BRANDOLAND: Talking to God...For You!

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

What A Coinkidink!

Poll: Bush Ratings At All-Time Low

Yo:
(CBS) The latest CBS News poll finds President Bush's approval rating has fallen to an all-time low of 34 percent, while pessimism about the Iraq war has risen to a new high.
The Old Man is at 18%.

Doesn't matter, though: They could get down to 5 and it wouldn't matter.

The base - those pesky "one percenters" - is doin' just fine.

Now...

Drudge (not gonna link to 'im - he's been rewarded handsomely for his service to "the man") has been promoting the new book by (right-wing hack) Bill Sammon.

The book is called "Strategery: How George W. Bush Is Defeating Terrorists, Outwitting Democrats, and Confounding the Mainstream Media."

Sammon is the WH correspondent for the Washington Times. (Wink, wink.)

Basically, the book is another conservstive love-note to GW.

According to Drudge, though...
For the first time, the president says he was helped by Bin Laden, who put out a videotaped diatribe against Bush the Friday before the 2004 election.

Bush said there were “enormous amounts of discussion” inside his campaign about the 15-minute tape, which he called “an interesting entry by our enemy” into the presidential race.

“What does it mean? Is it going to help? Is it going to hurt?” he said in an exclusive interview for the new book STRATEGERY.

“Anything that drops in at the end of a campaign that is not already decided creates all kinds of anxieties, because you’re not sure of the effect.

“I thought it was going to help,” he decided.

“I thought it would help remind people that if bin Laden doesn’t want Bush to be the president, something must be right with Bush.”
What a coinkidink, huh?

Ti-MING.

Can one of you Google-monkeys map out a timeline of all the Osama tapes and Bush-related events?

That would be cool.

And...informative.
(Ken) Mehlman agreed, citing polls that show Americans trust Republicans more than Democrats on matters of national security.

“It reminded people of the stakes,” he said in an interview for STRATEGERY. “It reinforced an issue on which Bush had a big lead over Kerry.”

Even the mainstream media fretted about the tape’s potential to help Bush.

Former CBS anchorman Walter Cronkite told CNN that White House strategist Karl Rove “probably set up bin Laden to this thing.
Yeah.

The last Osama-tape debuted back in January, right before the "State of the Union."

During those crazy-days when reporters were trying to figure out if Our Kid knew Jack Abramoff. (Wink, wink.)

What can you do?

More later...

Monday, February 27, 2006

Good Night, My Sweet Princess

Happy Monday.

A rose, you never used your thorns,
The ones you loved abandoned you.
Your angel face made hearts so warm,
You helped the sick but who helped you?


Well, first Moz, now Lady Di.

Diana driver was secret informer

Then rushing through the Paris night,
They hounded you, you lost control.
We prayed that you would be alright,
The news came through, your body cold.

Good night, my sweet princess...
The chauffeur of the car in which Diana, Princess of Wales died was working for the French secret service, the British team reinvestigating her death has been told.

The inquiry — headed by Lord Stevens, the former Metropolitan police commissioner — into the Paris car crash that killed Diana is now trying to obtain the chauffeur’s files from French intelligence but is being delayed by the reluctance of the authorities to hand them over.
I mean, where do I, I mean --

What kind of bad, B-movie world are we living in?!
Stevens’s team has asked the country’s domestic intelligence service, the DST, to surrender all its “agent handling” files on Henri Paul, the chauffeur, to establish whether he was doing any work for his French intelligence bosses on the night of the crash.

Paul crashed the car, killing himself, Diana and her boyfriend Dodi Fayed in a tunnel in central Paris in 1997.

It has previously been claimed — and strenuously denied — that he worked for SIS, the secret intelligence service, also known as MI6.
The great tinfoil-hat theory re: the accident is that...a "royal" can not have the blood of an "infidel" in 'er.

Di was preggers -- thus the crash.
Well-placed sources say requests by the Stevens team for information about Paul’s activities on the day of the crash, and demands for complete records of tests taken on his blood after he died, have become bogged down by the “incredible bureaucracy” of the French justice system.

The role of Paul, who was deputy head of security at the Paris Ritz hotel, and what he was doing in the hours up to the crash are central to the inquiry.

Mohamed al-Fayed --
A very powerful man --
-- the Harrods tycoon and Dodi’s father who also owns the Paris Ritz, has claimed Diana and his son were murdered by British intelligence.
And what Bond-movie is that from?

A View to a Kill?
Scotland Yard sources disclosed last week that the French government had finally confirmed Paul’s employment by the DST during discussions last year.

A Yard source said: “We now know he was working for the French secret service and the French have got to give us access to the records of what he was doing. It’s an issue. We want to know where he was and what he was doing that evening.”
Die Another Day?
Fayed has claimed that MI6 agents visited the morgue on the night of the crash to plant evidence suggesting Paul was drunk, by substituting his blood for the alcohol-contaminated blood of a suicide victim.
That's a bit from...what?

Moonraker?
After two years of investigation, Stevens still takes the view that Diana’s death was an accident.

However, he is conscious of the fact that many people still believe she was murdered
.
No more snarky comments...

"Was that originally about Princess Diana?"

"Originally, but it fits perfectly, doesn't it?"

"Not the car crash bit."

"Your relationship with Lee is a bit like a car crash."

"In Paris?"

"City of Love."

(Pause)

"You're right. It fits perfectly, thank you."

(Here's the audio. Enjoy.)

*

Check out the "FBI's Top 11 Questions for Morrissey" below - if ya haven't already.

And the best thing on the "internets" today? This profile from Hannidate - "the place where people of like conservative minds can come together to meet."

Pure genius.

More later...

Friday, February 24, 2006

The Man Vs Moz, Part Deux

Yo.

Top 11 FBI Questions for Moz:

1. There is a light that never goes out. (Pause) Is it nuclear?

2. "Sweetness, sweetness...you should be bludgeoned in your bed." Who is "Sweetness?"

Were you referring to President Bush?

3. "If it's not love...then it's the bomb, the bomb, the bomb, the bomb, the bomb, the bomb, the bomb."

A dirty bomb?

4. Is this...ten ton truck...filled with explosives?

5. You said you'd leap in front of a flying bullet for...who? Osama Bin Laden? Zarqawi?

6. The shy bald buddhist...planning a mass murder? Where is he?! Seriously, where is he?!

7. When you say it's gonna happen "now," what exactly do you mean?

8. "Burn down the disco, hang the blessed DJ." You're telling people to commit arson and murder. That's against the law, son.

9. Did Reggie Kray know your name?

10. You booked yourself into the Y...WCA. (Pause) Then what? Is that where you met Mohammed Atta?

And finally...the most important question for Moz:

11. Will you ever re-unite with Johnny Marr?!

???

"And if they don't believe me now...will they ever believe me?"

More later.

It's truly laughable! Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha. HO, ha, ha, ha.

The Man Vs Moz!

People,

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.

"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.

Boo!


Don't worry...he's just a picture.
"I believe with every bone in my body that free people, exposed to sufficient information, will, over time, find their way to the right decisions."

2/23/06
So do I.

More in a bit...

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Whose Side Are WE On?

Well...

Mosque Attack Pushes Iraq Toward Civil War

The story:
SAMARRA, Iraq - Insurgents posing as police destroyed the golden dome of one of Iraq's holiest Shiite shrines Wednesday, setting off an unprecendented spasm of sectarian violence. Angry crowds thronged the streets, militiamen attacked Sunni mosques, and at least 19 people were killed.

*

The violence — many of the 90 attacks on Sunni mosques were carried out by Shiite militiasseemed to push Iraq closer to all-out civil war than at any point in the three years since the U.S.-led overthrow of Saddam Hussein.
Um, whose side are we on?

The LA Times has been on the Shiite militia-case: This time, investigating shiite death squads posing as police.

Police Tied to Death Squads

It's a simple move: Join the force, get some gear, and go after your enemies.
BAGHDAD — A 1,500-member Iraqi police force with close ties to Shiite militia groups has emerged as a focus of investigations into suspected death squads working within the country's Interior Ministry.
Here's a Cliff Note version of the politics:
The Shiites, who constitute about 60% of the Iraqi population, were severely repressed under Saddam Hussein's regime, which favored the Sunni minority. The Shiites came to power in the wake of the U.S.-led invasion of March 2003.

A Sunni-led insurgency has carried out a campaign of bombings and assassinations against the government.
Back to the Shiite's move against the Sunnis:
Iraq's national highway patrol was established largely to stave off insurgent attacks on roadways. But U.S. military officials, interviewed over the last several days, say they suspect the patrol of being deeply involved in illegal detentions, torture and extrajudicial killings.
"Excuse me, officer. Can you tell me how to get to Sesame Str --"

BLAM.

These patrols have ties to the Badr Brigades and the Interior Minster, Bayan Jabr.

Allegedly:
Jabr, a Shiite with close ties to the Badr Brigade, a paramilitary group, has been at the center of allegations of abuse at the hands of Iraqi security forces.

The minister's notoriety rose last year as the bodies of hundreds of men — mostly Sunni Arabs — started appearing in sewage treatment plants, garbage dumps and desert ravines. Most of the bodies showed signs of torture and execution-style killings. Many families of the deceased said their kin had last been seen in the back of a police vehicle.
One bit:
After the suspected death squad was stopped last month, U.S. police advisors said, four members of the squad confessed to several sectarian killings.

The highway patrol officers were asked, " 'Who are you doing this for?' " said a third U.S. military officer who is involved in training Iraqi troops and has knowledge of the interrogations of the suspected death squad. "And they're telling us, 'Jabr.'"
Wanna guess Jabr's response to these allegations?
In November, a U.S. Army unit discovered a secret detention and torture facility run by police officers affiliated with the Badr militia. In all, 169 people had been detained at the secret prison, and photos showed that some inmates had been severely beaten and malnourished.

Jabr pledged to investigate the origin of the detention facility and the possible existence of other secret prisons, even as he downplayed the abuse that had taken place there.

"OK, there were signs of torture … but there were no killings and no beheadings, as some have said," Jabr told reporters in November.
Not true:
But inmates at the bunker compiled a list of 18 detainees who they said had been tortured to death.
Finally, my favorite bit from this article:
Two U.S. Embassy officials said Monday that Iraqi authorities were conducting visits of Interior Ministry jails and prisons, but declined to release details about the facilities.

Kamal, the ministry's intelligence chief, said of the detention probe, "we are still investigating this, but it is better if we do this quietly, without any media."
You got it, buddy.

Don't worry about our media: They've got more important things to worry about.

Like...American Idol.

To their credit, the LA Times follwed up Monday's article with this one:

Killings Linked to Shiite Squads in Iraqi Police Force

"With loyalties to banned paramilitary groups, the fighters have kidnapped, tortured and slain Sunnis, officials and witnesses say."

Quick excerpt:
U.S. officials have long been concerned about extrajudicial killings in Iraq, but until recently they have refrained from calling violent elements within the police force "death squads" — a loaded term that conjures up the U.S.-backed paramilitaries that killed thousands of civilians during the Latin American civil wars of the 1970s and 1980s.

But U.S. military advisors in Iraq say the term is apt, and the Interior Ministry's inspector general concurs that extrajudicial killings are being carried out by ministry forces.

"There are such groups operating — yes, this is correct," said Interior Ministry Inspector General Nori Nori.

*

Nori, the inspector general, said he was trying to investigate police abuses and make officers more accountable. He pointed out a new ministry initiative to require police units to report all raids and arrests to the ministry. "The Ministry of Interior and other ministries are all made up of various components. This is the main reason the government is not that powerful so far," Nori said.

"What I want to tell you is this: There are certain gaps within the Ministry of Interior where there are elements whose loyalties lay not with the nation, but to their political organizations."
Gee, I wonder who he's talking about?

And, again, my question: Whose side are we on?

Better question: Have we played a part in this mess?
In the ministry's haste to hire police officers, (former Interior Minister Falah) Nakib turned to men with questionable allegiances.
And, uh, who was pushing the Iraqis to hire police officers?

Any guesses?

(Think, think, think.)
For example, police officers who had worked under Saddam Hussein's regime were hired, and Nakib said that Sunni Arab insurgents had infiltrated the force.

But he said the integration of Shiite militiamen into the police force has had the most damaging effect on Iraq's security situation.

"There have been some mistakes, I must say that," the former minister said.

The most deadly squads operate mainly in Baghdad, where the police force is about 60,000 strong, U.S. and Iraqi officials say.

The Baghdad police are dominated by Shiites and split between two main factions, U.S. and Iraqi officials said: the Badr Brigade and the Al Mahdi army, which was founded by militant anti-American cleric Muqtada Sadr.
Long story short?

Chaos.

More later...

Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha!


You know this already...but I'm piling on:

Bush Unaware of Ports Deal Before Approval

What's he the "president" of again?
WASHINGTON -
President Bush was unaware of the pending sale of shipping operations at six major U.S. seaports to a state-owned business in the United Arab Emirates until the deal already had been approved by his administration, the White House said Wednesday.
That's the NEWS: The rest is SPIN.

He's working hard, though.

"ON WHAT?"

Uh....

More Tales From Bushworld

Yo.

The Smoking Gun has another crazy tale from Bushworld:
FEBRUARY 17--This country, as you know, is filled with the deranged.

And then there's Travis Frey, a 33-year-old Iowa man who is facing charges that he tried to kidnap his own wife (not to mention a separate child pornography rap).

Frey, prosecutors contend, apparently is a rather demanding guy. In fact, he actually drew up a bizarre four-page marriage document--a "Contract of Wifely Expectations"--that sought to establish guidelines for his spouse in terms of hygiene, clothing, and sexual activities.
Yes, that's right -- a "Contract of Wifely Expectations."

Like --

"I will select your sleepwear for you, and you will find it under your pillow, if there is none you are to be naked."

And --

"Fellatio must last 5 min and may include climax."

And --

"All applications of lube to myself you or any object will be done by you."

And that's the G-rated stuff.

Did I mention the fact that he's a red-stater?
In return for fulfilling certain requirements, Frey offered "Good Behavior Days," or GBDs. Each GBD, Frey wrote, could be redeemed by his wife to "get out of doing the things" he requested daily.

A copy of the proposed contract, which Frey's wife never signed and later provided to cops, can be found below.

While we normally point out the highlights of most documents, there are so many in this demented, and very graphic, contract, we really can't do it justice.

So set aside ten minutes--and prepare to be repulsed.
They are out there, my friend.

They are out there...

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Eloquent!

And so, look, I can understand why some in Congress have raised questions about whether or not our country will be less secure as a result of this transaction.

But they need to know that our government has looked at this issue and looked at it carefully.

Again, I repeat, if there was any question as to whether or not this country would be less safe as a result of the transaction, it wouldn't go forward.

But I also want to repeat something again, and that is, this is a company that has played by the rules, that has been cooperative with the United States, a country that's an ally in the war on terror, and it would send a terrible signal to friends and allies not to let this transaction go through.
Ah, the fine art of public speaking.

"Friends" = foreign big-money people.

More later...

Houston, We Have a Problem

Um...

How did I miss this?!?!

McPherson gives conditional OK to Diebold voting machines


As in California Secretary of State Bruce McPherson.

Aaaggghhh!!!
SACRAMENTO - California Secretary of State Bruce McPherson gave conditional approval Friday for counties to use two voting machines produced by Diebold Election Systems that he had previously questioned.
Period.

We're getting the damn machines.

BTW, McPherson is NOT a Dem: He's an Arnold-ite.

Aaaggghhh!!!

Okay, my brain is still mush from the long drive across the west.

Hard for me to verbalize the rage I'm feeling right now re: Diebold machines in Cal-lee-fornia.

I will say this; They want it more than we do.

On a lighter note...

Please take the time to read this piece by ESPN's Bill Simmons.

Yes, he's a sportswriter.

I'm a fan, though, because Bill seems to speak "truth to power" in sports - not an easy thing to do. It's a big biz...filled with powerful people...and a microcosm of the world we're living in (Bushworld).

Here's his take on Houston, TX:
In the past four years, I made four separate trips to Houston and spent a total of 24 days here. And you know why I did it? For you, the reader. I covered the Galleryfurniture.com Bowl, the Super Bowl, baseball's All-Star Game, and now, the NBA All-Star Game. And you know what?

That's too much freaking time to spend in Houston.

My editors just bleeped me, I don't care. Maybe Houston doesn't suck any more or less than 20 other major cities, and maybe the people are friendly and likable, but the fact remains, you would never come here for any reason, other than these three:

(1) For work.
(2) To gain weight.
(3) To get shot.

You just wouldn't. And yet, dating back to the Super Bowl XXXVIII in February 2004, three of the last eight major sporting events were held in Houston.

Does this make any sense?
Yes.

It's the capitol of Bushland.
There are 30 to 35 American cities that could host the Super Bowl and/or either of the All-Star Games ... and yet Houston pulled off the Ultimate Pro Sports Trifecta in a 24-month span, despite the fact that it's a sprawling city with traffic and safety problems (the three intangibles you always want to avoid for major sporting events).

Here's what really frightens me: I have spent so much time here, I actually know my way around. Can I have this information removed from my brain? Is there a pill I can take.

Anyway, I have the following announcement to make: I am never, ever, ever setting foot in Houston again. I don't care if the Red Sox play the Astros in the World Series. I don't care if the Celtics play the Rockets in the NBA Finals. I don't care if my daughter gets engaged to an astronaut and has to have a quickie wedding in Houston hours before he gets launched to Saturn.

I'm never coming back to Houston.
Sage advice.

More later...

I'm Back


Yo.

Back in town...after a long drive across the canyon-lands of Utah.

Important info: Clint Black will be performing at the Casa Blanca casino in Mesquite, NV.

This Friday.

Brooks & Dunn in Primm.

That's Mick & Keith.

A new post will be up...later this morning.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Now...Who Wants to Party?!

Yo.

"The image of him falling is something I'll never ever be able to get out of my mind," Cheney said. "I fired, and there's Harry falling. It was, I'd have to say, one of the worst days of my life at that moment."

Well, DICK, how do you think some of your soldiers feel...after they shoot an innocent kid?

Think about it.

*

By now...ya know the story:
HUME: Was anybody drinking in this party?

THE OLD MAN: No. You don't hunt with people who drink. That's not a good idea. We had --

HUME: So he wasn't, and you weren't?

THE OLD MAN: Correct. We'd taken a break at lunch -- go down under an old -- ancient oak tree there on the place, and have a barbecue.

I had a beer at lunch.

After lunch we take a break, go back to ranch headquarters. Then we took about an hour-long tour of ranch, with a ranch hand driving the vehicle, looking at game.

We didn't go back into the field to hunt quail until about, oh, sometime after 3:00
p.m. The five of us who were in that party were together all afternoon.

Nobody was drinking, nobody was under the influence.
All right.

I'm with him: Not gonna question the VP. Don't want "the man" knockin' on me door.

However...

His answer takes me back to a very special place -- The Onion.

Man Blames Hangover On Everything But How Much He Drank

Pure genius:
BETHEL PARK, PA — Speaking slowly and moving stiffly Tuesday, Pittsburgh-area resident Matt Van Duyne attributed his hangover to everything but the excessive amount of alcohol he'd consumed the previous night.

"One big problem was the empty stomach," said Van Duyne, holding his head and taking deep breaths. "I really should know by now to make sure to eat a piece of pizza or some french fries or something before doing any drinking.

That kind of greasy, high-carb stuff works best, I find, because it really soaks up the alcohol.

Another thing I neglected to do was drink a lot of water.

That's key.

Also, I forgot to take my usual two aspirins before going to bed, which helps a lot."

*

"This happens every time I drink Gallo, especially red," Van Duyne said. "That stuff really gives me a hangover. It probably has something to do with all the sulfites they use."

Though Van Duyne describes himself as a social drinker, coworkers say he frequently arrives at work asking them to "take it easy on [him]" because of a hangover he attributes to everything but excessive drinking.

"My favorite is when he explains that he forgot to follow the 'beer before liquor, never sicker' rule," coworker Thomas Juno said. "Sorry, Matty, but when you're pounding six of each in just over three hours, I don't think it really matters what order you drink them in."

*

Longtime friend Pete Sirois, 27, heard a new excuse last Friday night, when he and Van Duyne went drinking at Anchor Inn.

"Matt was doing all these different shots—Stoli, Jack Daniels, Jägermeister—you name it," Sirois said. "He was really wasted. I talked to him the next night, and he was complaining about how he still had a headache, because he 'failed to stay consistent [with his liquors].' I'm like, 'Yeah, if only you'd done vodka shots all night, you would've been fine.'"

"The amazing thing is, he hardly ever uses the same excuse twice," Sirois continued.

"One time, it might be 'I stupidly combined champagne with hard lemonade,' and the next, 'I should've known better than to mix liquor with diet soda.' He must devote more time to researching hangovers than he does to his job."
Read the whole piece.

Nothing better than The Onion. 'Cept The Simpsons.

(And The Big Lebowski. And The Office UK.)

In the meantime, check out Harry Whittington's blog.

Oh, the "internets."

More later...

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The Further Adventures of the Kennedy County Sheriff's Dept.

"So, uh, you guys ever been to Corpus Christi?"

(Silence)

"How do you, uh, get them jobs with the Secret Service? Gotta be really hard, right?"

(Silence)

"Like, uh, the police academy times ten, right?"

(Silence)

"You guys get to dress in hunting clothes, though. That's cool."

(Silence)

"Me? I gotta wear the uniform."

"You finished, deputy?"

"Yes. Yes, sir. Thank you, sir. Thanks for your time."

More later...

Can't you people take the law into your own hands?

Yo.

Josh Marshall has a couple of interesting questions for ya:
How big is the Kenedy County Sheriff's Department?

They rapidly concluded that "this was nothing more than a hunting accident."

But how big an outfit is it exactly?

Kennedy County has a population of 414 people, which makes it the fourth smallest county in the United States.

The 50,000 acre Armstrong Ranch is in Kennedy County.

So I figure the Armstrongs probably have a lot of pull in county government.

So, just a question: how thorough was the investigation of what happened?
Ready?
"Yeah, okay, I, uh, just have a few questions here about the, uh, shoo -- "

"I'm sorry, officer. Were you talking?"

"Um, oh, uh, no. No. No. I was just, uh...that's a nice cap."

"Condi gave it to me."

"Okay then."

(Long pause.)

"I'll be on my way."
Could've gone this way:
Bzzz.

Bzzz.

Bzzz.

"(Sqwak) Armstrong resdience."

"Yes, I'm from the, uh, Kennedy County Sheriff's department. I'm here to, uh, talk to -- "

"(Sqwak) We don't want any."

(Pause)

"Okay then."

(Longer pause)

"I'll be on my way."
Maybe the "investigation" went like this:
"Have you finished your report?"

"Well, uh, yeah."

(Pause)

"Yes, yes?"

"Well, uh, according to the, uh...TV...FOX News...the victim, uh, stabbed himself...in the face...with a fork."

"And?"

"And everybody else was, uh, drinking Dr. Pepper."

(Longer pause)

"And playing Scrabble."

(Longer pause)

"Good enough for me."

"Okay then."
Youfeelingme?
"This is Papa Bear. Put out an APB for a male suspect, driving a... car of some sort, heading in the direction of, uh, you know, that place that sells chili. Suspect is hatless. Repeat, hatless."

"All right, you scrawny beanpoles: becoming a cop is not something that happens overnight. It takes one solid weekend of training to get that badge."

"Can't you people take the law into your own hands? I mean, we can't be policing the entire city!"

"Eww, Daddy, this tastes like Gramma!"

"Hi, Super Nintendo Chalmers!"
More later...

So Wrong

While you were busy trying to figure out if the Old Man was drunk or not...

Popular Ohio Democrat Drops Out of Race, and Perhaps Politics

Don't like this:
Paul Hackett, an Iraq war veteran and popular Democratic candidate in Ohio's closely watched Senate contest, said yesterday that he was dropping out of the race and leaving politics altogether as a result of pressure from party leaders.

Mr. Hackett said Senators Charles E. Schumer of New York and Harry Reid of Nevada, the same party leaders who he said persuaded him last August to enter the Senate race, had pushed him to step aside so that Representative Sherrod Brown, a longtime member of Congress, could take on Senator Mike DeWine, the Republican incumbent.
So wrong.

Run, Paul. Run!

Don't let the bastards get you down.
"This is an extremely disappointing decision that I feel has been forced on me," said Mr. Hackett, whose announcement comes two days before the state's filing deadline for candidates.

He said he was outraged to learn that party leaders were calling his donors and asking them to stop giving and said he would not enter the Second District Congressional race.

"For me, this is a second betrayal," Mr. Hackett said. "First, my government misused and mismanaged the military in Iraq, and now my own party is afraid to support candidates like me."
Agreed.
Democrats wanted to avoid a drawn-out primary, especially one that could get bruising with a tough-talking outsider like Mr. Hackett.

*

Jennifer Duffy, who analyzes Senate races for the Cook Political Report, said that part of what made Democratic leaders nervous about Mr. Hackett was what had also made him so popular with voters.
Yep.

The last thing we need is another "Establishment Dem."
"Hackett is seen by many as a straight talker, and he became an icon to the liberal bloggers because he says exactly what they have wished they would hear from a politician," Ms. Duffy said.

"On the other hand, the Senate is still an exclusive club, and the party expects a certain level of decorum that Hackett has not always shown."
It's not just an exclusive club; it's the House of Lords. (House of Reps = House of Commons. As in "common" people. I've always said this.)

Question: Do the Dems in the House of Lords really want us to get out of Iraq?

Do na' think so.

Lotta people makin' a lotta money out there.

"In a free land...what do I get?"

More in a bit...

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Here's Another Angle to the Hunting Thing

(Bi-monthly request - pass the blog on to one new person today. Thanks.)

Here's another angle to the hunting thing...via the NY Times.
Texas officials said on Monday night that Mr. Cheney would be issued a warning citation for hunting without a proper game stamp on his license.

The local sheriff said an investigation had concluded that the episode was "no more than an accident."

The local sheriff, Ramon Salinas III of Kenedy County, said the Secret Service called him shortly after the shooting occurred.

Sheriff Salinas said he sent his chief deputy, Gilbert Sanmiguel, to the Armstrong Ranch that night.

He said Mr. Sanmiguel interviewed Mr. Cheney and reported that the shooting was an accident.
"Yeah, I just have a few questions here about the incid -- "

"I'm sorry, officer. Did you just say something?"

"Um, oh, uh, no, no. I was just, uh...that's a nice jacket."

"It's a gift from my wife."

"Okay. I'll be on my way then."
The sheriff said Sunday that they had yet to speak to "the victim."

"But you could say it's closed," Mr. Salinas said of the case.
Ha!

Strange bit of info from Josh Marshall...
At least one deputy showed up at the ranch's front gate Saturday evening and asked to speak to Cheney but was turned away by the Secret Service, Zahren said.
Bzzz.

Bzzz.

Bzzz.


"(Sqwak) Hello?"

"Yes, I'm from the, uh, Kennedy County Sheriff's department. I'm here to, uh, talk to the Vice President."

"(Sqwak) We didn't order a pizza."

(Pause)

"Okay. I'll be on my way then."
There was some miscommunication that arrangements already had been made to interview Cheney the next morning, he said.
????

When did deputy Sanmiguel interview the Old Man? That's key.
Both the sheriff's department and the state have determined that alcohol did not appear to be a factor.
Why bother to point that out?

Unless...

(Think, think, think.)

Ah, who cares?

Look...everybody knows it was an accident.

We're just fumed b/c the Bushies handled a really simple story like they handle everything: They held the story until they were ready to deal with it.

In the end? It looks like they were trying to cover their tracks...when there really were no tracks to cover.

Let's bring this story back to the group running "your" country:
Among the people with (Cheney) at the Armstrong Ranch in South Texas was his host Katharine Armstrong, a lobbyist and longtime friend of Mr. Cheney. Her lobbying clients include several that do business with the federal government, though Ms. Armstrong said she did not believe that she had ever lobbied Mr. Cheney.

*

...Mr. Bush did not find out that Mr. Cheney fired the shot until about half an hour later in a subsequent call from Karl Rove, his senior adviser and deputy chief of staff, who had called Ms. Armstrong to ask about the incident.
Standard stuff, right?

Well, here's an intersting note from Josh Marshall:
An early financier of Karl Rove + Company was Tobin Armstrong, the owner of a Texas ranch (it was on land leased from Armstrong Rove and Bill Frist were planning to go hunting) and the husband of Anne Armstrong, a former Republican Cabinet officer.
Hey, hey!

"Katherine" is their daughter. The ranch was mumsy and daddy's.
Becoming chairman of the College Republicans provided Rove with an introduction to such people, which may be one reason that winning mattered so much to him; it also seems that Rove, the self-made man, gets pleasure as well as practical advantage from his association with the Texas upper crust, people who give off the glow of ease, charm, and connection which he detected in George W. Bush the first time they met.
Oh, life.

Should've joined the College Republicans: I'd be set by now.

Got a really good idea for an animated series, though. Maybe I can sell it by Friday.

More later...

Monday, February 13, 2006

Scott Vs Everybody: Update

The White House will have the transcript of today's press conference soon.

Crooks and Liars has some video.

Once again, McClellan is Nathan Thurm.

"I didn't say that. You said it."

Long story short: The WH reporters hammered Scotty on the Old Man's hunting mishap.

Question - WHY WON'T THEY PUSH SCOTT LIKE THIS RE: ROVE, ABRAMOFF, THE DOWNING STREET MEMO (parts I and II) AND THE MISSING BILLION$ IN IRAQ (ETC)?!

Huh?!

What a joke.
Q Was it Cheney's gun? Is that his gun, that shotgun?

MR. McCLELLAN: I'm sorry?

Q Was it the Vice President's gun?

MR. McCLELLAN: You ought to talk to the Vice President's Office and check that fact.

Q You don't know?

MR. McCLELLAN: You can check with their office.

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.
Huh?!

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

Huh?!?!
Q They knew exactly what happened --

Q -- to not reach the Vice President to find out that he was the shooter? How is that possible?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, Kelly, I can only tell you what the facts are.
And the facts are...I can't tell you.

Love the fact that he kept pushing the "very first priority was making sure Mr. Whittington was getting the medical care, and that's where all efforts were focused" line.

Classic.

More later...

Dragons are Dinosaurs

Follow up to Sunday's post ("Why didn't a T. Rex Eat Eve").

I've spent some time on K. Ham's website ("Answersingenesis.com") and 1) I have a headache, and 2) apparently dragons were/are real.
Interestingly, the word ‘dragon’ is used a number of times in the Old Testament.




In most instances, the word dinosaur could substitute for dragon and it would fit very nicely.

Creation scientists believe that dinosaurs were called dragons before the word dinosaur was invented in the 1800s.

We would not expect to find the word dinosaur in Bibles like the Authorized Version (1611), as it was translated well before the word dinosaur was ever used.
Beany & Cecil rule.
Also, there are many very old history books in various libraries around the world that have detailed records of dragons and their encounters with people.
Yes.

These books are called, "The Lord of the Rings."

They also contain "detailed records" of elves, trolls and Middle Earth.

Middle Earth is located...somewhere in Europe.

Enough.

More later...

Liberal Media? Ha!

Quick post:

Merger mania: Lacey to Voice staff, Drop dead

From the San Francisco Bay Guardian:
The merger between the nation's two largest alternative newspaper chains was finally consummated Jan. 31, and the very next day, Mike Lacey, the new owner of the Village Voice, was in New York City giving the staff the facts of life.

Lacey met with Voice staffers Feb. 1, and, according to sources who were present at the meeting, announced that the Voice news section was too soft because it was full of commentary and criticism of the Bush administration.
Got that?
He said he didn't want any more commentary — just hard news and long-form human-interest stories.
What if the "hard news" contains INFORMATION damaging to the Bushies?

"That's called 'commentary.'"

(That's how it works, people.)
He also insulted the entire news department by saying Voice reporters "need to stop being stenographers" and, the sources told the Guardian, warned the staff "to be ready to say goodbye to some of your friends."

When one participant said the description of the staff as "stenographers" was unfair, Lacey reportedly responded, "So, I'm unfair."

The Voice carried no news on the closure of the deal, which combines New Times Media and Village Voice Media.

Scott Spear, senior vice president of the new company, announced the consummation of the merger in a terse release stating that the big chain will take the Village Voice Media name and publish alternative weeklies in 17 markets.
Alternative?

Ha.

They want it more than we do, and they're spending the money to get it.

More later...

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Why Didn't a T. Rex Eat Eve?

Yo.

The L.A. Times has a super scary article on --

"The plane that was supposed to fly into the 'Liberty' Tower?!"

No.

"Muslim terrorists who want to destroy the Universal City Walk?!"

Nope.

"Islamic jihadists who want to blow up The Grove?!"

No.

Some guy who travels around the country teachin' kids creationism...and arming them with the "tools they need" to attack those of us who believe in evolution.

"Aaagghhh!"

Read on:
WAYNE, N.J. — Evangelist Ken Ham smiled at the 2,300 elementary students packed into pews, their faces rapt. With dinosaur puppets and silly cartoons, he was training them to reject much of geology, paleontology and evolutionary biology as a sinister tangle of lies.

"Boys and girls," Ham said. If a teacher so much as mentions evolution, or the Big Bang, or an era when dinosaurs ruled the Earth, "you put your hand up and you say, 'Excuse me, were you there?' Can you remember that?"

The children roared their assent.

Gabriel-era Genesis for ya.
"Sometimes people will answer, 'No, but you weren't there either,' " Ham told them. "Then you say, 'No, I wasn't, but I know someone who was, and I have his book about the history of the world.'"

He waved his Bible in the air.

"Who's the only one who's always been there?" Ham asked.

"God!" the boys and girls shouted.

"Who's the only one who knows everything?"

"God!"

"So who should you always trust, God or the scientists?"

The children answered with a thundering: "God!"
"JESUS."

Yeah, right?

"IT'S OKAY TO TRUST THE SCIENTISTS, KIDS."

It's Ken Ham you gotta worry about.
Ham encourages people to further their research with the dozens of books and DVDs sold by his ministry.
"THERE WE GO."

Bet he gives those books and DVDs away for free.

"NOT!"
They give answers to every question a critic might ask:
Get ready:
How did Noah fit dinosaurs on the ark?

He took babies.
You see what we're dealing with?
Why didn't a tyrannosaur eat Eve?

All creatures were vegetarians until Adam's sin brought death into the world.
"WOW. BRILLIANT. HAVEN'T HEARD THAT ONE."

Me neither.
How can we have modern breeds of dog like the poodle if God finished his work 6,000 years ago?

He created a dog "kind" — a master blueprint — and let evolution take over from there.
Enough.

"HE'S KINDA RIGHT ON THAT ONE, THOUGH. I MADE, LIKE, A COUPLE OF KINDS, AND THEN EVERYONE WENT CRAZY WITH THE CROSS-BREEDING."

Crazy?

"YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN."

Yep.

When I was a little dude at St. Bernard's Roman Catholic School in Mt. Lebanon, PA, we used to bombard the nuns with questions about Genesis.

Like, "Did God really create everything in seven days? Did God really create everything in seven days? Did God really create everything in seven days?"

Sister Mary Whoever's answer?

"Not seven of our days, you nitwits! Seven of His days! And each of those days could've been a billion kazillion years."

"SHE WAS RIGHT."

Thank you, Lord.

"THE FIRST DAY TOOK A BAZILLION YEARS."

Read the whole article - try not to pull your hair out.

"AND THE LAMB...LIES DOWN...ON BROADWAY!"

More later...

Saturday, February 11, 2006

"They're crazy!"

Yo.

I'm not gonna get into the whole controversy re: the cartoon depictions of Muhammed and the subsequent Muslim outrage around the world...

But I will say this -- Our media's message is clear.

"Look at how scary these people are! They're crazy! And...they burn things when they get mad! Could 'we' be next?!"

"Stay in your homes, Kansas: They're coming for you!"

"The Danish embassy today, Springfield tomorrow!"

Youfeelingme?

"If you don't have an enemy...make one up!"

More later...

Two Quick Stories

Happy Saturday.

Two quick stories, people.

Ex-CIA Official Faults Use of Data on Iraq

Walter Pincus' WaPo story came out yesterday.

Unfortunately, it'll be dead by...?
The former CIA official who coordinated U.S. intelligence on the Middle East until last year has accused the Bush administration of "cherry-picking" intelligence on Iraq to justify a decision it had already reached to go to war, and of ignoring warnings that the country could easily fall into violence and chaos after an invasion to overthrow Saddam Hussein.

Paul R. Pillar, who was the national intelligence officer for the Near East and South Asia from 2000 to 2005, acknowledges the U.S. intelligence agencies' mistakes in concluding that Hussein's government possessed weapons of mass destruction.

But he said those misjudgments did not drive the administration's decision to invade.

"Official intelligence on Iraqi weapons programs was flawed, but even with its flaws, it was not what led to the war," Pillar wrote in the upcoming issue of the journal Foreign Affairs. Instead, he asserted, the administration "went to war without requesting -- and evidently without being influenced by -- any strategic-level intelligence assessments on any aspect of Iraq."

"It has become clear that official intelligence was not relied on in making even the most significant national security decisions, that intelligence was misused publicly to justify decisions already made, that damaging ill will developed between [Bush] policymakers and intelligence officers, and that the intelligence community's own work was politicized," Pillar wrote.
We "libtards" knew this stuff a long time ago.

We knew that the Bushies wanted to invade Iraq - long before they entered the White House.

Didn't matter - we couldn't stop 'em.

'Coz if you're in the business of war...you need war for business.
In his article, Pillar said he believes that the "politicization" of intelligence on Iraq occurred "subtly" and in many forms, but almost never resulted from a policymaker directly asking an analyst to reshape his or her results. "Such attempts are rare," he writes, "and when they do occur . . . are almost always unsuccessful."

Instead, he describes a process in which the White House helped frame intelligence results by repeatedly posing questions aimed at bolstering its arguments about Iraq.
"Has Saddam had any contact with Bin Laden?"

"No."

"Has Saddam had any contact with Bin Laden?"

"No!"

"Has Saddam had any contact with Bin Laden?"

"No!!"

"Has Saddam had any contact with Bin Laden?"

"No!!!"

"You sure about that?"

"No!!!! (Pause) Wait, what?"

"That's good enough for us."

"Aaaggghhh!"
The Bush administration, Pillar wrote, "repeatedly called on the intelligence community to uncover more material that would contribute to the case for war," including information on the "supposed connection" between Hussein and al Qaeda, which analysts had discounted. "Feeding the administration's voracious appetite for material on the Saddam-al Qaeda link consumed an enormous amount of time and attention."
"They kinda...look alike, don't you think?"

"What?!"
The result of the requests, and public statements by the president, Vice President Cheney and others, led analysts and managers to conclude the United States was heading for war well before the March 2003 invasion, Pillar asserted.

They thus knew, he wrote, that senior policymakers "would frown on or ignore analysis that called into question a decision to go to war and welcome analysis that supported such a decision. . . . [They] felt a strong wind consistently blowing in one direction.

The desire to bend with such a wind is natural and strong, even if unconscious."
Are they talking about this story on CNNFOXMSBC?

Yes? No?

It'll die by tomorrow.

Life in Bushworld.

Speaking of...

Bush administration moves to sell national forest land

But not to you and me.
WASHINGTON - The Bush administration will unveil a proposal Friday to sell up to 200,000 acres of national forest land in "isolated parcels" ranging from a quarter of an acre to 200 acres, much of it in California.

The sale is part of a National Forest Service plan to raise $800 million over the next five years to pay for rural schools in 41 states, offsetting shrinking revenues from sale of timber from national forests. The Bureau of Land Management also plans to sell federal lands to raise an estimated $182 million over five years.
Key sentence:
Jerry Taylor of the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, said the proposed land sales make sense.

"Private property will end up in the possession of those who value it the most," Taylor said.
Tell that to the Native Americans.

Actually, they heard that line A LONG TIME AGO.
"Private property will end up in the possession of those who value it the most," Taylor said.

"That is an iron law of economics."
And an "iron law" in Bushworld.

Do you care?

More later...

Friday, February 10, 2006

Lotta New Visitors

Hey.

Lotta new vistitors to Brandoland these days.

"FAILTE."

Well said, Lord.

If you're new and have a sec, scroll through November, December and January.

Yesterday's news is still relevant in Bushworld, people.

"Know your rights!"

More later...

Brownie is Talking

People,

Brownie is talkin' to the Senate this morning...

And it's really weird:
Brown suggested the administration's fixation with fighting terrorism may have been to blame, in part, for the slow government response.
"He said what?!"

"That it was our fault, sir."

"Give me that phone!"
Because of a focus on terrorism, natural disasters "had become the stepchild of the Department of Homeland Security," he said.
"Bring me his file!"

"Yes, sir."

"Does he have any credit cards?"

"Not anymore, sir."

"That's what I'm talkin' about."
Had there been a report that "a terrorist had blown up the 17th Street Canal levee, then everybody would have jumped all over that," Brown added.
Whoa.

What is he up to?!

Talk about biting the hand that feeds ya...

We're In the Wrong Biz

Yo.

Somehow...the Sludgereport has an advance copy of Sunday's "60 Minutes" broadcast.

(For the sake of this post, Let's suspend our usual Drudge-disbelief.)

Steve Kroft is gonna investigate the missing $8.8 billion in missing "Iraqi reconstruction" cash...and a defense contractor that tried to, uh, cash in on the lax atmosphere in Baghdad:
Stuart Bowen, special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction, says $8.8 billion is unaccounted for because oversight on the part of the Coalition Provisional Authority, the entity governing Iraq after the war, "was relatively nonexistent."

The former number two man at the Coalition, Frank Willis, concurs. "I would describe [the accounting system] as nonexistent." Without a financial infrastructure, checks and money transfers were not possible, so the Coalition kept billions in cash to pay for its multitude of projects.

"Fresh, new, crisp, unspent, just-printed $100 bills. It was the Wild West," says Willis.

Such an atmosphere made it possible for billions to go missing and companies to defraud the Coalition.

Custer Battles, a company quickly formed after the war to get reconstruction contracts, goes on trial next week accused in a whistleblower suit by an ex-employee of bilking the U.S. government out of $50 million.

"[Custer Battles] wanted to open fraudulent companies overseas and inflate their invoices to the U.S. government," says the ex-employee, Robert Isakson. He says he refused to go along with the scheme and "two weeks later, they began exactly the fraud they described to me," he tells Kroft.

Willis remembers Custer Battles, which was formed by former Army Ranger Scott Custer and a failed congressional candidate, Mike Battles, who claimed to be active in the Republican party and have connections to the White House. "They came in with a can-do attitude whether they could or not," he says, "They were not experienced. They didn't know what they were doing," says Willis.

They nevertheless got contracts and their work quickly drew complaints. "They failed miserably," says Col. Richard Ballard of a $15 million contract Custer Battles got to secure the Baghdad Airport. Col. Ballard, the inspector general for the Army in Iraq at the time, says the company failed to provide the x-ray equipment required by the contract.

"These were multi-million-dollar devices for which they received a considerable cash advance so that they could procure them, and then they never procured this equipment," says Col. Ballard.

On a bomb-sniffing dog and trainer Custer Battles did procure, Col. Ballard says, "I think it was a guy and his pet, to be honest with you," he tells Kroft.

The Colonel noted that the dog would refuse to sniff the vehicles.
Tune in to "60 Minutes" for Defense Contracting, 101.

There will be a quiz following the broadcast.

Time for me to chase more Hollywood carrots.

More later...

Scott Vs Helen, Round 1,627

Again, McClellan told yesterday's WH press gathering that he would "DISCOURAGE" them from suggesting that there was, uh, something weird about the timing of Bush's "TERROR" speech.

(Read the previous post.)

McClellan defended the speech by saying that...
The President has been having an ongoing discussion with the American people about the war on terrorism. This is the nation's highest priority. It's the President's top priority. It's about protecting the American people.

And we're always looking for ways to inform the American people about our efforts and provide them additional information.
Ha! They're always looking for ways to inform us...and provide us with additional info?!

"PURE COMEDY."

Yes, Lord.

On that note, PLEASE READ the latest battle between the grand dame of the press corp, Helen Thomas, and Scott "My Scotty."

It's a doozy:
MR. McCLELLAN: Go ahead, Helen. Come to you, Martha, next.

Q: You -- this is supposed to be a war on terrorism, and by his own admission, the President has said there's been -- there was no link between Iraq and terrorists. So why are we still in Iraq killing and being killed?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I think the President talked about it earlier today. The stakes are high in Iraq. And he talked about where we are focused --

Q: -- why were they high --

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, Iraq is the central front in the war on terrorism. All you have to do is look at the letter that Zawahiri sent to Zarqawi. They recognize how high the stakes are. So do we. And we must continue to move forward on the plan we have for victory. That's why we're focused on --

Q: Why did you go into Iraq?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, the President is --

Q: There were no terrorists.

MR. McCLELLAN: I'm not trying to relitigate what we've -- the decisions that were already made.

Q: I am.

MR. McCLELLAN: We've already spelled out the reasons why we went in there, and it was Saddam's --

Q: -- given has turned out to be wrong.

MR. McCLELLAN: It was Saddam Hussein's choice to make. He continued to defy the international community. And the President made the decision after September 11th that we were not going to wait for threats to fully materialize. We were going to confront them before it was too late. And as he said again today --

Q: It was Iraq, and they weren't there.

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I think you ought to pay attention to what the President said in his remarks again today.

Q: I did.

MR. McCLELLAN: He talked about the importance of freedom overcoming terrorism and tyranny and the power of freedom to prevail. The Middle East is a dangerous region of the world. What we are trying to do --

Q: Why was Iraq attacked?

MR. McCLELLAN: What we are trying to do is help transform that troubled region of the world by providing a more hopeful future. That's what freedom does. Free societies are peaceful societies.

And a free Iraq will help inspire the rest of the Middle East, as well.

Go ahead, Martha.
Comedy.

He can't stand her, BTW.

More later...this morning.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

More Scotty

Like me...

Some members of the WH press corp questioned the timing of Our Kid's speech re: the assault on Los Angeles:
Q: But is it just a coincidence?

You had February 6th circled on the calendar for the hearings, the NSA hearings.

Is it just a pure coincidence that this comes out today?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, you're talking about the -- let me mention, the terrorist surveillance program is a vital program, and it's been a very valuable tool.

I'm not going to get into discussing any of the tools that may have been used when it comes to disrupting this plot. We provided you some additional information about this plot.

But the purpose of this speech is the way I stated it.

And I would discourage you from suggesting otherwise.
Understand?

Unbelievable.

More later...

The Tallest Bldg in L.A.?

Alright.

Here's Our Kid:
"In the weeks after September the 11th, while Americans were still recovering from an unprecedented strike on our homeland, al Qaeda was already busy planning its next attack.

We now know that in October 2001, Khalid Shaykh Muhammad -- the mastermind of the September the 11th attacks -- had already set in motion a plan to have terrorist operatives hijack an airplane using shoe bombs to breach the cockpit door, and fly the plane into the tallest building on the West Coast.

We believe the intended target was Liberty [sic] Tower in Los Angeles, California."
(He meant the Library Tower - now the US Bank Bldg.)

Sorry, kiddos, but I'm unbelievably skeptical of this here story.

One (and it's snarky)? Angelenos couldn't find the Bank One bldg.

It's not exactly a landmark in this community.

Two? The timing of this "news."

Dude's been under a lot of pressure to explain himself, so it's the perfect time for a new "Tale of Horror."

On that note...

Fran Townsend (of Homeland Security) had a follow up press conference today re: these new tales.

Excerpt:
Q: What level of operational detail did this plot reach before it was foiled? I mean, was it -- were they planning to fly a plane out of LAX? Did it reach that level of detail?

MS. TOWNSEND: We didn't know what plane or what flight.

We knew that they were going to fly a commercial airliner into the tallest building in California, or the West Coast.

And there was an analytic judgment by the intelligence community that that meant the Library Tower.
Did you catch that?

"There was an analytic judgement...that meant the Library Tower."

Wow.

That means...they don't know for sure.

Our Kid went ahead and made the "Liberty Tower" claim anyway.
MS. TOWNSEND: But, I mean, we didn't have a day or a week; we didn't know that.
When pressed for further details on the plan and its planners, Townshend replied by saying, "Okay, hold on, I can't be that specific, because we don't know," and "I know, but I can't tell you their names, because that would give it away, and I can't tell you the names of the countries because -- not because I care -- but because our partners want to have it kept a secret."

Grrr.

CRITICAL FOLLOW-UP FROM AMERICABLOG:
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said Thursday he was blindsided by President Bush's announcement of new details on a purported 2002 hijacking plot aimed at a downtown skyscraper, and described communication with the White House as "nonexistent."

"I'm amazed that the president would make this (announcement) on national TV and not inform us of these details through the appropriate channels," the mayor told The Associated Press.

"I don't expect a call from the president - but somebody."
Like I said, I'm skeptical.

More later...

Like Tony Soprano Leading His Own FBI Investigation?

The news is a bit old this morning, but I gotta jump in:

DeLay Lands Coveted Appropriations Spot

What?!

Does Tom have photos of top Repubs with young dudes?
WASHINGTON - Indicted Rep. Tom DeLay, forced to step down as the No. 2 Republican in the House, scored a soft landing Wednesday as GOP leaders rewarded him with a coveted seat on the Appropriations Committee.
The seat "made vacant" by Randy "Duke" Cunningham.
DeLay, R-Texas, also claimed a seat on the subcommittee overseeing the Justice Department, which is currently investigating an influence-peddling scandal involving disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff and his dealings with lawmakers.
Wha-wha-WHAT?!

How is that possible?
The subcommittee also has responsibility over NASA — a top priority for DeLay, since the Johnson Space Center is located in his Houston-area district.

"Allowing Tom DeLay to sit on a committee in charge of giving out money is like putting Michael Brown back in charge of FEMA — Republicans in Congress just can't seem to resist standing by their man," said Bill Burton, spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
My god.

You know, I really don't care about DeLay sitting on a "committee in charge of giving out money."

Let's be honest: The Hammer knows where all the money is "supposed" to go.

It's the subcommittee overseeing the Justice Department-thing that I have a problem with.

I mean...WTF?

Are they really that arrogant?!

"YES. IF YOU AIN'T CHEATING, YOU AIN'T TRYING."

Thank you, Lord. Words to live by.

On a related note...

Hastert, Frist said to rig bill for drug firms

Well...duh.

Another modern CIVICS lesson, kiddos:
WASHINGTON — Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and House Speaker Dennis Hastert engineered a backroom legislative maneuver to protect pharmaceutical companies from lawsuits, say witnesses to the pre-Christmas power play.

The language was tucked into a Defense Department appropriations bill at the last minute without the approval of members of a House-Senate conference committee, say several witnesses, including a top Republican staff member.
"Impressive."

"'The Hammer' has taught you well."
The new law providing vaccine makers with protection against lawsuits is called the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act.
Memo to the government: PLEASE contact me.

I want a job on the writing staff that comes up with these titles.

They're as good as The Onion staff!
Among its key provisions are:

- It allows the secretary of Health and Human Services to issue a declaration that a "disease or other health condition or other threat to health constitutes a public health emergency."

- The secretary may also issue a declaration if there is a "credible risk" that there may be such a problem in the future.

- The protection against lawsuits then kicks in covering the "manufacture, testing, development, distribution, administration or use of one or more countermeasures," a term that includes vaccines and other drugs.

- Requires someone who is injured to prove "willful misconduct," and states that the standard will be "more stringent than a standard of negligence in any form or recklessness."
"But...my child is autistic."

"There's no 'willful misconduct' here, ma'am."

"But...my child is autistic!"

Here's how it went down --
At issue is what happened Dec. 18 as Congress scrambled to finish its business and head home for the Christmas holiday.

That day, a conference committee made up of 38 senators and House members met several times to work out differences on the 2006 Defense Department appropriations bill.

Rep. David Obey, D-Wis., the ranking minority House member on the conference committee, said he asked Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, the conference chairman, whether the vaccine liability language was in the massive bill or would be placed in it.

Obey and four others at the meeting said Stevens told him no.

Committee members signed off on the bill and the conference broke up.

*

But Keith Kennedy, who works for Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., as staff director for the Senate Appropriations Committee, said at a seminar for reporters last month that the language was inserted by Frist and Hastert, R-Ill., AFTER the conference committee ended its work.

"There should be no dispute. That was an absolute travesty," Kennedy said at a videotaped Washington, D.C., forum sponsored by the Center on Congress at Indiana University.

"It was added after the conference had concluded. It was added at the specific direction of the speaker of the House and the majority leader of the Senate. The conferees did not vote on it. It's a true travesty of the process."

After the conference committee broke up, a meeting was called in Hastert's office, Kennedy said. Also at the meeting, according to a congressional staffer, were Frist, Stevens and House Majority Whip Roy Blunt, R-Mo.

"They (committee staff members) were given the language and then it was put in the document," Kennedy said.

About 10 or 10:30 p.m., Democratic staff members were handed the language and told it was now in the bill, Obey said.

He took to the House floor in a rage. He called Frist and Hastert "a couple of musclemen in Congress who think they have a right to tell everybody else that they have to do their bidding."

Rep. Dan Burton, R-Ind., also was critical of inserting the vaccine language after the conference committee had adjourned.

"It sucks," he told Congress Daily that night.
Yep.

Final note:
Frist has received $271,523 in campaign donations from the pharmaceutical and health products industry since 1989, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a watchdog group.

He is also a possible candidate for president in 2008.
You know, the more I think about it, the more I believe that the Republican definition of freedom is...the abiltity to conduct business without regulation or threat of litigation.

And that's it.

Always.

More later...

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Tom Paine

Get thee to Tom Paine for a must read article by Robert Dreyfuss on the Neo-Con plan to create the new Cold-War...against an enemy that is "a few hundred strong."
The Pentagon’s latest Quadrennial Defense Review, the fancy name for the Defense Department’s “big think” strategy that is supposed to come out every four years, has to be seen as the Bush administration’s ultimate Plan for Empire.

It lays out a Thirty Years' War-type battle plan for an expanding U.S. military presence worldwide, to fight a war against an enemy which is, at most, a few hundred strong.

Officially, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld calls it “The Long War,” a propaganda term designed to echo “the Cold War,” and the Pentagon intends to brainwash Americans into supporting a generation-long struggle that will lay the groundwork for an American hegemony in the 21st century.

It is, indeed, the Project for a New American Century.

According to The New York Times, alongside the QDR, the Pentagon has developed its own (classified) counterterrorism strategy. It is this mission, designed to combat an enemy that the Bush administration describes as equal in magnitude to the threat posed by German Nazism or Soviet communism, which is driving both the QDR and the huge expansion of the budget for the Defense Department and the U.S. intelligence community over the next few years.

The QDR is the neoconservatives’ mythical World War IV, in line-item form.
Remember...if you're in the business of war?

"You need war for business!"

More later...

Crooks & Liars

HI-larious video over at Crooks & Liars.

Jack Cafferty - no libtard, that's for sure - cuts loose on Wolf re: news that the new Maj Leader (J. Boehner) rents his DC pad from...?

A lobbyist.

Quick bit:
BLITZER: You did hear Ed Henry say that it is a basement apartment which is not necessarily all that desirable --

(Giant pause as Jack Cafferty collects himself.)

CAFFERTY: Yeah...and pigs fly upside down and the moon is made of green cheese and there's no quid pro quo from a lobbyist who is also your landlord.

Do I look like I just fell out of the back of a vegetable truck to you?
I'm beginning to like Jack.

Good stuff...

Tucker Carlson: Earning His Pay

Moving on...to a small section of the Drudge-led controversy over Coretta Scott King's funeral.

"Those filthy libotards turned it into a hate-fest!"

All the major lefty-blogs (Crooks & Liars, Firedoglake, yada yada) are covering the right-wing freakout over the comments made during the ceremony, because some "lib'rals" had the nerve to speak "truth to power" in front of Our Kid.

The Reverend Dr. Joeseph Lowery's comments were the strongest:
"We know now there were no weapons of mass destruction over there [standing ovation]. But Coretta kew and we know that there are weapons of misdirection right down here.

Millions without health insurance. Poverty aounds. For war billions more but no more for the poor."
Needless to say, the wing-nuts are freaking.

Crooks & Liars has some great video of conservative wingnut Kate O'Beirne going new-kew-ler over the atmosphere at the funeral. She compared King's funeral to Paul Wellstone's, called President Carter "graceless," and said that liberals cannot "keep politics away from funerals."

Kate? Bite me.

I mean...can you imagine the atmosphere at a funeral for a national conservative figure?
"Grover stood for something that...all Americans should stand for; he wanted to drown the federal government in a bath-tub! (Applause) And...he wanted to destroy the Dem-o-crat party! (Applause) Let us never forget his great legacy."
Back to Dr. Lowery.

Tucker Carlson had him on the phone last night...and tried to get Dr. Lowery to, um, apologize for his comments:
CARLSON: It’s not hard to hear that [your remarks] and not draw the obvious conclusion that that’s an attack on President Bush, which of course is your right to do, and I think completely fair.

But again, it seemed very uncomfortable to say something like that in a funeral with the president right there.

It seemed like bad manners.

LOWERY: Well, I don’t think so. I certainly didn’t intend for it to be bad manners. I did intend for it to — to call attention to the fact that Mrs. King spoke truth to power.

And here was an opportunity to demonstrate how she spoke truth to power about this war and about all wars.

And I think that, in the context of the faith, out of which the movement grows, we have always opposed war. We’ve always fought poverty. And we base our — our argument on — on the faith, on the fact that Jesus taught us.

He identified with the poor. “I was hungry; you didn’t feed me. I was naked; you didn’t clothe me. I was in prison; you didn’t see about me.” He talked about war. He talked about he who lives by the sword.

So I’m comfortable with the fact that I was reflecting on Mrs. King’s tenacity against war, her determination to witness against war and to speak truth to power.
Now...

Think Progress has an interesting screen-shot of this show.

Look carefully at the banners on the left side of the screen.

They read, "Bush Bashing, King Funeral, Cartoon, Sex Offenders, Voter Fraud, Democrats."

MSNBC's message is clear...don't you think?

Very FOX-y.

And, boy, is this a great example of the liberal media at work, or what?

Your comments, please.

More later...

Armageddon, Part II

Good morning.

The End Times are near, kiddos.

"Ya seen the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse?"

Nope.

"The red calf?"

Nope.

"The Beast?"

No.

Wal-Mart to Open About 1,500 New Stores

Aaaggghhh!!!

God help us all:
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. plans to open more than 1,500 stores in the United States in the coming years, on top of nearly 3,200 it already operates, the world's largest retailer said Tuesday.

John Menzer, the company's vice chairman and head of its domestic Wal-Mart stores division, said Wal-Mart was on schedule to meet an announced target of between 335 and 370 new U.S. store openings this year after 341 last year.

That number includes Wal-Mart discount stores, Supercenters that also have a full grocery section, smaller Neighborhood Markets and Sam's Club membership warehouses.
This news should put the Rapture Index over 160.

More later...