a left leaning political blog -- it's not really about pie
a political blog, mostly, with a few cat pictures

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Trent Lott is insane

"Honestly, it's a little tougher than I thought it was going to be," Lott said. In a sign of frustration, he offered an unorthodox military solution: "If we have to, we just mow the whole place down, see what happens. You're dealing with insane suicide bombers who are killing our people, and we need to be very aggressive in taking them out."

Thanks, eschaton.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Looters in the White House

From the Bush Regime's perspective, it will be better to allow Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to fail momentarily, and then swoop in and seize the assets — which can then be salvaged with money from the U.S. Treasury, and re-sold to FOB (Friends of Bush) for pennies on the dollar.

Thursday, October 02, 2003

What does Ashcroft think of special counsels? Here's what he said in 1997.

Monday, September 22, 2003

Go visit the Rittenhouse Review and take a look at the President's resume.

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

I'm reading this right now and it's brilliant:

Al Franken -- Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them

It's full of the kind of facts that normally make your blood boil, but you only laugh. Out loud. How does he do it?

After hearing this on NPR, my next book will be:

Paul Krugman -- The Great Unraveling: Losing Our Way in the New Century

Here's the Buzzflash interview with Krugman.

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

This pretty much sums it up.

. . . So after thousands of American casualties (largely hidden by the disgusting American media), billions and billions of dollars (the $87 billion is just the beginning; at the end of one year Americans will look back and see that they have spent at least $1 billion a day on Iraq), and an Iraq in utter turmoil turned into a beacon of new hope for fundamentalist terrorists, Ledeen just wants to repeat the whole thing in Syria, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and North Korea. These neocons are not just evil, and they are not just stupid. They are completely and utterly insane. At some point, the American government has to be reintroduced to the concept of diplomacy, and come out of this nightmare that every political problem can be answered by the violence of war. Bush's only solution for the problems he has gotten his country into through a profound lack of imagination is to ask for much more of the same counterproductive violence to be applied to the Iraqi people. This is putting out a fire at a gas station using gasoline, and the inevitable conflagration is surely going to singe the American people at home (again). Eventually even the stupidest people - and we now have scientific proof that the Americans are in fact the stupidest people in the world, with 69% of them believing that Saddam was involved in 9-11 - are going to find out the hard way that the Bush/neocon solution to everything, more violence, doesn't work. If nothing else comes out of this debacle, at least we can hope that the doctrines of neoconservatism are eventually seen for the insane nonsense that they are.

Saturday, August 09, 2003

You can boycott anything you want, right?


Wednesday, August 06, 2003

The Pentagon has given napalm a new name in order to lie about the use of napalm.

Officials Confirm Dropping Firebombs on Iraqi Troops -- Results are 'remarkably similar' to using napalm

"You can call it something other than napalm, but it's napalm," said John Pike, defense analyst with GlobalSecurity.com, a nonpartisan research group in Alexandria, Va.

Nothing surprises me any more.

Thursday, July 31, 2003

Say hi to Bill Maher and Conceptual Guerilla.

Monday, July 21, 2003

It now seems clear that Iraq was better off under SH

Or at the very least, it will be a good long while until they are better off.

Death on the road to Basra

They are Shia Muslims, persecuted by Saddam Hussein. After the war, many of them welcomed the coalition forces but now they blame the Americans.

"I thought they came here to protect us and give us security," the dead boy's mother says.

Wounded children sway US battle for Iraqi hearts and minds "Instead there's death and more suffering."

She looks at the body of her son, which has been covered by a blanket. Tears run down her face. Another woman kneels down, she is frustrated.

"I can't understand - why has this happened?" she asks.

A few minutes later, the boy's father lifts the body into the boot of a car. The father is crying as he drives off to the hospital morgue.
My translator, Wissam, is furious.

"Why didn't the Americans stop when they saw they'd run over the child?" he asks me.

Saturday, July 19, 2003

My jaw literally dropped just now

Atrios links to an LA times article:

Still, he and other Pentagon officials said, they are studying the lessons of Iraq closely — to ensure that the next U.S. takeover of a foreign country goes more smoothly.

"We're going to get better over time," promised Lawrence Di Rita, a special assistant to Rumsfeld. "We've always thought of post-hostilities as a phase" distinct from combat, he said. "The future of war is that these things are going to be much more of a continuum.

"This is the future for the world we're in at the moment," he said. "We'll get better as we do it more often."

We have got to vote these neocon idiots out.

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

Friday, July 11, 2003

Take this quiz to see which presidential candidate you are. (from metafilter)

My results: (I had the test include undeclared candidates and leave out 3rd party candidates, since hell has not yet frozen over.)

1. Kucinich (100%)
2. Dean (91%)
3. Kerry (86%)
4. Jackson (79%)
5. Lieberman (78%)
6. Moseley-Braun (78%)
7. Gephardt (76%)
8. Leahy (76%)
9. Edwards (75%)
10. Sharpton (72%)
11. Feingold (69%)
12. Graham (66%)
13. Biden (63%)
14. Kaptur (59%)
15. Clark (59%)
16. Feinstein (52%)
17. Bradley (43%)
18. McCain (29%)
19. Bush (18%)
20. Vilsack (8%)

I figured that I would agree the most with Kucinich, but I won't be voting for him. One need go no farther than to look at his hair to see that he is not electable.

Go Dean!

Thursday, July 10, 2003

Wednesday, July 02, 2003

Xymphora is speculating that the Pentagon and Kuwait are conspiring to clandestinely smuggle oil out of Iraq, based on the observations of a retired military meteorologist :

Meteorologist's work featured in national weather magazine

On May 25, while scanning the Air Force Defense Meteorological Satellite Program images pipelined into his desktop from 450 miles in orbit, Hank Brandli skidded at a nighttime photo of Iraq. It looked familiar. But not exactly.

Brandli retrieved another DMSP image he'd archived from May 3. He compared the two. The most recent photo showed a blazing corridor of light running the length of Kuwait, south to north, all the way to the Iraqi border. The image wasn't there on May 3.

"It's going right up to Iraq's oil fields," says the retired Air Force colonel from his home in Palm Bay. "Maybe I'm full of s---. Maybe all they're doing is building a highway to put in McDonald's and sell hamburgers. But why go that way? I think we're in bed with Kuwait. I think we're pumping oil out of Iraq to pay for this war."


"If you're building pipelines, you've got to have power, you've got to have light -- trucks and personnel and food and all sorts of support. If I had to bet, I'd say it looks like we're running Iraqi oil through Kuwait. It would make sense, because Kuwait's got its infrastructure intact."

Monday, June 30, 2003

The homicidal maniac at my grocery store

I shop for groceries at an Albertsons that is around the corner from my house. I have often thought that some of the people that work there seemed a little "off." I thought that they were lucky to have jobs, because a lot of places would not hire them. There's the cashier who doesn't make eye contact or small talk, and in fact doesn't ask if you "found everything alright today," as Albertsons cashiers are required to do. I figure he is a person with autism. Good for him, he has a job. There's the lady with tattoos covering every visible inch of her body. In conservative Orange County, she's very lucky to have been hired. I know for a fact that she makes a lot of customers there very uncomfortable. How nice of Albertsons to give her a job anyway.

And then there's Joe, the disheveled, mumbling to himself, smoking too many cigarettes on too many breaks, bag boy. When I heard about what happened yesterday, he was the first person I thought of.

It's great that Albertsons hires people that others would not. But it is not 20/20 hindsight when I say that Joe was the kind of person who should have been at home, on disability, playing Everquest all day. He should not have been trying to deal with the pressures of holding down a job, all the while listening to the voices in his head telling him to "do bad things." Had Albersons not hired him, he would have been at home, on disability playing Everquest all day, and the two people he hacked to death yesterday would still be alive.

Monday, June 23, 2003

What more is needed to start impeachment proceedings? Seriously.

Media Silent on Clark's 9/11 Comments:
Gen. says White House pushed Saddam link without evidence

CLARK: "There was a concerted effort during the fall of 2001, starting immediately after 9/11, to pin 9/11 and the terrorism problem on Saddam Hussein."

RUSSERT: "By who? Who did that?"

CLARK: "Well, it came from the White House, it came from people around the White House. It came from all over. I got a call on 9/11. I was on CNN, and I got a call at my home saying, 'You got to say this is connected. This is state-sponsored terrorism. This has to be connected to Saddam Hussein.' I said, 'But--I'm willing to say it, but what's your evidence?' And I never got any evidence."

Thanks, Atrios.

Sunday, June 22, 2003

Apparently, Moveone.org's primary is going to be freeped. (thanks, Body and Soul, Nathan Newman.)

This is from the free republic thread:

Look ... it's like this - if you sign up on Move-On's website, you become a part of their records. They have your email, your address, your telephone ... etc. If the FBI is investigating the organization (because they are Communists - who advocate the overthrow of the U.S. government), your name is going to show up in their records as BEING A MEMBER OF THEIR ORGANIZATION. How stupid is that ...??

If this is true, this country is way more fucked up than even I imagined.

They are discussing whether they should vote for Sharpton or Kucinich. The joke is on them if they inflate the Kucinich vote, as far as I am concerned.

Sunday, June 15, 2003

Dean aligns with Bush on death penalty

“As governor, I came to believe that the death penalty would be a just punishment for certain, especially heinous crimes, such as the murder of a child or the murder of a police officer. The events of September 11 convinced me that terrorists also deserve the ultimate punishment,” Dean said in a statement released by his campaign last week.

That's if you've gotten the right guy, Governor Dean, which often is not the case. With all of the prisoners being released on dna evidence lately, you have to be leaning in the other direction if you have more than half a brain cell in your head.

Wednesday, June 04, 2003

I haven't had time to read this yet, but:

UPDATE: Oh, nevermind.

Saturday, May 31, 2003

artist's rendering

Coalition forces having a little good-natured fun with an Iraqi POW.

Yes, we know that this actually happened, because there are pictures. And they did worse things than this, too.

Also, if you haven't been reading xymphora, you probably are not fully aware of how dire the situation in Iraq is. (Keep scrolling down for many similar posts.)

This part made me especially proud to be an American:

"In a ruined apartment building the sheik shows me an unexploded bomb. Someone asked the Americans to remove it because it is hard to keep the children away from it. The response was that clearance work was not their responsibility."

What is wrong with our military, and what, exactly are they trying to accomplish over there?

Tuesday, May 27, 2003

I realize of course that everyone is waiting anxiously for the all-important free pie presidential primary endorsement. I'll tell you one thing right now: it's not going to be Joe Lieberman. I am, however, fully prepared to vote for him if he wins the primary -- after all, he's not Bush.*

Here's an interview with Joe that I heard on NPR last night.

Sure, he supported the war, but he had in mind a much different war than the one that came to be.

John McCain, Bob Kerry and I concluded in 1998 that Saddam had to go. We couldn't work with him anymore. We passed legislation that actually set that as America's policy. It was signed into law by President Clinton. But our preferred path to do that was to support the Iraqi opposition. Somewhat along the style that we supported opposition to the communists in the Soviet Union.

He's critical of the Bush administration's handling of post-war Iraq:

They seem remarkably unprepared, so today in Iraq there's been chaos, there's no law, there's no order. There's the appearance of America as an occupying power, not as a liberating power. It's really surprising and very disappointing to me how unready the Bush administration appears to have been to secure the victory our military won in Iraq. It's not as if it was a surprise. I mean, the folks in the administration thought it might be even quicker than it was.


I recommended before the war that after a victory we find not an American but an ally from the Arab world, an experienced, trusted governmental administrator who could be the civilian administrator of Iraq before the Iraqis themselves were able to take over. And I also said we ought to let the Iraqis, who have a good reputation at managing their own oil industry, to continue to do that. And have some kind of international board to oversee it to make sure the proceeds, the profits were going to benefit the Iraqis. Instead, we've diminished the Iraqi role.

With the exception of the Iraq invasion, I can't find much here that I disagree with. Ok, the whole "taking on Hollywood" thing makes me very uncomfortable. Grown ups should be able to play "Vice City"** or see movies with people having sex or doing bad things. The whole world can't be made child proof. He should shut up about that.

But on the whole, I like what I'm hearing from him, and if he wins the primary, it wouldn't be too painful for me to give him my vote when the time comes.

See also: Democrats should unite behind a Dean/Edwards ticket.

Let's forget the current polls that only reflect misconceptions of an uninformed public and concentrate on what would constitute the strongest Democratic ticket. Gephardt, Lieberman, and Kerry have too much association with the current Washington political scene to gain the proper respect and attention of the voters. They are considered by most voters to be too much a part of the problem. Braun, Graham, Sharpton and Kucinich are not really serious contenders, and although each of them contributes important ideas to the discussion, they are mostly a distraction to average voters. It is my opinion that Lieberman, Graham, Gephardt, Sharpton, Kucinich, Braun, and Kerry should gracefully bow out of the race and all get strongly behind a Dean/Edwards ticket. The focus needs to be on everything that is wrong with what George Junior and his friends have been doing. The longer that there is competition and fighting between Democrats, the longer Rove and the spin-masters will continue to keep the truth about what they are doing from the public. The longer the Democrats remain divided, the better the chances that friends of George Junior will gain absolute control of the United States.

I might be able to go along with that idea.

*If people start up with the whole "democrats, republicans, they're all the same, I'll be voting green" thing, I will just start screaming and never stop. Chimpie is evil and has got to go, at all costs. It's a two party system, for now, and the real danger is that it becomes a one-party system. So stop whinning and get with the program.

**He's right about one thing: if you let a minor child play the game Vice City, you are a bad person, and a failure as a parent.

Sunday, May 25, 2003

This is freaking me out.

Democrats who are holed up in the Holiday Inn SHOULD have been arrested. Why? Because they were in clear violation of the relevant statutes of the sedition act as now revised and expanded, thanks to the USA Patriot Act.

To put this in some context, the president now has the absolute authority, under the expansion of the War Powers Act of 1947 therein contained in the USA Patriot Act. This expansion of these powers means, in this case, that once the president declares a State of National Emergency, which he did on September 14, 2001, three days after the 9-11 incident, that effectively authorizes the president to do a variety of things—postpone elections, cancel elections, impose a state of martial law, order the arrest of any legislative or judicial members of government, etc. Those powers had always existed. However the president couldn’t act without the consent of Congress. He couldn’t assume these imperial powers without a super-majority vote in Congress and without a majority opinion from the Supreme Court.

The USA Patriot Act, however, sidelines the legislative and judicial branches from their oversight role – legislative oversight or judicial review after the President declared a state of National Emergency. It gives the president the power to act by edict.

Wednesday, May 21, 2003

A reader of Daily Kos sent him a list of recent terrorist attacks. I hadn't realized that every single one since the establishment of the color code system happened when the threat level was yellow, not orange.

Terrorists can strike when we're least prepared, that much is clear. So scrap this stupid "scare the people" gimmick once and for all. It's not doing anyone any good.


Tuesday, May 20, 2003

The "Healthy Forests" Initiative passed in the house today, time to contact your reps in the Senate.

Soapbox Alert

The Sierra Club OPPOSES the Healthy Forest Act - for good reason
This bill is a scheme to increase commercial logging

Subject: Oppose the McInnis/Walden Forest Act

Don't open 20 million acres of National Forests to logging, when there's a better way to help communities reduce their risk of fire. Oppose the McInnis/Walden Forest Health Restoration Act, which would erode forest protection, cut out citizen participation, divert resources to commercial logging far from communities, and provide virtually no funding where it would do the most good to reduce fire risk. This bill does nothing to honestly protect lives and communities from forest fires and is more of a vehicle to increase commercial logging. The bill seeks to cut out the public from public forest management and would give unprecedented latitude to agency managers to promote harmful logging projects across the federal public forests. This bill also promotes new subsidies for "biomass" logging, federal assistance for private forest owners and the ability of Forest Service managers to plan 1000 acre logging projects with the sparsest of environmental impact analysis.

The McInnis/Walden bill misses on all of the major components that a responsible, science-based, community protection plan should have. The US Forest Service Fire Research lab has found that the best method to protect homes from a forest fire is by creating defensible space 100 feet around a home and 500 meters around communities. For information on real home safety and responsible fire management see www.sierraclub.org/logging and www.firewise.org

Here are the major points where the McInnis/Walden bill fails:

-- FAILS to prioritize fuel reduction treatment within Community Protection Zones, 500 meters around communities
-- FAILS to require federal agency managers to fully study the impact of proposed logging projects
-- FAILS to provide adequate protection for wild forests, sensitive fish and wildlife habitat and clean water
-- FAILS to responsibly direct taxpayer dollars and federal resources to assist homeowners and community leaders
-- FAILS to allow citizens to retain their rights to be involved in federal land management

Please urge your Representative to OPPOSE the McInnis/Walden anti-community, pro-logging bill. Representative George Miller (D-CA) will be offering a substitute amendment providing an alternative to the McInnis bill, which you should urge your Representative to support. The Miller substitute would require agencies to spend money to protect homes and community first, where the work will do the most good.

Monday, May 19, 2003

What unbelievable assholes.

"We are the sole super power, we're therefore the exceptional country, we're outside of international law. Others have to obey the law and obey the rules, but we don't." I mean, I'm not making that up. If they were sitting here tonight, Mark, the people I've talked with would readily agree. They'd say "Yeah, that's right, that's who we are. We are the exceptional country and we don't have to obey the law because we're different."

Thanks, xymphora.

Sunday, May 18, 2003