Archive for July, 2006

Poisoning the well.

Jul 31, 2006 in Christian Right, Clueless Conservatives, Environment, Global warming, Uncategorized, War on Terra

The LA Times has the second of a two part series up concerning the damage already done to the environment. Since there seems to still be those that think that there is a “debate” regarding global environmental destruction and climate change it’s a jaw-dropping look at what has already happened as a result of human encroachment upon specific biological systems.

I’ve always thought that one of the most dangerous components of the far-right ideology is their insistence that they hold dominion over the earth and its inhabitants and that they can therefore shirk their duties as good stewards. By their logic they live on a disposable planet. They are the chosen ones and since God has limitless power it follows that God also has provided them with limitless resources. Add in the conviction that we are in the End Times and all true believers are going to ascend to a better place (so why worry about this earthly realm?) and you have a recipe for disaster.

-mg

Go go Gadget Greenwald!

Jul 30, 2006 in Clueless Conservatives, Glenn Greenwald, Iraq, Politics

The man unleashes the laser cannon in his brain yet again, causing glorious destruction to rightwingers:

They used their militaristic posture in Iraq — and the “appeasing weakness” of opponents of the invasion — to win two consecutive national elections. And now that the extent of the damage they created is too glaring to be denied, they want to walk away from it all, insist that it’s unfair to hold them accountable for it, and hope that the media moves on to more interesting and exciting adventures than the plodding, depressing collapse of Iraq.

Yep. Two elections of calling us pussies, not over Afghanistan, but over Iraq. Now Iraq is just one issue out of many, as long as the others are gay marriage, abortion, flag burning, etc.

The real question is how many Americans have completely swallowed up by pure malicious buffoonery? Can senses be recovered by November, or are we about to reel into the abyss?

-jb

Turd in the water.

Jul 29, 2006 in Very rare movie reviews

And it ain’t a baby ruth, man.

All I can say is that my fiancee dragged me to see Lady in the Water.  And for some strange reason, she enjoyed it greatly, even shedding rather loud tears at the emotional climax.  What behavior followed next from me serves as an admirable lesson on how to retain the affections of the female species in spite of overwhelming rational opposition to their tastes.

In other words, I largely kept my mouth shut.  But Davy Jones as my witness, has a fouler carcass ever polluted the realm of H2O?

In time it will be recognized that M. Night Shyamalan was never more than a one-hit wonder.  He is a craftsman, *not* an artist.  Somebody feed him good scripts and keep him under tight reign and we will see an improvement in the value of his name.  Otherwise, he is nothing more than a cautionary tale of a filmmaker grown too arrogant and bold by more than ten mile.

In other words, this movie is so full of shit on so many levels that it doesn’t even deserve a breaking down.  people get paid for such things, and Shyamalan clearly rejected such interventions, so what matter mine?

Ah, but here I am anyway.

Yeah, I certainly got it hammered into my skull that it was a bedtime story.  I had bone chips on my pants.  Yet all you need to know is in the first five minutes, when we are treated to an animated telling of the particular bedtime story.  It’s dull as shit.  I’m sure M. Night’s kids enjoyed it, I sure as hell enjoyed whatever the hell my mom told me when i was a tyke, but it was just one of those things you pull out of your ass on the fly.  It was a *terrible* basis for a film.

And seeing M. Night playing “a writer who will change the world” was really, really painful.  He’s a very weak actor in the first place, and the chutzpah in casting himself in that role is repulsive.

spoilers below: (more…)

One for you…two for me.

Jul 29, 2006 in Labor, Uncategorized

The spirit of bi-partisanship lives on within the Republican party. They have solved the conundrum surrounding the minimum wage issue by developing an equitable strategy that helps out everyone: raise the minimum wage from $5.15 an hour to $7.25 an hour over the next three years and in addition also exempt $5 million of an individual’s and $10 million of a couple’s estate taxes by 2015. Estates worth up to $25 million would be taxed at capital gains rates, currently 15 percent and scheduled to rise to 20 percent. Tax rates on the remainder of larger estates would fall to 30 percent by 2015. You see, everybody wins! Workers below the poverty line get an extra fifty bucks a week and the super-rich get a few extra million to throw around.

On the opposite end of the spectrum workers in Chicago have achieved a victory:

Defying Mayor Daley and challenging Wal-Mart and Target to follow through on their threats, a bitterly divided City Council voted Wednesday to require Chicago’s big-box retailers to pay employees a “living wage” of at least $10 an hour and $3 in benefits by 2010. …

“It affects a [90,000-square-foot] big box today. Does it affect someone with 50,000 square feet tomorrow [or] 25,000? … Everybody is for a living wage. But to only single out one unit — and they’re afraid they’ll move down. Next week, is it going to be something else? … Where do you stop? That’s the concern that I have … I have to keep sales tax here some way. It can’t all be on Michigan Avenue,” Daley said.

I haven’t looked at the numbers but I’m fairly confident that the bulk of retail purchases in the Chicago-land area aren’t made on Michigan Avenue. They’re made by the bread, milk and toilet paper buying masses everywhere else. Furthermore, big box retailers aren’t going to pick up and move out of town as some on the city council are suggesting. The idea that these companies are going to decide to ignore the gigantic Chicago suburban market is completely laughable.

Chief sponsor Ald. Joe Moore (49th) likened the living-wage campaign to President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s efforts 68 years ago to impose a 40-cent-an-hour minimum wage, outlaw child labor and mandate a 40-hour workweek.

“Our job is not to safeguard profits for the world’s wealthiest corporations. Our job is to look out for our constituents,” he said.

Moore scoffed at threats by Wal-Mart and Target to cancel their ambitious expansion plans for Chicago. “There is a buck to be made. A lot of bucks. They’ve saturated the rural markets,” he said.

…and they’re not going to hand valuable metro markets back over to small business owners just because they have to pay workers a living wage.

-mg

Surprise! Global warming skeptics accept payola.

Jul 28, 2006 in Environment, Global warming, Uncategorized

This wont come as a surprise to most but several academics are being paid to express doubts about the causes of global warming including mouth-breather favorite Patrick Michaels who has already been exposed to be a shameless hack on several occasions.

-mg

update: RealScience debunks the IREA paper.

Galbraith makes good.

Jul 28, 2006 in Iraq

Listen to another guy who thought Iraq was a great idea face blistering realities.

-jb

Who?

Jul 28, 2006 in Politics

Andrew Sullivan, who I love despite my differences, but in an abusive way where I only bring him up when I’m criticizing him:

(Bill Clinton)’s much more popular than (Hillary) is in the latest Gallup poll – and her unfavorability ratings haven’t budged much in six years. 52 percent of men have an unfavorable view of her. And the Dems want her to run? They can’t be serious, can they?

Dems want her to run?  Who?  The press wants her to run, Democrats like me are sitting around going, “Well, I guess she’s going to run,” but who really sits around wishin’ and hopin’ and prayin’ Hillary runs?  She barely exists to the grassroots, and the woman simply has no chance of winning.  She’s been sitting around cynically positioning and triangulating and calculating without expressing a shred of gusto or fight against Bush and the rubber-stamp Republican Congress, yet it won’t matter for five seconds when it comes time for the Rove-machine to target her.  It’ll be the most fun they ever had with an New England liberal senator.
She might have the potential to be a good president, and would clearly be better than any Republican candidate, but I’ve yet to hear any groundswell of people willing to sell a baby to have Hillary run.

-jb

The call goes out to Iowans.

Jul 24, 2006 in Local Politics, Outstanding Democrats, Politics

Can Iowans help Congress turn blue?  Howie Klein wants to know.  Vying for Jim Nussle’s seat is standard issue anti-middle class rubber stamp Republican Michael Whalen vs. progressive populist Bruce Braley.

Braley is a common sense problem solver with Main Street values, not an ideologue and not a Wall Street values kind of guy like his opponent. “I’m not running for Congress so I can take safe, comfortable positions that won’t change things for the better and improve the lives of people in my district and in this country.”

The invigoration of the netroots and liberal talk radio (especially Ed Schultz) has helped bring out in force the ordinary everyday Main Street progressives in the Democrat party, the ones who have always been the core of the party.  People like my folks, an ordinary farmer and nurse who are looked up to in the community, people with character and heart of the real variety rather than false piety.   Candidates like Braley, Jon Tester, Mark Warner, Brian Schweitzer, etc. are the real Democrats come out to talk real sense to the American people.

-jb

The New Drug War: Making Sure Americans Pay Full Price

Jul 24, 2006 in Drugs, Uncategorized

Seizures of drugs being imported from Canada are on the rise as US Customs is making a broad attempt to protect the profits of state-side manufacturers. It seems that the government is more concerned about the health of pharmaceutical corporations than they are the health of their own citizens and once more the conservative anti-free market movement has targeted businesses that seek to satisfy the demand for lower prices:

For their part, drug companies didn’t wait for Customs’ policy change to fight the imports. Canadian pharmacies serving Americans say the big pharmaceutical companies have starved them of inventory since 2003.

Sen. Nelson has asked the Senate’s Homeland Security Committee to look into allegations that British drug company GlaxoSmithKline PLC conspired with other big drug companies to put Canadian pharmacies that filled American prescriptions out of business.

The allegations stem from a civil lawsuit filed by Minnesota Attorney General Mike Hatch against Glaxo. The suit alleges that Glaxo “orchestrated a concerted pharmaceutical industry boycott of Canadian drug imports to protect drug company profits,” in violation of the state’s antitrust statutes. Large numbers of Minnesotans buy medicine in Canada.

Mr. Hatch has subpoenaed 45 secret documents from Glaxo that he says prove the conspiracy. According to people familiar with the case, the documents show that the boycott was first discussed by representatives from Glaxo and a half-dozen other big drug companies at a meeting in Boca Raton, Fla., in December 2002. At another meeting, representatives from the same companies met with federal officials and discussed using the threat of terrorism to dissuade seniors from buying Canadian drugs, these people say.

Glaxo has been fighting in court for two years to keep the documents confidential. The Minnesota Supreme Court is expected to rule in coming weeks on Mr. Hatch’s motion to make the documents public. A spokeswoman for Glaxo, Gail Renegar, says the company’s actions complied with U.S. law banning foreign drug importations and thus should exempt Glaxo from antitrust scrutiny.

This is how serious the administration takes the war on terror. Like any other despot they have no compunction about using the specter of terrorism to deter its own citizens from making choices that might endanger their profits. Note also that Glaxo is a British company which means that federal officials are looking to protect the revenues of foreign drug companies rather than the health of their own constituents.

-mg

The core of who they are.

Jul 23, 2006 in Christian Right, Clueless Conservatives, Glenn Greenwald, John Dean, Politics

You should already be reading Crooks and Liars, but some links are too important not to back up. Glenn Greenwald explains how John Dean has made the ultimate call on Bush administration and their loyal disciples like Brian Pickrell. It’s an authoritarian cult with no other principles. That might have seemed obvious to many of us before, but rarely has the case been laid out so beautifully.

Of course, Dean and Greenwald too have been targeted by the usual rightwing slime machine (that never looks at itself in the mirror), but the truth is that none of them will stand toe to toe. Just like Brian P., they’ll talk lots of shit from their own sites, but as soon as you confront them they beat that ground running.

Choice quote:

The Bush administration’s ability to engage in extraordinary and radical behavior has not occurred in a vacuum. The administration is radical and can act seemingly without limits because its supporters and followers are radical and limitless in their allegiance to its abuses. Understanding the disturbing and dangerous human dynamic which fuels that movement is critical to understanding the movement itself, and ultimately, to defeating it.

The thing is, you have to prepare for the fact that they will run back to their mob where they can throw rocks. They’re not going to accept a level playing field. They won’t acknowledge utter deconstruction of their every lie and misconstruance. Look at Bush’s debates with Kerry. He would get soundly trounced, and run straight back to his carefully selected crowds crowing like a mad rooster. The tactics of cowardice have become their primary tool set.

The only solution is to get more people to recognize this overall pattern of authoritarian cultism with no principle so they will stop trusting those who seek to manipulate them. And that’s going to have to start with the citizens, because our politicians sure as hell aren’t throwing the real fireballs. Republican politicians will gladly wave 9/11 around and call us friends of Saddam, but ours still behave like they’re at a tea party. Are they waiting for the independents? No, because most independents have caught on. Hell, most conservatives who are actually conservative know what’s going on. It’s just Bush’s loyal 33% and the elite media playing against them.

Only one kind of Democratic politician is going to change what’s going on: the take-no-shit kind. I didn’t know how to react to bullies when I was a kid, so I got bullied. Now I realize that if I go down swinging I’m less likely to get bullied a second time. I learned my lessons late, but the Democrat party is beyond that point. It’s time to grow up, chin up, and bring it to each and every talking-point Republican.

The fact that they were so eager for an authoritarian figure that they even accepted as depraved an idiot as Bush… these guys aren’t strong. They’re the weakest people on the planet.

-jb

It lives!

Jul 22, 2006 in Energy

The electric car is back, motherfucker!!!

A mere $60 million in start-up funds, collected from rich people who actually care about innovation- yes, of course, the internet moguls. The heads of Google, Ebay, Paypal, and others pitched in for Tesla Motors, Inc., and a few years later voila, a sweet-ass piece of electric road monster is rolling. 0 to 60 in four seconds, 200 mile range, 130 mph max and dead sexy. Right on.

Feedback from auto critics has been overall excellent, with one expected deviant idiot bastard who naturally gets ink:

“Why not just buy a Lotus Elise and use some of the $40,000+ you save to buy some gas?”

Nice one, Neanderthal Boy. Let’s keep sucking on that Middle East tit! Surely it will never run dry. And surely mass production won’t drive those prices down. Does that guy know anything?

Anyway, the way of the future is arriving from many other directions. Another decidedly less sexy but more affordable car, the OBVIO! models have similar stats and will show up for $50,000.

Someday, somehow, I will own an electric car. If things go well, you will too.

-jb

Update:  Video of the Tesla Roadster.

Because they’re not extremists, cont.

Jul 22, 2006 in Clueless Conservatives

Loose lips sinks ships:

The executive editor of Frontline, produced by Boston’s WGBH for the Public Broadcasting System, has taken exception to a new directive from PBS on how programs are to deal with language that could result in an FCC fine. Writing in Current magazine, Louis Wiley Jr. noted a paragraph in the directive saying that “if the F-word or the S-word were uttered to camera so that viewers could recognize it from the speaker’s mouth, the lips must be pixelated.” Wiley speculated that at first he imagined such pixelated scenes turning up on the late-night talk shows. “My next thought? If public television producers are forced to not only bleep words but also to pixelate lips, most will simply cut the scenes, no matter how powerful or relevant, rather than see them turned into a joke.” Wiley pointed out that last year, Frontline allowed the use of the F-word six times in one clip during a story about a U.S. infantry company in Iraq, when the company was hit by an explosive device. At the time, he said, he made the decision to leave the words in but to alert stations, since they could have been fined $32,500 per utterance. The fine is now 10 times greater. In the end, he said, only 14 stations agreed to run the unedited program. There were no complaints. Wiley concluded: “What is happening behind the scenes is self-censorship, or what I believe is really indirect government censorship. And that is precisely the problem. Editorial decisions that filmmakers, producers and station managers should make with due regard to their standards and those of their local communities are more and more being shaped by fear of a government agency.”

There is already pressure on satellite radio to have “standards,” most famously from internet genius “Those oil company executives don’t need to swear an oath to tell the truth!” Ted Stevens. Yes, even though you *pay* for your subscription, Jerry Falwell still needs to get in there and tell you what you can listen to.

-jb

Update: Marlee Matlin responds: “All I can say is I’ve been reading the lips of bleeped-out words, angry baseball players, and stoned-out rock stars on awards shows for years and it’s been HILARIOUS. Everyone is always asking me what the bleeped-out parts are saying. Just say no to pixelization! Hehe.”

Why does she hate America?

Postponing the pain

Jul 22, 2006 in Uncategorized

Technologies for alternative fuels have been advancing to the point where one new model can handle five different kinds of fuel, offering a choice between “hythane (10% hydrogen and 90% methane), biomethane, natural gas (CNG), bioethanol E85 (85% bioethanol and 15% gasoline) and gasoline.” All you have to do is toggle a switch between liquid or gaseous fuel.Variety automatically extends supply, although by how much is debatable, especially when factoring efficiency ratios.  These fuels are all fossil fuels or dependent on them.  None will offer the beautiful ratios of the energy-packed oil that teemed from the ground for the past hundred years.

It’s a good try.  Perhaps we’ll stretch out our supplies and keep the roads packed with cars that can use ever more varied kinds of fuel, but we’re not going to get trash-fusion powered cars ala Back To The Future.  Electrification is inevitable.
-jb

Enough already.

Jul 21, 2006 in Uncategorized

I swear that if I see another television commercial featuring Buddhist monk(s) with a laptop I’m going to punch somebody in the face.

-mg

A tale of two cities.

Jul 20, 2006 in Local, Uncategorized

My good friend Matt S. has always manned the front lines in the war to defend Ames, Iowa.  Not that he has to defend the town to me, necessarily.  I went to school at Iowa State University and have many fond memories (most associated with the conspicuous consumption of alcoholic beverages and recreational pharmaceuticals) of my years spent living there.  I mean, how many people can claim that they threw a party so raucous that it prompted the fire marshall to shut down the Lost and Found Lounge?  Still, my friend thinks that Iowa City folks have a pretentious attitude towards Ames and to be quite honest he’s probably right but I’ll never give him the satisfaction of admitting it because he’s one of my best friends.

Sure, there are a few things that Iowa City has that Ames doesn’t but overall I’d say you could boil the differences down to two distinct categories:

  1. Bars – We got more and…
  2. Girls – We got more of them to pack into the above

Beyond the obvous the differences can be seen in the recent treatment of Wal Mart and their efforts to open super centers in both cities.  In Iowa City there has been a heated debate as to whether or not we need another big box retailer sporting low wage jobs and shipping local money out of town.  Ames, on the other hand, is concerned with how Wal Mart is going to dispose of their filthy water.   Specifically, whether or not the waste water will poison some wells in the immediate vicinity of Ames or whether they should divert it to communities down stream.

-mg

Ralph Reed prayed for God’s assistance…

Jul 19, 2006 in Christian Right, Clueless Conservatives, Politics, Uncategorized

…and God said “no”.

Ralph Reed, the man who even Republicans are sick and tired of, has lost the Georgia Lieutenant Governor’s seat.  Better start looking for a conservative welfare gig like pinch-hitting for Fox News, Ralph.  It’s the only place you wont be identified as a complete moral degenerate.

-mg

Blindly tumbling, clutching at the eyes of the seeing…

Jul 18, 2006 in Clueless Conservatives, Media, Politics

Gregory Djerejian writes:

I’m taking in the major Sunday talk shows this AM, and I have to say it is manifestly clear we are facing a real leadership crisis in this country. How the level of debate has become this dumbed-down, or hyperbolic, or clueless, well I’m not quite sure, but we very clearly have a real problem on our hands.

C’mon, Greg, you don’t exactly need a history book here.  How did we get here?  We all know damn well how we got here and who’s responsible.  Where you see a conservative trying to put distance between himself and Bush, you get the most amazing bout of amnesia, rendering null your memories of January 2003:

Unfortunately, stereotypical perceptions are trumping rational analysis when it comes to European views of current U.S. foreign policy. Unaccustomed (since at least Ronald Reagan’s “evil empire”) to provocative language like “axis of evil,” “with us or against us” or “evil-doers,” European elites are focusing on Administration verbiage and rhetorical pronouncements rather than the manner that U.S. foreign policy is actually being implemented.

Oh, those stupid Europeans, they were stereotyping George W. Bush, focusing on his rhetoric.  Gregory then assumed that Bush actually had some deeper thoughts going on in his head, or that he had any policy beyond the rhetoric.  Three years later and Bush is still over his head without any more insight into the region or the forces he has stirred up inside it.  We have a faith-healer foreign policy, and those desperate to keep holding onto power have decided that the only remedy to the ills they’ve unleashed is to keep praying louder.

Gregory, you’re way too smart for this.  You know very well how we got here, and if you look back you’ll remember deriding those who tried applying the brakes.   More from Gregory’s recent post:

This is a country whose political class is rudderless just now–pretty much on both sides of the aisle–as events are overtaking people’s belief systems, modes of analysis, and general understanding of regional dynamics in the Middle East–and their impact on vital US interests. It’s a rather alarming spectacle, to be sure.

Of course, this Republican administration and Congress can’t be held responsible for a single thing without the Democrats being lumped in with them.  But let’s get subtle here, shall we Gregory?

Democrats did not drive this war, nor did they press for haste.  Even those who ended up handing the keys to Bush expressed doubts and reservations, and expectations that Bush would drive responsibly.  What we have now is Bush getting a DUI and blaming the friend who let him borrow the car.  To be accurate in the metaphor, Bush had already downed three beers.  Many of us knew he was already drunk and were trying to warn the friend from giving him the keys.  But the friend listened to Bush’s pleas, threats, and sweet nothings, and said, “It’s okay, I’m going to trust him.”

A giant thwack on the head to our Democratic representatives for that one.  But who’s still to blame?  The guy behind the wheel, inarguably.

The problem now is that there hasn’t been an accountability moment yet for anything that has transpired.  Nobody has been fired.  Nobody has been tossed out of office.  The press is still in full-steam “the left is nuts” mode, while the right has upped the game to calling for the execution of journalists and cheering on WWIII.  Apparently they excuse the drunk driver because he was under the influence, shame the friend for being so weak as to hand over the keys while sober, and dismiss those yelling “Don’t let him drive!” as party poopers.
We saw the future, and they can’t even see the past.  Sorry, folks, but that’s when it’s time to hand the keys over.

-jb

The Real Agenda – New York Times

Jul 17, 2006 in Clueless Conservatives, National Security, Uncategorized

The Sunday New York Times featured an editorial that effectively takes the Boy King and his administration to task for bungling the supposed War on Terra. While this administration is fond of striking the fife and drum pose, they say their intentions (and results, for that matter) have been largely askew. The NYT charges that the adminstration is more interested in expanding the role of the executive rather than in finding Osama bin Laden.

Enter Michelle Malkin with an ace analysis designed to get the mouth-breathers half-cocked and ready for some blogging fury:

Which side are they on? The New York Times settles the question definitively with a hysterical, unreality-based lead editorial today recycling the BDS attacks on the War on Terror–but even more so with this disgusting pictorial tribute to Iraqi terrorists killing American soldiers, spotted by the vigilant Charles Johnson at LGF.

Of course, the only thing hysterical about this entirely staid editorial is the typical far-right response to it. Not only hysterical but delusional. Keep in mind that the “traitor” brand was earned by the Times for printing a story concerning the “secret” monitoring of bank records. A story that the Wall Street Journal ran concurrently and was a well known fact considering that the president himself bragged about it several times before.

With GW’s poll numbers regarding the war on terror in the toilet the far-right seems to think that the recipe for success is more of the same.

-mg

Brian reports: Climate report one-sided, claims one man.

Jul 16, 2006 in Clueless Conservatives, Global warming, Politics

Who’s the most astoundingly stupid man in Iowa?

Brian!

Our own Roscoe P. Coltrane has the goods on those damned scientists!  A global warming special report with Tom Brokaw is ONE-SIDED!  “Aha!” cries Brian.

The source for the contention?  One Roger Pielke, Sr.

Aw, let’s give Brian credit.  Truth be told, he can count all the way up to two.  Homey Iain Murray has Pielke’s back!

Because Pielke is “one of the people who aren’t interested in pushing just one particular policy perspective,” his voice isn’t usually heard and “certainly won’t be heard in Brokaw’s documentary,” Murray noted.

Don’t you know, science is all about who the kool kidz are, not peer-reviewed studies.

Or, in reality, Brian is a Republican stool pigeon, Republicans are beholden to the polluters, and so he’ll latch onto any outlier he can find and ignore the overwhelming body of evidence standing against him.

Do you think Brian or any of his dittohead clones gives a shit about who has the best science?  It’s about who can tell him what he wants to believe.

Brian doesn’t understand that on any scientific issue you can always find a few contrarians willing to be “rebels,” because Brian doesn’t have any intention of understanding the scientific community he’s so opposed to.  He just wants to take a few dissenters and pretend there’s an even debate, when a lopsided victory has already taken place.  In a landslide, it’s the global warming crowd.

Of course, Brian surely agreed that 51% gave Bush a mandate, so we can see how fuzzy his math is.

-jb

More fun with those on pundit welfare.

Jul 15, 2006 in Clueless Conservatives, Politics, Uncategorized

It seems to me that NRO isn’t in the business of being any more accurate than an old woman throwing bones on the ground and speaking prophecy.  It’s their business to offer plausible deniability, to always be presenting a case that says “Hey, you don’t have to be a crazy rightwinger to believe crazy rightwing ideas…”

Consider the abandon with which reality is left behind here in this rationalization on the Plame matter:

Second, Novak’s version involves details of conversations that happened years ago, and it isn’t surprising that different people have different recollections of them. Bob Novak and Karl Rove disagree about what they said in their conversation. Karl Rove had a separate conversation with reporter Matt Cooper, and these two disagree about what they said. Matt Cooper had a separate conversation with Scooter Libby, and — one detects a pattern here — these two disagree about what they said. The natural tendency of people to have different recollections of the same event is hardly proof that Scooter Libby committed a crime.

It isn’t surprising that Rove or Libby have different memories of past conversations at all, indeed.   The NRO however seems to think they and the White House they work for are known for honesty.

Rev. Sun Myung Moonbats (the only true moonbats, just like he’s the One True Father) always offer such naivete in the face of their authoritarian daddies.  Sorry, NRO kids, but Uncle Karl’s hand *isn’t* looking for lollipops in your pants.

But it matters not that Karl Rove is a pathological liar and Scooter Libby is a worshipful henchman happy to fall on a sword for Master Cheney, because they tell the lies that soothe NRO’s ears.  Natural tendencies, indeed.
Not that anybody should place much credibility with Novak either, he carries Republican water as well as any stable boy, but he clearly admitted that Rove was a source.  Should it be considered accidental that Rove was a source on the same subject for Cooper?

The only thing that has kept Fitzgerald from more prosecutions is the plausible deniability of a gang of liars with suddenly fuzzy memories.  Libby got caught up lying, but obviously Karl Rove is more proficient at it, barely skating through.

Does that surprise anybody?

-jb

Free Darth Vader documentary download

Jul 15, 2006 in Media, Politics, Uncategorized

Dick Cheney, of course.  The documentary actually from PBS and in keeping with service to the public it’s entirely free and, unfortunately for rightwingers, fact-based.  The size is approximately 700MB; I downloaded it in an hour and a half.  DVD quality is always worth it.

-jb

Because they’re not extremists.

Jul 14, 2006 in Clueless Conservatives, War on Terra

After all, Al Queda could be sending secret messages to each other by yelling them at sports events.

In its continuing crackdown on on-air profanity, the FCC has requested numerous tapes from broadcasters that might include vulgar remarks from unruly spectators, coaches and athletes at live sporting events, industry sources said.

Tapes requested by the commission include live broadcasts of football games and NASCAR races where the participants or the crowds let loose with an expletive. While commission officials refused to talk about its requests, one broadcast company executive said the commission had asked for 30 tapes of live sports and news programs.

“It looks like they want to end live broadcast TV,” said one executive, who spoke only on the condition of anonymity. “We already know that they aren’t afraid to go after news.”

Seeing that it always takes people being directly targeted themselves to get their attentions aroused, let’s hope that the administration’s decision to go after live football finally sparks the mountain of kindling awaiting the public’s attention.

Given the non-event that was a couple seconds of Janet Jackson’s boob (OHMYGODITSABLACKTITTY!!!), the reaction is all the more eye-bleedingly aphid-scratchingly insane…

-jb

Republicans think that prescription drugs from Canada are going to provoke terrorists.

Jul 13, 2006 in Drugs, Uncategorized

A prescription drug bill that would allow for the creation of a loophole allowing some Canadian pharmaceuticals to enter into this country is being attacked by some Senate Republicans as a potential method of terrorist attack:

“Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) said the proposal was an attempt to push the FDA into reversing itself while ‘creating a massive hole on our capacity to secure our borders and protect ourselves.

If I were a creative terrorist, I would say to myself, `Hey, listen, all I’ve got to do is produce a can here that says “Lipitor” on it, make it look like the original Lipitor bottle, which isn’t too hard to do, fill it with anthrax,'” Gregg said, referring to the cholesterol-lowering drug.

No offense Judd but the easiest way for a terrorist to smuggle weaponry into the United States from Canada is in a bale of prime British Columbia hydroponic sensemilla.

-mg

Meme of the crop

Jul 12, 2006 in Clueless Conservatives, Media, Politics, Uncategorized

Well, despite running an absolutely terrible campaign and disrespecting his own party at virtually every juncture where it would actually matter, apparently Joe Lieberman cannot be challenged.  Do you like democracy?  Do you like primaries?  Do you feel like you should be able to throw out an incumbent once every couple of decades?

Sorry, you’re a ideological puritan!

The right now has their meme polished on the Lieberman affair, and it’s being spawned in the throats of millions of little dittoheads like Brian and the traditional media.  Lieberman supports the war, so those who support Ned Lamont are just as bad as the GOP’s lock-step rubber-stampin’ top-down asses.

As if.

Lieberman has had dozens of chances here, and he’s still blowing them.  It’s nobody’s fault but his that he’s cozied up to Bush, Cheney, Sean Hannity, and other rightwing nutwhackers like they were his brothers while slandering Democrats at every turn, even talking up Bush over Kerry in 2004.   It’s nobody’s fault but his that he’s been contemptuous of democracy and the concept of primaries, as if he automatically deserves his seat no matter what.  It’s nobody’s fault but his that he’s run a terrible Rovian campaign and lost the debate with Lamont while using Ronald Reagan’s favorite catchphrase.

All of this comes naturally to elites in the media and those on the right, because they have an ingrained contempt for bottom-up democracy, as well as a reflexive support of Bush’s policies.

It’s really simple:  it’s a Democratic primary, and Lieberman has campaigned for the support of Republicans while expressing contempt towards his own party.   What the holy hell do you expect?

The Democrats have dramatically widened their tent over the past several years.  Joe Lieberman would still be welcome in it even if he were supporting staying in Iraq longer.  He would just be expected to reasonably understand the positions of his party-mates and not go running to the kool(aid) kids on the right to lob shots at them every chance he gets.

But no, Joe’s been out there for himself at all times, not his Democrat constituents.

The contempt for democracy is hardly novel, however.  We’ve got a long way to go yet…

-jb

Little Green Footballs gets it wrong on Novak.

Jul 12, 2006 in Clueless Conservatives, Politics, Uncategorized, WTF?

I don’t know if you can get much more stupid than this:

Now at Drudge Report, Bob Novak says:

‘I learned Valerie Plame’s name from Joe Wilson’s entry in ‘Who’s Who in America’…

UPDATE at 7/11/06 3:34:58 pm:

Those tiny popping sounds you hear are thousands of moonbat heads exploding.

Tee hee! Those crazy moonbats!

Not so fast, Jethro! The problem with the above post is that it completely ignores the previous sentence that explains that his two informants (Karl Rove and his “Primary Source”) leaked Plame’s identity by referring to Joseph Wilson’s wife who they confirmed was working for the CIA (thus creating the “angle” for Novak’s story, get it?). Novak then made his amazing “Who’s Who” discovery. So Novak did not learn Plame’s identity because of his crack jounalistic skills rather, he got the information from his informers. I think that it’s safe to speculate at this point that the author of the above post didn’t read the full article.
The LGF squad has to be thinking that Novak had some pretty shitty lawyers if they can’t prove to a judge that he got the information from a public source. That or he’s another hapless victim of The Insidious Liberal Fifth Column. Knowing that conservatives absolutely love to play the victim I’ll go with the latter.

-mg

When Is a 14-Year-Old Girl a ‘Woman’?

Jul 12, 2006 in Clueless Conservatives, Media, Uncategorized

Believe it or not this is an issue.  We’re actually judging the severity of rape based upon how old the victim is.

-mg

Fishy McCarthy

Jul 12, 2006 in Clueless Conservatives, Uncategorized

Well, let’s hand it to Andrew C. McCarthy, the guy starts off with a bang:

The Supreme Court’s decision in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld is a national-security disaster.

Wow. Not just bad, it’s a disaster, like 9/11 or Iraq or something. Oh, wait, McCarthy thinks Iraq has been peachy for national security. Not only that, he thinks Iraq is about nothing except national security (from 2005):

But they are not the primary goal of this war, which is to destroy the network of Islamic militants who declared war against the United States when they bombed the World Trade Center on February 26, 1993, and finally jarred us into an appropriate response when they demolished that complex, struck the Pentagon, and killed 3000 of us on September 11, 2001.

That is why we are in Iraq.

Back to Hamdan. Here’s the explanation:

Hamdan is a disaster because it sounds the death knell for the National Security Agency’s Terrorist Surveillance Program (TSP), the early-warning system developed by the Bush administration to ward off a reprise of 9/11 by penetrating the enemy’s wartime communications.

Damn, damn, double-damn. President Bush was getting to the bottom of this terrorism problem with his plan to surveil all Americans; laws, privacy and Constitution be damned, and the Supreme Court had to go and remind us that the President is constitutionally bound to obey all laws. Triple-damn!

Really, we all know that we could end terrorism tomorrow by allowing government to bug all of our phones, computers and abodes. Where would they hide? Nowhere, that’s where! If we don’t allow this to happen, we will be killing Americans!
Oh, hold on, drop that constitutional mumbo-jumbo right now, McCarthy’s got some news for you!

…an implication that would have horrified the Framers: The president’s power to safeguard the United States from external threats is dependent on Congress’s willingness to “authorize” protective measures. Our forebears knew better. They had lived through over a decade of the Articles of Confederation. They had seen national security by committee. They well understood that it was no national security at all.

Obviously, since it was two years later that we reached a truce with Britain.

Of course they were wary of executive power’s tyrannical proclivities — that’s why they divided powers and left Congress in charge of the purse strings (among other things). But the Framers realized the need, in times of crisis, to concentrate the nation’s protective arsenal in a single set of hands, the president’s.

McCarthy has clearly gone mad or turned to drink. Assuming he has ever read the Constitution, he’s forgotten nigh every word of it and replaced it with right wing blatherous swill. Here are some of the “other things” the Constitution grants to Congress:

Clause 11: To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

Clause 12: To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

Clause 13: To provide and maintain a Navy;

Clause 14: To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

Clause 15: To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

Clause 16: To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

Sound like a single set of hands to you? Of course not. McCarthy’s answer, obviously, would be that we’re in a “time of crisis.” Um, no, we’re not. We’ve got people that hate us, who would like to find some way to attack us. When does that end? Never. That’s not a crisis, that’s life. And we’ve got it a lot better than many other nations, not to mention a few that have suffered under our hands.

More importantly, the Constitution requires the President to execute the laws, not fucking make them up as he goes along:

(The President) shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed…

At this point, you must simply wonder, what the holy hell is McCarthy talking about?

And if he isn’t basing any of this on what the Founding Fathers actually thought or wrote, what is he basing it on?

Hard reality? Nah:

…the Bush administration’s TSP authorizes the interception of any communications across national borders between persons reasonably suspected of al Qaeda ties and any others — even if those others are in America. Especially if those others are in America. It is the ones in America that can kill Americans.

Holy smokes. McCarthy doesn’t know that this is blatantly false, long ago proven incorrect? Sure he does. That’s why we get “Al Queda ties and any others.” Any who? What? Eh? Where’s the fence on this ranch, pardner?
There is no fence. The Constitution does not guide these people. Reality does not guide them (thus national security doesn’t). Just ideology. Look again, if you don’t believe me:

…although the TSP does not comply with FISA, that did not make it illegal.

See? He’s blinkers, mate!

Those familiar with the tack the right has taken on the courts in recent years know full well that being Republican or conservative means virtually nothing to them. The “liberal activist” judges have for years been conservative Republicans sticking to the Fathers and the Constitution. Par for the course, Justice Kennedy, the last sane conservative on the bench, is now their final target.

Yet, under the Kennedy theory, only by governing as if we were always in crisis could the political branches ensure that the powers specially needed for crisis would be available when threats finally arise.

Funny, McCarthy has tied himself in so many knots he’s forgotten that he just specifically claimed this was all about us being in a time of crisis. That’s exactly what McCarthy and Bush and the right have proposed: indefinite crisis, neverending. No benchmarks, no scorecards, just an eternal threat, as long as there is a 1% chance, or a .001% chance that we could be in danger.

…what if a president, or Congress, is wrong? What if the president signs a flawed law?

Zoinks. Thank God for the wisdom of George W. to protect us!

McCarthy’s premise for this article is that Congress being able to “fix” things (presuming one thinks they are broken) isn’t good enough. The whole premise behind the defense of Bush is that he couldn’t go to Congress to get the laws changed. Not only that, but that Congress can’t even be reasonably informed about what Bush is up to. Yet the obvious answer to this question is that Congress can amend laws, and indeed was told that FISA, amended after 9/11, needed no further amendment. So the answer is obvious, if Congress thinks a law is a problem, Congress can fix it. If the president thinks so, he can wield influence with Congress to fix it. In today’s rubber-stamp Congress, we are to believe that this was a problem?

So why the trickery? Is he deliberately trying to keep the reader off of solid ground?

Yep.

Hamdan’s imperial Congress is not the system the Framers bequeathed us. For them, national security was dependent on vibrant, independent presidential authority, able to fend off what Hamilton (in The Federalist No. 73) aptly described as “[t]he propensity of the legislative department to intrude upon the rights, and to absorb the powers, of the other departments[.]” Thus did Madison (in The Federalist No. 48) warn of “the danger from legislative usurpations, which, by assembling all power in the same hands, must lead to the same tyranny as is threatened by executive usurpations.”

Boy, an imperial Congress! A meddling Court! An Executive denied his rightful powers!

It almost makes sense, as long as you don’t let the actual Constitution interfere with it. According to McCarthy, the president is king. If he feels like something is good for national security, that’s it. Congress has no say, the Supreme Court has no say, neither has the duty of oversight. The actual words of the Constitution are irrelevant, just the soundbite version of it, the “He’s commander-in-chief, get it!?!?” version. If George Bush isn’t allowed to be king, then that makes Congress king, or the SC king, or whatever line of bullshit you can imagine.

In the end, this article is pure snake-oil, elaborately constructed around fundamental premises which crumble like cookies upon the slightest inspection. As per usual, in the right wing universe.

-jb

If they didn’t lie, they’d have to stop talking.

Jul 12, 2006 in Clueless Conservatives, Uncategorized

All apologies for my brief vacation.  I found five seasons of The Simpsons and Futurama on sale for fifteen bucks a piece and, well, St. Ides malt liquor was on sale at the corner store for 99 cents a can, so, you know…

Anyway, upon returning to this thing taking up space on the wall (I’m told it’s called a “computer”), I thought the surest way to find blogging material was to catch Republicans lying or spouting deranged nonsense.  Naturally I checked out Iowa Voice, because although Brian P. Diddy tells himself that he’s cool because we’re so obsessed with him, it’s really because he offers the easiest, fattest, most simple-headed target out there on the entire Internet.  Brian is welfare for liberal bloggers.

But after scanning his page and seeing pages of easy material, stuff so stupid that you truly couldn’t make it up, logical holes wider than the ones in Brian’s donuts, and in general a very strange belief that it’s all okay because conservatives wear suits, I realized this was just child’s play, and that I owe the seven people we know that read this blog better, especially after such a filthily lazy couple of weeks.  To go after Brian would be just more laziness.

No, far more worthy is to go after the godless priests who Brian wants to be like when he grows up.  Who better than the righty welfare grubbin’ National Review?  That’s exactly who Brian wants to be.  No requirements for intellectual depth, honesty, or originality.  Just a shiny picture of his ugly mug all dressed up to remind us that conservatives wear suits because they have no style, and a license to lie as freely and frequently as long as he maintains that low-key tone in order to provide cover for the spit-flecked hordes braying for war or licking King George’s bootheels.

Why go after the amateur idiots like Brian, who only do so because they realize that relentless idiocy, lying, and manipulation not only get rewarded, but can get you into the Oval Office (having a rich daddy who was already president helps though)?

Let’s go after the professionals.  After all, they’re just as stupid, and at least they can justify not responding due to their popularity.  Little is more sickening that “No comments!” Brian’s idiotic posing over on his site, when everybody knows he has gotten his ass handed to him every time he’s popped over here.  Every other post from him is about how “unhinged” the left is, but just like Rush Limbaugh, get him out from behind his little fort and he’s a complete pants-wetting mess.

I’ll start a new post for this, but it’s NRO moosehead Andrew C. McCarthy and his river of tears over Hamdan‘s conclusion that George W. Bush actually isn’t our king…

I know, fish in a barrel still.

-jb

I need some volunteers.

Jul 11, 2006 in Agriculture, Energy, Environment, Uncategorized, War on Terra

I’m looking for some volunteers.   In order for biofuels to reach their full potential ninety five out of one hundred of you are going to have to stop driving:

But all this is barely a splash in the tank of energy demand. Even if the US devoted all its corn to ethanol and all its soybeans to biodiesel production,“ which would cause widespread food shortages,“ the resulting biofuels would cover less than 5% of US gasoline and diesel fuel needs, they calculate.

“Those two sources are always going to be minor supplies of those fuels,” says Tilman. “Turning what is already a globally limited quantity of food into energy is not a very good option in the long term.”

Goddammit!   I was really enjoying all of those GM and Ford commercials that feature pretty people in pretty cars promising a pretty planet.   The bottom line is that all the switch-grass on the globe isn’t going to keep the airline industry, Disneyland, Wal-mart and a million TiVos running indefinitely let alone keep the fat kids parked in front of the tube full of Doritos and Pepsi.   What’s more problematic is that a rather sizable portion of the population refuses to accept the possibility that they may have to do without.

-mg

The Wall Street Journal editorial board are a bunch of pansies.

Jul 09, 2006 in Clueless Conservatives, Journamalism, Uncategorized

As JB has pointed out before, it’s essential for conservatives to keep making noise regardless of how embarrasingly wrong they might be. Such is the case concerning the story related to the Bush administration’s bank activity tracing schemes that was run concurrently by several news outlets including the Wall Street Journal who, after running their own version of the story on the same day as the Times, later went on the offensive claiming on their Op-Ed page that the NYT doesn’t take the “war on terror” seriously.

Frank Rich of the NYT has written a scathing rebuttal of the WSJ* editorial suggesting that this latest maneuver by the White House is a flacid attempt to roll back the clock to the good old days when Ari Fleischer could openly intimidate journalists who stepped out of line:

Rich observed that “The Journal’s journalists were doing their job with their usual professionalism. But by twisting this history, the Journal editorial page was sending an unsubtle shot across the bow, warning those in the newsroom (and every other newsroom) that their patriotism would be impugned, as The Times’s had been, if they investigated administration conduct in wartime in ways that displeased the White House.

“Any fan of The Journal’s news operation expects it to stand up to this bullying. But the nastiness of the Journal editorial is a preview of what we can expect from the administration and all of its surrogates this year.

“The trouble is we have plenty to worry about. For all the airy talk about the First Amendment, civil liberties and Thomas Jefferson in the debate over the Swift story and the National Security Agency surveillance story before it, there’s an urgent practical matter at stake, too. Now more than ever, after years of false reports of missions accomplished, the voters need to do what Congress has failed to do and hold those who mismanage America’s ever-expanding war accountable for their performance in real time….

“We can believe that reporters, rather than terrorists, are the villains. We can debate whether traitorous editors should be sent to gas chambers or merely tarred and feathered.

“Or we can hope that the press will rise to the occasion and bring Americans more news we can use, not less, at a perilous time when every piece of information counts.”

The issue can’t possibly be about revealing state secrets since the Wall Street Journal and other outlets published the same information and only the New York Times has been chastised. The real issue here is whether or not the government can dictate what newspapers print. Furthermore, is this administration really as concerned about the public’s well-being as their posturing suggests or are they only interested in message-control? This latest stunt they’ve pulled regarding the Swift story suggests the later. The NYT was targeted because the “New York Times are Librul Commies!” meme has been a long accepted orthodox of the mouth-breathing right and putting the mark on them would only serve to reinforce and agitate the faithful. This is especially critical because you want people to be immediately concerned about the barbarians at the gate and not about whether or not those in charge are doing a good enough job of preventing them from attacking in the first place.

-mg
*quoted article from Editor and Publisher cuz I don’t have one of them fancy NYT ‘scrips.

Wrong again.

Jul 07, 2006 in Clueless Conservatives, Racism, Uncategorized

Demonstrating the type of political insight and stalwart research abilities most conservatives are known for these days, unemployed Sinatra tribute singer Brian Pickrell had this to say about Joe Biden’s latest boner:

If this were a Republican, you KNOW the far left would be howling about it.

Get it? Libruls are hypocrites because they’re not denouncing Champion of the Left Biden. You just KNOW it! Well, not really considering that Atrios, one of the most widely read librul blogs, called Biden out on his foot in mouth syndrome.

The ony reason anyone on the Left would be mum about Biden is because it’s a universally accepted fact that he is a cretin.

-mg

update: Hilarious. If you go to the comments section of this Huffington Post article you’ll see a band of winger posters claiming that the Left is in full support of Biden amongst Left oriented posters who are openly critical of him.

Conservatives can’t seem to understand that in this situation the difference between them and Liberals is that we possess the ability to condemn one of our own if necessary. Conservatives stand beside and defend their racists.

Tornadoes…Clinton’s fault?

Jul 07, 2006 in Uncategorized, WTF?

That horse-faced plagiarist Ann Coulter was on Fox News today explaining to Neil Cavuto how the actions of North Korea can be blamed on Bill Clinton despite the fact that George W. has been in office for six years and hasn’t done a goddamned thing to improve the situation on the peninsula. Man, you know it’s a loser when all that can be said to put the shine on Bush is the Clinton’s Fault recitation.
-mg

Move over Iran.

Jul 06, 2006 in Middle East, Politics, Uncategorized

William Arkin of the Washington Post writes the most sensible article to date concerning the flap over North Korea’s missile testing:

So if U.S. intelligence detected preparations for the launch of the Taepodong intercontinental missile, and it also observed shorter range Rodong and Scud missiles being prepared for launch, the natural question is: did we do enough to expose North Korea’s plans to avert launches, thereby undermining its element of surprise and its reason to launch in the first place to create a crisis? …

But if, as U.S. intelligence sources now say, the U.S. has been expecting these launches for over a month, and was even unsurprised by the multiple missile launches, then why didn’t the government do more than leak a snippet of information. Why not announce from the podium precisely what the U.S. knows to maximum advantage in diplomacy?

“We saw this coming,” national security adviser Stephen J. Hadley said yesterday. Hadley says U.S. intelligence watched the North initially roll about 10 missiles up to their launching pads. (Three or more missiles are reported to be still possibly ready for launch, and NBC News reported last night that a second Taepodong-2 intercontinental missile is in the final stages of assembly.)

Hadley is defending the administration, making the argument that the U.S. did everything is could diplomatically, but he misses the point.

U.S. intelligence knew that North Korea was preparing as many as 10 missiles for launch and it didn’t publicly say anything? Because some doctrine of protecting sources and methods doesn’t even provide the possibility of actually making maximum public use of what we know?

The story was “leaked” to the press a few weeks ago to create maximum hysteria in the press for obvious reasons. (I use the term leaked lightly because North Korea has been stating for weeks they were planning on the tests. They’ve even issued several maritime warnings in a run-up to the exercise) Most importantly, it helps build public support for an anti-ballistic missile system that is in some ways quite literally a pie in the sky conviction. It also gives the war-bloggers another reason to beat their flabby chests while they pour over their Tom Clancy novels looking for potential snippets of ABM info.

As far as any actions of substance the administration is quite limited. Sanctions, the favored cowardly maneuver, will do little more than hurt the populace even more by giving the DPRK regime more propaganda fuel and besides, the idea will be quickly scuttled by the Russians and Chinese since sanctions are already in place due to the breakdown of the six-party nuclear disarmament talks last November because of North Korea’s participation in global fraud and money laundering operations.

-mg

The global warming hoax.

Jul 06, 2006 in Clueless Conservatives, Environment, Uncategorized

So my dad doesn’t believe that global warming exists despite the fact that even his sovereign king George W. Bush has acknowledged it’s existance. He thinks it’s a shuck and jive perpetrated by opportunistic researchers looking to cash in on a potentially lucrative public health scare. Not that this is an isolated nugget of barking lunacy. The notion that ozone depletion is a conspiracy percolated by a cabal of evil scientists is a widely held belief and that comes as no suprise considering that two thirds of the population also believe in The Devil, that the Free Masons are a satanic front group, and that weapons of mass destruction were actually found in Iraq.

The local media doesn’t help things out much either. The local newspaper, the Fort Dodge Messenger, has devolved completely into a rag that beyond local sports news has no journalistic merit. I read it over the course of a couple of days any time I’m home and the format has remained the same over the past few years. The front page is consistently dominated by a large full color picture surrounded by AP wire stories almost exclusively related to the purported War on Terror while the Op-Ed page contains regular contributions from administration cheerleaders David Broder, Robert Novak, and Jonah Fucking Goldberg so forget environmental destruction, we’ve got a war to salivate over.

And why should they care? With the exception of Doughy Pantload they comprise The Greatest Generation ™ (and don’t you forget it!) who beat the communists and spread freedom around the globe and now they face the daunting task of defeating Islamo-fascism all the while dragging those weak-kneed liberals kicking and screaming with them. The idea that they may have committed a short-sighted error in regards to the environment is complete blasphemy. To admit that the planet isn’t an infinite resource and an infinite garbage can would require some to have to reconsider their positions and acknowledge that perhaps mistakes have been made. That’s not an easy thing to do for the president, let alone The Greatest Generation.
-mg

Conservatives hate standards when they violate them.

Jul 03, 2006 in Clueless Conservatives, Politics

My mother is a nurse, and in 30 years she has never come home from work and told a single tale about the patients or the care, beyond acknowledging her presence while local folks who we knew were in the hospital.  Not a big revelation in a town of a few thousand people.

Not that one would need such an anecdote to know that Sean Hannity is one of the biggest hacks to ever pollute the airwaves.

-jb

Sweet Jesus, Al Gore is brilliant.

Jul 02, 2006 in Outstanding Democrats, Politics

From the man awarded five stars for scientific accuracy by the world’s top climatologists, attacked by those who possess zero stars, the real fruits of intelligence:

Did (Bush’s tactics) seem like a smart move, strategically, at that point?

Well, if you define the word “smart” in an antiseptic and clinical way that excludes any ethical dimension, then, yeah, I guess it was smart. Smart, if you’re willing to say things that you know are not true. But that’s what Karl Rove is known for.

Exactly.  Time and time again, when one addresses the issue of Bush’s basic inability to think or handle complex topics, we’re told that he’s smart because he wins elections.  No, that just means that he’s really good at lying continuously to the people until they vote for him.  He learned those skills being a drunk.

But Bush is insulated — his staff smiles a lot and only gives him the news that he wants to hear. Unfortunately, they still have this delusion that they create their own reality. As George Orwell wrote, we human beings are capable of convincing ourselves of something that’s not true long after the accumulated evidence would convince any reasonable person that it’s wrong. And when leaders persist in that error, sooner or later they have a collision with reality, often on a battlefield. That, in essence, is exactly what happened in Iraq.

Precisely.  People like Bush and the cult of personality surrounding him, people dedicated to being just as obtuse and ignorant of all contradictory fact, do not put 2 and 2 together.  The point is, they want the answer to be 5, so it’s fucking 5 and if you think different you’re sympathizing with the enemy.  Their proof?  All their friends think so too.

Just when you think it can’t get better, Al comes up sevens:

Take the tar sands of western Canada. For every barrel of oil they extract there, they have to use enough natural gas to heat a family’s home for four days. And they have to tear up four tons of landscape, all for one barrel of oil. It is truly nuts. But you know, junkies find veins in their toes. It seems reasonable, to them, because they’ve lost sight of the rest of their lives.

I’m thinking that one day oil will be so valuable that they’ll use cheap labor to replace some of the mechanical energy input.  The resulting oil then goes at top dollar for some rich guy’s cruise down the Pacific Coastal Highway in his antique gas-burning Corvette.

Junkies will find veins in their toes (Gore is too polite to say “dicks”), but the rich will feast while surrounded by famine also.  This is not to be forgotten.

Al falls a little short here, while still insightful:

How do the rest of us play a responsible role in advising the group in the White House that doesn’t want to hear what any of us say in any case?

This is a very daunting question.  After 9/11, Bush and co. decided that it meant they didn’t have to listen to Democrats ever again.  If they wanted to do something and the Democrats wanted to do it differently, the Democrats were on the side of Osama or Saddam.  It was Bush’s way or nothing.

But it’s not quite that simple.  Gore forgets that Bush is a thief as well, perfectly content to steal a Democrat idea, such as the Department of Homeland Security (though he’ll add something that pisses them off so he can attack them again).   Murtha’s troop redeployment ideas haven’t gained any traction in the brain-dead Congress, but they’re resonating with the people.  Every time the idea becomes especially popular, the White House starts sending out signals that it’s planning withdrawals too, albeit certainly as promises meant to be broken.

Still, that is the responsible duty for a Democrat:  keep sticking the right ideas out there, even if it does mean the Republicans will steal,  bastardize, and try to take credit for them.  It’s not as effective as being in charge, but it does allow us to apply pressure to the rudder.

And finally:

I love Iowa!

I’m jealous of my father, who got to sit on a bus with Al during the 2000 campaign and shoot the shit with him extensively.  I’ll have to dig up those pics next month when I come home for vacation.

-jb

Brians tries to form coherent thought, fails (and lies).

Jul 02, 2006 in Uncategorized

Well, I knew that Brian would be his usual idiot self, but I wasn’t quite prepared for this.  Republicans talk a lot about everybody speaking English, wouldn’t it be nice if Republicans did?

Now, not only did USA Today have a substantial part of their original report wrong, they’ve now gone even further and told the terrorists what phone companies they should use. Nice.

Yet they got the bulk of their report right, and the denials came after the Bush administration signaled to the phone companies that they didn’t have to admit to anything.  But even worse, Brian thinks that terrorists will now flock to Qwest the next time they want to call Osama bin Laden.

I know, I know, you’re thinking he couldn’t possibly be that fucking stupid, but trust us here at Iowa Liberal, he is.  It gets worse/better (it depends):

It’s not that terrorists are so clueless as to not know or even suspect they are being monitored. Hell, any common criminal would know that was always a possibility. It’s not knowing HOW they are being watched that’s the key.

Are we watching them from a Predator drone? Tapping into their cell phones? Have an agent planted in their midst? Do we have informants close to their base who are watching them? They don’t know how we’re doing it (or at least they didn’t), and that is the key. Not knowing what is being done, they cannot adapt. By tipping them off that we’re tapping their phones and watching their bank transactions, they can change their behavior and make it harder for us to catch them.

The only problem?  Bush has been crowing about how we’re going after their bank records for years.  There’s no news there.

All one really needs to know is that the NY Times is getting shit and the Wall Street Journal isn’t.

And that Brian is not only a moron, but a depraved liar who’s as interested in getting to the truth as a cat is in swimming upstream.

-jb