Saturday, September 03, 2005



Breaking News

Rehnquist has died.

Open Thread

To infinity thread and beyond!

Operation Photo Op


Consequences of Racist Fearmongers


Primary Responsibility

The buck passing is sick.

Bloggity Blog Blog

Back from the main Eschacon event. Sorry, no liveblogging. Impossible to attend an event and participate and be social and do it all while dragging a laptop around typing stuff.

The shrill one was kind enough to join us.

...Ntodd has stuff.

Open Thread

No cord or cable can draw so forcibly, or bind so fast, as love can do with a single thread. --Robert Burton

Open Thread

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

Open Thread

Four score and seven threads ago.


Red Cross banned from entering New Orleans.


Michael Brown, America's next Medal of Freedom winner:

As reports continued of famished and dehydrated people isolated across the Gulf Coast, angry questions were pressed about why the military has not been dropping food packets for them -- as was done in Afghanistan, Bosnia and in the aftermath of the Asian tsunami.

Bill Wattenburg, a consultant for the University of California Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and one of the designers of the earlier food drop programs, said that he has lobbied the administration and the military to immediately begin something similar. He said he was told that the military was prepared to begin, but that it was awaiting a request from FEMA.

George Bush


WASHINGTON - Several states ready and willing to send National Guard troops to the rescue in hurricane-ravaged New Orleans didn't get the go-ahead until days after the storm struck — a delay nearly certain to be investigated by Congress.

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson offered Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco help from his state's National Guard on Sunday, the day before Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana. Blanco accepted, but paperwork needed to get the troops en route didn't come from Washington until late Thursday.



At one point Friday, the evacuation was interrupted briefly when school buses pulled up so some 700 guests and employees from the Hyatt Hotel could move to the head of the evacuation line — much to the amazement of those who had been crammed in the Superdome since last Sunday.

"How does this work? They (are) clean, they are dry, they get out ahead of us?" exclaimed Howard Blue, 22, who tried to get in their line. The National Guard blocked him as other guardsmen helped the well-dressed guests with their luggage.

The 700 had been trapped in the hotel, near the Superdome, but conditions were considerably cleaner, even without running water, than the unsanitary crush inside the dome. The Hyatt was severely damaged by the storm. Every pane of glass on the riverside wall was blown out.

Open Thread

No cord or cable can draw so forcibly, or bind so fast, as love can do with a single thread. --Robert Burton

Open Thread

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

Late Night


Friday, September 02, 2005

Open Thread

Hopefully we are not threading over a cliff.

Open Thread

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

American Family Association

Will demonstrate, once again, that there's nothing wingnuts can say or do which will marginalize them in the eyes of our mainstream media.



(WASHINGTON, DC)--“I am surprised at the Republican leadership's insensitivity toward the events of the last week. With thousands presumed dead after Hurricane Katrina and families uprooted all along the Gulf Coast, giving tax breaks to millionaires should be the last thing on the Senate's agenda. I understand that the Senate shouldn't grind to a halt as a result of Hurricane Katrina, but there are issues that are of much greater importance both to the people directly affected by the hurricane as well as the nation as a whole than estate tax repeal.

“This shouldn't even be a choice. Families have been torn apart and homes have been washed in four states. These victims deserve the Senate's time, not the handful of millionaires repealing the Estate Tax will affect. I once again urge Senator Frist to reconsider his decision. Gulf Coast families are counting on us. They are suffering, and they have no where else to turn. We owe it to them to make their safety and survival our top priority, and we should give them nothing less. Regardless of how one feels about the estate tax, we should all be able to agree that the Senate's attention should be on the victims of this crisis.

Open Thread

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


Cafferty: Wolf, the war in Iraq is part of the problem in New Orleans. The Boston Globe reporting today that National Guard units across the country have about half their usual equipment. Everything from helicopters, trucks, humvees, weapons available to them. All the rest of the stuff has been sent off to fight the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. There are 78000 National Guard troops who are now deployed in those overseas war zones. Even the hardest hit states have 40% of their National Guard troops in Irraq right now. What happens if there's a terrorist attack tomorrow or a massive eearthquake in southern California? How would the nation respond? It's a frightening thought. The question is this - if we're to stay the course in Iraq should we bring the national guard troops home and institute a draft?

Wolf: blahlbahblah

Cafferty: Do you suppose, Wolf, that the arrival of the relief convoys and the political photo ops on the Gulf Coast happening at the same time were a coincidence today?

Wolf: blahblahblah. Jack, a final thought before I go.

Cafferty: It's embarrassing.

The crazy thing, of course, is that it's so shocking that such harsh coverage is a rare thing on the "liberal media."

Uh, Wolf?

Blitzer was unaware that the N.O. airport was closed to commercial traffic.

"Hang in There"

Operation Photo Op continues.

The Bush Fluffing Times


Yesterday, President Bush said, "I don't think anyone anticipated the breach of the levees." The NYT backs him up, "GOVERNMENT SAW FLOOD RISKS, BUT NOT LEVEE FAILURE." TP isn't so sure that. Here, for example, is a story last year from the AP, nabbed from Nexis: "Officials have warned that if a major hurricane hits New Orleans, thousands of people could be killed and the city could be flooded for weeks as flood waters breach the levees ringing the city.

One wonders if there's any bullshit administration spin point the Times won't print.


Another worthy destination for your giving.


Glad there's a Republican who, unlike Haley Barbour, recognizes that there things that are more important than the Grand Old Party:

Vitter, speaking to reporters at the emergency response center in Baton Rouge, also said he gave the federal government a grade 'F' for its response to the disaster so far.

Let's hope his prediction of 10,000 dead is a pessimistic one.



We've got a lot of rebuilding to do. First, we're going to save lives and stabilize the situation. And then we're going to help these communities rebuild. The good news is -- and it's hard for some to see it now -- that out of this chaos is going to come a fantastic Gulf Coast, like it was before. Out of the rubbles of Trent Lott's house -- he's lost his entire house -- there's going to be a fantastic house. And I'm looking forward to sitting on the porch. (Laughter.)

Of course, it's not the only house Lott owns.

Losing Pumpkinhead

Even Tim is stunned:

think liberals and conservatives, Democrats and Republicans, are just absolutely outraged and confused at the scenes we’re watching on TV. And the world is watching.

Why are we apparently incapable of rescuing people and in the process of witnessing an American city being lost?

MSNBC: This seems especially troubling to some, when America was able to offer aid to victims of the tsunami, a half a world away, but seemingly can’t do it in one of its own cities.

Russert: And it’s not as if we didn’t know this was coming. There were studies after studies. There were tests after tests. As recently as a year ago there was a tabletop disaster scenario played out as to what would happen to New Orleans in a major hurricane. And the results of those studies have now been proven to be true.

So the questions that have to be asked are:

Why weren’t the poor people evacuated? They don’t have SUVs. They travel by public bus. Could they have been evacuated?

Secondly, in terms of pre-positioning, where were the troops, where were the National Guard? If people were to be sent to the Superdome, why weren’t there cots and water and food there?

Second-guessing is easy, but it is also, I think, a requirement of those in a free society to challenge their government, when the primary function of the government is to protect its citizens and they haven’t been protected.


Russert: By Sunday they say there’ll be 30,000 National Guard and troops on the street, which gives you an indication of just how perilous it is.

But the fact is that, when there was now evacuation and no pre-positioning of supplies within the city, that led to the current situation.

President George W. Bush said the other day that no one expected the levees to break.

Well, with all respect, study after study, including FEMA's own tabletop exercises last year, all included the breaking or the giving of the levees. Everyone who had studied the issue knew that with a Category 3, 4 or 5 storm, that was a very strong likelihood.

So, again, it’s very difficult in the midst of a crisis for people to be critical, but I have not talked to anybody, underscore anybody, in official Washington who believes the government at any level has done a good job.

Too Much Sympathy for the Victims

These are our rulers? Jeebus help us all:

MCINTYRE: And as to your question about political, I talked to a lot of people at the Pentagon today who were very frustrated about the fact that the perception was being created that the military didn't move fast enough. And they did it somewhat as political. They thought that part of the motivation was the critics of the administration to make the president look bad.

And they seemed to question the motives of some of our reporters who were out there and hearing these stories from the victims about why they had so much sympathy for the victims, and not as much sympathy for the challenges that the government met in meeting this challenge.

And I have to say thinking about that, it doesn't really seem all that unusual that you would tend to understand the plight of the victims a little more than the bureaucrats in Washington.

BROWN: Yes, I mean, I'm glad you told us that. And they have every right to believe they believe and think the way they think. I mean, and I mean that. But you've got people who have been living as refugees. It is not hard to understand why our first heart beat goes in their direction. We'll worry about the bureaucrats later.

Only soulless monsters who'd had 4 years of kid gloves treatment from our media even begin to think it's okay to feel that way, let alone speak it out loud.

Operation Photo Op


The Punchline

Four years of hearing that "9/11 changed everything" as a justification for literally everything, we know now these incompetent fuckers couldn't run a lemonade stand let alone defend the country or deal with a disaster.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Hurricane Katrina's devastation of New Orleans -- and the delay helping stranded people get out or even get water and food -- is raising doubts that U.S. cities may be ill-prepared to cope with a potentially worse disaster: a major attack.

Four years after the September 11, 2001, attacks, the storm disaster marked the first time the federal government has invoked its post-September 11 response plan aimed at enhancing Washington's ability to deal with national incidents.

But as Americans reeled at images of death and desperation among the city's refugees, experts on domestic security said a nuclear or biological attack on a big U.S. city could cause greater mayhem, and unlike the storm, come without warning.

The New Orleans disaster is already viewed as an illustration of what can go wrong in an American city under siege.

"In many ways, this is a test of our national capacity," said James Carafano, senior research fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation. "If we can't do this 24-7-365, we aren't doing our job for preparedness."

Look for the Republican response in the coming weeks: tax cuts for favorite industries and wealthy people, relaxation of environmental and labor laws, an massive infusion of funding for "faith based relief efforts," etc.... in other words, same shit different day.

Temporary Housing

A tipster reports that the military is being tasked to build temporary housing. No more details at the moment...

BoBo's World

Florida edition:

TALLAHASSEE - Hundreds of Katrina evacuees who fled to Tallahassee seeking refuge from the storm have been politely told by their hotels and motels to leave this weekend to make room for a football game: FSU vs. Miami.

(thanks to Hesiod)

Wanker of the Day


A Brief Timeline of the Tsunami Disaster

Taken from the BBC:

Dec. 26, 0059 GMT Quake hits.
Dec. 26, 0130 GMT Tsunami hits.
Dec. 28, Relief operation begins.
Jan 1. US Aircraft carrier arrives in Indonesia, sending helicopters, heavy machinery, and water purifcation equipment to Banda Aceh.

FEMA's Number One Priority

Dateline last night:

Director Brown, thanks for joining us. As things stand, what is your biggest challenge tonight as we speak?

Mr. MICHAEL BROWN (Federal Emergency Management Agency Director): Stone, I think it's conveying to the American public just how catastrophic this disaster is.

(Voiceover) I mean, we--we have people whose lives have been totally ruined. They have nothing.

(People in a boat)

Mr. BROWN: They have no place to go, and so the biggest challenge is making certain that the American people understand that so they can help where they choose to help and so that we can bring all of the federal resources to bear on these folk to help them in any way that we can.

The American people understand that this is a catastrophe. It's the Bush administration that doesn't. What the hell can the public do to help without any leadership?

(thanks to JG in Comments)

Playing Politics

In the pantheon of Republican cretins, Dennist Hastert is one of the more loathsome.

Quote of the Day

I've got to--I've got to pay the administration a compliment. James Lee Witt of FEMA has done a really good job of working with governors during times of crisis. But that's the time when you're tested, not only--it's the time you test your mettle. It's the time to test your heart, when you see people whose lives have been turned upside down. --Gov. George W. Bush, 10/3/2000

Nagin Interview

Listen here (audio).

Open Thread

I am the very model of a modern major threadbot.

No Help for You

The preznit won't even answer the call for help when Republicans call. How dare they worry his beautiful mind when he's got guitar strumming to do.

A Brief Timeline of the Berlin Airlift

June 24, 1948: Blockade of Berlin begins.
June 25, 1948: Berlin airlift begins.
May 12, 1949: Blockade ends.
September 30, 1949: Airlift ends.

What's Next?

A football stadium may serve as adequate temporary shelter, and surely the Astrodome is preferable to the Super at this point, but you can't keep 25,000 people in there for more than a few days. Where's the temporary housing? Anyone starting to build it?



Give us some government officials who aren't fully engaged in "cover my ass mode." It's despicable.

Open Thread

To infinity thread and beyond!

Open Thread

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

Thursday, September 01, 2005

The Shrill One


Before 9/11 the Federal Emergency Management Agency listed the three most likely catastrophic disasters facing America: a terrorist attack on New York, a major earthquake in San Francisco and a hurricane strike on New Orleans. "The New Orleans hurricane scenario," The Houston Chronicle wrote in December 2001, "may be the deadliest of all." It described a potential catastrophe very much like the one now happening.

So why were New Orleans and the nation so unprepared? After 9/11, hard questions were deferred in the name of national unity, then buried under a thick coat of whitewash. This time, we need accountability.


At a fundamental level, I'd argue, our current leaders just aren't serious about some of the essential functions of government. They like waging war, but they don't like providing security, rescuing those in need or spending on preventive measures. And they never, ever ask for shared sacrifice.

Yesterday Mr. Bush made an utterly fantastic claim: that nobody expected the breach of the levees. In fact, there had been repeated warnings about exactly that risk.

So America, once famous for its can-do attitude, now has a can't-do government that makes excuses instead of doing its job. And while it makes those excuses, Americans are dying.


Operation Fluff Bush in full force. I'd be fine with that if Operation Save New Orleans was too.

Summary Execution

Faux Libertarians have the oddest views of the appropriate degree of state power.

Even Mr. Bill Knew

Mr. Bill for preznit!

Anderson vs. Landrieu

Watch the video. She really deserved it. Be great if our journalists were less deferential to power all the time.

...transcript here.

Thought of the Day

Why is rebuilding Iraq more worthy of our tax dollars than rebuilding New Orleans?

Mike Brown

I appreciate that officials take time to brief the public, but I think the FEMA moron has been on TV for about 6 hours today. Doesn't he have anything, uh, more important to do? How can he even be briefed if he's got cameras in his face.

Blaming the Victims

It's been a long 4 and a half years, but I don't think I've ever been more disgusted with this administration.

Aside from the poor, the carless, and the infirm, there were also lots of people who had Saturday flights cancelled and who were unable to obtain rental cars.

These people are sick.

Poor Sullivan

His hero, the steely-eyed rocketman, didn't back him up.

Senate to Convene Tonight

Will pass FEMA/DOD appropriations bill for relief efforts.

For Shame

A reporter asked FEMA flunky Michael Brown a critical question, and he deflected it by talking about all the people who work for the various agenices doing the best they can.

Such a Bush administration tactic - when the leadership is questioned they pretend you've criticized the troops.


...Christ, this guy needs to be fired and replaced. Now. New Orleans is so fucked.


What he said:

I gotta tell you something, we got five or six hundred letters before the show actually went on the air, and no one - no one - is saying the government is doing a good job in handling one of the most atrocious and embarrassing and far-reaching and calamatous things that has come along in this country in my lifetime. I'm 62. I remember the riots in Watts, I remember the earthquake in San Francisco, I remember a lot of things. I have never, ever, seen anything as bungled and as poorly handled as this situation in New Orleans. Where the hell is the water for these people? Why can't sandwiches be dropped to those people in the Superdome. What is going on? This is Thursday! This storm happened 5 days ago. This is a disgrace. And don't think the world isn't watching. This is the government that the taxpayers are paying for, and it's fallen right flat on its face as far as I can see, in the way it's handled this thing.

Operation Blessing

FEMA is directing donations to Pat Robertson.


Every Dem had better line up to support this, include the Senators from MBNA.

Rep. John Conyers, Jr., Rep. Mel Watt, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, and Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee announced today that when Congress returns next Tuesday, they will introduce legislation to protect the thousands of families and small businesses financially devastated by Hurricane Katrina from being penalized by anti-debtor provisions contained in the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005, scheduled to take effect on October 17, 2005. Reps. Conyers, Nadler, and Jackson Lee released the following joint statement:

"We are concerned that just as survivors of Hurricane Katrina are beginning to rebuild their lives, the new bankruptcy law will result in a further and unintended financial whammy. Unfortunately, the new law is likely to have the consequence of preventing devestated families from being able to obtain relief from massive and unexpected new financial obligations they are incurring and by forcing them to repay their debt with income they no longer have, but which is counted by the law.

When the Judiciary Committee considered the Bankruptcy Abuse and Consumer Protection Act earlier this year, Ms. Jackson Lee offered an amendment to protect the victims of natural disaster like those now devastated by Hurricane Katrina. While the amendment was defeated on a party line vote without any debate, we hope that in light of recent events our colleagues will recognize the importance of protecting our most financially vulnerable Americans.

The legislation we plan to introduce will prevent new bankruptcy provisions from having adverse and unintended consequences for the hundreds of thousands now facing financial catastrophe by providing needed flexibility for victims of natural disasters in bankruptcy proceedings.

Our common sense bill will insure that we do not compound a natural disaster with a man made financial disaster. We hope to obtain bipartisan support for expedited consideration of this critical legislation."


Hurricane Housing

Move On has set up a website who have free housing to offer.

Never Underestimate


Where 9/11 cast a light on the basic compassion of America in the light of a tragedy, Katrina has apparently cast a light on its hatred. In my wildest dreams I wouldn't have thought right-wingers would start attacking impoverished citizens, let alone start demanding their deaths. The are a lot of suggestions about this, the more plausible ones being racism, class ignorance, and of course, ass-saving fervor toward lines of dialogue not related to Bush's mistakes. I don't really know which one, or ones, are true, if any.

What I do know is that in less than 24 hours, a media punditry that spent the last four years insisting that they're the only people who "love America" is now discussing how much they hate other Americans.


I don't think it was that long ago that most Americans had at least some small connection to poverty. Immigrant parents and grandparents, family members who experienced the worst effects of the Great Depression, or simply growing up fairly poor. It's sad that so many people can't understand that if you live paycheck to paycheck, and you don't have any credit, it might actually be impossible for you to fill your gas tank.



That official told me they were able to take a couple of people out. One woman so desperate that she actually handed up her 2 month old baby and said take my child. I can't get on this bus, but you've got to try to save this child. She didn't even know the woman's name.


More from convention center from CNN. Woman with baby:

We gotta get some help. We really need some help. WE got babies - I got three kids. They need water, milk, bottles. They don't have nothing. Newborn babies. Premature babies. Everything.

But, Scott McClellan says:

That's why we have a massive effort underway to continue getting food and water and ice to those who are in need. There are ways for them to get that help.


My God.


Kyra: Do you get a sense at all, Chris, that I mean... Is anything getting through with regard to food or water. Is anything... where are the supplies? We've been talking so much about food and water being dispatched. Are there absolutely no trucks getting in to New Orleans at all?

Chris Lawrence: They say that there have been National Guard units that have come by. Tossed some MREs out. Very little. Here and there. People have been eating potato chips that they can scrounge up, looting some of the stores that are nearby for food and water, for juice, for drinks. Not the kind of food that you need to feed these thousands of people. What these people are saying basically is give us some water, give us some food, don't leave us here to die or get us out of here. They're saying we're stuck here. We cant leave. They don't send the buses. They won't take us out of here and yet they won't come in with truckloads of water and food to feed us. You've got sick people there, sick You've got old people there, these young babies there. What are they going to do? Are they going to leave us here to die?


Older woman: two days here with no food.

But, Scott McClellan says:

That's why we have a massive effort underway to continue getting food and water and ice to those who are in need. There are ways for them to get that help.

Convention Center Update

It's hard to describe. It's something I never could conceive of ever seein gin a major city like New Orleans. It is hard to believe. This is New Orleans Louisiana we ware talking about. We spent the last few hours at the convention center where There are thousands of people just laying in the street. They have nowhere to go. These are mothers. We saw mothers. We talked to mothers holding babies. Some of these babies are 3, 4, 5, months old living in these horrible conditions. Putrid food on the ground. Sewage, their feet sitting in sewage. We saw feces on the ground. These people are being forced to live like animals. When you look at some of these mothers your heart just breaks. We're not talking about a few families or a few hundred families. Thousands of people are gathered around the convention.

I want to warn you. Some of these images that you will see they're very very graphic. But people need see this. The people that are down there have been down there for days. People need to see what it is really like here. We saw dead bodies. People are dying at the convention center and there's no one there to come get them. We saw an older woman, someone's mother someone's grandmother, in a wheelchair. Her dead body pushed up against the side of the convention center with a blanket over it. Right on the ground next to her another dead body wrapped in a white sheet.

People are literally dying. Right in front of us as we were watching this a man went into a seizure on the ground. It looked like he was dying. People tried to prop his head up. No one has medical training. No ambulance can come. It is just heartbreaking that people are just sitting there without food or water waiting for the buses to come tak ehtem away. People keep asking us - when are the buses coming. And I just have to say, I don't know.

But Scott McClellan just told us:

That's why we have a massive effort underway to continue getting food and water and ice to those who are in need. There are ways for them to get that help.

Bush to Victims: Just Die


Fury rose among many of those evacuated. Outside the Convention Center, the sidewalks were packed with people without food, water or medical care, and with no sign of law enforcement. Thousands of storm refugees had been assembling outside for days, waiting for buses that did not come.

At least seven bodies were scattered outside, and hungry, desperate people who were tired of waiting broke through the steel doors to a food service entrance and began pushing out pallets of water and juice and whatever else they could find.

An old man in a chaise lounge lay dead in a grassy median as hungry babies wailed around him. Around the corner, an elderly woman lay dead in her wheelchair, covered up by a blanket, and another body lay beside her wrapped in a sheet.

``I don't treat my dog like that,'' 47-year-old Daniel Edwards said as he pointed at the woman in the wheelchair. ``I buried my dog.'' He added: ``You can do everything for other countries but you can't do nothing for your own people. You can go overseas with the military but you can't get them down here.''

You see, these people are just too stupid to get ahold of all that food and water the McClellan says that Saint Bush is providing for them.


Just now:

Reporter: Regarding the president's zero tolerance for insurance fraud, looting, price gouging. Does he make any allowance for people who have yet to receive aid who are taking things like water or food or shoes to walk among the debris?

Sick Fuckstick McClellan: I think you heard from the president earlier today about his zero tolerance. We understand the need for food and water and supplies of that nature. That's why we have a massive effort underway to continue getting food and water and ice to those who are in need. There are ways for them to get that help. Looting is not the way for them to do it.

Babies, children, the elderly are dieing because they don't have water or medical car. Bush doesn't give a shit. Property more important than people. Property which is perishable or destined to be destroyed by water damage anyway.

"Bush shouldn't be the president no more."


Spellman Update

Spellman: Right now, and for several hours, a stream of people have been heading down Canal street heading for the the convention center looking for help. The Convention Center is along the Mississippi river on the southern side of town. They'lll be shocked at what they see when they get there. It's thousands and thousands of people who hav ebeen there all nigth sleeping out on the streets on the sidewalk wherever they can find a spot.

There's no one in control. No national guard. no police. And certainly no FEMA.

Inside we've gotten disturbing news of many dead bodies and nothing to be done with them. CNN's Chris Lawrence got word to us that right in front of him an infant died. That's where people are going for help and there's simply none for them.

Kagan: And Jim, when you were talking to us earlier you were saying among these thousands of people who are there, they're there with perhaps a false hope of immediate helpd, that they believe they are standing by waiting for a bus or a boat or someone to come get them. There's really no indication that's going to happen anytime soon.

Spellman: Indeed... it's rumors spreading throughout the group. The convention center sits on an area called the riverwalk which is a sort of promenade along the river. There's two riverboats, the last time I checked down there, that are sitting there, the Cajun Queen and another one I didn't get the name of. They're sitting there empty with no activity around them and many people believe these boats will take them away to safety and where they can start to regroup. Also buses, they think that buses are coming for them but there's been no indication that any buses are coming to the convention center. The only buses that we've seen leaving the downtown area are buses provided by hotels only for their guests.

Dirty Bomb

Someone emails Josh Marshall a question a bunch of people have been raising in comments and email. The emergency preparedness for a medium scale biological or chemical attack, or the "dirty bomb" scenario, would be exactly identical to the kind of preparedness you'd have for a natural disaster of this type. Sure, some of the complications would be different in the various situations, but the basic needs - mass evacuation, temporary shelter, the provision of safe food and water, medical care - would be the same.

Haven't they done fucking anything in 4 years?

Worst Administration Ever

The head of FEMA was previously an estate planning lawyer.



CNN's Spellman on conditions in the Convention Center:

We've just gotten word that there are many, many dead bodies, and while they were there they even saw a baby die.

Evil useless fuck Chertoff took time out of his busy schedule promoting national preparednesss month on Fox to say this:

"The critical thing was to get people out of there before the disaster," he said on NBC's Today program. "Some people chose not to obey that order. That was a mistake on their part."

Lots of these people were poor. No cars. No credit cards. Nowhere to go. WHAT THE FUCK WERE THEY SUPPOSED TO DO?

Fucking heartless clueless monsters.

Let the Purges Begin

This is hilarious.

(via pandagon)

Air Lift

A few people have brought this up in comments, but where the hell are the air lifts? These people need food and water.


Liberal Blogosphere Unite

Ad is to the right. You can donate here.

It makes me furious that 4 years after 9/11 it's apparently the case that the government literally has no contigency plans for dealing with disasters of this scale. What the hell have they been doing? There is no substitute for the kind of coordination and power that government can bring to a situation, but long after the waters have settled there will still be tens of thousands of people with nothing. This is a long term refugee crisis, and the aid agencies need turkee.

So, give what you can, but keep in mind that you're probably going to be giving for a long time. Because, after all, no anticipated that the levees would be breached.


...Chris Bowers has more information.

Just Kill Me

"I don't think anyone anticipated the breach of the levees."


Katrina, Race, and Class

Weldon Berger.

Wankers of the Day

Washington Post Editorial Board. "Unprecedented news conference."

Open Thread

Quick! To the threadmobile!

Open Thread

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

In Defense of Green Day

Doing much more good than Malkin could ever imagine.


Damn I wish we had any competent people in power. Seriously, is there a single member of the Bush cabinet who is even marginally competent? I don't mean that as code for agree with me ideologically. I really mean, are they competent? Are any of these people capable of running a lemonade stand?

Common Sense

At least some politicians have some sense:

Statement Given Wednesday By Gov. Easley Concerning Gasoline Supply In North Carolina

This is not only a state problem, this is also a regional and a national problem. We are hoping that the Department of Energy will take some action as soon as possible. I have tried to get direction from DOE, but they have not yet responded.

In the meantime, I am asking all North Carolinians to conserve gas. Some stations are already out.Wait for more information before making Labor Day travel plans.

We are taking steps to ensure that emergency vehicles have the supplies that they need, police, fire and rescue.

I am immediately suspending all non-essential state government travel. I am asking state employees to carpool wherever possible.

I am also asking all our citizens to be smart about their fuel consumption.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Oil Rigs

Not looking so good. I think problems with refining capacity/distribution are much greater short/medium term problems. In any case, it'll be interesting if there are genuine local gas shortages (assuming for the moment that they'll be localized and fairly temporary).

Open Thread

Too many threads spoil the soup.

The World According to Righties

The Right has two neat tricks which work well in tandem. The first is that anyone anywhere who is in anyway affiliated with "The Left," including people with zero economic or political power or any real influence of any kind, represents everyone on the political spectrum to the left of Zell Miller.

The second trick is that anything "bad" they just call "liberal." Serial killer? A liberal! A member of the Taliban? A liberal! Pedophile priests? Liberals! Militant extremist Islamic terrorists? Liberals!

Sean Hannity has now included the Reverend Fred Phelps as part of the "anti-war left." A guy who thinks that soldiers are killed in Iraq as God's punishment for homosexuality? A liberal!


Jeebus, even the oil companies want Americans to use a bit less gas.

WASHINGTON, Aug 31 (Reuters) - Americans should conserve gasoline as supplies shrink in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, but there is no need for the federal government to ration fuel at this point, a major U.S. oil industry trade group said on Wednesday.

Nine major oil refineries accounting for about 11 percent of total U.S refining capacity were shut by the powerful storm. Several pipelines are unable to ship gasoline from Gulf Coast refiners to markets


To help get through the supply problems, Cavaney urged American motorists "to take seriously common-sense energy conservation recommendations" and reduce driving.

The API asked the Bush administration to make promoting gasoline-saving a key part of the government's hurricane recovery plan, he said. "We hope with presidential leadership it will get that kind of attention," Cavaney said.

But Bush did not ask Americans to reduce gasoline use in a televised speech from the Rose Garden on Wednesday during which he talked about government efforts to help storm victims.

If there's anything that would piss people off more than a draft would it's gas shortages.

Places to Donate

I really have no sense of where the best place to send your money is, but here's a list.

Poor Doug Forrester

Sounds like all his campaign contributions to himself are illegal. Oops.


College Republican style.

And the Gas Lines Begin

CNN reporting long lines in Atlanta, and $4.99/gal in some stations there. Forget high prices, local supply disruptions are probably coming...

On an entirely unrelated issue, how do Louisiana Mississippi casino PR people have control of our media? I swear CNN informs us every 15 minutes that the state loses $500,00 per day when the casinos are closed as if that's the most important thing happening right now. The state's losing a hell of a lot of money on every other non-operational sector too. Reopening the casinos IS NOT THE HIGHEST PRIORITY.

Gays to Blame for Hurricane

Didn't take long. The Repent America guy is a local nuisance here in Philadelphia.

Yes, There IS a Bigger Idiot!

How could I have forogotten about the Doughy Pantload.

Everything He Touches

Turns to shit.

I certainly hope that they turn this around, but at this point it looks like this is an absolutely colossal failure of leadership and competence at all levels of government.

Is There a Bigger Idiot Than Sullivan?


BLOCK THAT ANALOGY: Kos can't help himself:
This is the greatest disaster to hit our nation in most of our lifetimes. Worse than 9-11.
It is indeed devastating. But we do not know how many have died; and we also know that this was an act of nature, not a premeditated attempt to murder innocent people. Do some on the anti-war left have to keep minimizing what happened on 9/11? And then, of course, it's impossible for Kos to mention an awful tragedy without a dig at president Bush. That said, he has a point. The photograph he mentions from yesterday does strike me as completely off-key, and a pretty terrible p.r. posture for a president in the middle of a natural catastrophe. Who on earth signed off on that one? Playing a guitar? It's the kind of image that can truly alter the perception of a president.

First, the part of the "anti-war left" which Kos belongs to was opposed to the Iraq war which had absolutely nothing to do with 9/11. Second, this comparison, no matter how valid it ends up being (and, frankly, it's looking increasingly valid), has nothing to do with "minimizing what happened on 9/11." Who does that? And, third, what's with Sullivan's whole "kos shouldn't be making digs at President Bush but he's absolutely right so I'm going to take a dig at him too."

Wanker. (via sullywatch)

Operation Yellow Elephant Goes to the White House


More Bell Curve


While some innocence on the part of critics, a category that would include the vast majority of the reading public is excusable in the book’s early reception, this caveat begins to evaporate with time as more and more of the book’s flaws became evident. At that point, support for the work begins to look much more like ideological solidarity than intellectual rigor For instance The New Republic editors’ decision to champion the book cannot be justified by the book’s scholarly value. It must therefore have appealed to its editors own beliefs about race and intelligence—beliefs, as Murray suggested previously, that they had hitherto felt uncomfortable admitting in public forums. Why else lend the magazine’s credibility as the voice of the center-left to a project riddled with racist sources and reactionary recommendations?

If The Bell Curve were actually a respectable scholarly contribution to the debate over the place of race and genetics in our society, then closing one’s eyes to its conclusions would have been a cowardly and ultimately self-defeating response. But as Mickey Kaus pointed out, the question isn't whether it is possible that some ethnic groups have, on average, higher mental abilities than others, it's whether Murray is a reliable guide when it comes to exploring this possibility.”[16] The question of whether Murray and his late co-author Richard Hernstein are themselves racists is a pointless and ultimately insoluble debate. What is unarguable, however, is the fact that they were willing employ sources infected with racist underpinnings in pursuit of arguments custom designed to appeal to racist inclinations on the part of their readers and reviewers.

A Child

Our president. What an embarrassment.


It seems to have sunk in a bit more, but it was truly amazing watching our clueless media for the first couple of days not being able to comprehend that some people just did not have the resources to evacuate.

Nice Things to Do in Philadelphia

I'd suggest skipping the Independence Hall and Liberty Bell, unless you really really feel the need. Ridiculous security and difficulty of getting tickets to the former rather ruin the experience.

You can get an early start Friday by attending the First Fridays event. Galleries stay open, many offer free food and wine.

As with much of Philadelphia, the Art Museum seems to be surprisingly underrated. It has an impressively large collection and of course you can run up the steps and pretend you're Rocky. Rodin museum is nearby.

If you get a chance, pop into the Reading Terminal Market which is near the hotel. There's also the Italian Market which is a bit farther away.

For general soaking up the city, Rittenhouse Square is probably one of the best urban parks in the country. There's lots of restaurants/retail around there for good strolling.

Alternatively, there's the Delaware Avenue end of South Street, and the general Old City vicinity.

The Marriott is close to Chinatown, providing Sunday morning Dim Sum opportunities.

Philadelphia Stuff

For those coming by Amtrak, you can either take a $5-$6 cab ride to the hotel, or hop on any of the Septa commuter trains (free with Amtrak ticket stub) which are heading towards center city. Best bet is two stops to Market East station, which is a short walk from the hotel.

People coming from the New York vicinity can also try taking New Jersey Transit to Trenton and then picking up a Septa train to Philadelphia (again, to Market East station). Takes about an hour longer, but only costs about $18 each way. Another option is one of the Chinatown bus lines. They will drop you off within walking distance of the hotel, too.

From the airport, fixed cab fee is $25. Septa trains run every half hour, again to Market East station, and costs in the neighborhood of $5. Airport shuttle will run you $8.

For Friday evening festivities, the New Wave Cafe is a bit under two miles from the hotel.

If you're so inclined, it's probably a decent opportunity for a long stroll. Otherwise, you could take the Subway (blue Market-Frankford line) from Market East to 2nd and Market and walk the rest of the way, which will cut your walk in about half. Or, just split a cab with a couple of people and it shouldn't be more than $8 total.

The Khyber is under a mile from the New Wave Cafe, and is also located right by the 2nd & Market subway stop. Certainly walkable, or for those who who are less mobile a short cab ride away. Subway or cab is probably the easiest way to return home from the Khyber, although it's certainly safe to walk if you're not alone (the late night stroll down market street isn't the sexiest, so if you want to walk it's probably worth heading down Walnut St. or Chestnut St. instead.)

more later...

Inside the Mind of John Tierney

Another red-baiting chickenhawk. You'd think that modern conservatives would come up with a few new tricks. I guess they're too stupid.

Tierney, of the Institute of World Politics, identified five groups: ANSWER, Not in Our Name, Code Pink, United for Peace and Justice, and He said these groups "come from the Workers World Party" and are an "umbrella" for smaller groups, such as the "Communist Party of Kansas City" and the "Socialist Revolutionary Movement of the Upper Mississippi." Of the last two, he said, "I'm just making these up."

Tierney singled out Sheehan, whose son died in Iraq and who camped out at President Bush's ranch this month to protest the war. "I've never heard of a woman protesting a war in front of a leader's home in my life," he said. "I've never heard of anything quite so outrageous."

Tierney must have led a rather sheltered life.

Looks like Operation Yellow Elephant has a new target: Young Tierney!:

The author said he has "grave, grave problems with the conduct of the operation in Iraq" and wouldn't want to see his 20-year-old son go there. But he said it is "automatic" that anybody who joins a protest by one of the offending groups is supporting communists.

Wankers of the Day

Traffic Power.

WSJ article here.


All the latest info here.

For anyone, especially local people, who for whatever reason may not be attending the more formal parts of the conference but wouldn't mind stopping in and saying hello, feel free to come to the Khyber to see Milton and the Devils Party, Friday at 9Pm. $8 cover. 56 S. 2nd street.



More than 600 people have been killed in a stampede of Shia pilgrims in northern Baghdad, Iraqi officials say.

The incident happened on a bridge over the Tigris River as about one million Shias marched to a shrine for an annual religious festival.

Witnesses said panic spread because of rumours that suicide bombers were in the crowd. Many victims were crushed to death or fell in the river and drowned.

Earlier, mortar rounds had been fired into the crowd, killing 16 people.

Open Thread

To infinity thread and beyond!

Open Thread

Too many threads spoil the soup.



Taken altogether, this is what I fear will happen: The victims of the flood will be portrayed via racist stereotypes as criminals and idiots. This will predispose the audience to disliking them. Then, after everything settles down, a few right wingers will start implying that the dead brought their own fate on themselves by being too stupid and/or criminal to evacuate. This focus will distract the pundits from discussing the real issue at hand, which is why the fuck we didn't have the resources on hand to evacuate a city that has Hurricane Target written all over it. Before you know it, it'll be a wingnut bonaza of people both gleefully indulging in the most racist tendencies while simultaneously claiming that the only reason one might end up dead in a hurricane is because one doesn't have "personal responsibility". But my guess is that the people who are dead mostly didn't have transportation out of the city. Watch the media bury the truth of what happened so fast it'll make your head spin.

Gray Lady Gets It Right For Once


People who think of that graceful city and the rest of the Mississippi Delta as tourist destinations must have been reminded, watching the rescue operations, that the real residents of this area are in the main poor and black. The only resources most of them will have to fall back on will need to come from the federal government.

Those of us in New York watch the dire pictures from Louisiana with keen memories of the time after Sept. 11, when the rest of the nation made it clear that our city was their city, and that everyone was part of the battle to restore it. New Orleans, too, is one of the places that belongs to every American's heart - even for people who have never been there.

Right now it looks as if rescuing New Orleans will be a task much more daunting than any city has faced since the San Francisco fire of 1906. It must be a mission for all of us.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005


It's a shame that from what I've seen in the media they don't seem to understand the importance of maps. Disaster footage is flashed randomly on the screen, devoid of any genuine geographic context. Maps appropriately scaled for the location of the footage would provide actual useful information. Otherwise, it's mostly just disaster porn.

Captions Are Fun

Two stories.


A young man walks through chest deep flood water after looting a grocery store in New Orleans on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2005. Flood waters continue to rise in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina did extensive damage when it made landfall on Monday. (AP Photo/Dave Martin) Email Photo Print Photo


Two residents wade through chest-deep water after finding bread and soda from a local grocery store after Hurricane Katrina came through the area in New Orleans, Louisiana.(AFP/Getty Images/Chris Graythen)

(thanks to "?" in comments)

Note to the Media

New Orleans is being destroyed. Looting, especially by those who are obtaining food, water, and other necessities, is about number 589 on the list of things which matter right now.


Oy. Problems.

When Wingnuts Attack

Jack Van Impe vs. Pat "Osami Bin Laden" Robertson.


Tonight at Drinking Liberally we had our first real life troll - some lovely fellow who drove by the bar where we were sitting outside and yelled "George Bush Rules!"

Open Thread

Quick! To the threadmobile!


Jack Cafferty just now on CNN.

Cafferty: Where's President Bush? Is he still on vacation?

Blitzer: He's cut short his vacation he's coming back to Washington tomorrow.

Cafferty: Oh, that would be a good idea. He was out in San Diego I think at a Naval air station giving a speech on Japan and the war in Iraq today. Based on his approval rating, based on the latest polls, my guess is getting back to work might not be a terrible idea.

Transcript doesn't do it justice. Bush just got pwned. can listen here.

The Coming Crackup

Trouble is looming for the tiny penis gang.


Sadly, after looking for a time yesterday that it wasn't going to be "that bad," it turns out Katrina has indeed been that bad. With large numbers of residents being told to stay away for an entire month, and the 20,000 or so who have apparently taken up shelter in the superdome, it appears that we have our own non-trivial refugee crisis.

Lots and lots of people have neither the family nor their own resources to allow them to keep their families sheltered for a significant amount of time. Many or old and/or have chronic illnesses. This is a massive disaster requiring some serious leadership.

It appears that the money has been moved in the president’s budget to handle homeland security and the war in Iraq, and I suppose that’s the price we pay. Nobody locally is happy that the levees can’t be finished, and we are doing everything we can to make the case that this is a security issue for us.

-- Walter Maestri, emergency management chief for Jefferson Parish, Louisiana; New Orleans Times-Picayune, June 8, 2004.

"Find Him and Arrest Him"

John Gibson expresses his love for the troops.

Open Thread

Too many threads spoil the soup.

Regulating Cable

Yes, this is an awful idea. And, yes, sadly, the Democrats will likely end up being on the wrong side of it.

Please, just spend a few hundred billion on the biggest ad campaign in the history of the universe to tell parents how to use their goddamn v-chips.

Minitru on the Hudson

Looks like the New York Times has had a wee adjustment to its style guide:

"There's a certain ferocity in motherhood," said Celeste Zappala of Philadelphia, a co-founder of Ms. Sheehan's antiwar group, Gold Star Families for Peace, and the mother of Sgt. Sherwood Baker, a national guardsman. Sergeant Baker was killed in Baghdad in April 2004 while protecting the Iraq Survey Group, which was searching for large unconventional weapons.


Ms. Prewitt said she voted for Mr. Bush in 2000 and initially supported the war, but turned against it after no unconventional weapons were found. "The first year I was rather numb, and then I got angry," she said.

"Unconventional weapons?" Admittedly, it's a better term, but it also serves to help us forget what this war was all about in the first place...

...UPDATE: I just did a Nexis search and they've apparently been using both terms for quite some time. It's interesting really - sometimes it's an appropriate usage and sometimes it isn't. strange.

Open Thread

No cord or cable can draw so forcibly, or bind so fast, as love can do with a single thread. --Robert Burton

Open Thread

Quick! To the threadmobile!

Monkey's Paw

PZ Myers made a wish...

Dick Cheney is the parent of a gay woman

Gayness. Freepi. Hilarity.

Monday, August 29, 2005


Lovely lovely medals!

There should also be the Purple Cheeto award for those who, tragically, experience heart failure during their noble war against their fellow citizens.


It's not entirely clear if "amnesty" is a pardon or if it's some double super secret thing not actually present in the Kentucky constitution...[update: real pardons]

Still, it's a bit odd. The good Gov didn't pardon, er, amnesty, or whatever, himself. Presumably all of those who had been indicted are now unable to invoke their 5th amendment rights...

Bye Jim

We'll sure miss you.

The Sixth Congressional District was carved with Gerlach, a former state senator, in mind. Its boundary lines, consequently, are as gerrymandered as a six-year-old's Etch-A-Sketch doodle. But that hasn't made things easy for him.


"I'm a lifelong Republican," says Mr. Ross, amid an art-deco interior where they hope to add a cafe. "But for the first time in my life, I can imagine voting Democrat." Mr. Deacon, too, has soured on Mr. Bush. Both cite frustration with the war in Iraq.

A similar refrain is heard just across the street, at Rusti's Beauty Supply. A bumper sticker on the window - "The Bush Promise: Survival of the Richest" - doesn't slow the flow of black women seeking hair-care products. Inside, owner Rusti Hoskins vents his views with more color than can be printed in a family newspaper. "I can't stand Bush," he says in gravelly tones. Once reliably Republican, Mr. Hoskins is now disgusted by the Iraq war.


"Voters here just aren't comfortable with the direction of the Republican Party," she says, citing its "reckless" record of fiscal management. Four young staffers are already hard at work for Ms. Murphy, a lawyer who, without much name recognition, lost to Gerlach by a mere 7,000 votes last year.

Murphy's campaign headquarters are in Narberth, one of the posh suburbs that stretch westward from Philadelphia along Pennsylvania's Main Line railroad. Route 30 is different in these leafy suburbs: A Maserati dealership and the manicured athletic fields of Villanova University make Coatesville seem a million miles away.

This area was once solidly Republican, but has been trending Democratic. Voters here are more politically oriented, but they're less willing to go on the record. In this Google age, many worry that colleagues will learn their partisan leanings.

Murphy came within spitting distance in '04. '06 should be a win. And, she's the first of the '06 Eschaton approved candidates.

Judy Judy Judy

Arianna's latest.

Open Thread

Four score and seven threads ago.

Grand Old Police Blotter

Well, perhaps not, if he just pardons the lot of them.

Straw Men

I do wish we could get off this topic, honestly, but it's one which brings out the stupids in a way which drives me nuts.

In discussing the Bell Curve, supporters of it invariably trot out all kinds of straw men to argue with. Let's deal with some of them.

First: Critics of the Bell Curve believe there is no link between the gentic code of parents and the potential intellecutal abilities of their offspring.

Some critics may think that, but I'm not aware of any of them.

Second: Critics of the Bell Curve believe all differences are environmental.

Some critics may think that, but I'm not aware of any of them.

Third: Critics went after M&H because they were exploring a "taboo" subject.

The subjects they were exploring are certainly sensitive ones, for good reason, but certainly not taboo. The existence of and reasons for gender and racial differences in life outcomes have and continue to be widely studied. M&H came under fire because their work was crap and because it had clear racist content. Similarly, Larry Summers came under fire not because he broached a taboo subject, but because he broached an understandably sensitive subject in a room full of people who had actually done research on that "taboo" topic and knew that Summers was talking out of his ass.

Fourth: Critics of the Bell Curve don't believe in race.

Well, critics of the Bell Curve don't believe that the cultural concept of race has much to do with the genetic concept of population. That doesn't mean that one cannot do any studies involving race - it is, in fact, a reason why we tend to support keeping statistics which include data on race - but it does mean that one should be more than a little careful when linking discussions of population genetics with discussions of race.

Fifth: Heritability necessarily implies genetic heritability.

We "inherit" much from our parents, and only some of that is genetic. Teasing out the different sources of heritability using tests taken relativey late in life and a needlessly crude measure of socioeconomic status does is not really possible, at least not in the crude way M&H approach the subject.

Sixth: The Bell Curve says whatever it is I, as a fan of it, think it says.

Many people seem to see support for the Bell Curve as either a symbol of openmindedness or as simply a statement of belief in some personal idiosyncratic views on race and intelligence. The Bell Curve is a specific book, which used specific data, specific methodology, specific arguments, specific sources, and specific rhetoric. Criticizing The Bell Curve is criticizing the Bell Curve, not criticizing some other actual or imagined alternative study, or theory, or empirical result, or anything else.

Seventh: Critics of the Bell Curve believe "IQ tests" are meaningless or that "IQ" isn't real.

IQ tests certainly measure something. That something is in some studies correlated with life outcomes. However, in no way do IQ tests, or many other tests which frequently serve as a proxy for IQ tests, provide a quality measure of innate intelligence or reflect some sort of immutable characteristic obtained at birth or conception (part of heritability, of course, has to do with what happens in utero, and not just early childhood).

There are more, but I'm getting bored as are the rest of you. I warn people away from the bell curve because I have the education to understand the shoddy "science," though there is more there worthy of criticism than simply shoddy methodology.

Finally, I'm often curious about what Bell Curve supporters, many of whom are clearly mostly unaware of what's actually in the book, think the book has "proven." Why do they get so upset when people point out it's full of crap? Which empirical results, logical conclusions, or policy recommendations found within do they support? It's weird, because they rarely discuss it in those terms. They seem to mostly believe the book supports some particular view they have, whether or not it actually does.


We're all terrorists now, apparently.

Wanker of the Day

Doug Forrester.


This Washington Post column is, perhaps, the stupidest thing I have *ever* read.

Pride in the Name of Racism

The ignorance of Andrew Sullivan is shocking. A decade later, he still has no clue why the publication of racist pseudo-science reflects not a man who is "interested in the truth," but rather, as I said, a bigot, a fool, or both. Sullivan's inability to comprehend the numerous flaws in that book is a testament to the fact that one needs not know much of anything to have edited one of the nation's premier magazines.

I consider it a public service to occasionally warn people of the Bell Curve. It's a book which has managed to seduce a lot of people, and it's for their own good that they're steered away from that foolishness as quickly as possible.

Sullivan also writes regarding my criticism of his claim that they ran a piece before anyone "dared touch it":

He's wrong. TNR ran the only advance piece by Murray on the subject. And the cover-date for TNR is always a couple of weeks ahead of the actual published date (it keeps its shelf-life on news-stands), which may account for Atrios' error. The magazine was certainly not alone in covering the controversy. But we pioneered it. I have the scars to show for it.

That may be true, but the idea that there's anything courageous in publishing fraudulent racist pseudoscience which clearly had no problem being promoted and discussed throughout the media is ridiculous.

Courage would be to admit that you fucked up badly, and continue to fuck up, as you justify your promotion of racist propaganda as an interest in "truth."

Tell James Heckman, nobel prize winning University of Chicago econometrician, that his criticism of the Bell Curve was a "hysterical far-left response" to the book.

What a sad, sad, fool. What a sad, sad commentary on our media that the ranks of elite media are populated by these idiots.

Another America Hater

It's amazing we let these seditious individuals into our military.


CBS and Fox wankers.


We now know that Time magazine is happy to print information it knows to be false. Blogger ethics panel, convene!

The Anti-Military Anti-American Right

Lovely folks:

WASHINGTON - Since the spring, long before an angry mom named Cindy Sheehan set up camp outside President Bush's Texas ranch, anti-war activists have been holding vigils outside Walter Reed Army Medical Center on Friday nights, when many soldiers and their families venture off campus for steak dinners.

They've called for better health care benefits for soldiers wounded in Iraq, protested an early policy of making some soldiers buy their own meals while in care, and accused the military of purposely flying injured troops in under cover of night to downplay the volume of casualties. And they've waved signs protesting the war and the Bush administration.

Organizers say they weren't getting much media attention - even after a pro-war group began gathering to protest the vigils - and that the coverage they did get was generally positive, including a write-up in the military newspaper Stars & Stripes.

Until last week, that is. That's when an online news service with politically conservative ties released a special report suggesting the vigils were actually protests aimed at wounded soldiers - an accusation that infuriated vigil organizers, many of them family members of troops serving in Iraq and some of them veterans themselves. The Drudge Report previewed the story, and conservative television and radio hosts seized on it.


Friday night at Walter Reed, counterprotesters outnumbered the 20 or so vigil participants by a 3-1 margin. They waved flags, yelled at anti-war activists and hoisted signs saying such things as: "Cindy Sheehan Bride of Bin Laden."


Our wounded soldiers are not barter for them to use to try to push their cause!" he said. "It's very transparent what they're doing. They don't care about soldiers' health benefits. This is déjà vu, Vietnam, Jane Fonda, John Kerry, all over again."

Laura Costas of Silver Spring, Md., one of the vigil participants, said her brother served 14 months in Iraq with the Army and was injured when an explosive device hit his unarmored Humvee.

"He feels betrayed," she said. "You sign up to defend the Constitution and you get Abu Ghraib and Guantánamo."

She described a shortage among troops of modern bullet-proof vests, boots, even helmet straps. She said her brother, now home, must navigate a complex bureaucracy to deal with his hearing loss and post-traumatic stress.

"It's patent nonsense to say a member of a military family who's out here doesn't care about the troops," she said.

Having Miller on Payroll Is an Embarrassment to NYT

Times turns up the waah machine.

The Red State Times

Dodgson on balance.

O'Reilly and Saddam

There's a column in the Houston Chronicle about shitty pre-war journalism. Nothing much is new for most people, but I was struck by this line:

Bill O'Reilly on The O'Reilly Factor asserted as early as Sept. 13. 2001, that Saddam Hussein was involved in the 9/11 attacks and needed to be removed.

Foreign policy genius O'Reilly didn't come up with that on his own. And, sure enough:

Sept. 13:

O'REILLY: Well, we are aware of -- that there was sensitivity in that. Why don't we ask Ambassador Kirkpatrick to comment. I thought it was a major mistake that Saddam Hussein was not removed in that war because he has been a thorn in the world's side ever since. And I -- the evidence that we're seeing here tonight, Ms Kirkpatrick, is he very well might have had a financial hand in this terrorist attack. What do you think?


O'REILLY: All right. Listen, I'm with you I'm just trying to figure out if it will be effective. We tried the blockade in the -- all of that with Iraq. And it looks like this guy -- Saddam Hussein -- had a hand in this now. I mean, at least financial speaking.


O'REILLY: Well, we are aware of -- that there was sensitivity in that. Why don't we ask Ambassador Kirkpatrick to comment. I thought it was a major mistake that Saddam Hussein was not removed in that war because he has been a thorn in the world's side ever since. And I -- the evidence that we're seeing here tonight, Ms Kirkpatrick, is he very well might have had a financial hand in this terrorist attack. What do you think?

Sept. 14:

O'REILLY: Now, from the very beginning of this horror, I have said I believe the attack involved not just the killers, run by Osama bin Laden, but also some foreign nations. Researcher Laurie Mylroie agrees with me and joins us now from Washington. Ms. Mylroie is the author of the book, "Study of Revenge: Saddam Hussein's Unfinished War Against America." Do you have any evidence, Ms. Mylroie, that Saddam Hussein is involved in the world trade center and pentagon attacks?


O'REILLY: But what we didn't do and what is really going to come back to haunt us, and I'm going to have to take a short, just a very short pause to go to our affiliate stations, but I was over there on the so-called highway of death and we had a chance to knock out the Republican Guard, the only people that prop up this monster, Saddam Hussein, who I believe is involved with this World Trade Center and Pentagon bombing. I believe that you're going to find out that money from Iraq flowed in and helped this happen.

Open Thread

Better thread than dead.

Open Thread

Four score and seven threads ago.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

More Thread


Open Thread

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


Let's hope none of this is true:







Open Thread

Because threads have feelings too.

National Review Memories

Ah, the nation's premier conservative magazine:

60s it grew fat on segregation, taking up the states' rights argument for allowing jim crow to die in bed. The Tribune couldn't countenance the Birmingham bombings, but William Buckley's National Review, which would champion Barry Goldwater for president the following year, was able to. "Let us gently say," it said, "the fiend who set off the bomb does not have the sympathy of the white population in the South; in fact, he set back the cause of the white people there so dramatically as to raise the question whether in fact the explosion was the act of a provocateur -- of a Communist, or of a crazed Negro." The magazine said some evidence supported this possibility.

"And let it be said," the National Review declared, "that the convulsions that go on, and are bound to continue, have resulted from revolutionary assaults on the status quo, and a contempt for the law, which are traceable to the Supreme Court's manifest contempt for the settled traditions of Constitutional practice. Certainly it now appears that Birmingham's Negroes will never be content so long as the white population is free to be free."

Fourteen months later the National Review weighed in on the murders of Goodman, Schwerner, and Cheney in Mississippi. It noted that a federal grand jury convened in Neshoba County had returned indictments against local police officers. "It is everyone's impression, including ours, that some, at least, of the Neshoba police are a crummy lot," said the magazine airily. "But we pause for reflection. Are 'violation of the Civil Rights Act' and the even more tenuous 'conspiracy to violate' going to become a catch-all charge by which the Federal Government can get its hands on nearly any citizen?"


Geeky Mom tells the politicians what they need to say:

Okay, this was a bad idea and now we're going to figure out how to get out of it.

Fun Among the Freepi

In Crawford:

Kristinn Taylor, an event organizer with, heard about the sign and rushed up to Robinson.

“This is our rally and you can't do that here,” he said, only for Robinson to insist he was within his rights.

Camera crews rushed in and Taylor turned to face them.

“To all the media here, this sign is not representative of the crowd here today,” Taylor announced. Some of the crowd around Robinson came forward to shake his hand, while others chanted, “Idiot, go home.”

The two men then squared off and raised their voices.

“Just get outta here!” Robinson yelled, and aimed a kick at Taylor's midsection. Taylor called for security, and a young Woodway policeman quickly showed up.

“I have the right to freedom of speech,” Robinson said.

Robinson continued to protest loudly as police handcuffed him and led him away.


Did Bush really just spend most of his speech, supposedly about the hurricane, talking about Iraq?

The Big Hug

Billmon had pointed this out earlier, but it's worth bringing up again. The Bush SOTU "event," drooled over by bloggers and fawning pundits was the hug that Safia Taleb al-Suhail gave to the mother of man killed in Iraq (this was back before the mothers of dead soldiers were demonized by our media). Her discontent with the current situation should, by virtue of this event, be a story worth revisiting. To put it bluntly, Suhail apparently no longer thinks that this is a noble cause.

Open Thread

Rarely is the question asked: is our children threading?

The Chickencoop


"The Bitch in the Ditch"

Anti-war protesters: protesting the actions of their government.

Pro-war protesters (whatever that means): attacking Americans.

Open Thread

Too many threads spoil the soup.

Open Thread

To infinity thread and beyond!

Open Thread

No cord or cable can draw so forcibly, or bind so fast, as love can do with a single thread. --Robert Burton