Wednesday, May 31, 2006

In addition to the Haditha "incident..."

We, as a nation, need to stop digging ourselves into deep shit and hire a bulldozer to get it done faster. It took a lot longer for Viet Nam to have "it's" My Lai.

May 31, 2006
U.S. Troops Killed 4 in Kabul Riot, Witness Says


KABUL, Afghanistan, May 31 — American soldiers involved in a car crash in the capital Monday fired into the crowd of protesters and killed four people, according to the chief of highway police in Kabul, Gen. Amanullah Gozar, who was at the scene.

Three people died in the multiple car crash caused by a runaway United States army truck, he said, and four people died from gunfire from the last vehicle in the convoy, as the American troops extricated themselves from an increasingly hostile crowd, he said.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

David "Signing Statements" Addington

According to the Boston Globe's article :

"The office of Vice President Dick Cheney routinely reviews pieces of legislation before they reach the president's desk, searching for provisions that Cheney believes would infringe on presidential power,according to former White House and Justice Department officials.

"The officials said Cheney's legal adviser and chief of staff, David Addington , is the Bush administration's leading architect of the "signing statements" the president has appended to more than 750 laws.The statements assert the president's right to ignore the laws because they conflict with his interpretation of the Constitution.

U.S. News and World Reports describes Addington as "the most powerful man you've never heard of" in an article explaining who Addington is and what his significance is in our lives.

You can read up on the fellow in the Wikipedia entry under his name. It behooves us all to know who the invisible power brokers are and what they're up to.

And, now, ladies and gentlemen, the Academy is proud to introduce your host for this evening...AL GORE!

I'm afraid Al Gore may not be doing himself any favors by turning into a movie mogul. It makes him sound less serious. Read this, from Arianna Huffington's blog, to see what I mean. (I edited out a comment about his pitch-perfect French and his high school trip to Cannes because it only made things worse...)

May 22 -- Over the weekend, I flew from Washington to Cannes. In Washington,
the talk was all about 2006. In Cannes, the talk is all about 2008.

That's because even with Tom Hanks, Bruce Willis, Penelope Cruz, Jamie Foxx,
and Halle Berry here for the film festival, the hottest star in town is Al

In Cannes for the European premiere of his powerful global warming
documentary, An Inconvenient
, Gore has been surrounded by adoring crowds and deluged with
interview requests. He told me that he gave 23 back-to-back-to-back interviews
on Sunday, Hollywood junket-style (all on only one hour's sleep), and had
another 23 scheduled for Monday.

See what I mean? He comes off sounding like Stephen Spielberg and not like a scholar or a serious activist or even a politician.

Gore says he's not running for office in the forseeable future, and I take him at his word. However, even if he only wants to be taken seriously as a scholar or as an activist, he needs to avoid looking like he's gone all Hollywood. I'm not saying he did this to himself. Huffington is the one whose words I'm quoting. I just don't think she's the only one seeing him this way. 

The trouble is, I can't think of any way he can do it differently.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Advice for those who get to stay home.

My good friend Ian is about to be sent to Afghanistan as part of the Oregon National Guard. He posted this in his Live Journal and I want to share it with anyone who reads this blog, too. If you know anyone in the military, please read it.

However, I do have a bit of a complaint. If there is one constant with
civilian to military relations is that you all are really supportive
and say you want to be there for us, but when we start to talk about
what we're doing, you all (the generic "you" here) tend to draw back.

let's not kid ourselves here, I'm going somewhere very dangerous and I
do run the risk of coming home a bit banged up or not at all. While I
understand the tendency to want to draw away from that, the way people
tend to draw away with people with terminal illnesses, it helps me and
my compadres not at all.

A lot of us have already noticed when
we were describing our Convoy ops on our seperate blogs that almost no
one responded. For my part, I got one response from my wife. I'm not
asking for therapy here folks, but after I get some huaw training or
what ever, I like to share what's going on in my life, as do my fellow
soldiers. Writing up these long posts and then getting nothing back
makes us feel disconnected from you folks back home. We start to worry
if folks are going quiet about us training, what's it going to be like
when we get home in a year.

Danger isn't contagious folks. I
can't believe that no one out there reading my stuff didn't have some
sarcastic comment about me swearing over the radio while training. That
no one did makes me feel like either you're all not reading my stuff
(which I guess is okay) or that there is some other reason.

just asking that we all are hungry to keep our ties with our family and
friends back home. Traditionally this doesn't happened and the only
people we can turn to is our buddies and fellow soldiers. Then when we
get home, soldiers tend to be distrustful and scornful of the civies
for awhile. A lot of us where talking about it, especially with those
who've been to Iraq before and they say it happens all the time.

I would hope that me and my buddies won't have to it happen to us.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

I didn't realize Al Gore had a personality.

The following is from a comment found via link from Crooks & Liars. I saw it on Olberman last night and swore that man was not the candidate I supported and wept for in 2000. Oh, Al, Al, why did you have to be set up by the Evil Empire? Why aren't you our President today?

Not that this is the speech you'd be making, but the fact that you could deliver this so well blows me away.

Last night I dreamed of...well, I'll wait til you've read the script to tell you about it.


And now, a message from the President of the United States.

President Al Gore:
Good evening, my fellow Americans.

In 2000 when you overwhelmingly made the decision to elect me as your 43rd president, I knew the road ahead would be difficult. We have accomplished so much yet challenges lie ahead.

In the last 6 years we have been able to stop global warming. No one could have predicted the negative results of this. Glaciers that once were melting are now on the attack.

As you know, these renegade glaciers have already captured parts of upper Michigan and northern Maine, but I assure you: we will not let the glaciers win.

Right now, in the 2nd week of May 2006, we are facing perhaps the worst gas crisis in history.

We have way too much gasoline. Gas is down to $0.19 a gallon and the oil companies are hurting.

I know that I am partly to blame by insisting that cars run on trash.

I am therefore proposing a federal bailout to our oil companies because - hey if it were the other way around, you know the oil companies would help us.

On a positive note, we worked hard to save Welfare, fix Social Security and of course provide the free universal health care we all enjoy today.

But all this came at a high cost. As I speak, the gigantic national budget surplus is down to a perilously low $11 trillion dollars.

And don't get any ideas. That money is staying in the very successful lockbox. We're not touching it.

Of course, we could give economic aid to China, or lend money to the Saudis... again.

But right now we're already so loved by everyone in the world that American tourists can't even go over to Europe anymore... without getting hugged.

There are some of you that want to spend our money on some made-up war. To you I say: what part of "lockbox" don't you understand?

What if there's a hurricane or a tornado? Unlikely I know because of the Anti-Hurricane and Tornado Machine I was instrumental in helping to develop.

But... what if? What if the scientists are right and one of those giant glaciers hits Boston? That's why we have the lockbox!

As for immigration, solving that came at a heavy cost, and I personally regret the loss of California. However, the new Mexifornian economy is strong and el Presidente Schwarznegger is doing a great job.

There have been some setbacks. Unfortunately, the confirmation process for Supreme Court Justice Michael Moore was bitter and devisive. However, I could not be more proud of how the House and Senate pulled together to confirm the nomination of Chief Justice George Clooney.

Baseball, our national passtime, still lies under the shadow of steroid accusations. But I have faith in baseball commissioner George W. Bush when he says, "We will find the steroid users if we have to tap every phone in America!"

In 2001 when I came into office, our national security was the most important issue. The threat of terrorism was real.

Who knew that six years later, Afghanistan would be the most popular Spring Break destination? Or that Six Flags Tehran is the fastest growing amusement park in the Middle East?

And the scariest thing
we Americans have to fear is ... Live From New York, its Saturday Night!


Last night I dreamed that Dubya was Baseball Commissioner and Condi was Football Commissioner and the Bush Twins were servants in Brittany Spears' household. The only good thing to come out of all this was that the Spears-Federline children were placed properly into their car seats.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

I have news for Condi Rice and everyone else in the Shrub administration

Remember when La Rice testified before the 9/11 commission and said, "No one could have imagined them taking a plane," and "using planes as a missile?"

Well, not only did the August Presidentail Daily Briefing entitled "Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the United States" hint at this possibility, but even before that, in 1996, Kurt Russell and Halle Berry thought of it.  Well, technically a couple of movie writers thought of it and it was acted by a cast of gajillions in the movie "Executive Decision." (BTW, the cast is awesome. Russell, Berry, Steven Seagal, John Leguizamo, Oliver Platt, a whole bunch more people and I'm only naming the good guys in this one.)

Here's the bare bones of the plot: Arab terrorists board an
American airliner (they do it outside the US, but you can't expect them
to think of everything five years ahead of the incident.) The terrorists  have a large quantity of nerve gas, a US Senator and a bomb on board the plane. (The latter does not necessarily refer to the flick itself.) Although they give the appearance of negotiating for the return of the plane and its passengers, that's not their real plan. They plan to  detonate the bomb over Washington DC in order to wipe out as much of the eastern seaboard as they can. There is obviously more to the plot, including a secret new airplane that has the capability of putting a crew of specially trained American commandos (and an engineer and an intelligence analyst for some reason) onto the plane. But that isn't my point.

My point is this. Do you mean to tell me that there's an action shoot-em-up anti-Arab-terrorist movie with a big cast including Steven Seagal out there that FIVE YEARS before 9/11 posited a
scenario almost identical to the one that took place and not a single
soul in a war-hawk administration had seen it and thought it sounded
possible? Or, at least don't you think that someone in  the select group of war-hawks who were privy to that memo might have read it and thought, "Gee, this reminds me of a movie I saw a few years ago...I wonder if maybe they're really planning something like that?"

Now, I am neither a Kurt Russell fan nor am I a Russell detractor. I've seen several movies in which he's been beyond wonderful. But he's done a bit more than his share of bombs. On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being "Stargate" and 1 being "The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes") this movie is a 5 to a 6 depending on how you feel about air disaster movies. But I still insist that someone surely saw this movie before the August PDB and for not making the connection that person should be...well, in the Bush administration, I guess awarded a medal since they so boutifully reward stupidity and blind, sheep-like loyalty..

Dumb f*ucks!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Ai Yi Yi!

WTF is WRONG with Tom Hartman? If
it weren't for Heidi Tauber bringing him back on track every time he
goes wandering off into his seeming senile meanderings he'd be lost.
And yet he has a cult-like following of people who call him and
pronounce him "the greatest thing on the radio" and in one case "the
saviour of liberal talk radio." (And Al Franken hasn't taken him to task on that, and Ed Schultz continues to LIKE the dude! And Randi Rhodes---the GODDESS of radio according to Sam Seder---promotes him as one of her favorite talk show hosts.

I can't decide if he's got some kind of charisma I'm immune to, if I
still resent him for taking the slot that used to belong to (the now
cancelled for no good reason)
"Morning Sedition" on KPOJ in Portland, or if there really is something
seriously wrong with him and people are so starved for liberal talk
radio that they'll love anyone who can be made to sound left-wing and
angry at the same time.

He claims to be a scholar yet he can't get the pronunciation of words
related to his field(s) of expertise right. He mis-quotes Jefferson, or
attributes any quote he likes from the Revolutionary War era to
Jefferson. He mis-quotes FDR. He gets sidetracked by some of the
stupidest damn stuff, like if the address 12250 is pronounced Twelve
thousand two hundred and fifty,, twelve-two-fifty, or what. Or while
discussin the ozone layer he goes off into how lovely the view from the
deck of his houseboat is. After two years, he still has no clue what
goes on in Portland, except in terms of politics as fed to him by his
(inefficient, I suspect) researchers.

I'm over the loss of "Morning Sedition." I can listen to Maron at night
now. And Rachel Maddow is pretty darned interesting first thing in the
morning, anyway.  But why can't people see that Hartman is a jackass
and needs to be replaced by someone who has a clue?

As mentioned, if it weren't for Heidi Tauber (who is a very
intelligent, articulate, and interesting lady) the show would be a
nightmare. I'm back to listening to books on tape to avoid having to
listen to his drivel in the morning. (I get sleepy listening to
"Morning Edition" on NPR and KBOO is so bad in the morning I can't even
fathom it.) Could someone please get Tauber a GOOD co-host? I'd listen
to her in a flash.

Okay, I'm done ranting and I'm off to work now.

cross-posted to my Live Journal site.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Thank you, Stephen Colbert!

Will everyone within the sight of my html code PLEASE go to this website and thank Mr. Colbert for his entertaining, funny, and skewering act at the White House Correspondents' Dinner on Saturday last. For those who missed it (and you missed one HELLUVA show!) there are links at that site for you to see it for yourself.

Even Botox couldn't make the First Lady smile. This from the woman who told stories about the President's inability to tell a male horse from a cow.

Colbert doesn't seem disturbed by his reception. Here is what both he and Jon Stewart had to say about it.