Sunday, April 29, 2007

The Texas Youth Commission scandal is much worse than Sharpstown

And the consequences for all of those involved, from Governor 39% all the way down to the lowliest prison guard, should be at least as severe.

Rick Perry knew about sexual abuse in the TYC system as early as 2001, yet took no action. He appointed cronies and contributors to the TYC board, and when the crimes came to light, named his former chief of staff to oversee a cover-up of his involvement.

He should resign.

Attorney General Greg Abbott ignored the reports from a Texas Ranger, and instead had OAG agents peeking into the bathroom windows of little old ladies in a wild goose chase for evidence of Democratic voter fraud.

He should also quit his post.

Even Alberto Gonzales and the USDOJ refused to heed the warnings, but naturally the Prezdent still has full confidence.

These revelations are months old, and still there is little public outcry and even less effort to bring those responsible to account.

The larger question is how much embarrassment can Republican officials in Austin and Washington endure before they get the message, or at least acquire some shame. We know Bush is ignorant, and we know most of the people he surrounds himself with are as well, but you have to wonder when someone -- some Republican somewhere -- will stand up and say "the Emperor has no clothes". Will it be Medal of Freedom winner George Tenet, on 60 Minutes tonight but also selling his book? Will he be the tipping point?

Really, how much is it going to take? How many lies, how big a scandal, how serious the crimes?

The signs of GOP depression

It's too early to begin celebrating, but it looks like Karl Rove may be succeeding in creating that permanent majority. Thanks, Turdblossom!

President Bush's unpopularity and a string of political setbacks have created a toxic climate for the Republican Party, making it harder to raise money and recruit candidates for its drive to retake control of Congress.

Some of the GOP's top choices to run for the House next year have declined, citing what Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va.) called a "poisonous" environment. And Republicans' fundraising edge, an important advantage over the last five years, has dwindled.

With GOP clout diminished after November's election losses, the Republicans' national committee and their House and Senate campaign committees together raised the same amount as the Democrats in the first quarter of the year — and Democrats ended the period with more cash in the bank. At this point four years ago, Republicans had more than twice the money Democrats did.

"The reality is the Republican brand right now is just not a good brand," said Tim Hibbitts, an independent Oregon pollster. "For Republicans, the only way things really get better … is if somehow, some way, Iraq turns around."

Jennifer Duffy of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report said the party was "desperately in need of some Prozac."

"Toxic climate". "Poisonous" environment. And we're not talking global warming.

"Not a good brand". And I don't mean General Motors.

"Desperately in need of some Prozac", and we're not referring to Seung Hui Cho.

Save your Republican friends (if you care and if you can). Here are some of the danger signs of severe depressive disorder, according to the National Institute of Mental Health:

  • Persistent sad, anxious, or "empty" mood
  • Feelings of hopelessness, pessimism
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities that were once enjoyed, including sex
Well, maybe not the sex part.

Sunday Funnies (Delete All edition)

Saturday, April 28, 2007

I could be outdoors, playing with my puppy

But instead I'm blogging live from the afternoon general session of the Texas Democratic Party's quarterly meeting in Austin ...

Susan Bankston and I are holding down the fort here at the end of the ballroom. She gave me a flash report from the grassroots committee meeting this morning that sounds ambitious and enthusiastic: formation of a precinct/county chair support committee, which would share and communicate ideas on minority outreach, a New Democrat package to be given to newly registered voters, an update to the TDP handbook, and local/regional issues which could be synergized by coordination among counties, (such as efforts to block the Trans-Texas Corridor, for example). They also intend to establish a Yahoo group to take input from the real grassroots.

The chair recognized two candidates in attendance who have announced for CD-10, Larry Daughtery and Dan Grant. Various committee reports were offered and accepted.

Some extended discussion and adoption of various rules from Rules occupied the balance of the next half-hour. The focus finally turned to the proposed revisions in the state convention's delegate selection. Rep. Yvonne Davis rose in opposition, indicating that many disincentives arise under the proposed structure. Ken Molberg indicated Dallas County would lose three hundred delegates under the proposal. Another SD member spoke in support of the plan. Fidel Acevedo also spoke against the change, and Bill Brannon pointed out that the percentages stayed the same even if the raw numbers varied widely.

The change was adopted overwhelmingly by the SDEC.

Update (4/28, 2:30 p.m.): Boyd Richie reported on his nine townhall meetings. The good news included fundraising: TDP has raised more money to date than any year since 2000. Boyd recognized Susan and her blog for linking Kelso's column on Voter ID, probably the best take so far on the subject.

Update (2:35 p.m.): The interns from St. Edwards University who worked in the TDP office -- William Rodriguez, Jackie Villanueva, Aira Jimenez, Rachael Pena -- were acknowledged. Worthy young men and women with bright futures in politics sat on the end with Susan and I and received their proclamations from the chairman.

Update (2:45 p.m.): Convention plans for 2008 (to be held at the Hilton in downtown Austin) proceed apace. The committee is open to suggestions for themes and activities for this conclave from the Democratic public.

Update (3 p.m.): Resolutions on matters ranging from global warming to remembering those who have recently passed are adopted.

Update(3:15 p.m.): I'm going to ask Evelyn Burleson, chair of Calhoun County, permission to do a profile here. Susan's favorite quote of hers is "Conservatism is just a political justification for being stingy." She sounds like my kind of lady.

Chairman Richie completes old business and announcements and adjournment wraps it up. We're gathering in our caucuses so more to come (but it may be tomorrow).

Boadecia also posted live.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Conservative hysterics

Via The Agonist, The New York Sun reports that Deadeye Dick Cheney is the GOP's best hope in 2008 ...

For all the talk about potential candidates who haven't entered the 2008 presidential race — from Mayor Bloomberg to Vice President Gore to Senator Thompson and Speaker Gingrich — the one that who would bring the most to the race is Vice President Cheney.

Commenters there declare Dick and running mate Tom DeLay as the unbeatable combination for rogue elephants longin' to keep hangin' in the White House. Here's a sampling of campaign slogans and bumper sticker ideas:

Cheney/Delay Just a Heartbeat Away
Dick & Hammer (I can see the logo, can't you?)
"30% of Americans can't all be wrong"
Cheney 2008: "Pump Action"

In other hilarious news, right-wing blogs discovered the plot to hide WMDs in Iraq. This delusion has been making the right-rounds for quite a few years now. It's almost as ridiculous as Laura Bush saying "no one suffers more than the president and I" and almost as funny as Rudy Giuliani thinking a gallon of milk costs a dollar-fifty. Almost.

And don't watch this video of Michelle Malkin leading cheers until you've peed first. Really.

Much less funny: Rep. Dana Rohrabacher declared to audience members in a subcommittee hearing that he hoped their families would "suffer the consequences" of a terrorist attack.

It's important to note that what I find funny about this demonstrated ignorance is the sheer cluelessness of the Republicans spouting this nonsense and their believers believing it. The popularity of Fox News among this subset is also proof of their stupidity.

Of course it would be much more funny if people and planets weren't dying because of it.

Skilled facility postpourri

Today Mrs. Diddie's mother is moving from the hospital to the nursing home.

Here's a few updates on things that you have probably been able to follow elsewhere ...

-- Republicans are determined to disenfranchise Texas voters (they had help from two House Democrats who failed to show up for the vote), but Rodney Ellis and other Senate Democrats are just as determined to stop them. Kuffner has a good link assembly.

-- Pulitzer author David Halberstam was killed in an auto accident this week. Eye on Williamson has a nice remembrance. And also Boris Yeltsin, whose mighty heart finally gave out. Don't miss mcjoan's eulogy.

-- The Army lied about Pat Tillman's death and Jessica Lynch's ordeal. As I posted at this link:

Why does the Pentagon feel it necessary to concoct these falsehoods? Is this war lacking heroes?

Were the fabrications invented to give the GWOT some measure of credibility that the generals perceive it to be lacking?

And do the military leaders take their cues on lying from their civilian commanders?

-- Bush says "Screw you" to Gonzales critics (which means everybody in the world).

-- The storms are again swirling around the Turdblossom. Paul Wolfowitz takes Abu Gonzales' lead and digs in, refusing to quit the World Bank over his girlfriend scandal. Dennis Kucinich files articles of impeachment against Deadeye Dick. Another Republican congressman resigns his committee seats over his relationship to Jack Abramoff, and DeLay aide Ed Buckham moves deeper into legal jeopardy as well.

More when I can.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Good Puppy Academy, Class of 2007

The little black puppy (photo here) has given way to a tan adolescent. When Teddi gets her next grooming, her winter coat and baby fuzz will be gone, revealing a lanky dog; a German Shepard's body and a Chow-Chow's head.

She graduated from obedience school yesterday. Good thing it was a pass/fail course, because I would have graded her out C-minus on a curve.

Bush's "soiled and blood-soaked underwear" and additional bloggerrhea

-- Sean Penn defeated pretend-Fascist Stephen Colbert in last night's Metaphor-Off. This classic debate is one of the most hilarious things ever shown on television. No video I can yet find, but will add it here later. Here we go:

-- Freeper responses to yesterday's Gonzo-palooza:

"I am hoping against hope AG Gonzalez slaps these jerks down... Clinton’s firing of over 90 US attorneys... Gonzales needs to check his tongue the door... the AG is rambling... This is bad... AG is stuttering... Yikes... AG has nothing to loose by starting to kick some serious butt... He’s doing a little better now... I take it back. I’ll have a hub cap full of Marguerita’s please... Poor AG is simply not ready for the bigs... Pathetic... the Clintons... I keep wanting to tell Gonzo to stop talking... I’ll take 3 Rum Runners... This is not his best hearing... Gonzales is obviously a boob... Clinton and Reno... Its like watching someone eat themselves to death... I can’t take any more of this. Gonzales is pathetic... wounded deer in the clutches of wild beasts... GONZALES is getting reamed... this is like a tooth extraction without anaesthesia... Sadly, Shumer’s remarks seem to be correct... Make John Bolton the new AG in a recess appointment, or Ann Coulter... this worse than the a Friday the 13th movie. It is a bloodbath... Clinton... Clinton... Clinton... Is this guy retarded?... Gonzales is doing an awful job... Clinton... W needs to cut his loses... can anybody who is watching this really say that this is the guy we want as AG?... It’s embarrassing. Lights are on but nobody’s home... He is like Miers or Brown... After watching this I wouldn’t want him to handle a traffic ticket for me... Janet Reno... Clinton..."

Will Pitt, after watching the hearings:

I am sometimes motivated to distrust my own internal Outrage-O-Meter whenever the needle pins deep in the red zone. Am I just too involved? Too biased? Is my bottle so filled with this nonsense that small pours into it become flooding slop-overs?

I watched every second of those hearings.

I think that was among the most embarrassing things I've ever seen. I'm ashamed for my country after that. This man is in the line of succession? Egads and gad zooks.

Was it really as spoon-bendingly bad as it seemed to me?

-- Jimmie "JJ from Good Times" Walker and Annthrax Coulter draw the paparazzi like they usually draw flies. I'm so old I remember when JJ was as emaciated as Coulter.

-- "Internet Argument" is another great toon from August J. Pollack that couldn't wait for the Sunday Funnies.

-- Tom DeLay compares himself to the Duke lacrosse players who were falsely accused of rape, and repeats his double-negative: "I haven’t been found guilty of nothing."

Must stop here, because I'm still laughing so hard it's difficult to breathe.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Richardson outpolls "Other" and "No F'ing Clue"

Edwards stretches his lead over Obama to 43-25 in April's survey of Kossacks. Hillary finally pulls ahead of Kucinich, 3-2.

Update (4/18): Jerome has more polls and more analysis.

In other non-shooting-rampage related news ...

-- Go see a movie tonight with filmmaker and Houston native Richard Linklater at the MFAH. He's picked Some Came Running, Vincente Minnelli's 1958 film starring Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and a very young Shirley MacLaine.

-- When the focus shifted from trying to catch drug traffickers to people crossing the border, then sure enough, drug prosecutions went down. Which of these is the real crime? (I realize you libertarians should answer 'neither'...)

-- My old state rep, the art censor, is building a large house in the district. A very large house.

-- Harris County's new judge, Ed Emmett, supports the completion of the Grand Parkway (bad) but sounds like he's opposed to both the TTC -- mostly he thinks it was bad PR -- and rail anywhere except on Richmond (both good, if true). He's not likely to do much about any of this until he faces the voters (and wins).

-- Republican state legislators are playing smoke-and-mirrors with the stem cell bill. Apparently they can only get things like this done when the Democrats aren't paying attention. South Texas Chisme has more on the story, and the Texas Freedom Network has a petition for you to show your support for stem cell research.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Restricting the Vote: HB-626

Tonight the Texas Progressive Alliance conferenced with John Courage and Terri Sperry of True Courage Action Network, Nate Isaacson of PFAW, and other voting rights activists on HB-626, the voter ID bill which would place too onerous a burden on the rights of Texans to cast their ballots.

The bill requires requires voters to provide a certified copy of a passport, birth certificate, or naturalization papers (proving citizenship) at the time of voter registration, and a photo ID at the polling place. Sonia Santana, my friend and the most engaged citizen in the state of Texas on this issue, posted a recent diary detailing the concerns. Vince and Hal posted on the bill's filing in January, and it comes up for a vote this week.

Certified copies -- not the original documents -- are necessary because the copies are retained by the voter registrar, which will no longer be the person you sign up with at the Wal-Mart, or the county fair, or even at the driver's license renewal office. Certified copies aren't inexpensive; costs vary but they're in the range of $20 to $30. That makes this requirement essentially a poll tax, which is precisely what the Republicans sponsoring it want to achieve: suppression of votes by minorities and less-than-wealthy people. But it also will exclude students, seniors, the disabled and many working people by putting too high a price on a person's time and mobility to acquire the proof.

People whose names have changed, through adoption or marriage, will be at an additional disadvantage. People born at home -- a not-so-insignificant number of people in Texas -- don't have a birth certificate, and as such will likewise be inconvenienced at best and disenfranchised at worst.

This is bad legislation with nefarious intent: suppressing the vote under the guise of a concern for a problem which exists only in the imagination of men like Karl Rove.

Contact your state representative and tell them to vote NO. Look up your state rep with this link.

Update (4/17): Paul Burka and I are in complete agreement.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Sunday Funnies

Frost on the postpourri

in April?

-- The guy who got Pipped by Jackie Robinson lives in Houston. (The link is not working at this posting. When the Chron fixes it, I'll note it here.) (Link fixed.) He got shafted by Branch Rickey but doesn't hold a grudge. This is another great story about the old school and baseball.

-- The fried chicken that saved New Orleans. I can't wait to eat it soon.

-- Brian Williams on blogging:

“You’re going to be up against people who have an opinion, a modem, and a bathrobe. All of my life, developing credentials to cover my field of work, and now I’m up against a guy named Vinny in an efficiency apartment in the Bronx who hasn’t left the efficiency apartment in two years.”

That sounds like the Vinny I know. It also sounds like Angie, rachel, Claude, and about a dozen other aliases he/she uses. And if Vinny is providing better information than Williams, what does that say about them? And NBC?

Here's an idea, Brian: do your job so we bloggers don't have to.

And for Jeebus' sake, who actually blogs in a bathrobe? I always go al fresco.

-- The Blogger's Code of Ethics just isn't for me, either.

-- The Price is Right Wing, with Tucker Carlson!

-- A dirty hippie blogs from Baghdad. Here's her blog. Thanks to the Lone Star Iconoclast for making sure the truth gets told, like always.

Friday, April 13, 2007

On slanguage

This conversation is the best result that's coming out of the Imus affair ...

Don Imus' firing Thursday was the result of a collision between mainstream popular culture and hip-hop culture. This generational and cultural debate has been fueled by the concept of "you people," whoever they — or we — are.

Imus testily used those words during his appearance on the Rev. Al Sharpton's radio show Monday. "You people" seemed directed at Sharpton and other activists more than African-Americans as a whole, unlike Ross Perot's use of that phrase during his 1992 presidential run.

Hip-hop has enjoyed tremendous crossover success. For better or worse, depending on one's tastes, it's unavoidable. And rap has, for years, been built on its street credibility, reflected in no small part in its slanguage. There are regional shorthands for cars, neighborhoods and other, more unsavory things. Hip-hop's impact explains how the phrase "nappy-headed hos" ever found its way to Imus' microphone.

"How can we ignore the problem that every 12-year-old in the country knows this phrase?" asks comedian-turned-gubernatorial candidate Kinky Friedman, who also has been accused of being a racist and sexist. "And we're giving Grammys to guys for using the same phrase that gets Imus fired."

Are some words simply the sole property for use only by certain (race-specific) people?

Can words or symbols be "owned" and repurposed? The theory that the rampant use of the n-word in hip-hop has removed its poison is faulty. Ask comedian Michael Richards. Or better yet, ask the black audience members at his comedy show that turned into an epithet-filled meltdown, complete with threats.

Salikoko S. Mufwene, a professor of linguistics at the University of Chicago, says, "It's a matter of who has authority in language. There are certain terms used in the African-American community that are not licensed to other people."

I'm looking forward to seeing where this goes. If you want the conservative talking point go read these comments.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Kurt Vonnegut 1922-2007

The author speaking at a rally against the Persian Gulf war in 1991.

The first book of his that I read was Breakfast of Champions, in 1974. I was a high school sophomore and thought I had just found some key to the universe. Here's what the NYT Book Review wrote when it was published the previous year:

You have to hand it to Kurt Vonnegut Jr. In his eighth novel, "Breakfast of Champions, or Goodbye Blue Monday," he performs considerable complex magic. He makes pornography seem like any old plumbing, violence like lovemaking, innocence like evil, and guilt like child's play. He wheels out all the latest fashionable complaints about America--her racism, her gift for destroying language, her technological greed and selfishness--and makes them seem fresh, funny, outrageous, hateful, and lovable, all at the same time. He draws pictures, for God's sake--simple, rough, yet surprisingly seductive sketches of everything from Volkswagens to electric chairs. He weaves into his plot a dozen or so glorious synopses of Vonnegut stories one almost wishes were fleshed out into whole books. He very nearly levitates.

Vonnegut was the greatest American novelist of our generation. That's only my humble o, but also certainly that of many others. Few writers have really grasped my mind around its figurative throat and shaken it like a dog with a rag as he did.

He was pretty much everything a free-thinking person could aspire to. His essays from In These Times were compiled into a short book called A Man Without a Country in 2005 and they chronicled his path from conservative to liberal, a trail I have similarly walked.

There's a photo of Vonnegut -- probably at an anti-war rally -- holding up a Bartcop sticker. Perhaps we'll see that and some other remembrances of the author today posted by others. I'll collect some and update here later. I'm a bit too distraught at the moment to collect and post all of my own feelings about the passing of this literary titan.

Updates (4/13):

Racy Mind quotes a random passage from Champions.

Tom Kirkendall is uncharacteristically snide.

Norbizness provides the scene from Rodney Dangerfield's epic Back to School.

Katrinacrat feels the loss and has the classic quote from God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater.

My Left Nutmeg has some YouTube of the man.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Monday: Ben Barnes. Tuesday, John Sharp.

Which washed-up conservative Democrat (or DINO) will the TDP power brokers -- who have no actual power to broker -- float today as our 2008 Senate selection?

Take the poll
(reg. req.) or cast your vote in the comments.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Lone Star Project reveals Dewhurst can't complete his paper work

Now this is the sort of thing I would like to see Matt Angle do a lot more of:

Millionaire “Lite” Governor berates and belittles uninsured families, yet failed to

complete and file simple business forms.

Texas Lt. Governor David Dewhurst is among the harshest hardliners insisting that families who qualify for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) must reapply every six months or see their children dropped from the program. He recently said,"I don't think most people in Texas have a lot of sympathy for someone that can't fill out a two-page application every six months.'' (Dewhurst, Austin American-Statesman, January 25, 2007)

Public records obtained by the Lone Star Project, however, show that David Dewhurst himself has repeatedly failed to complete and file routine forms needed to do business legally in Texas. At least six times, businesses directed by, or connected to, David Dewhurst failed to fill out required forms in a timely fashion. In fact, David Dewhurst Investment Partnership was issued a Notice of Cancellation by the Texas Secretary of State on December 6, 2006, for failing to file a periodic report that is required only once every four years.

Go read the details. This man wants to be Governor or Senator or Vice President or President one day, just like Hutchison and Cornyn and 39% and Greg Abbott and all the rest of them.

Dewhurst is one of the most benign of our GOP incompetents; he comes across as genial but his statements on CHIP belie his antagonism toward poor people. And now he's demonstrated his hypocrisy as well.

Congratulations Lt. Governor, you're busted.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

To be glued to the tube

The Sopranos wrap things up starting tomorrow evening:

The two episodes that open the final run are, as Sopranos episodes tend to be, masterful examples of the TV art — tense, terrifically acted, carefully observed one-hour plays that delve ever more deeply into the characters while pushing the story slightly forward. They set the concluding mood and the theme, that of family issues coming to a head. But they don't do much to move us toward the conclusion, and that may not sit well with viewers who have clamored, if not for the end, at least for the end to begin.

Still, Tony clearly feels some end approaching, as his oncoming 47th birthday has left him pondering his legacy and his mortality. He has cobbled together a peace agreement with the New York Mob, but it's no more stable than his family — as reflected by a chillingly amusing game of Monopoly that Tony and Carm play with Janice (Aida Turturro) and Bobby (Steven R. Schirripa). These are people, we are continually reminded, who believe in all the rules except the ones that would constrain them.

Looking forward to this almost as much as I am the premeire of the new season of Entourage. More on that:

As it begins the last half of its third season, there's another force to be reckoned with. Amanda, Vince's new agent, plays the Hollywood game as well as any man. She works all hours, knows how to make things happen and takes no guff. She's the type of woman who uses everything at her disposal, including her sexuality.

Carla Gugino plays the part masterfully, as if she knows this person.

Ari knows this person, too, which is why he's as manic as ever but in a way that's spiraling down and out of control. Bottom line: He misses Vince, and he's willing to work at getting him back.

This isn't the Ari with whom we are familiar. Though in charge of his own business now, he's lost his mojo. Worse, he's gone soft. He no longer can take pleasure in firing. He feels the need to protect his gay assistant. He cannot win an argument with his and his wife's marriage counselor.

But if he can win back Vince, he can right his boat. And when even attempting to win him back proves positive, Ari decides to go all-out. Early episodes suggest that will lead to the mother of all smackdowns, with no clear winner.

Piven's performance is a beauty, a step up from his much-heralded, Emmy-winning portrayal of the past. He brings to these episodes a nuanced Ari. He's as conniving and manic as ever, but there's a heightened desperation and a tell-tale sign of heart not often seen in his earlier episodes.

Grenier also steps up his game. In previous years, he played at being cool. In these new episodes, he is cool. Some of E's smartness is rubbing off. Vince still needs E, but you get the impression he might do OK without him.

It's a testament to its makers that the show is growing. As sexy and funny as ever, Entourage is becoming television you don't want to go without.

And I don't.

This aspen has turned

Thank you, Nance:

It started when I heard President Bush’s Saturday radio address, and finally realized what an articulate statesman he is. Suddenly putting food on my family started to make sense, along with the War on Terror, the need for wire-tapping US citizens, and the necessity of doing away with quaint concepts like freedom in the pursuit of spreading democracy.

My transformation into a BushBot escalated quickly –- a kind of surge, if you will. Once I started speaking in talking points, I knew there was no turning back. I realized that facts were the enemy, and I had to fight ‘em over there as well as over here. So I bought a gas-guzzler, slapped a W sticker on the bumper, burned my copy of An Inconvenient Truth, and set out to claim my rightful place in the world as an ill-informed idiot. It was time to adapt to win.

The memory loss set in quickly; I no longer remember that Bush once claimed Iraq had WMDs or tried to purchase yellowcake from Niger. It dawned on me that Abu Ghraib was just a fraternity hazing incident, and that the insurgency is indeed in its last throes. I could now understand why Halliburton had every right to pack up and leave the US, no doubt disgusted by being ignored once again by those intellectual snobs who nominate Nobel Peace Prize contenders.

As for the predictions of the PNAC boys –- like being greeted as liberators with sweets and flowers, or a square in downtown Baghdad being named in honor of one G.W. Bush –- I realize now that they were merely misquoted by the Liberal media, which has been unrelenting in its biased reportage of successes we achieve in Iraq and Afghanistan on a daily basis.

I started wishing that everyone would get off Gonzo’s back. I also started wishing that Karl Rove was single, and I was his type. I started having an irresistible urge to buy all of Ann Coulter’s and Dinesh D’Souza’s books – but my ability to read is already faltering, along with my comprehension skills. And the constant whining of wounded vets complaining about Walter Reed, the red tape nightmare of accessing rehabilitation care and disability funds –- blahdey, blah, blah –- went from plucking on my heartstrings to clawing at my last nerve.

Not completely convinced that I had truly turned, I set out to see my doctor. Along the way, I passed a homeless man –- and my usual instinct to reach into my pocket for some money was simply gone! Instead, I yelled, “Get a job, moran!” I kicked him, and his mangy little mutt, and actually felt good about it –- kinda like I was doing the Lord’s work.

As I waited in the reception area, I got into a political discussion with several other patients. I would not allow any of them to get a word in edgewise, and spouted baseless facts in as loud and shrill a voice as possible, until it was my turn to see the doctor –- well, not really my turn, as I selfishly insisted on pushing ahead of others, even though they had actual medical emergencies to be tended to. As a burgeoning RepubliCon, I knew that my needs transcended all others.

After a quick examination, my doctor confirmed what I had already suspected: my IQ had dropped seventy-five points, I was deaf to any statement that did not accord with mein fuhrer’s –- I mean my esteemed leader’s –- ideology, and was utterly blind to the truth. In short, I had become a GOPer!

Because I live in Canada, there was no bill for my check-up –- but I insisted that as an American citizen, I had a right to be charged an exorbitant fee for medical care, and left a $15,000 check with the startled receptionist after lecturing her on the fact that health care should only be available to those who can afford it. (Of course, I can’t afford it either –- but now that I am a Republican, once I get in on the crony network, I should be able to land a cushy, well-paying job with the US government. With my non-qualifications, I’ll be a shoe-in.)

Homeward bound with a new sense of patriotism, i.e. anyone who disagrees with this administration is a traitor, I saw the world in a different light. Finally the veil of truth no longer obscured my vision, and I noticed things I hadn’t been cognizant of before –- like the fact that my Muslim neighbors, heretofore kind and friendly people, are actually terrorists planning the downfall of my country; like the fact that the lesbian couple next door pose a threat to my marriage; like the fact that facts are open to interpretation.

Once I could see, but now –- praise the Lord! –- I am blind. It was a moment I once would never forget. But being as I’m one of them now, I will not recall it in the morning, any more than I would recall outing a CIA agent, or firing an attorney who doesn’t see eye-to-eye with my Beloved President. The only thing I do remember now is that everything that is wrong with my country is Bill Clinton’s fault –- ah, life as it should be.

Even Bush's sycophants have sycophants

Monica Goodling's sudden Friday-afternoon resignation letter was three sentences long. This was the last one:

"May God bless you richly as you continue your service to America."

Allow me to revise that, on this glorious Christian holiday -- between Good Friday and Easter Sunday -- to ...

"May God punish you severely for for allowing torture at Guantanemo Bay and elsewhere across the globe, where suspected terrorists were extraordinarily rendered specifically for that purpose. And may you continue your service to America in a dark, damp jail cell that is slightly worse than the conditions at Walter Reed Hospital."

Alberto Gonzales deserves to to be the very first Bush administration official brought to trial at The Hague for his war crimes. Ahead of Bush, ahead of Cheney, even ahead of Rumsfeld.

Bagwell Appreciation

Thanks for the memories, Bagmaster.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Cheney keeps lying even as DoD refutes him

God, I wish I could blog about something besides this asshole:

Vice President Dick Cheney repeated his assertions of al-Qaida links to Saddam Hussein's Iraq on Thursday as the Defense Department released a report citing more evidence that the prewar government did not cooperate with the terrorist group.

How fucking stupid must someone be to believe anything this sorry bastard says any more? Oh, that's right; this was on Rush Limbaugh's radio program.

"He took up residence there before we ever launched into Iraq, organized the al-Qaida operations inside Iraq before we even arrived on the scene and then, of course, led the charge for Iraq until we killed him last June," Cheney told radio host Rush Limbaugh during an interview. "As I say, they were present before we invaded Iraq."

However, a declassified Pentagon report released Thursday said that interrogations of the deposed Iraqi leader and two of his former aides as well as seized Iraqi documents confirmed that the terrorist organization and the Saddam government were not working together before the invasion.

The Sept. 11 Commission's 2004 report also found no evidence of a collaborative relationship between Saddam and Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida network.

The stupid! It burns!

More batshit nutcake bloviating from these two bleeding rectums here. And while we're on the topic of right wing freaks parading their insanity, watch Bill O'Reilly blow a gasket at Geraldo Rivera.

The more the Right bitches about undocumented workers as seemingly their primary concern, the more shrill and obnoxious they sound. It's not quite as ignorant as the link between Saddam and al-Qaida, but it's still pretty foolish.

Tell the truth

That's what Mos Def (excellent in the recently-viewed 16 Blocks) and Eminem ask Bush to do. I hope they aren't holding their breath:

TIME: An administration's epic collapse

When a conservative lickspittle like Joe Klein takes a dump on Bush, you know that our long national nightmare is almost over:

The first three months of the new Democratic Congress have been neither terrible nor transcendent. A Pew poll had it about right: a substantial majority of the public remains happy the Democrats won in 2006, but neither Nancy Pelosi nor Harry Reid has dominated the public consciousness as Newt Gingrich did when the Republicans came to power in 1995. There is a reason for that. A much bigger story is unfolding: the epic collapse of the Bush Administration.

The three big Bush stories of 2007--the decision to "surge" in Iraq, the scandalous treatment of wounded veterans at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center and the firing of eight U.S. Attorneys for tawdry political reasons--precisely illuminate the three qualities that make this Administration one of the worst in American history: arrogance (the surge), incompetence (Walter Reed) and cynicism (the U.S. Attorneys).

No excerpt does this evisceration justice. Go read the whole damning thing.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

The media still reeks

The recent Correspondents' Dinner -- where the MSM and government elite meet to eat, drink, and whore themselves out -- was a demonstrable success again this year:

And I had such high hopes for NBC's David Gregory.

Glenn Greenwald (via Vast Left Wing Conspiracy) reminds us again what we have lost:

Even six months after this country invaded Iraq, 70% of Americans continued to believe that Saddam helped personally plan the 9/11 attacks. That heinous fact, by itself, should have provoked a major crisis in political journalism -- a desperate effort to find out what went so fundamentally wrong. Yet it did nothing of the sort. Most of the energies of national journalists are devoted instead to defending how they operate and, most of all, condescendingly disparaging their critics as shrill partisans who don't understand the real role of journalists.

I honestly find it unfathomable that any national journalist[s]... can defend their profession, and deny that there are deep-seated and fundamental flaws in it, when this country started a war with the overwhelming majority of citizens -- 70% -- believing an absolute, complete myth, a known falsehood, one which, more than anything else, caused them to support that war. Leaving aside every other issue of gullible, government-propaganda-based reporting, that fact standing alone is a towering indictment of our country's press corps, and the fact that they continue to believe that the way they operate is proper, that they are sufficiently adversarial to the political powers that be, and that it is their critics who are "ideological" and therefore easily dismissed -- all reveals that they have not changed at all.

They may not know it, but the disaster of the Iraq War and the absolute myths which they allowed to take root -- and which they never investigated, exposed or attacked -- is an inescapable indictment of what they do. That is the foundation on which media criticism rests, and there is nothing "partisan" about it. It is the opposite of "partisan." It is instead a demand that the media fulfill their core responsibility -- to serve as an adversarial check on government -- a responsibility which they have profoundly abdicated.

Really, it's no wonder Karl Rove is still dancing and smiling and laughing.