Saturday, March 31, 2007


BAGHDAD -- The U.S. military death toll in March, the first full month of the security crackdown, was nearly twice that of the Iraqi army, which American and Iraqi officials say is taking the leading role in the latest attempt to curb violence in the capital, surrounding cities and Anbar province, according to figures compiled on Saturday.
Somebody's lying about the "surge," or those Iraqis have become such crackerjack troops that we should just pull back and get out of their way.

Random tunes... grow older but not up by.
The Texas Tornadoes - A Little Bit Is Better Than Nada
The Rolling Stones - Love In Vain
They Might Be Giants - Why Does The Sun Shine (The Sun Is A Mass Of Incandescent Gas)
Pucho & The Latin Soul Brothers - Superfly/Pusherman/Freddie's Dead
Kingfish - I Hear You Knockin'
Robbie O'Connell & The Clancy Brothers - When The Ship Comes In
Dan Bern - Talkin' Alien Abduction Blues
Willie Nelson - Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain
Chris Daniels & The Kings - Jump
Dixie Chicks - Hello Mr. Heartache

Friday, March 30, 2007

Mostly true.

The Editors:
The sixties were, in general, a source of good music, lame drugs, and enormous silliness...
…though opinions may vary about the drugs.

Thanks Mom.

Sure, I'll spend the day accepting accolades (and cadging birthday tips at the perfect tavern) for getting myself born 56 years ago this very day, but you did all the work. I appreciate it.

The Brilliant and Beautiful Bride of Upper Left has plans for the evening. Posting will likely be erratic.

Birthday tips gladly accepted here, too.

An upper (not so) lefty to the rescue.

Norm Dicks is, for good reason considering his constituency, a classic defense Democrat and generally more conservative than my ideal, but he's got clout and he's putting it to good purpose.
WASHINGTON -- Rep. Norm Dicks and senior Democrats warned the Interior Department on Wednesday against making major changes in the Endangered Species Act without involving Congress.

The quick and unambiguous response came one day after reports that the Interior Department has been working for months to reinterpret the 1973 law in a way that environmentalists said would gut the primary tool for protecting plants and animals on the verge of extinction.
"Quick and unambiguous." I like that in a Democrat.

A cheer from here for a fine Congressman and a great Husky.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Worth repeating.

"...let's not forget, the only reason this fight is being waged, is because Bush chose to underfund our troops in his regular budget.

And now he's threatening to veto the funding Congress is allocating for the war. In other words -- Congress is funding the troops, Bush is threatening to veto that funding."

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Local elections have consequences, too...

OLYMPIAFor years, Sen. Tim Sheldon was in the middle of nearly every big fight in the Legislature.

Now, he seems almost invisible. Sheldon holds no committee chairmanship. Most of his bills rarely get hearings. His vote carries a fraction of the weight it once did.
Though he clogs up the Democratic line on the ballot, Tim Sheldon makes Joe Lieberman look like Ted Kennedy. In fact, a few, even a couple, more Democrats in the U.S. Senate, and Joe's likely to end up suffering Tim's fate. And should.

Always nice to hear from my own personal State Senator, too. Sheldon still chimes in at Democratic caucus meetings…

"But people mostly just disregard what he has to say anymore," said Sen. Darlene Fairley, D-Lake Forest Park.
Hat tip to Jon Stahl at Evergreen Politics.

Elections have consequences.

President Bush on Wednesday withdrew the ambassadorial nomination of businessman Sam Fox after Democrats denounced Fox for giving money to a controversial conservative group that undermined Sen. John Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign.

Of course, the Swiftboat liars did more than that. Their lies about John Kerry cast a cloud over every American ever decorated for combat gallantry or wounded by hostile fire. They fomented distrust and disagreement about the value and credibility of heroic service at a time our nation was, and is, at war.

Sounds perilously close to aiding and comforting our enemies to me.

Hopefully this puts other Republican deep pockets on notice. If you want to win the prize, you have to play by the rules. Not just the arcane regulations of tax and election law, but the basic rules of common decency.

And another hurrah for Chris Dodd.

C'mon, John... that neighborhood.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

A grateful veteran's salute…

…to Senator Christopher Dodd.

...the first Senator to make clear his plan to reject Fox's nomination.

"I strongly oppose the nomination of Sam Fox to be U.S. Ambassador to Belgium. U.S. Ambassadors need to be both responsible and credible, and Mr. Fox's support for an organization known to have spread falsehoods illustrates neither," said Dodd, a candidate for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination, in a statement.

"Moreover, the fact that Mr. Fox refused to apologize for his behavior during his nomination hearing reinforces my belief that he would not be an acceptable representative for the position of U.S. Ambassador."

Kerry can't do it without making Fox seem like a victim of sour grapes, but there's no reason that every one of his colleagues shouldn't have his back on this one. I'd argue that it's a, if not the, valid test for Democratic Senators with, ahem, ambitions.

I admit that I'm specially interested in what Hagel and McCain have to say from the other side of the fence. No high expectations, of course. Just an interest.

And another thing…

…I hate about what they're doing to my Army.
WASHINGTON - The Army's new acting surgeon general said Tuesday she is concerned about long-term morale because the military lacks money to hire enough nurses and mental health specialists to treat thousands of troops coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan.
There's encouraging news from one of my own personal Senators...
Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., said a first step is to provide the VA and Pentagon the money they need to treat problems such as post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury. A Senate bill that provides $122 billion to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan includes millions to build polytrauma centers and hire new claims processors.
…but I understand the Preznit's warming up his veto pen for our veterans.

Inch by inch, row by row.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate on Tuesday endorsed a March 31, 2008, target date for withdrawing American combat troops from Iraq, moving Congress a step closer to a showdown with President George W. Bush over the war

By a vote of 50-48, the Senate defeated an amendment that would have stricken the withdrawal language from a $121.6 billion bill that mostly would fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Monday, March 26, 2007

From the "just sayin'" file…

Tish Durkin:
With all due respect for fresh blood, imagine interviewing for any even semi-senior job, confidently informing the boss that you've never done anything like this before; don't have a very high opinion of how it's been done before; don't have many relationships with the people who have been doing it for years and with whom you will be working if you get the job; know, of course, about the big problems you'd face if hired but can't yet say exactly what you'd do about them ...but you're full of hope!

Just four months ago...

this would have been impossible.
This legislation restores Constitutional checks and balances in the appointment process of interim U.S. Attorneys. It removes a loophole inserted by the prior Republican Congress that permits the indefinite appointment of interim U.S. Attorneys without Senate confirmation.
Despite large majorities (329-78 in the House, 94-2 in the Senate), these measures simply wouldn't have been heard in the Republican Congress. There would be no hearings, no forums for Rove's victims, no subpoenas, and quickly enough, no news.

Elections have consequences.

Just one of the reasons I love America.

Good question.

Taegan Goddard:
Why did Katie Couric keep pressing John and Elizabeth Edwards on 60 Minutes last night about their decision to continue his presidential campaign when she didn't give up her job as host of the Today Show when her husband was diagnosed with cancer?
I've only seen the transcript, but assuming Couric's demeanor was a match for the prosecutorial tone of her words, I have a hunch she actually did the Edwards' a favor of sorts. She pushed them toward all the potential dark places and they came away reflecting that combination of courage, compassion and class that's becoming customary every time we see them.

And yeah, the fence is becoming a more uncomfortable place to roost all the time...

Sunday, March 25, 2007


From Zbigniew Brzezinski:
"Constant reference to a "war on terror" did accomplish one major objective: It stimulated the emergence of a culture of fear. Fear obscures reason, intensifies emotions and makes it easier for demagogic politicians to mobilize the public on behalf of the policies they want to pursue."
Hat tip to Digby.

And now...

...a passage from the Prairie Populist.
"If the rich and poor must live together in one heaven hereafter, can not we do something towards getting them together here, so that they will not have to be introduced when they reach the other side?"

William Jennings Bryan,

Good question…

…from a fine post by Chris Dashiell.
How long will “the troops” be used to hide the truth?

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Tune time.

Jim Croce - In The Jailhouse Now
Dan Bern - tiger woods
Rory Block - Love TKO
Dan Montgomery - When I Was A Drunk
Lynyrd Skynyrd - Gimme Three Steps
Lovin' Spoonful - You're A Big Boy Now
Dar Williams - All Men Are Liars
HARP - Pallet On The Floor
Guy Clark - Good Hearted Woman
The Clarks - No Matter What

Gee. Ya' think?

NYT RSS teaser for this
Army Revises Upward Number of Desertions in ’06


Some Army officers link the recent uptick in annual desertion rates to the toll of wartime deployments.
Do the kids still say "duh"?

Friday, March 23, 2007

Pathetic pawn of the paranoid, pants-wetting Right...

Just wanted to swipe that phrase, though it's doubtless better in context.

Is it everything I wanted?

Not really. But Kos is right.
Few care about the details. The message being sent is that Democrats want out, Republicans want more Americans to die in Iraq.
Out. That's what the voters asked for. Democrats have shown the way. If Bush doesn't end his war, it's his own damn fault, and his friends will pay the price.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

See, here's the difference.

When a "Senate Republican aide" says this about Bushco™…
“We just hope they leave without doing any more damage.”
...he means to their Party.

Democrats say the same thing, but we mean to our country and Constitution.

And George Bush?

He just doesn't care. Not about them, not about you, not about anyone or anything except power and profit.

Give the lady a golden gavel.

Barbara Boxer gives Jim "Caveman" Inhofe a lesson in political reality.
"You’re not making the rules. You used to when you did this. Elections have consequences. So I make the rules.”
Indeed you do, Senator, and we're all better off for it.

"The campaign goes on."

Talk about your profiles in courage.

Good question…

…from the best thing about the Clinton administration.

Robert Reich:
The real question concerns the other eighty-five U.S. attorneys who are still there. What kind of political vendettas have they engaged in, in exchange for keeping their jobs?

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Good questions…

…about Bushco's™ latest obstruction of justice, from the NYT.
Why would anyone refuse to take an oath on a matter like this, unless he were not fully committed to telling the truth? And why would Congress accept that idea, especially in an investigation that has already been marked by repeated false and misleading statements from administration officials?


From Bobby Muller, who knows better than most…
"There is a social contract between a country and those it sends to war, and America's social contract is broken."

Quote of the Day.

Rachel Maddow
"You can't say it doesn't matter what we're doing cause we're trying to get Al Qaeda. It matters what we do. We're America. That's more important than Al-Qaeda."
Damn straight.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


Good. No, great.

But jeebus, 94-2? You might expect that on a resolution commemorating Mother's Day, but on a rebuke to the Administration and a repeal of a PATRIOT Act provision?

Yep, great.


From Steve Benen, who extends the Speaker's remarks...
"We need a new Attorney General, but that’s not all we need."
Yep. A new President, Cabinet and Court to go with our shiny new Congress would be a good start.

And, hey, we need the rehearsal...

...if we're ever going to get the harmony right. Kos:
I get asked by journalists all the time, "aren't you just preaching to the choir?"

My retort? "If that was so bad, then there would no need for churches."

Monday, March 19, 2007

It's not just what they're doing.

I hate what they've already done to my Army too.
Gen. Richard A. Cody, described as “stark” the level of readiness of Army units in the United States, which would be called on if another war breaks out. “The readiness continues to decline of our next-to-deploy forces,” Cody told the House Armed Services Committee’s readiness panel last week. “And those forces, by the way, are . . . also your strategic reserve.”

Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was asked last month by a House panel whether he was comfortable with the preparedness of Army units in the United States. He stated simply: “No . . . I am not comfortable.”
Hat tip to The Carpetbagger Report.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Don't DeLay.

So Meet The Press put up former Congressman, now criminal indictee Tom DeLay vs. retired Admiral, now Member of Congress Joe Sestak. Taylor Marsh is on point, at least up to a point.
Tom Delay is the best they've got? It's embarrassing for Republicans and equally embarrassing for NBC and Tim Russert that they had to go to Delay to carry the Republicans' water.
Of course, they didn't have to go to DeLay. They chose to.

It's more than embarrassing. It's shameful.

Count me with Atrios.

And now...

...a passage from the Praire Populist.
"Purity in politics requires not merely that officials shall keep out of the penetentiary, but that they shall be above suspicion. If under suspicion let them step aside until the cloud is removed."

William Jennings Bryan,

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Ten to get the party started...
Liam O'Flynn - A Stór Mo Chroi
The Clancy Brothers - Finnegan's Wake
The Dubliners - Seven Drunken Nights
Danu - The Buck From The Mountain/Paddy Killoran's
De Danann - Humours Of Galway
Dermot O'Brien - Whiskey In The Jar
Micheal O'Suilleabhain & the Irish Chamber Orchestra - Oilena-Island
Clannad - Teidhir Abhaile Riú
Solas - Who's In The What Now
Christel Rice - Scatter the Mud/Willy Coleman's/The Sally Gardens
I'm off to lead the cheers and serve up 50 pounds of corned beef at the perfect tavern.

Oh yeah, GO COUGS!

The General has a little list…

…of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed's Other Crimes:
· New Coke
· Formidable law blogger Ann Althouse
· Not sending enough troops in the initial Iraq invasion.
· Faking the deaths of Tupa, Elvis, and Jim Morrison, converting them to Islam, and hiding them out in a cave in Peshawar.
· Selling Vogon Star Cruisers to Hugo Chavez.
· The neglect of our wounded soldiers.
· Introducing Bill O'Reilly to the magical properties of loofahs and falafels.
· Telling Scooter Libby about Valerie Plame
· Paris Hilton
· Gonzales Prosecutor Scandal
· France
· Olestra's anal leakage side effect.
And Double Stuff Oreos™, I bet. A sinful distortion of an icon of western culture.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Yes, she was magnificent.

Joe Wilson's a very lucky man (and it takes one to know one).

Still, the moment of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing on Friday was this, via The Gavel
Chairman Henry Waxman: "Right after the Novak column appeared, there was an outrage that this was disclosing a covert agent... the White House still has not initiated an investigation, am I correct in that statement?"

Dr. James Knodell: "That’s correct."
It may be "correct," but it's sure not right.

I knew it…

…but it's nice to see that the Move On folks appreciate my own personal Congressman too. An email begins…
Your representative, Rep. McDermott has been leading the way to get us out of Iraq quickly and safely...
They're collecting supportive emails for Jim here.

Hope there's a bunch. He deserves 'em.

From the "bears repeating" file…

Matt Stoller:
The Democratic Party is not the peace movement, it is a political party.

In fairness…

…Hillary (and Obama, who was similarly obscure when the gay immorality question was posed) has made ample clarification. As Chris Bowers points out, though, the affair poses some other, if not greater, questions of its own...
It was a question with an easy answer that everyone knew was coming. Does the screwing up the first response to the question represent poor campaign management? Does it represent general recalcitrance when it comes to supporting gay rights, on either a personal or political level? Does it represent yet more Democratic fear to appear to be disagreeing with anyone in uniform in any way, shape or form?
I don't think you can tag the problem "Democratic," though. John Edwards is a Democrat, and managed not to stumble over what shouldn't have been an obstacle in the first place.

(Sorry about the delayed posting. Work-fu + Blogger-fu.)

Thursday, March 15, 2007

And this?

I'm not too crazy about this, either.

When ABC News' Jake Tapper asked Hillary if she considers homosexuality immoral, she replied...
"Well I'm going to leave that to others to conclude…"
I think I'll be looking to others to preside.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


This I don't like so much.
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton foresees a "remaining military as well as political mission" in Iraq, and says that if elected president, she would keep a reduced military force there to fight Al Qaeda, deter Iranian aggression, protect the Kurds and possibly support the Iraqi military.

I like this, too.

Edwards won't blame Shrum.
"Political people talk to you all the time," he said following a speech on Capitol Hill to the International Association of Fire Fighters. "There is only one decision maker and that is me."
Bob Shrum has claimed that Edwards' vote on the use of force resolution came about because of his personal lobbying efforts, and he may have been an influential voice. The easy out for Edwards, which would pander nicely to the 'netroots', as well, would be to accept the opportunity to shift the blame and do a little bashing of the D.C. consulting class.

Edwards' willingness to take the full load of responsibility for his acknowledged mistake continues to be one of his more admirable qualities to me.

Good question.

Does your own personal Member of Congress support requiring that all troops are properly rested, trained and equipped before being sent to Iraq?

Or do you need a new one?

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

He's right.

The Chairman:
"The best way for Attorney General Gonzales to accept responsibility is for him to step down."
About this, too.
"Karl Rove should pack his bags and go too. His type of leadership doesn't belong at the White House. America deserves better."

See, I love this...

...Robert Gibbs, Obama’s communications director, also told Fox political reporter Carl Cameron that he wouldn’t be allowed to travel on Obama’s plane. "What is Fox going to do to us," Gibbs asked Cameron, "report that Obama attended a radical Islamic school? Oh, wait, you already did that!"
…but it leaves me wondering why the Obama campaign wasn't the first to opt out of the now-canceled Fox debate in Nevada?

Still, great shot from Gibbs.

And a hat tip to The Editors.

A reminder…

…from that Kerry fella.
Nine months ago, thirteen senators cast their votes for a one year deadline for the redeployment of most U.S. troops from Iraq. It was not a popular position…
And yet...
"Today, Democrats stand nearly united behind an exit strategy that includes the deadline needed to force the Iraqis to stand up for Iraq. A lot has changed in the last nine months…".

Every opponent of the war can doubtless find something to be dissatisfied about in the withdrawal measures being moved in the Congress. Bush's contempt for the Constitutional role of the Legislative branch makes any legislative fix problematic in any event. I think it's better now, though, to rally behind the Congressional efforts, however flawed, in recognition of the long way we've come.

Of course, we've still got a long way to go, and pressure to perfect the withdrawal plans should be sustained. We can do that, though, without condemning work that represents very real progress or the people who have done that work.

Monday, March 12, 2007

While I might claim...

...that I don't read much fiction, exercises like this - passed along by Ron Chusid at Liberal Values - always seem to challenge that conceit. The game, for any bloggers out there who want to accentuate the essential geekiness of our breed, is to reprint this list of science fiction classics with those you've read in bold.

I guess I do read a fair bit of fiction, at least of a sort (I'm also a fan of the beat canon and related literary flotsam - actually, I guess I read quite a bit of fiction).
The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien
The Foundation Trilogy, Isaac Asimov
Dune, Frank Herbert
Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert A. Heinlein

A Wizard of Earthsea, Ursula K. Le Guin
Neuromancer, William Gibson
Childhood’s End, Arthur C. Clarke
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Philip K. Dick
The Mists of Avalon, Marion Zimmer Bradley
Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury

The Book of the New Sun, Gene Wolfe
A Canticle for Leibowitz, Walter M. Miller, Jr.
The Caves of Steel, Isaac Asimov
Children of the Atom, Wilmar Shiras
Cities in Flight, James Blish
The Colour of Magic, Terry Pratchett
Dangerous Visions, edited by Harlan Ellison
Deathbird Stories, Harlan Ellison

The Demolished Man, Alfred Bester
Dhalgren, Samuel R. Delany
Dragonflight, Anne McCaffrey
Ender’s Game, Orson Scott Card
The First Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, Stephen R. Donaldson

The Forever War, Joe Haldeman
Gateway, Frederik Pohl
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, J.K. Rowling
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
I Am Legend, Richard Matheson
Interview with the Vampire, Anne Rice
The Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula K. Le Guin
Little, Big, John Crowley
Lord of Light, Roger Zelazny
The Man in the High Castle, Philip K. Dick
Mission of Gravity, Hal Clement
More Than Human, Theodore Sturgeon
The Rediscovery of Man, Cordwainer Smith
On the Beach, Nevil Shute
Rendezvous with Rama, Arthur C. Clarke
Ringworld, Larry Niven
Rogue Moon, Algis Budrys
The Silmarillion, J.R.R. Tolkien
Slaughterhouse-5, Kurt Vonnegut
Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson

Stand on Zanzibar, John Brunner
The Stars My Destination, Alfred Bester
Starship Troopers, Robert A. Heinlein
Stormbringer, Michael Moorcock
The Sword of Shannara, Terry Brooks
Timescape, Gregory Benford
To Your Scattered Bodies Go, Philip Jose Farmer

Strange loop.

Noticed this on a bumper on my way between the perfect tavern and home tonight…

We're making enemies faster than we can kill them.
…and it occurred to me that the way we're making them is that we're killing them.


I've expressed, I believe, my disdain…

...for the Republican Ladies From Maine. While I'm still vacillating over what to do in '08 on a Presidential level (I think I know what I'd do if I had to do it today, but I won't because I don't) but I know I'll be doing what I can from way over here for Anybody But Susan Collins. Why? Kay In Maine has a few (actually, a few more than a few) good reasons way over there
* She voted for the 2001/2005 tax cuts and voted for the 2003 $350 billion tax cut for the wealthy
* She supports repealing the estate tax
* She voted for the bankruptcy bill, voted against tax subsidies for the US jobs that go offshore
* She voted to allow lobbyists to make some gifts to the Congress
* She voted in favor of confirming Judge Samuel Alito knowing full well he is against Roe v. Wade
* She voted 'yes' on the flag burning Constitutional amendment
* She voted to authorize military force against the sovereign nation of Iraq
* She voted in favor of the Military Commissions Bill (pro-torture and not a lick of peace in it)
* She supports the Real ID Act and instead of fixing this Act to protect American’s privacy, she wants to move it ahead to 'forget about it until later'
* She voted in favor of diverting Homeland Security funds to low risk areas of America rather than to the high risk areas
* She refused to subpoena the White House after Katrina, even when she had the power to do so as Chairwoman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee
* She had the NAACP investigated for speaking out against Bush back in 2004
And, of course, there's…
Collins support for the war and her failure to use any oversight authority while she chaired the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee…
And this is supposed to be a "good" Republican.

Just another reason why…

Granted, hate is a strong word...

...but if I could think of a stronger one for what they're doing to my Army, I'd use it. Salon, via AmericaBlog.
As the military scrambles to pour more soldiers into Iraq, a unit of the Army's 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Benning, Ga., is deploying troops with serious injuries and other medical problems, including GIs who doctors have said are medically unfit for battle. Some are too injured to wear their body armor, according to medical records.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Me too.

John Laird in The Columbian
Winning presidential pledge — I would dearly love to hear just one candidate say:

"I will never go on vacation during a war. The president is the U.S. soldiers' commander in chief, and as long as our soldiers fight and die, get back-door drafted into tours they never expected and get redeployed into unwinnable conflicts, I just wouldn't feel right riding my bike or clearing brush on my ranch. No, I'll stay in the war with my troops."

"Inaugurations, I suppose, are necessary, but inaugural balls are silly. I will never attend one, let alone several in one night. Party all you want, but on your own. This will be my first night on the job, and I'll have other stuff to do."

"If I don't like a bill, I won't sign it. I will veto it. I will never sign a bill and then issue a ‘signing statement' allowing me to ignore what I just signed. Never."

"I will accept no gifts. None. Ever. If you give me one, you'll just get it back.

"Don't expect me to pardon anyone. A pardon might help you, but it hurts my legacy, and when it comes to my legacy, I tend to be a little self-centered."
Hat tip to Pamela Leavey at The Democratic Daily.

And now…

…a passage from the Prairie Populist.
"Men who break laws with impunity, when those laws stand in the way of their grasping methods, will pose as friends of law and order when some small crime is committed."

William Jennings Bryan,

She's in it.

Darcy Burner:
Over the last several months, many of you have come to me and asked me to finish what we began in 2006. Recently Congressman Reichert has made clear once again how out-of-touch he is by supporting President Bush's plan to put more American troops into harm's way in Iraq, by voting against basic fiscal responsibility for our federal government, and by opposing worker's rights. In the face of his actions, I have realized that you are right…
This time, let's win it. Start here.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

I meant to say…

…something about the reaction to Rep. David Obey's "idiot liberals" outburst, but thanks to the miracle of creative procrastination, David Sirota has already written what I would have.


From Major General Paul D. Eaton, US Army (Ret.)...
"We've got this thing that so many military believe that Republican administrations are good for the military. That is rarely the case. And, we have to get a message through to every soldier, every family member, every friend of soldiers that the Republican party, the Republican dominated Congress has absolutely been the worst thing that's happened to the United States Army and the United States Marine Corps."
And it's been that bad for the rest of the country, too.

No doubt…

In (almost) spring... musical thoughts revolve around shaping up my set list for the annual St. Patrick's Day blow-out at the perfect tavern. Some of these will make it...
The Dubliners - Johnson's Motor Car
The Clancy Brothers - Eamonn an Chniuic
Solas - Back Street
The Battering Ram - Long Black Brimmer
Danu - Bridget Donahue
The Clancy Brothers with Tommy Makem - Rosin The Bow
The Hughes Band - Bucks Of Oranmore
Clannad - Fairly Shot Of Her
The Dubliners - Saxon Shilling
Dermot O'Brien - There Has To Be An End
If you're nearby next week, stop in for a sing-along or two and a big plate of the best corned beef in town. (I'm only cooking 50 pounds, so come early for food and stay late for the songs.)

Friday, March 09, 2007


Shake's Sis.

Really. I actually L'ed OL.

(Obligatory naughtiness caution here.)

No matter how weird I think it is…

…it always turns out to be weirder than that. Via Think Progress...
UPDATE: Tomorrow, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales will “deliver keynote remarks before the International Association of Privacy Professionals.”

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Quote of the Day.

The Speaker, via The Gavel
"I say to my colleagues never confine your best work, your hopes, your dreams, the aspiration of the American people to what will be signed by George W. Bush because that is too limiting a factor."
Damn straight.

I hate what they're doing…

…to my Army, and I hate that they're doing it over and over again. New numbers from the Center for American Progress.
Brigades with one tour in Iraq or Afghanistan: 12
Brigades with two tours in Iraq or Afghanistan: 20
Brigades with three tours in Iraq or Afghanistan: 9
Brigades with four tours in Iraq or Afghanistan: 2
What's that mean in terms of people?
...a total of 420,000 troops have deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan more than once, and over 84,000 National Guard and Reservists have done multiple tours.
Hell with a revolving door.


Wednesday, March 07, 2007


In the midst of the political and social turmoil that sprouts most of the fodder for this place, there's more immediate personal turmoil in each of our lives.

A couple of days ago, that personal turmoil got the best of my friend and co-worker, Dave 'Sushi' Hall, who died by his own hand.

All the other stuff seems pretty small today.

R.I.P. , Sush. Hope there's a cold Bud and a regular tee time wherever you may be.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007


Look what Scooter got…
Count 1 guilty
Count 2 guilty

Count 3 not guilty
Count 4 guilty
Count 5 guilty
Guess Count 3 represents the broken toy under every tree. But Scooter's got enough. Maybe we can get something for his pals, too...
"...the belief of the jury was that he was tasked by the VP to talk to reporters. We never came to any conclusion whether Cheney would've told him what exactly to say..."

Libby juror Denis Collins.

From the "who'da thunk" file.

Reuters - Hundreds of Afghans protested in the eastern city of Jalalabad on Tuesday over the killing of several civilians by U.S. forces, an issue analysts warn is undermining support for foreign troops.
They don't like us when we kill them.

Clever folks, those analysts.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Rationality has a liberal bias.

What kind of extremist are you?
Your Result: Rational Person

You consider these questions obvious straw men, designed to distract people from a meaningful investigation of facts and a serious discussion of relevant political issues. How boring.

Moderate Extremist
Right-Wing Extremist
Left-Wing Extremist
What kind of extremist are you?
Make a Quiz

Hat tip to the similarly rational Ron Chusid at Liberal Values.

While I wipe the coffee off my screen…

…you should go read the Rude One. I mean, if you're a grown-up. Because it's, well, rude.

Good, though.


Rep. Murtha:
We should not send troops into combat if they don’t have equipment and if they don’t have the training they need.
So simple even a Preznit should understand.

"Should" being the operative word.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

A draft...

...likely to cause a shiver or two coming from over here.

And now...

...a passage from the Pairie Populist.
"The fruits of imperialism, be they bitter or sweet, must be left to the subjects of monarchy. This is the one tree of which the citizens of a republic may not partake. It is the voice of the serpent, not the voice of God, that bids us eat."

William Jennings Bryan,

There's gotta be a limit.

Ron Chusid at Liberal Values has made a daring exploration of some of the intertube's darkest and scariest tunnels to assemble an illuminating survey of right wing reaction to Ann Coulter slurring John Edwards.

At last we know just how far "too far" is for some of those folks.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Good question.

From Steve Soto:
Can at least one Democrat stand up and resist the temptation to slobber over AIPAC, and say the truth: that any threat from Iran is secondary to the threats we face from a foreign and military policy driven by Saudi Arabia and Israel, and the Bush/Cheney-instigated Sunni/Shia civil wars for oil?

Music to soothe...

...the savage week. Randomly, of course:
Dixie Chicks - I Hope
Jimmy Buffett - Margaritaville
Mollie O'Brien - Brown Eyed Handsome Man
Mary Karlzen - Dimestore Life
They Might Be Giants - Your Racist Friend
Tom Paxton - Ramblin' Boy
The Greenbriar Boys - Roll On John
Delroy Wilson - Better Must Come
Black 47 - Bobby Sands MP
John Cowan - Call Me
Consider Black 47 a preview of next week's St. Pat's special edition.

"Bush's second Katrina."

Brent Budowsky...
Walter Reed. Delayed disability benefits and ripoff disability certifications where wounded troops who are 80% disabled are only given 30% disability. Underfunded local veterans care. Undersupported treatment of post traumautic stress syndrome and serious brain injury.

Debt collectors threatening foreclosure or repossession of property of wives and husbands of underpaid troops. National Guard and Reserve units 88% unprepared. Chronic shortages of protective equipment.
No, it's not just mice and mold.

It's a goddam disgrace.

Friday, March 02, 2007

A confession.

My regard for the National Guard hasn't always been as high as it is now, or as should, perhaps, have been all along. Back in the day I tended to view them as not quite 'my Army.' Most Guardsmen, I figured, were just looking for a way to avoid deployment to the jolly green jungle, although some - a relative few - did make the trip.

Whatever may have been so then certainly isn't now. Given their scale of deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, the National Guard today is definitely part of 'my Army.' And I hate what they're doing to them.
Nearly 90 percent of Army National Guard units in the United States are rated “not ready” — largely as a result of shortfalls in billions of dollars’ worth of equipment — jeopardizing their capability to respond to crises at home and abroad, according to a congressional commission that released a preliminary report yesterday on the state of U.S. military reserve forces.

Hat tip to The Carpetbagger Report.

Good question.

From Michael Hood at Blatherwatch...
What would you call lives taken in a war that was dishonestly conceived, perniciously sold, and incompetently prosecuted?
Nope, I won't be joining the the chorus condemning McCain for his 'wasted lives' comment.

Besides, all I need to know about McCain and his sudden concern for American lives is this...

Thursday, March 01, 2007

First Class Mailmen Carriers.

Tacoma postal worker Jeff Richardson is promoting this to his union and beyond.
We, the undersigned postal workers and postal unions of the United States, hereby agree to the following points:

One, that the President has overstepped his constitutional authority to execute the laws passed by Congress, through his recent signing statement attached to the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006, in which he states that the Executive Branch may open mail without a warrant in "exigent circumstances";

Two, that the President has admitted publicly that he's used an earlier signing statement to justify unconstitutional searches of Americans without warrant;

Three, that we strongly disagree with this interpretation of the Constitution, and will work to pressure Congress to investigate this statement to determine whether or not the President has actually acted in violation of the law as written;

and Four, that we will also work to encourage the public that the privacy of their communications are secure, as long as the workforce of the Postal Service continues to be well-trained, highly ethical, and accountable to the laws and the Constitution of the United States.
Ain't that America?

Yes, thankfully, it is.

Hat tip to Cool Aqua.

Stuck again.

Between Blogger-fu, work schedules, a general tendency toward procrastination and a touch of the proverbial paralysis of analysis inspired by the amazing scope and depth of the unique blend of corruption and idiocy that typifies a trip through the headlines, the posts just aren't coming fast and furious today.

Happily, Norbizness bails me out again.
"Wouldn't it be great if [charismatic celebrity or politician who has briefly captured headlines] ran for President? Yeah... I was thinkin' the same thing."
The man's a genius, I tell ya...