Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Theoretically, I'm supposed to be working...

Come Donna and Ricky and Mike,
Freewheel and Pam and the like!
You lurkers not named,
Come join in the game
Or heydave will soon take a hike!

(Okay, that last line is an empty threat 'cause I don't think he will, but please grant me some artistic license....)

UPDATE: Apologies, I left someone out! To "Cap":

I have a good friend named conundrum
Who contributes naught that is humdrum.
But who has the time
To make his name rhyme!
My list of invitees was undone.

I'm on a roll....

There once was a monkey named George.
At the trough of the public he gorged.
The trough, it went dry
Yet he casts a blind eye
To a legacy not to be forged.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

No threat to Mad Kane am I

George W. does not speak for me;
His brain is the size of a pea.
My time I'll be biding
'Till he's in jail, hiding,
At which point I'll stand and say, Wheee!

Heh! I know, I know - I'll keep my day job.

We got the blues

Talkin 'bout Mike 'n' Maha 'n' Me what with seemingly endless campaign nonsense and every day some new horror visited on us by the worst administration in history while George Shit-For-Brains Bush walks around not in jail, giving incoherent press conferences. Fact is, I stepped away from the computer for a couple of days to fulfill my Fiesta obligations and I've found the whole muckety muck a tad difficult to get back into. So, what to do to shrug off this dysphoric cloud? As always, I turn to my readers for inspiration and am never disappointed! A discussion of favorite animated movies over at Mike's place reminded me of one:

That's good for a smile. Digby has a suggestion also. Then, pal heydave provided another memory jog:

I was looking for the Leon Russell version of that song and found everything but, making it really hard to choose. Anyway, this is the one I landed on, and I feel better already!

Introducing Robert

My friend Jeannette sent me pictures yesterday of some artwork that's being done by a mutual friend of ours, Robert Gonzalez, and after I emailed him about it he was gracious enough to grant me permission to share it here. This painting, untitled so far, is one of a series he is working on called No Mas Muerte (No More Death) and is inspired by his passionate concern for the plight of immigrants. If we're lucky, he may even show up in comments here to tell us more about this work! Bravo, Roberto!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Happy Birthday to Harper Lee

Sorry about the light posting these last few days - Life has been hectic. Should be returning to a normal pace now!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

For Lifetime Achievement in Wankery....

....the Golden Cheeto goes to Michelle Malkin. Bravo!

The Front-Runner and She-Who-Is-Still-In-The-Race

There is nothing new under the sun

Hillary is still in the race, Obama is still ahead, and penises remain a highly sought-after commodity.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Just sayin'

We are a nation of blithering idiots.

It's Earth Day - Go Hug a Tree!

Good day to drop in on our friend Greg over at Harman on Earth and see what he's up to. Huzzah, Greg!

It's also the 20th birthday of Boerne's very own Cibolo Nature Center and Wilderness Trail, a shining jewel in the crown of Texas that is the hill country. I have several personal connections to the story of the CNC, as do many residents of Boerne: I went to undergraduate school with its founder, Carolyn Chipman Evans. We were both art students though we knew each other only peripherally, with Boerne our shared interest - she lived here and I was dating my eventual husband who lived here. Later, when I was married and living in Boerne, her husband became an important mentor and close professional colleague for many years. My older son, James, attended several sessions of summer camp at the CNC, was eventually a counselor there, and is pictured in Brent and Carolyn's book about their project, The Nature Center Book: How to Create and Nurture a Nature Center. These days Brent and Carolyn and I only see each other occasionally at parties or (more frequently these days) at political gatherings, such as the recent speaking engagement of Seymour Hersh at Carolyn's and my alma mater, Trinity University. I'm proud to count them as friends and extremely grateful for the monumental contribution they have made to the community in which I live.

UPDATE: And here's another Earth Day story about my hometown!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Bergman, Revisited

Hillary cheats Big Death with John McCain's chess set.

Word is, our guys are in some playoffs, too!

It's Monday already? Really?

Sorry to be kinda late posting this morning but I have a lot of catching up to do, and I got sidetracked over at World O'Crap where Scott has been, er, on a roll, if you'll pardon the phrase.

So what's been going on? I understand there's a primary happening somewhere tomorrow? Looks like all the principals in the George W. Bush cabal are still walking around, not in jail. Damn shame, that. Bill Kristol is still wanking about other people's sacrifice. Our Democratic candidates are still takin' it to the mattresses while McGeritol continues to schmooze with his base. I guess the more things change, the more they stay the same...or something.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Oh, Brother...

One last thing before I high-tail it out of here. Is it gagsome or what to see ABC condescendingly pooh-pooh criticisms of its so-called "debate" last Thursday?
And besides, according to ABC, criticism of the "debate" was from the blogosphere, Obama supporters and:

"...the liberal group MoveOn, which has mounted an action campaign to send a message to the network."

You know MoveOn...they're those crazy leftists that insulted General Petraeus. Not mentioned? Criticism from the Washington Post, Editor & Publisher, the Boston Globe, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the New York Times, Time, the Associated Press, or Reuters. But why mention that when David Brooks liked it?

Getting the H*** Out Of Town

San Antonio is kicking off its annual answer to Mardi Gras today, Fiesta! which is a big, 10-day tourist-magnet whoop-de-do. Actually, under the right circumstances, I do love Fiesta and have even gone so far this year as to volunteer (!) my services at the King William Fair next Saturday, and I expect, by then, to be appropriately In The Spirit, with a fully-loaded armory of cascarones at my side.
Everyone has his or her favorite Fiesta activity, which might be anything from Cornyation to El Rey Fido but I am planning to start the week off by following the time-honored local tradition of getting out of town for which I could not be more ready, I tell you what! But meanwhile, I've got an 8-hour work day to slog through (in between my blogging duties, that is) and here are the fruits of my labors so far (which just goes to show how much in need of a break I am):

First, kudos to Glenzilla for a job well done.

Second, this is just perfect.

And finally, a tip-o-the-margarita-glass to heydave, who sent me this ecard setting just the right tone for the rest of the day:

A Recommendation

Rootless Cosmopolitan is a wonderful blog, written by one Tony Karon, a journalist who covers the Middle East for Time magazine, but don't let that put you off (heh). I've enjoyed everything I have read over there, but this one is particularly good, and I am dedicating it to Mike's and my old sparring partner, Mark Hardin.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


I didn't watch them, did you? I'm afraid I anticipated the worst, and from what I can tell by a cursory exploration of responses around the blogosphere, "the worst" is what it was. Will Bunch (H/T Crooks and Liars) seems to have captured the prevailing sentiment best. So I wondered, Did anyone out there actually like this show? And, lo and behold, John Cole has the answer.

UPDATE: I just sent another $50 to Obama's campaign. November cannot. get. here. soon. enough.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Some Good Advice

Mike, take heed! AL gives us some things to think about.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Oh, just because

Granted, it's far from "medieval" but this is, far and away, one of screen history's most famous and satisfying slaps. For all you babes in the woods out there, if you've never seen this film, do rent it ASAP.

What will he do?

I remain cautiously optimistic that Obama will be our next President. Perhaps "optimism" is the wrong word, "desperately hopeful" might be more accurate. In a fair election, there is no way that Obama could lose. No way. But, of course, we haven't had fair elections in awhile and all of us know that Republicans will do anything up to and including an attack on Iran, in which case all bets are off. So the question really is, how much ability do the Republicans have to steal this election? The Democrats are wiping the floor with the Republicans in terms of fund-raising, and the same with our turn out for the primaries, and I think both these factors could negate any black box shenanigans or Swiftboating the Republicans might try. This really is looking like the election that sane people were hoping for in 2004, the one where the electorate, having seen 4 years of Bush would say, "No way, Jose!" and vote for ANYONE other than that chimp-faced loser. Okay, so it took 4 more years and our country on the brink of ruin, but the vast majority appears to have figured it out. Add to that the fact that our candidate is young, handsome, articulate, intelligent and very charismatic, while theirs is, well, the opposite on all counts.

I do not know if there are enough sane people in the State Department and the Pentagon who are able to prevent Cheney and The Chimp from attacking Iran. We are all going to have to live with that uncertainty until one of two things happens: a) Our guy moves into the White House on January 21, 2009 or b) they attack Iran.

So, barring an attack on Iran, I feel reasonably confidant that Obama will win. That said, I've been waiting for, and was glad to see, this. As Digby notes, it's not nearly enough:
I also find Obama's answer unsettling. I'm glad he has agreed to have his Attorney General look into the matter. But setting the bar that high --- that they had to "knowingly and consciously" violate the law --- means that there will be no investigation and they will probably be exonerated. The Yoo memos were written for that very reason, after all. (Powell is already using the excuse that they were operating under official DOJ legal findings.)

I don't think it's useful to mention the difference between lawbreaking and "really dumb policies" in the context of torture. Torture is clearly not a dumb policy, it's an illegal and immoral policy. And at this point there's really no doubt that the Principals sat around the white house discussing how to torture prisoners. Regardless of whether they can excuse their behavior because some authoritarian hack in the Justice Department told them it was ok --- it was not ok.
In my effort to remain cautiously optimistic - or just this side of suicidal, depending on which way the wind is blowing - I choose to give Obama the benefit of the doubt and think that he is possibly stepping gingerly around this issue for the purpose of not terrifying "moderates" and winning this goddam election, after which the Sidney Poitier persona comes off, revealing the Marsellus Wallace persona lurking just beneath the surface who goes all medieval on those Republican asses! (H/T heydave) There, I feel better now.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Congress to sit in corner, lose privileges

This is on the front page of the website for San Antonio's only major newspaper, the San Antonio Express-News:
Bush scolds Congress on Colombia trade
but it's a link and when you click on it, you end up here. Yeah, whatever. Call me "deranged" but I live for the day when the only people Chimpy can "scold" are his imaginary friends in solitary confinement.

We knew this would happen

It's already started and by the time he's officially the nominee, they'll be crawling out from under every rock on the planet. I say fine - these assholes need all the light exposure we can beam in on them. Keep your magnifying glasses handy.

Ah, the power of simplicity.

UPDATE: Damn, they cut this off before he gets to his "They call me Mr. Tibbs!" line but I think you'll see the parallels anyway:

Mustn't dwell on despair

Do something.

The blood on our hands

I first saw this painting, Picasso's "Guernica", at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City in 1978. It was directly adjacent to the elevator on the third floor, so that when the doors opened and you stepped out, this painting - which is huge, 137.4 x 305.5 in. - confronted you like a lead fist to the gut. I can't recall any time in my life when I have been so moved by a work of art, which is really saying something since I tend to get pretty emotional about art.

Readers of this blog will know that I have a hard time writing about the torture issue. It just overwhelms me, and I find words inadequate. Furthermore, others have written extensively on the subject far better than I ever could - I can't seem to come up with anything that doesn't sound maudlin, trite, or just plain stupid.

I think Picasso comes pretty damn close, in this painting, to expressing what I feel. But here is another post (H/T Atrios) that hits the bullseye also, and has the added benefit of yet another piece of art that captures what must be the exact sentiment of all of us who have observed this train wreck of an administration work its evil on our country and the world for the last 8 years.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

How To Celebrate Islamofascistnazisatan Awareness Week

The Editors have some suggestions.

Those are all pretty good. Personally, I think the entire week should be rounded off by hauling in all of these assholes, along with Chimpy himself of course, and Mr. Yoo, and shipping them off to the Hague to stand trial for war crimes.

I'm dead serious, naturally. War crimes. Now. Today. Are we really going to pass this responsibility off to some other country - to hold the Bush/Cheney cabal accountable to us and to the rest of the world for what they have done in our name?

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Kids Say The Darndest Things

Sorry about the light posting today. Things are hectic. Just thought I'd share one thing with you: Yesterday, after picking up my 15-year-old from tennis practice we were rolling along in an amiable, end-of-the-day-weary silence when he suddenly piped up, "Mom, don't you hate it when religion gets all mixed up with government?"

It's a miracle I didn't wreck the car.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Those Wild and Wacky Republicans!

You know, any day now we are going to hear McFuddle just come out and say, "Sunni, Shia - who gives a f***!" at some hapless, adoring reporter who will write it up as a charming Maverick Moment. Here's my observation: The fact that we Democrats are even remotely concerned that Obama may not beat this pathetic excuse for a candidate, and by a historic margin, is evidence enough of how utterly corrupt our election process has become.

In this country, we call them "Republicans." Oh come on, do you doubt it for one second?

Malkin has a Sista 4 EVAH

Like the Black Plague "impacted" the population of Europe:
Diana Zelikovich, president of the Pre-Law Society, said that DeLay was chosen as this year’s speaker because he “strongly impacted the political agenda for the first half of the last decade.”

“DeLay is proof that you don’t have to have a law degree to be influencing the laws of this nation,” she said. “In this respect, he’s perfect as a keynote speaker.”

Grab some popcorn

It seems there's some testamony happening.

Monday, April 7, 2008

How they see Iraq

Rose-colored? I don't think so:

Oh, you and your leopard skin pillbox hat

Wow. A Pulitzer. Wonder what Bob thinks of that! Congratulations, Bob:

The Worst of the Worst

Speaking of bad apples, Digby points us to this post by Scott Horton which tells us that a survey of historians confirms the conclusion that 80% of the rest of country has already reached: that George W. Bush is, indeed, the Worst President Evah. A comment from one of the historians surveyed (my favorite part emphasized):
“No individual president can compare to the second Bush,” wrote one. “Glib, contemptuous, ignorant, incurious, a dupe of anyone who humors his deluded belief in his heroic self, he has bankrupted the country with his disastrous war and his tax breaks for the rich, trampled on the Bill of Rights, appointed foxes in every henhouse, compounded the terrorist threat, turned a blind eye to torture and corruption and a looming ecological disaster, and squandered the rest of the world’s goodwill. In short, no other president’s faults have had so deleterious an effect on not only the country but the world at large.”

The Tree That Spawned Those Bad Apples

There is a really good post by publius over at Obsidian Wings called "The Structural Foundations of Neoconservatism" in which he discusses a book by one James Mann called Rise of the Vulcans: The History of Bush's War Cabinet. You should read the whole thing, but I am compelled to post this lengthy excerpt because it speaks so well to what I have been saying about "Vanquishing the Beast" (emphasis mine):
The larger point for today’s purposes is that the worldview underlying neoconservatism -- excessive certainty of good and evil -- is shared by too many Americans even today. Indeed, we saw it in full display in the run-up to, and aftermath of, Iraq. We had to go to war because Saddam was evil. The war was good because we are good and you’re blaspheming the troops. The names had changed, but the song otherwise remained the same.

Looking ahead, real progress requires us to shed the kindergarten view of both ourselves and our adversaries. What seems at first glance to be steely-spined moral clarity is actually a failure to engage with the grey complexities of the real world. We are good, but not perfect. Those who oppose America are not always good, but neither are they fantasy embodiments of pure evil (with certain exceptions). That’s not to say we can’t be proud of America -- there is much to be proud of. It’s just that overly simplistic abstract views are leading to horrible practical consequences.

If we don’t change this underlying view, nothing will change even if the Democrats win the White House. People like Wolfowitz may come and go, but the worldview that created him will linger on. For that reason, we’ll keep repeating history until that worldview -- that excessive certainty -- is confronted.
And vanquished! See also Maha's excellent series The Wisdom of Doubt regarding that "excessive certainty."
In particular, I fear the political aftermath of our eventual withdrawal from Iraq. Like Vietnam, it will trigger poisonous resentment among nationalists. The temptation will be to hide from -- rather than confront -- the cognitive dissonance by doubling down on a fantasy version of America. We may well see the rise of a new nationalism movement fueled by Iraq resentment, and a particularly nasty one at that.

This is all a long way of saying that it’s not enough for the public to oppose the Iraq War. The real goal is to change the mindset that led to the Iraq War. There are hundreds of aspiring young Wolfowitzes toiling away in the Bush executive branch as we speak, gaining valuable resume lines. The only way to make sure they don’t ascend to power is to make their preferred policies politically unviable, regardless of what party controls the government.
Nowhere is this destructive and childlike worldview on better display than over at Conservative Dialysis (I linked to be polite, but really, you don't need to go there! Trust me!) where our friend Mike has been gamely attempting to engage a sadly naive and strident young conservative in something like a dialogue. I've put my toe in those waters too, but I don't have Mike's patience - his (the blogger, not Mike!)ignorance is overwhelming. But Mike is absolutely right in his efforts; if change is going to come, it will most likely be facilitated in very small increments through discussion and gentle persuasion. That and, of course, a sweeping win for Democrats in November!

And, by the way, Maha also has a good post up today about Penn and Clinton.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Eyes on the Prize

Contrary to popular stereotype, Kos does not rule my world. In fact, I don't go over there all that often, but when I do, there's usually something good to read. Like today, for instance, the first two posts are well worth checking out. This one compares MLK's speeches to Barack Obama's recent speech on race and reminds us of the power of a talented orator. And this one reviews Jim Hightower's new book "Swim Against The Current."

Shame on...who?

Amanda thumps a fundie. It appears that this one thinks that, since Amanda thinks women shouldn't be ashamed of having abortions, she must also think that abortions are fun! (Hello, Sarah Silverman!) This one reminds me of a passage from John Irving's "The Cider House Rules" in which Dr. Larch, who has earned notoriety in turn-of-the-century South Boston for being willing to perform abortions, is called to UpperCrustville to discreetely perform an abortion on One Of Their Own. He does, of course, and while observing their palpable scorn for him, notes to himself, "These people need me but they hate me." He takes the money he was surreptitiously paid and distributes it among the servants in the house, telling the nurse who is apparently in charge of taking care of his patient that she should "Treat her like a princess. No one should be allowed to make her feel ashamed." That line is one of many in the book that always brings me to tears. And, by the way, the movie sucked.

Best Comment I've Read Yet

Over at Atrios:
Has anyone taken Heston's gun from his cold dead hands?

MJ Bialaski | 04.06.08 - 10:53 am | #
UPDATE: Melissa puts it quite well, I think.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Smiles returning to their faces

Shout out to my new commenter, jobsanger (aka Ted McLaughlin), from BlogNetNews! Thank you, and this one is for you:

UPDATE: BlondeSense and SadlyNo!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Updates and Addendums but in a Whole New Post

Because I feel like it, that's why!

Yay, Maja is back and in great form. She even links at the end to this post by John Cole, which I was going to link to only (well, mostly) because he points to the irrepressable Ask-A-Mexican who, much to my dismay, is no longer writing columns. Boo!

Heydave and I, apparently in long-distance tandem, found this over at The Aristocrats. Poor BushBaby! Don't you feel all sorry for him?

And, man-oh-man, when Glenn Greenwald sinks his teeth in, he doesn't let go! Lucky for us.

I like Tom Burka.

Has Happy Hour started?

In town for the Final Four

Woo Hoo! Our future Attorney General? spotted at Rivercenter Mall.

Mishmash, TGIF Edition

Just to start things off on the right foot, I thought I should note that the new Scorsese film, Shine a Light opens here at the IMAX today which gives us a great opportunity to reflect on those Bad Boys then:

and now:

Good times, good times. Speaking of which, I discover that another old Outlaw coot, Willie Nelson, will be bringing his annual July 4 "Picnic" to town, here for the first time, stirring up misty water-colored memories of my attendance at Willie's VERY FIRST "Picnic" in 1973 at Dripping Springs. Yes, I actually piled into a van with a bunch of friends and strangers, mind you, and believe me when I tell you that all the stereotypes that that image conjures up do, in fact, apply. I have never been to another one of those events, mainly because huge crowds al fresco in mid-July Texas is just not one of my favorite things, me being quite the comfort-loving gal.

Back to the present, San Antonio offered its citizens yesterday not one but two opportunities to hear Very Distinguished Persons speak on topics of the day. I chose to attend this one instead of this one. I wonder if you can guess why. Hersh was very interesting - he spoke for an hour and a half and despite the fact that he tended to mumble, speak too fast and move away from his microphone (on top of which I have exceptionally bad hearing - all those concerts from my youth, doncha know), I was absolutely riveted. Yes I was. He talked about his difficulty getting the Mi Lai story published, no one wanted it. He told of a mother of one of those soldiers who told him, "I gave them (the Army) a good boy, and they sent back a killer" - a story which prompted him to remind the audience to see "In The Valley of Elah" which I have and which you should if you haven't already.

Some other stuff:

More on the Yoo memo. My question is this: BERKELEY??? WTF??? If I were a graduate from that law school I think I would sue for a refund of my tuition.

Glenzilla bags another one. I could kick myself for not dragging myself to the microphone last night and asking Hersh what he thinks about bloggers, but I'm ashamed to say that I didn't even think about that question until I was driving in to work this morning. Damn.

Dave Neiwert is doing his part to help Obama start that dialogue on race that we need to have, on this, the 40th anniversary of the day that MLK was assassinated.

Any of you have any great plans (or just plain plans) for the weekend?

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Heydave At His Desk?

That should move the meter up a bit....

Why I Love The Internet

This incredible photograph accompanies another great post by Christy Hardin Smith about the Yoo memo, and I just had to steal it. I mean really. Just think about how these goons have been in charge of our entire government for the last 8 years. And the expression on the face of that man (or, oh dear, is that a woman?) person in the background is priceless.

It Does!

This is what I call hitting the nail on the head. As a (albeit lukewarm) Christian, there is nothing about that steaming pile of rightwing by-product that calls itself "religious" that doesn't offend me.

The Passion of a Convert

Cole came late to the party, but more than makes up for it with passages like this (emphasis mine):
I am not going to excuse the lamentable personal ethical lapses of Bill Clinton, nor am I going to excuse any other ethical shortcomings that may have occurred during his administrations. At the same time, I am not going to sit by and let someone glibly claim that those ethical lapses mean that Bill Clinton has less personal integrity than George Bush.

George Bush has been, without question, the most ethically handicapped President in my lifetime, and perhaps ever. From the top to the bottom of his administration, we have witnessed rampant and widespread criminality, cronyism, and incompetence of an unparalleled nature, and again, this has been from the top to the bottom of his administration. George Bush is responsible for the smoldering wreckage that is the current DOJ. George Bush is responsible for the disaster in Iraq. George Bush is responsible for the fact that the federal government has served as an affirmative action program for unqualified hacks from Regents University. George Bush is responsible for illegal surveillance of American citizens. And on and on and on.

On the day that the Yoo memo is finally coming to light, detailing how George Bush’s handpicked crew of war criminals orchestrated a regime of torture, and on the day that we learn the Inspector General is investigating whether qualified DOJ lawyers were fired because of their sexual orientation, it is particularly offensive to be told that George Bush, the man responsible for all of this and who knows what else, is a man of higher integrity than Clinton.

While I definitely agree with the premise that Obama will be a better choice than another Clinton administration, with all the luggage they bring, attempting to claim George Bush is a man of personal integrity while Bill Clinton is an ethical piker should be something that offends all conservatives and all Americans. Bill Clinton got a blow-job and lied about it under oath. George Bush, while violating every conservative principle imaginable, also oversaw the brutal rape of this nation’s most cherished principles, all while sneering and bullying those who tried to stop him.

There simply is no comparison.

Catapulting the Propaganda

It's the 'Ivory Snow' of bullshit, almost 99.9% pure.
No wonder Maliki & Bush get along so well, for Bush it's like seeing himself with Ringo Starr's beard.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

This Blog is Fair and (sort of) Balanced

I give equal time to both the Hideous and the Wonderful. After spending all morning on the Hideous, it's time for some Wonderful. Our friend Greg ventured up from San Antonio to my neck of the woods recently and spent some time at our Cibolo Nature Center and took some great pictures. And if you've never experienced "Mutton Busting" (I hadn't) you are in for a treat!

War Crimes

We are a nation in denial, there's just no other way to see it. We have been in the total grip of a despotic, dictatorial regime for eight years and our vaunted system of checks and balances failed us. Spectacularly. The evidence for this has been abundant and in our faces for some time - arguably since 2000 - but it became even more clear yesterday with the release of the notorious Yoo torture memo. This topic upsets me so, I have great difficulty writing about it, and everything that needs to be said about it has been much better done here, here, here, here, and here, among others - I'll probably be adding to that list as the day goes on. But I just want to add this: George W. Bush and Dick Cheney need to be impeached and convicted. Now. This is not a partisan issue, it is a national issue. These men must not be allowed to retire in peace and glory to live out their days making money on the AEI lecture circuit. God help us please!

UPDATE: This may be the first of many, as I'm sure I'm going to feel compelled to highlight some of the really good writing that's being done on this subject. To wit, Christy Hardin Smith:
Sometimes, as a lawyer, you are asked by a client to give them a results-oriented memorandum justifying a particular course of action they would like to take. Usually it's in a business client context, and you have to find some way to rationalize what you are being asked to do with the letter of the law and, when they don't match up, you and your client have a long talk about liability and exposure and your ethical limitations in what you are willing to write -- or not write.

In this context, though, his "clients" would have to have been Cheney and Addington and their neocon ilk for such a results-oriented argument to be drafted this way. Never mind that his opinion applied itself to the whole of the American public, and we'll all be paying the consequences of its results for generations to come. And never mind that a good lawyer covers all the bases and doesn't just give his clients home runs whether or not they've earned them.


I'll be very interested in Marty's take on the OLC obligations on this, and how far afield this memo takes them. It's bad enough to ignore a controlling precedent altogether as a regular old lawyer, but to do so representing the government on an issue with such broad foreign policy and human rights implications as torture seems to me to be a whole other level of deliberately blind reasoning. Marty's started with some great questions about this mess -- and I'm certain there will be many more to follow.
And this from Vanity Fair:
It would be wrong to consider the prospect of legal jeopardy unlikely. I remember sitting in the House of Lords during the landmark Pinochet case, back in 1999—in which a prosecutor was seeking the extradition to Spain of the former Chilean head of state for torture and other international crimes—and being told by one of his key advisers that they had never expected the torture convention to lead to the former president of Chile’s loss of legal immunity. In my efforts to get to the heart of this story, and its possible consequences, I visited a judge and a prosecutor in a major European city, and guided them through all the materials pertaining to the Guantánamo case. The judge and prosecutor were particularly struck by the immunity from prosecution provided by the Military Commissions Act. “That is very stupid,” said the prosecutor, explaining that it would make it much easier for investigators outside the United States to argue that possible war crimes would never be addressed by the justice system in the home country—one of the trip wires enabling foreign courts to intervene. For some of those involved in the Guantánamo decisions, prudence may well dictate a more cautious approach to international travel. And for some the future may hold a tap on the shoulder.

“It’s a matter of time,” the judge observed. “These things take time.” As I gathered my papers, he looked up and said, “And then something unexpected happens, when one of these lawyers travels to the wrong place.”
This guy is back. And that's a good thing.

Ruth at Cab Drollery:
The lack of an outcry is an increasing crime against this country. The oath of office a president takes is to protect and defend the constitution. His job is to enforce the laws. This is no president.

It is past due for the press to proclaim a crime a crime, and when the country is being robbed, beaten and tortured, it is the press's duty to cry out.
Amen to that!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

In Bushland

"Criminality" is known as "bypassing laws and regulations" or "cutting through bureaucratic red tape" or "sidestepping (environmental) laws." But it's all to keep us safe, doncha know. I especially like this part:
Invoking the two legal waivers - which Congress authorized -
Oooooh! Congress "authorized" it! So of course it's legal, right? Everything right on the up and up,....reminds me of something...what could it be...
Kay Adams: Michael, you never told me you knew Johnny Fontane!
Michael: Sure, you want to meet him?
Kay Adams: Well, yeah! Sure.
Michael: My father helped him with his career.
Kay Adams: How did he do that?
Michael: ...Let's listen to the song
Kay Adams: [after listening to Johnny for a while] Tell me, Michael. Please.
Michael: ...Well when Johnny was first starting out, he was signed to a personal services contract with this big-band leader. And as his career got better and better he wanted to get out of it. But the band leader wouldn't let him. Now, Johnny is my father's godson. So my father went to see this bandleader and offered him $10,000 to let Johnny go, but the bandleader said no. So the next day, my father went back, only this time with Luca Brasi. Within an hour, he had a signed release for a certified check of $1000.
Kay Adams: How did he do that?
Michael: My father made him an offer he couldn't refuse.
Kay Adams: What was that?
Michael: Luca Brasi held a gun to the bandleader's head, and my father assured him that either his signature or his brains would be on the release.
Kay Adams: ...
Michael: ...That's a true story.
[cut to Johnny singing again for about 10 more seconds before going back to Michael]
Michael: That's my family Kay, that's not me.
And So It Was Authorized.




Ineptitude and Criminality.

Ineptitude, Criminality, and Stupidity.

Wankery and Racist Wankery.

Not Funny! and Very Funny.

Cute and Not Cute (but they can't help it!).

Happy April, everyone, foolish or not!

Need more visits from heydave!

This just won't do:

The Blog-O-Cuss Meter - Do you cuss a lot in your blog or website?

The rest of you feel free to salt up your comments a bit and push that puppy up. Clearly, my DFH bonafides need burnishing.