Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Pentagon to the wounded: STFU.

Ok - you're in charge of an army hospital. It is revealed that the hospital which you are in charge of does a lousy job of caring for wounded. What do you do? Improve the care?

No, you try and make people shut up about it.

Soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center’s Medical Hold Unit say they have been told they will wake up at 6 a.m. every morning and have their rooms ready for inspection at 7 a.m., and that they must not speak to the media.

“Some soldiers believe this is a form of punishment for the trouble soldiers caused by talking to the media,” one Medical Hold Unit soldier said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

Dude, where's my country?


Jabour spent five weeks there, chained to a wall and prevented from sleeping more than a few hours at a time. He said he was beaten nightly by Pakistani guards after hours of questions from U.S. interrogators. Then he and others were whisked off to CIA-run sites. Some sites were in Eastern Europe; Jabour went to one in Afghanistan. Interrogators -- whom he described as Americans in their late 20s and early 30s -- told Jabour he would never see his three children again.

Human Rights Watch has identified 38 people who may have been held by the CIA and remain unaccounted for. Intelligence officials told The Post that the number of detainees held in such facilities over nearly five years remains classified but is higher than 60. Their whereabouts have not been publicly disclosed.

"The practice of disappearing people -- keeping them in secret detention without any legal process -- is fundamentally illegal under international law," said Joanne Mariner, director of the terrorism program at Human Rights Watch in New York. "The kind of physical mistreatment Jabour described is also illegal." Mariner interviewed Jabour separately as part of the organization's investigation.

One bombing a day.

So saith Laura.

Stars and Stripes begs to differ.

WASHINGTON — Attacks against coalition forces in Iraq averaged nearly 180 a day in January, the highest level since major combat operations ended and more than double the rate one year ago, according to intelligence officials.

Lt. Gen. Michael Maples, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday said the attacks matched the previous high, set in October 2006.

Attacks on civilians also reached a new high, with almost 50 per day in January, according to the agency. Attacks on Iraqi Security Forces remained consistent with recent months, at about 30 a day.

Hey, one, two hundred and thirty, what's the diff? Picky, picky, picky.

HT to AmericaBlog.

Speaker of the House

More like this.

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Tuesday that she believes President Bush's judgment on the Iraq war "is a little impaired."

"What the vice president said is beneath the dignity of his office and beneath the dignity of the sacrifice of our men and women in uniform."

"The vice president is in a place that is out of touch with the American people, out of touch with what so many generals are saying and out of touch with even a bipartisan majority in the Congress."

"I think his [Bush's] judgment is a little impaired on this war, with all due respect to the president and his good intentions."

"With all due respect." Somehow, I suspect that Madam Speaker doesn't think he's due much.

Pat Buchanan's head just exploded

Immigrants boost pay, not prison populations, new studies show
Immigrants are less likely to go to prison than U.S.-born residents of the same ethnic group and they boost pay for natives, research says.

Two new studies by California researchers counter negative perceptions that immigrants increase crime and job competition, showing that they are incarcerated at far lower rates than native-born citizens and actually help boost their wages.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

18 killed

18 boys were killed in a soccer field in Iraq.

AP points out this:

In July 2005, a suicide bombing in Baghdad killed 27 people, including 18 children and an American soldier. A moment of silence across Iraq was later held. But now, the violence has become so frequent and numbing that it's possible the boys' death will pass without any special note.

And just think, yesterday Laura Bush said:

"And many parts of Iraq are stable now. But, of course, what we see on television is the one bombing a day this discourages everybody."

Laura, it isn't "discouraging" - it's immoral, filthy, horrifying and disgusting, and your husband caused it.

Cheney targetted like a quail.

(CBS/AP) A suicide bomber killed at least 14 people and wounded about a dozen more outside the main U.S. military base in Afghanistan on Tuesday, during a visit by Vice President Dick Cheney. The Taliban claimed responsibility and said Cheney was the target.

I don't mean to seem harsh, but didn't Cheney claim that the Afghanistan was a success, and the Taliban were routed?

Oh, that's right - we didn't finish THAT job. Occupying Iraq was more important.

Generals may quit

If Bush orders an attac on Iran that is. At least, according to the UK Times:

SOME of America’s most senior military commanders are prepared to resign if the White House orders a military strike against Iran, according to highly placed defence and intelligence sources.

Tension in the Gulf region has raised fears that an attack on Iran is becoming increasingly likely before President George Bush leaves office. The Sunday Times has learnt that up to five generals and admirals are willing to resign rather than approve what they consider would be a reckless attack.

“There are four or five generals and admirals we know of who would resign if Bush ordered an attack on Iran,” a source with close ties to British intelligence said. “There is simply no stomach for it in the Pentagon, and a lot of people question whether such an attack would be effective or even possible.”

Good. It would be NICE to think that some people in the Pentagon actually have an ounce of principle, and we haven't seen much of that in the last six years.

Of course, if it happens, Bush will just get five NEW Generals, all of whom agree with everything he says, and will claim that he "listens to his Generals."

And his sycophants will swear to it.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Big news!

Martin Scorcese won an Oscar!

Oh, and...ummmm....41 people were killed in a car bombing in Iraq.

Don't see the second one anywhere on the homepages of CNN and FOX News, though.
"Capitalism tries for a delicate balance. It attempts to work things out so that everyone gets just enough stuff to keep them from getting violent and trying to take other people’s stuff." - George Carlin

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Sunday Night Funnies

Sid Caesar, and Your Show of Shows.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Smack down

Carol Shea Porter is a Democratic Congresswoman from New Hampshire. The moron charman of the New Hampshire Republican Party attacked her for being against the war in Iraq and not voting to cut funding:
"If she's going to be against this war, she should have the courage of her convictions and vote to end funding." - Fergus Cullen
Her response:
"If Fergus Cullen has the courage of his convictions, he should go enlist, because they're having trouble meeting their quota. He's young, he's single and he's healthy. If he needs to know where the recruiters are, call me."
I think I'll email Cullen and ask him when he's enlisting. His email address is

It's still February

And Oliver Willis is right about the religious left.

So is Denmark

COPENHAGEN, Denmark - Denmark was expected to announce plans to begin withdrawing its troops from Iraq at a news conference on Wednesday, Danish media reported.

At this rate, there will be the same number of troops in Iraq post-escalation as there were pre-escalation, they will just be all American.

Britian pulling out.

LONDON - Prime Minister Tony Blair will announce on Wednesday a new timetable for the withdrawal of British troops from Iraq, with 1,500 to return home in several weeks, the BBC reported.

Blair will also tell the House of Commons during his regular weekly appearance that a total of about 3,000 British soldiers will have left southern Iraq by the end of 2007, if the security there is sufficient, the British Broadcasting Corp. said, quoting government officials who weren't further identified.

Bush says it show that things are going WELL.

Well, then, when can WE leave?

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Supporting the troops

Louise Slaughter, the Chair of the House Rules Comittee, is writing to the Pentagon, demanding answers about Walter Reed:

"It is deeply troubling to think that veterans and their families who have sacrificed so much are being left largely alone to struggle with injuries without the care and attention they need," Rep. Slaughter said. "And while I am glad to hear of changes underway at Walter Reed, it shouldn't take a newspaper exposé to spur action on behalf of our wounded soldiers."

"Supporting our troops begins with giving them a mission that makes sense and that doesn't needlessly jeopardize their lives," the Congresswoman continued. "It ends with an unconditional commitment to men and women who have made sacrifices few of us can fully appreciate. If this Administration is going to order soldiers into battle, then it has no right to stand on the sidelines when they come home. We need a serious evaluation of the care being given to our veterans, and must immediately address holes and gaps in a system that can't afford either."

"Critics of the President's escalation of the war are told that they can't both support the troops and oppose their mission," Rep. Slaughter added. "I think that you can't support the troops if you send them into battle without proper armor, or deny them critical medical care and counseling after they are injured. That is the definition of hypocrisy, and our wounded soldiers are paying the price."

Monday, February 19, 2007

Republicans support of the troops

Senate Republicans Said NO to Funding for Military Equipment Repairs. Last night, Senate Republicans voted to kill a proposal to provide $44 billion to improve and repair military equipment. According to sponsor Sen. Jack Reed, “$47 billion worth of equipment which they have used in Iraq and Afghanistan needs to be repaired and reconditioned.” The funding would have been offset by repealing capital gains and dividends tax cuts, while extending protections for middle-class taxpayers. Senators voting against this amendment included Frist, DeWine, Dole, Burns, Kyl, Santorum and Talent. [Vote #8, 2/2/06; Congressional Record, 2/2/06]

Republicans’ NO Vote Came Despite Warnings That Worn-Out Equipment Is Putting Our 138,000 Active Duty Soldiers At Risk.
Last week, Rep. Ike Skelton, Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, wrote a letter to Secretary Rumsfeld that “said the Army’s worn-out equipment has placed the force ‘at strategic risk.’” There are 138,000 men and women currently fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. [St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Editorial, 1/31/06; Department of Defense, 1/25/06]

Senate Republicans Said NO to Funding to Military and Veterans Hospitals.
Last night, Senate Republicans voted against increasing funding for military and veterans hospitals by $19 billion. The funding would have been offset by repealing capital gains and dividends tax cuts, while extending protections for middle-class taxpayers. Senators voting against this amendment included Frist, DeWine, Dole, Burns, Kyl, Santorum and Talent. [Vote #7, 2/2/06]

More Than 16,000 U.S. Forces Have Been Wounded Since Iraq Conflict Began.
According to the Department of Defense, 16,420 soldiers have been wounded in action since March 2003. [Iraq Coalition Casualties, accessed 2/3/06]

Instead of Supporting our Troops and Veterans in a Time of War, Senate Republicans Sided With Millionaires.
By voting against helping troops and veterans, Senate Republicans voted to prioritize tax relief for millionaires in the form of dividend and capital gains tax cut extensions. Over half of the benefits of dividends and capital gains tax cut extensions favor households with incomes over $1 million, only 0.2 percent of the nation. [Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, 1/30/06]

(N.B. I do not know the original source for the above compilation. If someone does, let me know.)

And to top it all off...

Military members who cannot complete their tour of duty due to being injured are being forced to pay back their bonuses. See, being blown apart kept them finishing their tour of duty.

Soldiers who were paralyzed, suffered brain damage and lost limbs owe the government enlistment bonus money.

They must pay the money back because they didn’t fulfill their tour of duty.

Bob Truska, who was in the Navy, got an honorable discharge for what the Navy calls a personality disorder.

One year later, he got a bill for more than $3,000, part of his $7,000 enlistment bonus.

Bob said, “I didn’t know of anything I had to pay back after I got out of the military.”

The Navy said his honorable discharge “does not exempt him from recoupement of the unearned enlistment bonus, and his personality disorder is not a disability but could interfere with assignment or performance of duty.”

According to the Defense Finance and Accounting Service, each month from October 2005 through October of 2006, at least 600 members of the military and as many as 1,100 have owed bonus debts totaling anywhere from $2.5 million dollars each month to $4 million.

The money comes from skyrocketing enlistment and re-enlistment bonuses being offered to lure recruits and keep experienced troops in uniform.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Walter Reed is overloaded

The soldiers sacrifice everything - and then come home to THIS.

What these Republicans do to the soldiers while claiming to "support" them is immoral, filthy and disgusting.

Pirates and Emperors

Here's an odd little tribute to Schoolhouse Rock that will THRILL the right-wingers.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

East of East

by Pete Dolack

America's view of GOP crumbles with Iraq

By Thomas F. Schaller
Special to The Baltimore Sun

According to the latest Gallup survey, Republican self-identification has declined nationally and in almost every American state.

Why? The short answer is that President Bush's war of choice in Iraq has destroyed the partisan brand Republicans spent the past four decades building.

That brand was based upon four pillars: that Republicans are more trustworthy on defense and military issues; that they know when and where markets can replace or improve government; that they are more competent administrators of those functions government can't privatize; and, finally, that their public philosophy is imbued with moral authority.

The war demolished all four claims.

In uniform or out, Americans think Iraq is a disaster, oppose escalation and blame Bush and his party for the mess in Mesopotamia. Heading into the 2006 mid-terms, polls showed Republicans trailing Democrats as the party most trusted to handle Iraq and terrorism. Nationally, Bush's war approval ratings hover around 30 percent.

Military members are skeptical, too. A Military Times poll released in December revealed that only 35 percent of military members approved of the president's handling of the war - despite the fact that 46 percent of them are self-identified Republicans (down from 60 percent in previous Military Times polls) while just 16 percent are Democrats.

According to a recent Zogby survey of troops serving in Iraq, 72 percent want American forces home within a year.

Congressional hearings last week on war contracting dispel the second claim. Billions of dollars appropriated for Iraq cannot be accounted for, and contracts have been doled out with limited oversight and little regard for competitiveness.

Robert Greenwald's powerful documentary "Iraq for Sale" exposes many of the absurdities. You wouldn't sign a three-year $250,000 lease for a vehicle you could buy outright for $50,000, but our government does. The "cost-plus" procurement protocol pays contractors a fixed percentage on top of whatever they spend, encouraging them to spend as much and as inefficiently as possible. So rather than vehicles with minor mechanical damage being repaired, many are junked in favor of expensive replacements.

Meanwhile, the same troops Bush brags he will do "whatever it takes" to support often wait in two-hour chow lines or shower in bacteria-contaminated water.

"The hearings and the introduction of legislation, while long overdue, will begin to have an immediate effect on those who have been ruthless and relentless in their profiteering," Greenwald says hopefully.

As for the third pillar - superior management skills - there's insufficient space here to revisit the myriad blunders made by America's civilian leaders.

Little foresight was given to post-invasion scenarios. Disbanding the Iraqi army was an early colossal mistake. We had too few troops there, as L. Paul Bremer III, former civilian administrator of Iraq, later admitted. And the torture policies on view at Abu Ghraib gave terrorists a fantastic recruiting tool.

Notice, too, how management "success" has been steadily defined downward: from disarming an unarmed Saddam Hussein, to bringing liberation and democratization, to establishing basic security, to avoiding a domestic civil war, to "holding and clearing" Baghdad, to the current goal of preventing a regional conflagration that wouldn't be imminent had we not gone to Iraq in the first place. Talk about the soft bigotry of low - and lowering - expectations.

Finally, there is the war's morality. In what moral system is it justified to wage a war without paying for it? Bush tormented Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., in 2004 for "voting for before voting against" funding the war. But Kerry voted for a version of the $87- billion appropriations bill that also raised revenues to pay for it. Instead, we pile the war's costs atop our mountainous national debt, leaving future generations to pay for it later - plus interest.

The administration is asking for another $245 billion for Iraq and Afghanistan - an amount that, were it set aside and allowed to accrue interest, could pay the entire budget of a mid-size state like Maryland for almost a decade. This sum, too, will be added to America's giant credit card bill - an act of moral cowardice from the same White House that gives lectures about the sanctity of marriage and embryonic stem cells.

The Iraq war's human consequences abroad are far more tragic than any impact they are having on partisan politics at home. But for Republicans, the last casualty of Bush's war of choice may be the party itself.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Isn't the Bush Administration WONDERFUL and SUPPORTIVE of the soldiers? Not only do they lie and create phony excuses for sending them to get shot, but when they come back, they DENY DOCTORS their medical records!

What great guys, eh? What they lack in venality, they more than make up for with sheer incompetence:

Department of Veterans Affairs doctors are furious over a recent decision by the Pentagon to block their access to medical information needed to treat severely injured troops arriving at VA hospitals from Iraq and Afghanistan.

The VA physicians handle troops with serious brain injuries and other major health problems.

Kitty Piano

Posted for Squeak.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Here's Dan Froomkin


Franken for Senate

Seriously. And he can win.


Iraq Offensive Grows, Bombs Don't Stop

Two things that are infuriating about this:

1) They know damned well that this won'tt work and they are trying to save face at the expense of OTHER peoples' lives.

2) The time for more troops was three years ago, but all the folks who said, "Don't you think you need more than 140,000?" were told that they just didn't know what they were talking about, and called every name in the book.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

For Mrs. Ignatz


Props to TPM.

A strategy memo has been leaked from that GOP Reps. John Shadegg and Peter Hoekstra sent out to the rest of the House GOP. An excerpt:

"The debate should not be about the surge or its details. This debate should not even be about the Iraq war to date, mistakes that have been made, or whether we can, or cannot, win militarily. If we let Democrats force us into a debate on the surge or the current situation in Iraq, we lose."

Got that? "DON'T debate the single most important issue of our day, an issue that effects all Americans! WE might lose." "Who cares what effect it will actually have on those who have to go to Iraq? WE might lose."

I hope to hell that the Democrats hang this stinking albatross around their collective throats.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Moveon eats the Republicans for lunch

Sir John the Insane

"A lot of us are also very concerned about the possibility of a, quote, ‘Tet Offensive.’ "You know, some large-scale tact that could then switch American public opinion the way that the Tet Offensive did,” - John McCain

Ummm...John? 62% of Americans now oppose this war. You think something MAY happen that will turn them against it? It HAS happened you sad, delusional shell of yourself.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Are they moving up the chain to Bush/Cheney?

Pincus Reveals Fleischer As Leak Source

Feb 12, 11:25 AM (ET)

WASHINGTON (AP) - Former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer leaked the identity of a CIA operative to Washington Post reporter Walter Pincus during a 2003 phone call, Pincus testified Monday as the first defense witness in the CIA leak trial.

Good god

90 killed in Bagdhdad

Sunday, February 11, 2007


Perhaps you heard about THIS piece of crap:

SIDNEY, Australia (AP) -- Australia's conservative prime minister [John Howard] slammed Barack Obama on Sunday over his opposition to the Iraq war, a day after Obama announced his intention to run for the White House in 2008.

"If I were running al Qaeda in Iraq, I would put a circle around March 2008 and be praying as many times as possible for a victory, not only for Obama but also for the Democrats."

Look at Obama's response:

"If Prime Minister Howard truly believes what he says, perhaps his country should find its way to contribute more than just 1,400 troops so some American troops can come home," [Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs] said. "It's easy to talk tough when it's not your country or your troops making the sacrifices."

Dear me, Prime Minister Howard: Is this a piece of YOUR ass I found here on this floor?

Oh, and by the way - how come the right-wingers aren't throwing a shit-fit over the head of a FOREIGN COUNTRY attacking a United States Senator? Isn't that the sort of thing they always get outraged over?

Saturday, February 10, 2007


I sorry to say that Anthony Weiner was not my choice in the primary.

He just changed my mind.

He isn't just calling them "The Republic Party" - what's he's actually saying hands the Republics their heads.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Just because

The Nicholas Brothers (with a little piece of Cab Calloway)

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

The post below that mentions Janet Jackson's tits

I've gotten a surprisingly large number of hits since yesterday from people searching blogger for the word "tits."

So I'm doing it again.


During a speech on Wall Street, President Bush said companies should tie the compensation of chief executive officers to performance - AP.

Good idea. How about we start with HIS and tie it to his approval rating?

They do NOTHING right.

Costly amphibious craft breaks down often, leaks

After 10 years and $1.7 billion, this is what the Marines Corps got for its investment in a new amphibious vehicle: A craft that breaks down about an average of once every 4 1/2 hours, leaks and sometimes veers off course.

And for that, the contractor, General Dynamics of Falls Church, received $80 million in bonuses.
Another helicopter down.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

I'm not making this up

Only the Russians would have a beauty contest to determine the hottest woman working in the nuclear industry.

Who will be crowned Miss Atom of 2007?

Haggard is now "completely heterosexual."

"She turned me into a newt!"

"A newt?"

"Well, I'm better now!"

DENVER — One of four ministers who oversaw three weeks of intensive counseling for the Rev. Ted Haggard said the disgraced minister emerged convinced that he is "completely heterosexual."

Don't you wonder what sort of test they gave him?

But don't let Janet Jackson show her tits.

I tend to comepletely ignore football, so I wasn't even there for the Superbowl. One reason I wish I watched was because Prince gave the halftime show, and by all accounts, he was terrific.

I WOULD post a video, but I'm at work, and playing Prince videos on my computer draws attention.

But anyway, apparently he decided to use the shadows to do this:


Don't you love the fact that the Powers That Be decided that Janet Jackson was too shocking - so they'd play it safe and get Prince instead?

What shall we do with the Drunken Sailor?

The Spendthrift President has proposed his new budget. 481 billion for defense, and it DOESN'T include funds for Iraq and Afghanistan; those are off budget. Apparently, if you don't actually put the money down on paper, you aren't actually spending it. Plus 1.4 trillion on 70 new weapons systems.

While the war profiteers get a tax cut.

And while poor, sick kids can't see a doctor.

And while roads crumble, pipes burst, and New Orleans remains a shambles.

It's obscene.

Whenever some Republican starts to tell me about MORALS, I swear I would laugh if I wasn't about to puke.

Republicans block vote.

WASHINGTON, Feb. 5 — Republicans on Monday blocked Senate debate on a bipartisan resolution opposing President Bush’s troop buildup in Iraq, leaving in doubt whether the Senate would render a judgment on what lawmakers of both parties described as the paramount issue of the day.

Republicans have used their filibuster to BLOCK DISCUSSION of what they all concede is the most important issue facing America.

Sort of tells you everything you need to know about what the Republicans have become, doesn't it?

Monday, February 05, 2007

Congress grows a scrotum

"I intend to ask the Administration to identify each and every statutory provision they have not agreed with in signing statements, and to specify precisely what they have done as a result. For example, if the President claims he is exempt from the McCain Amendment ban on torture, I want to know whether and where he has permitted it. And we want to know what has he done to carry out his claims to be exempt from many other laws, such as oversight and reporting requirements under the PATRIOT Act, numerous affirmative action obligations, and the requirement that government obtain a search warrant before opening the mail of American citizens.

"I am also going to ask my staff, along with Ranking Member Smith's staff, to meet with the Department of Justice and the White House so we can get to the bottom of this matter, and to be blunt, we are not going to take no for an answer. We are a co-equal branch of government, and if our system of checks and balances is going to operate, it is imperative that we understand how the Executive Branch is enforcing -- or ignoring -- the bills that are signed into law."

More here.

GOP may filibuster AGAIN

This time to prevent Dear Naked Leader from looking like he's naked.

WASHINGTON — A debate over President Bush's plan to send more troops to Iraq is set to begin in the Senate today, but it's not clear whether there will be a vote.

Republicans are threatening to use the filibuster, a parliamentary blocking maneuver, to prevent a vote on a resolution that expresses disapproval of the troop increase.

It may be the only way for Bush supporters to prevent a bipartisan vote of no confidence after the release of an intelligence report that painted a grim picture of the situation in Iraq.

Bush has ALREADY received a bipartisan vote of no confidence from the American People and it's time the Republicans caught up.

But remember when the Republicans were whining like infants at what "obstructionists" those nasty Democrats were for filibustering about TWICE in six years? When the Republicans held ALL the cards.

What is this for the Republicans? Number THREE in a MONTH? Despite the fact that they actually still have the Presidency?

Stop circling the wagons. Bush isn't worth it.

Murdoch admits manipulating the news

And the rest of the "news" media ignores it.


Asked if his News Corp. managed to shape the agenda on the war in Iraq, [Rupert] Murdoch said: "No, I don't think so. We tried." Asked by Rose for further comment, he said: "We basically supported the Bush policy in the Middle East...but we have been very critical of his execution."

Somebody should tell Rupert that his job is to report, not decide.

Saturday, February 03, 2007