BRANDOLAND: Talking to God...For You!

Sunday, April 30, 2006


There's only one thing to do today:

Stephen Colbert's apperance at the White House Press Correspondents annual dinner.

Via Crooks & Liars.

Quick note from Editor & Publisher:
Colbert, who spoke in the guise of his talk show character, who ostensibly supports the president strongly, urged the Bush to ignore his low approval ratings, saying they were based on reality, “and reality has a well-known liberal bias.
Nuff said.

More later...

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Baby, Keep Me Happy


The big story today --

"Gas prices."


"The new GOP sex scandal (FBI Probes Contractor, Ex-Lawmaker Ties)?"


"Rove testifies in front of the grand jury for the 5th time?!"


Keith Richards Hospitalized in New Zealand

Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards suffered a mild concussion while vacationing in Fiji and was flown to a New Zealand hospital for treatment, a band spokeswoman said Saturday.

Media reports said Richards fell out of a palm tree and remained hospitalized in Auckland.


"Following treatment locally and as a precautionary measure, he flew to a hospital accompanied by his wife, Patti, for observation," Curtis said.

The statement did not elaborate on Richards' condition.
Don't worry: "Keif" feels no pain.

And no questions about the palm tree: We assume that Keith was, uh, relaxing.

"You shouldn't take it so hard, yeah!"


QUICK MESSAGE BOARD UPDATE re: the big protest march in NYC.

The trolls are all over it.

Hardliner 69
To which feline48884 responded...
No, you're going to threaten them from you computer.

Pathetic, pathetic, pathetic.

More later...

Friday, April 28, 2006

The Yahoo Message Boards!!!


It's "Yahoo Message Board Friday!"

Let's get started, shall we?

First up...

Agency: Iran Has Defied Security Council

VIENNA, Austria - Iran has enriched uranium and continues related activities in defiance of the U.N. Security Council, the International Atomic Energy Agency said Friday.

The finding was contained in a report drawn up by International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei...
You know where this is going.

Hitlerynever -- Hitlery is their little nam de plume for Sen. Clinton -- writes:
I guess that "former green berAY" forgot to do a "spell check."

Point taken, though!

Another "former marine" - former gysgt usmc - says
Good to know. Thanks for the heads up on the ass-whipping.

And thank you for the civic lesson: Didn't know that we have to "earn the right to free speech" via a career in the military.

I will quit blogging and will sign up today.

Scuba divin' terrorist chimes in on the whole "former military" thing:
as a former army submarine corporal...i say lets roll!!
As a former commando in the KISS ARMY I say, "What he said!!!"

Olive79pop writes:
John Travolta, Drop A Bomb On Tehran...You're a good pilot, not just in the movies, but in real life, too.
Not sure if John can do it: I think you have to be an OTVIII before you can take that kind of mission.

(I'll look into it.)

Indtrdr asks:
I wonder if a nuke shoved up their ass would get their attention.

It might also start WWIII, but - hey - we might as well give it a shot.

Wrapping up the Iran-thing, zbdg419 clams that...
EVEN JESUS DESPISED JEWS, THAT'S why he went ahead and changed his name to HESUS.

The nuns never mentioned the "name changing" story.

Is that in Matthew, Mark, Luke or John?

Moving on...

al-Qaida Leaders Losing Control, U.S. Says

WASHINGTON - Leaders of al-Qaida lost some control of the terror network last year due to the arrests and deaths of top operational planners, but the group remains the most prominent terror threat facing the United States and its allies, the State Department said Friday.
And now...the onslaught.

nazi means natl socialist asks...
WHO HATES AMERICA MORE? LIBS OR OBL? I gotta give it to the lib-bots
Me, too.

Wait. "Lib-bots." That's a new one. I've heard libtards, libturds, and libruls, but not lib-bots.

Okay then.

thqrnlj uses the term right away!
And uses the term effectively. Plus, he's got a good point.

On that note, furbysarestillcool wonders...
Solid comedy from the right.

ironway2004 continues the attack!
Well, this here "libtard" is gonna go to Taco Llama (Magnolia & Cahuenga) for lunch. Other than that...maybe I should just...kill myself...or move to Canada?


O'Donnell to Replace Vieira on 'The View'

As in Rosie O'Donell.

I'm sure you can imagine where these posts go. Most of them had something to do with "fat" and "lezbo" and "bitch" and "feminazi." (There was even an Irish slur.) Here's the most, uh, bloggable, from fistacuffband:
And "Yahoo Message Board Friday."

Remember...brilliant minds think alike!

More later...

Thursday, April 27, 2006

$10,000/Night Girls, Part III

Got another old story...with new details.

Today's info...

Prosecutors May Widen Congressional-Bribe Case

Cunningham Is Suspected Of Asking for Prostitutes; Were Others Involved?

How about some good old-fashioned $10,000/night girls?
Federal prosecutors are investigating whether two contractors implicated in the bribery of former Rep. Randall "Duke" Cunningham supplied him with prostitutes and free use of a limousine and hotel suites, pursuing evidence that could broaden their long-running inquiry.

Besides scrutinizing the prostitution scheme for evidence that might implicate contractor Brent Wilkes, investigators are focusing on whether any other members of Congress, or their staffs, may also have used the same free services, though it isn't clear whether investigators have turned up anything to implicate others.
Um, the ladies weren't free.

Somebody paid for 'em.
According to people with knowledge of the investigation, Mr. (Mitchell) Wade told investigators that Mr. Cunningham periodically phoned him to request a prostitute, and that Mr. Wade then helped to arrange for one.
Mitch Wade is co-conspirator #2, and "the founder and former head of MZM Inc., a software and computer-services firm that Mr. Cunningham helped to gain federal contracts."
A limousine driver then picked up the prostitute as well as Mr. Cunningham, and drove them to one of the hotel suites, originally at the Watergate Hotel, and subsequently at the Westin Grand.

Here's the old Brandoland post, from December 6, 2005.

* * *

Good news from the National Journal (via the Huffington Post)!

Guilty Congressman Duke Cunningham's “Co-Conspirator” Also Ran A DC “Hospitality Suite, With Several Bedrooms”

God, I hope so:
Sometimes we read too many political clips and overlook some amazing things staring us in the face. Among those in Monday's edition, this little factoid, culled from Sunday's San Diego Union-Tribune blockbuster digging deeper into the Duke Cunningham's relationship with "co-conspirator No. 1," a.k.a. lobbyist Brent Wilkes.

According to the (Union Tribune), Wilkes also "ran a hospitality suite, with several bedrooms, in" DC -- "first in the Watergate Hotel and then" in a Capitol Hill hotel.

Come again? A "hospitality suite with several bedrooms"?

Talk about raising more questions, including:

-- Why does a lobbyist need a "hospitality suite with several bedrooms"?
Because $10,000/night girls, er, I mean, his "business associates," need a place to work.

Wink wink, nudge nudge, eh eh eh?
-- Who uses those bedrooms and for what?
See previous answer.

* * *

Once again...

This harkens back to one of my favorite conversations ever - a conversation between two "girls" in the parking lot of the Rite Aid (then a Thrifty) at Sunset and Fairfax.

I was hiding behind my car - an old postal jeep covered with Replacement and Husker Du stickers:

GIRL #1 - God, you should go over there --

GIRL #2 - Really?

GIRL #1 - I mean, you would make so much money --

GIRL #2 - I --

GIRL #1 - Like, $10,000 a night.

GIRL #2 - Cool --

GIRL #1 - I just got back from there.

GIRL #2 - Where?

GIRL #1 - Saudi Arabia.

These lobbying scandals involving Cunningham and Wilkes and Abramoff are looking more and more like a bad movie script every day.

Except with one difference from the movies: this stuff actually happened.
Those of you familiar with this blog know that I'd usually take this opportunity to...



But I'm not gonna.

Because truth is stranger than fiction, and I'm tired of imagining a bunch of conservative politicians, lobbyists and "defense contractors" playing grab-ass with a bunch of Hooter-girls.

Among other things.

On that note...

More from Arianna:
The Cunningham case is a textbook example of how the pay-to-play system works -- and a powerful advertisement for the value of graft (“It really, really works!”).

Let’s take a look at how Mitch Wade of MZM Inc. (aka Cunningham “co-conspirator No. 2”) gamed the system.

Before launching MZM in 1993, Wade was a program manager at the Pentagon (so he saw how things worked).
And...he had plenty of time to figure out how he could profit from "the way things worked."
But for 8 years his company struggled to get contracts and, as recently as 2001, still had not made a dime.

Then Wade started to fill Cunningham’s pockets -- and his homes.

One hundred grand later, the company was placed on a list of approved government providers and, as reported by the LA Times, got its first contract -- to supply office furniture and computers for Vice President Dick Cheney.
Hmm, that's an interesting gig.
The MZM bribes kept coming Cunningham’s way and the company kept cashing in big time -- landing a massive five-year $250 million blanket contract.

This year, the firm found itself among Washington Technology magazine’s “Top 100 Federal Prime Contractors”.

Talk about your return on investment.

Forget the who, what, where, when, and why of Cunningham, we all need to learn a lot more about MZM and ADCS (aka co-conspirator No. 1), the other Potomac alchemist who turned gifts to Cunningham into golden defense contracts. Cunningham’s bounty may be the sizzle, but these as yet-unindicted firms are the steak.

Just as there is no way that Cunningham is the only bribee (although he may be the only one shameless enough to deposit bribe checks directly into his personal bank accounts), there is no way that MZM and ADCS are the only defense contractors bribing their way to massive profits.

Both for the health of our democracy and for our national security, it’s vitally important that these companies get called on the carpet. Don’t forget, these crooks are defense contractors -- and doesn’t it make you wonder where else they are breaking the rules and cutting corners?

For instance, MZM was granted a $5 million contract to be the sole provider of interpreters in Iraq.

That’s troubling in any language.

The ongoing war in Iraq and the war on terror guarantee that tens of billions of dollars in government contracts will be handed out to defense contractors.
That's the problem.

"If you're in the business of war, you need war for business."
We need independent legislators who will keep them in check, not bought-and-paid-for stooges eager to do their bidding -- and a vigilant press corps determined to act as watchdogs for the public good.

More later.


GIRL #1 - You don't even have to have sex.

GIRL #2 - What?

GIRL #1 - I mean, most of the time, I just sat around a pool.

GIRL #2 - Oh.

GIRL #1 - But, like, you can make so much more money if you...

Wink-wink, nudge-nudge, eh, eh, eh?

More later...

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Shopping the Black Market

Old story, new twists:

Leaks of Military Files Resume

Despite security efforts, flash drives stolen from U.S. base in Afghanistan are still sold at bazaar.

"C'mon, Joe. I sell to you. Cheap!"
BAGRAM, Afghanistan — Just days after U.S. troops were ordered to plug a security breach at their base here, the black market trade in computer memory drives containing military documents was thriving again Monday.

Documents on flash drives for sale at a bazaar across from the American military base over the weekend contained U.S. officers' names and cellphone numbers and instructions on using pain to control prisoners who put up resistance.

A study guide on one of the drives describes tactics for interrogating and controlling detainees by pinching or striking nerve and pressure points on their face, neck, arms and legs.
Having said that, Abu Ghraib was the result of a few bad apples.
Traders at the bazaar near Bagram's main gate were openly displaying pilfered U.S. military memory drives in their shops Monday, two weeks after the Los Angeles Times reported on the black market in computer equipment, some of which contained American military documents marked "Secret."
"Fruits! Nuts! Secret US military documents!"
U.S. soldiers spent thousands of dollars later that week buying scores of flash memory drives from the bazaar. The soldiers walked through the black market with a box of money, purchasing all the computer equipment they could find.
"I'll give you five US dollars, man."

"C'mon, Joe. Is new. Not used. You geev me ten."

"Five. The guy over there has 'em for five."

"C'mon, Joe! Eight."

"Five...and I won't kick your ass."

"What are you, Joe? Some kind of Jedi knight or something?!"
For several days afterward, no more memory drives were available.

But an 18-year-old Afghan man who works on the base said that by Friday, memory drives were being smuggled off the base again. The devices are smaller than disposable lighters.

Several shopkeepers have said in recent days that they are eager for the military to return to the market so they can sell their new stock for premium prices.
"Check this out, Joe. Top stuff, Joe! Zeep drive. For computer."

"I know. It's from my freakin' desk."

"Then you need, Joe!"

More later...

ANWR, Round ?

(Check out this MUST SEE Bob Smigel Cartoon on Crooks & Liars entitled "Media-Opoly": Beyond brilliant, and a parody of the old "Schoolhouse Rock" bits.)

On Monday (in the "Fred Barnes" post below), I wrote:
Final thought: A lot of Neo-con policies are generated and tested via the Weekly Standard. Get ready for a new round of calls for drilling in ANWR.
It didn't take long, people.

A freakin' day.

From Our Kid's appearance in front of the "Renewable Fuels Association" on Tuesday:
One of the issues, as you know, that has been confronting Congress is ANWR. And I fully recognize that the passage of ANWR will not increase the oil supply immediately.

But it's also important to understand that if ANWR had been law a decade ago, America would be producing about a million additional barrels of oil a day, and that would increase our current level of domestic supply by 20 percent.

We've got to be wise about energy policy here in America.
That's code for, "You people are gonna have to bend over for the energy companies."
We've got to make sure that we protect the environment, but we've also got to make sure that we find additional supplies of crude oil in order to take the pressure off the price of crude, which takes the pressure off the price of gasoline at the pump.

Convenience Theory -- When two or more entities profit/benefit from a seemingly random event...those entities may have, uh, played a part in that "random" event. Wink-wink, nudge-nudge, eh, eh, eh?

More later...

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Wa Wa Wee Wa

Welcome visitors via Crooks & Liars.

Can we take a quick timeout from Bushworld (and the fact that Our Kid just trashed some more environmental rules for his Big Oil buddies) for a little Borat TV?

Wa Wa Wee Wa.

Quick excerpt from Borat's trip to a private hunting ranch in Texas:
BORAT: It is a one of cannot have a deer...and then a Jew...and say, "You can hunt the Jew."

TX RANCH OWNER: Ha ha. You can't be that way in this country.

BORAT: Why not?


It's okay with me,'s not with other people.
Ah, yes, life in 'Merica.


More later...

(Softball junk below.)

Big Babies!

Time for another installment of "Tales...of Big Conservative Babies!"

From The Stakeholder:
Starting this week, hundreds of young Capitol Hill aides will indulge in an annual rite of spring here by changing out of their business suits and heading over to the National Mall to play in the Congressional Softball League.

Amid all the partisan rancor of congressional politics, the softball league has for 37 years been a rare case of bipartisan civility...

This year, the league will be missing something: a lot of the Republicans.

During the off-season, a group of Republican teams seceded from the league after accusing its Democratic commissioner, Gary Caruso, of running a SOCIALIST year-end playoff system that gives below-average teams an unfair chance to win the championship.

The league "is all about Softball Welfare -- aiding the weak by punishing the strong," the pitcher of one Republican team told Mr. Caruso in an email.

It's a fargin' softball league, ya big babies!
"The commissioner has a long-standing policy of punishing success and rewarding failure. He's a Democrat. Waddya' expect?" read another email, from Gary Mahmoud, the coach of BoehnerLand, a team from the office of Republican Majority Leader John Boehner.

You just KNOW that these guys take the softball thing WAY TOO SERIOUSLY: Semi-professional outfits (complete with baseball stir-ups), equipment bags, high-tech gear, their own bats ("That's my bat, buddy. Get your own.") and sunflower seeds.

Us? It's all about that ice-cold beer...
The softball coup is a "reflection of how partisan and Republican this town has really become since Republicans took control," responds Mr. Caruso, a longtime Democratic aide who worked for congressmen in the 1980s and '90s. "Republicans come here and want to bash your head in.

And if they don't get their way, they pick up the ball and go home."
"Libtards" (or "feel good rock and rollers," as Rush likes to calls us) play games "for fun."

I guess that's our "problem."

"Your your love...of socialism!"
The commissioner of the secessionist league is Anthony Reed, 31 years old, a legislative aide to House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R., Ill.) and the coach of Denny's Grand Slam.

Mr. Reed and a small group of unhappy coaches formed this new league and persuaded 110 of the 190 teams in the old league to withdraw and join them.

Not all the teams in the new league are from Republican offices, but the rebellion was predominantly led by GOP teams, including Denny's Grand Slam, BoehnerLand, the 1040 Slashers, who represent Ways and Means Committee Chairman Bill Thomas, and a team of staffers from the office of Republican Rep. Bob Ney of Ohio.
Bet "Anthony" is a real fun guy.

You know him: He lived down the hall from you...freshman year. He was the guy who was always ripping down the "Earth Day" and GLAAD signs (posted on the dorm BB).

Probably dressed like he was 50...way back then: Navy blazer, blue oxford, khakis, loafers.

Read the Wall Street Journal while you were "wasting your time" with The Onion.

On that note, I've got a list of new team names for his secessionist league.


Bald Before We're 30
We love Dockers
The Toby Keiths
The Wal-Martians
Brooks Brothers
Stupid White Men
Abercrombie & Pitch
Daddy Issues All

NOTE: Post your own nightmarish softball-league tales in the Haloscan below. Here in La La Land, there's nothing worse than the "actor athlete." (Trust me, he tries REALLY hard.)

More later...

Monday, April 24, 2006

Fred Barnes: Total Bastard

The Happy Mondays.

Media Matters has a cool little piece re: the Fox News Special Report gang talkin' about the high price of gas.

(It's basically $9/gal here in Los Angeles City.)

Here's the excerpt. Our focus is on the Weekly Standard's Fred Barnes.

For those of you who don't know, Rupert Murdoch's Weekly Standard is one of the leading Neo-con fish wraps, and a special little corner of Hell:
BARNES: But here's what I think about people complaining about this. I'm tired of hearing their complaints. I mean, look, if the American people are so upset about gas costing too much, why don't they demand something more? And the obvious thing is to have more supply.
Well, the "obvious thing" is to crack open the books -- and to get people under oath -- but that ain't gonna happen.
BARNES: And yet when that --

ANGLE: Or drive less.

BARNES: Yeah --

ANGLE: For people who can --

BARNES: We know they are not going to drive --

ANGLE: For people who can.

KONDRACKE: Or drive smaller cars.

BARNES: We know they're not going to drive less, and they don't want those little cars that if you get in an accident, you know, if you bump into the curb, everybody in your car is going to die.

ANGLE: You could just get a medium-sized car.

BARNES: People like SUVs.

KRAUTHAMMER: Or you could try bicycles.
What a dick.
BARNES: And well, look, it's a given that they like these big cars and so on. So, if they have -- if it costs a lot to fill up the tanks and they don't like that, well, demand that the supply increase.

Demand that oil be drilled offshore, in ANWR, and so on. And they aren't.

Otherwise, look, shut up.

Fuck you.

You don't live paycheck to most Americans.

Who are getting ripped off...plain and simple.

Prices are high...because they can be.

(Go back to the last time that the Dems had control of the Senate. Prices started to climb up to $2.00, and Carl Levin started to call for answers. Prices went back down. Conspiracy? No, just business in Bushworld.)

Oh, BTW, Fred -- your BOSS? Had some interesting things to say about the price of oil during the run-up to the war in Iraq (via the Guardian UK):
The greatest thing to come out of this for the world economy...would be $20 a barrel for oil.

That's bigger than any tax cut in any country.

$20, $75, $20, $75 - it's all the same.

Final thought: A lot of neo-con policies are generated and tested via the Weekly Standard. Get ready for a new round of calls for drilling in ANWR.

Which would do NOTHING to lower the price at the pump.

"Who profits?" The only question you ever need to ask.

More later...

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Which One's Pink?

Happy Sunday.

Can't believe that I'm saying this, but I'm jumping on Pink's bandwagon: She's written one of the great "protest" songs of the day ("Dear Mr. President") and I'm a new fan.

Here's the video, via Crooks & Liars. Check it out.

Sure, it's not Dylan ("Masters of War") or even Sabbath's "War Pigs" (yes, people, a great anti-war song), but it's simple and catchy and to the point and includes some questions we should all be asking:
Dear Mr. President,
Were you a lonely boy?
Are you a lonely boy?
Well, come on.

If Babs was your mum...?

"Why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?"

My favorite part of the song:
What kind of father would take his own daughter's rights away,
And what kind of father might hate his own daughter if she were gay?

I can only imagine what the First Lady has to say,
"You've come a long way from whiskey and cocaine."
Hey now.

(Can I suggest Al-Anon for the entire nation?)

Never really paid attention to Pink - I spend most of my time with Sonic Youth, Maiden and the Replacements - but she has my loyalty.

"Let the Swift Boating begin!"

How will the DrudgeRushOReillys of the world start the smear campaign? She does have cache in the youth market - which means - she's a new threat.

And she had the balls to mention the, uh, whiskey and cocaine thing.

Your thoughts below, please.

More later...

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Saturday Clash Blogging

Saturday Clash blogging...

Oh! Mama, Mama look there!
Your children are playing in that street again.
Don't you know what happened down there?
A youth of fourteen got shot down there!

The Kokane guns of Jamdown Town,
The killing clowns, the blood money men
Are shooting those...Washington bullets again!

Neil Young info below...

And more later.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Rockin' in the Free World

Happy Saturday, kiddos.

Forget about gas prices here in LaLa Land: We're getting f*cked in the face - with no end in sight.

Nothin' left to do but smile.

In the meantime, Huffingtonpost has video of Neil Young's appearance on "Showbiz Tonight."

The topic? His new album and the song "Let's Impeach the President."

Quick excerpt: The CNN Newsbunny interviewing Neil starts off with this question --
NEWSBUNNY: This...this music, right, is already causing a stir, actually.

You've got one song called, 'Let's Impeach the President.'

What is this song about?
Gee, I don't know.

About a girl who leaves Pocatello for the big city (Salt Lake)?!

Jesus H. Macy Christ.

One more time:
NEWSBUNNY: You've got one song called, 'Let's Impeach the President.'

What is this song about?

NEIL YOUNG: Well, the song pretty well follows the title, just with a bunch of reasons.

It's a long song.

BTW, the Newsbunny basically...accused Neil of being unpatriotic and Canadian throughout the interview.

Check it out.

More later...

TGI - The Yahoo Message Boards!


It's "Yahoo Message Board Friday!" Time for a smattering of o-pin-yones from across 'Merica!

Let's begin, shall we?

First up...

Minuteman Leader Pushes Border Fence

TUCSON, Ariz. - If the government doesn't build security fencing along the Mexico border, Minuteman border watch leader Chris Simcox says he and his supporters will.
YMB users chime in!

Verner Von Troll writes:
Just Poison Mexico's Water Supply - Problem solved in about 8 days.
Sounds like a plan!

Emiley006 says we should:
Build a crocodile lake along the fence - anyone trying to cross the border take their own risk as the crocodile will take good care of them....
Poison the water supply and build a crocodile lake? Okay then!

And, finally, Westie0900 opines:
SHOOT THEM MEN, WOMEN AND KIDS - These are illegals and they do pose a big risk to the country.

Next take everything from any person who hires one of these stinking illegals. I mean everything all assest both business and personal. Tack about a 10 year prison sentence on it and problem will go away.
Poorly written, but...I hear you!

Moving on...

US fuel crunch worsens

The story:
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Dozens of gasoline stations from Virginia to Massachusetts ran short of fuel on Friday as suppliers struggled with a transition to a new anti-smog gasoline blend using corn-based ethanol as an additive, marketers said.

The disruptions, caused in part by a lack of trucks to move ethanol to supply terminals, comes amid an already severe spike in retail gasoline prices to near $3 per gallon as the cost of crude hits new highs.
YMB users to the rescue!

Whodat 3762 tells us that we are:
Victim of our own success! Worldwide we're living longer, driving and buying more!

Al Knightstien writes:
Apparently, the "green weenies" are responsible for the high prices.

I learned something new today.

On that note, Instant troll writes:
Set an environmentalist on fire - This winter... these a$$ clowns will be your cheapest source of heat!
Not really willing to commit murder, but, hey, what they hell!

Finally --

Widow, 84, Wins Record $10M Slot Jackpot

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. - For 84-year-old Josephine Crawford, the golden years just got a lot more golden. About to call it quits after a night playing slot machines, the Galloway Township widow hit a $10 million jackpot late Tuesday, the biggest in the history of casino gambling here.
And a comment from Mack-a-rooney:
There you go...

Your America.

Remember - "Brilliant minds think alike!"

More later...

Thursday, April 20, 2006


Paul Krugman:
Has Exxon Mobil’s war on climate science actually changed policy for the worse? Maybe not. Although most governments have done little to curb greenhouse gases, and the Bush administration has done nothing, it’s not clear that policies would have been any better even if Exxon Mobil had acted more responsibly.

But the fact is that whatever small chance there was of action to limit global warming became even smaller because Exxon Mobil chose to protect its profits by trashing good science. And that, not the paycheck, is the real scandal of Mr. Raymond’s reign as Exxon Mobil’s chief executive.
Check it out...

A Classic Monologue

First, Keith Olberman's MUST SEE piece on Scott "My Scotty" McClellan.


An oldie but a goodie - a classic monolgue for you actor/comedian types.

Courtesy of the outgoing White House press sec.

The text? ALL of his answers to the Rove/Plame thing - from one single press conference last summer (7/12/05) - lumped together - with just three pesky interruptions.

Good luck!


MCCLELLAN: "I think there’s a lot of discussion that’s going on in the context of an ongoing investigation.

This is based on some news reports that came out recently.

I think you heard me talk about the importance of helping this investigation move forward. I don’t think it’s helpful for me from this podium to get into discussing what is an ongoing investigation.

I think it’s most helpful for me to not comment while that investigation continues.

And these are all issues that some are trying to raise in the context of news reports.

I don’t think we should be prejudging the outcome of any investigation at this point.

First of all, let me back up. Some of you asked a couple of questions about if the president still has confidence in particular individuals, specifically Karl Rove. I don’t want to get into commenting on things in the context of an ongoing investigation.

So let me step back and point out that any individual who works here at the White House has the confidence of the president. THEY WOULDN’T BE WORKING HERE AT THE WHITE HOUSE IF THEY DIDN’T HAVE THE PRESIDENT’S CONFIDENCE.

And in terms of security clearances, there are a number of people at the White House that have various levels of security clearance. And I’m confident that those individuals have the appropriate security clearance. I haven’t gone around looking at what those security clearances are.

Any individual who works here at the White House has the president’s confidence. They wouldn’t be working here if they didn’t have the president’s confidence. That’s why I’ve stepped back from this and talked about it in the broader context. Now, these questions are coming up in the context of an ongoing investigation. And I stated long ago, you all will remember, that the investigation is continuing. I want to be helpful the investigation. I don’t want to jeopardize anything in that investigation. And that’s why I made a decision and the White House made a decision quite some time ago that we weren’t going to get into commenting on questions related to that investigation.

Again, if I were to get into discussing this I would be getting into discussing an investigation that continues and could be prejudging the outcome of the investigation.

I’m not going to do that from this podium. You do point out some statements that were made. I remember well the comments that were made. After that point, I also remember going and testifying in this investigation and I remember well individuals who were involved in overseeing this investigation expressing their preference personally to me that we not get into discussing what is an ongoing investigation. I think that’s the way to be most helpful as they move forward. And that’s why I’m in the position that I’m in.

I’m not going to get into jumping on every news report as the investigation continues and try to comment on them, because I don’t think that’s helpful. So I think you have to step back from any individual news story or individual reports. Let’s let the investigation take place. I look forward to talk about some of these matters once the investigation is complete.

I’d welcome the opportunity to talk about some of these questions.

But I don’t think it’s appropriate to do so at this time

I think the American people can understand and appreciate that.

That’s a question related to an ongoing investigation. The investigation continues. I think you know that very well. I’ve responded to that question. And if I were to start commenting on news reports or things related to the investigation, I’m getting into prejudging the outcome of that investigation. I don’t want to do that from this podium. Let’s let the investigation take place, and let’s let the investigators bring all the facts together and draw the conclusions that they draw, and then we will know the facts at that point.

QUESTION: But, Scott, there’s a difference between what’s legal and what’s right. Is what Karl Rove did right?


I understand and appreciate that. And I appreciate you all — I know you all want to get to the bottom of this. I want to get to the bottom of it.

The president has said no one wants to get to the bottom of it more than he does.

We want to see it come to a successful conclusion. THE BEST WAY TO HELP THE INVESTIGATION COME TO A SUCCESSFUL CONCLUSION IS FOR ME NOT TO GET INTO DISCUSSING IT FROM THIS PODIUM. I don’t think that helps…I don’t think that helps advance the investigation. You can talk to the RNC about what they put out. I’ll let them speak to that.

What I know is that the president directed the White House to cooperate fully with the investigation.

And as part of cooperating fully with that investigation, that means supporting the efforts by the investigators to come to a successful conclusion. And that means not commenting on it from this podium. And, no, I understand your question. And, again, you’re asking questions that are related to news reports about an ongoing, continuing investigation. And you’ve had my response on that…

I look forward to talking about this at some point, but it’s not the appropriate time to talk about those questions while the investigation is continuing. You’re asking all these questions in the context of the news reports.

We’re continuing to move forward on our agenda. And we’re on the verge of accomplishing some very big things when it comes to the agenda. Everybody who is working here is helping us to advance the agenda, and that includes Karl in a very big way. I’m not going to get into private discussions. I appreciate you all wanting to move forward and find the facts relating to this investigation. I want to know all the facts relating to the investigation. The president wants to get to the bottom of it. And it’s just not appropriate. If you’ll remember back two years ago or almost two years ago, I did draw a line. And I said we’re just not going to get into commenting on…we’re just not going to get into commenting on an investigation that continues. And I think you’ve heard me explain why I’m not going to do that. I do want to talk about this. And we will talk about it, once the investigation is complete.

I’ll try to come back to you if I can, but I think I’ve responded to…these are all questions that you’re bringing up in the context of an investigation that is...well, it’s clear that this is coming up in the context of news…in the context of news reports.

You can keep jumping in, but I’m going to try to keep going to other people in this room as well. And we can have a constructive dialogue here I think, but that’s not the way to do it.


I think you all in this room know me very well. And you know the type of person that I am. You and many others in this room have dealt with me for quite some time. THE PRESIDENT IS A VERY STRAIGHTFORWARD AND PLAIN-SPOKEN PERSON, and I’m someone who believes in dealing in a very straightforward way with you all as well. That’s what I’ve worked to do.

That’s a question relating to the investigation. You’ve had my response on those questions. Again, it’s an ongoing, continuing investigation and I think I’ve addressed why I’m not going to get into discussing it further at this time. I’m not going to get into discussing the investigation at this point.

As I pointed out at the beginning, any individual that is working here at the White House and doing their job has the confidence of the president and the job that they’re doing. They wouldn’t be here if they didn’t have the confidence of the president of the United States. You’re asking about the investigation and…it’s in the context of the investigation and I’m not responding to that. Just not going to go further on.

Everybody’s going about doing their business as they should be. I think that if I started getting into questions relating to this investigation, I might be harming that investigation from moving forward. I don’t want…

QUESTION: I’m asking you about the sense here at the White House.

MCCLELLAN: I know. I heard your question. I appreciate your question, because I know you all have a genuine interest in seeing this investigation come to a conclusion and know what the facts are. And there are news reports that come out all the time in investigations. I’m not going to comment on news reports that come out in the middle of an investigation or during an investigation, because that could just prejudge the outcome of the investigation.

WE WANT TO KNOW WHAT THE FACTS ARE, and the way to do that is to let the investigators complete their work.

As I said, they certainly expressed a preference to me and others that they would prefer that from the White House we not get into commenting about this in a public way. That’s a preference that’s been expressed to me personally as well. And I want to be helpful to this investigation. I also would like to be able to talk more about it, but I don’t think that’s an appropriate thing to do while it is continuing. That’s the reason why I’m not going further than I am. And I think if the American people hear that, they can understand and appreciate that. It has nothing to do with whether or not I want to comment on anything that was previously said.

There will be an appropriate time to talk about all this. The time for that, though, is not now.

Thank you. Appreciate it."


No, thank you, Scott!

"The president has said no one wants to get to the bottom of it more than he does."


More later...

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Rocket Attack

CNN is reporting a "massive explosion" near the US Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Thought we wrapped that stuff...a while ago.

Scotty, RIP

Sad news.

McClellan Leaves White House Press Office

Scott McClellan, 2003-2006:
"I thought he handled his assignment with class, integrity," the president said. "It's going to be hard to replace Scott, but nevertheless he made the decision and I accepted it.

One of these days, he and I are going to be rocking in chairs in Texas and talking about the good old days."
When was that? These past 2.5 years?!

I'll have some of Scott's greatest bits...later.
Q: You said this morning that the President was informed Saturday night by Karl Rove and Andy Card.

MR. McCLELLAN: Yes, initially by Andy Card.

Q At that point, what was he informed? Was he informed that the Vice President had accidentally shot somebody?

MR. McCLELLAN: No, I think initially, again, Andy had the same report that I had, or a very similar report to what I had.

And so we didn't know who was involved.

But then there was additional information that was coming in later in the night, or later in the day and on into the morning.

I'm gonna miss him.

Busy day, this...

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

How Have You Helped the Front?


Think Progress has two great posts re: modern day propaganda.

Bushevik propaganda.

First up...Rummy drops some knowledge on Rush's Dittoheads:
There have always been people who have opposed wars…I think we just have to accept it, that people have a right to say what they want to say, and to have an acceptance of that and recognize that the terrorists, Zarqawi and bin Laden and Zawahiri --

-- those people have media committees.

They are actively out there trying to manipulate the press in the United States.

They are very good at it.
So is he.

Kind of.

Second up, "Katrina Kids" sing for Pickles.

I'm not making this up, I swear to God:
"(Yesterday) at the White House Easter Egg Roll, dozens of children “from the stricken Gulf Coast region serenaded First Lady Laura Bush with a song praising the beleaguered Federal Emergency Management Agency.”

To the tune of “Hey Look Me Over,” the kids from Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama sang:

Our country’s stood beside us
People have sent us aid.
Katrina could not stop us, our hopes will never fade.

Congress, Bush and FEMA
People across our land
Together have come to rebuild us and we join them hand-in-hand!


Congress, Bush and FEMA?!?!


Pretty sure that song was sung to the tune of "Five Year Plan," people.

"How Have You Helped the Front?"

"No Child Left Behind."


(Hey, Bushies! You guys need better writers. Plenty of folks looking for work...right here in H'wood.)

Sorry, but that song is one of the worst cases of Bushevism I've seen to date.

Your thoughts below, please.

More later...

Monday, April 17, 2006

The Great White North & Rosemary's Baby

Happy Monday.

Ohio priest faces trial in nun's slaying

Crazy "DaVinci Code - Rosemary's Baby" kinda stuff:
TOLEDO, Ohio (Reuters) - A 68-year-old Catholic priest goes on trial on Monday in the stabbing death of a nun whose body was found covered by an altar cloth in a chapel 26 years ago.

The Rev. Gerald Robinson, charged with murder and facing a possible sentence of life in jail if convicted, has been on leave from his priestly duties since his arrest in 2004. He has pleaded not guilty.

The crime occurred in a hospital chapel in downtown Toledo on Saturday of Easter week in 1980. Investigators said the nun, Margaret Ann Pahl, 71, was strangled and then stabbed up to 32 times.


Police reopened the case in 2003 and arrested Robinson in April 2004. The cold case squad said it suspected that blood spatters left at the crime scene matched a letter opener in Robinson's possession.

After his arrest investigators said they believed a "ceremony" had taken place inside the chapel in conjunction with the slaying but did not elaborate. Robinson is the only one who has been charged.

Several events led to the case being reopened. In June 2003, an unidentified woman went to the Toledo Diocese seeking reimbursement for her therapy. She presented officials there with a letter claiming she was a childhood victim of clerical sexual abuse by Robinson, according to the Toledo Blade, which obtained a copy of the letter.

The woman claimed to be the victim of Satanic ritualistic sexual abuse perpetrated by a number of priests who were involved in a cult, the newspaper said.

Good times.

Is there a "baby" out there?! His child?!

I report, you decide.


Moving the Great White North.

Brandoland visitor "The Exile" had a great post yesterday re: "Ugly Americans" and traveling abroad as a "Canadian":
Do's and don'ts for looking Canadian.

Don't: Put a maple leaf on your backpack. Trick is too well known.

Do: Clip a Tim Horton's cup to your backpack with a caribiner. (Note: this trick is also starting to get known, so it may not work too much longer).

Don't: Wear a generic canadian t-shirt. And definitely not the old Molson "I AM CANADIAN!" t-shirt. Even a University of Toronto t-shirt may be too obvious. And University of Calgary doesn't count as Canada. Because Alberta is actually part of the U.S.

Do: Wear a t-shirt from the Univ. of British Columbia, Queen's (if you're white and well off), Ryerson, Carleton, Concordia.

Don't: pretend you can pass as Canadian without actually knowing something about Canada. That used to work, but not any more.

Do: enjoy hockey, but with the understanding that this brings you no happiness because the Leafs suck and the Habs (Canadiens) and Sens (Senators) always end up losing in the playoffs to some southern US city team whose players are actually all from Quebec.

Don't: say "eh" or "aboot."

Do: Know what 'Canadian tire money" is, even though you don't actually have to carry any.

Don't: mistakenly think that Canadians are actually bilingual. Francophone Canadians are. Anglophone Canadians mostly aren't (yes, they studied French in school, but their teachers were mostly terrible). If you are an English speaker and are pretending you are from Quebec (gnerally not a good idea anyway), be tolerant and non-racist in all ways EXCEPT when talking about the French Quebecois.

Don't: think that knowing about Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, the Guess Who, Gordon Lightfoot, Avril Lavigne, or (heaven forbid) Shania Twain or Anne Murray will get you anywhere. If you have to talk about music, try your luck with Triumph or you're in your 40s, the Tragically Hip if you're in your 30s, Our Lady Peace, Remy Shand, Metric. Saying you used to like Alannis Morissette is OK if you fit the demographic. And Canadians also hate Celine Dion and proudly say so.

If asked about your politics, you have three options. NDP, Liberal, Green. It's OK to admit once having been a Tory, but not now.
You have your travel tips.

More later...

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Ugly Americans


Traveling abroad?

Worried about gettin' pegged as a "Yank?" Gettin' spit on in the Cock & Bull? Hassled for bein' W-supporter?

Don't worry, Ugly Americans, help is on the way!

'Speak softly, don't argue and slow down'

The State Department is "looking out...for you!"
The reputation of the "Ugly American" abroad is not...just some cruel stereotype, but - according to the American government itself - worryingly accurate.

Now, the State Department in Washington has joined forces with American industry to plan an image make-over by issuing guides for Americans travelling overseas on how to behave.

Under a programme starting next month, several leading US companies will give employees heading abroad a "World Citizens Guide" featuring 16 etiquette tips on how they can help improve America's battered international image.
Important note:
Business for Diplomatic Action (BDA), a non-profit group funded by big American companies, has also met Karen Hughes, the head of public diplomacy at the State Department, to discuss issuing the guide with every new US passport.

The goal is to create an army of civilian ambassadors
Created by Karen "Mother Hen" Hughes.


Some tips, people:
Think as big as you like but talk and act smaller. Talking about wealth, power or status - corporate or personal - can create resentment.

Save the lectures for your kids.

Speak lower and slower.

Your religion is your religion and not necessarily theirs
. Religion is usually considered deeply personal, not a subject for public discussions.
"Have you accepted Christ as your personal lord and savior?"

"'M Catholic, miss. We dunna do tha'."

"Then you're going to hell."

"An' you are out o' yer fookin' 'ed!"
If you talk politics, talk - don't argue: Steer clear of arguments about American politics, even if someone is attacking US politicians or policies. Agree to disagree.
"He lied you...yobbos into this war so his cronies could make a few pounds."

"The world changed on 9/11!"

"And you are either stupid - or naive - or both."

"Can I have a headset, please?"

"Piss off!"
Keith Reinhard, one of New York's top advertising executives, who heads BDA, said:

"Surveys consistently show that Americans are viewed as arrogant, insensitive, over-materialistic and ignorant about local values.

That, in short, is the image of the Ugly American abroad and we want to change it."
Good luck!

On that note, remember the simplest move if/when things get hairy in the pub:

"No, dude, I'm Canadian."

More later...

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Christ, You Know It Ain't Easy


The feel good story of this Easter Weekend:

'God made me cancel my own crucifixion'


Here's the story, Lord:
A BRITISH broadcaster who travelled to the Philippines to be crucified on Good Friday for a television programme pulled out of the stunt in tears yesterday — and blamed God for his decision.

Hold on:
Dominik Diamond broke down and wept after watching nine Filipinos take their turn to be whipped and nailed on crosses and realising that his turn was next.

“God wanted me only to pray at the foot of my cross,” he sobbed, sinking to his knees and praying as local people and tourists started to boo.


Five, the television channel, denied it was disappointed that Diamond, a radio and TV presenter and outspoken Daily Star columnist, had decided against being crucified.

Wikipedia: "(Diamond) is best known as the original presenter of Channel 4's pioneering video gaming program GamesMaster.

Dominik also co-hosted Live and Dangerous, a sports program in 1997, and When Games Attack, aired in 2004."
No date has been set for the broadcast of the programme. If shown, it may have to change its original working title, Crucify Me.

Diamond was set to join an elite group of radical Roman Catholics who mark each Easter by re-enacting the Crucifixion.

Thousands of people gather to watch the volunteers nailed to crosses with metal spikes the size of pencils.
Wouldn't you?
After pulling out of the challenge, Diamond said: “At no point was it ever conveyed that I would definitely be crucified.

At all times in this journey I have been guided by my God in ways I could never have predicted.

Having experienced the humility of bearing my own cross through the streets, I felt my God wanted me only to pray at the foot of my cross.”

Right --



Christ, you know it ain't easy
You know how hard it can be
The way things are goin'
They're gonna crucify me

More later...

Friday, April 14, 2006

TGI The Yahoo Message Boards


Regular Brandoland readers know that I love checking in with the pinheads on the Yahoo Message Boards.

From now on...every Friday is "Yahoo Message Board Friday."

With that in mind, let's start with Eee-ran:

Iran Rebuffs Request to Suspend Enrichment

TEHRAN, Iran - Iran rebuffed a request by the U.N. nuclear agency chief in talks Thursday that it suspend uranium enrichment, and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad insisted his country will not retreat "one iota."

The chief, Mohamed ElBaradei, looked much less optimistic after the four hours of talks with Iran's top nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani, than he had when he arrived for the one-day visit and said the time was "ripe" for a political solution to the standoff.
Or...another war.

Yahoo Message Board users weigh in!

Joeofthetropics writes, "Message To European IDIOTS - keep negotiating with Iran and you'll find an Iranian NUKE up YOUR ASSES someday! Couldn't happen to a better bunch of Anti-American MORONS LIKE YOU."

Concise and to the point!


Brit Hume could not have said it better!


Clearly, a message from Scarborough Country!

And Usapatriotkernal screams, "LIBERALS HATE USA MORE THAN OSAMA - FACT!"

Didn't know that but...okay!

And finally, an important message from Julykitti --

"ALL RAGHEADS OFF THE BOARD NOW- Get busy building bomb shelters, while you still can ."

There you go: Briliant minds think alike!

More later...

Thursday, April 13, 2006


"There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things we know we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns. These are things we do not know we do not know." --

That's Rummy.

Not Rumi: Rummy.

More later...

F'ing Nostradamus, Dude!

Let's take another time-out from the Bushies...for some kick-ass news.

Judas Priest meets Nostradamus on new CD

NEW YORK - Although Judas Priest has accomplished just about everything a heavy metal band could possibly hope for, Rob Halford and company have yet to tackle a concept album.

Soon, the group will be able to check that off its to-do list, as Priest is currently hard at work penning an album that will tell the story of the 16th century French prophet Nostradamus.

"We're writing right now," Halford told "I'm here in the Midlands near Birmingham, with (guitarists) Glenn (Tipton) and K.K. (Downing). The ideas are just so strong -- we've already been putting down the music. It's incredibly exciting and inspiring to be involved. We're getting incredible results at these early stages."

Telling the tale of Nostradamus against a hard rock soundtrack will certainly be daunting, but Priest is up for the challenge. "It's going to be a monumental task. We've written about characters in our music over the decades -- 'Loch Ness,' 'The Sentinel,' 'Sinner,"' Halford said. "It's just like a natural progressive step for us. The exciting thing is that we're going to be performing the whole piece live on stage when we go out, hopefully in early 2007."
I'm so there.


The chief of London through the realm of America,
The Isle of Scotland will be tried by frost:
King and Reb will face an Antichrist so false,
That he will place them in the conflict all together.

Solid Priest material.

A fox will be elected without speaking one word,
Appearing saintly in public living on barley bread,
Afterwards he will suddenly become a tyrant
Putting his foot on the throats of the greatest men.

More later...



Data Leaks Persist From Afghan Base

"A computer drive sold at a bazaar for $40 may hold the names of spies for the United States who inform on the Taliban and Al Qaeda."


What, do they have a Fry's in Kabul?
BAGRAM, Afghanistan — A computer drive sold openly Wednesday at a bazaar outside the U.S. air base here holds what appears to be a trove of potentially sensitive American intelligence data, including the names, photographs and telephone numbers of Afghan spies informing on the Taliban and Al Qaeda.
Along with a fantastic assortment of nuts, dates and oils.

And pictures of Osama.
The flash memory drive, which a teenager sold for $40, holds scores of military documents marked "secret," describing intelligence-gathering methods and information — including escape routes into Pakistan and the location of a suspected safe house there, and the payment of $50 bounties for each Taliban or Al Qaeda fighter apprehended based on the source's intelligence.
"I'll give you $30."

"C'mon, Joe. Com-pu-ter drive! Ees new! 75."

"It's used, look at that. 30."

"C'mon, man! You geev me 60."

U.S. commanders in Afghanistan said an investigation was underway into what shopkeepers at the bazaar describe as ongoing theft and resale of U.S. computer equipment from the Bagram air base.
"50, man."

"I don't even need it. 30."

"Aw, man!!! 50."

"The guy over there has 'em for 40."

"Ok, 40."

"Done and done."
The credibility and reliability of some intelligence sources identified in the documents is marked as unknown.

Other operatives, however, appear to be of high importance, including one whose information, the document says, led to the apprehension of seven Al Qaeda suspects in the United States.

One document describes a source as having "people working for him" in 11 Afghan cities. "The potential for success with this contact is unlimited," the report says.

Even the names of people identified as the sources' wives and children are listed — details that could put them at risk of retaliation by insurgents who have boasted about executing dozens of people suspected of spying for U.S. forces.

The drive includes descriptions of Taliban commanders' meetings in neighboring Pakistan and maps of militants' infiltration and escape routes along its border with Afghanistan.
You remember Afghanistan, right?

We wrapped up that operation...years ago.

Totally under control.

More later...

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

The Man Vs. Moz

Lotta new readers these days, so I'll hip 'em to an important Brandoland story.

From this past February.

The FBI has questioned Moz.

Spineless bastards all.
Singer MORRISSEY was quizzed by the FBI and British intelligence after speaking out against the American and British governments.

The Brit is a famous critic of the US-led war in Iraq and has dubbed President GEORGE W BUSH a "terrorist" - but he was baffled to be hauled in by authorities.
Now he knows how Joan of Ark felt.
Morrissey explains, "The FBI and the Special Branch have investigated me and I've been interviewed and taped and so forth."
"You called for the 'shoplifters of the world to unite and take over.' Is that correct?"
"They were trying to determine if I was a threat to the government, and similarly in England.

But it didn't take them very long to realise that I'm not."
He's the son and the heir of a shyness that is criminal and vulgar: Not a security threat.
"I don't belong to any political groups, I don't really say anything unless I'm asked directly and I don't even demonstrate in public."
"And did you...or did you not...attempt to break into the palace with a sponge and a rusty spanner?"
I always assume that so-called authoritarian figures just assume that pop/rock music is slightly insane and an untouchable platform for the working classes to stand up and say something noticeable.
"When you say it's gonna happen now, what exactly do you mean?"
My view is that neither England or America are democratic societies.

You can't really speak your mind and if you do you're investigated."
Agreed: I just got a letter from the IRS.

Ah, what can you do?

"Boot the grime of this world in the crotch, dear."

Thanks, Moz.

More later...

While You Were Out...


In Attics and Rubble, More Bodies and Questions

They're still finding Katrina victims in New Orleans:
The bodies of storm victims are still being discovered in New Orleans — in March alone there were nine, along with one skull.


A landlord in the Lakeview section put a "for sale" sign outside a house, unaware that his tenant's body was in the attic. Two weeks ago, searchers in the Lower Ninth Ward found a girl, believed to be about 6, wearing a blue backpack. Nearby, they found part of a man who the authorities believe might have been trying to save her.

[On Friday, contractors found a body in the attic of a home in the Gentilly neighborhood that had been searched twice before, officials said.]

In the weeks after Hurricane Katrina, there were grotesque images of bodies left in plain sight. Officials in Louisiana recovered more than 1,200 bodies, but the process, hamstrung by money shortages and red tape, never really ended.
I would suggest to you that efforts were made to keep the death toll "low."

Imagine the outcry if the "number" had been greater than "9/11."
"We never reached out to anyone to tell our story, because there's no ending to our story," said Wanda Jackson, 40, whose family is still waiting for word of her 6-year-old nephew, swept away by floodwaters as his mother clung to his 3-year-old brother.

"Because we haven't found our deceased. Being honest with you, in my opinion, they forgot about us."
On that note, from the March 22 edition of the Houston Chronicle:

Katrina's other toll: Nearly 1,500 still missing

Almost seven months after Katrina's devastating assault on New Orleans, nearly 1,500 people remain missing.

And hundreds of new missing persons calls continue to pour in even as workers struggle to reunite families, identify the dead and close the books on a massive human lost-and-found effort.


The total confirmed death toll on the Gulf Coast is nearly 1,600.
There's a big elephant in this room, and his name is "Poor People."

And another elephant named "Fuck 'Em."

And one named "The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino - NoLa."

Kudos to those folks who are still looking...and digging through the rubble.

More later...

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Bonds Vs The Babe


Let's take a time-out from the onslaught of the Bushies for this phenomenal Chuck Klosterman piece on Barry Bonds and his pursuit of Babe Ruth's home run record:
We are all familiar with the story of Babe Ruth; it's the classic American narrative.

He was born inside a burning saloon.

As a teen, he was persuaded to become a southpaw pitcher through the guidance of a priest impressed by the boy's ability to consume entire turkeys during brunch. As he matured, Ruth found he was able to hit 600-foot home runs for dying children without the use of a bat.

His on-field excellence was punctuated by an ability to drink whole kegs of beer while making love to nine women simultaneously, none of whom was his wife. When the Red Sox traded his rights to the Yankees, 560 people died in a mud slide.

Ruth served as Warren G. Harding's secretary of state, albeit briefly.

He also weighed in the neighborhood of 18,000 pounds and once won a best-of-three-falls wrestling match against Man o' War, the horse he later ate.


But Bonds is going to pass him, and no one knows how to feel. Ruth was a troubling person, but he's a wonderful idea; Bonds is a troubling person who's an empty idea.
More later...

Gas Prices

Mega thanks to Crooks & Liars and the General for the links: It's been a banner day here in Brandoland.

And so --

I'd love to know --

Where are you...and how much are you paying for gas?

Respond in that there Haloscan below.

We're up to three fucking dollars here in Angeles City...for the low-grade unleaded.


More later...

Pat Robertson: Sex Therapist

This IS NOT an Onion piece.

Trust me.

Pat Robertson: Sex Therapist.

Lifted from his recent interview on CBS' Sunday Morning.

The topic? "Miracles."
Rita Braver: You tell the story of -- being on a trip to the Holy Land, and some people coming to you and asking you if you can help a woman with severe asthma.

Pat Robertson: That's right.

RB: And you say -- that God spoke to you and --

PR: Well--

RB: -- told you --

PR: -- well it wouldn't (PH) quite that way. Well -- well anyhow, they thought she was demon possessed. And these women are in the conference, and they said, "Go cast demons out of her."

And I ignored it and ate dinner and went on to the meeting.

And then the next night, they had moved this poor woman out of the hotel. She was crying out for mercy and saying, "Oh God, help me," because she had such bad asthma.

So -- I had to go see her. But fortunately I had my wife with her, so we went to another hotel -- in the heart of Jerusalem and knocked on the door.

And here, this haunting woman, she looked like -- she really looked like she was terrified -- very attractive -- striking brunette, 45 years old, you know thin, 5'8" kinda thing.
Very attractive, striking brunette, 45, thin, 5'8" kinda thing?!

Pat, Pat, Pat.

PR: And-- she had this look in her eyes. And -- so I went in, and my wife was with me. And they took the two chairs and I sat on the bed.

And I said, "Tell me about your problem." And she said, "I've got this asthma." And I said, "Have you been to the (LAUGHTER) doctor?" And -- and she said, "Yes. The doctor said my asthma was caused by praying with nuns."

And I said, (LAUGHTER) "A doctor?"

RB: That sounds--

PR: "A doctor?"

RB: -- that sounds like -- (LAUGHTER) you should've advised her, "Maybe go see another doctor."

PR: There was -- (LAUGHTER) well see -- the -- "A doctor told you this?" (UNINTEL) said, "Yes, that's what my doctor told me." And I says, "There is no way that praying with nuns is gonna cause you-- asthma." And then I prayed. And I said, "Lord, what's wrong with her?" I just prayed silently.

And the Lord said, "Ask about her sex life." And--

Hold on, Lord.
RB: The -- the Lord said that to you?

PR: Yes, He said that to me.

And I said, "There's no way I'm going to ask a strange woman about her sex life." So I said-- (COUGHS) "Excuse me for -- being personal, but would you tell me about your marriage."

She said, "Oh, I have a wonderful marriage." I said, "You do?" She (UNINTEL PHRASE), "A wonderful husband, wonderful marriage. It's just absolutely marvelous." I said, "You do?" She said, "Yes." So I prayed again. (LAUGHTER)

I said, "Lord, what's the matter?" And she -- He said, "Ask her about her sex life."

He says you did.


Too true.
RB: I-- it's hard to imagine the Lord -- saying this to you -- the Lord say -- well, He did. And I -- and I said, You know, please forgive me if I'm being personal, but tell me about your sex life."

And she said, "I don't have any."

And I said, "Well, I thought you had a wonderful marriage." And she said -- "I do, but I don't have any sex life."

And I said, "How long has that been going on?" And she said, "Two years." And I said -- "And that's when your asthma started, isn't it?" And she said, "Yes." And I said, "Well it's obvious that you're blaming yourself -- for this condition. What's the problem?"

And she said, "My husband's impotent."

I can't believe I'm saying this...but I agree.


Case closed - Pat would've blamed the asthma on the nuns and gone back to the hotel.

PR: And I said, "You think it's your fault." And she said, "Yes. It's -- I think it's my fault." And I said, "Well it isn't your fault. And it may be that he's working too hard. He may be having a physical impairment. But -- there's something in his life, that this isn't your fault." And she said, "It's not?"

I said, "Absolutely not." And I said, "Okay, now let's pray for your asthma. And she said, "Okay." And we prayed.

And God healed her asthma just like that.

Well --


RB: You -- you know that--

PR: There's --

RB: That's a tough one for people to swallow.

PR: I was there. My wife was the witness. And thank goodness she was there.

I never woulda done this otherwise.

But that woman went on her ma -- her way rejoicing. And it took maybe max, 10 minutes.




Pat Robertson: You can't stop him - you can only hope to contain him!

More later...

BTW - Gas is basically $3/gal (for the low-grade unl) here in Silverlake/Los Feliz.


Monday, April 10, 2006

A Must Read

Please take the time to check out this "must read" op-ed from retired Marine Lieut. General Greg Newbold, a former Marine Corps lieutenant general and director of operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Newbold joins the growing list of heavy military dudes who are "sounding off against the war and the 'zealots' who pushed it."

Key excerpts from Time mag:
What we are living with now is the consequences of successive policy failures. Some of the missteps include:

The distortion of intelligence in the buildup to the war;

McNamara-like micromanagement that kept our forces from having enough resources to do the job,

The failure to retain and reconstitute the Iraqi military in time to help quell civil disorder;

The initial denial that an insurgency was the heart of the opposition to occupation;

Alienation of allies who could have helped in a more robust way to rebuild Iraq;

And the continuing failure of the other agencies of our government to commit assets to the same degree as the Defense Department.

My sincere view is that the commitment of our forces to this fight was done with a casualness and swagger that are the special province of those who have never had to execute these missions—or bury the results.
Newbold is calling on cooler heads in the military to speak up if and when they see continued "missteps and misjudgements."

He adds:
Flaws in our civilians are one thing; the failure of the Pentagon's military leaders is quite another.

Those are men who know the hard consequences of war but, with few exceptions, acted timidly when their voices urgently needed to be heard.

When they knew the plan was flawed, saw intelligence distorted to justify a rationale for war, or witnessed arrogant micromanagement that at times crippled the military's effectiveness, many leaders who wore the uniform chose inaction.

A few of the most senior officers actually supported the logic for war.

Others were simply intimidated, while still others must have believed that the principle of obedience does not allow for respectful dissent.

The consequence of the military's quiescence was that a fundamentally flawed plan was executed for an invented war, while pursuing the real enemy, al-Qaeda, became a secondary effort.
Again, please read the whole piece.
To be sure, the Bush Administration and senior military officials are not alone in their culpability.

Members of Congressfrom both parties—defaulted in fulfilling their constitutional responsibility for oversight.

Many in the media saw the warning signs and heard cautionary tales before the invasion from wise observers like former Central Command chiefs Joe Hoar and Tony Zinni but gave insufficient weight to their views.
More later...