Saturday, December 24, 2005

The Little Red Hoax

Federal agents' visit was a hoax
Student admits he lied about Mao book

And I fell for it:

He Knows What You've Been Reading

I was thinking about this kind of thing the other day while I watched coverage of the latest day of Saddam Hussein's trial. Hussein was claiming to have been beaten while in U.S. custody. A few years ago I would have laughed at such a claim. Now, after Guantanimo, Abu Graib, dozens of prisoners dead at the hands of their U.S. captors, I had to think. Maybe we did torture him.

And that's one of the tragedies of the Bush Administration. Their conduct has been so anti-democratic that everyone now assumes the worst about them. There's no presumption of innocence once you've broken the law so many times.

I'd believe just about anything they're accused of. Sad.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Blogweather Report

Heading out for the holidays today. Posting may occur, but will be intermittent. More likely on Saturday, and from Tuesday next. However, unpredictability is key here. Don't count on anything.

Happy holidays, Merry X-mas (why are they taking the "X" out of Xmas, anyway?) and Happy New Year.

'We Have Dentists'

US soccer fans win a rare award (from the

Swells Awardz 2005

The Best Crowd Heckle Ever Award
goes to ...
American fans at the US v England friendly in Chicago. Not only did they sport T-shirts proclaiming "Tea is for pussies", "Beach Boys kick Beatles' ass", "Beckham is a Fairy", "FDR can't save you now", "Magna Carta this..." and "We own Man U", but - led by a drummer - they taunted David James for an entire half with:

"We Have Dentists!"
Boom boom boom-boom-boom
"We Have Dentists!"
Boom boom boom-boom-boom
"We Have Dentists!"
Boom boom boom-boom-boom
"We Have Dentists!"
Boom boom boom-boom-boom
"We Have Dentists!"
Boom boom boom-boom-boom.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Faux War on Christmas: The Final Act

From Attaturk:

Five to the Egg Noggin'

A Drop of Good News

Senate Blocks Alaska Refuge Drilling

WASHINGTON - The Senate blocked oil drilling in an Alaska wildlife refuge Wednesday, rejecting a must-pass defense spending bill where supporters positioned the quarter-century-old environmental issue to garner broader support.

Drilling backers fell four votes short of getting the required 60 votes to avoid a threatened filibuster of the defense measure over the oil drilling issue. Senate leaders were expected to withdraw the legislation so it could be reworked without the refuge language. The vote was 56-44.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist was among those who for procedural reasons cast a "no" vote, so that he could bring the drilling issue up for another vote.

The vote was a stinging defeat for Sen. Ted Stevens (news, bio, voting record), R-Alaska, who for years has waged an intense fight to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. He had thought this time he would finally get his wish.

Cheney To Middle Class: Go Fuck Yourself

From Reuters:

Senate passes spending cuts after Cheney breaks tie

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate on Wednesday narrowly passed a bill to trim nearly $40 billion from federal spending over five years, including cuts to social welfare programs such as health care for the elderly and poor.

But the super-rich (like Cheney) keep their tax cuts.

The man is going to hell.


What would Johnny Damon do? It's one of my favorite Red Sox t-shirts from the World Championship season.

Guess I'll have to retire it, because Damon has just become a MFY*.

Apparently, the answer to the question is, he'd go anywhere for money.

Damon jumps to Yankees
Deal with New York worth $52m

Into the trash heap my WWJDD t-shirt will go, along with "Get Foulked" and "Cowboy Up". Maybe I can bear to take them out some day far in the future. Right now this is painful.

Favorite Damon diatribe so far, from A Red Sox Fan in Pinstripe Territory:

F This/Where Have You Gone, Bill Lee?

None of these shithead macho jocks cares about anything except the money that's waved under their noses. David Ortiz aside, of course. What's the point in rooting for any of these people? What if Steinbrenner said he's changing the yankees logo to an Old English red "B"? Would yankee fans still root for the yankees? Why should I choose a side in a game where all the sides are the same?

*Mother Fucking Yankees

You Can't Fight the Philistines With a Spoon

Peter Daou on (via firedoglake [amusing side note, blogger's spellcheck wants me to replace "firedoglake" with "prodigally". Ha.])

The Dynamic of a Bush Scandal: How the Spying Story Will Unfold (and Fade)

7. A few reliable Dems, Conyers, Boxer, et al, take a stand on principle, giving momentary hope to the progressive grassroots/netroots community. The rest of the Dem leadership is temporarily outraged (adding to that hope), but is chronically incapable of maintaining the sense of high indignation and focus required to reach critical mass and create a wholesale shift in public opinion. For example, just as this mother of all scandals hits Washington, Democrats are still putting out press releases on Iraq, ANWR and a range of other topics, diluting the story and signaling that they have little intention of following through. This allows Bush to use his three favorite weapons: time, America's political apathy, and make-believe 'journalists' who yuck it up with him and ask fluff questions at his frat-boy pressers.

8. Reporters and media outlets obfuscate and equivocate, pretending to ask tough questions but essentially pushing the same narratives they've developed and perfected over the past five years, namely, some variation of "Bush firm, Dems soft." A range of Bush-protecting tactics are put into play, one being to ask ridiculously misleading questions such as "Should Bush have the right to protect Americans or should he cave in to Democratic political pressure?" All the while, the right assaults the "liberal" media for daring to tell anything resembling the truth.

9. Polls will emerge with 'proof' that half the public agrees that Bush should have the right to "protect Americans against terrorists." Again, the issue will be framed to mask the true nature of the malfeasance. The media will use these polls to create a self-fulfilling loop and convince the public that it isn't that bad after all. The president breaks the law. Life goes on.

10. The story starts blending into a long string of administration scandals, and through skillful use of scandal fatigue, Bush weathers the storm and moves on, further demoralizing his opponents and cementing the press narrative about his 'resolve' and toughness. Congressional hearings might revive the issue momentarily, and bloggers will hammer away at it, but the initial hype is all the Democrat leadership and the media can muster, and anyway, it's never as juicy the second time around...

Rinse and repeat.

Certainly that's how the recent glut of scandals has gone: the August 6, 2001 PDB, Guantanimo, Abu Graib, Scooter Libby, et al. Let's hope critical mass has been attained. And there's always Jack Abramoff, who the New York Pravda Times says today claims to be broke and is discussing a plea. (How broke can someone who stole millions be? Is he buying cat food for dinner? Doubt it.)

The Democrats cry out for a new leader. I had hopes for Barack Obama after the 2004 Democratic convention, but he is taking bland pleasantness to new heights. You can't fight the Philistines with a spoon. You need a sword. Obama is a plastic spoon at this point. We need someone who's really tough. Chimpeachment will come only at the point of the sword. Who will the sword be?

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Fertilize the Tree of Liberty With a Little Bushit

Thomas Jefferson, November 13, 1787:

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is it's natural manure.

Root Bush out.

Conservatives for Chimpeachment

Conservative Scholars Argue Bush’s Wiretapping Is An Impeachable Offense

Conservative scholars Bruce Fein (constitutional scholar and former deputy attorney general in the Reagan Administration) and Norm Ornstein (American Enterprise Institute Scholar) argued yesterday on The Diane Rehm show that, should Bush remain defiant in defending his constitutionally-abusive wire-tapping of Americans (as he has indicated he will), Congress should consider impeaching him.

You know BushCo will continue to say all criticism is coming from Democrats, but how long will that hold up?

Oh, And Watch Out For the Queer Lawyers, Too

From Americablog:

Pentagon anti-terror investigators labeled gay law school groups a "credible threat" of terrorism

According to recent press reports, Pentagon officials have been spying on what they call "suspicious" meetings by civilian groups, including student groups opposed to the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" ban on lesbian, gay and bisexual military personnel. The story, first reported by Lisa Myers and NBC News last week, noted that Pentagon investigators had records pertaining to April protests at the State University of New York at Albany and William Patterson College in New Jersey. A February protest at NYU was also listed, along with the law school's LGBT advocacy group OUTlaw, which was classified as "possibly violent" by the Pentagon. A UC-Santa Cruz "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" protest, which included a gay kiss-in, was labeled as a "credible threat" of terrorism.

Those gay kiss-ins are definitely hotbeds. Of something. Terror? Not so much.

The Vegans Are Coming, The Vegans Are Coming

Everybody to get from street!*

In today's New York Pravda/Times:

F.B.I. Watched Activist Groups, New Files Show

WASHINGTON, Dec. 19 - Counterterrorism agents at the Federal Bureau of Investigation have conducted numerous surveillance and intelligence-gathering operations that involved, at least indirectly, groups active in causes as diverse as the environment, animal cruelty and poverty relief, newly disclosed agency records show.


One F.B.I. document indicates that agents in Indianapolis planned to conduct surveillance as part of a "Vegan Community Project." Another document talks of the Catholic Workers group's "semi-communistic ideology." A third indicates the bureau's interest in determining the location of a protest over llama fur planned by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

Well, I'm sure glad the Bush Administration is keeping us safe from the vegans, the Catholic Workers and the animal lovers. Al Qaida? Not so much.

*From The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming (1966)

New York Times Pravda: Official House Organ of the Bush Adminstration

From today's Los Angeles Times (not to be confused with the Bush court stenographers, the New York Times):

Critics Question Timing of Surveillance Story
The New York Times, which knew about the secret wiretaps for more than a year, published because of a reporter's new book, sources say.

The New York Times first debated publishing a story about secret eavesdropping on Americans as early as last fall, before the 2004 presidential election.

But the newspaper held the story for more than a year and only revealed the secret wiretaps last Friday, when it became apparent a book by one of its reporters was about to break the news, according to journalists familiar with the paper's internal discussions.

So, the public wasn't entitled to know that one of the presidential candidates was violating the constitution's 4th Amendment prohibition on warrantless searches. During an election year.

Like I said yesterday, Fuck the [New York] Times. They're pathetic.

Liberal media, my ass. Journalism is dead. Long live the embedded corporate media.

Snoopgate = Chimpeachment

Jonathan Alter in Newsweek:

Bush’s Snoopgate
The president was so desperate to kill The New York Times’ eavesdropping story, he summoned the paper’s editor and publisher to the Oval Office. But it wasn’t just out of concern about national security.

[] Bush was desperate to keep the Times from running this important story—which the paper had already inexplicably held for a year—because he knew that it would reveal him as a law-breaker.


This will all play out eventually in congressional committees and in the United States Supreme Court. If the Democrats regain control of Congress, there may even be articles of impeachment introduced. Similar abuse of power was part of the impeachment charge brought against Richard Nixon in 1974.

Not impeachment. Chimpeachment.

Monday, December 19, 2005

This Woman Should Run For Congress

Kristin Breitweiser, one of the 9/11 widows, has written a powerful deconstruction of why Bush doesn't need any more spy powers. He needs more intelligent analysis of the existing intelligence:

The King's Red Herring

President Bush should be stopped in his tracks with regard to his use of 9/11 scare tactics to circumvent constitutional laws that are meant to protect U.S. citizens. His justification for doing so – the inability to conduct surveillance on the 9/11 hijackers – is a red herring. History will bear out the truth – our intelligence agencies held a treasure trove of intelligence on the 9/11 hijackers, intelligence that was gathered through their initially unencumbered surveillance. President Bush should busy himself by investigating why that information was then stymied and not capitalized upon to stop the 9/11 attacks

'World Is At Its Hottest Since Prehistory'

World is at its hottest since prehistory, say scientists

The world is now hotter than at any stage since prehistoric times, a top climatologist announced last week. His startling conclusion comes as Nasa reported that 2005 has been the hottest year ever recorded.

Dr Michael Coughlan, head of the National Climate Centre at the Australian Government's Bureau of Meteorology, said: "One probably has to go back into prehistoric times - and way back in them - to be seeing these sorts of temperatures."


Last June, September and October were all logged as the warmest ever, world-wide. The past 10 years are all in the warmest 10 ever recorded, apart from 1996 whose place is taken by 1990.

This year Arctic sea ice dropped to its smallest ever extent, the Atlantic suffered a record hurricane season and an unprecedented drought reduced the flow of the Amazon to its lowest ever level. Canada and Australia had their hottest ever weather this year, while India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Algeria suffered heatwaves touching 50C.

Only an ideological fucking moron like George Bush could deny the reality of global warming.

Fuck the Times

Yesterday I thought about going out & picking up the Sunday New York Times, which I do on occasion for a day of culture immersion. Arts & Leisure, the magazine & the puzzle, Week In Review, etc.

And then I thought, fuck the Times. They withheld the story that (King) George Bush was violating the 4th Amendment during the 2004 election. While I was giving money to John Kerry and John Edwards, and arranging to fly to Florida to monitor a polling place so what happened in 2000 didn't happen in 2004, the New York Times decided to put their finger on the scale and withhold critical information. They may as well have stolen my political contributions out of my pocket.

So fuck the Times. They don't get any more of my money. Fuck them. Fuck Times Select. Fuck Judy Miller and Elisabeth Bumiller and all the other incompetent "journalists" living in the Bushco tank, breathing the fetid Bushco air and spewing filthy Bushco lies.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Charity Begins At Home

If you've been to the Boston Marathon in the last 25 years, you know who Dick and Rick Hoyt are. Rick Hoyt was born with cerebral palsy. They entered the Marathon in 1981 as a team, and Dick Hoyt ran pushing his son in a wheelchair. Honest to god, you get choked up every year watching them go by. It's an amazing thing to watch a father push his son's wheelchair for 26.2 miles. And he's back doing it again, at the age of 65, despite heart surgery in 2003.

They've hit a rough patch, and need a new van. I'm sending a check today. This is as about as good a cause as you can imagine.

Hoyts face a new challenge: Marathoning father and son need a van and a little bit of good luck

To contribute to the Hoyts’ van fund, send a tax-deductible check to the Hopkinton Athletic Association, P.O. Box 820, Hopkinton, MA 01748. Checks should be made out to the HAA, and specify the "Hoyts Fund" in the memo line of the check.

Bush Killing Polar Bears

Global warming is accelerating exponentially, thanks to the US, our production of greenhouse gases, and the Bush Administration's stubborn & insane refusal to recognize that global warming is real. Just ask a polar bear. Try to find one that hasn't....drowned.

From Britain's Sunday Times:

Polar bears drown as ice shelf melts

SCIENTISTS have for the first time found evidence that polar bears are drowning because climate change is melting the Arctic ice shelf.

The researchers were startled to find bears having to swim up to 60 miles across open sea to find food. They are being forced into the long voyages because the ice floes from which they feed are melting, becoming smaller and drifting farther apart.

Although polar bears are strong swimmers, they are adapted for swimming close to the shore. Their sea journeys leave them them vulnerable to exhaustion, hypothermia or being swamped by waves.

According to the new research, four bear carcases were found floating in one month in a single patch of sea off the north coast of Alaska, where average summer temperatures have increased by 2-3C degrees since 1950s.

'Bush Lied, Liberty Died'

George Bush went on the radio yesterday and admitted to violating his oath to uphold and preserve the constitution.

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

President Acknowledges Approving Secretive Eavesdropping

President Bush said yesterday that he secretly ordered the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans with suspected ties to terrorists because it was "critical to saving American lives" and "consistent with U.S. law and the Constitution."

As usual, what Bush said was a bald-faced lie:

As President, I took an oath to defend the Constitution, and I have no greater responsibility than to protect our people, our freedom, and our way of life.


In the weeks following the terrorist attacks on our nation, I authorized the National Security Agency, consistent with U.S. law and the Constitution, to intercept the international communications of people with known links to al Qaeda and related terrorist organizations. Before we intercept these communications, the government must have information that establishes a clear link to these terrorist networks.

Warrantless intercepts violate the 4th Amendment to the Constitution. You don't have to be a brain surgeon to figure this one out. Even cretins like Bob Barr, former Congressman from Georgia, can figure out that this is unconstitutional.

Bush has gone from Worst President Ever to President Most Likely to be Impeached.

Best blogtopia post title on this subject, from (the good) Roger Ailes:

Bush Lied, Liberty Died

He Knows What You've Been Reading

Agents' visit chills UMass Dartmouth senior

NEW BEDFORD -- A senior at UMass Dartmouth was visited by federal agents two months ago, after he requested a copy of Mao Tse-Tung's tome on Communism called "The Little Red Book."

Two history professors at UMass Dartmouth, Brian Glyn Williams and Robert Pontbriand, said the student told them he requested the book through the UMass Dartmouth library's interlibrary loan program.

The student, who was completing a research paper on Communism for Professor Pontbriand's class on fascism and totalitarianism, filled out a form for the request, leaving his name, address, phone number and Social Security number. He was later visited at his parents' home in New Bedford by two agents of the Department of Homeland Security, the professors said.

The professors said the student was told by the agents that the book is on a "watch list," and that his background, which included significant time abroad, triggered them to investigate the student further.