Saturday, July 28, 2007

Your Free and Valiant Press

Yesterday, the director of the FBI gave testimony that suggested that the attorney general may have lied in his own sworn testimony, but last night, CBS News had more important news to report. News about Oscar the cat.

Six Months Ago ...

President dismisses critics
Administration wants support for strategy

By Michael Abramowitz and Jonathan Weisman
The Washington Post
January 27. 2007 8:35AM

Declaring "I'm the decision maker," President Bush dismissed congressional efforts to formally condemn his Iraq plan yesterday, while Defense Secretary Robert Gates warned that a proposed Senate resolution criticizing the deployment of additional troops would embolden the enemy.

"Any indication of flagging will in the United States gives encouragement to those folks," Gates told reporters at the Pentagon. "I'm sure that that's not the intent behind the resolutions, but I think it may be the effect."

Yet, on July 20, 2007, six months later, Defense Secretary Gates said the exact opposite and essentially lied about his statement in January:

"I have long been a staunch advocate of Congressional oversight, first at the CIA and now at the Defense Department. I have said on several occasions in recent months that I believe that congressional debate on Iraq has been constructive and appropriate."

The lies never quit.

Friday, July 27, 2007

News v. Sports

With team sports, you have instant stories. Two teams play. One wins, one loses. You tell how. Get some good pics. Talk to the players. Instant story.

"News" doesn't come with instant stories and controversy all wrapped up neatly in a bow. You gotta work at it finding the story before you can even write it. It's like a whole sports league is playing in secret and you have to spend all day just to find where the game is and nobody will tell you who won or what happened.

Lies Squared


Al-Hayat reports in Arabic that many Iraqis simply do not believe that the US congress is serious when it votes against permanent bases in Iraq. Members of parliament say that they see these enormous hardened bases being built, which is practical proof to the contrary. They think the Democratic Congress is just posturing because of its struggle with the Bush White House.

Why is the U.S. building a serious of enormous, hardened, super secure military bases in Iraq if Congress has just voted the opposite? Why is Congress funding these bases, on the one hand, yet saying they are not "permanent" ?

Why are basic, obvious questions like this rarely asked -- and never honestly answered -- in the U.S. news media ?

Why do the Serious People of Foreign Policy Punditry never ask why they endlessly analyze "withdrawal scenarios" in six month poker chips even as the President et al. casually throws out 50 years occupation as a possibility -- and while we are building numerous enormous and obviously permanent military bases in Iraq.

All Wet

NEW YORK (Reuters) - PepsiCo Inc. will spell out that its Aquafina bottled water is made with tap water, a concession to the growing environmental and political opposition to the bottled water industry.

According to Corporate Accountability International, a U.S. watchdog group, the world's No. 2 beverage company will include the words "Public Water Source" on Aquafina labels.

This is still a load of crap. "Public Water Source" is carefully crafted to avoid saying the truth: "Municipal Tap Water."

And since the market cachet is the "purity" and "goodness" of said water, not stating the actual source (say, the Ohio River near Pittsburgh) on the label is just as puky, fake and dishonest.

These corporate whores can't even be honest about an ingredients label for water.

Pathetic Yup Loooosers.

Just Lie and Lie Some More

From the LA Times:

U.S. drops Baghdad electricity reports
The daily length of time that residents have power has dropped.

By Noam N. Levey and Alexandra Zavis

As the Bush administration struggles to convince lawmakers that its Iraq war strategy is working, it has stopped reporting to Congress a key quality-of-life indicator in Baghdad: how long the power stays on.

Ryan Crocker, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last week that Baghdad residents could count on only "an hour or two a day" of electricity. That's down from an average of five to six hours a day earlier this year.

But that piece of data has not been sent to lawmakers for months because the State Department, which prepares a weekly "status report" for Congress on conditions in Iraq, stopped estimating in May how many hours of electricity Baghdad residents typically receive each day.

Instead, the department now reports on the electricity generated nationwide, a measurement that does not indicate how much power Iraqis in Baghdad or elsewhere actually receive.

The reporting change has triggered criticism that the administration is disclosing less information at the same time President Bush is facing off against Congress over how much progress is being made in Iraq. Bush has been working for months to show that the troop buildup he announced in January is stabilizing the country.

"It's unfortunate," said Jason H. Campbell, a senior research assistant at the Brookings Institution who has been tracking quality-of-life measurements in Iraq since 2003. "What makes this metric even worth tracking is you want to see what's happening to the average Iraqi."

Campbell said the new reporting method made it impossible to know what the power situation was in Baghdad and elsewhere in Iraq.

Col. Mike Moon, who oversees the Army Corps of Engineers' electricity reconstruction efforts in Iraq, said he thought the change was a mistake. The total amount of electricity being generated in Iraq makes no difference to the individual who has no electricity for his air conditioner, Moon said.

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), who sharply questioned Crocker about electricity during a recent Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, sent a letter to the State Department last week complaining about the new measurement. She said she was concerned the White House was trying to obscure the deteriorating situation in Baghdad, the focus of Bush's "surge" of 30,000 additional troops.

"The president continues to keep information away from the American people and the Congress," said Boxer, who advocates withdrawing troops. "It's obvious that he wants to paint a rosy picture."

State Department officials in Baghdad and Washington said the new method was not an attempt to hide information. They noted that Crocker was candid about the electricity situation when he testified to lawmakers last week.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

No Recall

Amnesia -- not just a pandemic, but a job prerequisite:

The three-star general who kept the truth about Tillman's death from his family and the public told investigators some 70 times that he had a bad memory and couldn't recall details of his actions.


Pee on the Floor

Journalist Bob Geiger:

We have a Supreme Court-appointed president who has done everything but go up to Capitol Hill and urinate on the Senate floor and has systematically shredded our Constitution, but it's the people in the legislative branch who have polluted the political atmosphere.

Apple Sucks

Its stock has only increased 62 percent this year.

Apple, propelled by strong sales of its Macintosh computer, posted a 73 percent rise in quarterly profit in its report after the stock market closed on Wednesday. It also said it would sell 1 million iPhones by the end of its current quarter, and reiterated its goal of selling 10 million of the devices globally in 2008.

That triggered a strong rise in the stock in early trading Thursday, with shares up $10.49, or 7.6 percent, at $147.75 on the Nasdaq. Apple's shares had already jumped 62 percent since the start of the year, when Chief Executive Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone.

-- reuters

CNN-Celebrity News Network

Jack Cafferty with the best line of all time.

The Real Question

“Mr. Attorney General, do you think constitutional government in the United States can survive if the president has the unilateral authority to reject congressional inquiries on grounds of executive privilege and the president then acts to bar the Congress from getting a judicial determination as to whether that executive privilege is properly invoked?”

-- Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pennsylvania

And a very kool video presentation that covers the basic parameters:

Fake Story

Reuters today carries a story headlined "Worst of Atlantic Hurricane Season Still to Come."

It starts:

MIAMI (Reuters) - Nearly eight weeks have passed since the last tropical storm in the Atlantic-Caribbean region faded away, but banish any notion the 2007 hurricane season has been unusually slow and beware the coming months, experts say. The peak of the six-month season is just around the corner and forecasters are still predicting a busy one.

No shit. Hurricanes do not normally develop before late July and peak in September.

This is what journalists know as taking a non-newsworthy or obvious fact, and turning it into a "surprising finding" so they have something to turn into their editors that day.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Dood, Stop Dying So Much.

Really. The Troops Need to Stop Dying So Often.

They Should Like Stop Getting So Killed and Dead.

Like, dood. Would it kill you to not die so much ?

Lt. Gen. Charles Jacoby, the commander at Fort Lewis in Washington state, is expected to decide today whether to go through with plans to hold memorial services for U.S. troops killed in Iraq once every month, instead of after each death. Military families and others have protested the proposal.


Tuesday, July 24, 2007


This morning I imagined a blogosphere in 1850 and realized it would be just like the blogosphere today.

There would be an entire Pajamaslavery Media devoted to defending the Peculiar Institution and How Its Residents Prefer Stable and Safe Work To the Perils and Chills of The Hateful and Unknown North.

Nothing has changed.


Largest town meeting in North American history, this Saturday, Middleborough, Massachusetts.


Spineless in the Senate

Alberto Gonzales could have just mooned the Senate Judiciary Committee today -- he practically did -- since Bush has already said that he will block any effort by Congress to use the DOJ to do anything re: perjury, obstr. of justice, failure to appear for a subpoena etc.

Bush has already declared a soft coup d'etat for the remainder of his term and Congress and the Dem candidates are too fucking lame and stupid to call him on it.

Alberto Gonzales

This is not a story about Gonzales' lack of integrity, lack of honesty or whether he broke any laws.

Nobody sane seriously doubts any of the three.

It's about the lack of will of Congress to impeach him.

It's about the news media for brushing this off as minutiae.

It's about Lindsay Lohan getting an OUI being a much bigger ratings grab.

It's about short attention spans.

It's about a collective shrugging of shoulders, of moving from "we don't believe it" to "so, we've always known that" in one involuntary spasm of the collective America consumer cytoplasm.

It's about a Republican Party that will protect its own even at the sake of the Constitution.

It's about a Democratic Party which is as cohesive and solid as an ice cream cone in Death Valley.

It's a pathetic, snivelling country we live in.

Hypocritical too.

Own it or change it or shut the fuck up.


"Certainly, we're not going to just have our president meet with Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez and you know, the president of North Korea, Iran and Syria, until we know better what the way forward would be," Hillary Clinton, at the YouTube debate.
What bothers me about this quote from HRC is that she used this comment to (a) paint Barack Obama as some naive idiot who would be hypnotized by just meeting with "evil men" and (b) she is aping the Chimp by painting the world in black and white and good and evil. She is playing straight from Rove's playbook. Scare the hell out of people and accuse anyone less shrill of being a weak, effeminate dupe of commies. Now that I think about it, it's straight McCarthyism.

What a cornholer.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Well said.

I think once you have fallen into a moral cesspool, it's inappropriate to swim laps.

Falstaff | 07.23.07 - 10:43 pm | # at Eschaton.

Monday, July 16, 2007


This site, purports to tell the 'truth.'


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Green Zone is Red


On Tuesday, guerrillas launched some 20 katyusha rockets and mortar shells into the Green Zone in downtown Baghdad, killing 3 persons, including a US soldier, and wounding 25 persons.

The Green Zone was originally supposed to be the safe place in Iraq, with the area outside it (everything else) called the "Red Zone." The US Embassy in Baghdad appears to have forgotten what the phrase "Green Zone" means, since a spokesman there told the LAT, "There's fire into the Green Zone virtually every day, so I can't draw any conclusions about the security situation based on that . . ."

Let me draw the conclusion. If you've got fire into the friggin' Green Zone every day, then we can draw the conclusion that the security situation in Baghdad sucks big time. When you've got people killed and a large number of people wounded in the one place in Iraq that was supposed to have a "permissive" security environment, then security in general is the pits.

Rant of the Day, Contestant 2

"George Bush has ordered the entire gubbermint to defy any attempt by Congress to find out what he is up to. Senator Specter says he is upset but will allow it unless something untoward can be shown. Senator Hatch made odd hooting noises on the floor of the Senate and said he had no doubt that Senator DeMint ejaculating on a prostitute was due to the stress of his job. Senator Lindsey Graham was found beating off to the sound of Senator Orrin Hatch reading the words of Brigham Young. Meanwhile, Mitt Romney tied Giuliani to the roof of his GMC Gremlin and drove him to Iowa. Ann Coulter and Michelle Malkin collected Giuliani's feces and said they were proof of his manhood in the face of terrorism.

Spinoza Neque lugare, neque in, at Eschaton
07.11.07 - 3:42 pm

Rant of the Day, Contestant 1

"The Republican Party is the party of diapers, bears, falafel, pedophiles, filthy water-filled hot tubs, strapping dogs to the roofs of cars, bringing stillborn babies home to bond with your children, shooting old men in the face and making them apologize, rare coin scandals, getting kicked out of Argenfuckingtina for partying too hard, crack dealers, cross-dressers, and Bush."

EkCenTriK at Eschaton
07.11.07 - 2:21 pm

Hands Across the Aisle

Senators Snowe and Collins have again split off from the Republican caucus. This time on a filibuster to prevent a vote on Sen. Jim Webb's bill to require mandatory rest periods for soldiers between deployments to Iraq. Repubs. successfully cut off debate, thereby preventing a vote on the bill.

Like Sen. Norm Coleman of Minnesota, Susan Collins is fighting for her political life in 2008. She has done a 180 since Rep. Tom Allen (D-Maine) announced his run against her. And Lieberman's fundraising for Collins has allowed Allen to reap in beaucoup from Lieberman haters. Collins' seat is now among highest targets for Dems. and Repubs. nationally. Dems to take it. Repubs. to hold it. Watch Collins become a bigger peacenik than Jane Fonda in the coming months. Hands across the water etc.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

This Day in History

In a stirring, impromptu speech from the porch of his ancestral home in Grand Rapids, Michigan on July 10, 1975, President Gerald Rudolph Ford warned Americans and freedom lovers across the globe of the threat we would face if Michael Moore became fat.

Judy Mowatt -- Black Woman

Judy Mowatt is one of the best singers to have ever walked this planet.

Kate Bush/David Gilmour

Shorter Dennis Miller

When I want to know my opinion, I'll ask Rupert Murdoch.

A Star's a Seed

A Seed's A Star

Brits -- The U.S. is Stupid

Odd that almost no member of the U.S. Congress has been able to utter anything approaching the following short letter in July 10 Boston Globe:

AS A BRIT, I take strong exception to Cheryl Mavrikos's July 5 letter "Terror in the UK," in which she writes that "had the three nail-laden vehicles exploded, the British would be using whatever means necessary to bring the perpetrators to justice, including torture." I highly doubt it.

The British commitment to civil rights extends back three times the age of the United States, and includes the first recorded use of habeas corpus, which America recently decided was dispensable.

If 10 years of Irish Republican Army bombings did not prompt Britain to descend into officially sanctioned barbarity, it is rather unlikely that one exploding nail-laden truck would change the national character.

Torture is immoral and ineffective, and history never looks kindly upon those who practice it. I suspect that Mavrikos's enthusiasm for torture would be considerably muted were she to find herself on the receiving end.


What impulse has driven so many Americans to literally crave the idea of torturing human beings ? Why do they lash out so viciously at anyone who is "anti-torture"? Where do they come from ?

I can tell you. They've always been here. It's just that until GWBumwipe, societal norms have been sufficiently elevated to make it extremely unpopular for folks to openly advocate and cheer for human torture. Now the floodgate has been opened. Apparently, lots of New Englanders and Americans love torture. They truly love it. It gives them a hard on. It makes their vaginal juices flow like the Glen Canyon Dam when Las Vegas turns on its air conditioners.

It's all good.

Peter Canellos is a Moron


It is difficult, even on a Dada, Captain Beefheart level, to write what this man writes with a straight face. Peter Canellos is the literary equivalent of that thin beige porridge like cat puke on the carpet that greets you as you wake up in the morning:

There are other signs in the Pew survey that America's image problem in the world is fixable. For one, no other country has captured the world's esteem.


In addition, the United States is viewed positively in some Asian countries with fast-growing economies, suggesting that American capitalism still has a global appeal.

Was this written by an ad copywriter for Kentucky Fried Chicken or by the cardboard carton of mashed potatoes itself ?

Once again, the Boston Globe is the worst newspaper in the world.

Monday, July 09, 2007

NPR: the Strange Journey of Eels ...

Eels are perfectly normal. I have spent a lot of time with eels in their natural environs, adults, adolescents and babies. They are perfectly normal. There is nothing strange about eels. Their journey is not strange either. No more strange than a monarch butterfly or an osprey from Maine flying to Colombia for the winter. Why is it strange for an animal to migrate? Why is it strange for an animal to be long-lived ? Ducks migrate as far as eels. Why don't we call mallard ducks in the town park strange ?

The only thing strange is our willful and stubborn ignorance about eels.

Death from the Air

Excerpt from Tomdispatch:

Here's the simplest truth of air power, then or now. No matter how technologically "smart" our bombs or missiles, they will always be ordered into action by us dumb humans; and if, in addition, they are released into villages filled with civilians going about their lives, or heavily populated urban neighborhoods where insurgents mix with city dwellers (who may or may not support them), these weapons will, by the nature of things, by policy decision, kill noncombatants. If an AC-130 or an Apache helicopter strafes an urban block or a village street where people below are running, some carrying weapons and believed to be "suspected insurgents," it will kill civilians. The disadvantage of "distant war" is that you normally have no way of knowing why someone is running, or why they are carrying a weapon, or usually who they really are.

Once Americans find themselves engaged in a guerrilla war, the urge is naturally to bring to bear military strengths and limit casualties -- and the fear is always of sending American troops into an "urban jungle," or simply a jungle, where the surroundings will serve to equalize a disproportionate American advantage in the weaponry of high-tech destruction. In distant war, particularly wars where Americans alone control the skies and can fly in them with relative impunity, the trade-off is clear indeed: our soldiers for their civilian dead "including women and children."

This is not an aberrant side effect of air war but its heart and soul. The airplane is a weapon of war, but it is also a weapon of terror -- and it is meant to be. From the beginning, it was used not to "win over" enemy populations -- after all, how could that be done from the distant skies? -- but to crush or terrorize them into submission. (It has seldom worked that way.)

Hiding from Reality

A commenter at writes:

Isn't one of our biggest basic problems still population growth? I see projections that the world's population will magically top out at 9.2 billion, but there's something itching at the back of my brain that says that the number's probably little more than wishful thinking.

In the light of ecological responsibility, Russia probably takes first place for its negative population growth. But why is it that we never hear population control mentioned any more? If the world population was still the three billion or so that it was when I was a child, would we be worrying as much about ecological catastrophe?

Err .. no, no, no and no.

First, the commenter displays the common desire to pin all the world's problems on one singular cause, and then, usually, declaring this cause to be so big and hard to solve that we may as well give up. And that doing anything else is just a waste of time.

In debating circles, this is called the I am a Sad Sack Loser Gambit.

Second, the assertion is provably false. A small number of people acting horrendously wastefully and idiotically can damage far more air, water, soil, wildlife and natural resources than a very large group of people who live sustainably.

There is no inevitable causal relationship between human population and natural resource degradation.

California redwoods have existed for millennia. It only took a handful of greedy people in a few decades to destroy most of them. Today, clearcutting is all mechanized and can be done quickly and with little labor. It may not be far in the future when forests can be clearcut with robots in the cabs of tree-fellers, rather than people. With today's technology, just a few people can destroy thousands of square miles of Earth, all for the benefit of just a few people.

Destruction is almost always by the few and for the few and to the great harm of the many.

Blaming "too many people" for the deeds and greed of a few is just the ...

I am a Sad Sack Loser Gambit.

Ya Think ?

From an opinion piece in Asia Times, about Basra and southern Iraq:

The main problem with overtly (or clandestinely) strengthening or arming one of the factions is that it could entail unintended consequences that most likely would harm the country rather than contribute to its stability.

Dept. of the Obvious Dept.

Karl Rove is a dangerous, pathological liar.

Dead Earth

Still wondering when that worldwide, starstudded concert of global warming denialists and haters of brown people is going to happen.

Off topic, where is Ted Nugent these days ?

Putting the Lie in Lie-berry

"Yet from the start, the [Nixon] library had trouble being taken seriously. Its first director, Hugh Hewitt, announced that researchers deemed unfriendly would be banned from the archives, singling out the Washington Post's Bob Woodward as a candidate for exclusion. Scholars cried foul; Hewitt revoked the plan."

From the LA Times, 7/8/07.

Hewitt is now an esteemed "conservative" commentator.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Moats -- That's the Ticket

Authorities are having a 10-foot-deep ditch dug around the Shiite holy city of Karbala, in hopes of keeping criminal elements out of the city.


Thursday, July 05, 2007

Big Leaf Visitation

Rumford, Maine is home to very big leaves that visit you and offer intelligent conversation.

Bob Geiger

A Navy vet and journalist covering the U.S. Senate, wrote this reflection on July the 4th, 2007:

George W. Bush has taken our country and made us despised throughout the world, ruined our global reputation in a way that may take a generation to salvage and made us far less safe in a dangerous world. Indeed, he has used our nation's wealth and power to make the world a more dangerous place.

His administration has also found a way to diminish a great holiday like our Independence Day, to make us feel less like proudly waving our flag and to even cause many like me, who have worn our country's uniform, to wonder what the hell it was for.

And, for that, every American who voted for Bush, should take time this July Fourth to perform a truly patriotic act and be profoundly ashamed.

His site is here.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Pigs on the Wing


This was recorded 30 years ago. Things now are unbelievably worse than in 1978. They are the Orwellian nightmare Roger Waters wrote about in 1978. People have lost the ability to think.

This song and video strike me because it documents a very narrow period in time when a group of unique English musicians actually had the balls, money and "star power" to deeply mock the deepest roots of capitalist power in 1978.

From a musical standpoint, Pink Floyd was as good but no better than many dozens of recording bands in this period.

What set them apart was a hellish dark stripe of reality. The reality for people living all over Europe and in the U.S.

You are nothing. You are human vomit. You are cogs. You amount to nothing. Your job is to shut up, submit and obey.

Pink Floyd found a unique way to rebel against this. It was intellectual yet brutally tribal. It seamlessly blended African and Black American music into European. It grooved. It was ambient yet shock treatment.

It woke people the fuck up.

Then they fell asleep again.

Rewarding Bad Behavior, Year 7

Television interview with Joseph Wilson, husband of outed CIA agent Valerie Plame:

When asked his reaction to the fact that the White House has shown so much compassion for the Libby family without offering a public apology to his own family, Wilson said:

“I would have thought that their parents would have raised them better. I’ve actually learned not to expect anything from this crowd other than bad behavior.”

The New Morality

From Maine citizen "KoKo" commenting at the Portland Press Herald site 7/2/07:

Oil? Why is that always thrown out as a bad thing to go to war over? Try living without it. We'd better show that we're willing to fight for it because there are many around the world that want to deny us and shut the tap down. It is the easiest way to bring this country down and the bad guys know it. Iraq is not going to be the last war over oil. Don't give me the alternative sources need to be developed line because that ain't the way free markets work.

And Waterboro, Maine resident "Panda Bear:"

Why did we go into Iraq?

1. Power and influence in the middle east with hopes of securing an allie in the future.
2. Oil that we all need and want...even liberals.
3. To depose a sadistic ruler that used illegal weapons to kill thousands of his own people.
4. To defeat a country that invaded a peaceful neighbor.

And finally, a 'counterprotestor' at Kennebunkport, Sunday, July 1, named Sean Delevan of the Queens, N.Y., chapter of Gathering of Eagles.

"Freedom don't come free," he said. "I know we send a bad message when we constantly question our leaders."