29 March 2008

Saturday Shuffle

Epic - Faith No More
Blue Spanish Sky - Chris Isaak
The Word - The Beatles
Crush - Smashing Pumpkins
Who Is Tha Man - RZA
Spacy Bitch - Lords of Acid
Bottled Violence - Minor Threat
In Your Eyes - Jeffery Gaines
It's a Jungle in Here - Medeski, Martin, & Wood
A Better Tomorrow - Dan the Automator

28 March 2008

Unfortunately, the Definition is "Incompetant."

This morning:
Bush says Iraq faces 'defining moment' in violence

WASHINGTON, March 28 (Reuters) - U.S. President George W. Bush said on Friday Iraq is facing a new "defining moment" in current violence as the government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki cracks down on Shi'ite militants.

"Any government that presumes to represent the majority of people must confront criminal elements or people who think they can live outside the law and that's what taking place in Basra," Bush said at a White House news conference.

"I would say that this is a defining moment in the history of a free Iraq. There have been other defining moments up to now but this is a defining moment," he said. "This is a test ... for the Iraqi government."
Looks like they might've flunked. This afternoon:
U.S. Appears to Take Lead in Fighting in Baghdad
U.S. Forces Battle Mahdi Army in Sadr City, Aircraft Target Basra

BAGHDAD, March 28 -- U.S. forces in armored vehicles battled Mahdi Army fighters Thursday in the vast Shiite stronghold of Sadr City, and military officials said Friday that U.S. aircraft bombed militant positions in the southern city of Basra, as the American role in a campaign against party-backed militias appeared to expand. Iraqi army and police units appeared to be largely holding to the outskirts of the Sadr City fighting, as U.S. troops took the lead.
Definitely the stuff of great paired headlines:


If this keeps up, our chief export will be "irony." As if that weren't enough, though, this blood-soaked farce of U.S. forces bombing their way to the lead position in the Iraqi government's "defining moment," is all occurring against the backdrop of yesterday's (unintentionally comic) pronouncement from El Presidente:
"Normalcy," President Bush said, "is returning back to Iraq."
Of course, as long as your reference point for "normal" starts in 2003, he's actually spot-on.

On the bright side, though, now that they've "returned back" to normalcy, all that's left is for the Iraqis to kill the militia folks dead, reconcile some unity together, and finally move ahead forward.

25 March 2008

Putting the "dick" in Dick

Froomkin documents the atrocity:
ABC's Martha Raddatz: "Mr. Vice President, I want to start with the milestone today of 4,000 dead in Iraq, Americans, and just what effect you think that has on the country. Your thoughts on that?"

Dick Cheney: "Well, it obviously brings home, I think for a lot of people, the cost that's involved in the global war on terror in Iraq and Afghanistan. (Death's funny that way, Dick -- V.) It places a special burden, obviously, on the families. We recognize, I think -- it's a reminder of the extent to which we're blessed with families who have sacrificed as they have. The President carries the biggest burden, obviously; he's the one who has to make the decision to commit young Americans. But we are fortunate to have the group of men and women, the all-volunteer force, who voluntarily put on the uniform and go in harm's way for the rest of us. You wish nobody ever lost their life, but unfortunately it's one of those things that go with living in the world we live in. Sometimes you have to commit military force, and when you do, there are casualties."

Maybe it's me, but, just off the top of my head, I can think of about 158,000 people carrying a bigger burden than the president. "Making the decision" doesn't hold a candle to actually putting one's life on the line--or, for that matter, living for months and years on end, worrying about a loved one who is.

And that's only considering the men and women who will be coming home in one piece.

There's nothing more insulting to the thousands killed and tens of thousands wounded (and their families) than to suggest that a politician in Washington--ANY politician in Washington--is more burdened by this war than they are. Our president thinks he's Harry Truman. Any "burden" he carries is offset by the delusion that history will vindicate his decision to embroil our nation in this war of choice as a wise and necessary one. And as for the 5x draft deferred Mr. Cheney, he has little right to even speak about the burdens borne by our troops and their loved ones, much less suggest that theirs are secondary to anyone else's.

24 March 2008

"Unsexiest," My Achin' Ass...

"How the hell did this Barbaro-faced broad manage to be the least sexy woman in a group of very unsexy women and still star on a show with 'sex' in the title? Pull your skirt down, Secretariat, we´d rather ride Chris Noth."

Sarah Jessica Parker Bitten

By way of contrast, you ever wonder what the folks who print that shit look like? (cough, Maxim's Felix Dennis, cough)

Just so you know...

22 March 2008

High Road? What High Road?

I present the latest installment in an (apparently) ongoing chronicle of unrepentant douchebaggery from Camp Clinton.

Regarding NM Governor, Bill Richardson's, endorsement of Barack Obama:
“An act of betrayal,” said James Carville, an adviser to Mrs. Clinton and a friend of Mr. Clinton.

“Mr. Richardson’s endorsement came right around the anniversary of the day when Judas sold out for 30 pieces of silver, so I think the timing is appropriate, if ironic,” Mr. Carville said, referring to Holy Week.

In case you missed it, Carville has seen fit to politicize the events surrounding the crucifixion.

The Crucifixion...(for Christ's sake).

Honestly, I can't remember being this torn in my antipathy since Ohio State played Urban Cryer's Florida team for the mythical national title in 2007. When it comes down to pure offensiveness, which is worse: likening Bill Richardson's decision to that of Judas Iscariot, or Hillary Clinton to Christ, Himself?

Either way, Carville is a worm for saying as much and, more so, his statements are really symbolic of just how low this campaign is committed to going to win the nomination--a nomination, it should be noted, that will be rendered moot by the corrosive nature of their strategy.

For all the good he's doing, he might as well be driving around with a trunkful of McCain lawn signs...

Saturday Shuffle

Dancing With Myself - Billy Idol
Deportee - Concrete Blonde y Los Illegals
Tommy The Cat - Primus
No One Knows - Queens of the Stone Age
The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite - R.E.M.
Buckingham Green (live) - Ween
Daytona 500 - Ghostface Killah
Brothers Grimm - Death Cult
Bad Fun - The Cult
Here Comes Your Man (live) - The Pixies

(A little heavy on the Ian Astbury, today...)

21 March 2008

Up For Grabs

It now appears that all three presidential candidates had someone peeping in their State Department passport files.

So who wants to run with this?

Let's leave aside the implications for the hot-button topic of excessive and/or warrantless data collection on the part of the federal government (and the legions of "if you're doing nothing wrong, you have nothing to worry about" apologists that discussion tends to bring out of the woodwork). The core issue, here, is one of privacy and the ever more frequent failings of those entities whom we entrust to protect ours.

It seems that every week or two, new stories emerge about individuals' personal information--financial, medical, etc.--being compromised en masse, to the tune of thousands or millions of people. While no damage appears to have been done to any of the candidates, the passport snooping story is emblematic of a problem faced by Americans from coast to coast. This is the perfect soapbox for someone to take the lead on a completely risk-free position with near-universal appeal.

We know it won't be St. McCain. He has far too great an affinity for the taste of George Bush's shoepolish to try and make political hay at the expense of El Presidente's State Department.

Hillary? She neither can afford, nor seems particularly willing to try and return to the high road and make gains on legitimate issues.

Barack...three words for you:




20 March 2008

Winning Campaign Issue, Aisle 3...

Tonight, during Keith Olbermann's Countdown broadcast, MSNBC shifted into ├╝ber-coverage mode over this story about Barack Obama's passport file being breached by three contract employees at the State Department. (Dan Abrams just took the baton at the top of the hour for the second leg of tonight's apparent marathon).

Now, the hours of near-breathless commentary on a story with so few available details aside, we just saw literally millions of people have their credit and debit card information stolen from a supermarket chain. Searching the phrase "customer information stolen," nets story after story accounting for tens of millions of people discovering that their allegedly private--and definitely exploitable--information is floating into who knows whose hands.

Mr. Obama, you just found yourself on the front line of an issue that faces most, if not all, people in this country. In an ever more vicious election season, an extremely valuable opportunity has just fallen squarely in your lap.

What are you going to do with it?

19 March 2008

PRO-grams! Git yer PRO-grams, here...

You can't tell the players without a program!

Apparently, economics isn't the only topic that John McCain "doesn't understand as well as he should:"
"Today in Iraq, America and our allies stand on the precipice of winning a major victory against radical Islamic extremism. The security gains over the past year have been dramatic and undeniable. Al Qaeda and Shia extremists -- with support from external powers such as Iran -- are on the run but not defeated."

"As you know, there are al Qaeda operatives that are taken back into Iran, given training as leaders, and they're moving back into Iraq. I think Americans should be very angry when we know that Iran is exporting weapons into Iraq that kill Americans. And so all I can say is that I think they continue to be a threat."

"It's common knowledge, and it's been reported in the media, that Al Qaeda is going back into Iran and receiving training and are coming back into Iraq from Iran."
Still no word on what color the sky is in that world.

Honestly, what's next? The Turks training the PKK?

For someone who's roundly considered to have such an advantage in national security and foreign policy experience, it certainly appears that he hasn't even gotten the basics out of the "Middle East Clusterfuck 101" that we've all been forced to endure for the past five years. His apologists are quick to blame fatigue, a slip of the tongue...pretty much anything short of a ventriloquist throwing his voice. If you ask me, the fact that he made the same so-called "slip" multiple times seems to belie those excuses.

Personally, I don't think Mr. 100 Years is an unintelligent man. I just don't think he cares. The details matter little as long as the Glorious Mission on which he's staked his credibility, continues. Much like 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue's current occupant, McCain has invested so much in this disaster, that, no matter how the costs mount, he's forced to stay on a path to vindication, however illusory it actually is. Anything else means owning his role in those lost billions, limbs and lives, and how little they gained us.

Unfortunately the power of the conventional wisdom of St. McCain's near-papal infallibility on such matters renders the vast majority of the barbeque-enthralled press from even considering such a possibility.

16 March 2008

This Day in History

Profiles in wrongitude:
Vice President Cheney: Now, I think things have gotten so bad inside Iraq, from the standpoint of the Iraqi people, my belief is we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators.

Tim Russert: If your analysis is not correct, and we're not treated as liberators, but as conquerors, and the Iraqis begin to resist, particularly in Baghdad, do you think the American people are prepared for a long, costly, and bloody battle with significant American casualties?

Vice President Cheney: Well, I don't think it's likely to unfold that way, Tim, because I really do believe that we will be greeted as liberators...The read we get on the people of Iraq is there is no question but what they want to the get rid of Saddam Hussein and they will welcome as liberators the United States when we come to do that. Meet The Press, 03/16/2003
If you set your decoder rings to "Cheney" you'll find that "greeted" does, indeed, translate to "killed and wounded by the thousands."

Pelosi Tells It Like It Is, The Sequel

From the AP, via CNN:
Pelosi: Superdelegates may do damage

WASHINGTON (AP) – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says it would be damaging to the Democratic party for its leaders to buck the will of national convention delegates picked in primaries and caucuses, a declaration that gives a boost to Sen. Barack Obama.

"If the votes of the superdelegates overturn what's happened in the elections, it would be harmful to the Democratic party," Pelosi said in an interview taped Friday for broadcast Sunday on ABC's "This Week."

The California Democrat did not mention either Obama or his rival, Sen. Hillary Clinton, by name. But her remarks seemed to suggest she was prepared to cast her ballot at the convention in favor of the candidate who emerges from the primary season with the most pledged delegates.
Damn Straight.

When it comes to party building, the Dems have everything in their favor. They have the "benefit," such as it is, of being in office opposite a dangerous, disastrous, and deeply unpopular president (which they've squandered, almost entirely, by capitulating to him at every turn). Their final two candidates have brought out supporters in droves, and Obama, in particular, has proven to be an exceptionally inspiring figure.

These are the just sort of things that energize and develop young voters, engaging them in the political process, often for the first time. In terms of identifying with a given party, this is, in no small way, a perfect storm of circumstances.

But then to have this group who is, quite literally, the future of your party, see the candidate chosen, not by their votes, but by those of a relative handful of Democratic elders and insiders?

Regardless of the fact that such a thing would be within the rules of the Dems' system, I don't believe you could come up with a more alienating, thoroughly disillusioning turn of events if you tried. If the superdelegates choose to play kingmaker in the face of the voters' preference, the Democratic party will deserve whatever it gets and more.

15 March 2008

Saturday Shuffle

Gene and Eddie - Stray Cats
The Only Time - Nine Inch Nails
She Sells Sanctuary - The Cult
Breakaway - Basement Jaxx
We Want the Mustard - Mustard Plug
Better Get Hit in Yo' Soul - Charles Mingus
The Crystal Ship - The Doors
Master of Puppets (live) - Metallica
When Love Comes to Town - U2 & B.B. King
Post-Modern Sleaze - Sneaker Pimps

13 March 2008

Failure, By Any Other Name

From the WaPo:
Petraeus: Iraqi Leaders Not Making 'Sufficient Progress'
By Cameron W. Barr

BAGHDAD, March 13 -- Iraqi leaders have failed to take advantage of a reduction in violence to make adequate progress toward resolving their political differences, Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, said Thursday.

Petraeus, who is preparing to testify to Congress next month on the Iraq war, said in an interview that "no one" in the U.S. and Iraqi governments "feels that there has been sufficient progress by any means in the area of national reconciliation," or in the provision of basic public services.
The problem with the "We're Winning in Iraq" set is that they really have only the most childlike understanding of what "winning" means. Their crowing over the Glorious Surge makes it clear that they lack even the barest understanding of what would constitute success in this situation.

Few disputed the idea that a flood of troops on the ground would provide security and a decrease in violence. Unfortunately, there appears to be a tendency to treat those security gains , not as the means to the end that they are, but as the end, itself.

Might as well pin medals on the fire fighters for getting the truck to the scene without incident while the house is still burning down.

11 March 2008

Pelosi Tells It Like It Is

That Clinton/Obama, Obama/Clinton "Dream Ticket" Hillary's campaign is hinting at?

Nah ganna happen:
"I think that the Clinton administration (sic) has fairly ruled that out by proclaiming that Senator McCain would be a better Commander in Chief than Obama. I think that either way is impossible." -- Nancy Pelosi, 03/11/08
About time some of the big national figures called her out on this garbage. Clearly, if anyone has taken the time to appeal to the Clinton campaign machine behind closed doors in an effort to rein in this insanity, it hasn't made a lick of difference. The only course left, is to say, explicitly, what should already be abundantly clear to everyone involved: her Sherman-esque approach to this primary will cost the party everything.

It's time for Dean to be a real leader and get these superdelegates together to send her the message she--and we--desperately need her to hear:


09 March 2008

Offered without comment

Conservapedia's Most Viewed Pages

1. Main Page‎ [1,897,388]
2. Homosexuality‎ [1,488,013]
3. Homosexuality and Hepatitis‎ [516,193]
4. Homosexuality and Promiscuity‎ [416,767]
5. Homosexuality and Parasites‎ [387,438]
6. Homosexuality and Gonorrhea‎ [328,045]
7. Homosexuality and Domestic Violence‎ [325,547]
8. Gay Bowel Syndrome‎ [314,076]
9. Homosexuality and Syphilis‎ [262,015]
10. Homosexuality and Mental Health‎ [249,14]
In the interests of full disclosure, I spotted this back in November, or so, but lest you think it was an aberration, here's the "Most Viewed" as of today:

1. Main Page‎ [2,364,327]
2. Homosexuality‎ [2,358,376]
3. Teen Homosexuality‎ [415,324]
4. Arguments Against Homosexuality‎ [330,902]
5. Homosexual Agenda‎ [328,294]
6. Wikipedia‎ [325,957]
7. Ex-homosexuals‎ [315,855]
8. Homosexuality and Choice‎ [310,918]
9. Homosexuality and Anal Cancer‎ [298,374]
10. Homosexuality and Health‎ [291,900]

08 March 2008

Hillary's Next Campaign Staffer?

Or maybe it's just Mittens in disguise...
GOP Lawmaker: Terrorists to Cheer Obama Win
Associated Press Writer

An Iowa Republican congressman said Friday that terrorists would be "dancing in the streets" if Democratic candidate Barack Obama were to win the presidency.

Rep. Steve King based his prediction on Obama's pledge to pull troops out of Iraq, his Kenyan heritage and his middle name, Hussein.

"The radical Islamists, the al-Qaida ... would be dancing in the streets in greater numbers than they did on Sept. 11 because they would declare victory in this war on terror," King said in an interview with the Daily Reporter in Spencer.

King said his comments were not meant to demean Obama but to warn how an Obama presidency would look to the world.

"His middle name does matter," King said. "It matters because they read a meaning into that."

The Illinois senator, born in Hawaii to a white Kansas woman and a Kenyan man, is a Christian and has said he has little connection to the Islamic religion, though he acknowledges he spent part of his childhood in largely Muslim Indonesia.

In criticizing King, Obama spokesman Tommy Vietor said, "These comments have no place in our politics." He called on John McCain, the apparent Republican nominee, to "repudiate them like he has previous offensive comments from his supporters."

Last month, McCain denounced an introduction from Cincinnati talk-show host Bill Cunningham, who referred to Obama three times as "Barack Hussein Obama."

But none of that is meant to demean Obama; Heavens to betsy, no.

Saturday Shuffle

Just some stuff to hear...

Follow Through
- The Divynyls
Mutual Slump - DJ Shadow
Irresponsible Hate Anthem - Marilyn Manson
Collapse (Live @ The 9:30 Club) - Soul Coughing
Every Thug Needs a Lady (live) - Alkaline Trio
Word is Bond - House of Pain
Dead End Girl - Heavens
Tomorrow, Wendy (live) - Concrete Blonde
Reach Down - Temple of the Dog
Po' Boy - Bob Dylan

05 March 2008

John McCain's newest surrogate: Hillary Clinton

A few days ago, Hillary--clearly out of idea-related ammo--floated yet another attack against Barack Obama, but with an added twist:
"I think that I have a lifetime of experience that I will bring to the White House. I know Senator McCain has a lifetime of experience to the White House. And Senator Obama has a speech he gave in 2002."
You heard that right, not only is she a better choice, but seemingly, the GOP candidate is, too. Surely that must've been a slip, though. Who would actually think it wise to set up the frontrunning candidate for such a line of attack in the general election?

Apparently, Hillary, who made the rounds on the teevee repeating virtually the same thing on three different occasions:
"[McCain has] never been president, but he will put forth his lifetime of experience. I will put forth my lifetime of experience. Senator Obama will put forth a speech he made in 2002."

"I have a lifetime of experience that I will bring to the White House. I know Senator McCain has a lifetime of experience that he will bring to the White House. And Senator Obama has a speech he gave in 2002."

"Of course, well, you know, I've got a lifetime of experience. Senator McCain has a lifetime of experience. And you know, Senator Obama's whole campaign is about one speech he made in 2002."
Un. Real.

If she can't win, she has no qualms about making absolutely sure that no other Democrat can, either. Hillary and her campaign have long been dismissing the states--and, consequently the voters--that backed Obama as being irrelevant. That said, this latest line of attack proves, unequivocally, that Hillary is truly beholden to a constituency of one. This country can ill-afford such 2nd grade behavior at this stage of the game.

For anyone interested, this is from "the speech he gave in 2002" that Hillary claims is the only thing Barack Obama brings to the table:
"I know that even a successful war against Iraq will require a US occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences. I know that an invasion of Iraq without a clear rationale and without strong international support will only fan the flames of the Middle East, and encourage the worst, rather than best, impulses of the Arab world, and strengthen the recruitment arm of Al Qaeda. I am not opposed to all wars. I'm opposed to dumb wars."
With judgment and foresight like that, he's bringing a hell of a lot more than you, Hill.
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