Thursday, July 31, 2003

The Guardian mentions this, the New York Times does not: US scraps nuclear weapons watchdog.
And here's Jonah Goldberg the big crybaby whining about a UCal study that found that conservatives are basically the same as the psychologically foreclosed.Waah, waaah, see the big fuckign baby cry.
Hey Jonah, I got something to stick in your mouth that might shut you up you fucking puss. (Hint: it's my dick).
I swear, if there is anyone I would like to kick the living shit out of, it's Jonah Goldberg. He's a mama's boy, getting where he is with the help of his ugly bitch mom, Lucianne Goldberg, the far-right loon. Ever see a picture of this goon? he's got the glasses and the haircut of the guy you used to shove in the locker in high school.
Fucking weenie.
Josh Marshall's talking points memo brings up Amir Saadi, Saddam Hussein's science adviser and one of the first to turn himself in: at the time of the article, Saadi had been held in solitary since April. Marshall cites a David Ignatius editorial of July 18, wich suggests that Saadi's detention ws due to the fact that his WMD evidence probably undercut the Bush administration's assertion that Saddam had developed unconventional weapons (the post isn't working too well today, so use the link in Josh's article).
Lo and behold, this morning's Washington Post drops this bombshell: Scientists Still Deny Iraqi Arms Programs,
U.S. Interrogations Net No Evidence

The sources said four senior scientists and more than a dozen at lower levels who worked for the Iraqi government have been interviewed by U.S. officials under the direction of the CIA. Some scientists have been arrested and held for months, others have made deals in return for information and at least one has agreed to be interviewed outside Iraq.

No matter the circumstances, all of the scientists interviewed have denied that Hussein had reconstituted his nuclear weapons program or developed and hidden chemical or biological weapons since United Nations inspectors left in 1998. Several key Iraqi officials questioned the significance of evidence cited by the Bush administration to suggest that Hussein was stepping up efforts to develop new weapons of mass destruction programs.

An otherwise fine editorial in the Portsmouth Herald on Admiral/felon Poindexter's "Terror Trading Program", includes this paragraph:
You remember Poindexter - he was the retired rear admiral who was relieved from his position as National Security Advisor during the Reagan administration after being convicted of conspiracy, lying to Congress, defrauding the government and destroying evidence in the Iran-Contra scandal. The only reason he is not in jail today is because he was granted immunity in the congressional investigation of the scandal.

... and was later pardoned by Geoge H. W. Bush, father of the current occupant.
At least the artcile questions Bush's sanity.

Wednesday, July 30, 2003

Letter from a confused Chicago Tribune reader.

I wrote them a letter in response:
Writer Terry Barnich doesn't get the complaints about Bush's "evidence" because he has fallen prey to a game of semantics played by the administration and the Blair government.

Let's play "pretend" for a moment. Let's pretend my friend "Bob" says that "2+2=5." If I go on to tell my friends "Lois" and "Howard" that "Bob told me that 2+2=5," then I am indeed telling the truth: Bob uttered these words. However, that does not say anything about the accuracy of Bob's claim. If I am trying to convince Lois and Howard that 2+2 does indeed equal 5, when I personally know that Bob's math is faulty, and then catch hell from Lois and Howard when they flunk the math test, it is no defense to say "Well, of course I told you the truth: Bob DID say that."
So it is not the fact that Bush was accurate when he says "well the British said it" that is the problem. The problem is that Bush is shifting the blame to the British when our own intelligence agencies were telling him (and Condoleeza and Dick Cheney) that the British were wrong while the administration busily went about spreading the Niger uranium story as if it were gospel truth.
By far... the ugliest of the neo-cons in terms of raw physical appearance is Richard Perle. I mean, you try to look at this photo without recoiling in horror (if the artilcle doesn't make you barf first)-- the guy looks sort of like what would happen if Jabba the Hutt and Oscar the Grouch had a child.
Imagine being Mrs. Perle and having to wake up next to this evil tub of guts every morning. Especially when he's feeling frisky...
Can't resist: first they gave us Condie's Amazing Stories, and now Buzzflash has followed up with Cheney's Believe It... Or Not!
Claire McConnell, daughter of Senator Mitch McConnell, a member of the nazi child-molesting republican party, proves the apple doesn't fall far from the tree when it comes to mistreating children.
"Why Brendan, what would make you say such a nasty thing about a senator's daughter?" Ohhh, I don't know, maybe the fact that she allegedly strapped unruly students to their chairs with belts, duct-taped their mouths shut, and tied their hands together. Whatever happened to a trip down to the prinicpal's office?
As for Mitch's mistreatment of children, all you have to do is look at his voting record. His daughter abuses them physically and Mitch goes after them with legislation.
I mentioned this on Friday the 25: we got mad when al Jazeera showed photos of dead Americans and then the New york Times (and the Washington Post and CBSNBCABCCNNETCETC) said they wouldn't show dead Iraqis because it would be in poor taste. How quickly we forget... and now Newsday's picked up on this as well.
It is disgusting to me that the administration has censored 28 pages of the September 11 report: pages that, according to nearly everyone from the New York Times to Republican Richard Shelby demonstrate "'incontrovertible evidence' that Saudis provided financial help to al-Qaeda operatives in the United States."
3,000 innocent Americans are dead in the worst attack ever to occur on our own soil, and Mr. Bush, whose family has close business ties to the Saudis, refuse to release the report out of fears of embarassment and fears of pissing off our oily Saudi friends. What brings this story over the top into the world of farce is that the Saudis themselves are demanding that the pages be published.
You know there's a problem when the Saudis are bitching about open government...
Anyone else heard about this? "The Transportation and Treasury subcommittee, chaired by Republican Ernest Istook of Oklahoma, voted practically to kill a decade-old program that required states to set aside 10 percent of US transportation funds for ''enhancement'' projects such as exercise paths and historic preservation."
Yup: it's a big FUCK YOU to bicyclists, pedestrians, and everyone else who doesn't use cars. And tah-dah, it comes to you from another member of the radical, anti-democratic, nazi, child molesting Republican party. Good-bye Rails-toTrails programs.
As a biker and a Philadelphia, I am appalled. I haven't owned a car since 1998 and have depended on my bike and public transportation (also under the Bush axe, thanks again child-molesting republican naz scum bastard fuckfaced shit-eaters) to get around. What will happen to the Greenway being planned from boston down the east coast? A major leg of this trail is (was?) to go from Valley Forge through Philadelphia; will this be scuttled due to the shit-for-brains Republicans in Washington? Someone go get these bastards more children to molest, just keep their hands off the laws!
Someone other than me thinks Condoleeza Rice is a big fat liar. His name is Henry Waxman, and here are some questions for CON-di.

A number of people and publications are questioning Dr. Rice's honesty and competence (frankly, I think marshall's right when he say Cheney's the man): The Nation; the Washington Post.
If what they're writing is true, she should probably be thrown in jail.
So here's a great pair of articles:
In this one, we learn that al-Qaeda may be planning on hijacking some planes on the east Coast, and in this one, we learn that the Bush administration is cutting air marshalls from cross-country and international flights because it costs too much money to have them stay in hotels.
And while I'm on the subject of cutting costs, here's a nice bit from the German Der Spiegel about the current administration and its foreign and domestic policies. I may decide to sell my house before the shit hits the fan...

Oh, and this made me laugh.
Interesting and long piece from the New York Times on the Howard Dean campaign. Ihaven't read all of it, but it seems accurate so far.
However, there is one comment that needs to be addressed now, and that is the comment by Kerry's campaign manager Jim Jordan, who tells the Times, "Governor Dean is simply reinventing his own position and that of others, and that's the rankest kind of politics," said Jim Jordan, campaign manager for Senator Kerry, Dr. Dean's leading rival in New Hampshire. "He was an unemployed doctor with no responsibilities, and it was easy to sit there and take political potshots from the outside."

Well first of all, the "unemployed doctor with no responsibilities" is rhetoric that shoudl be ignored. As for reinventing his position, Mr. Kerry vote for the war in Iraq and is now trying to have it both ways. Kerry's stance on the war is "I voted for the war because I was duped by the Bush admisnitration and I don't support how we got into war nor do I support the aftermath but I support the war and our troops." Kinda covers all his bases there without really tying himself to any oneposition.
As pointed out on the insignificant thoughts blog, Kerry supported eliminating the dividend tax in December 2002 and then changed his mind about 5 months later.
Not that Kerry shouldn't be allowed to change his mind... but to characterize his opponent as being a flip-flopper is a bit much, don't you think?

Tuesday, July 29, 2003

So late last night I read the news about the Pentagon's "Terror Market", which the LA Times reported, The war on terrorism has come to this: The Pentagon is setting up a commodity-style market to use real investors — putting down real money — to help its generals predict terrorist attacks, coups d'etat and other turmoil in the Middle East.

Under the program, revealed Monday by two of its critics in the Senate, investors with knowledge of the Middle East would be lured — by the prospect of making money of course — into using their expertise to buy and sell futures contracts on world events.

And the Pentagon would be able to study the collective wisdom of the free market on such weighty questions as the impact of U.S. involvement in Iraq and the stability of the monarchy in Jordan.

This delightful plan was brought to us by disgraced Admiral John Poindexter, he of Iran-Contra, later to bring us everyone's favorite slice of Orwell pie, Total Information Awareness (awe, how cute, they changed their logo so it didn't look like the fucking Masons had taken over the fucking world, not that the new logo, which kind of looks like the bastard of child of Bohr's atomic model and the biohazard symbol doesn't look any less fucking frightening).
That was at like 9:00 this morning although a google search found the first articles around 2:00 AM. By noon they were abandoning the program.

What a load of goddamn malarkey. Our troops' imminent danger pay is being cut, and veteran's benefits are being cut. I don't even have to make links to back up the assertion that firefighters, police, and rescue teams are running on shoestrings thanks to the Bush economy, and that funds promised were never delivered. this is a matter of fact. And now some fucking corrupt bastard political appointee who should be permanently banned from participating in government at any level is proposing a plan to gamble with all our lives? Like people are some kind of fucking stock option??? Give me a break. No, give me a bottle and get me Moe Howard so he can break it over your stooge head and poke you in the eye.
Treasonous republican child molester scum...
"I'm tired of not being able to believe my president." Nothing like an angry military mom...

Hope she doesn't expect to see him soon, as our servicemen are now "terrorist magnets." In other words, by occupying Iraq, we hope to draw the terrorists and Islamists away from Israel and the US itself by encouraging them to attack our boys (and gals) in Iraq as "targets of opportunity."

Personally, I like Josh Marshall's take on this:

But isn't the main fallacy that there isn't some finite number of "terrorists" out there whom we can draw to one place, kill or arrest, and then be done with it? I mean, let's be honest: Is there really any shortage of these dudes? Are they gonna run out?

Do you remember Afghanistan? Not this 'Afghanistan', but the last 'Afghanistan.' The US-Pakistan-backed jihad against the Soviets made Afghanistan into a sort of jihad Club-Med where young Saudis could go for a few weeks or months of firing guns and fighting for God. (Of course, some stayed on rather longer.)

The idea is supposed to be to drain the swamp, not create a new swamp and spend all your time swatting all the mosquitoes that come to hang out and breed.

As a reader (Tom R.) wrote last night in an email to TPM, the "flypaper" theory makes about as much sense as a public health director saying "By creating a dirty hospital, we're going to create a place where we can fight the germs on our terms."

Monday, July 28, 2003

My name is Judith Miller and I am a big ugly patsy for the Bush administration."

It is impossible to read this article and not come to the conclusion that Judith Miller got down on her metaphorical knees and began sucking the administration's... (you know I just edited out "cock" because this is just degenerating into sheer Paul Krassner material. I apologize for that... but then noticed i keep doing it below, so fuck it.)
I am imagining Judith's temptation as something out of a cheap porno novel. "Oh how famous I will be," Judy moaned as she rubbed her swollen vulva on the front page of the New York Times. "Oh god oh god I will be the toast of the town."

Miller says, "I'm going to go on writing in this area, and this will blow over because my reporting was accurate."
Oh yeah Judy, something blows alright. Or rather, someone....
Has the Washington post finally found a spine with regard to the Iraq lies? This weekend's column by the Ombudsman seems to acknowledge a good degree of regret on the part of the passive media.
I had an ugly idea on my walk into work today.
A lot of people, myself included, have made a hullabaloo about Mr. Bush's "victory strut" in his flight suit on the USS Lincoln with the "Mission Accomplished" banner. "How can you child molesting Nazi rat bastard republicans say the mission's accomplished when there's still fighting in Iraq?," we say. "Hey you child molesting rat bastard nazi thieves, US troops are getting killed! that's no mission accomplished."
Ahh, but friends, to the Bush people and the neo-conservatives, the mission IS accomplished. The mission was to get us into Iraq for keeps. Getting into Iraq WAS the mission. As Wolfowitz said last week, "I'm not concerned about weapons of mass destruction."
This belief is supported by Josh Marshall's latest talking points memo: today's post (July 27) shows a collection of quotes in which US servicemen are tacitly characterized as bait:
Being based in Iraq helps us not only because of actual bases; but because the American presence there diverts terrorist attention away from elsewhere. By confronting them directly in Iraq, we get to engage them in a military setting that plays to our strengths rather than to theirs'. Continued conflict in Iraq, in other words, needn't always be bad news. It may be a sign that we are drawing the terrorists out of the woodwork and tackling them in the open.

"Bring Them On"
Andrew Sullivan
July 3rd, 2003

Separately, Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez, commander of coalition ground forces, told CNN that "we still have a long way to go" before eliminating resistance.
Iraq had become "a terrorist magnet," drawing some anti-American extremists from abroad to "a target of opportunity."

"But this," General Sanchez added, "is exactly where we want to fight them."

"U.S. Must Act on 'Murky' Data to Prevent Terror, Wolfowitz Says"
International Herald Tribune

July 27th, 2003

(credited to Mr. Marshall's fine page)
update!! A conservative site also backs this up. Our servicemen are bait.
I don't much like the sound of that...

Friday, July 25, 2003

hey, remember how mad we got when the BBC and al-Jazeera were showing pictures of dead US soldiers? And how the New York Times wasn't going to publish pictures of dead Iraqis because it would be "tasteless"? Funny how things change, isn't it?
Also, a cool chart detailing Bush's numerous lies with regard to Iraq. Use this when arguing with retard submongoloid nazi conservatives.
Why, did I just take to namecalling? Why yeeeees!
the way i figure it, if I'm going to be called "weak," a "traitor," "unpatriotic," and any other insults from the oh-so-right wing, I'd be an idiot to take it lying down.
from now on, I will make a point to always refer to Republicans and right-wingers as "nazis," "submongoloids," "retards," "traitors," "child-molesters" (how ya doin' former Mayor Giordanno? I hope someone rapes your nazi retard child-molesting ass good while you're in the big house, you nazi fuck).
Tit for tat is fair play.
Oh look, here's our ally Karimov, who boils people alive.
Condi's Amazing Stories: a MUST READ ffrom Buzzflash.
Sorry about the ennui from the past couple of days folks; honestly, I'm not going to go jump off a bridge.
it's just that the country--MY country-- is being run into the ground by a bunch of Benedict Arnolds who have sold out their love of country for love of power and love of oil.
When I read message boards like the one at the Washington Post and get to a comment that offends my sensibilities, it is no longer enough for me to argue back. I want to take the conservative jackass and and physically punish them for being stupid. I want to take a large rock and smash them in the teeth everytime I hear the word "patriotic." Whenever i hear someone refer to Bush as "the president" i grind my teeth, and get ready to start punching.
I'm actually kind of excited for Philly's mayoral elections, because there's a tradition of going door to door to woo voters.
You can bet that the first republican who knocks on my door is going to get an earful from me, and will probably get a faceful of my fist.

Maybe I'll invite the sucker in first. "Oh sure, I'd love to hear about your candidate. Hang on, I want to get a drink from the kitchen, I'll be right back," then returning from the kitchen with a large kitchen knife. "OK, now TELL ME ALLLLLL ABOUT YOUR CANDIDATE. AND WHY DON'T YOU TELL ME SOMETHING ABOUT HEAD START? SIT DOWN, I DIDN'T SAY YOU COULD GO ANYWHERE!! Now... let's talk about this tax CUT (making broad slashing motion)your Mr. Bush has ruined the economy with, shal we? Let's talk the shape of our cities now that the budgets been SLASHED Oh, do have some lemonade, I think we'll be here for a LONG time. You have a LOT of explaining to do..."

Oooh, I'm seeing it now. I'm also seeing a less complicated scenario. "Campaigning for who? is he a democrat or a republican? Republican eh, let me get my checkbook." (disappearing into the house, emerging with my baseball bat) "Tell you what, I'm voting with my Louisville this year. You have about 5 seconds to get off my porch, and get out of our neighborhood. And I just used 3 of those seconds...." Swing batter swiiiing!
Subject: Katz

> Howdy, just read your Katz article and how he declined to be at the Bush photo-op (speaking of tax cuts, my latest paycheck should reflect a whole $2.35 extra, thanks George!).

Katz made the right decision. #1: the feces is hitting the air conditioning with regard to the Bush economy and the Bush war; when the poop is flying, the reasonable thing to do is get out of the way lest some stick to you! #2: Katz is a republican in a staunchly democratic city that harbors a LOT of ill-will toward Mr. Bush and his policies toward the cities. Low profile time.
That photo-op by Mr. Bush was disgusting considering how many children will suffer because of his policies. Oh well, who give a rat's ass, there's money to be made.
> brendan Skwire

From: "Smith, Elmer L."
To: "Brendan Skwire"
Subject: RE: Katz
Date: Fri, 25 Jul 2003 10:50:46 -0400

correct on all counts, Brendan except that in a race this narrow, Katz can't afford to
offend the Bush lovers. There may not be many. But they are at the center of Katz's
core vote...just greeting the president would not have hurt him with the type of people
who are likely to vote against John Street. Those are virtually the only people Katz
has...his whole candidacy is about the fact that he's not john street...elm

From: Brendan Skwire
Sent: Friday, July 25, 2003 11:04 AM
To: Smith, Elmer L.
Subject: RE: Katz

You're right, to a point.
I heard an interesting story from a friend of mine yesterday, also politically informed. We were griping about politics when he mentioned that his neighbor, a republican, told him that the majority of Philadelphia republicans don't like Mr. Bush at all (referring to him instead as "mr. texas"), and that many Philly republicans are party members mainly in protest against what they perceive to be a corrupt municipal machine run by democrats (which to be fair is not
without some degree of truth). I agree that Sam's main platform is "I'm not Street" but i think that will appeal to wary democrats as well as hardcore republicans; my neighborhood (west philly) has a lot of "democrats for Katz" signs up. I think Sam's probably wary of alienating them just as much as alienating republicans. In addition, Sam used to be a
democrat, right? kind of like Bloomberg in NYC. To win the mayorship, Sam's gonna need as many democrats as he can get (he won't get my vote because I would rather vote for a steaming pile of corn-crusted shit than a republican, and also because he wants to do away with safe streets).
Given the polarizing nature of Mr. Bush, i think it would be difficult for Mr. katz to convince democrats who don't like Mayor Street that he was a moderate if he appeared with the chimp. I think, and i may be wrong, that appearing with Bush would have hurt Katz more with the larger undecided democrats than it would have helped him with the smaller population of republicans.

While it is true that republicans NEVER vote for democrats posing as republicans, it is also true that sometimes democrats are stupid enough to vote for "moderate" republicans.
anyway, i have to get back to slacking at work and reading the news. i enjoy your column!

From: "Smith, Elmer L."
To: "Brendan Skwire"
Subject: RE: Katz
Date: Fri, 25 Jul 2003 12:32:57 -0400

you make a good case, Brendan....we'll have to watch how this plays out...elm

Bye bye, Americorps. it was nice to know you...
yes, the community service "president" is going to let Americorps die. So much for volunteerism.
Oh, and no funds for veterans either. So much for supporting our troops.
Fucking fuckfaced fucks.

Thursday, July 24, 2003

Ever feel that everything is a waste of time? That you're just whiling away the years until your inglorious end, after which your accomplishments (if there were any to begin with) will be forgotten?
I was sitting at the dahlak bar last night having just those thoughts. Around me, the same dozen or so people were putting the same dozen moves on each other, like Gilligan's Island writ large. I caught a glance of my reflection in the mirror hoisting a bottle of beer to my mouth, and thought "Good grief, what the fuck am I doing here?"

I have a great girlfriend, but I am dissatisfied, and have the itch for other women. That sounds lousy, but that's just how it is. I was single and romping through fields of loins for four years, and while I was sick of being single and slutty it is no great leap to feel the opposite. Nothing personal honey, and I'm certainly not going to throw a good relationship in the scrap-heap because of biology's demands.
I can't stand talking to anyone for more than 10 minutes half the time. I can't deal with watching the news. i can't deal with stupid people. I can't manage to stay happy and satisfied for more than a week at a time. My job is boring me to tears but the prospect that the project I work on might be cancelled by the new dean petrifies me. I don't want to look for work. I don't want to work period. But if I wasn't working, I wouldn't be happy then, because I'd have no money.

Ennui is probably the best word for it. Life by rote: get up, shower, drink coffee, go to work, read the news, do some work, get lunch, do some more work, read some more news, go home, go for a swim, get high, drink beer, hang out with my girlfriend, go to bed, have sex, sleep, get up, shower...

I was watching Mr. Show reruns last night. One scene involved a bored family around the dinner table. "How was school, Dan?" "Fine." "How was school Sue?" "Good." "How was your day sweetie?" "Oh I did some shopping, same old thing. How was work?" "Well, you know, same old same old." I don't think I could stand marriage for too long; I don't think I could stomach being an old single man in the Bukowski mode.

Where the hell does this come from? A few years ago, a good friend told me to get some sort of therapy. I wasn't too hot on that then, and I'm not too hot on it now.
Where is my debut novel? Where is my gold record? Why have I not recorded anything of any real note? I'm not an idiot, but I never seem to get done the things I need to get done. It's not a motivation issue either.
Grumblings from the grumbler.
I disagree with Joel Achenbach, writing A Handle On Scandal in the Washington Post.
For instance, when Joel writes, "Scandals require code words, terms that no one ever used before but suddenly are all over LexisNexis: enemies list, dirty tricks, White House plumbers, cancer on the presidency, Deep Throat, arms for hostages, stained blue dress, etc. So far this one has produced only "yellowcake uranium" and "aluminum tubes," which don't exactly get the pulse racing," I have to ask, where did you get your "rule book" for scandals? Are there other requirements besides catchphrases? Cut it out with the red herrings.

Joel then writes "So far the story doesn't have a mysterious, charismatic figure at the heart of it. There's no Lt. Col. Oliver North, ramrod straight as he takes the oath and then lies to Congress. There's no G. Gordon Liddy, holding his hand over a flame to prove his willpower."
Joel, what about Donny Rumsfeld? What about Pauly Wolfowitz? Both charismatic, both weird and scary.

And then, Joel's crowning achievement, "There's nothing in the story as dramatic as a secret arms-for-hostages deal with funds diverted illegally to Nicaraguan rebels. No Democratic office has been burgled. No powerful official has lied about untoward relations with a big-haired intern. A scandal has a hard time getting off the ground when so much of it involves speech-writing and the alleged inadequacy of the vetting process."
Oh no, there's nothing dramatic at all about sending 150,000 American troops overseas to wage a war of aggression unprecedneted in our nation's history and against the explicit will of the world and much of our own citizenry, with the willing aid of Big Media, which was hoping for some slack when it came time to overhaul the regulations at the FCC. Nothing to see here, folks, move along...

"In a real scandal, the scandalmongers ask, "What did the president know, and when did he know it?" but that does not easily apply in this case, in part because the administration's opponents cannot imagine the president as a mastermind of anything."
The Nation. The New Republic. The New York Times. Buzzflash. the LA Times. The San Francisco Chronicle. Even Richard Cohen at the Washington Post, who by and large supported the war. And Joel, read any Paul Krugman or Nicholas Kristof lately? What are you a


I would say your lies speak for themselves, asshole.

Tuesday, July 22, 2003

Got this from buzzflash, too funny:
"I think all foreigners should stop interfering in the internal affairs of Iraq."

-- Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz,

as quoted by Reuters on Monday July 21

Wednesday, July 16, 2003

Haroon Siddiqui writes a great editorial here.
Please add to the list of "not interested in helping you out of the mess you've created for yourself" our friends at NATO. THAT was certainly unexpected. Still waiting for the Transylvanian Flying Vampire Brigades to volunteer...
General John Abizaid, the new fella in charge of Central Command says "U.S. Troops in Iraq Facing Guerrilla Warfare," according to the New York Times. As in angry Iraqis with guns and missiles, not large silverbacks throwing rocks and rotten fruit.
Uhh... hey guys? Hey-- hey guys? Guys?!?!
Could I have some money?
Yes it seems that, after prosecuting a war that only the US government wanted int he face of international opposition, the cost of occupation is a wee bit more than we can handle (it probably doesn't help that we've cut billions out of our revenue to help pay for it, but hey if it falls on the poor and the middle class, who gives a shit). So now, after the ignominy of getting our troop requests rejected by India, France, and German (not withstanding the maybe-sorta-kinda help from plucky Romania, who desperately needs US money), we are going hat in hand asking for help with the reconstruction. And again, a number of countries aren't quite sure they want to sign up for it. At the very least, they want some say in how the money is spent, and no one really wants to be helping to pay for occupation.
Go figure: it's the law of unintended consequences. When you start bullying people around and acting like a general ASSHOLE, eventually people don't want to play ball anymore. Like the Canadians, who after being threatened with "punishment" by Richard Perle and Paul Cellucci, legalized gay marriages, established a tres liberal immigration policy, and legalized medical marijuana. Ouch! That certainly wasn't expected, was it?
Memo to other countries: DO NOT HELP US FINANCIALLY IN IRAQ!! It is Bush's mess, so let his government pick up the tab. I realize it will hurt us Americans at home, but the administration needs to face the music. A few weeks ago Grover Norquist, who heads a group called Americans For Tax Reform, said that his group would love to see a US state go bankrupt. According to the Times article linked above, occupation is costing $3.9 billion a month, twice what was estimated. We've got $7 billion set aside, the UN has earmarked $1 billion, and Congress set aside $2.4 billion for reconstruction (through Bush's buddy Bechtel). This money will run out by the beginning of next year. I repeat, PLEASE DO NOT HELP WITH THIS EFFORT. By not helping us, you will make it more likely that Bush will be forced to rescind his tax cut that is ruining our economy. By not helping, you will hasten the day that this incompetent shithead is evicted from the Oval Office in which he is illegally squatting.
here's this interesting little NY TImes story in which the Republicans are trying to say that all the anger over the uranium lie is "just politics."
My own fellow, Mr. Specter also believes this, or at least he says so. "They have the potential to hurt, unless they are firmly and forcefully and frequently answered," said Senator Arlen Specter, Republican of Pennsylvania. "I don't think you can let any of this go unanswered. And I don't think the president is going to take any of this lying down."

I don't think I'm going to take it lying down either. The first thing will be the inevitable call to Mr. Specter's office, posing as a relative of a recently dead US soldier in Iraq. Then will be the letter to the editor.
Arlen Specter is a piece of garbage, and everyone knows it.

"When will the 3rd Infantry come home? Not in August as expected. Not in September as promised. For Christmas? Well, we can't say. Army spokesman Richard Olsen at Ft. Stewart described it in this oblique way: 'The time frame has gone away, and there is no time frame.'"
This is the third time in recent weeks that I've read of angry and worried military families. Newsday did a nice bit on it a few weeks ago, and the Times did as well, and here it is in the Augusta Chronicle. I can't find the other two articles, but apparently the wives of about 800 soldiers freaked out on a colonel at a base in Georgia to the extent that the poor sap had to be escorted from the briefing room.
So Americans are getting picked off at about 1 or 2 per day in Iraq. Well, this patriotic American says "so what?" There are a LOT of Americans; we're a big country. The administration makes a lot of the fact that Iraq is a big country, "the size of California," but America is even bigger than THAT! America is a country that is so big, California only represents a portionof the country, and not even the biggest (in the lower 48, that distinction goes to Texas, although Alaska is the largest land mass). If we all get together and fuck like bunnies, we can climb out of this hole. Instead of "Bring 'em on," Mr. Bush will be able to use a tried and true corporate motto: "Kill all you want, we'll make more!"
Now to be fair to the poor sap in Georgia who got yelled, there is a line of thinking coming out that the military themselves were duped. You keep hearing soldiers saying things like "we were sent to topple Saddam Hussein's regime, and we're not trained to be peacekeepers; when can I come home," suggesting that people weren't exactly adequately informed. Of course, with no postwar plan in place, how could they have been?

Andf by the way, speaking of lies, does ANYONE read Max Boot's idiotic rantings in the LA Times without barfing?
Let's go over some of Max's "points" (I can't promise you how far we'll get, because one gets tired of reading such claptrap).
"I'm outraged. I can't believe the president would try to distract attention from his domestic problems by attacking foreign regimes based on suspect intelligence. He should be impeached!

Actually he already was. I'm referring of course to Bill Clinton, who in 1998 bombed terrorist bases in Afghanistan, a pharmaceutical factory in Sudan and various sites in Iraq in the midst of the Monica Lewinsky mess.

The evidence that the Sudanese plant was actually making nerve gas for Osama bin Laden — as Clinton claimed — was subsequently discredited. Yet Democrats rushed to his defense. "We believe the president acted correctly and responsibly," House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt and Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle said in a joint statement."

OK... first of all, I think the events of September 11 have vindicated Mr. Clinton's attack on Osama bin Laden. And let us also NOT forget Republican naysayers on Kosovo, Bosnia, and the rest of the Balkan affair.
Second of all, Mr. Clinton's lies about Ms. Lewinsky hurt only his family and Ms. Lewinsky (for which he was impeached although not convicted). Mr. Bush's lies have already killed upwards of 100 US Troops and injured over 1000 more. plus, Mr. Bush was warned by the Clinton administration about bin Laden and did nothing, so that's 3,000 more Americans killed under Mr. Bush's watch.

But it's quite a leap to go from faulty information to charges that the president deliberately lied.

Yes Maxy, but Joseph Wilson told Mr. Cheney the evidence was bogus. And Mr. Tenet did the same, despite his bizarre falling on his sword for an illegitamte president who didn't even appoint him. And Rand Beers says Mr. Bush is full of shit. Does Mr. Bush's cabinet not share any information with him? or is Mr. Bush asleep at the wheel? Either way, Mr. Boot, the evidence is pretty damning.

Those 16 words were carefully hedged. Bush didn't claim that Hussein tried to get uranium in Africa; he claimed that the British government said he had. Which is perfectly true.

I guess that depends on what your definition of "is" is. Oh wait, no one accepted that line from Clinton; why do you accept it from Mr. Bush? Oh, that's right, I remember now: it's because you live up to your last name. You Mr. Boot, are a toadying, bootlicking, partisan hack scumbag.

What about the Democrats? Have they concluded that the war was all a big mistake and we should hand Iraq back to Hussein? I think not. In other words, they want to launch ad hominem attacks on the president while basically supporting his policies. Isn't that what they accused Republicans of doing in the 1990s?

Sigh... Mr. Boot, the alternative would be to let Iraq descend even further into a morass. Which means more terrorism and instability. Holding one's nose and dealing with reality is not the same as "supporting" the policies. Max, you ignorant slut.
OK, enough of this tendentious business. Max Boot sucks.

Concentration camps in Baghdad? Some Canadia site says so. I don't doubt it.
You have to give the Bush administration credit: give them lemons and they'll make lemonade (or some kind of yellow liquid).
You would figure that India's decision not to send 17,000 troops to Iraq would be a real downer. But wait! As the New York Times reports today, front page below the fold, plucky Romania is stepping up to the plate! They may be the poorest nation in Europe, but they sent a whole 400 troops to Afghanistan! And they might be willing to help out in Iraq! Of course, you'll notice there's no commitment explicitily stated in the article, but hey, Romania's maybe, possibly, sorta-kinda on board!
Now if the adminsitration can only get Transylvania to volunteer their brigade of flying vampires, we'll win the hearts and minds and blah blah blah.

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

Every once in a while you see something that makes you pause and say "America just fucking rules."
No, it's not XFL football. No, it's not the indiscriminate slaughter of tens of thousands of civilians in a penny-ante Middle Eastern dictatorship that's swimming in oil. No, it's not the manly form of George W. Bush. Silly reader, all of these are cause for SHAME SHAME SHAME.
I was heading home from the South Philly Home Depot with a carload of things I needed for the house: compact flourescent bulbs (a three-pack is going for only $4.00, an amazing price. These 14 watt bulbs put out as much light as a 65 watt incandescent and last 6 times as long!!), a weed wacker, and cleaning supplies, when I thought to myself, Brendan, a steak would taste REALLY good right now. I hung a right and then another right, and found myself parking in front of Pat's Steaks, where i stood in line with everyone else and put inmy order for American wit' (to youse who don't live in Philly, that means a cheesesteak with American cheese with fried onions). Most of the people in line were the Italian American crowd you see in South Phluffya, lots of families and kids. As I was munching my steak, a minivan pulled up and out came a stereotypically short Asian guy and his very pregnant wife. Jabbering away at each other in some language I can't identify, it was pretty clear this couple was pretty new to the US. I watched as they stood in line, and clearly heard through heavily accented English, "One wit, Whiz, one wit', provie" (2 cheesesteaks with fried onions, one with Cheez-Whiz, the other with provolone). They got their steaks in a bag that began to leak steak grease, got in the car and pulled away. It made me think of what it must have been like for the Jews, Italians, Germans, Swedes, Finns, Poles, etc etc that have come to our country in the past seeking work, freedom, a better life, what have you. The way going to Coney Island or seeing a movie was a big thing for recent immigrants in the 20s.
I imagine this couple going home and sitting in front of the TV, watching an ethnic broadcast on cable or studying for their citizenship exams, chowing down greasy cheesesteaks from Pat's, and it reminds me that no matter how obscenely our representatives act, no matter how disgusting George W. Bush and his cabal of Nazis are, there is something truly wonderful about our country that brings more and more people here.
I just hope that we're able to save it from its government.
In the interest of expediency, I'll sidestep the commentary and just call today's post:


16 Words, and Counting
Pattern of Corruption
Uranium Quicksand
Black Thursday For Bush
A presidential whodunit
The Iraq blame game
Dug - Up Iraqi Parts' Potential Faces Doubt
President Defends Allegation On Iraq
Bush misled public, and military, about war in Iraq
Blame Tenet? He's just trying to please his boss
DeLay, FAA Roles in Tex. Redistricting Flap Detailed
Troops' Homecoming Plans Nixed
P-I Focus: Power of presidency resides in language as well as law
Truth camouflaged by word games (originally in the Sunday NY Times)
Political death of a usurper
US row casts shadow over Blair
Straw: uranium forgery source unknown
MPs in final bid to force inquiry
'Why didn't alarm bells ring?'
Agencies hit by row over Iraq weapons,7371,998529,00.html
Bush and Blair on the ropes
Military families wait, worry
Bush defends invasion of Iraq
India won't send troops to Iraq
A Firm Basis for Impeachment
Unexplained Leaps
Buck Should Stop With the Tenant of the White House

U.S. Delays Pullout in Iraq
For cryin' out loud, even Merle Haggard's pissed off!
Bush Backs U.S. Intelligence as Questions Persist
U.S. Chicken Giveaway Doesn't Fly in Fallouja
Diplomat: U.N. Thinks British Proof Based on Fakes
Editorial | Weak excuse
France Rules Out Sending Troops to Iraq

... and I suppose that's about enough for now, though I could do this all day. I realize that just the other day, I remarked upon the fact that there are more than enough political sites out there and there's nothing more I can say. But sometimes, you just have to celebrate.

Monday, July 14, 2003

Excerpts from my Dad and I emailing today.

To: Dad:
Remember how yesterday I mentioned that India's response to "please help us in Iraq" was "we'll think about it"? Well, they thought about it. And the answer is "NO."

What was your phrase last night. "it's your mess, YOU clean it up!" Oh, and TIME magazine has jumped on the "Bush Lied" bandwagon. While I appreciate that, I am beginning to have darker cynical thoughts.

I think big media knew all the time that the war was premised on bullshit, but their logic was not so much, "war is good for business," as it was "and if it goes wrong, so is the ensuing investigation and impeachment hearings."

It's all about the nielsens....

To which my father responded, in amuch saner voice,

I think you are absolutely right that the major media knew, or at very least strongly suspected that the Bush case for bullshit. I do not think their pathetic behavior can be explained so simply as "war is a good story". Frankly, I think they were all intimidated. They didn't want to seem unpatriotic or be branded as liberal whiners.

To Dad:
I don't know. I go overboard with media criticism sometimes. I do believe that either way media profits.

One thing that was suggested among the people actively opposing the FCC consolidation plot was that the media was giving the administration a pass on the war for looking the other way on deregulation, a quid pro quo of sorts (as you may recall, word of the then-upcoming FCC vote wasn't on the CBCNBCCBSCNNETC, Inc family of networks until a few days before the vote, at which time it was practically a done deal).

CBCNBCCBSCNNETC, Inc will profit either way. If impeachment ever did go down with this one, you can be sure you'll see the same dramatic graphics and shallow talking heads.

I don't know if I'm correct or paranoid or wacky or not, but I can certainly see it happening. Which I suppose is better than the administration getting away with it.

(On the other hand, sometimes you have to love the disgusting lurid media, especially in cases like this vicious New york Post Headline, NEIL BUSH ADMITS ASIAN FLINGS . Quote of the day "Where are the family values," goes to Sharon Bush herself, as she gave the story to the Post's gossip columnist.)

Friday, July 11, 2003

Oh and this is also jolly. Now the Pentagon is claiming that the chaos in Iraq is "the unavoidable consequence of a triumphant war plan," according to Michael Gordon at the New York Times.
Riiiight. It's a barometer of how preposterous a claim that is that the author himself scoffs at it in the article. What a bunch of poops. Someone should flush Rumsfeld down one of those Parison pay pissoires I mentioned 10 minutes ago.
Just because.
And hey, the Philadelphia Daily News published my letter!
They did an article on Monday about public urination in Philly. It was right to the point: people piss everywhere in our city, and I'm one of them. that's one of the benefits of being a guy: if there's a line for the bathroom, you can always run out, find a dumpster to stand behind and pee away. Thing is of course is it makes the city stink. And if you're downtown and you're not willing to spend a couple of bucks on a cup of coffee or a drink, you kind of have no choice BUT to pee in the street, as most businesses reserve their bathrooms for patrons only. the answer is public pay toilets, a la Paris. Yes, I know we hate the French these days (well, some of you stupid motherfuckers hate the French; I personally love those frog-eating, beret-headed nuts and their Eiffel Tower and their wine too), but at least since the 1980s, they got wise to the Seine smelling like a sewer and put up these great self-cleaning toilets. When I was 14, my family took a trip to Europe, and I gotta tellya, i was super-impressed with these shitters. Not only did they clean themselves, they looked like something Dr. Who should be flying around in. Plus, the toilets had recordings of American rock from the 1950s piped into the sanctum pooptorum. There is nothing like getting serendaded by Fats Domino's "Blueberry Hill" while taking a leak in a cement time machine toilet. Not even Bill gates' plans for internet toilets beat that.
So anyway, I wrote a letter to the editor and it got published. Whoopee, my big moment of fame and it's about piss.
Well, it's been a week or so since I wrote anything of substance here. I suppose it'll be sometime until the next one too. Or perhaps not...

When I first started doing this "blog" shit, it was because my friends got tired of getting email after email after email from me about this or that particular political shenanigan. And they were right of course, and therfore encouraged me to blog.
Thing is, I'm more interested in passing articles along, kind of Paul Revere style. And while I like writing political commentary, not only am I not disciplined enough to do it every day, there are SO many people who do a better job. Like Josh Marshall's talking points memo page. This week, like last week, he's focusing on the ramifications and maneuvering behind Bush's "yellow cake uranium from Niger" lie. The story is thankfully picking up some legs, and the Bushies' reaction has been paranoid. They're trying to lay the blame on EVERYONE: Condi is saying it's CIA Director George Tenet's fault, the National Review (edited by right-wing homophobe Jonah Goldberg, son of right-wing partisan hack Lucianne "I hate Bill Clinton" Goldberg) is smearing Joseph Wilson, who broke the fake uranium story on the Times Op-Ed page, Colin's saying all sorts of shit, and even Ari Fleisher is sounding confused. I mean, who can compete with fucking Marshall? I stand in awe.
No, my particular talent is for making crank calls and reporting what I said.
That said, there is no excuse for what the administration did and is doing in Iraq. No excuse. Lying is not OK, no matter how bad the dictator is.

Wednesday, July 02, 2003

I made a few calls to various news organizations a few weeks ago, as was kind enough to publish all their addresses and phone numbers at their site.
One email I sent out was particularly aggressive. I emailed Sue Bunda, a vice president at CNN telling her that my mother's family had died because of a US cluster bomb, and I sent her some absolutley horrifying pictures of dead Iraqi children, claiming one was my sister. The next day I called her, and before long we were in a shouting match on the phone.
Was it fair on my part? Well, no of course not. I was lying through my teeth, I sent them offensive pictures. Was it worth it? HELL YEAH! I got priceless gems form this conversation, which I wish I had taped.
The diamond was "Why are you blaming me? I have nothing to do with the news." "Nothing to do with the news? YOU'RE A VICE PRESIDENT AT CNN! EVERYTHING YOU DO IS NEWS!
So anyway, about a day after that I got a call at work from some guy, who called repeatedly asking me "what's your point?" and threatening my job. I told him to get fucked. And then I wrote Sue this letter, which she has yet to respond to.
Fuck CNN.

Hi Sue,

I received a few phone calls from someone at CNN
claiming to have talked to my boss and asking what the
point of my call yesterday was. I offered him my home
phone number to discuss the issue, but he told me he
didn't work after 5:00. That's his problem I guess; I
work 9 to 5 and then volunteer my time to a large
number of causes. In another paragraph, I will take
this opportunity to tell you the point of my phone
call. Also, you are more than welcome to call me at
home if you want to discuss the matter
further. I'm usually home by 5:30 PM.

Before anything else though, let's make one thing
clear: I only called you once, and that can hardly be
considered harassment. And there's no law against
emailing anyone; I get unsolicited email every day,
and it usually involves something i'm not interested
in, pyramid schemes and the like. An email calling
you and the company you represent to task for poor
reporting and egging on an illegitimate war is hardly
harassment. Some guy with a scary voice isn't going
to scare me off.

I called you because, like many people, I have grown
tired of and angry with for-profit news media that
serves more to parrot the government line and its own
interests than to honestly inform the public. When I
saw the pictures that came out of Iraq of those
children, I was... how would you put it? "Shocked and
awed?" And disgusted and heartbroken, as I think any
human being with a soul would be. And as the "weapons
of mass destruction" claims have fallen apart bit by
bit, I have become completely and utterly fed up.
Some people do horrible unconscionable things when
they get angry,like Tim McVeigh or Osama bin Laden.
Other more rational types, like me, write letters and
make phone calls. This is symptomatic of a healthy
and informed populace. As a vice-president at CNN,
you (and the rest of the executives there) surely have
some say in news policy. It therefore strikes me that
you are to some degree answerable to the public you

I am not sorry if the pictures I sent you or the story
I told you disturbed you. War is a horrible action
that kills people. If you can't deal with that, then
maybe you should get out of the news business. CNN
was not aggressive at all in contesting the
administration's stories about weapons of mass
destruction, and was very aggressive about NOT
covering the massive protests that went on around the
world (take back the media has a nice animation about
that story). You treated americans like children,
refusing to show pictures of what our bombs did
(pictures that were widely available to ANYONE with
access to the internet or the BBC).

Again, if you can't stomach the results of your
employer's actions, or you can't take the heat when
you're called to task about them, maybe it's time to
get out of the news business. In my opinion, human
beings, even those brown-colored ones in Iraq, are
more important than ratings.

Brendan Skwire