Monday, December 31, 2007

All Night Long

Tell automatic Slim, tell razor-totin' Jim, tell butcher knife-totin' Annie (heh), tell fast-talkin' Fannie, we're gonna pitch a ball down to that union hall - We're gonna romp and stomp 'till midnight, gonna bust and fight 'till daylight! We're gonna pitch a wang dang doodle all night long....all night long.....



Then hope we don't end up here:

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Just Doing My Part

I never knew what a GoogleBomb was until today but count me in. Because if ever there was a piece of work that deserved as much scorn as could possibly be heaped upon it, Liberal Fascism is one such piece. So, in the interest of doing the literary world a favor, I am creating links to Liberal Fascism that I think it deserves. If you have a blog, see what you can come up with for Liberal Fascism.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Why We Love Doghouse Riley

You must read this. YOUR LIFE MAY DEPEND ON IT. Here, to get you started:
Let's back up just a bit here, but not enough we're tempted to mash the accelerator and smash into these people, forcing us to exchange insurance information: 1) Benazir Bhutto is assassinated, leading any number of Americans to feel they need to have an opinion about what this means. 2) Some of these Americans have column inches to fill, if only in cyberspace. 3) One of them is John Dickerson. 4) Dickerson decides that what it means is we'll be backing "safe" candidates like John McCain and Hillary Clinton from here on out, seeing as how we now know the world is a dangerous place, especially for opposition leaders returned from exile to the powderkeg of their homelands in a desperate attempt to make the US State Department look like a player. 5) The campaign discussion group at Slate then comment on his comments, after first checking Cap'n Ed to assure a firm grounding in Subcontinental politics.
But seriously, you must read the whole thing OR YOU MIGHT DIE!

Friday, December 28, 2007

I just wanted an excuse to use this picture...



Bill, The Brain Trust at All Things Conservative:
Mark, Drowning someone is torture. Waterboarding instills the fear of drowning. If it qualifies as torture, then what other uses of fear qualify: fear of being cold, fear of lack of sleep, fear of hunger, fear of being yelled at?
Mark, Attempting The Impossible:
No, drowning someone is murder ;-)

Angry, Abusive, and Crude - Damn Right!

Every single word of this is exactly right. H/T Sharla (Thanks Sharla!) Anyway, made me think of this:

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The "Pole" Tax

Now isn't that clever. Via Crooks and Liars, I found this charming analysis of yet another howler from our hardworking boys in the Texas lege. Man, this echindne guy sure likes to think about stuff, don't he? Makes my head hurt. Hell, if the lege had to spend that much time and energy actually thinking about the bills they write, why there'd be no time for beer and hot tubs! My favorite part:
Fourth, note that the architect interviewed in the story routinely takes his customers to strip joints. Including female customers? Does he ever have female customers? Does he have female colleagues? How common is this way of doing business, with the other half of humanity acting as a sort of gigantic masturbation mitten? Is that deductible in taxes?
Someone please fix me a margarita. Now.

We can also dress ourselves and cut our own food...

In the interest of Broder-like balance and in order to try and convince Heydave that Texas isn't all about stupid rednecks and killing people, I offer the following from our own San Antonio Current: A summary of the activity that 2007 saw in San Antonio's bustling art community, of which I am a part by many degrees of separation.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Sweet Dreams

I have no doubt that this doesn't interfere with Bill's sleep, either.

Benazir Bhutto

This is unspeakably horrible.

UPDATE: Juan Cole.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Best Quotes of 2007

Glenn Greenwald has a typically great post up in which he lists his favorite quotes of 2007, and it got me to thinking, Could I pick a favorite quote of Bill's for 2007? So I trotted over there to do a little research and, Eureka!, there was a contender right on the first page! Now, I gotta say, it takes a lot to nudge this one from the #1 spot:
Rule #1 in Politics: When you have the moral high ground, milk it, don't ruin it with politics.Posted by Bill Crawford on September 19,2007 at 7:44 AM
I think my readers will agree that that's pretty spectacular wingnuttiism. But take a gander at this (emphasis mine, snark added):
Six years without an attack, did anyone think that possible in the months after 9/11?  No, and its clear from the evidence that one of the tools used to keep us safe since 9/11 is waterboarding.  It's a legitimate interrogation technique, it is legal, and it should stay that way. Your life may depend on it. [ed: Cut to Groucho Marx and Margaret Dumont in the balcony scene in A Night At The Opera - oogitty boogity!] This technique has been used sparingly, only high-level al Qaeda operatives, and I sleep very well at night knowing this.Posted by Bill Crawford on December 26, 2007 at 09:51 AM in
Demonstrating such an astonishing breadth of both stupidity AND moral bankruptcy in such a concise statement, it is my contention that this entry should earn our Bill a place at the table with such denizens of wingnuttopia as Pastor Swank, Jonah Goldberg and, yes, James D. Miller. What do you think?

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Nap Time, but first....


This goes out with a special nod to friends Lamar and Gayle with whom the ex and I saw Ernest Tubb in person at Floore's Country Store in Helotes, Texas, about a million years ago. This is a twofer, so be sure and force yourself to listen to the whole thing. Gotta love the message in that first one: "Merry Christmas, bitch. While you're having a great time, I'll be committing suicide." Perfect for our valiant soldiers in the War On Christmas! The second one is considerably perkier.

Tree Trimmers


Merry Christmas everyone! Does everyone's tree have an assortment of these Mother's Treasures hanging on them? For some reason, I only have Sandy's creations - James must have ditched his before I got my mitts on them. I actually have one that I made with my nerdy little mug on it, but it must be down in the bottom of the Christmas ornament box and I didn't quite get that far. Well, the packages are all open and ooo'ed and aaahh'ed over, paper and ribbon is strewn all over the house and the cats are having a field day. Buddy, our black lab, is happily surveying the yard for a place to bury his new rawhide bone. In awhile, the boys and I will head into San Antonio for a traditional get-together with friends at Mi Tierra's for brunch, maybe a movie afterwards (The Kite Runner and Charlie Wilson's War are contenders) if we're not too wiped out - or perhaps just home and a nap. Hope all of you are having a wonderful day!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Getting Down To The Wire.....


For all of you on the road - as well as for all of you staying home - this holiday season, may God, Allah, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, the tooth fairy or whatever spirit you choose (I like mine in liquid form) be with you and keep you and yours happy and safe!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

I think I'll call this one Someday I Might Actually Be Ready For Christmas When It Comes, But It Won't Be This Year.


I guess I could also call it Mom Playing With The Scanner When She Should Be Wrapping Presents, Cooking And Putting Up Decorations.

Rockin' on a Sunday Morning

I felt the need for a little Who this morning, because you know, it's My Generation and I sure as hell hope We Won't Get Fooled Again:




Saturday, December 22, 2007

Vanquishing The Beast, Ongoing Saga

Jillian tackles the torture issue in a way that satisfies. In dissecting an essay by Bush toady Linda Chavez on the subject of the destroyed CIA tapes, Jillian finds this:
So What exactly did we expect the CIA to do when they captured high-level al-Qaida operatives? Read them their Miranda rights, provide them with free lawyers and place them in a cell with cable TV?
To which the honorable Jillian had this to say:
No, you blathering, drooling, crapulous sack of dishonesty - we expected them not to torture people. It's the sort of basic expectation your average sane person has of their government. I know you don't hear people say it very often, but that's because it is such a bare-bones expectation of what a government will do that verbalizing it feels a little crazy. It's like how when people get married, they promise to love and honor, but you never hear people promising to, say, never use the living room carpet as a toilet. We just automatically assume that sane people will never do these things. Alas, when it comes to the Bush wing of the Republican party, our first mistake was in assuming they operate by the same definitions of civilization and sanity as the rest of us.
I believe that even those of us who follow politics somewhat closely, but much less the general public, are aware of just the slightest tip of the glacial iceberg that will ultimately be known of the sheer devastation that the Bush Assholes have brought upon us. Of course the fact that we know so little has much to do with how they operate, but it also has to do with how the political establishment operates, including the mainstream political media. We are in for years and years of a very difficult struggle.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Fun With The Scanner!

Meet Lizzie:


My parents bought her when I was about 3 years old while we were living in England. This picture was taken when I was probably about 8, and that litter of 6 pups contained only one male which we kept, and named him Willie. That's some expression on her face, isn't it? I believe that's Willie, on top, heading straight into her chest - that would be just like him! These wonderful dogs were the single most unifying thing our family ever experienced - we all adored those dogs, even when we didn't like each other so much. They were endless sources of companionship and entertainment, and their passing was brutal, though they both lived to ripe old ages. Here's Mom and Willie some years after we no longer had Lizzie:



When Willie died, my parents were so bereft, they immediately went out and bought another bull terrier, which is when Daisy came to us:



I was no longer living at home when my parents bought Daisy, but that didn't stop us from becoming great friends:



Well - this scanning thing has great possibilities.......!

Choices Amongst The Anti-Choicers

So it seems highly likely that Rudy will be citing health reasons, again, to drop out of another losing campaign and will be spending more time with his family which, I'm sure, thrills them no end. This brings our blurry focus 'round to Huck and Mitt who appear to be engaged in a hilarious duel over who *hearts* George W. Bush more - now THERE'S a brilliant strategy! But I really think that Huck doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell of winning the nomination, so let's take a look at Mitt: Sure! Just what this country needs! Another lying, corporate whore, religious loon to further hasten our country's pell mell race to wrack and ruin.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Don't Listen, Bill!

Nitwits

"Jimmy K" is a little gadfly who apparently loves to tell people what bad things others are saying about them. Bill pretends he's above it all:
I see you are getting trashed again over at Rhetoric and Bull Shit. :)

Posted by: Jimmy K | December 19, 2007 at 10:38 PM

He's just showing what "good character" he has!

Posted by: Bill Crawford | December 20, 2007 at 08:43 AM
Right Bill! Nothing like advocating torture to prove your own "good character" bona fides!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Because You Have Better Things To Do, Like Get Those Toilets Cleaned!

In case you were just itching to read Jonah Goldberg's new book, don't bother. Really. The Cliff's Notes version is here.

What Are We, Kansas?

Weeping Jesus on the cross, the morons just never give up, do they? If you have some spare change and are feeling charitable this holiday season, give a nod to the Texas Freedom Network. They're a good bunch and, Lord knows their task is a mighty one. What is WRONG with these people?!!

UPDATE: The inimitable Amanda weighs in.

UPDATE: As does our friend Mike who has some good information on the delegation that evaluated the ICS, as well as a link to a great blog called Millard Fillmore's Bathtub. Thanks Mike!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Morning Constitutional

I always like to begin my day with a little Crap which is how it came to be that I am in a position now to share with you.....

It's A Blunderful Life. Enjoy!

Yes, you.

Bill actually responds to Mike's great rebuttal of his pro-torture post by whining:
Morally Repugnant...Who, Me?
Yes, you, asshole - and not least because of your cowardly refusal to engage in honest debate with someone who disagrees with you. Bill demonstrates his mental vacuity by claiming that Mike, whom he calls "some liberal blogger" as if they hadn't been corresponding for years, didn't "answer the question" and that:
The problem with this debate is that Liberals won't explain why they oppose it in light of the evidence that it saves lives, and the media certainly isn't going to press Barack Obama for an answer.
Thus does our Good Friend casually dismiss not only Mike's eloquent and lengthy post in which he does, exactly, "answer the question" but also volumes of additional articles that have done so. Which is not to say that the torture proponents haven't written reams about how it does "work" and why it's just peachy keen for our government to sanction the practice against the Ultimate Evil Enemy Of All Time - of course they have. But to claim that "liberals" don't "answer the question" is just plain stupid disingenuous, at best. It's not too hard to figure out, though, why Bill refuses to acknowledge points made by those who disagree with him - because then he might be compelled to respond and that might require some intellectual effort which is something our Good Friend Bill avoids like the plague. He is famous for refusing to answer questions from his commenters such as this one from "David":
How do you reconcile your opinion on torture with your religious beliefs?
and this one from the same troublemaker-who'd-better-watch-out-or-he'll-be-blocked:
Lets see how you guys feel about your boy Huckabee after what he said about George Bush and Iraq.
which of course Bill didn't respond to, prompting said troublemaker to repeat:
Where's the post on what Huckabee had to say about Bush?
So you see, Bill prefers the simple life where he is surrounded by sycophants who don't challenge him too strenuously and force him to think about things he doesn't want to and where he can get away with howlers like this one:
Let's see here, the economy is booming, Iraq is improving, there has been no erosion of civil liberties, and Abu Ghraib was an isolated incident, the perpetrators have been punished, and it's far-fetched to say the least to blame President Bush for the incident. So much for facts.

Oh yeah, and we haven't been attacked again since 9/11. All in all, I would say that President Bush has been quite successful, especially in light of his predecessor's record.
which is included in a post he hilariously titles "The Left Begins To Rewrite History" and which brings me to another point that Bill managed to avoid in Mike's post. He didn't just call you "morally repugnant" Bill. He called you, appropriately, a "morally repugnant IMBECILE".

UPDATE: For those with at least a modicum of intellectual integrity, here is yet another discussion which "answers the question." (H/T TPM) Note:
And what do you think of the interrogation procedures the president described?

The fact is that the history of interrogation shows that you do not do particularly well when you confirm expectations, when everybody plays their preordained role. In this case, al-Qaida operatives are trained to believe that the United States, and representatives of the U.S., are bloodthirsty mobsters who will dismember and disembowel. The fact is, when we use harsh techniques we essentially say, "We are going to confirm your expectations."

What has largely worked in all the interrogations, what we got -- and in many cases it's not very much -- but whatever we got, for the most part occurred because we were, let's just say, a little more clever than that. Instead of going medieval, which is the tactic our enemies here embrace, we essentially find a way to confuse their expectations. In many cases, just by treating them as human beings we have created an environment where we get what we so desperately need, which is information that might help save American lives.

That's the key. The key is to not give in to anger, but to do whatever works best. There's clearly been a learning curve on that; some of the harsh techniques used early on have been I think largely abandoned because they didn't work.
"Treating them as human beings." Wow. What a concept. To think that this needs to be explained to Americans, much less Americans IN THE HIGHEST OFFICES OF OUR GOVERNMENT makes me sick in a way that I have no words to describe.

ALLRIIIIIIIGHT!!!

WAY TO GO CHRIS DODD!! And way to go, netroots - for all of us who wrote and called, congratulations. Here's Russ Feingold's excellent statement.

Now let's see if we can get Cheney impeached.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Decking the Halls and Fa La La La La...

Am full bore into Holiday Madness and have taken off work all this week, so posting will probably be weirder than usual. Who's to say? But, meanwhile, the filibuster starts today. Please do what you can to support it. Thanks!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Aren't Presidential Primaries Fun?

And the longer the better! Really now, it doesn't get any better than this:

A Hucka-Hucka Hatin' Huck

Someone else is having fun, too. Pass the popcorn!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Thanks Atrios!

Okay, enough already with the doom and gloom! Atrios provides us with a little levity:

Vanquishing The....

Well, my goodness. Look at the title to this quintessential post by Digby. I'm very grateful to people like Digby and Mike for being able to express what I could not. From Digby (emphasis mine):
To some extent civilization is nothing more than leashing the beast within. When you go to the dark side, no matter what the motives, you run a terrible risk of destroying yourself in the process. I worry about the men and women who are engaging in this torture regime. This is dangerous to their psyches. But this is true on a larger sociological scale as well. For many, many moons, torture has been a simple taboo --- you didn't question its immorality any more than you would question the immorality of pedophilia. You know that it's wrong on a visceral, gut level. Now we are debating it as if there really is a question as to whether it's immoral --- and, more shockingly, whether it's a positive good. Our country is now openly discussing the efficacy of torture as a method for extracting information.
When Daniel Patrick Moynihan coined the phrase "defining deviancy down" he couldn't ever have dreamed that we would in a few short decades be at a place where torture is no longer considered a taboo.
It certainly makes all of his concerns about changes to the nuclear family (and oral sex) seem trivial by comparison. We are now a society that on some official levels has decided that torture is no longer a deviant, unspeakable behavior, but rather a useful tool. It's not hidden. People publicly discuss whether torture is really torture if it features less than "pain equavalent to organ failure." People no longer instinctively recoil at the word --- it has become a launching pad for vigorous debate about whether people are deserving of certain universal human rights. It spirals down from there.
I repeat, letting those bastards that brought us to this point get off scot free will be a blight on our nation for generations to come. I swear, I don't know how we recover from this.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

On The Death of Ike Turner

Amanda Marcotte hits just the right note.

Legacy Of A Peach Pit



I wrote this poem and it won't mean a goddam thing to anyone except the person I wrote it for and I'm putting it up here because this is my blog and I feel like it! WooHoo!

Follow her cyanogenetic thread
along a trail of bones to the cliff's edge
where blossoms of glucosine promise spill,
singed by bitter almond kisses.

Angry, Abusive and Crude - But Not Nearly Enough

Words fail to adequately express the sheer retching disgust I feel for the hijos de putas estupidos who "find it hard to argue" with this. I want to believe that there is a special corner in hell reserved just for the Bush administration and their IMBECILIC apologists. Pendejos.

UPDATE: Heh, From Crooks and Liars:
First, to paraphrase Mahatma Gandhi: You’re either with us or you’re with the torturers. I thought God was clear on this “torture debate,” folks. Apparently not. Fresh news cycles of “Is Waterboarding Torture?” are upon us. Brad Jacobson of MediaBloodhound here - and if this disturbing debate makes you madder than a neocon spotting a baby’s smile, pull up a chair:

UPDATE 2: Way to go, Mike!

Supporting The Troops

From our local free, that's right: F-R-E-E, weekly The San Antonio Current:
Even more disturbing are the increasing reports that the military may be intentionally misdiagnosing wounded veterans with PTSD and head traumas and discharging them with “pre-existing” mental disorders — diagnoses that limit their access to military health care.

“I don’t think we have even started to see the tip of the iceberg,” said Ignacio Leiya, vice president of service operations for the American GI Forum’s National Veterans Outreach Program in San Antonio. “In a few more years we’ll start seeing the full effect of what has been going on in Iraq.”

...

It can be tough identifying PTSD cases and the war’s growing “signature injury” —
Traumatic Brain Injury, a plague caused by the prevalence of homemade bombs. After all, “A mental illness doesn’t present to us like a broken leg,” Brown says. Still, thousands of brain injuries and psychologically damaged troops go undiagnosed and uncompensated.

Parrish has a more critical assessment of the military and the VA’s performance.

“There’s so much, let’s say, bureaucracy involved in all of these situations that so many of the veterans just feel hopeless. Basically we’re running into similar problems nationwide,” Parrish said. He calls the personality-disorder discharges a scam.

“The doctors are being motivated by the command to not give out PTSD diagnosis and put them in the medical-board situation,” Parrish said. “It just so happens then these doctors, whenever they give out a misdiagnosed personality disorder, they are getting patted on the backs by the command for saving the budget.”

Here’s the rub: A personality discharge means the veteran had a mental disorder before joining up. Since it is considered “pre-existing” the soldier doesn’t qualify for benefits when he or she comes home.

Currently it is estimated that more than 22,000 veterans have been discharged with personality-disorder diagnoses in the past six years. This, in turn, may have saved the Department of Defense billions in health-related claims.
So, this maneuver may have saved the Defense Department billions of dollars. How much is it costing the rest of us?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Flaco and Ry

Kinda sounds like a sandwich, don't it?



Could the band be any more deadpan? I mean, jeez, you'd think they could camp it up just a little.

Today's Required Reading

And there will be a test!

Item #1 in which hilzoy patiently attempts to respond to IMBECILES who blather on about how those islamogayfascist surrendocrats are just ignoring all the Good News that is coming out of Iraq.

Item #2 (h/t Maha) in which a guy with a porn star-sounding name explains the IMBECILIC (h/t Mike) neocon foreign policy.

Vanquishing the Beast, III

I'm quite aware that I may come across as somewhat obsessed - Deranged! - about the perfidy of the Bush administration, but I honestly can't imagine any more appropriate response to them. I have been struggling over the last several days with how to write about the latest flurry of horrible revelations regarding torture, rape, murder and, of course, frenetic cover-up and Congressional enabling of all of the above. Then I wander over to Bill's place to see what his latest idiocy is (surely, for the sake of my mental, cardiological and gastroenterological health I am going to have to quit doing that...eventually) and, lo and behold, there he is telling his readers that:
Since waterboarding works, any debate over whether to use it is just ridiculous in my mind.
That's right, Just Ridiculous! Now I ask you, is there anything in the world that is more galling than having Mr. Liberals-Have-No-Honor, Mr. ValuesVoter, Mr. Conservatives-Are-So-Much-More-Moral-Than-Liberals tell us how "ridiculous" it is to debate the sanctioned practice of waterboarding, i.e. TORTURE, by our own agents acting in our name? Well, is there? Okay, don't answer that because I'm sure there is and my stomach can't take it. So, since I am Barred For Life from ever leaving any comments over at Bill's place (yeah, that's probably a Good Thing) my response to Bill's supercilious and pathologically ignorant assertion that "Torture Works!" is here and it includes this:
"In the long debate over torture, the disappearance of these tapes is the strongest indication yet that the Bush administration knew its approved interrogation methods were illegal. Officials could draw up secretly legal justifications for these tactics, but they knew the court of public opinion and international law would never sanction them."
which is what led to the title of this post. Seriously now, if we allow these bastards to finish out their terms and ride off into the sunset to build their libraries and get rich(er) on the wingnut speakers' circuit, then we will all have blood on our hands.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Merry Christmas! er, Happy Holidays!!

In keeping with the time-honored tradition of waging commie-pinko-DFH-War on all of our great Judeo-Christian ceremonies and All That Is Holy, I want to take this opportunity to wish you all Season's Greetings! and do so in a way that truly expresses the Spirit of the Season. I have been known to give donations to charities in honor of certain people as gifts to them, i.e., donation to the Humane Society for my animal-loving sister, to my mother's church, etc. So, I have found the perfect charity to give as a gift to YOU, dear readers of my blog, and it is here. Happy Flying Spaghetti Monster Day!

Still Drawn to Some Things

Barbara O'Brien, God love her:
The truth is that we Boomers were brought up in the 1950s to be idealistic and patriotic. I’ve written about this before, here and here. We faced an entirely different culture with entirely different challenges than younger people do today. No doubt some of what we did makes no sense outside that context — you had to be there — but if you’d been brought up in the 1950s, you’d have felt drawn to beads and patchouli oil, too. Trust me.

Vanquishing The Beast, II

Every word of this post rings spot-on true to me. (H/T Atrios)


Note:
The constitution is meaningless unless our rulers pay a price for raping it. Until they do, we are no longer a democracy.

Vegetative State

MY LIVING WILL


Last night my sister and I were sitting in the den and I said to her, 'I never want to live in a vegetative state, dependent on some machine and fluids from a bottle to keep me alive. That would be no quality of life at all, If that ever happens, just pull the plug.'

So she got up, unplugged the computer, and threw out my wine.

She's such a bitch.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Vanquishing The Beast

Regarding this post by publius, I can't help but feel like a better metaphor for The Beast Who Must Be Destroyed is Michael Myers instead of Darth Vader:



Because it seems like every time we feel like we KILLED it, it just KEEPS COMING BACK! As publius notes:
To the extent the Dems have a strategy, it seems to be duck, bob, and weave until they can be saved by the 2008 election bell. They are avoiding a high-level security battle (i.e., a game of chicken) in the hopes that a Democratic President is just around the bend. This strategy, however, is short-sighted. It won’t work even if it works. That is, even if a Dem wins in 2008, the Congressional leadership won’t “win,” they will simply postpone the fight for another day.
and also:
The Dems can’t make the Cheney worldview go away by dodging it and winning an election. It will come back. The Imperial Forces will retreat to AEI for four or eight or twelve years – however long they must. But eventually, they’ll be back. They always come back.
This gets right to the heart of something that I have tried to say several times before (but never this well) which is that it is not ENOUGH for the Democrats to win the next Presidential election. Until the Beast is vanquished, he'll keep coming back.

Something Else To Thank Canada For

When feeling Blue, who better to turn to than:


A Friend in Canada

About a year or so ago, I began an email correspondence with a fellow named Neil who was one of the commenters over at All Things Conservative, the conservative blog where Mike and I used to carry on lively discussions with wingnuts on the issues of the day - until we were banned. For some strange reason, Bill's blog attracted an inordinate number of commenters from Canada, most of whom fit perfectly into the mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging demographic that comprises the majority of his blog community. Neil, however, was one of the few who made intelligent and thought-provoking comments, so of course he was banned too. I don't hear from Neil very often, but when I do, it is always a pleasure, and I hope he won't mind if I share with you this part of his email I received this morning:
What can I say about ATC? Seriously, I think Bill just couldn't manage the work it took to defend his position anymore. That has to be it, it just got too hard for him. When I started posting using headlines, he went off on me. Then he made a new rule that you have to post using a name, so I started posting by playing a game I called "Name The Dictator™". :)

I would post once as Joseph, the next time as Benito, and then Adolf, and.. occasionally as George, amongst many others. Anyway, he eventually started just deleting my posts once he knew it was me. I sometimes felt compelled to just go back in under my own name, but to be honest, it just seemed too much of a commitment. For some strange reason, when I'm in under my own name, I'm very less likely to let something go - and I just couldn't bring myself to get back into it.

But, much like the gentleman in your White House, it appears that Bill's "rules" began to expand.

I lost all respect for him when I put up a post using one of my Dictator names (might of been Idi ). Anyway, it was a post in response to an article that he posted which was highlighting Iranian shelling on the border of Iran and Kurdish Iraq. As usual he was framing the story as "another reason that Iran is so evil" entry. This even though the story is clearly indicating that Iran is responding to incursions and terrorist attacks within its boarder. My memory kicked in a bit, and I did a search back in the archives. Sure enough, there was a post back during the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, where Bill was arguing that the alleged attack by Hizbolah against the army patrol justified the Israeli incursion. It was pretty scathing, basically highlighting his hypocrisy, but I had posted it very early in the morning - by the time I got up, it had been removed.

Alas, probably a good sign if people such as he feel the need to go underground.

Most intelligent people I know have long ago given up attempting to carry on discussions with wingnuts because it seems such a hopeless enterprise. I told our friend Freewheel once that my participation at ATC made me feel like a hamster on a wheel, spinning madly and going nowhere. But when I told him that, I also tried to explain that I was doing it not so much to change anyone else's opinion, but to engage in a sort of mental exercise for my own benefit - to clarify and express my own opinions, as well as to understand other points of view. Having been booted off the wheel, however, I do find that I don't miss it much - fun while it lasted and all that. The larger questions remain, though, which are: Can we ever get back to a point in time (if there ever was such a point?) where people with opposing viewpoints can carry on discussions that are not only civil but based in reality? Is it hopelessly naive to think that such a time is possible?

I'm feeling awfully down in the dumps today, which made the discovery of an email from Neil especially timely - Thanks Neil! (Neil also has started a blog which can be seen here.) It has been so dispiriting this last 6 years to watch the Bush administration's assault on our basic fundamental American values and structures, and to see these things occur with so little pushback from the press and the American public. I suppose it was only natural that my hopes would have been too high when, at last, the Democrats were able to win majorities, albeit slim ones, in Congress last year. So when stories break out, as they did late last week, about Democratic complicity in some of the worst abuses by the Bush administration, it's awfully tempting to give in to hopelessness. Refuge in humor (H/T Crooks & Liars) helps some but not enough. And of course, there is always strong drink and extreme profanity, but these too provide only temporary relief. What say you, dear readers, how do you cope?

Friday, December 7, 2007

Yeah well, as much "sense" as, oh never mind....


If they get away with this, the terrorists will have won:

“Here’s what they’re going to do. They’re going to tear the fuckin’ shit down and then they’re going to want it for museums in New York,” said Lee. “What sense does that make? San Antonio’s always been so ashamed of itself.”

To see some of the good Reverend's good work, go here and maybe pitch in, if the spirit moves you.

The Sandman

Today is Sandy's birthday and I've been struggling for a couple of weeks now with what to write about Son # 2. Words fall far short of the mark in attempting to describe the young man who dropped into our lives on Pearl Harbor Day fifteen years ago. I could say that he has learned how to keep a secret, I could talk about his love of animals (We live a few blocks from our town's animal shelter and, from the age of 11, Sandy, on his own initiative, volunteered there every summer for three years.), or his incredible wit, which is legendary in these parts. But no, I'm going to fall back on one of Sandy's favorite YouTubes which conveys the essence of Sandy in the most imperfect way possible. Happy Birthday, Sandyman!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Yes, I'm still here!

Profuse apologies to my legions of faithful readers for the paucity of postings yesterday and today. There has been a slight uptick in activity in my non-virtual life and I have actually had to spend time AWAY FROM MY COMPUTER(!) for extended periods of time! It's an unsettling experience, I tell you, but anyway, here I am, and while today's offering won't exactly "make up" for, well, anything, here it is:

First up, I've got to find out where I can get one of these T-shirts.

Best headline of the day.

Seasonal arts and crafts for the twisted frugal set. You guys are gonna love this! Name your favorite in the comments - mine might be the Halloween ghost. Oh I don't know, maybe the toupee...

Have evangelicals "matured"?

The day's not over yet, so there's still the possiblity that more mischief can be done. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

And Stupidity Marches On, Unabated

From TBogg who begins by quoting Chimpy at his press conference today:

"To me, the NIE (National Intelligence Estimate) provides an opportunity for us to rally the international community -- to continue to rally the community -- to pressure the Iranian regime to suspend its program," the president said. "What's to say they couldn't start another covert nuclear weapons program."

At some point the White House press corp just quit taking notes figuring that eventually someone would come out and interpret the gibberish for them. Most of them spent the rest of the press conference playing "Hangman". D_MB_SS.

Or, as Bill says:

What this comes down to is who or what are we going to believe: the NIE or the evidence?

No really - he did actually say that. I swear.

Tom Burka

gives us Opinions You Should Have.

Comedy Gold

Gavin deconstructs the neocon response to the newly-released NIE saying that Iran shut down its nuclear weapons program in 2003 and to reports that administration officials have known about these findings since as far back as last July. Meanwhile, our Chimp-in-Chief declares in his press conference today that he doesn't read NIEs, he just has people tell him what's in them, and then he doesn't remember what those people say anyway, and so what's the big deal? Iran's part of the Axis Of Evil doncha know and we need to kick their butt because that's what big He Man countries do. And every time I am forced to listen to or read about anything that that idiot has to say about anything, I think about this:

HELL YES!!!

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H/T Maja who talks also about the despicable HB 1955, the so-called "Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act"

Monday, December 3, 2007

Doux Chagrin



More of Jeannette's France paintings here.

Oh that darn Liberal Media!

Glenn Greenwald continues to kick the butt of the "liberal" emm ess emm. And you gotta love the title of this post that he links to.

Are they really?

Something about the lede to this story caught my eye, I wonder what it was....
Jeb Bush, Worse than Neil?
by emptywheel

Via Atrios, people are beginning to wonder whether Jeb Bush was responsible for approving Florida's purchase of a hefty chunk of the shitpile when he was Governor.

Yeah, we lefties are "angry, abusive, and crude" but righties have Teh Stupid on their side!

Angry, Abusive, and Crude - Oh My! (On a side note, did anyone else watch The Tin Man last night? We were underwhelmed.)

Comments
I don't think this has much to do with the true state of their mental health. One thing I've noticed is that, generally speaking, republicans tend to be optimist, while democrats are pessimists. That's why republicans generally think Ayn Rand had some really neat views, while Democrats think she's the devil. It's why we believe that most people are capable of being productive, and have a responsibility to provide for themselves, while Democrats believe that most people are helpless, and must be "cared for" by society.

Posted by: Alex | November 30, 2007 at 03:52 PM

Thank you Alex! I wanted to say just that, but was having writer's block and couldn't figure out the best way to word it.

You are exactly right. I would also point out that we see this in the differing tone of left-wing vs. right-wing blogs.

Consider Kos, the biggest left-wing blog, and biggest blog period. It's very angry, abusive, and crude as are most left-wing blogs.

Posted by: Bill Crawford | November 30, 2007 at 04:58 PM

How To Choose Your Target

I believe Jillian is on to something here, although she may not be taking into account the, er, "crossover" demographic of the Gay Biker Bar, but I see that someone in the comments pointed this out:
On the other hand, the God Squad here has obviously never spent any time around actual gays. I would love to see them pull this shit outside of one of Chicago’s gay leather bars. I used to live near one and have to say there were some pretty scary people going in and out. Mind you I used to hang out in redneck biker bars in Oklahoma when I was younger.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Friday, November 30, 2007

They also claim that they are morally superior, smarter, and Fox News claims they are "fair and balanced"

All of which calls the conclusions of this study somewhat into question. Seems to me that the factor of objectivity is missing, and would most likely yield a different result. Or, to put it another way, WTF???

Jackson Pollock may have called this "Number 1A"...



....but I like to think of it as "The Bush Administration Plan For Iraq" which, of course I realize, gives the BA waaaay too much credit, but I feel like being generous.

Pot and Kettle Headline of the Day

"Iraq Lacks Plan on the Return of Refugees, Military Says"

Story to be found here and more here.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

A Thing Of Beauty To Behold

No, NOT the GOP YouTube "debates" last night, you ninnies! There has been plenty of erudite commentary on that sorry episode, such as
Nov
29 Shorter Entire Right-Wing Blogosphere

Posted at 18:40 by Gavin M.
Republican Post-Debate Wrap-up

Oh my God, the CNN YouTube debate showed the entire country what malignant, bonk-headed wackos we are represents a shockingly outrageous conspiracy by CNN and YouTube not to screen questioners for party loyalty — thus totally unfairly showing the entire country what malignant, bonk-headed wackos we are.

and if you want more of THAT, go here.

No, what has moved me to almost start quoting Shakespeare again is the continuing smack-down by Glenn Greenwald of Joe Klein, Time magazine, and the establishment political media in general. That man has been all over this issue like butter on grits. He deserves an award or something!

Happy Birthday John Mayall

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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

My Neighbors Go To Austin

BubbleShare: Share photos - Print Christmas Coloring Pages.


H/T: The Kendallian Voice

It's not lost - We know where it is.

Bush has lost his mind and his moral compass. This statement is an outrage. A lie and a blood libel. Israel has never committed any acts of terrorism. What a tool of Islamic jihad. Based on that, Bush is a terrorist, anyone that defends himself, his family, his country is a terrorist.


Heh.

Hitting the Nail on the Head

I think Bill Clinton did a damn fine job as President and I think he's an affable fellow that would be a very pleasant companion to sit down and have a beer with. And I think Hillary has a razor-sharp intellect and all of the experience and capabilities that it would take to be a perfectly competent chief executive. That said, I read this piece by publius this morning and found myself agreeing with every single word. I was always amused by the rightwing's paranoid hysteria treating the Clintons as if they were somehow the equivalent of Noam Chomsky in the White House because, as a true-blue, down-to-the-bone liberal I was always aware that the Clintons were nothing if not completely Centrist. As far as I could tell, Clinton's centrism was a GOOD thing, (in the '90s) in spite of the fact that it meant that his position on some things was not to my liking, because certainly his position on other things was plenty to my liking and getting legislation through on SOME things was better than nothing (or, as has been the case since 2000, moving BACKWARDS). But centrism is not what we need now. I don't believe we need a reactionary swing to the left just for the sake of some kind of return to equilibrium, but we desperately need someone who is willing to act boldly in order to repair the damage that has been done to our country by the Bush administration, and Hillary's pandering centrism is not going to do the trick, and nothing brings that home more quickly than hearing her make noises about somehow putting Colin Powell to use in her administration, an idea that Digby has the proper response to. I don't know if Barak Obama has what it takes to be the kind of leader that we need, but I'm more and more certain that Hillary doesn't.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Jimi

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A friend just called to remind me that today is Jimi's birthday, he would have been 65 years old as I would have known if I had been over to Doghouse's place in a timely manner today, so that'll teach me to be such a slacker! I like to think that he would be belting out this tune still with all the force and passion that today's climate calls for, and for all we know, maybe he is!

Look out, she's waxing poetic again....

Glenn Greenwald is a hound on the trail of Joe Klein and Time magazine, along with Jane Hamsher at Firedoglake. As Atrios points out, civility has not necessarily been our friend, but smarts and persistence sure has, and this episode really highlights the potential for positive change that is in the hands of the progressive online community - This happy breed of men (and women), this (not-so-)little world....This blessed plot, this (non)earth, this realm, this Blogtopia!

"True Conservatism"

My gal Maha demonstrates, once again, why we must read her every single day:
There’s a difference between strength and toughness. There’s a difference between courage and swagger. There’s a difference between results and spin. There’s a difference between resolve and stubbornness. There’s a difference between action and ideology. But try to explain any of that to a rightie.

One could go on and on, right? There's a difference between the truth and a lie, but try explaining that to a rightie. There's a difference between science and religion, but try explaining that to a rightie....

Gabachos

Digby does an excellent dissection of the stupid "immigration reform" issue. To wit:
This time, of course, the stupid irrelevant issue they are forcing into the ether is illegal immigration. And, like "the deficit" it is virtually designed to twist the Democratic candidates into pretzels as they help the Republicans once again misdirect the public to blame something other than the corrupt plutocrats who just pillaged the treasury for their woes

and also:
The Latino community -- the fastest growing voting bloc in America -- is rightfully very concerned by these condemnations of "illegals" as being diseased, dirty and criminal, since those who say such things don't bother to make certain important distinctions.

Which reminded me of this little snippet from Ask A Mexican!:
CONFIDENTIAL TO: The state of Oklahoma, which recently enacted one of the harshest anti-immigrant laws in the country. Don’t give Mexicans mierda about H.B. 1804 being anti-ILLEGAL immigration — your Sooner ancestors and Okie grandparents sure as hell didn’t make such distinctions when invading the Unassigned Lands and California, respectively. May a Dust Bowl of pedos afflict your slack-jawed state. ¡Viva Tom Osborne!

Heh. Indeed.

No Mystery

So Hastert and Lott are jumping ship - big surprise. And for reasons that are also completely in line with the Republican MO. More Republicans extending their middle fingers to the voters who put them in office. Yawn, right? What else is new? Do you suppose said voters might be....beginning to wonder? Yeah, me neither.

UPDATE: As we watch the Texas sharks circle it's worth remembering that Every Kick-In-The-Ass Begins With Kay:
A source close to Hutchison confirmed she was in Washington and was calling senators for support in her bid for the conference chairmanship.

One question Hutchison confronted: How her rise in leadership might be affected by her decision not to seek re-election in 2012 and possibly step down well before then if she runs for governor in 2010.

Interesting though, that while the article helpfully mentions that Mz. Kay "confronted" this question, it says nothing about how she actually answered it.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Rockin' and Rollin'

We have plenty of great home-grown talent here in Texas but then there's those that got here as soon as they could, and we're fine with that:

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I wish the sound quality was a little better on this. That gal has a voice just made for the blues.

Of course, that's why Bill loves him so much....

Anonymous Liberal on the "true conservatism" of Mike Huckabee. Seriously, we Democrats can only WISH that Republicans would land on this guy as their nominee.

"N-E-I-G-H-T-O-W"?

Welcome back, blogbuddies! Everyone have a good weekend? Anyone have to work (boo!)? Yours truly had a great weekend, thank you very much. Ate a lot, drank a lot, played dominoes, went to see "No Country For Old Men" at the new Alamo Drafthouse down on 6th street. Our friend who has been in Kuwait for the last two years is home and joined us, and it was good to catch up with him. He has been invited to interview for a position he applied for as a librarian at NATO headquarters in Brussels, and will be leaving in early December for that. So, on Black Friday, we bundled into a car and headed over to a nearby Half-Priced Bookstore to browse. After searching unsuccessfully for awhile, he approached a little twenty-something at the help desk and asked where he might find some books about NATO. "NATO,...." she said, apparently thinking quite hard. "How would you spell that?"

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

What A Great Story


This image originally provided by Sotheby's auction house in New York shows the 1970 painting, "Tres Personajes" (Three People), by Mexican artist Rufino Tamayo. The abstract painting was found, lying in trash on the street on Manhattan's Upper West Side. (AP Photo/Sotheby's, file)

From our local rag, the San Antonio Express-News, comes something to brighten our day. As a veteran flea market/rummage sale/scavenger-hunting shopper I, too, have no small collection of art treasures - okay none of them worth a million bucks, but that's BESIDE THE POINT! Someday when I figure out how to use this goddam scanner that came with the digital cameral I just bought, I'll post some of them here.

Meanwhile HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO YOU ALL! To Mike and RickyBones and heydave and Freewheel and D. Sidhe and capconundrum and all of you who stop by and don't leave comments - Thank you! I am going to Austin to visit friends for the weekend, and I may or may not get around to - how could I not steal this from Scott - "drunk-blogging" but my thoughts will be with you all. Really, I mean it! Don't laugh!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

426 more days, 6 hours and 26 minutes and counting...

When I think of the smug self-satisfaction and utter robotic obsequiousness with which my ex-associates in wingnutville used to (and still do) regurgitate the bald-faced, lying swill spit out by the jackbooted propaganda division of the US Military in the service and glory of the worst foreign policy disaster directed by the most transparently corrupt and incompetent administration to ever wield control of our country, all the while sneering at any and all who object as "traitors" who "have no honor" and who "want us to lose" and then when I read about things like this and this, well, I feel a tendency toward violence that requires every ounce of good upbringing and personal fortitude that I possess, and then some, to dispel.

UPDATE: No doubt about it, they're Assholes.

Oh yeah, THAT Liberal Media...

I present here for your reading pleasure a perfect confluence of great posts on the subject of that snarling mythical beast that righties love to get all puffed up about: The Liberal Media. Digby writes about the latest disgusting episode involving Robert Novak, our Good Friend (for real!) Mike Thomas points to our own local issues of editorial malfeasance, and the inimitable Glenn Greenwald brings us that paragon of journalistic "neutrality", Brian Williams. Here's the money quote from that last one:

But would it ever be possible to compile enough evidence to force an abandonment of that most sacred, petulant and patently false Article of Faith among our right-wing warriors and their media allies -- namely, that our establishment press is a "liberal media" that is hostile to conservatives?

Short answer: "No."

Monday, November 19, 2007

Heroes and Heroines

In the comments a few posts ago, I mentioned that Doghouse Riley is a hero of mine, and here is a perfect example of why. And in the comments to that post (Doghouse's) our friend D. Sidhe provides her own example of the sharp wit that has earned her my undying envy. Oh YEAH? But can you do THIS? (hops up and down and spins around, arms flapping wildly...)

Redefining Moral Depravity

A must-read post from Digby.

What on Earth Happened to this Man?

Over at Obsidian Wings, hilzoy and publius deservedly rip Tom Friedman a new body orifice, and by the time Glenn Greenwald gets done with him, there's pretty much nothing but orifice left.

Snake Oil Salesmen

When I read stories like this and this I can't help but wonder why it is that people keep giving money and support to these crooks. There must be some powerful forces at work to cause so many people to delude themselves. Baffling.

Sweet Baby James

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"So goodnight you moonlight ladies, and rockabye sweet baby James! Deep greens and blues are the colors I choose, won't you let me go down in my dreams, and rockabye sweet baby James."

I wonder if there are any mothers from the last 30 years who have had sons named James that didn't sing this to them! Well I did - I sang it to him as I held him in my arms, as I sat by his bed at night, and many, many times - upon request - as we rode in the car together. When James received an Ipod for his 18th birthday, it was one of the first songs he programmed into it, then handed me the earpiece so I could listen. My sweet baby James turns 20 today and this seems an opportune time to reflect on just what a true blessing his presence in my life has been.

True story: James had just had his fifth birthday and I was a few weeks away from giving birth to his younger brother. We lived in the country at the time, and the morning trip from house to car was somewhat of an adventure - we were always carrying armloads of stuff, and there are no handrails on the stairs leading from the deck to the driveway. On this particular morning, there was the added element of rainfall which made the deck a little slippery. So as we gingerly made our way across the deck and approached the stairs, I heard James behind me say, "Careful, Mom!" to which I muttered some lame reassurance. Then he said something else, so softly I almost didn't hear him - it was as if he were really talking to himself. He said, "Don't worry. I'll catch you if you fall."

Today James is a strapping young man, six-foot-something-or-other with a grin as big as Texas and a heart even bigger. I love you, James, and if you receive back even a fraction of the joy that you have brought to me and your dad, then your pastures will be forever green.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Friday, November 16, 2007

Who's Deranged?/ TPS Chapter

Annie Hall: So I told her about, about the family and about my feelings towards men and about my relationship with my brother. And then she mentioned penis envy. Do you know about that?
Alvy Singer: Me? I'm, I'm one of the few males who suffers from that.

Our good friend Freewheel alerts his readers to a, er, growing phenomenon in Republican circles known in the medical profession as Tiny Penis Syndrome. Given how widespread this affliction is among those who are currently in control of our country, it behooves us all to familiarize ourselves with some of its more common manifestations.

TPS sufferers are most commonly and easily identified by their propensity for swaggering arrogance that has no identifiable basis or justification. Behold:



Victims of this terrible malady also seem driven to claim exclusive alliance with powerful entities such as the US Military or God. They have an obsessive fondness for weaponry, especially "big guns" and, while studiously avoiding circumstances which might result in themselves being placed in harm's way, are the most ardent advocates of sending others off to deploy such weapons. They reserve their strongest rage for women who dare to be sexual or, in fact, powerful in any way. Researchers are scrambling to find a cure and are hopeful that advances in new stem cell technology may yield results. Meanwhile it is incumbent upon the rest of us to practice tolerance and understanding for our stricken brethren. Their plight is truly "sad."

Be there, or be square!

This news is very cool.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Who, exactly, IS it a country for?



The San Antonio Current interviews the Coen brothers, Kelly MacDonald and Josh Brolin about "No Country For Old Men." Good quote:

Talk about shooting in West Texas. People still think of it like it’s the Wild West.

JB: But it is. West Texas is the part of the country you want to get through as fast as you can when you’re driving east to west, west to east — it really is. I don’t mean it as a total insult. But if you stop there, you get to discover it for what it is: West Texas is a character. We’re afraid of characters like we are character actors; they’re not the leading man you’re going to trust all the time. Characters are characters for a reason, because they’re unpredictable, they change — like the freak weather of West Texas. •

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Follow-up, sort of.



In the post I linked to this morning, which talked about us old folks knowing a thing or two about What's Going On (Thank you, Marvin Gaye!), I couldn't help but drift a bit down Memory Lane to revisit some of the music of my youth and I came upon this priceless YouTube of Smokey Robinson. I was born in 1952, was 14 when this video was made, and I cut my teeth on Motown music. It was THE music that was blaring out of our little transistor radios in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 1966. I remember when the University of Virginia booked The Temptations. Oh. My. God. They sold out in 5 minutes. What a scene! The genius of Berry Gordy was the selling of black music to middle class White America who absolutely ate it up and begged for more, which gave a considerable jumpstart to the civil rights movement at the time. But look at this video!! How lame are those whiteys! Poor Frankie Avalon just needs a tattoo of LOSER stamped on his forehead, and those chippies in the cages can't even hold a beat! No wonder Smokey looks like he's thinking, Good God just let me finish this song and get the hell out of here.....

For you dieters, I bring you...

...Lame Duck Stew. Courtesy The Internet Weekly.

A tip of the helmet to...

...The General, God love him! Whatever you do, DON'T MISS looking very closely at the GOP elephant logo included in this post.

Perusals

I still venture over to Bill's swamp occasionally (no, I'm not going to link to it; believe me, you DON'T want to go there) and was amused to find Bill's commentary on the debate about Reagan's race-baiting consisted of this: "All I have to say here is that Ronald Reagan was no racist, and to imply so is despicable. Reagan believed in the American dream for all Americans, black and white. The depths to which the Left has sunk is truly disturbing."

Wow. Color me smacked down! Of course, one of his commenters dutifully cites and quotes at length the now-all-over-the-web David Brooks column which attempts to patiently explain to all of us lowly ignoramuses how egregiously "misunderstood" Reagan is, and since Bill has made it now a policy to block anyone who disagrees with him, Brooks' column is viewed over there as the last word on the subject. Period. No further examination of THAT story is needed, thank you. So, as a contrast, I had to bring you, dear readers!, this publius post from this morning that includes links to not only the original Krugman post, Brooks' rebuttal, and subsequent responses to Brooks' rebuttal, but also what I thought was an excellent examination of the question of why righties are scrambling so to defend Reagan on this issue. I highly recommend it!

There is such an ocean of good stuff to read, isn't there? I just got in the mail my copy of Krugman's "The Conscience of A Liberal" and I can't wait to get into it. But I would be remiss if I didn't also point you to two great posts that Atrios linked to: This one about Hillary and feminism, and this one about Obama, which references an essay by Tom Hayden and includes the following:

The Republican Party politicians are extremely adept at exploiting divides in this country. Like the generational divide. Almost anyone born from 1960 on - voters now 18-47 - have few, if any memories of voters age 48-63 who were caught up in the thick of one or more of the Civil Rights, antiwar, Women’s Rights, UFW, reproductive rights, environmentalism movements, or the beginning of the GLBT liberation movement. Us boomers are not trapped in some time warp fighting the same battles, advocating the same tactics, or even suggesting we have all the right answers.

But what we do have are important memories. We’ve been the canaries in the current coal mine whose dust has darkened everyone’s future. Much of what we’ve seen in Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld and Powell and Armitage and Abrams and Perle and Wolfowitz and so many others tied to this White House is not new to us. Most of us spotted these phonies miles away, using old methods and old law violations to pursue policies and rights encroachments that are recycled failures, dusted off in pursuit of the same corrupt ends.

Our capacity to remember is your first line of defense. And in another three decades, yours will be necessary to warn and protect some future generations. We may not always know how to solve every problem. But we can see problems brewing. We can provide some answers. We can point to some things previous generations tried that didn’t work, too.

Ooooo-rah! Take THAT all you whippersnappers!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Courtroom Hijinx

Being called up for jury duty the other day reminded me of this, though I must hasten to add that my experience was in NO WAY similar, thank you very much:


More Dada!

For heydave:



Marcel Duchamp. (American, born France. 1887-1968). Network of Stoppages. Paris 1914. Oil and pencil on canvas, 58 5/8" x 6' 5 5/8" (148.9 x 197.7 cm). Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Fund and gift of Mrs. William Sisler. © 2007 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris / Estate of Marcel Duchamp

More about this painting and about Dadaism in general is here and of course here.

From the Wikipedia article:

Dada was an informal international movement, with participants in Europe and North America. The beginnings of Dada correspond to the outbreak of World War I. For many participants, the movement was a protest against the barbarism of that War, against the bourgeois nationalist and colonialist interests which many Dadaists believed were the root cause of the war, and against the cultural and intellectual conformity — in art and more broadly in society — that corresponded to the war. [1]

Many Dadaists believed that the 'reason' and 'logic' of bourgeois (capitalist) society had led people into the horrors of war. They expressed their rejection of that ideology in artistic expression that appeared to reject logic and embrace chaos and irrationality. For example, George Grosz later recalled that his Dadaist art was intended as a protest "against this world of mutual destruction".[2]


Seems that today we have a bit of a different problem - the scales tipped too far away from "reason" and "logic" (which certainly didn't lead the current Powers that Be, and hasn't for a long time!), and too far toward chaos and absurdity. What say you?

Monday, November 12, 2007

How long will it take?

Yay - they let me out! I went, fully prepared to serve on the petit jury if they chose me but, ugh. It looked to be a nasty little civil case whose outcome, I am very glad to say, rests in someone else's hands. So I am treated to an afternoon off, and it looks like I might grab a friend and go see Ang Lee's new movie, "Lust, Caution."

Meanwhile, I thought I would share with you some thoughts I had upon hearing this story on NPR this morning. The very first thought I had was: I wonder if the Bush administration will ever be held to account for its war crimes, and if so, how long will it take? Some time ago (in another universe, it seems!) I mentioned in a blog conversation that I thought the Bush administration's crimes in Iraq were going to be a moral shame that we Americans will have to reckon with for generations to come, not unlike what the Germans are still having to do with regard to Hitler and the Nazis. Naturally, shrieks of outrage ensued from the nest of righties that I happened to be embroiled with at the time, and I was roundly excoriated for being a lefty-traitor-loser-despicable-terrorist-loving-fringe-lunatic, etc., which, strangely enough, still appears to be the consensus of opinion in those circles to this day. Then Frank Rich wrote his column about The 'Good Germans' Among Us and he said essentially the same thing I was arguing only, of course, he said it much better. There's a really interesting discussion of Rich's column and the issues he raises over at D.Sidhe's place in which she posits (I think) that average, every day Americans who are consumed with the burden of just getting by in our lives can't be expected to know the extent of the Bush administration's criminality and mendacity, given the power structure that is in place to hide and obfuscate, and while I appreciate her point, I still find myself feeling a dreadful foreboding about the future of our country post-GeorgeW. I think what I am afraid of is that the damage this administration has wrought is far more extensive and long-lasting than we have yet begun to understand. And I wonder how long it will take for Americans to find the moral courage necessary to do whatever it takes to find our way out of this wasteland. Personally, I think the criminal conviction of George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld is only one step, but a crucial one. What do you think?

Change of Routine


Pablo Picasso. (Spanish, 1881-1973). Guitar. (after March 31, 1913). Pasted paper, charcoal, ink, and chalk on blue paper, mounted on ragboard, 26 1/8 x 19 1/2" (66.4 x 49.6 cm). Nelson A. Rockefeller Bequest. © 2007 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Off for jury duty today. Come on in, make yourself at home.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Intent To Deceive

One question: Do Republicans even know how NOT to lie?

UPDATE: From hilzoy:

So unless we are to believe that all these FEMA staffers found themselves in a room full of FEMA staffers they knew and worked with, and sat down in the chairs where journalists normally sit, and asked the questions that journalists normally ask, all without noticing a thing, I don't see how we can conclude that this is anything other than a deliberately staged fake press conference about which FEMA staffers subsequently lied.

Not that that's anything new; it's just that every so often I think it's important to keep track even of the smaller examples of this administration's mendacity. Because in an administration that had genuinely introduced a "new moral tone" into Washington, as Bush promised to do, people would know that to pull a stunt like this would cost them their jobs whether or not anyone found out about it.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Still at work for a few more hours....

....so that drink will have to wait. Let's see if this will do until then:


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^(*!&%$**!!!

Gah! No sooner had Patches cheered me up than I received an email from a friend about this. Oh Lordy, if there is anything more gag-inducing than wingnuts waxing sanctimonious about the "Angry Left" it has to be Karl Rove delivering a sermon on the topic of (cough, cough) anonymous incivility. Emptywheel has a good response. I need a drink.

I know it's Friday and all

...but I find myself in need of some cheering up. What about you? I bring you (drum roll) Patches the horse:

They really love wars too

The only "life" that the grotesquely mis-named "pro-life" movement cares about is that which is either in a petri dish somewhere or in uteri. Once said life manages to make its way through the birth canal to become an actual sentient human being, these "compassionate" pinheads have no more use for it.

Weisie taking bids

...on getting the smell of sulpher out of her curtains.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

We laugh to keep from weeping...and sometimes it doesn't work.



Jonathan Schwarz:
If the Nazis could make it work, why not us?
This is an unusual rhetorical gambit from Alan Dershowitz:

Marginal Democratic candidates certainly benefit from moving to the left on national security issues, but serious candidates–candidates who want to have any realistic chance of prevailing in the general election–must not allow themselves to be pushed, shoved or even nudged away from a strong commitment to national security.

Consider, for example, the contentious and emotionally laden issue of the use of torture in securing preventive intelligence information about imminent acts of terrorism…

There are some who claim that torture is a nonissue because it never works–it only produces false information. This is simply not true, as evidenced by the many decent members of the French Resistance who, under Nazi torture, disclosed the locations of their closest friends and relatives.


You know, I was on the fence there about torture, until Dershowitz pointed out it really worked well for the Nazis! Color me convinced!


posted by Jonathan Schwarz at 11:35 AM | link

UPDATE: For all of you Compassionate "Christian" Conservatives who are still "confused" about this issue: Yes, waterboarding is torture. To wit:

Waterboarding was torture when it was used during the Spanish Inquisition; it was torture when it was used on Filipino rebels during the 1890s; it was torture when the Japanese Army used it on prisoners in World War II; it was torture when it was used by the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia; and it's torture when CIA officers or others use it on terrorists.

When George W. Bush was the governor of Texas, the state investigated, indicted, convicted and sentenced to prison for 10 years a county sheriff who, with his deputies, had waterboarded a criminal suspect. That sheriff got no pardon from Gov. Bush.

Waterboarding is torture in the eyes of all civilized peoples, no matter how desperately President George W. Bush tries to rewrite the English language, with which he has only a passing familiarity, anyway. No matter how desperately his entire administration tries to redefine the word "torture" to cover the fact that not only have they acquiesced in its use, but they also have ordered its use.

and:

Waterboarding is torture. Decent people have acknowledged that for centuries. We sent Japanese war criminals to the gallows for using it. We sent a Texas sheriff to prison for using it. One day, an ex-president and those who helped him and those he ordered to torture fellow human beings may have to plea bargain for their lives and their freedom.

Theme song for '08?

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He has a Council? Who knew?

Make sure you've swallowed your coffee before you read this.

But we just have to give it more time!

Greenwald:

Whenever one thinks that our discourse regarding the Iraq War just can't get any more inane, it always manages to find a way. If the violence in Iraq continues to decrease -- and even if one accepts the most dubious of premises in order to see it all in the best possible light (the decrease will endure, it's because of the Magical Surge, the de facto ethnic cleansing can reverse itself, etc.) -- that rather obviously doesn't mean that the war has achieved anything positive, either in that country or for our own. It just means that we have begun to contain some of the monstrous harm which our invasion unleashed there.

Acting as though a decrease in violence is now a positive reflection on the invasion itself is irrational in the extreme. It's basically akin to someone sitting on their couch and chewing up food and spitting it all over the floor and the walls and the furniture month after month until it piles up and congeals and grows into mold, turning the room into a repulsive, health-threatening mess. Guests come by and run away in horror at how repugnant it all is.

Then, one day, the person decides to pick up some of the congealed food from the floor and scrapes a little bit off the walls, making it a bit less filthy. Then he starts calling his friends, announcing: "You must come over. I've completely redecorated my home and it looks beautiful now. You have to see what I've done to it."

That is pretty much an exact analogy to what is now emerging as Beltway wisdom regarding Iraq. We took a country that was relatively stable and a sworn enemy of, and an important check on, Iran. We turned it into a cesspool of violence, instability, displacement, sectarian strife, Iranian influence, and rule by militia.

The best we can hope for is to reverse some of the damage that we did so that a Shiite regime far more loyal to Iran than to the U.S. can rule with some semblance of order. And to "achieve" that, we squandered hundreds of billions of dollars, thousands of American lives, hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians (at least), and almost every ounce of credibility and influence we built up over the last six decades. That's the best case scenario.


And Bush is still waiting for his parade......