true when you realize that the solutions to our problems are already here.

As Gal Luft, co-chairman of the Set America Free coalition, a bipartisan alliance of national security, labor, environmental and religious groups that believe reducing oil consumption is a national priority, points out: the majority of U.S. oil imports go to fueling the transport sector - primarily cars and trucks. Therefore, the key to reducing our dependence on foreign oil is powering our cars and trucks with less petroleum.

There are two ways we can do that. One is electricity. We don't import electricity. We generate all of our needs with coal, hydropower, nuclear power and natural gas. Toyota's hybrid cars, like the Prius, run on both gasoline and electricity that is generated by braking and then stored in a small battery. But, says Luft, if you had a hybrid that you could plug in at night, the battery could store up 20 miles of driving per day. So your first 20 miles would be covered by the battery. The gasoline would only kick in after that. Since 50 percent of Americans do not drive more than 20 miles a day, the battery power would cover all their driving. Even if they drove more than that, combining the battery power and the gasoline could give them 100 miles per gallon of gasoline used, Luft notes.

Right now Toyota does not sell plug-in hybrids. Some enthusiasts, though, are using kits to convert their hybrids to plug-ins, but that adds several thousand dollars - and you lose your Toyota warranty. Imagine, though, if the government encouraged, through tax policy and other incentives, every automaker to offer plug-in hybrids? We would quickly move down the innovation curve and end up with better and cheaper plug-ins for all.

Then add to that flexible-fuel cars, which have a special chip and fuel line that enable them to burn alcohol (ethanol or methanol), gasoline or any mixture of the two. Some four million U.S. cars already come equipped this way, including from G.M. It costs only about $100 a car to make it flex-fuel ready. Brazil hopes to have all its new cars flex-fuel ready by 2008. As Luft notes, if you combined a plug-in hybrid system with a flex-fuel system that burns 80 percent alcohol and 20 percent gasoline, you could end up stretching each gallon of gasoline up to 500 miles.

In short, we don't need to reinvent the wheel or wait for sci-fi hydrogen fuel cells. The technologies we need for a stronger, more energy independent America are already here. The only thing we have a shortage of now are leaders with the imagination and will to move the country onto a geo-green path.
He goes on to perform the obligatory patented Thomas Friedman trick of sticking his head up his ass -- expressing his hope that GM goes bankrupt and is bought up by Toyota. But if you can ignore the stunning calisthenics for a moment, he does make an interesting point. As Jerome a Paris points out today, over the past four years 90% of all GDP growth is attributable to residential construction and consumer spending, and 40% of all new private sector jobs created have been housing-related. We're not growing in any way that creates anything exportable.

The opportunity is ripe for a forward-thinking leader to shape an energy policy that encourages the development of green technologies that will soon be in demand all over the world (if they aren't already), as well as reduce dependence on a resource that is principally available in a politically unstable region of the world. It's a total win-win situation.

So it's great to see BushCo. taking such a progressive leadership role with regard to environmentalism at the G8 conference.

Naw, just kidding. They're spending all their time pressuring everyone to delete language that makes global warming sound like a bummer. Things don't seem to be going too well. According to the AP:
"The U.S. will just not budge," said Hans Verolme, director of the World Wildlife Fund's U.S. climate change program. "We'd rather not have a deal than have a deal that lets George Bush off the hook."
Welcome to the club, Hans.


Power Tools

Check out the new gear being offered by Time Magazine's Blog of the Year, Powerline. For anyone who might think I spent the morning PhotoShopping this as a joke -- I don't have that kind of time on my hands, and besides the effort is completely superfluous.

As for Time Magazine -- the always-funny Matt Taibbi takes a moment to dissect Time's Newsweek's current revisionist history of Watergate by Evan Thomas. Except he's so outraged he can't even snark. I know how he feels.

It's a shame the line doesn't include asshats, 'cos the demand is simply staggering.


Define "Last Throes"

From the Guardian:
Insurgents have taken over much of the Iraqi city of Ramadi and used it to launch attacks against US forces while terrorising the population with public beheadings.

A huge bomb killed five American marines yesterday and showered body parts on to rooftops, fuelling suspicion that armour-piercing technology is being developed and tested in Ramadi.
As Holden points out, someone should tell Scottiepants. Without Jeff Gannon there to bail him out, his impaired vocabulary is getting his chestnuts roasted at the daily gaggle:
Terry Moran, ABC News: Right. What is the evidence that the insurgency is in its last throes?

SCOTT McCLELLAN: I think I just explained to you the desperation of terrorists and their tactics.

Moran: What's the evidence on the ground that it's being extinguished?

McCLELLAN: Terry, we're making great progress to defeat the terrorist and regime elements. You're seeing Iraqis now playing more of a role in addressing the security threats that they face. They're working side by side with our coalition forces. They're working on their own. There are a lot of special forces in Iraq that are taking the battle to the enemy in Iraq. And so this is a period when they are in a desperate mode.

Moran: Well, I'm just wondering what the metric is for measuring the defeat of the insurgency.

McCLELLAN: Well, you can go back and look at the Vice President's remarks. I think he talked about it.

Moran: Yes. Is there any idea how long a last throe lasts for?

McCLELLAN: Go ahead, Steve.
Let's use the term correctly in a sentence:

Social Security piratization is in its last throes.
Public support for the war in Iraq is in its last throes.
Any shred of credibililty the MSM retains is in its last throes.

Maybe the Department of Education should lay off the kids and whip up some flash cards for No White House Press Secretary Left Behind.


Thursday, June 16, 2005

Anyone Want to Buy an Ugly Car? Me Either

It seems that everywhere I turn, journalists are carrying water for GM brass and spreading the statistic that $1,500 of every car goes to pay for workers' healthcare, in an effort to get the UAW to talk benefit cuts. The UAW is not buying it, retorting that the problem with GM is that management produces cars with complete disregard for the fact that nobody wants to buy them. While my own evidence is purely anecdotal, GM certainly does not offer anything I'm interested in buying (namely a reasonably priced, well made, high fuel efficiency SUV suitable for dog hauling) and it doesn't look like I'm alone in that estimation.

Ron Gettelfinger, the UAW leader, has refused GM's request to renegotiate the union's contract or roll back health care benefits before the contract expires in 2007. I don't think people in this country realize that the UAW is literally drawing a line in the sand for all of us. We'll have universal health care coverage in this country when GM decides we will. As Meteor Blades mentioned here in the comments recently, it's an either-or situation -- GM is going to get concessions out of workers, or they're going to pressure the government for universal health care to extenalize their costs. If GM can get the UAW to cut back health care benefits, it has no need to waste its money lobbying for government health care. Pretty simple, really.

Gettelfinger also pointed out that GM head Rick Wagoner has some damn nerve asking workers to take a pay cut while proffering nothing from his own pocket. He cites the example of Ford Motor Company's CEO, William Clay Ford Jr., who recently announced that he would accept no compensation until the company's profits improved.

Said Don Swegman, president of a union local in Indiana:
"We're being asked to sacrifice, and I think the sacrifice should go uphill as well as downhill.

"I think the bulk of the members on the floor feel the same way. If you look at Ford, their C.E.O., Mr. Ford, has decided not to take any pay at all until they turn things around. That would go a long ways to making us feel better. Everyone needs a paycheck, don't get me wrong."

Referring to Mr. Wagoner, Mr. Swegman added, "But does he need $10 million, when under his leadership the company loses $1.1 billion?"
So remember, the next time you hear some parrot head repeating Wagoner's well-orchestrated PR whine of $1,500 per car. It's not merely a sign-of-the-times problem of some union worker in the midwest. To the extent that the corporate shills of the MSM are successful in painting the labor unions as bloated, corrupt and greedy, union members aren't the only ones who will pay the price.


Now on Cable News

FLASH NEWS!!! 5.3 earthquake in California, home to many white women!

FLASH NEWS!!! New tidbit about white woman in Aruba!

FLASH NEWS!!! White woman runaway bride signs half-million dollar deal for TV movie!

Oh and um we think there may be some little get together in some basement room of the Capitol. We're not too sure.

For everyone who doesn't want their news dumbed down and diluted, the Conyers hearings will be re-broadcast on C-SPAN 3 at 8pm tonight and on C-SPAN 2 at 8pm tomorrow night. If you didn't catch 'em they were great, they will do your soul good.

The All White Women Networks will, as usual, keep you up to date on all damsels in distress. Provided of course that they are white.


Wednesday, June 15, 2005

We Teach 'Em, You Kill 'Em? Mmm...Not So Fast

Seattle is a weird high-school centric city, a place where the high school you went to is often considered more significant than whatever college you sacrificed your braincells at. Me, I went to big fat stoner rock'n'roll Roosevelt High School, which also managed to graduate (or expel) Nikki Sixx (Motley Crue), Mike McCready (Pearl Jam), Stefanie Sargent (7 Year Bitch), Duff McKagan (Guns N'Roses), Bill Rieflin (Ministry) and Eldon Hoke (The Mentors).

Which is why my ears perked up today -- adjacent to Roosevelt is Garfield High School, which just made the news for graduating 44 valedictorians, each with a perfect 4.0 grade point average. Some screamed grade inflation, but most of these students earned their "A"s in advanced placement and honors classes. Garfield is one of the best high schools in the city, a triumph of public education with a racially diverse student body (31% African American) that regularly produces bundles of National Merit and Ivy League-bound scholars.

What the headlines didn't note is that Garfield was also one of the first public high schools in America last month to tell No Child Left Behind to go fuck itself.

Under Section 9528 of the NCLB act, high schools must give military recruiters access to its students, including personal home contact information, or risk losing federal funding. The Garfield PTSA voted 25 to 5 this May to adopt a resolution saying "public schools are not a place for military recruiters:"
Like so many schools today, Garfield grapples with painful budget cuts, loss of teachers, and dwindling resources. The school's opposition to military recruitment seems, in part, a result of parents' growing realization that tax money spent for the Iraq war is money not spent on children's educations or other domestic needs.

"They're spending $4 billion a month in Iraq, but we have to cut our race relations class, which costs $12,500," Ms. Hagopian pointed out. "That's an important class for our kids."
Evidently a commitment to academic excellence is consistent with a desire to keep the kids you struggle to educate from becoming cannon fodder.

Makes perfect sense to me.

(And bonus points for the first person in the comments to name Garfield's most famous graduate. Hint: there's not even a close second.)


Downing Street Hearings on C-SPAN Tomorrow

John Conyers' hearings on the Downing Street Memo will be broadcast live tomorrow on C-Span 3 and Radio Pacifica. From Conyers' Blog:
For those commenters who were concerned (or hoping) that there would be a media blackout of the forum, that will not be the case. I have every major network, other than Fox, bringing cameras to the hearing. Nightline is taping the event, which I think represents a welcome development from a well respected investigative program. In addition, C-Span 3 and Radio Pacifica are carrying it live.
If your cable service doesn't get C-Span 3 (mine doesn't) you can watch streaming video online here. Hearings will begin at 2:30 ET/11:30 PT at the Capitol (which they managed to wrangle after all -- Sensenbrenner evidently rethought the wisdom of asserting his droit du seigneur), and will include testimony from Joe Wilson, former Ambassador and WMD expert; Ray McGovern, 27-year CIA analyst who prepared regular Presidential briefing during the Reagan administration; Cindy Sheehan, mother of a fallen American soldier; and constitutional lawyer John Bonifaz.

Notably absent will be the fair and balanced Fox, who will be busy camped out once again in Karl Rove's rectum.


You will respect my authoritAH!

The Catholic Church gets the good Bushkeeping Seal of Approval when the leadership are oppressing women and molesting children, but the marks are not so high when the rank-and-file are true to their faith and oppose the war-mongering death machine in Iraq:
On March 17, 2003, in protest of the impending U.S. invasion of Iraq, Danny Burns, Peter DeMott, and sisters Clare and Teresa Grady poured small bottles of their own blood on the walls, floor and an American Flag in the foyer of a military recruiting center in Lansing, N.Y.

Charged with criminal mischief, the activists, who have been dubbed the St. Patrick’s Four, spent four days in jail and in April 2004 were tried at the Tompkins County Courthouse. During their weeklong trial, the defendants, all of whom have children, said they carried out their protest as Catholics and parents who wanted to warn members of the military and potential recruits about the illegality and immorality of the war in Iraq.

“As parents, we know the love of our children and hold deeply the belief that we are all God’s children. It is never OK to kill another of God’s children and it is especially grievous to send one’s children, our children to another land to kill other children,” said Clare Grady, a mother of two.

The jury voted 9 to 3 in favor of acquittal, leading some to conclude the case of the St. Patrick’s Four was closed. But in February, a federal grand jury charged the four activists, all of whom were arrested during a previous demonstration at the Lansing recruiting station, with two counts of criminal trespass, destruction of government property and conspiring to induce “by force, intimidation and threat, officers of the United States to leave the place where their duties as officers of the United States are required to be performed.”
The "criminal trespass" was on public property. "Destruction of government property?" They poured some blood. Defaced, maybe. The lack of distaff presence in the recruiting center is telling -- if there was a woman in the joint they could've told 'em a little cold water applied quickly works wonders. And conspiracy to threaten and intimidate? Well that's a rich one. Military recruiters are now cowed by a couple of testy peacenicks. OxyLimbaugh will no doubt soon proclaim that this is why recruitment levels currently suck.

Shorter BushCo: "States rights? What about 'em?"

(via Talk Left and The Heretik)


Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Weird Night on Poodle Beach

Driving home tonight there were whales quite close to the shore stretching for nearly a mile, all the way up to the house. We came inside and discovered there had been an earthquake not far away and we were now under tsunami warning. The police came and with help from the valiant dogs they cleared the beach. Much appreciation to everyone who contacted us worried about our safety, but we are okay, and if things get funky we will head for the hills.

We are reminded of the words of the late Stiv Bators. One night he was sitting around watching a tape of the Stones concert in Hyde Park following the death of Brian Jones, where a preening Mick Jagger opened Shelley's Adonais and said he thought a few words from the poet were applicable to Brian's life.

"Yeah, swim stupid," said Stiv.


Rage Against the Machine

House Judiciary Committee Chariman James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) has officially pulled the plug on John Conyers' plans to hold hearings Thursday on the Downing Street Memo by denying his request to use a committee hearing room.

Express your displeasure here:

F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr.
2449 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
(202) 225-5101

Sensenbrenner's District Offices:
120 Bishops Way, Room 154
Brookfield, WI 53005-6294
Telephone: (262) 784-1111

Update: The DNC has announced it will host the hearings, but you can call Sensenbrenner anyway and tell him he's a complete tool, a toady and a controlling ass. Some are suggesting that holding it at the DNC is a bad idea, it puts a pall of partisanship over the whole thing, and I have to say I agree.


The Mother of All Queen Bees

Roger takes aim at Phyllis Schlafly, who continues to exist as some sort of Old Testament pestilence on the planet. This time she argues that the Final Report of the Child Custody and Visitation Focus Group of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges represents a feminist conspiracy to banish fathers from the lives of their children:
Phyllis Schlafly proves that women are liars ... by making shit up:

The "game" is that mothers can assert falsehoods or trivial marital complaints and thereby get sole custody orders that deprive children of their fathers. This "game" is based on the presumption, popularized by VAWA and the domestic-violence lobby, that fathers are inherently guilty and dangerous.
Of course, mothers can lie to get sole custody of children just as fathers can lie to deny mothers' attempts to get sole custody, or to get joint custody, or to get sole custody themselves. Schlafly doesn't cite any law which presumes that fathers are guilty or dangerous or unfit parents.

If Schlafly has any proof of any of her claims, she doesn't cite it. She doesn't even cite anecdotal evidence. But she's not about to let the absence of facts get in the way of her deranged hatred of women in general and feminists in particular.
One of the most illustrative ideas in feminist theory is the notion of the Queen Bee syndrome, describing women who have no compunction about kicking other women to the curb in order to advance themselves. In some ways it is similar to the idea of an "Uncle Tom," except in the Stowe novel the Uncle Tom character is defferential and servile to his oppressors out of fear, he is not exploiting their weakness as a political act designed to further himself at the expense of his fellows.

Phyllis Schlafly doesn't give a flying fuck about abused mothers or falsely accused fathers or children who suffer in the middle. Phillis Schafly cares about Phyllis Schlafly, and there is no verminous pit so low she will not climb down into it to exploit some ugly sinkhole of rage in order to grab a public platform and count out thirty more pieces of silver.

So for future reference, any time you want to remember what a "queen bee" is, just call up the image of the vicious old harpy slag pictured above, because she is the living, breathing soul of the beast.


The Mendacious Mr. McCain

There was a time when I admired John McCain as a latter-day William Proxmire, scourge of government pork who fearlessly outed members of both parties for their J-Lo-at-Gucci spending habits. After he sold himself like a two dollar crank whore to Bush '04 that esteem shriveled, and any vestiges disintegrated when he joined the Social Security traveling snake oil show after having publicly announced that he thought privatization was a crock.

Matt over at wants to make sure I don't change my mind:
Every outside interest group from NOW to NARAL to Americans for Tax Reform to the Club for Growth have their own systems for ranking members of Congress based on votes on issues they advocate. The most objective is this system designed by Dr Keith Poole of the University of San Diego. It doesn’t measure issues, intensity, rhetoric, public posturing, good looks or media savvy. It simply ranks Senators by how often they vote with the other members of their own party.
McCain voted with his party more than Rick Santorum and 46 other Republicans in the last Congress. Only Jeff Sessions, Don Nickles, and Jon Kyl towed the party line more often. When it counts, John McCain is not a moderate but a conservative ideologue, which is certainly his prerogative. But if Barbara Boxer took contrary stands on one or two big issues and Republicans warmed to her, it wouldn’t change the fact that she is the most reliable Democratic vote in the Senate.
How McCain manages to contort himself within the media into some kind of moderate with a voting record like that is quite remarkable, and it's worth noting that fellow middle-of-the-road traveler Lindsey Graham is right up there with Rick Santorum when it comes to toeing the party line. The true disparity between a McCain and a Cornryn, for instance, has more to do with the image they attempt to cold chisel for themselves in the public consciousness, and less to do with any substantive distinctions.

A Republican is a Republican is a Republican.

Update: E. J. Dionne has a great article in the WaPo on the new cushy relationship between Bush and McCain here. (Thanks, Gord)


Monday, June 13, 2005

Not Guilty

The results are in -- moeman, Anyanka and Wanda predicted it -- he skated.

MandT gets extra points for suggesting that he now qualifies for a desk job at the Vatican.

I have to say, I'm stunned.

Update: Listening to the jury speak, they all seemed to hate the mother. Someone in the press finally asked "well, would you feel okay about letting your kid sleep with Michael Jackson?" and Juror #10, who is a mother, snapped her gum and said she was extremely protective of her own child, and what kind of a mother would let her son do that. Then they all piled on about what a bitch the mother was, and how much they all disliked her. It seems to me like they knew something wrong happened, but they disliked the mother more than they disliked Michael Jackson, and so if it was going to be him vs. her, they were picking him. Then they all said they were really impressed with the abililty to sit there and look at big stars up close.

The defense did their job well in picking that jury. They all seem a bit slack-jawed and credulous.


Sue the Bastards

Drudge emerges this morning from the primordial slime to report that one of the allegations in Ed Klein's new book about Hillary is that Bill raped Hillary and it resulted in the conception of Chelsea. Andrew Sullivan obvious needs some extra lucre to pay those bills from Fat Gap, because he's running an ad on his site for this particular piece of recycled Charmin.

At the peak of the Swift Boat Liars for Cash siecle, Kerry made the decision to ignore their charges, and conventional wisdom says much to his detriment. Nobody has yet figured out the best way to deal with this kind of smear campaign -- do you simply give them more headlines and coat your own persona in their sewage fiesta by fighting them in court?

Hillary is up for election in 2006, but her seat is considered safe. My impulse would be to sue narrowly -- that is, about this charge and nothing else -- so as to limit the amount of discovery a court could compel, and keep the other side from being able to go on a "fishing expedition" through your life.

My guess is the publishers made the decision to go with the story because fighting it in court would raise the specter of Juanita Broaddrick (the woman who claimed Clinton raped her in 1978), and they figured the Clintons would never want that flag hoisted in the media again. They might be right. But I would personally think a lot more of Hillary's leadership abilities for delivering a swift kick in the junk to this lot rather than pursue political expedience by sipping tea and nibbling on dainties with Newt.


Sunday, June 12, 2005

The Winter of Our Discontent

The Downing Street Memo is a tiny fissure in the GOP fabric of lies, a small but significant rent in the raiments of deception enshrouding the Bush junta that have emboldened many to utter the "I" word -- "impeachment."

But even those enjoying only a casual relationship with reality must concede that the possibility of bringing articles of impeachment against this President are unlikely when his party holds healthy majorities in both houses of congress, and its members are currently on an unchecked rampage of corruption and greed unseen since the death of John Gotti. Their pursuit of theocracy is in reality just a cheap masquerade for pursuit of kleptocracy. An attack of conscience is not likely to interrupt any of them from gorging themselves on a steady diet of pork as they binge and purge off the fat of the land.

That Ken Mehlman has smashed all records for GOP fundraising this year should stupify no one. Never has so much been for sale for so little. The halls of congress have been turned into a tattered pinchbeck of Ross Dress-For-Less.

Yet on Thursday of this week, John Conyers, our own Childe Roland, proceeds apace to the White House, half a million signatures in hand, demanding answers.

It is a shot across the bow in the battle for 2006.

If -- and it is a big if -- the Democrats can cut through the bloviating noise machine of the right and force a change in the balance of congressional power, district by district and state by state, then the brute can be dragged to justice.

The constitution provides an instrument for impeachment in the case of bribery, treason, or the delightfully vague "high crimes and misdemeanors." As constitutional scholar Jack Rakove notes:
The impeachment of Bill Clinton in 1998 set the bar for "high crimes and misdemeanors" so low that any subsequent president could legitimately worry about this generally moribund provision of our Constitution being deployed against him whenever an opposition party controlling Congress found it convenient to do so.
By fortune or curse we need not stoop so low. Dissembling to the American public, whether you know the meaning of the word or not, for the purposes of luring them into a bloody, illegal and morally bankrupt war stretches no one's definition of the term.

Let him toss and turn in sleepless nights on a jag of adrenaline-laced fear that reduces him to Nixonian flopsweat at the prospect of that most ego-puncturing of humiliations. Leave him pacing the floor with his privileged feet, unable to outrun the ghosts of his victims, with the specter of eternity as history's shrunken codpiece looming before him.

Gore Vidal once said:
Mark my words. He will leave office the most unpopular president in history. The junta has done too much wreckage.

May his words be prophetic.

(photo by Carol Moore)


U R teH SUxXoR and Other Freeper Classics

Chris Bowers has a revealing article on the booming growth of liberal blogs relative to their right-wing counterparts. He found that two years ago, the conservative blogosphere was twice the size of the liberal blogosphere. But now, despite the existence of a greater number of conservative sites, traffic on the liberal blogs is 65% higher.

He attributes it to Scoop technology and the participatory nature of sites like Kos, TPM Cafe, BooMan Tribune and MyDD that allow readers to post their own diaries and take advantage of high communal site traffic to establish themselves. According to Chris:
There are swarms of new conservative voices looking to breakout in the right-wing blogosphere, but they are not even allowed to comment, much less post a diary and gain a following, on the high traffic conservative blogs. Instead, without any fanfare, they are forced to start their own blogs. However, because of the top-down nature of right-wing blogs, new conservative blogs remain almost entirely dependent upon the untouchable high traffic blogs for visitors. In short, the anti-community nature of right-wing blogs has resulted in a stagnant aristocracy within the conservative blogosphere that prevents the emergence of new voices and, as a result, new reasons for people to visit conservative blogs.
That there is no similar instrument on the right is pretty weird when you think about how active the sans thorazine crowds of LGF and Free Republic really are. Expect enterprising liberals to leap into the breech and take advantage of this latent pool of unbalanced antagonism. Norbizness is proposing a show for the new wingified PBS called Sit and Be Fit, which entails "30 minutes of lower-body exercises one can do while typing angry posts maligning the patriotism of others."

I think he's got a hit on his hands.


Dick Cheney Holds Howard Dean Fundraiser

In an interview with Sean Hannity to be broadcast on Fox News tomorrow, Dick Cheney gives Howard Dean a ringing endorsement:
Howard Dean is "over the top," Vice President Dick Cheney says.

"I've never been able to understand his appeal. Maybe his mother loved him, but I've never met anybody who does. He's never won anything, as best I can tell.

"So far, I think he's probably helped us more than he has them.

"That's not the kind of individual you want to have representing your political party."
Translation: That's not the kind of individual Dick Cheney wants to have representing my political party.

Thanks, Dick.

You can show your appreciation here.

Update: Digby on today's Press the Meat: "The Knights of the Botox all made it quite clear that while Bush catering to his base is a smart strategy, they agree with the DC Dems that catering to the filthy Democrat rabble is quite beneath any civilized politician. But then, as we all know, Bush's base are Real Americans while the Democratic base consists of a bunch of godless, bi-coastal, terrorist sympathizers who are waaaay outside the mainstream. All 49% of 'em. No way are Judy, Gwen, Father Tim, and Dean Broder associated with those treasonous bastards. Why, everybody on Nantucket practically lives on pork rinds these days."

Update II: "My view is FOX News is a propaganda outlet for the Republican Party and I don't comment on FOX News," Dean said. That was in response to vice president Dick Cheney calling Howard Dean "over the top" on Fox News on Sunday.

Oh he is simply a ROCK STAR.


Hey There, You With the Stars in Your Eyes

Meteor Blades has something to say about Saudi PR flack Adel al-Jubeir and his flimflam show currently in repertory, in which he spins fairy tales of endless oil supply and Brogdingnagian production:
As for the al-Jubeir’s claims, the Saudi kingdom has kept its oil stats a closely held secret for 20 years. But for the country to have made significant new finds about which zero information has trickled out stretches credibility. And if it has no new finds, even pumping 12.5 million barrels a day will be tricky over the short run, much less 22 million barrels a day two decades from now.

Indeed, Matthew Simmons, an oil investment banker who has been in the business for 30 years, believes that Saudi Arabia may already have passed peak oil or be close to it. He makes a compelling case in his book, Twilight in the Desert. Among other things, he says, speeding up production - as the Bush Administration has urged the Saudis to do - will reduce the ultimately recoverable amount because the favored technique requires injections of seawater, among other methods.

Yet, in the face of all the evidence and all the warnings, the House energy bill that passed last month (and the one the Senate is taking up on Monday) are brimful of pork and fantasy. And likely to be on the President’s desk, as he has requested, by the end of August.
I'm stymied. Are they so arrogant they think they can bend nature to their own greed, or are they simply throwing their hands in the air and saying fuckit, it's been a great ride but the show is over, it's every man for himself? Kiss the elegant analogies to imperial Rome goodbye -- we're being sacked by the home team.