horses and saddles sold cheap and other metaphors

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Weekend Roundup: Redneck liberals, kittens, Iraq could have waited, insane drug laws, Bushwhacked morale

Redneck liberal Joe Bageant has a new book coming out: tentatively titled DRINK, PRAY, FIGHT AND F*CK: Dispatches from the American Class Wars.
why the book is being written -- to entice liberals to consider looking at things in a new and more inclusive way, one which includes that great sea of the unwashed, the patriotic, Nascar, French hating, modular home dwelling, deer hunting Christian cigarette smokers.

I don't do the Friday cat blogging thing, because I don't have a normal cat. I have a wild black cat that allows me to feed him and that's it, no pictures thank you. He knows he's darn fine looking black cat with big green eyes, so he don't need no picture. For those that must look at cat pics, The Daily Kitten

For those that missed it the first time around, Israeli Think Tank: Iraq War Distracted US, 'Created Momentum' for Terrorists
TEL AVIV, Israel - The war in Iraq did not damage international terror groups, but instead distracted the United States from confronting other hotbeds of Islamic militancy and actually ``created momentum'' for many terrorists, a top Israeli security think tank said in a report released Monday.

President Bush has called the war in Iraq an integral part of the war on terrorism, saying that deposed Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein hoped to develop unconventional weapons and could have given them to Islamic militants across the world.

But the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv University said that instead of striking a blow against Islamic extremists, the Iraq war ``has created momentum for many terrorist elements, but chiefly al-Qaida and its affiliates.''

Jaffee Center director Shai Feldman said the vast amount of money and effort the United States has poured into Iraq has deflected attention and assets from other centers of terrorism, such as Afghanistan.

The concentration of U.S. intelligence assets in Iraq ``has to be at the expense of being able to follow strategic dangers in other parts of the world,'' he said.

Shlomo Brom, a retired Israeli army general, said the U.S.-led effort was strategically misdirected. If the goal in the war against terrorism is ``not just to kill the mosquitos but to dry the swamp,'' he said, ``now it's quite clear'' that Iraq ``is not the swamp.''

Even I am amazed about how right the left has been in our predictions. No WMD, no Iraq ties to 9-11, even if those that thought the war might do some good in the region have some explaining to do about the quatum growth of terrorism in the last couple years ( wonder if Andrew Sullivan and Inspundit want to drag out the old tired "flypaper theory" again) , Afghanistan has returned to being warlord paradise.. Will we be fighting the war in Afghanistan agin in a year or two years because BushCo was in such a rush to redirect our resources to Iraq. Iraq which as many said, was not an urgent threat.

Two girls were arrested for pretending that parsley was marijuana Parsley-pot ruse gets kids suspended and people complain about their tax money going for food stamps to feed the working poor. Priorites folks, priorities.

I have mixed feelings about the death penalty, when I hear of someone who is going to executed because they murdered a child, its hard to work up much sympathy for guilty bag of scum, but then we have situations like this, where as bad as heroin is, the punishment doesn't fit the crime, Nguyen hanged in Singapore
In a break from convention, Singapore's Government has issued a statement formally confirming the 25-year-old was hanged this morning.

"The sentence was carried out this morning at Changi Prison," the Ministry of Home Affairs statement said.

The 25-year-old from Melbourne was sentenced to death after being convicted of trying to smuggle nearly 400 grams of heroin through Changi Airport.

Fron Main and Central a Liberal Jarhead on Bush and how he uses the troops as props: Respect
Being used as toy soldiers and crowd extras for dog-and-pony show photo ops – e.g., being lined up in front of a "Mission Accomplished" banner or getting served plastic turkey by a plastic turkey - is demoralizing.

The turkey wasn't really plastic in fact, but it was in spirit, just another cheap photo-op.

This ain't fake, you can do something real, drop by the USO and find out how. Holidays away from home are the worse.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Sometimes people with the best intentions can be their own worst enemy. Then there are the fans of ignoranance always standing by ready to exploit the any hole the well intentioned leave open for them. So in the latest battle of the enlightened versus the superstitious, the superstitious can mark up a victory in their column, and the enlightened take one on the chin.

University Cancels Class on Creationism
Mirecki recently sent an e-mail to members of a student organization in which he referred to religious conservatives as "fundies" and said a course depicting intelligent design as mythology would be a "nice slap in their big fat face."

He later apologized, and did so again Thursday in a statement issued by the university

Professor Mirecki now knows what its like to set himself up for an ambush. Wonder if Malkin or Coulter would consider the the attack on rational thought an attack on America since democracy is a product of the age of reason.

How superstitious are you ?

Two U.S. Allies Pulling Out of Iraq
Bulgaria and Ukraine will begin withdrawing their combined 1,250 troops by mid-December. If Australia, Britain, Italy, Japan, Poland and South Korea reduce or recall their personnel, more than half of the non-American forces in Iraq could be gone by next summer.

Let's look on the bright side, as Dwight Yoakum said,
Aint That Lonely Yet
You keep callin' me on the telephone. You say you're all alone.
Well, that's real sad. And you keep leavin' notes stuck on my door

Blowback — Broken yesterday by the Los Angeles Times …
When asked about the article Wednesday night on the ABC News program "Nightline," General Pace said, "I would be concerned about anything that would be detrimental to the proper growth of democracy." ...

Many military officials, however, said they were concerned that the payments to Iraqi journalists and other covert information operations in Iraq had become so extensive that they were corroding the effort to build democracy and undermining U.S. credibility in Iraq. They also worry that information in the Iraqi press that's been planted or paid for by the U.S. military could "blow back" to the American public.

It is probably not the malicious intention of BushCo to undermine what their own claim to spread democracy in the middle-east, yet its this kind of incompetence that makes one wonder if this cabal of conservatives is up to the task. When I read reports of what some of the troops are the ground say, many express the belief that whether the war was a mistake or not, they believe in the immediate mission at hand, stabilizing the country and planting the seeds of democracy. Diificult task under the best of conditions,
Finally, military and defense officials said, the more extensive the information operations, the more likely they'll be discovered, thereby undermining the credibility of the U.S. armed forces and the American government. ...

In other words, when America is trying to convey the idea that we really, really do want whats best for the Iraqi people, the official line put out may not be believed because the counter propagandists among the insurgents and terrorists can point to stories that are in fact made up and made for by the Bushies. In the hearts and minds war the troops are in fact fighting the enemy in Iraq and the enemy in the Whitehouse. Incompetence begets mistrust which begets more violence and a stronger resistence. Thats just great. If the neocons would have run WWII we'd all be either speaking German or eating rice three times a day.

Kevin Drum thinks William Kristol is sounding less then optimistic.
Bush's strong speech today means the GOP is likely to be--if Republican Congressmen just keep their nerve--the party of victory. Now it is possible that the situation in Iraq will worsen over the next year. If that happens, Bush and the GOP are in deep trouble. They would have been if Pelosi had said nothing. But it is much more likely that the situation in Iraq will stay more or less the same, or improve. In either case, Republicans will benefit from being the party of victory.

If we could just get Billy and Bush to define victory and somehoe defend all those lies that got so many of our troops killed, that the righties claim to care soooo very much about. Billy boy also slips one in about not getting credit for a strong economy. Well Bill its like this, when you put that little bit of growth on the national credit card to be paid by others when the credit card republicans are out of power, you don't deserve credit. Even much of the growth in jobs can be traced back to the public sector, not the private sector.

'Tis The Season To Be Broke
Consumer spending is now more than three-quarters of the whole national economy – a record high. There’s nothing left to spend. Yes, gas prices have settled down a bit, but so have paychecks. General Motors, Merck, and major airlines are laying off tens of thousands. Job growth is anemic and pay is lousy. American families have exhausted all the coping mechanisms we’ve been using for years to spend more.

The first coping mechanism, which began decades ago when mens’ hourly wages first began dropping, was for spouses to go into paid work. But now that most adult women are on payrolls – including even the mothers of toddlers – this strategy has generated just about all the cash it can.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

of course I had to link to this

Tangled Bank Number 42
At the beginning of the universe there were no blogs. That was sad. However, there were also no proponents of "Intelligent Design" so it was a fair trade-off. Alas, that's not true any longer. The Bonehead Compendium examines the question, who exactly IS teaching science to our kids and how can they be so dumb?

One of my favorite bloggers is Mike the Mad Biologist, and he submitted a piece that took Charles Krauthammer's dismissal of "Intelligent Design" as a springboard to write about evolutionary biology and the falsification method and the likelihood approach. It had nothing to do with animals, but he sprinkled it with cute photos of pandas and puppies napping and stuff. Way to go, Mike, suck up to the host. Nicely done.

Think Progress has a response to Preznit Halfwit's plan

Rapid Response: Deconstructing the “National Strategy for Victory in Iraq”
One highlight:
IGNORING KEY CHALLENGES: When decorated veteran Rep. Jack Murtha (D-PA) presented his Iraq plan two weeks ago, he offered two primary reasons for supporting redeployment. One was the heavy burden the Iraq war has placed on the U.S. military and its recruitment and retention efforts, many of which are at historically low levels. The second was the shifting sentiments of the Iraqi population; Murtha cited a recent poll that found “over 80 percent of Iraqis are strongly opposed to the presence of coalition troops, and about 45 percent of the Iraqi population believe attacks against American troops are justified.” The NSVI ignores both of these fundamental facts. Virtually nothing is said about the well-being of our military, unquestionably a vital element in any strategy for success. Moreover, it disregards the latest Iraqi public opinion data, stating falsely that violence “has been discredited within and outside Iraq.”

and lots of documentation of BushCo here “The Iraq WMD and Intelligence Resource Center.”

I didn't make O'Liar's enemies list

O’Reilly Finally Unveils Enemies List
from a commenter at Think Progress:
C’mon, O’Lielly! I practically begged you to put me on your Enemies List. What do I have to do? Wish you “Happy Holidays” to your face? What a pinhead!

Monday, November 28, 2005

'Times-Picayune' Editor: Don't Let City Die
President Bush flew into New Orleans shortly after Hurricane Katrina devastated the city. His staff had to fire up giant generators to bathe St. Louis Cathedral and Jackson Square in floodlights, as a backdrop for his promise that he would "do what it takes" to rebuild New Orleans.

"There is no way to imagine americium without New Orleans," he said, "and this great city will rise again."

Then the lights went out, and the president left. Vast swaths of the city have been in darkness ever since.

Like Iraq, Bush sees New Orleans as another mission accomplished.

Powell Blasts White House For Smearing Murtha
"Jack Murtha is great friend of mine," Powell declared. "He's a great patriot.

Powell is in many ways a sell out, yet he keeps popping up now and then speaking out for reason. So to General. Powell, thanks, better late then never.

Egypt is the second largest recipient of American foreign aid ( Israel is first ), yet Bush's grand schemes in Iraq have had the effect of firing up support for extremists in a country that is very well rewarded for being on our side. Under Duress, Egypt's Islamist Party Still Surges at Polls

The group's most recent gains have come despite the efforts of government security forces to block supporters from getting to the polls on Saturday, independent election monitors said. And it is now the only opposition group likely to qualify to nominate a candidate to run against President Hosni Mubarak in future elections.

"They are a parallel power to the government," said Abu el-Ezz el-Hariri, deputy chairman of the leftist Tagamoa Party, whose leader was defeated by a Brotherhood candidate.

What does Bush and his minions like to say-democracy is spreading -? Bush and the neo-con's middle-east chess game is also responsible for pushing Iranian hard-liners into power in a country where the population was at least somewhat pro-american. Why did Iran elect Ahmadinejad?

Iranians have elected hardline conservative Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as their new president.

yet again democracy marches on - if you're an expert at Orwellian doublespeak anyway. If Iraq was at the cornerstone of the neocon plan to transform the middle-east into a stable region with modern democracies, its failing miserably.

Pizza Street, native art, Republican scandals continue, Cheney is useless, NOLA zoo, and drought the Christmas crinch

Raymond Chandler lives on The Streets of Pizza,

After a horrific night on the Streets of Pizza that entailed poor tips, rude and/or clueless customers and ridiculous traffic situations, I decided to.... or the night, I was tooling down one of MPLS's main one-way thoroughfares, a pair of pies riding shotgun and T.D. Mischke going on about the wonders of Summit beer on my iPod, when I spotted a gray, furry flash in my headlights.

Squint Eyes
From 1875 to 1878, a man named Tichkematse, or Squint Eyes, was held prisoner at Fort Marion, an outpost in northeast Florida. He was a Cheyenne Indian and a gifted watercolorist

If you like american primitive or children's art, this might be worth a look.

GOP House Leadership Linked Anew to Abramoff
WASHINGTON — His onetime friendship with super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff has come back to haunt Rep. John T. Doolittle of Northern California, a member of the House Republican leadership, as the Justice Department continues its probe into Abramoff's dealings with lawmakers.

Doolittle's name surfaced in the probe when the Washington Post reported late last year that the eight-term congressman from Roseville — a Mormon and staunch opponent of casino gambling — used Abramoff's luxury sports box in a Washington arena to host a fundraiser and then failed to report its value, as required by law.

A Mormon Republican ? What that called, a daily double on the hypocrisy meter.

As Cheney stands up, his polling goes down
Larry Wilkerson, once chief of staff to former Secretary of State Colin Powell, said the vice president, along with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, heads a cabal "of extreme nationalistic ... and messianic" voices within the Bush administration.

Cheney reportedly once did something very patriotic, investigators are working around the clock to find out what it was.

New Orleans zoo reopens after Katrina
"As people walk in, they're crying," he said. "This is a time of sadness in this city."

Like much in the city, the zoo has struggled to regain its footing after the hurricane. The zoo laid off about 600 workers.

Most of the animals are fine, although two otters and a raccoon did not survive, and about 2,000 trees were destroyed.

Audubon also operates the Aquarium of the Americas in the French Quarter, where about 10,000 animals died because of the hurricane.

People seem to want to make the best of a terrible tragedy, this is both a concrete and emotional step toward the survivors getting on with their lives. Never been an advocate of always looking on the bright side, sometimes in loss there's a lesson and to move on before emotionally working through it all is to miss the lesson.

Drought dulls tree farmers' Christmas
According to Fox News us patriots have declared war on Christmas, I must have missed that meeting.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Posturing, its all Cons have left

After a week of the usual chorus of shrill, demon-like attacks by the usual suspects, the usual pretend patriots on John Murtha and his supporters (about 60%+ of the american public are traitors acording to a few right-wing pundits), what we have now is an adminstration that has suddenly decided that Iraq is darn close to being able to sought things out for themselves. If things don't go smoothly, well as our insane Secretary of Defense said, "democracy is messy."
as Josh Marshall says,
I'm going to way out on a limb and take James Fallows' word over the president's and assume that there's been no radical turnaround in the training and functioning of the Iraqi Army over the last couple months.

And if that's true, it clarifies this essential point: there is no debate about withdrawing American troops from Iraq. That's over. What we have is posturing and positioning over the political consequences of withdrawal.

Americans that saw through the lies, that demanded answers about the rush to put boots on the ground in a country that was in no way a threat to America, please don't pat yourself on the back too hard. The gear up for the 2006 elections has begun and the Neo-Con-artists in Congress can raed the poll numbers. So it looks like the Con-party cut and run from its so-called principles just in time to gear up the campaign cash machine.

In related principles are disposable news, we have the draft dodging drug addict serial divorcer, Rush TooLookStupid,
LIMBAUGH: Not really that interested in Murtha, ladies and gentlemen, to tell you the truth. I know he got everybody's dander up all last week, but I think he's just the useful idiot of the moment. He's just -- I mean I'm not taking away from his service in Vietnam. Uh, it's -- it's not his service that we are questioning. We're questioning his judgment here.

Rush To the Idiots Hall of Shame will be back next week with a show about the cowardice of Condi Rice and that guy , George hiding behind her skirt. Rice: Iraq Troop Levels May Drop
"I do not think that American forces need to be there in the numbers that they are now because — for very much longer — because Iraqis are stepping up," Rice told Fox News in an interview Tuesday. "This is not just a matter of training numbers of Iraqi forces, but actually seeing them hold territory."

Reality in the wing-nut zone, if a Democrat stand up for something today, we'll get the right-wing noise machine to trash them today, and we'll propose their ideas as ours tomorrow. Maybe all the pills make RushBall move in slow motion, he can't get around to read the talking points from the Whitehouse fax machine as fast as he used to.

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