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    Out of Iraq, into New Orleans!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

You Stay Classy, Condi.

Well, Condi has answered the burning question on every freeper’s mind and has ruled out a run for president in 2008. Like she even had a chance to begin with.



While I will give her credit for recognizing the advances that women have made into positions of power and have been “running and winning”, and think that we are long past due for a woman as president (since we are one of the very few industrialized countries that hasn’t had a woman as leader, let alone even RUN for president), her decision, not to mention the reasons for her to not run would make Captain Obvious look like a great visionary.


But oh, what a great primary season it would have been with you, Cat Killer MD and other republican luminaries providing endless amusement for us in the reality based community. Of course, you would have to explain why, as National Security Advisor, your big foreign policy speech that was to have been made on 9/11/01 was all about missile defense and didn’t mention terrorism or Al Qaeda at all. That would have been a treat to see you shaking in your Ferragamo boots to explain that one, or the near perfect way that you handled Tenet’s urgent request for a meeting regarding the 9/11 threats.



Oh, and we can’t forget how spot on you were about that whole “smoking gun-mushroom cloud thing:

The problem here is that there will always be some uncertainty about how quickly Saddam can acquire nuclear weapons. But we don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.


Bravo, Dr. Rice. Bravo. But just one of many highlights from your wildly successful tenure as National Security Advisor.



Or, of course the reasons why the August 6, 2001 Presidential Daily Briefing titled Bin Laden Determined to Strike in the US was something that would lead to this famous remark:

I don't think anybody could have predicted that these people would take an airplane and slam it into the World Trade Center, take another one and slam it into the Pentagon; that they would try to use an airplane as a missile, a hijacked airplane as a missile.


Gee, I think even our vaunted fourth estate wouldn’t let that one slide again. Plus, someone that has such thin skin that you can’t even face tough questioning during a Senate hearing which would elevate you to the most important foreign policy position at a time when your negligence led to the biggest terrorist attack this country has ever seen wouldn’t fare so well in a debate with the foaming at the mouth “reformed” republican who no doubt would have sworn off all ties to anything related to the current administration.



And what a resume you could have trotted out in your campaign. Not only your wild successes as National Security Advisor, as noted above, but the “catastrophic success” of your tenure as Secretary of State. Take the defense of this administration’s stellar efforts in the Middle East:

Rice rejected the notion that U.S. operations in Iraq have shaken Middle East stability, arguing, "Those hostilities were not very well contained, as we found out on Sept. 11, and so the notion that somehow policies that finally confront extremism are actually causing extremism, I find grotesque."


SLAM!!!! It is the critics that are grotesque. Perfect. Like those pesky spy agencies who say that Iraq has increased the threat of terrorism. And the way that you handled the Israel/Lebanon situation on your Middle East tour would make the best diplomat jealous:
On July 30, Associated Press writer Katherine Shrader reported that Condoleezza Rice had canceled a trip to Lebanon after Prime Minister Fuad Saniora and other Lebanese officials apparently made clear she "was not welcome to visit."


What a shame. So many great credentials. Not only the wild successes over the past 6 years, but also the way that you set yourself apart from Big Oil and have allegiances to “We the People” when it comes to the oil industry and energy independence. But alas, what is one to do other than to lament those poor souls at Americans for Dr. Rice – 2008 who have invested so much time and energy behind all of the superb things that you have done for this country.



Oh well, I guess you can always fall back on something that you are very good at - helping Georgie when nature calls.



So sad, Condi. To think of what could have been....just do me a favor, and please – stay classy Condi. As you always have been.

Victory for Katrina Victims: FEMA Told to Resume Storm Aid

Cross posted from The Democratic Daily:

A U.S. District Judge handed Katrina victims a victory yesterday and dealt a blow to the Bush administration all in one fell swoop. The judge ordered that "the Bush administration unconstitutionally denied aid to tens of thousands of Gulf Coast residents displaced by hurricanes Katrina and Rita and must resume payments immediately."
U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon said the Federal Emergency Management Agency created a "Kafkaesque" process that began cutting off rental aid in February to victims of the 2005 storms, did not provide clear reasons for the denials, and hindered applicants' due-process rights to fix errors or appeal government mistakes.

"It is unfortunate, if not incredible, that FEMA and its counsel could not devise a sufficient notice system to spare these beleaguered evacuees the added burden of federal litigation to vindicate their constitutional rights," Leon, a D.C. federal judge, wrote in a 19-page opinion.

"Free these evacuees from the 'Kafkaesque' application process they have had to endure," he wrote.

Katrina victim advocates say that "FEMA has resisted providing details about its programs to them or to applicants and has whittled down rolls by imposing obstacles to obtaining aid that is mandated under federal disaster laws."
Administration defenders say that FEMA adopted tougher rules to combat fraud, and that plummeting rolls are a sign that victims have recovered and are moving on.

It's astounding what these victims of Katrina, most of whom are "poorest members of the diaspora created by the 2005 disasters in New Orleans and along the Louisiana and Mississippi coasts," have had to suffer at the hands of the Bush administration. Once again a light has been shown on the dark doings of the Bush administration and what we see is ugly indeed.

Those lovable fundies

I know if some wingnut comes across this one, that I will get a flag real quick like. Got to admit though, this really sums it up with them. So here's to the fundies and the wildlife they lead. May they come out the desert soon.



Yep, they sure know how to get around. Ain't that right Pastor Ted? So I will sit and wait for the flag police to show up and tell me how bad that pic was.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

"We're . . . being shot at by both sides"

Actually, the full line from Fareed Zakaria’s new article is “We’re in the middle of a civil war and are being shot at by both sides”. And while the “responsible” media has finally been smacked in the face by the brick of reality and has “made the official call” that Iraq is in the midst of a civil war, it is even more clear with each passing day that our troops have absolutely no business being in Iraq any longer.



Zakaria lays out some chilling facts with respect to the violence that our troops are caught in the middle of, and coupled with this first hand diary by TO the First, really makes you wonder if even we here realize the severity of the situation.


If our troops are fighting the “insurgents”, then surely that must mean that they are supporting the “democratically elected” government. After all, if we are spreading democracy™ then we would want to support what the Iraqi people voted for. Otherwise, we would be giving the proverbial finger to all of those “purple fingers”. Right? Right?



Um....not so fast.

If you want to understand the futility of America's current situation in Iraq, last week provided a vivid microcosm. On Thursday, just hours before a series of car bombs killed more than 200 people in the Shia stronghold of Sadr City, Sunni militants attacked the Ministry of Health, which is run by one of Moqtada al-Sadr's followers. Within a couple of hours, American units arrived at the scene and chased off the attackers. The next day, Sadr's men began reprisals against Sunnis, firing RPGs at several mosques. When U.S. forces tried to stop the carnage and restore order, goons from Sadr's Mahdi Army began firing on American helicopters. In other words, one day the U.S. Army was defending Sadr's militia and, the next day, was attacked by it.


The problem here is that al-Sadr’s party holds at least 30 seats in the Iraqi Parliament and is part of a coalition that holds 128 seats in the Iraqi Parliament. And in “BREAKING NEWS”, Sadr loyalists are now boycotting the Iraqi government because of Prime minister Nouri al-Maliki's summit with Bush. But putting all that aside for the moment, if our troops are being shot at and attacked by militia associated with someone who holds influence in the Iraqi government, as well as those who are fighting against said government, what does that say for our troops and “the mission”?



Granted, this is a bit of an oversimplification, but it does make you wonder just who the “insurgents” are and who they are supported by. And Zakaria asks that very question as well:

To speak, as the White House deputy press secretary did last week, of "terrorists ... targeting innocents in a brazen effort to topple a democratically elected government" totally misses the reality of Iraq today. Who are the terrorists and who are the innocents?


The other problem here is that even with all of our troops in Iraq, we STILL are supposed to be listening to what the Iraqis want. Remember this incident from last month?
On October 23, gunmen reportedly abducted the Iraqi-American soldier as he visited relatives in the Karada neighborhood of Baghdad. A large-scale manhunt ensued, with U.S. forces erecting barricades and checkpoints around the Sadr City section of the city, where the soldier was believed to be held. The United States maintained this cordon for eight days, until Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki issued a public declaration on October 31 insisting that the checkpoints be dismantled. U.S. commanders reportedly acceded to al-Maliki's demand and abandoned the checkpoints within hours of his request.


So if our military, and all of the troops committed to Iraq are being shot at by “the insurgents” as well as the militia which is backed by one of the more powerful and influential people (and his political party), then what? Who are we fighting with? Who are we fighting against? Surely, the Iraqis must see the value in what the troops are bringing (and this is NOT meant to, in any way, disparage the troops who are caught in this no-win situation).



Um....guess again:

To the contrary, both sides now see American troops as the problem. The Shiite ruling coalition and the Sunni insurgency both believe that if only the United States were to get out of the way, they could defeat their enemies outright. That's why, in the most recent poll of Iraqis, taken in September, 91 percent of Sunnis and 74 percent of Shiites said they wanted American forces to leave within a year.


I’ve been saying it for many months now. This has been a loser of an invasion and occupation from the start. When the premise is built on lies, it can’t be sustained. When there is no true mission or goal other than catchphrases and slogans, there is no chance of victory. When our troops are being shot at one day by people that they were “fighting with” the day before, that is the most unfair to our troops. Our troops did all that they could, given the tools, training and equipment they were provided. This can’t be “won” with guns and tanks and bombs.



Bring them home now. It is the only fair thing to do. Not only for our troops but for the Iraqis.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Oh, Come On! News From The War On Christmas?

Today's dose of s.t.f.u. goes to some of the residents of a home owners association in Pagosa Springs, CO!

Apparently some dolts have a problem with the following decorative wreath:



Colorado Subdivision Bans Peace Wreath After Residents Say Sign Is Anti-Iraq Protest Or Symbol Of Satan...


DENVER - A homeowners association in southwestern Colorado has threatened to fine a resident $25 a day until she removes a Christmas wreath with a peace sign that some say is an anti-
Iraq war protest or a symbol of Satan.

Some residents who have complained have children serving in Iraq, said Bob Kearns, president of the Loma Linda Homeowners Association in Pagosa Springs. He said some residents have also believed it was a symbol of Satan. Three or four residents complained, he said.

(The REST of the Story...)


I wish that I could say that I am stunned, but if a homeowners association can ban otherwise law abiding citizens from smoking in the privacy of their own home, I guess this is the natural progression of things to come--not being able to put up "offensive" peace signs and other offensive holiday decorations in your own freakin' yard.

Call Bill O'Leilly! I think someone just dropped a bomb on Christmas!

This line from the above article kind of floored me, but said quite a bit:

Kearns ordered the committee to require Jensen to remove the wreath, but members refused after concluding that it was merely a seasonal symbol that didn't say anything. Kearns fired all five committee members.


Makes one wonder if it's really "three or four people" or if it's just this guy who has a problem with the wreath. The fact that he fired everyone on the "architectural control committee" pretty much shows that this HOA is a dictatorship and not a real "democratic" body.

Reminds me of something else, but I can't quite put my middle finger on it...

Crossposted at dizzy dayz

Editor's Note: Cross Posted as a Blogger Highlight at The Democratic Daily

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Six Boston Catholics burned alive after leaving Church

No, that didn’t happen.



But what would the reaction be around this country if that was the headline they woke up to today? And I didn’t mean to pick on Boston (especially since they already suffer enough with the Red Sawx) or on Catholics – it could just as easily have been Chicago or Detroit or Nashville or San Diego and it could just as easily have been Jews or Muslims or anyone else for that matter. And with everyone too preoccupied with the holiday shopping bonanza, it makes you wonder how many people even care about the living hell that this administration has created in Iraq.


The situation, if you can still call it that, in Iraq has reached a point that even our vaunted “fourth estate” is covering the horrors that have gone on over the past couple of days. And it certainly doesn’t help when statements like "Philadelphia is just as dangerous as Baghdad" or that "Iraq has a lower civilian death rate than Washington DC" are being taken at face value.



So, let’s play that game. How would the following story play out if it were reported on the front page of the Philadelphia Inquirer?

US’ Inferno Rages



Jews burned six Roman Catholics alive. And a day after Catholic attacks killed 215, scores more American bodies turned up.



Philadelphia - Revenge-seeking Jewish militiamen seized six Roman Catholics as they left prayers yesterday, drenched them with kerosene, and burned them alive while US Army soldiers did nothing to stop the attack, police and witnesses said.



The fiery slayings in the mainly Roman Catholic neighborhood of Philadelphia were a dramatic escalation of the brutality coursing through this major American city. They came a day after suspected Jewish insurgents killed 215 people in Philadelphia’s main Roman Catholic district with bombs and mortars.



The attacks culminated Philadelphia’s deadliest week of sectarian fighting since the war began more than three years ago. At least 87 bodies were found across Pennsylvania yesterday.



Somehow I think people would demand answers and be pretty pissed off. But as long as there are 30% off sales, everything is just peachy.



Would there be as much outrage as if someone took the last half price LCD television if this was the top story on the evening news:

Protestants, Luterans Unleash Reprisals



Burnings reported as American strife deepens



Washington, DC -- In a wave of reprisal killings, Protestant militiamen torched or sprayed gunfire at Lutheran churches in Washington DC and other parts of the US yesterday, defying a government curfew and propelling the country further toward full-scale civil war.



The exacting of revenge for the deaths of more than 200 Protestants on Thursday came as powerful politicians linked to the radical Protestant leader threatened to pull out of America’s coalition government if Vice President Dick Cheney attends a scheduled meeting with the President of the country who invaded America three years ago next week in Amman, Jordan.



Hmmmm. That may make people look up from their morning coffee and be a bit concerned. There are really no good answers – in fact there are not really any bad answers either. Just “horrible” and “miserable” at this point. Unfortunately, even plans that may have been feasible or viable a few months ago are probably useless. Even if “troops home now” (a plan that I have advocated for many months now) is the ultimate choice, how do we get them out?



The time for debate has pretty much passed. Even Senator Chuck Hagel (probably the only republican member of Congress who has been truthful and on point about Iraq) knows that we need to get out, soon. And it is long past time for this game to be played:

He [White House spokesman Scott Stanzel] also repeated the administration’s insistence that Iraq was not in a civil war. “We’re constantly asked that question, and while the situation is serious, Prime Minister Maliki and President Talabani have said they do not believe it is a civil war,”


What if the Chicago Tribune, the LA Times, the Boston Globe, the Washington Post, the New York Post, USA Today and other national newspapers had day after day of headlines and news like the following:
Wave of Retaliation Sweeps United States



In the far northern town of Minneapolis, MN, a car bomb blast ripped through a crowded car dealership, killing at least 22 people and injuring 26.



---snip---



As the uniformed assailants advanced to another area of St. Louis, members of a prominent Presbyterian clan in the area, fought back.



"They were ready for them and ... ambushed the attackers, countering them with RPGs and machine guns," the officer said. The ensuing fight brought casualties on both sides. A nearby hospital reported that it had received 28 dead and 32 injured.



---snip---



In spite of an emergency 24 hour curfew, gunfire crackled throughout the day and mortar rounds arced over Seattle’s jagged skyline, smashing into houses of worship, residences and shops.



By Friday night, at least 65 deaths had been reported in the city and elsewhere.



---snip---



A dozen or more Jewish temples around the country were hit by mortar rounds and gunfire or were burned down by Catholic mobs. Masked members of James Dobson’s militia swept through Jewish areas, setting up checkpoints and threatening to execute families that didn't leave their homes within 48 hours.



Baltimore, a mixed area of the capital, saw some of Friday's fiercest fighting. Uniformed men in police vehicles roared through the streets launching rocket-propelled grenades into houses and raking Jewish temples with gunfire, said an Army officer stationed in the area. The attackers killed three security guards at a temple and injured 10 worshipers inside.



"They proceeded to bombard the building with rocket-propelled grenades and hand grenades, starting a fire that consumed the structure," said the officer, who asked not to be identified for fear of reprisal.



Would people care then? Would people demand answers, accountability and changes? Oh wait – there’s a 50% off sale on DVD players – gotta go.....

Small yellow bus of Republican quotes


Hop on aboard Republicans, continue your trip to the school of hard knocks.

I deserve respect for the things I did not do.--Dan Quayle

El Salvador is a democracy so it's not surprising that there are many voices to be heard here. Yet in my conversations with Salvadorans... I have heard a single voice.--Dan Quayle

It's wonderful to be here in the great state of Chicago.--Dan Quayle

Republicans have been accused of abandoning the poor. It's the other way around. They never vote for us.--Dan Quayle

Bring them on.--George W. Bush

I believe a marriage is between a man and a woman.--George W. Bush

I don't see how you can lead this country to succeed in Iraq if you say wrong war, wrong time, wrong place. What message does that send our troops? What message does that send to our allies? What message does that send the Iraqis?--George W. Bush

I think war is a dangerous place.--George W. Bush

States should have the right to enact... laws... particularly to end the inhumane practice of ending a life that otherwise could live.--George W. Bush


NOTE: On this last one, I know that a lot of fellow Louisiana bloggers and citizens will have their gag reflexes tested to the extreme! Can you say Katrina? Thanks for the memories buddy!

It is easy to take liberty for granted, when you have never had it taken from you.--Dick Cheney

The Iraqi forces are conducting the Mother of all Retreats.--Dick Cheney

The plan was criticized by some retired military officers embedded in TV studios. But with every advance by our coalition forces, the wisdom of that plan becomes more apparent.--Dick Cheney

We will, in fact, be greeted as liberators.--Dick Cheney

Friday, November 24, 2006

Cut You Down

Poppy Bush: BooHoo, stop picking on my son

Poppy Bush was at the World Leadership Summit and got a suprise attack (Yea, big suprise there!) on his bouncing baby boy. That led up to Poppy having to try to defend his twisted little son. I wonder if Poppy ever wishes that he would have turned that little demon seed over his lap and issued the smacks to the backside that he must have deserved. Maybe he would not be the spoiled brat that just has to have his way now if only Poppy would have spanked his ass. But I doubt it, given that Poppy chose to defend his little decider instead. If Poppy would have made him become a man and let him do the right thing instead of bailing him out all the time, maybe the bouncing baby boy would actually act like a man. If Poppy would have passed on pulling strings to help baby boy avoid the draft, he might very well have a better understanding of what war is. Maybe he would see past the profiteering. But alas, Poppy did none of those things and continues to put Baby Boy's reputation above the security of our nation and our people. Not to mention the well being of the world.

President Bush's father was forced into an emotional defense of his son yesterday in the Persian Gulf when an Arab audience launched a blistering surprise attack on his first-born.

"We do honor Americans, and I believe that they are highly respected in our country. However, we do not respect your son, and we do not respect what you are doing all over the world," college student Nevine Al Rumeisi told the former President at a leadership conference in the United Arab Emirates.

Her comment was roundly cheered by the business and political leaders gathered in once pro-American Abu Dhabi.

The elder Bush just looked stunned. (Bold Mine)


Now whatever could Poppy have said to provoke that kind of response? Well maybe this had something to do with it. Then his response was even more stupid!

His speech had stressed how proud he is of both his sons, the President and Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, and how much it hurt him when they are criticized.

"It takes a lot of guts to tell a father what you said about his son when I just told you that the thing that matters to my heart is my family," he said.

"My son is an honest man, he is working hard for peace, and how come everybody wants to go to the United States if the United States is so bad?"


A lot of Guts? Could it be more than just a lot of guts? Like maybe a big dosage of the truth. Regardless, Poppy was getting his BooHoo on! BIGTIME! But wait, it gets even more bizarre!

When another audience member said he thought American wars are designed to open markets for U.S. companies - drawing more cheers and whoops - Bush grew testy.

"I think that's weird and it's nuts," he said.

"To suggest that everything we do is because we're hungry for money - I think that's crazy. I think you need to go back to school."

His voice quivering, the 82-year-old Bush said, "This son is not going to back away. He's not going to change his view because some poll says this, or some poll says that, or some heartfelt comments from the lady who feels deeply in her heart about something."


It goes on to this piece of gold.

He wouldn't say what advice he gives his son. He acknowledged he has "strong opinions on a lot of things" but said if he spoke of them in public, any disagreement between the Bushes would be "flashed all over the world ... it would be terrible."


Well now, if that doesn't shed some light on some things! "It would be terrible!!" So for the sake of baby boy's reputation, you would rather hide it instead of thinking of your country first. Have you no Honor man?

Thursday, November 23, 2006

The Gay Agenda

If you need a few good laughs and some friends to get to know, go check out what's going on at The Gay Agenda. These ladies are the best!



While you are there, let them know that Donnie sent you.




Make sure to check out this post. Oh Pursey, you are so clever!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The Ineluctable Question

I understand everybody's wondering if I'm going to run in '08. To reiterate my position, I'm going to take time over the holidays to talk over the possibilities. There's ample reason for this. For one, my lesbian Massachusetts remarried ex-wife would come under even more scrutiny for her investment in fur-seal factory farming. Two, despite my children being full-grown, I have been repeatedly smeared for their DUIs and child-molestation slip-ups (let he who is without sin cast the first stone)--acts for which I was not responsible, despite my investment in their adult video venture. Three, no matter how many times I point it out, my two girlfriends and one boyfriend (again, the Hodgkins is not my fault) disavowed those snuff films and they are bisexual, not gay. And as for my goat, it began nuzzling up to me before I ever wore that costume, let alone started giving Bessie mulled wine.

Lastly, I would like to thank Joe Lieberman for helping me staff my exploratory committee. I will accept their decision, no matter how painful, when they finish their month of spelunking in the caverns southern Mexico.

Krazy Keroack

Yes, I'm still on a tear about this latest bull-oney appointment of Herr Bushler's.

There are so many things wrong about this guy, it's hard to know where to begin:

From Slate.com-
Until recently, he served as medical director of a pregnancy-counseling organization that runs down contraception and gives out scientifically false health information—for instance, that condoms "offer virtually no protection" against herpes or HPV. Keroack also promotes a wacky piece of pseudoscience: the claim that premarital sex disrupts brain chemistry so as to create a physiological barrier to happy marriage.

He formulated his "claim" from a study by this lady:
Dr. Turner, a professor in the California School of Professional Psychology (CSPP) at Alliant International University, is the author of original research that was misrepresented by Kerouac, President Bush's appointee for the nation's top family-planning post.

Not only is he the posterboy for the abstinence movement (and the anti-abortion movement), but he dresses up his misinformation campaigns under the guise of science...science that has been "resoundingly discredited" in the past.

And now, in his new capacity as population enforcement overlord deputy assistant secretary of population affairs within the Department of Health and Human Services, he has the responsibility to
shape the kinds of information disseminated to millions of women. He will be able to develop new guidelines for clinics, set priorities, and determine how scarce dollars get spent.
Basically, the fox is now in charge of the henhouse and the hens should be afraid--be very afraid!

This could very well be another way to distract the masses. What, with us worrying about whether or not sex and/or birth control will be outlawed, we are not talking so much about Iraq or most especially about impeachment.

For me, personally, this crock doc reinforces my fear that the biggest problem we have in this country is the man who appointed him and is a stark reminder of all the problems that this administration has wrought upon the American people. I am as concerned as ever that we are stuck with a man who truly needs to lose his job (the world can't wait) and I ain't talkin' about Dr. Keroack.

Crossposted at DizzyDayz

Monday, November 20, 2006

Make love, not war. Literally.

Now who would not want to take part in this kind of protest?

Anti-War Activists Plan 'Global Orgasm For Peace'
Two peace activists have planned a massive anti-war demonstration for the first day of winter.

But they don't want you marching in the streets. They'd much rather you just stay home.

The Global Orgasm for Peace was conceived by Donna Sheehan, 76, and Paul Reffell, 55, whose immodest goal is for everyone in the world to have an orgasm Dec. 22 while focusing on world peace.

"The orgasm gives out an incredible feeling of peace during it and after it," Reffell said Sunday. "Your mind is like a blank. It's like a meditative state. And mass meditations have been shown to make a change."

--Snip--

By promoting what they hope to be a synchronized global orgasm, they hope to get people to channel their sexual energy into something more positive.

The couple said interest appears strong, with 26,000 hits a day to their Web site, www.globalorgasm.org.

"The dream is to have everyone in the world (take part)," Reffell said. "And if that means laying down your gun for a few
minutes, then hey, all the better."


You can also check out the GlobalOrgasm Blog. Talk about taking the old slogan "Make love, not war" to a whole new level!!

Cross Posted from Katrinacrat

Sunday, November 19, 2006

American Luftwaffe has arrived

Smile, you're on candid camera! Have a good look at the American Luftwaffe. I'm sure Faux News and people like Ann Coulter, Bill O'Reilly and Michelle Malkin are just beside themselves with this news.


This undated image provided by the US Air Force shows avionics specialists preparing a Global Hawk for a runway taxi test at Beale Air Force Base, Calif. The high-altitude, long-endurance unmanned aerial reconnaissance system is designed to provide military field commanders with high resolution, near-real-time imagery of large geographic areas. The Global Hawk is scheduled to begin flying at Beale Monday Nov. 20, 2006. "This landmark flight has historic implications since it the first time a Global Hawk has not only flown from Beale, but anywhere in the United States on an official Air Combat Command mission," base spokesman Capt. Michael Andrews said in a statement. (AP photo/US Air Force photo - Stacey Knott)

Global Hawk to Fly 1st Mission Over U.S.

They've become a fixture in the skies over Iraq and Afghanistan, a new breed of unmanned aircraft operated with remote controls by "pilots" sitting in virtual cockpits many miles away.

But the Air Force's Global Hawk has never flown a mission over the United States.

That is set to change Monday, when the first Global Hawk is scheduled to land at Beale Air Force Base in northern California.

"This landmark flight has historic implications since it the first time a Global Hawk has not only flown from Beale, but anywhere in the United States on an official Air Combat Command mission," base spokesman Capt. Michael Andrews said in a statement.

--Snip--

The planes are designed to fly at high altitudes for 40 hour-missions covering as much as 10,000 miles, mostly providing aerial surveillance. The aircraft, which can cost more than $80 million each, can reach an altitude of 65,000 feet and send back high-resolution imagery.

How long till the brown suits come in?

More links to the story:
The Mercury News
WKRN-Nashville
Times Daily
Salon
Guardian Unlimited
Forbes
Tuscaloosa News
KESQ-Channel 3, CA

Cross Posted from Katrinacrat and Cross Posted to The Democratic Daily

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Profiles in Douchebaggery

Supervillain Dr. Colossus, er, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff's ridiculous comments about international law being a threat to the US can't go unnoticed.  


The following gem came out of the mouth of a man who has boldly led our Homeland Security Department to a stunning report card from the 9/11 Commission that includes 5 "F's", 12 "D's" and 2 "incompletes" with respect to keeping our country safe:

"International law is being used as a rhetorical weapon against us"...and that members of the European Parliament in particular as harboring an "increasingly activist, left-wing and even elitist philosophy of law" at odds with American practices and interests.


This coming from someone who can't keep his own country safe from a hurricane that then entire world saw coming, and from an administration that has violated international law so many times that a google search for "US violates international law" comes up with nearly 3,000,000 hits.  What a douchebag.


And how does Chertoff feel that we, the "noble" world police force have been "violated" and threatened?  Well, such areas as not allowing the US to reject treaties, or the separation of powers, or even how the US should be able to use information that is available with respect to its' own citizens or those who are entering (or "leaving") this country.


Who was the target of Chertoff's righteous rant?  Well, not only that pesky European Union, but our own "activist" Supreme Court:

Chertoff said the U.S. Supreme Court decision on Guantanamo prisoner Salim Ahmed Hamdan that required the United States to treat detainees under Geneva Conventions standards showed international law's entry into the U.S. domain.


Another concern of Chertoff?  That we may not be able to protect ourselves from attacks.  Who can blame him?  I mean, it's not like personal data about Homeland Security personnel goes missing or that people can enter the Homeland Security Headquarters by using fake ID, or that Senior Homeland Security officials worked for an American Muslim leader who was jailed on terrorism charges.


The important thing is that we "feel" safer.  Just like my mother said to me the other day when discussing airport "security".  Since three ounces of explosives won't blow up a plane, but four ounces of toothpaste or a plastic ziplock bag which is more than the "standard acceptable size" should hold up airport traffic for an hour.  Now THAT is progress with a capital P.


I sometimes think that even these people are starting to make statements and think "hmmm, is this too outlandish for even the most gullible of the public to believe?"  And then I read a statement like the following and just realize that these people don't get the cruel irony of their statements:

The top U.S. general in the Middle East said on Friday that if the world does not find a way to stem the rise of Islamic militancy, it will face a third world war.


Army Gen. John Abizaid compared the rise of militant ideologies, such as the force driving al Qaeda, to the rise of fascism in Europe in the 1920s and 1930s that set the stage for World War Two.


"If we don't have guts enough to confront this ideology today, we'll go through World War Three tomorrow," Abizaid said in a speech titled "The Long War," at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, outside Boston.


Never mind the fact that it wasn't the Islamic militants who set up military bases in our country.  Or that they didn't use illegal chemical weapons on a city in a country that they illegally invaded and occupied.  Or that they lied to the world about their intentions.  Or that they...well, you get the picture.


I wish I could say that we are at a turning point, but that would sound too much like all of the corners that we have been turning in Iraq.  And when you turn the corner four times, well, you are back where you started....


So instead, I bring you "Michael Chertoff - Douchebag Extraordinnaire".

Friday, November 17, 2006

"The terrorists" (and Iraqis) don't care who won our election

I don't know if the talking meatsticks, the republican morons and the `Murkins who are spouting this nonsense about "the insurgents" and "terrorists" wanting the democrats to win are more (1) stupid, (2) self absorbed or (3) just that far detached from reality (or maybe all of the above).


Yet, here we are, more than a full week after the election, and are STILL hearing about how our enemies "win big" with the Democratic victory last week and how the insurgents were rooting for the Democrats.  Couple this with the chorus of "Democrats better do something quick about Iraq or else" and "Democrats want others to do something about Iraq" and you can already see how the latest republican "deny, deny, accuse" strategy of passing off blame for their failures is taking shape.


Are these people so vain as to think that Sunnis and Shiites, who have been in the midst of a civil war for months now, or Iraqi citizens/civilians whose daily life is turned upside down to the point that each day brings basic questions about lack of electricity, clean water, unemployment and basic survival actually stop to say "hey, these elections on the other side of the world will really matter for me"?


Do the Sunnis whose families have been killed and tortured by the Shiites, or the Shiites whose mosques and homes have been blown up by each other were rooting for Nancy Pelosi (and of course her "San Francisco values")?  Did they celebrate and shoot their guns off in the air when Missouri was called for McCaskill or when Allen conceded to Webb?  


Were all of those hundreds (or maybe it is even thousands at this point) of headless, bullet ridden tortured bodies found in and around Baghdad these past 2 months, or the hundreds of corpses that keep surfacing in the Tigris River a show of support for John Hall or Bob Casey?  Or the near 15,000 deaths of Iraqi forces from January through October, or the near 60 (average) US troops killed per month all done to get rid of Dennis Hastert as Majority Leader?


Give.  Me.  A.  Break.


And I'm sure this was also on the minds of Iraqi citizens as well - I bet they waited with baited breath to hear Conrad Burns concede to Jon Tester.  I bet that they were real thankful for the increased troop levels in Baghdad, which of course didn't really make the violence worse.  I bet that the average Iraqi was thinking more about the prospects of a Hoyer vs. Murtha role as Majority Leader as opposed to, you know, just trying to live their everyday life.  Take these anecdotes (hat tip to NY Times and OpEd News):

Life was also hard under Saddam Hussein, the women pointed out. Plans were equally impossible to build. But the basic fabric of life, visiting family, attending weddings and funerals, was for the most part intact. Now Iraqis are letting go even of those parts.


The ministry employee sat at the table looking agitated. She attended the funeral for the mother of a good friend this month. The family was Christian, large and respected in the community, and before the war, such a funeral would draw hundreds. Instead, 10 people came to the church service, and only one, the dead woman's son-in-law, risked following the casket out to the cemetery. Even her daughter stayed home.


Somehow, I think just the fear of what happens when you step outside your door is a bit more weighing on people's minds than Sherrod Brown's positions and views.  And watching their families fall apart is probably a tad more important than who won DeLay's, Mark Foley's and Katherine Harris' congressional seats:

Houda, a 40-year-old layout designer for a magazine in Baghdad who would not give her last name, said the violence had cast her and her husband in the roles of emergency room doctors, shouting orders and performing urgent tasks. Little time remains for intimacy. The last time she remembers feeling happy together was a year ago.


---snip--


It is a daily struggle not to shout at her two teenage girls, one that she usually loses. She has stopped hugging and kissing them, a strange byproduct of extreme stress, she said. Recently, her 15-year-old called to say she missed her, though they had not been apart.


And surprisingly (only if you were to look at it through the eyes of self absorbed Americans), none of these people are talking about the elections in the US:

BILAL WAHAB, Iraqi Fulbright Scholar: Of course it does, because the police are supposed to be the force that's protecting the people. And you see that the police itself is now kidnapping people.


So when you have an issue, when there's a burglar at the door, when there's a terrorist to report, when there's a militiaman who is doing some crime or a gang at the door, who are you going to call? Are you going to call the police? How are you going to call the police?


So when your protector is your own aggressor, I think that will have a great impact on the people when there's no one to trust.


---snip---


JEFFREY BROWN: And, Anthony Shadid, you returned there after being away for a year. What was the biggest difference that you saw?


ANTHONY SHADID, Washington Post: You know, what struck me almost immediately was leaving the airport and seeing how the very face of the city had changed at this point. You know, I've always been struck as a reporter there about the certain resilience that I think Baghdad and much of the country has.


When I went back in October, that resilience itself seemed to have faded. There wasn't traffic in the streets; shops were shuttered; you don't even see people on the sidewalks the way you used to see them a year or two years before.


I think people have withdrawn, in a way. And it is a question of survival at this point, withdrawn inside their homes, trying to wait this out.
In a lot of ways, you feel the city itself has become atomized. I mean, it has almost like lost a sense of being one city.


Sounds like people are really cheering for those Democrats, especially when they .  


JEFFREY BROWN: So, Mr. Wahab, so how do people actually function? I mean, for example, do they go to work?


BILAL WAHAB: Iraqis are amazing. We Iraqis have lived in one war or another for the past 30 years. Eight years of war with Iran, and then some 10 years of sanctions, but these other wars have always been predictable. So we used to have sirens. We used to have shelters. You know what time your town is going to get shelled, so you hide.


But this war, unfortunately, this new phenomenon that we're seeing, it's on a daily basis. People have withdrawn to their homes. My friends and the family members that work in the other parts of Iraq, they basically say, "We either don't go to work or we go to work from, say, 11:00 to 3:00," so they basically either don't go. School is the same thing. People skip classes. Professors skip classes.


But a lot of times they just force themselves out, because what are you going to do? I mean, you're talking about people staying indoors, and then now we have domestic violence because the men are at home and then they cannot put up with it. They used to turn on the television for the few hours of electricity that you have. All you see on the screen is horror.


So life is unbearable. It's existing; it's not living.


But let me guess - the domestic violence is because of the Democrats electing a woman as Speaker of the House, right?


What friggin morons - so caught up in their own warped bubbles that they think that the horror Iraqis are caught up with (the civilians, the Iraqi forces, the "insurgents" - or more accurately, those who are defending their country from an illegal invasion and occupation while our soldiers are caught in a no-win situation) take a back seat to our elections.  


Jeez - if their own elections didn't make a difference in bettering their lives, what makes anyone think that OURS will have any impact on their lives or their civil war?

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Will there be new searches for Katrina dead?

With the discovery of bones from Sept. 11 victims in New York, over five years after the attack on the WTC, New Orleans coroner Frank Minyard wants new searches for Katrina dead. Considering that 9/11 happened five years ago, and skeletal remains of a Katrina victim was found in July, 11 months after the storm, a further search seems to be in order. One has to also consider the vast area that was destroyed by the storm. We owe it to them to find them if at all possible and do the right thing. 33 remains that have been recovered, have not yet been identified. That is 33 out of "roughly 130" that remain "officially missing following the Aug. 29, 2005, storm."

New Orleans coroner wants new searches for Katrina dead

New searches for the remains of people killed by Hurricane Katrina should be performed in light of the recent discovery of bones from Sept. 11 victims in New York, the local coroner said Thursday.

New Orleans coroner Frank Minyard has consistently said he believes that more Katrina victims will be discovered in the vast swaths of flooded out and collapsed homes that haven't yet been demolished across the city, but the recent discovery of hundreds of bone fragments in New York — more than 5 years after the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center — have added urgency to new searches here, he said.

"It woke me up. I was getting a little complacent, saying we got them all," Minyard said in an interview.

Roughly 130 people remain officially missing following the Aug. 29, 2005, storm. Some of the names on the list likely belong to the 33 remains that have been recovered but are not yet identified. Others may belong to people washed out to sea.

More than 1,300 people were killed in Louisiana by hurricanes Katrina and Rita. But Minyard believes some bodies are waiting to be discovered in wrecked buildings still.

The most recently discovered body was found in July.


--snip--

Minyard hopes volunteers will begin new searches, particularly in heavily flooded eastern New Orleans, early next year.

For months after the storm, firefighters and other officials scoured addresses of those reported missing and performed repeated door-to-door searches in the destroyed Lower 9th Ward, but those searches ended months ago when fire officials were satisfied they had looked everywhere they could.

Minyard believes new searches are necessary in some other areas to ensure that the public and families are confident everything possible was done to find storm victims.

"I know they're going to find bodies. They're going to find remains. I just feel it in my bones," he said. "I'm just trying to avoid what happened in New York.


Related Post:

Hurricane Dislodged Coffins and Scattered Bodies Across Louisiana

NEVER FORGET!

Controlling The Womenfolk

(photo courtesy spokesmanreview.com)

Bush and the Rethuglicans are still trying to control the womenfolk.

h/t: Shakespeare's Sister

Apparently, Bush and Co have hired a serious pro-abstinence, anti-choice doctor to oversee womb control "Population Affairs".

Officially, Dr. Eric Keroack, currently the medical director of "A Woman's Concern", in Massachusetts, has been hired as the new Deputy Assistant Secretary for Population Affairs.

So the good doctor will be in charge of overseeing Title X funding which means he will be responsible for the family planning and reproductive health program.

This is scary on too many levels.

For starters, "A Woman's Concern", is a pregnancy crisis center with satellites across the country. There is one here in Colorado. These are not abortion clinics. In fact, they are not really clinics, at all. They are sites set up to convince trick women who are seeking abortions into changing their minds or at least scaring the s**t out of them enough to forgo seeking proper care. Generally, they only offer pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, and/or counseling (which usually amounts to berating a young woman into NOT having an abortion) that's what qualifies them as "clinics". They do not usually offer any "real" care for pregnant women. These are political fronts, not medical fronts.

The fact that Dr. Keroack is the medical director of one of these "pregnancy crisis centers" should put all women (and the men who love them) on notice.

Dr. Keroack is a staunch abstinence supporter. He believes that "the hope for weary broken hearts is abstinence and lots of time for healing". Basically, if everyone stopped sleeping around before marriage and living in "sin" that would solve our relationship woes because we would have more time to look for love and not just replace love with sex (Maybe Bush hired him on to counsel all the Rethuglicans left in the House and Senate...hmmmm...).

Let's stop for a second to remember that this guy has been hired to oversee funding for birth control, particularly for low-income families.

The war against Plan B contraception was bad enough. It looks like a new battle is heating up.

What angers me so much, up to this point, is the fact that Bush and the Rethuglicans seem Hell-bent on pushing their religious agenda on the masses what with faith-based intiatives, a crony in the FDA, and now a crony to oversee the wombs of America's women.

Seems to me if this administration was all about supporting family values, they should start with the war in Iraq; bring all those daddies and mommies home. Give all those single soldiers an actual chance to find love and maybe marry some sweet, hometown girl who would be willing to give birth to some of those "snowflake babies" the Rethuglican's go on and on about.

Here's a slogan: Promote American Family Values--Bring The Troops Home!

That makes a lot more sense than promoting anti-women anti-choice missionaries to posts that oversee what amounts to the control of our bodies (yes, both women and men).

Crossposted at: (Dizzy Dayz)

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

60 years old and still running to daddy to clean up your mess

Jeez, Georgie-boy, you were right.  It is hard work - but not the way you described it.  It has GOT to be hard work screwing up every single thing in your entire life, especially when everything has been handed to you by Daddy and his powerful friends in the business and political world.  


And knowing how much you shun your real father for a "higher father" it has got to kill you that time and time again, you have to turn to daddy's friends to bail you out when you colossally screw up whatever your latest disastrous adventure is.  It doesn't matter if it is relying on daddy to get you into his alma maters (or the Skull and Bones for that matter), or for business connections, or favors for military "service", or on a failed presidency - one filled with lies, divisiveness, stubbornness and one disaster after another.


How is one to ever get mommy's approval and attention when daddy has to keep getting you out of trouble?  And at 60 years old?  Damn that must be bruising to your already fragile ego.

And oh, how embarrassing it must be to have the headline for this week's Newsweek as Father Knows Best, with daddy in the foreground and you relegated to the background.  It must also suck to see the words "Daddy's team comes to the rescue.....once again" or words like "Can Bush save Bush" about having to call in daddy to once again fix what you broke.


You would think that this would have gotten tired and annoying back in your college days, when comparisons of daddy the captain of the baseball team made you feel like you were two feet tall.  But I guess you really showed everyone when you jumped right in yourself to become a cheerleader.  I guess, as the saying from Grease goes, "if you can't be an athlete, be an athletic supporter.  


And oh, how you have shown to be a colossal "athletic supporter" over the years.  Especially when it comes to showing daddy how independent you are.  Just like that time in the mid 1980s when you were the only one who managed to NOT find oil in Texas.  Or when you said back in 2000 how daddy should have invaded Iraq and you wouldn't have wasted all that political capital.  May I ask you how that all worked out?


Oh yeah, an absolute disaster, which may be the understatement of the century.  But not just an absolute disaster for the military, the economy, the Iraqis, the Middle East and the United States in general, but at this point, to have to call daddy once again for help.  Like Robert Gates, who was close with daddy's administration replacing your partner in crime (literally) Rumsfeld.  And calling in daddy's other best friend James Baker to try and come up with the least horrific plan for Iraq and the Middle East.


But we can't forget how you also had to call daddy's buddy Baker back in 2000 to help "convince" the Supreme Court that they should hand you the presidency.  Or how another buddy from daddy's presidency came to the rescue in 2000 with this famous line:

"I'm with the Bush-Cheney team, and I'm here to stop the count."


Good thing you gave him that UN position, especially since nobody else wanted him there.


And what happened after your worst domestic screw up, the non reaction to a hurricane that everyone say coming?  Daddy and Bill Clinton come to the rescue.  Boy, did they get chummy as well.  I guess when daddy finds someone who is intelligent, intellectually curious, engaging and entertaining, he probably wished at least once that Clinton was his son, and not you.


No wonder you have such a disdain for your immediate predecessor.  In 60 years, you have never been able get daddy to notice you - but when you have no accomplishments, how can daddy ever give you his approval anyway?


So this year you celebrate your 60th birthday.  Yet, you are still the same loser and failure that you were for the first 59 years of your life.  And still, even at an age where some people are close to retiring, you still can't get anything right, and still need daddy to call in his friends and favors to bail you out of your messes.


How pathetic.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

What the hell are they putting in that Koolaid now?

Get ready to laugh your ass off! This is really sad, but really says a lot about those that still believe in the Rebublicans and Bush after everything that has happened. Even after the elections and the smack down that was handed out, some people will never get it. This comes from the forum on the website for the local paper. The wingnuts are as rabid as they come on there, and have actually posted a poll for the forum idiot with lefties listed. Among the most deranged on there is someone that goes by the name, Mr. Right, and is anything but! Even that "Thumpin" will not stop this fool from trying to spread the fear. So this is just one sample of this moron spreading another wingnut lunatic's message.

Thank You Libs!!!!!!!!!

Mr. Right Posted 13 November 2006 02:55 PM
By Herman B. Hayes

This is all your fault, you miserable liberals. You have put America on a very dangerous path with all of your recent interest in voting.

We Republicans know that all is not lost for us, and we will do fine. You Democrats follow fads like mice follow cheese, and soon the fad of voting will be over with. Soon you will all forget about having your voices heard, and go back to watching gays on television making houses look like homosexual sodomy nests. I am not sure that you understand how much danger you have put all of us in, though, in the meanwhile.

I cannot blame Donald Rumsfeld for stepping down. He, even though he is one of the toughest men on Earth, probably does not want to get blown to little bits in his office.

You liberals have opened the door, and the terrorists are walking right through it. They will be sure to wipe their feet, though, on the faces of those that you love. Rumsfeld knows that since the Democrats are in power, no one is safe, especially not the Secretary of Defense. Would you want to keep going to work if you could assume that any morning you could open your office door to find Osama pointing a gun at you while molesting your “executive assistant”?

Go ahead, liberals, celebrate. Just make sure that you hang your Taliban flag off the front porch of your house, so the terrorists know that you are their friend. I, for one, am going to continue to fly my good old American flag. I still love this country, and besides, I own lots and lots of guns. I will never forgive you for putting myself and my family in danger.

I guess now is the point at which I should congratulate you all for winning and try not to wonder too much about just how a group of unorganized, unwashed, and unsaved liberals managed to take control of Congress. I suppose the Republican Party is partly to blame for this, though. They were simply all too tired from governing, foiling terrorist plots, and winning election after election to even realize that you liberals would be able to somehow steal dozens of elections across this country. You know you cheated, I know you cheated and God certainly knows you cheated, but that is a topic for another day. Now I would ask you to raise your glasses and toast to your success. Drink fast, though, because your victory will be a short lived one.

If you put together the names of the top twenty Demon-crats that were voted in by you fools, you can spell the word “terror”. How could you vote for terror? I think you liberals should be locked up and studied, to see why your brains fail to function properly. Is there some kind of different synapse in there? Perhaps one that tells you to do things that are not in what we tell you is your best interest.

You are going to die; you do realize that, right? If the terrorists, your invited guests, don’t kill you, something else that you have caused will. For instance, the Democrats are working on a program of “retroactive abortions” where you could be killed up to forty years after your birth, if people decide that you are unwanted, or if you might get in the way of someone having a good time.

Wait, I have an idea! Why don’t you liberals just combine the two ideas of terrorism and retroactive abortion?

That way you could actually fund the Islmo-aborto-fascists as they go about their evil and disgusting work. Make sure that you have some quotas in place, though, you will need to be sure that you have some gay terrorists on the payroll.

Thank you, Liberal America. Thank you for taking away the sense of safety and security that the Republicans gave me. Thank you for taking away the knowledge that my anus was mine to do with what I please, keeping it tightly clenched. Thank you for destroying everything that I hold dear. Enjoy your two years of power, please. We will be taking over again in 2008, if you animals leave us enough America to reclaim.


For the love of GOD, someone get that guy some meds! It has only been a week, and the Bush Bots are singing the 2006 NEO-CON BLUES.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

PLEASE end this deadly and horrific game of whack-a-mole

As much as I hate to use one of my very favorite carnival games as a comparison, it seems as though it is the most appropriate way that I can describe the horrific events and results of the incredibly stubborn and shortsighted decisions made by those who have no business leading our country or military.


We have passed so many "critical points" in Iraq over the past few years, and by all measures, the decisions made have backfired miserably and our troops continue to be in more and more danger - are caught in the middle of a civil war, are being shuttled from one region where violence is almost spiraling out of control to another region where the violence is spiraling out of control, resulting in the region that the troops just left to spiral out of control with violence.  


What is worse is the end result of both regions spiraling out of control with violence, and our troops STILL not knowing what the "course that they should be staying", er,  "mission"  or plan they are charged with is.  And with 26 US troops killed through the first 10 days of the month, things just keep getting worse.

As far as US troops who have been injured, September and October were far and away the worst two months in nearly two years, and the overwhelming majority of terrorist sympathizers Americans want our troops to come home, or at least redeployed elsewhere.  


Besides, if I may be so bold to say - this is not a war that our troops are a part of, or should have been involved with in the first place.  Make no mistake about it - it is a botched and not-well-thought-out invasion as well as a failed and illegal occupation.  And because of those simple but harsh facts for those who are not part of our "reality based community", our troops are now in a position where they have to engage in a deadly and unnecessary game of whack-a-mole (hat tip to our good friend Garry Trudeau).


This whole mess (or at least the mess that I am referring to here) exploded with the oh-so-scary sounding "Baghdad Offensive" which, as typical for this administration, only turned out to be offensive for our troops.  The "offensive" started in the last week of May, 2005.  And it was an immediate success:

BAGHDAD, Iraq, May 30 - The violent backlash to the largest Iraqi-led counterinsurgency operation since the downfall of Saddam Hussein continued today in Baghdad and surrounding areas, with at least 30 people killed in a twin suicide bombing.


---snip---


Doctors and police officials offered varying tallies on the wounded, from 50 up to 120. But there was no doubt that the casualties were extensive. The blasts left a roadway strewn with sandals, pools of blood and pieces of flesh, some of them caught on the rolls of razorwire protecting the Hilla mayor's office.


Not even a week.  Plus, this was the incredibly heavily fortified city that is supposed to be so safe that even our own president can safely travel there to visit with our troops, and congresscritters say that it is as safe as Manhattan.  


Sadly and predictably, the situation in Baghdad didn't get better at all, and "Baghdad Offensive version 2.0" was launched this past summer.  And while there was a steady level of 400-500 US troops wounded per month, nearly 1,000 Iraqi deaths per month and around 60 US troops killed per month, the newer better offensive was billed as due to "improved military conditions":

More than three years after the fall of Baghdad, President Bush yesterday acknowledged that the violence there is "still terrible" and announced that U.S. troops from across Iraq will be redeployed to the capital in an attempt to quell the bloodshed.


---snip---


Mr. Bush said improved military conditions outside Baghdad make it possible to move U.S. troops and military police to the city, where the United Nations says more than 100 civilians a day are killed by car bombs and sectarian death squads.


So while another 10,000 US and Iraqi troops move into Baghdad, cities like Balad have a "rampage of ethnic cleansing":

American troops have been forced to redeploy to a town that they had handed over to Iraqi forces only a month ago, to quell a rampage of "ethnic cleansing" that killed almost 100 people, many of whose bodies were left strewn in the streets for days.


---snip---

The days of bloodshed in Balad, which US forces handed over to Iraq's Fourth Army amid great fanfare a month ago, showed just how far they still have to go.


That was three weeks ago.


And as troops are redeployed to cities like Balad (a "mole" of a city that the troops just "whacked" a few months earlier) to "re-whack the mole" of violence and bloodshed which has just reared its ugly head again, the ugly "mole" called Sadr-City is rearing its ugly head again as well:

American soldiers rolled up their barbed-wire barricades and lifted a near siege of the largest Shiite Muslim enclave in Baghdad on Tuesday, heeding the orders of a Shiite-led Iraqi government whose assertion of sovereignty had Shiites celebrating in the streets.


The order by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to lift the week-old blockade of Sadr City was one of the most overt expressions of self-determination by Iraqi leaders in the 3 1/2 -year-old U.S. occupation. It followed two weeks of increasingly pointed exchanges between Iraqi and U.S. officials, as well as a video conference between Maliki and President Bush on Saturday.


So what about that "other mole" called Baghdad?  Well, looks like it's ugly head is popping up as well:

A pair of suicide bombs ripped through a crowd of would-be police recruits in Baghdad on Sunday, killing at least 35.


The Sunday that is being referred to is today.


Over the past couple of months, we have seen curfews imposed on the city, "all time highs" in deaths in the city, over 80 dead and tortured bodiesreportedly found one day, over 50 of which were found within a 24 hour period and 43% spike in attacks against our troops in Baghdad since midsummer.


This is not what our troops should be doing.  They were set up to fail by those who were too incompetent and stupid to put them in this impossible situation.  


Its time to truly support our troops.  They deserve to stop having to "whack the moles".


They deserve to come home.


Now.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Happy Birthday United States Marine Corps


Happy Birthday to my beloved Marine Corps. The Marine Corps was started in 1775 and has a long standing tradition of honor. Once you claim the title of Marine, you are a Marine for life and every Marine before you and after you, is your brother or sister.

During Bootcamp, every recruit is expected to learn the practical knowledge of the Marine Corps from past to present. Among this knowledge, is every Marine's general orders.

General Orders:

1. Take charge of this post and all government property in view.

2. Walk my post in a military manner, keeping always on the alert and observing everything that takes place within sight or hearing.

3. Report all violations of orders I am instructed to enforce.

4. To repeat all calls [from posts] more distant from the guardhouse than my own.

5. Quit my post only when properly relieved.

6. To receive, obey, and pass on to the sentry who relieves me, all orders from the Commanding Officer, Officer of the Day, Officers, and Non-Commissioned Officers of the guard only.

7. Talk to no one except in the line of duty.

8. Give the alarm in case of fire or disorder.

9. To call the Corporal of the Guard in any case not covered by instructions.

10. Salute all officers and all colors and standards not cased.

11. Be especially watchful at night and during the time for challenging, to challenge all persons on or near my post, and to allow no one to pass without proper authority

U.S. Marine Corps Hymn:

From the Halls of Montezuma
To the Shores of Tripoli;
We fight our country's battles
In the air, on land and sea;
First to fight for right and freedom
And to keep our honor clean;
We are proud to claim the title
of United States Marine.

Our flag's unfurled to every breeze
From dawn to setting sun;
We have fought in ev'ry clime and place
Where we could take a gun;
In the snow of far-off Northern lands
And in sunny tropic scenes;
You will find us always on the job--
The United States Marines.

Here's health to you and to our Corps
Which we are proud to serve
In many a strife we've fought for life
And never lost our nerve;
If the Army and the Navy
Ever look on Heaven's scenes;
They will find the streets are guarded
By United States Marines.

Oath Of A U.S. Marine

ENLISTED: I (state your name) do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to the regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.

Officer: I (state your name) do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; That I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.

Happy Birthday and Semper Fi Brothers and Sisters!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out Rummy

CNN is reporting that Rummy is stepping down!

GOP officials: Rumsfeld stepping down

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, architect of an unpopular war in Iraq, intends to resign after six stormy years at the Pentagon, Republican officials said Wednesday.


UPDATE: The Bastard is gone!

Rumsfeld to Step Down as Defense Secretary

President Bush today announced he is replacing Donald H. Rumsfeld as secretary of defense, saying a "fresh perspective" is needed at the Pentagon to deal with the war in Iraq.

In a White House news conference a day after midterm elections delivered the House of Representatives, and possibly the Senate, to Democratic Party control , Bush said he has chosen former CIA director Robert Gates to succeed Rumsfeld.

"Now after a series of thoughtful conversations, Secretary Rumsfeld and I agreed that the time is right for new leadership at the Pentagon," Bush said.

Rumsfeld, a principal architect of the increasingly unpopular war in Iraq, had become a principal focus of criticism for Americans dissatisfied with Bush administration's strategy in Iraq. Democratic leaders, and even some Republican members of Congress, had called on Bush to replace Rumsfeld, who has been criticized be many military analysts for failing to dispatch enough troops to Iraq in 2003 and 2004 to combat the insurgency.

The announcement came a week after Bush had said Rumsfeld and Vice President Cheney would be staying in their jobs after the elections. Bush said last month that he was "satisfied" with how Rumsfeld has done "all his jobs" calling him a "smart, tough, capable administrator."


Funny thing is that Bush claimed a week ago that Rummy would stay. Now the FOOL wants to paint it as if the decision was made before the elections. So which is it Georgie? You gave full support for him at the same time you claim the decision was made.

Bush indicated that he had made the decision to replace Rumsfeld before the elections, but he said he had not held a "final conversation" with the defense chief or talked to Gates at the time he made his comments to reporters last week that Rumsfeld would be staying on.

"I didn't want to inject a major decision about this war in the final days of the campaign," Bush said. He added, "Win or lose, Bob Gates was going to become the nominee."


That's our president alright, unable to tell the truth if his life depended on it!

Dear republicans: Neener. Neener. Love, clammyc

Allow me to indulge in a bit of schadenfreude as a corollary to Meteor Blades' excellent diary.  And also allow me to offer up a hearty Nelson Muntz "HA-ha!" as well.


Yeah, this is only the very beginning of taking back our country and restoring our democracy.  Yeah, there is a lot of work to do.  But, man is this a sweet smack in the face of republicans, wingnuts, talking meatsticks, 101st Fighting Keyboardists and all those who were so sure of the "permanent republican majority" that they rubbed our collective noses in it for at least the past 2 years, if not longer.


So, your order of humble pie is ready - extra large, of course.  And while we are at it, there is enough crow to go around - some for me to do, and much more for you to eat.  Look at the numbers - nearly 30 House seats.  Six governorship seats.  Quite possibly the Senate (which was unheard of a few short months ago).  A good old fashioned ass-whooping.


The headlines are ugly for you too - no way to spin this as good news for your sorry asses.  MSNBC: "Tables Turned".  or ABC News: "The (almost) Revolution of 2006.  And the exit polls (not the actual races but the general mood) are just as telling.  Corruption as the top issue - and look at how that played out in Ohio.  Blackwell - gone.  DeWhine - gone.  Ney - already gone, and now the seat is a Democratic party gain.


And the beatings were everywhere - a seat in Kansas - KANSAS.  One in Kentucky, three in Indiana, more than a couple in Pennsylvania, and even Texas.  Of course, we can't forget MO-Sen.  The "Show Me state" - well how about if I am one of the first to "show you" the door, former Senator Talent.  Just don't let it hit you in the ass on your way out.


Might I add what a stunning rejection this is of your "out of the mainstream" views?  Enjoy your "last throes" as majority, as a new era is born here in America.  Some may even say that it is morning in America.  


The voters have spoken - and the message is loud and clear - "Buh-Bye" to your nonsense and crap.  And good riddance to you, little Ricky.  And to you too, Chafee.  Pretty soon it will be to you as well, Burnsie and Allen.  


For all your lies.  For all the corruption.  For all your arrogance.  For all your divisiveness.  For all your greed.  For all your stupidity.  For all your racism.  For all your hatred.  


For failing to help protect our people after Hurricane Katrina.  For illegal invasions, torture and chemical weapons.  For pissing off the world.  For not knowing the difference between Sunnis and Shiites.  For "Clear Skies".  For "No Brother Left Behind".  For the Medicare D(oughnut hole) that is screwing our seniors.  For cutting and running from Afghanistan.  For running up the largest deficits and debt ever.  For republican felon Jack Abramoff and his long and tangled republican web of greed corruption and crime.  


For covering up for sexual predators, more earmarks and pork than any congress in history.  For working the shortest amount of days of any Congress.  For "supporting our troops" with car magnets, lies and catchphrases instead of body armor and equipment.  For being a rubber stamp for failed republican and "conservative" policies.  Hell, for any of these other 100+ reasons.


I could go on and on.  But I don't want to, and frankly I don't need to.  To my former friend-turned-wingnut, what was that you said about the Democratic Party becoming irrelevant?  What was it you said about Howard Dean being the DNC Chair as a gift to the republicans?  About the country moving further and further to the right?  About that permanent majority?


To those who think that it is more scary to have "Speaker Pelosi" than to have our borders, ports, airports, railways, power plants and infrastructure ignored like the republicans have - well....maybe eventually you will come back to the "reality based community".  If not, well then, enjoy YOUR irrelevancy.


Sanity has won.  The country has won.  So for that, we should rejoice at our incredibly hard work (unlike, you know, saying that it is hard work but not actually DOING the hard work).  But we should also indulge ourselves, and stick it to those who stuck it to us for so long.  Even if it isn't "good sportsmanship".


Screw "good sportsmanship" for now.  They don't use it, and I will be the first to say that the "good sportsmanship" provisions are quaint and outdated with respect to the battle that we have been fighting.


Today is a good day.  A very good day.  Not for the fearmongering, war criminal loving, corruption accommodating, meatheads, but for the rest of us.


So all you republicans and wingnuts can go stick this in your pipe and smoke it.


Love and kisses,


clammyc