Saturday, August 13, 2005

Senior Administration Officials: Damn We Were Fucking Stupid


The Bush administration is significantly lowering expectations of what can be achieved in Iraq, recognizing that the United States will have to settle for far less progress than originally envisioned during the transition due to end in four months, according to U.S. officials in Washington and Baghdad.

The United States no longer expects to see a model new democracy, a self-supporting oil industry or a society where the majority of people are free from serious security or economic challenges, U.S. officials say.

"What we expected to achieve was never realistic given the timetable or what unfolded on the ground," said a senior official involved in policy since the 2003 invasion. "We are in a process of absorbing the factors of the situation we're in and shedding the unreality that dominated at the beginning."


"We set out to establish a democracy, but we're slowly realizing we will have some form of Islamic republic," said another U.S. official familiar with policymaking from the beginning, who like some others interviewed would speak candidly only on the condition of anonymity. "That process is being repeated all over."


"The most thoroughly dashed expectation was the ability to build a robust self-sustaining economy. We're nowhere near that. State industries, electricity are all below what they were before we got there," said Wayne White, former head of the State Department's Iraq intelligence team who is now at the Middle East Institute. "The administration says Saddam ran down the country. But most damage was from looting [after the invasion], which took down state industries, large private manufacturing, the national electric" system.


As predicted, they bite. Captain Ed begins...

(thanks to reader A)

In other news, Lou Diamond Phillips stars in Alien Express.

Take That, Moonbats!

I wonder how many of the brighter bulbs in wingnuttia will take the discovery of a plant in Iraq capable of producing unspecified chemicals as DISCOVERY OF THE WMD!!! despite the fact that it didn't exist before the war started.

It's all possible once you embrace the Wingnuttia Theory of Time Causation which postulates, among other things, that Bill Clinton was responsible for Ruby Ridge...

The Ultimate Wingnut

I'd like to imagine that this comment by "Floyd Alvis Cooper" is, in fact, a parody. A masterpiece of the genre, in fact. But I've read enough lately to know that it's perfectly within the bounds of what passes for acceptable discourse in wingnuttia. That isn't to say that all wingnuts would agree with the sentiments expressed within, but most would find them less troubling than, say, Michael Moore's waist size.

The Record


Not funny.

It's the Little Things

Reader b writes in about this AP story about the Sheehans:

Normal life ended for Cindy Sheehan in April 2004, when her oldest son Casey, 24, a father of twin girls, was killed in Iraq.

Casey didn't have any children.

Why Are We In Iraq?

Still the questioned has not been answered.



Tears of laughter. Literally.

Wankers of the Day

Assrocket and friends.

The Burka

There's a lot of wisdom in this one sentence by MoDo:

The most painless way for Muslim men to prove that they have not abandoned Arab culture and adopted Western ways is to tighten the burka.

This is true of the current obsessions of our religious conservatives as well. Old chestnuts - adultery (by males, at least) and divorce are no longer especially important. In fact, for the most part, individual behavior is no longer all that important, at least not more important than policy. Conservative religious morality in this country is increasingly defined by support of certain policies - anti-gay, funneling government money into churches, school prayer, anti-abortion. Personal moral behavior, except for actually having an abortion (easy to hide if you do) or having gay sex (easy to avoid if you're not actually gay, true for most people), is entirely left out of it.

It's pretty damn easy to be moral when all it requires is worrying about the morality of other people and not actually adjusting one's own behavior.

"The Wheels are Coming Off It"


"It's a race against time because by the end of this coming summer we can no longer sustain the presence we have now," said retired Gen. Barry R. McCaffrey, who visited Iraq most recently in May and briefed Cheney, Rice and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. "This thing, the wheels are coming off it."

Have We Brought Freedom to Iraq?

Another good question.

Open Thread

Quick! To the threadmobile!

Open Thread

Because threads have feelings too.

Open Thread

I am the very model of a modern major threadbot.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Open Thread

Habit is a cable; we weave a thread of it each day, and at last we cannot break it. --Horace Mann

Open Thread

Because threads have feelings too.


I certainly don't think that people should be fired for their personal relationships off the job, no matter who they're with, unless they make doing the job impossible for some reason. Still. this is creepy. Kagan&Limbaugh:

Update: 5:16pm: "I'm a CNNer and I can tell you that when she anchors her show, during commerical breaks, she AOL IM's with Rush from the set," a tipster says. "It's HIGHLY innappropriate, and I, for one, won't be sad to see her leave."

Friday Cat Blogging

Gizmo edition.

Wanker of the Day

Eugene Volokh.

Malkin Crosses Over

I may have to buy this book.

Just Another Corrupt Republican

Doug Forrester. This would be sorta funny if he wasn't, you know, expecting to become the next governor of New Jersey.


Register soon...


Oh this is funny...

Don't Talk About the War

What CNN thinks is important breaking news:

I Can't Go On

Really. I just can't. The knowledge that Michelle Malkin is a screaming hypocrite of the highest order is just too much for me. I'm just shocked.

I believe it goes something like this:

Um, has Michelle Malkin talked to Cindy Sheehan's son? Has Bill O'Reilly? Has Erick Erickson, who called Cindy Sheehan a whore over at If they haven't talked to him, they should shut up, leave her alone, and defend their incoherent position on the Iraq war without hiding behind Cindy Sheehan's dead son.

ps: AOL IM users can IM Mr. erickson at erickwerickson.

What Is the Noble Cause?

No one can really give an answer. No one on the right, no one on the left, and certainly not the president, is capable of providing the answer.

The Incompetence Dodge

Sam Rosenfeld:

This observation cries out for continued discussion and debate among liberals. For Democrats facing ongoing electoral battles, Iraq presents one whole set of challenges that cry out, at this criminally late hour, for serious engagement. But for "liberal interventionists" of every stripe, the war should by now present another set of challenges, particularly to their assumptions about warfare and humanitarianism, that they've yet to face up to. The incompetence dodge -- the notion that Bush's stewardship of the war is the problem, not the war itself -- really doesn't cut it, and commentators shouldn't be allowed to hide behind it.

Open Thread

To infinity thread and beyond!

Aragorn Goes to Crawford


We had the first birthday party last night at our little event. Alicia from Austin turned 17 and they came to Crawford to celebrate with a cake. Alicia said that she wanted to be out here for her birthday. So many great people from so many parts of the country and our world are here.

Yesterday was kind of a blur to me. From running around from interview to interview, to getting a visit from Viggo Mortensen, it was a whirlwind of activity. I have discovered that the White House press corps is always looking for something to do and someone to cover. We have been happy to oblige them. We had a press conference today with Gold Star Families for Peace and Military Families Speak Out members. It was very effective when people who actually have skin in the game ask the president to be held accountable for the words he has actually said.

Still putting out the O'Reilly fires of me being a traitor and using Casey's name dishonorably, my in-laws sent out a press statement disagreeing with me in strong terms; which is totally okay with me, because they barely knew Casey. We have always been on separate sides of the fence politically and I have not spoken to them since the election when they supported the man who is responsible for Casey's death. The thing that matters to me is that our family -- Casey's dad and my other 3 kids are on the same side of the fence that I am.



"It's tough, but she is fine. She's hanging in there," Lucy A. Dalglish of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press said of Miller, whom she visited last week.

"I know what's bothering her more than anything is she cannot read the Internet. ... People are telling her about some allegations about her that are in the blogosphere and she has no way to fight back," Dalglish said, referring to blogs, or Web journals.

What the hell does that mean? I'm quite sure people can tell Miller what these allegations are and that Bill Keller would happily print anything Miller wanted to dictate to him on the front page of the New York Fucking Times. If Miller wants to set the record straight about anything she can do so by testifying to the grand jury and by printing it in the "paper of record."

I hate when people who have access to the most influential platforms in the world whine about being "attacked," and she's compounding this by claiming she has no way to "fight back."

Yeah, here are some people who are actually unable to "fight back" because you were "proved fucking right" Judy.

Us and Them

How little Ricky sees the world.


Barry gives us the latest on the real estate market. I'm just hoping that the numerous condo projects in Philadelphia (except for a couple of the crappy ones) actually get built before the bust so I can get me some cheap housing.

War Blogs

Albert refers to blogs by the troops in the field as "War Blogs." I'm so old I remember when "war blogs" were what the 101st Fighting Keyboarders called their blogs as they obsessively dug up war porn safely from their basements.

For example, look at what Jeff Jarvis named his sitemeter.

Operation Yellow Elephant: Mission Philadelphia

This sounds like a prime opportunity for recruitment.

Actual Truth From the Note

Stunning. It happens now and then:

In an age when the general public would be shocked at the degree to which major news organizations are wholly dependent on interest groups for their research, this one will get some Gang of 500 bookmarking.

What they're referring to.


Really. I imagine it's what Veronica Malkin would want.

Der Gropenfuhrer

Sure, we usually don't expect much from the tabloids, but we don't expect them to pay people in order to suppress tabloidy fresh stories.

BoBo's World

Alabama edition:

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a lawsuit Thursday against Tyson Foods, Inc. on behalf of black employees at the company's Ashland plant who claim white workers posted a "Whites Only" sign on a locked bathroom at the facility.

Plaintiffs Henry Adams and Leon Walker claim in the federal suit that keys to the bathroom were distributed only to white employees. According to the suit, the plaintiffs were subjected to suspensions and disciplinary write-ups when they complained to management about the segregated bathroom.

Open Thread

Because threads have feelings too.

Open Thread

I am the very model of a modern major threadbot.


Your bedtime reading.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Good Times

I remember when the DC press corps was obsessed with possible Clinton interference into justice department activities... heh... good times...

Growing Pains

The producers of that show had no idea what they'd be creating....

Underdog World Strike

New Gogol Bordello good.

Which City is Missing?


WASHINGTON, Aug. 11 - A group of F.B.I. counterterrorism analysts warned this week of possible terrorist attacks in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago around Sept. 11, but officials cautioned on Thursday that they were skeptical about the seriousness of the threat.

Nothing's gonna stop the freedom march!

One Week Ago

Imagine if a week ago I'd posted a "fake" news story which went something like this:

Washington, DC (AP) Donald Rumsfeld announced today that the anniversary of 9/11 will be commemorated by a Pentagon sponsored Clint Black concert. The event, co-sponsored by the Washington Post, will be, in the words of Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Allison Barber, "the perfect marriage of two sentiments: commemorating September 11 and the importance of our freedom."

I think it would've been considered to be too over-the-top to be decent satire.

...M31 provides some other hilariously ridiculous news stories I could've written:

Washington, DC (AP) President Bush told the Iraqi insurgency to "Bring it ON!" in remarks to the press today.

Washington, DC (AP) President Bush received a security briefing memo entitled "Bin Laden determined to strike in U.S." but did nothing and continued his month-long vacation, the September 11th commission learned today.

Everyone join the fun!


The White House (AP) - Today President George W. Bush, only months after promising to get Osama bin Laden, "dead or alive", and, "smoke him out", declared he was not interested in finding him.

"I don't know where he is," declared Mr. Bush. "You know, I just don't spend that much time on him, Kelly, to be honest with you. And, again, I don't know where he is. I -- I'll repeat what I said. I truly am not that concerned about him."

Our Kind of People

I certainly understand why parents aren't exactly encouraging their children to sign up for the military these days, but here we are:

Staff Sgt. Jason Rivera, 26, a Marine recruiter in Pittsburgh, went to the home of a high school student who had expressed interest in joining the Marine Reserve to talk to his parents.

It was a large home in a well-to-do suburb north of the city. Two American flags adorned the yard. The prospect's mom greeted him wearing an American flag T-shirt.

"I want you to know we support you," she gushed.

Rivera soon reached the limits of her support.

"Military service isn't for our son. It isn't for our kind of people," she told him.


The Full Malkin courtesy of the Peking Duck.

I imagine Veronica Malkin is very pleased that the truth is finally coming out.


Wolff rips the press over Plame. Sounds like a Vanity Fair worth buying.

The beltway media was always up to their own eyeballs in this scandal. I'm sure a panel on bloggers ethics could sort this one out.


Gary Hart.

Just go read the whole thing.

Dreams of the Freepi Crushed


LITTLE ROCK - A group that had hoped to build two museums to rebut the displays at the Clinton Presidential Library with strong support from former Georgia Republican congressman Bob Barr is folding.


In a separate e-mail sent Wednesday, Erickson informed Barr that he couldn't raise enough money to continue.

"Nearly every dime raised has gone to professional fundraisers and lawyers," Erickson wrote to Barr. "I cannot continue, in good conscience, to ask well-meaning people to donate to what they believe is a good cause, when the money will most likely be consumed in administrative and legal expenses."

(thanks to quentin)

The Insurgents Will Always Be With You

I don't think this statement by Dumbasrocks Hunter got enough airing:

HUNTER: Well, I think he's defining this mission in the wrong way. There are always going to be insurgents in Iraq. There's a porous border with Syria and with other nations, and there's always going to be bombs going off and that's the nature of that neighborhood. The key is as we stand up this free government, which is elected by the people, will we have a military which is strong enough to protect that government and to be accountable to that government? And I think that's going to happen. I think this idea of requiring the standard to be that we're going to have a nation which is free of violence is unrealistic, and nobody has ever posited that as a goal.

That's quite an incredible feat of moving of the goalposts. The net is about 86 miles wide and 1 foot from the center line at this point.

Someone here commented earlier that these people don't see war and death as real, they just see it as a chess game. I thought that was too generous. I think they see it as a game of hungry hungry hippos.

"The Insanity Needs to Stop"


Wake Me Up When September Ends

Watch the video.

They Write Letters

To Romenesko:

From CHRISTOPHER HAYES, contributing editor, In These Times: Yesterday we learned that the Department of Defense is planning a massive "America Supports You Freedom Walk" for the fourth anniversary of 9/11. Bracket for a moment the heinous company in which this this places the Bush administration (Cuba, Iran, and China, just to name a few of the regimes that regularly utilize state-sponsored marches and rallies as propaganda tools), and bracket for a moment the fact that this march for "freedom," which will take place on public streets, apparently requires participants to register with the DoD. There's one aspect of this whole mess I'm surprised hasn't received more attention. Check out this paragraph from the Pentagon's press release:

"The walk was made possible with the help of several local in-kind supporters, including Stars and Stripes newspaper, Pentagon Federal Credit Union, Subway, Washington Post, Lockheed Martin, WTOP, ABC/WJLA-TV Channel 7 and News Channel 8, and the Washington Convention & Tourism Corporation, according to the Freedom Walk Web site."

I count four different media outlets in that list. Funny, I thought it was the role of the press to challenge not collude with the government when it attempts to disseminate propaganda. And propaganda this is, let's be very clear. One supposes that the suits at the Washington Post Company who OK'ed the partnership with the DoD figured the sentiment of "supporting the troops" is so anodyne as to be wholly uncontroversial, akin to news anchors wearing flag pins on their lapels. If the rally were sponsored by some independent group of citizens, that'd be one thing (though still strange), but it is being organized by the United States military, the same entity currently administering and promoting an increasingly unpopular war, one that remains the single biggest news story in the nation and the subject of much public debate. This is a not a "support the troops" rally but rather, a "support the war" rally. Media outlets simply have no business granting their imprimatur to such a crudely political stunt.

The Danger Within

Tbogg discovers it.



Poor Veronica Malkin. I imagine she's so ashamed of her mother right now. As Malkin's sisters and her cousins and her aunts...

An Afternoon Ditty

Because I think it's about to get fun.


I am the monarch of the sea,
The ruler of the Queen's Navee,
Whose praise Great Britain loudly chants.

COUSIN HEBE. And we are his sisters, and his cousins and his aunts!

RELATIVES. And we are his sisters, and his cousins, and his aunts!

SIR JOSEPH. When at anchor here I ride,
My bosom swells with pride,
And I snap my fingers at a foeman's taunts;

COUSIN HEBE. And so do his sisters, and his cousins, and his aunts!

ALL. And so do his sisters, and his cousins, and his aunts!

SIR JOSEPH. But when the breezes blow,
I generally go below,
And seek the seclusion that a cabin grants;

COUSIN HEBE. And so do his sisters, and his cousins, and his aunts!

ALL. And so do his sisters, and his cousins, and his aunts!
His sisters and his cousins,
Whom he reckons up by dozens,
And his aunts!

Midi file here for those who want to sing along.


Bye Jack:

FBI agents were seeking to arrest a once-powerful Washington, D.C., lobbyist on Thursday after a Fort Lauderdale federal grand jury charged him and a New York businessman with scheming to defraud two lenders in a $147.5 million purchase of SunCruz Casinos.

Agents were to take Republican insider Jack Abramoff into custody on Thursday afternoon in the Baltimore area. His partner in the controversial 2000 SunCruz acquisition, Adam Kidan, was expected to surrender to authorities, according to sources familiar with the probe.

The South Florida indictment charging the duo with defrauding $60 million from two lenders that financed the sale instantly rocked the nation's corridors of power. Indeed, rumors of their imminent arrests circulated during the past week.


That's what Tucker Carlson calls blowing people up.

I wonder if Charles Dreyling was planning to vandalize the plane? Perhaps he should get 20 hours of community service for it.



OKLAHOMA CITY -- An explosive device was found in a passenger's carryon bag as the man passed through a checkpoint, and federal agents arrested him, the FBI said Thursday.

Officials have found no apparent connection between Charles Alfred Dreyling Jr. and any terrorist group or activity, said Agent Gary Johnson, an FBI spokesman.

yeah, no terrorist activity except, you know, bringing a fucking bomb on a plane.

On Racism

I certainly don't approve of racist comments of any kind, and people who make them should be ashamed of themselves, but the person who wrote this book:

a highly misleading and historically innacurate tract which defends the mass arrest and internment of American citizens based on nothing more than who their ancestors were has pretty much given up any right to complain about such comments. On one hand we have those nasty people sending emails to someone, on the other we have someone who published a book and went around the country appearing on numerous major media outlets defending the mass arrest and internment of American citizens based on nothing more than who their ancestors were. Both wrong, of course, but certainly not in the same league.

More Trouble for DeLay


Sheehan Speaks

You can listen to the audio from the Bill Press show:

I didn’t know Casey knew Michelle Malkin…I’m Casey’s mother and I knew him better than anybody else in the world…I can’t bring Casey back, but I wonder how often Michelle Malkin sobbed on his grave. Did she go to his funeral? Did she sit up with him when he was sick when he was a baby?

I can't imagine that Veronica Malkin would approve of what her mother is doing.


The Carpetbagger Report makes the obvious point that it's a bit odd that one has to register - name/telephone number/address - to participate in a "freedom walk" along public streets between public monuments.

Odd concept of freedom.

Smear the Grieving Mother

How the conservative cesspool operates.

I'll never understand how these people sleep at night. Maybe they don't.

For a bit more fun, here's an old Greg Beato piece on shameless skanks.

Republican Jesus

Falafel edition.

Open Thread

He draweth out the thread of his verbosity finer than the staple of his argument. -- Billy Shakes

Open Thread

Quick! To the threadmobile!

They're In His Pocket

I haven't had time to really unpack this, but Laura Rozen gives a hint at the fact that the liberal New York Times has once again been sold a bill of goods by lunatics with an agenda, though in this case it includes a U.S. Congressman. Plenty of them are lunatics, of course.

Maybe Philip Shenon is babylonian for "Judith Miller."

Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Herbert R'lyeh wagn'nagl fhtagn

Herbert took his shrillagra today.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

A History of Attacking Vets

Here's Michelle Malkin accusing John Kerry, Silver Star recipient, of shooting himself.

Great fun.

Hey, Jesse, signed up yet? Michelle?

It isn't the worst quote,but the most hilarious one comes right at the beginning:

Why don't people ask him more specific questions about the shrapnel in his leg? There are legitimate questions about whether that was a self-inflicted wound?

"No Greater Sacrifice"

In the video linked below Falafel Bill asserts that there's "no greater sacrifice" for a Christian than giving his/her life for another. I'm not actually sure how well this particular statement is supported by scripture, but let's take him at his word. As far as I can tell the biggest sacrifices Bill has made in recent years have been the sacrifice of the dignity of his anal vibrator and the self-respect of falafels everywhere.

Should I conclude that Bill is therefore a bad Christian?


Looks like Bill O'Reilly's booker screwed him.



It can be fairly stated that many of America's 1,800 dead and 14,000 wounded were killed because they were riding in unarmored or lightly armored vehicles that are totally inappropriate to the nature of the war and enemy we are fighting.

This while the heaviest and deadliest divisions in the world's best Army were being ordered to leave most of their best equipment - the M1A2 Abrams tanks and Bradley Fighting Vehicles - parked at their home bases in orderly ranks.

This while the highly trained crews of those vehicles were ordered to dismount and become infantry to patrol the most dangerous streets and roads in the world in unarmored Humvees.

We are spending $5 billion a month on this war -much of it siphoned away and sucked up by private contractors - but somehow we can't send our soldiers and Marines to war with the best equipment in the world - the equipment we already own and know how to use to great effect.

Don't tell me we are going to stay the course. We are on the wrong course and it only leads deeper into the quicksand. Tell me how we are going to change course. Tell me how we are going to do everything we can, spend whatever it takes, to give our sons and daughters what they need to fight and survive and prevail even in a war that makes no sense.

Tell me we can at least do that. Tell me that you made some serious mistakes, Mr. President and Mr. Vice President and Mr. Secretary of Defense, and that you are willing to do everything to correct those mistakes.

Tell me this is not Wonderland, Alice.

Nope, it's Neverland. CLAP LOUDER MR. GALLOWAY!

Bottom Up

I get far far less of this kind of thing than I imagine Kos does (very little, in fact, which is fine by me), but the best way for candidates to reach out to the netroots now is to begin by reaching out to local bloggers. No matter how much research I do I can't possibly have any decent sense of the 470 odd federal races that will happen in '06. More importantly, local races require local press and as we've seen local press will pay attention to local blogs in these kinds of things.

The real value of the netroots to campaigns won't really be, for the most part, their ability to raise money. Sure, campaigns are always trying to get donations from anywhere they can and I can certainly understand that. I'm happy to suggest candidates for the Eschaton community to support. But, an email or phone call from a campaign manager isn't going to do squat to encourage me to do that.

The buzz about campaigns, and the "infiltrating" into the netroots, is for the most part going to come from the ground up now. Reach out to local bloggers.

Don't Question Mah Authoritah!

It doesn't seem like so long ago that the world wasn't "shocked! I say shocked!" when a comedian, rock star, etc... had a little anti-authoritarian bent. A big fuck you to whoever was in charge, to whoever the powers that be were, has been part and parcel of even the wimpiest pop culture for decades.

I really find it creepy that it's big honking major controversial news when some rock stars... any rock stars... question Bush's authoritah.

Pissed Off Truckers

This is interesting.

More than 600 truckers gathered in their big rigs Wednesday to protest the rising gas prices in South Florida, NBC 6's Hank Tester reported.

The trucks, which included tractor-trailers, dump trucks and box trucks, gathered at the intersection of Okeechobee Road and the Florida Turnpike in Miami-Dade County.

Traffic in the area was at a standstill as the trucks started a caravan headed toward Miami City Hall.

Slideshow here.

56k Modems

Drudge is such a wanker.

Fact Chuck

Useless as always.

...and Fact Chuck gets its desired results:

WASHINGTON, Aug. 10 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Fidelis, a national Catholic-based advocacy group, has accused CNN of bias and hypocrisy for agreeing to air a misleading NARAL advertisement, and called on the cable network to immediately pull the ad.

CNN agreed to accept the NARAL attack ad on Judge John Roberts, yet has refused to air a pro-life ad featuring international humanitarian Mother Teresa. In 1998, CNN rejected an ad produced by Right to Life of Michigan featuring a touching interview with Mother Teresa filmed just before her death. At the time, the cable network cited its policy prohibiting issue advertisements.

Joseph Cella, president of Fidelis said: "We expect nothing less from CNN than to immediately pull the ad until NARAL can document and explain the accuracy of the commercial's content."

"CNN has taken an incredible step of holding out a double standard when it comes to advertisements related to the abortion issue. The ad slandering Judge John Roberts has already been declared 'false' by the non-partisan University of Pennsylvania Annenberg's website. CNN is apparently blind to the fact they are not only running a false advertisement, but also violating their policy which they used to deny a pro-life ad with Mother Teresa," Cella stated.

Annenberg should be ashamed of itself. What a pathetic institution.

Most Important Job At Fox

(thanks to reader p)

Time for the General to Retire

Really, he just can't outdo reality.

Rich Lowry Flashback

Was hunting through the archives for something unrelated and came across this little nugget from Rich Lowry. From August 16, 2002, almost 3 years ago:

Chuck Hagel is now deemed a foreign-policy sophisticate for mindlessly repeating over and over that there are “risks” to invading Iraq. Golly, Chuck, really? Hagel MUST have a Ph.D. in international relations or something to have developed such a nuanced view of American foreign policy. Who knows how many thousands of hours of study and thought it took Hagel to come to the conclusion that invading Iraq is “complicated” and “risky”? I bet Nebraska has never been blessed with such Metternich-ian savvy, possibly ever. So, it’s really too bad that Hagel debased his foreign-policy genius in the New York Times today by resorting to the most shamelessly stupid of peacenik arguments: “Maybe Mr. Perle would like to be in the first wave of those who go into Baghdad.” Ohhh, Chuck—your rhetorical powers are over-awing us here in The Corner. How long did it take you to think that one up?

Now, is it Hagel’s position that no one should have a view on American foreign policy who isn’t a member of America’s military? That we should ditch constitutional democracy for a system more like Sparta? Hagel obviously thinks it’s hypocrisy for anyone to advocate a position that they aren’t willing to implement themselves. So, maybe Hagel should stop saying growing corn is a good thing and go grow it himself. Or stop saying arresting criminals is a good thing and go arrest some himself. Seriously, if Hagel thinks arresting crack dealers is such a good thing—presumably—why isn’t he willing to go help make the busts?

At least John McCain, another Republican maverick, is interesting and has a kind of charm. Hagel is just a bore.

The Least Important Job At Fox

Updating the list of American troops killed in Iraq.

Open Thread


Kaplan the Egomaniacal Tyrant

Looks like Rick "Stupidest TV Executive Ever" Kaplan likes to go around blowing gaskets at the little people to make himself feel like a big man.
Guess it's lonely at the top.



Hate-Filled Chickenhawks Attack Dead Soldier's Mother

Watch the video.

Ask Roberts

The media seems to be pretty content with this idea that it would be inappropriate to actually ask any questions of the man who might have a lifetime appointment to one of the most powerful positions in the country.

So, submit your questions to Judge Roberts.

Reading the Mind of a Dead Soldier

Michelle Malkin believes she understands what Casey Sheehan would want more than his own mother does.

I can’t imagine that Casey Sheehan would approve of such behavior.

I myself know that Veronica Malkin prays every day that her mother wasn't a hate-filled cowardly racist who claims to speak for other people's dead children. Precocious kid.

Wanker of the Day

Rick Kaplan. Actually, Kaplan may deserve Wanker of the Century for his unwavering belief that that target audience of MSNBC is moderate Republicans who don't like Fox, because CNN is too far left for them.

101st Fighting Keyboarders, Report For Duty!

Quick! To the slimemobile! Has this guy ever given to a Democrat? Did he once laugh a bit too loudly at a Rosie O'Donnell joke? Has he been seen cavorting with terrorist sympathizers such as Jimmy Carter? Could he, in fact, be a North Korean Muslim sent here to take us down from within? Google away, keyboarders, google away! Your country needs you!

"We're driving down this road and there's this tiny bridge over a little canal," he says. "They had rigged up this bomb and they had a tripwire running across the bridge and we hit it and it blew up."

Like the rest of the 13,877 Americans wounded in Iraq, Rodgers has a story to tell. He tells it in a matter-of-fact voice, like he's talking about making a midnight pizza run or something. He's sitting in an armchair with his right leg propped on an ottoman, the foot encased in a soft black cast that reaches almost to the knee. His crutches are lying on the rug beside the chair.


I started patting myself down and that's when I noticed that my face took some shrapnel," he says. "It was all swollen on this side, so when I'm patting myself down, my middle finger went, like, this deep into my cheek where the shrapnel went in."

He points to a spot about halfway down his finger, showing how far it went into the shrapnel wound behind his right eye, which is still pretty much blind, unable to see anything but bright light.

"Then I started checking out my leg. I knew my femur was broken, but at that time I didn't know my calf was missing," he says. "And that's when I hear my best friend Maida and he started heaving."


One day a nurse came in to ask Rodgers if he wanted to meet President Bush, who was visiting the hospital. Rodgers declined.

"I don't want anything to do with him," he explains. "My belief is that his ego is getting people killed and mutilated for no reason -- just his ego and his reputation. If we really wanted to, we could pull out of Iraq. Maybe not completely but enough that we wouldn't be losing people -- at least not at this rate. So I think he himself is responsible for quite a few American deaths."

Bill Swisher, a spokesman for Walter Reed, says it's "fairly common" for patients to decline to see visitors. "We've had visitors from Sheryl Crow to Hulk Hogan," he says, but he has no idea how many have refused to see Bush, who has visited the hospital eight times.

Rodgers says he also declined to meet Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and Condoleezza Rice. This wounded soldier has lost faith in his leaders, and he no longer believes their repeated assurances of victory.

This sounds like a job for Michelle Malkin!

Just Shoot Me


The Pentagon would hold a massive march and country music concert to mark the fourth anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks, US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said in an announcement tucked into an Iraq war briefing today.'s the website. Jesus wept. Me too.

Open Thread

Hopefully we are not threading over a cliff.

Open Thread

Words from the thread on which we string our experiences. --Aldous Huxley

The Worst American

Quite possibly it is Michelle Maglalang Malkin. Between justifying the arrest and internment of American citizens based on nothing more than who their ancestors were and dishonestly shitting all over the mother of a man who died doing something neither Michelle nor Jesse are apparently courageous enough to do, we might have a winner.

Yes, I'm sure there are serial killers and other horrendous criminals who probably actually deserve the prize, but when it comes to taking our political discourse as far away from the American ideal as possible, Malkin might actually be America's Worst American.

Nexus of Evil

Looks like the RNC has a wee problem.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Open Thread

I am the very model of a modern major threadbot.

Open Thread

Four score and seven threads ago.

Open Thread

Too many threads spoil the soup.

Wanker of the Day

Mike McKay.


You can listen to Paul Hackett be very very mean to that poor nice Rush Limbaugh by clicking through this link.

All War Planning All The Time


The War Between the Sects

Digby discusses the signs that "big tent Judeo-Christianity" isn't really a stable coalition, at least not once the state gets involved. I really don't understand why anyone could've predicted otherwise. There's been a truce of sorts called between various conservative religious groups and leaders based on a mutual hating of the gay and of abortion, along with general Michael Medved/Bill Bennett cultural tut-tuttery, but the doctrinal, ritual, and cultural differences between different Christian denominations, let alone the divide by Christianity and Judaism (a wee difference here and there), are significant. All of that can be brushed aside as long as these people united on political goals which they could all agree on (outlawing abortion, preventing gay marriage), but once Bible instruction, creationism, widespread public displays of religious symbols, school prayer, faith based funding, etc... become a widespread reality, many of them are going to realize what anyone should have - they're going to fight amongst themselves.

The sooner the better.

Open Thread

Too many threads spoil the soup.

On Humor

Mithras perceives a shortage of funny conservatives.

Little Ricky Sez: Shut Down IVF Clinics

I suppose he gets points for consistency.


World O'Crap has some fun with Roger "L." Simon.

Tech Central Wankers

Yglesias backpedals on his "intelligent design no big deal" position, and good for him. One of the extreme successes of the right has been their ability over the past couple of decades to construct crackpot arguments for literally any position, and then mainstream them to make them legitimate. Once crackpot arguments has been mainstreamed, reporters in the "balanced" press are forced to give them equal time.

Reporters are capable of doing "fact checking" at times, and doing it well. What's much harder is doing "argument checking" - pointing out that a particular argument and its premises are in fact bullshit. The former lies within the acceptable bounds of straight reporting. That is, if a candidate says 2+2=5 they can in theory at least point out, gently, that the candidate is wrong (not that they necessarily bother to. See Bush, campaign 2000, budget.) However, reporters are unable to weigh the value of one argument against another, and thus they leave that exercise to the reader.

Tech Central Station has long been a favorite of the faux-technolibertarians that seem to populate the internet and blogosphere. I doubt their new support for Intelligent Design will change any of that.

Times Watch

34th day in jail, and still no editorial by the Times calling on Libby to give Miller a personal waiver.

From Ireland to Latin America

As I said before, I have know idea if the Roberts adoption story is newsworthy. That's why, you know, reporters might ask questions and stuff to find out. But, there's certainly something weird, and by weird I don't necessarily mean "unethical" or "illegal," about Irish-born kids being adopted in Latin America by an American couple.

Open Thread

He draweth out the thread of his verbosity finer than the staple of his argument. -- Billy Shakes

Open Thread

I am the very model of a modern major threadbot.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Late Night

Mansquito for president?

Sheehan was AGAINST the war before she was AGAINST IT!

FLIP-FLOPPER!!! oh, wait, er, uhm, ah, no.


Majority Report sounds good tonight. No Sam or Janeane [not the reason], but Laura Flanders, Cindy Sheehan, Murray Waas, Bill Scher...

Open Thread

Rarely is the question asked: is our children threading?

BoBo's World

Georgia edition.

Demoted or Promoted

It looks like the inside the blogs babes on CNN have been promoted from blog reporters to internet reporters. I suppose that's a promotion for them and a demotion for lowly blogs? Of course, being an online magazine that doesn't impact this site...

Media Phenomenon

Eric Boehlert discusses.

Wanker of the Day

Now this is the funniest thing I've read in awhile. Doug Forrester., Doug Forrester is an even bigger wanker than I thought.

Mithras Apologizes


Shitting on the Mother of a Dead Soldier

Raw Story has more on what Drudge left out.

Sick and twisted people. Days like this I wish I believed in two separate afterlife destinations.

Singin' Bob

Roll Call:

In an ever-so-brief and slightly rough-and-tumble telephone interview with HOH on Friday, Novak said, “That’s none of your business!” when asked what his answer would have been to Henry’s planned question. Quivering, HOH summoned up the courage to ask, “Are you going back before the grand jury?”

Novak paused and said, “That would suggest I’ve been there before and you don’t know that.” (HOH wrongly thought that perhaps Novak would be more vulnerable and not so sharp after his on-air meltdown.) He very politely, for Bob Novak, declined to answer the question and said he would not discuss the case. But he did confirm that CNN producers had warned him ahead of time that Henry, who was hosting “Inside Politics” when Novak flipped out, would be asking the P of D how he got Plame’s name. Again, the answer to that question is ... none of our business.

Of his outburst, Novak told HOH, “I lost my temper which was not excusable.” He blamed “James’ rudeness” for provoking him. Yes, that would be the Ragin’ Cajun, James Carville. “He went on ad hominem. ... I do not go on ad hominem,” Novak said. (Oh really, Mr. Novak?)

Amazing all the deference given to "private citizen" Bob Novak over the last couple of years.

They'll Attack Anyone

Drudge goes after Cindy Sheehan, claiming she needs to explain her "twist on Bush... from praise to damnation."

She doesn't attack the president in the contemporaneous account, but nor is there any actual "praise" other than this:

The trip had one benefit that none of the Sheehans expected.

"For a moment, life returned to the way it was before Casey died. They laughed, joked and bickered playfully as they briefly toured Seattle.

For the first time in 11 weeks, they felt whole again.

"'That was the gift the president gave us, the gift of happiness, of being together,' Cindy said."

So, by providing a reason for a family reunion the president gave them a gift. I guess that's praise.

No matter what you've sacrificed for your country these people will shit on you if you defy Dear Leader.

Money Laundering

Republicans stuck in provision which would allow members to raise unlimited amounts for political parties.

Ultimate Wingnut Challenge: The Blog Stars

Place your votes.

Malkin's Heroes

The Minutemen.

I used to live in Laguna Beach. The day laborer site was a new thing for me, though certainly a fairly common feature around SoCal and the southwest. It's an odd thing to see, the first time, a semi-official place to hire mostly illegal workers. But it's one of those things which is far superior to the available alternative arrangements.

Open Thread

Rarely is the question asked: is our children threading?

Open Thread

Rarely is the question asked: is our children threading?

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Racist Supporters

Judging from all the link cooties I've been sensing, the entire right wing of the blogosphere has leapt to the defense of the racist Michelle Malkin. Fascinating. There's rarely a bigot they won't defend. Here's a reminder for them all:

Just so we all understand, in the year 2004 Michelle published a book justifying an act that Ronald Reagan apologized for - the mass arrest of Japanese immigrants and Japanese-American citizens of America based on nothing other than their ethnic background. Anyone who links to her or promotes her in anyway may as well be promoting the Klan or That includes you Chris Matthews.

The publication of that book, which she did to appeal to the Little Green Snotball brigade, will be a stain on her soul for all eternity. I intend to remind the world of it at every opportunity.


The shrill one has a good column on the housing bubble, though I worry he's contracted a wee case of Friedmanitis...


Scott Shields posts about the not entirely inevitable candidacy of Harold Ford, Jr. Ford's been a big disappointment to me over the years. He's taken his charisma and favorable media treatment and used it to achieve... nothing. I think he has, like many, misread the political winds over the last few years. It's no surprise that a guy from Tenn. dreaming of statewide office is going to be a bit more conservative than one might hope, but Ford went beyond pandering to local voters and started pandering to the center-right Washington media constituency.

Open Thread

To infinity thread and beyond!

Conservative Taxonomy

Because every good post deserves a rerun.

Judy Judy Judy

Will we ever get the truth...

Here we have a hint of the "split" at The Times. On one level is the top management -- Publisher Arthur Sulzberger, Jr. and Bill Keller -- who endorse Miller's version that she was actually "reporting" on Plame in July 2003 and her view of herself as valiant defender of the First Amendment. A Times spokeswoman summed up the corporate bottom line last week: "Judy is an intrepid, principled, and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who has provided our readers with thorough and comprehensive reporting throughout her career."

On another level, some of the paper's elite reporters -- not to mention some Times columnists -- suggest in various pieces on the Plame affair that they are somewhat skeptical of her claim that she was contemplating writing a story on Plame in early summer 2003. The issue is critical because, if she was not actually talking to people about a story, what was she talking to them about?

Shut Down the IVF Clinics

If I were a cranky liberal lawyer with a lot of time and money on my hands I'd be inspired by this story to file suit against every IVF clinic in the country. It's true that some in the fetus fetish crowd are very quietly opposed to IVF treatments, but as is the case with divorce too many in their flock have had or would certainly pursue the option if necessary so they tend not to say all that much about it.

Rove and Libby

Moment of truth for the Times.

Open Thread

Four score and seven threads ago.

Fresh Thread



There's quite a lot of new housing development in my urban area. New housing units are being built with front garages, which is absolutely destructive to the urban streetscape. In addition, it takes away one public on-street parking. I believe, though I'm not certain, that standard zoning codes here in Philadelphia require any new housing units to be accompanied by one parking spot. Certainly the need to balance neighborhood parking needs exists, but when it simply removes a public spot and replaces it with a private spot... YEEAAARGH.

And, don't get me started on the faux-suburban pockets of development that are springing up in the middle of dense areas...

...Philly Zoning Guy stopped by to inform us that while it's only the case the new housing development with 5 or more units requires off-street parking, it has been a widely held belief by the powers that be that all new units required it. So, it isn't actually the law but people have been to a large degree behaving as if it is...

Wanker of the Day


Open Thread

I am the very model of a modern major threadbot.

Open Thread

To infinity thread and beyond!