Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Bush Approval? In The Dirt

What will it take for these spineless Democratic representatives to actually represent?

Call Frist's bluff and back Feingold!

Take action now lest you become part of the house that eventually gets cleaned.

Pierce the facade and he will fall. Momentum will take care of the rest.

Stand up Democrats! He is wounded and so are those who would protect him.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Inflatable Dartboard Nominated For Koufax Award!

Wow. How did I not learn about this sooner?

Apparently, we've been nominated for a Koufax award for "Best New Blog".

I'm shocked, I'm Awed... I'm very moved.

My life has been settling back into normalcy (Thanks to all of you for your support and well wishes) and this is just the kick in the pants I need to get back to blogging on a regular basis.

So, I'll be getting the digital ink warmed up and I promise to start creating more graphics that highlight the absurdities and idiocy of those behind the wheel of this great country.

Please find it in your heart to give us a vote at:


Scroll to the bottom of the page and leave a vote with the words "Inflatable Dartboard" in the comments section.


Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The Little Orange Vest Project

Who can forget the image of GOP supporters who hoisted their blue stained finger tips in the air to show support for past Iraqi elections? Never mind the fact that the symbolism was laughable in the sense that the only democracy that will emerge will be one that the current US administration approves of.

So I introduce "The Little Orange Vest Project". We will be manufacturing tiny orange hunting vests that people can carry around, slide on their finger and hold up proudly in the air.

These can be worn at protests, GOP speaking engagements or better yet... just hold one up when debating neocon lunkheads face to face.

The tiny orange vests symbolize everything that is wrong with this administration:

Firing without having a clear idea of what the outcome will be and then scrambling deceitfully to control the disastrous outcome.

Lift them high America. They're tiny hunting vests. They smell of freedom.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006


I was collecting river rock after the recent floods for a backyard landscaping project today and I made a startling discovery. While moving some of the larger stones, I came across one that I was able to lift quite easily despite it's appearance. It felt like it was hollow, so I shook it. Just as I could sense something was shifting around inside, it slipped free of my grasp and the top of the stone hinged open and spilled its contents on the ground.

A spy rock! Awesome!

Inside were two of the elusive and much sought after Bush and Abramoff photos and a hand written note that says "Time Warner - you'll get the other photos after you grant me free lifetime cable television. - KR"

My lawyer is clearing the other photo right now, but here is the first one:

I should have the other photo up shortly...

Update: Second photo cleared. Incredible disregard for the law and all things holy:

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Oh... The Extreme Irony

I've been admiring the good work done by the citizens of the blogosphere, as well as those who are just simply concerned by the propogation of the misinformation by Deborah Howell, The Washington Post's Ombudsman. I just can't wipe the smirk off my face that the very person who is supposed to facilitate and mediate complaints leveled against the WaPo has been the cause of such a tidal wave of complaints.

Then, to compound the issue by censoring and shutting down the commenting feature on your blog rather than issuing a simple correction and apology.

That course of logic baffles me. It's tantamount to inviting the running of the bulls to be held in your china shop.

Furthermore... I have yet to see anyone point out the WaPo's "Post Principles" laid out by their founder Eugene Meyer in 1935:

Eugene Meyer's Principles for The Washington Post

Eugene Meyer had a vision of what makes a newspaper truly great, and that vision included serving the public according to seven principles. He offered them in a speech on March 5, 1935 and published them on his newspaper's front page.

Bullet Point The first mission of a newspaper is to tell the truth as nearly as the truth can be ascertained.
Eugene Meyer
Eugene Meyer
Bullet Point The newspaper shall tell ALL the truth so far as it can learn it, concerning the important affairs of America and the world.
Bullet Point As a disseminator of news, the paper shall observe the decencies that are obligatory upon a private gentleman.
Bullet Point What it prints shall be fit reading for the young as well as the old.
Bullet Point The newspaper's duty is to its readers and to the public at large, and not to the private interests of its owners.
Bullet Point In the pursuit of truth, the newspaper shall be prepared to make sacrifices of its material fortunes, if such a course be necessary for the public good.
Bullet Point The newspaper shall not be the ally of any special interest, but shall be fair and free and wholesome in its outlook on public affairs and public men.

Monk vs Alito: Adventures In Getting A New Job

The main reason for my absence over the past month or so has been a search for employment. I'd been enjoying some time off, blogging, taking little consulting jobs here and there, day trading and traveling around to see live music. But mostly, as evidenced here, blogging. I really enjoyed it, but the tax man cameth and showed me that I couldn't really absorb such a blow and that I better wade back into the comfort pool.

So, I sharpened up my resume and ran it up the pole. I have an extensive background in trading technology (stocks, options, etc;). I received several good offers from large firms and interviewed accordingly. Then came interest from an international firm that I'd always had a professional crush on. So I interviewed, phone interviewed, waited, made the final three and interviewed again and then finally I had a panel interview. I was then told that I was their top choice and I started the background check process. This is not out of the ordinary, NASD and the SEC requires such actions, not to mention that any firm worth working for will have this policy as well. I wasn't worried. I've been through no less than 5 background checks in the past.

This one was different. A lot of the paper exchanges took place during the holidays and I wasn't always at home so I was working off of memory to a degree. Not a problem, I thought, because I posess a photographic memory.

Well, the check came back with several discrepancies. The background check company claimed that I was off by 2 months on one of my previous stints at a derivatives trading firm. Took a bit to straighten that out, but we cleaned up the misunderstanding. It also came back that I was off by 6 months on my term of employment at another firm. This one was my mistake because I had contracted for them for 6 months before they bought out my contract and converted me to in house. So where I had put down that I had worked for them for 2 years, technically, I had only worked for them for 1 1/2 years. Even though I had been essentially working for the same firm, in the same capacity, the entire time. I didn't even switch desks when I was brought in house.

Here's my point: Those 2 discrepancies almost cost me this position.

Here's my question: With the above in mind, how is it that Alito is going to skate by with such glaring problems with his professional career?

What issues?
  1. 1985 job application: Alito was 35 when he applied for an important political position with Attorney General Ed Meese during the Reagan administration. Alito sought to demonstrate his "philosophical commitment" to Meese's legal outlook. He wrote that the 1964 Goldwater presidential campaign had been his original political inspiration, even though he was only 14 at the time. His views on the law, he said, were inspired by his "deep disagreement with Warren Court decisions." He strongly objected to "usurpation by the judiciary" of the powers of the president, and supported the "supremacy" of the elected branches over the judiciary. Not surprisingly, Alito got the job.

    The views expressed there raise serious concerns about his ability to interpret the Constitution with a fair and open mind. When this embarrassing document came to light, he faced a difficult decision on whether to defend his 1985 views or walk away from them. When I and others met him a short time later, he appeared to be renouncing them - "I was just a 35-year-old seeking a job," he told me. But now he's seeking another, far more important job. Is he saying that he did not really mean what he said then?

  2. Membership in "Concerned Alumni of Princeton." In 1972, the year Alito graduated from Princeton University, a group of wealthy alumni formed Concerned Alumni of Princeton (CAP) to resist the growing influx of female, African American, Hispanic and even disabled students who were changing the face of Princeton "as you knew it." The university's most famous alumnus of the day, basketball star and later U.S. senator Bill Bradley, was invited into CAP initially but quickly found it "impossible to remain a member" because of CAP's "right-wing" views. A special committee of alumni, which included future Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, accused CAP of presenting a "distorted and hostile" view of the university. Alito joined CAP about that time, despite its purposes and reputation, and remained a member through 1985, when he cited his CAP membership as another qualification to join the Meese inner circle.

    In 1987, when he was nominated to be U.S. attorney for New Jersey, and in 1990, when he was nominated for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit, he did not mention his CAP membership to the Senate Judiciary Committee or to then-Sen. Bradley, who introduced him to the committee at the nomination hearing and endorsed him "100 percent." Bradley says today that had he known about Alito's long membership in CAP he would have had serious questions about it. Alito now says he can't remember anything at all about CAP.

  3. Failure to recuse himself in the Vanguard case: In 1990, during the confirmation process on his nomination to the 3rd Circuit, Alito disclosed that his largest investment was in Vanguard mutual funds. To avoid possible conflicts of interest, he promised us that he would recuse himself from any case involving "the Vanguard companies." Vanguard continues to be on his recusal list, and his investments in Vanguard funds have risen from tens of thousands of dollars to hundreds of thousands. Nevertheless, in 2002 he failed to recuse himself when assigned to sit on a case in which three Vanguard companies were named parties and listed prominently on every brief and on his own pro-Vanguard opinion in the case. In this case, he and the White House have floated many excuses, but none provided any sensible explanation for his failure to keep his promise or follow his "personal practice" of recusing himself whenever there was any possible ethical question about his participation in a case.

  4. His pledge to be absolutely impartial where the government is concerned: While chairing his confirmation hearings in 1990, I asked Alito how he could remain neutral in the cases that would come before him as a 3rd Circuit judge after his more than a dozen years of service representing the U.S. government. He stated that he would be "absolutely impartial" in all his cases. But in case after case involving the actions of U.S. marshals, IRS agents and other government officials, he has sided with the government and against the citizens, even when his fellow judges have told him he was off-base.

  5. His promise to leave his personal beliefs behind when he became a judge: That's what he told me in 1990 he would do. But has he? In November 2000, at one of many Federalist Society meetings he spoke at, he indicated that he was a true believer when it came to the society's longstanding theory of an all-powerful executive. His endorsement of presidential power and his criticism of the Supreme Court for undermining it made clear that his philosophical commitment in 1985 still drives him. (Courtesy: truthout.org)
Now, let's be clear... I'm not equating my position with that of a Supreme Court Justice candidate. But... I am more than concerned that, pound for pound, I had to jump through considerable hoops over seemingly small issues in my qualifications in order to get this job. I faced them straight on, concisely and with clarity. I was required to back them up with documentation.

Watching Alito's confirmation hearings, I got the impression that he was getting the velvet rope lifted for him. This position is way too important.

He should not get through. Not because of the fact that he is the Democratic Party's worst nightmare, but because he has shown too much wavering and anti-constitutional rhetoric to be given this esteemed position.

This is not a game.

Friday, January 06, 2006

The Constitution Deserves Better Than George

And by Constitution, I mean us... The citizens of the United States. We deserve better than a empirical doufous who views the Constitution as an obstacle rather than a legal document by which this country is governed and rights are guaranteed.

To tear down this document that is at the epicenter of what makes our democracy special amongst world governments. With one stroke Bush has undermined one of the most important components of the constitution, a right to privacy.

Too many people have tossed in the towel on Bush's abuse of power on this issue. They line up behind him and his asinine excuse that it is necessary in this time of war. Bush has said that this war will continue as long as Al Qaeda exists anywhere in the world. By all accounts and by the very nature of Al Qaeda's structure, that will be a very long time. So, what's next? Which of the amendments to the constitution will be next to fall?

Because when another attack comes, their excuse will be that they need even more war powers.

It is true that the 9/11 terrorists took advantages of our freedoms to attack us. The solution so far has been to throw technology at the problem. Our enemies know they can't fight on that level so they are employing non-technical, guerilla tactics to attack us. I feel our current approach will not only swell the ranks of Al Qaeda and other splinter groups, but it will not stop another attack.

Cheney says that it is not luck that we have not been attacked in the last 4 years. He implies that it is because of their actions. This ignores the findings and failing grades that the 9/11 commission recently gave the Bush Administration and their belief that we are still vulnerable to attack.

They have often mocked Clinton for not being more proactive on combating domestic terrorism while he was in office. Yet they ignore the fact that there was an 8 year gap between the first WTC bombing and 9/11 despite his 'ineffectiveness' on combating terrorism.

Instead of teeing off on the constitution, George should look within it for inspiration to lead and protect this nation.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

WalMart: Planet Of The Apes = MLK?

Crooksandliars.com and firedoglake both have interesting takes on the appalling discovery that Walmart.com offers up some disturbing 'Similar Items' for potential buyers of a Planet Of The Apes DVD.

Like John Amato, I can't see how any database automation would attach a similarity between the Planet Of The Apes DVD and DVD's on Dorothy Dandridge, Martin Luther King and a movie about Ike and Tina Tuner. This has to be an intentional association. Especially when you look at the other Planet Of The Apes DVD's that fail to associate the 'Similar Items' mentioned above.

It will be interesting to see how the company addresses and explains this issue.

It's About The Checks And Balances, Stupid

I can't say anything new here that hasn't already been said about how wrong Bush is on this warantless wiretapping issue, so I won't.

I will, however, comment on what should be done about it.

First, all warantless wiretaps need to stop immediately. The excuse that they need to do this to be able to 'act quickly' is moot given the 72 hour 'warantless' window that FISA allows. Bush should be able to operate within that parameter or propose a change in law. However, any proposed law needs to include a provision that allows oversight. Period. This is not a dictatorship.

Second, in an effort to mop up the previous lack of oversight, I propose a bipartisan panel of congress members with clearance (oh.. let's say... the members who were previously 'briefed' on the existence of this nefarious program?) who can review each and every one of the warantless wiretaps that Bush has signed off on. Upon review, if they are all deemed to be wiretaps on bonified terrorist suspects, then nothing is disclosed. If, upon review, any of the wiretaps are shown to involve detractors, political opponents or peaceful activists then that information will be revealed to the public in full.

Checks and Balances. Oversight. Without that, the terrorists have won.

New Invention Aims To Eliminate War On Christmas

The Inflatable Dartboard Research and Design division has been working overtime to avert the disaster that looms on the Christmas 2006 horizon.

This past shopping season, much of the Christian fundamentalist angst seemed to stem from insensitive retail clerks failing to greet customers, regardless of their faith, with an enthusiastic "Merry Christmas".

With this incredibly important problem in mind, we are proud to introduce the "Faith Scan". This ingenious device, once installed at the counters of every store in every red state, scans various patrons and identifies their faiths. When the clerk sees the shopper's chosen religion on the Faith IndicatorTM, they can respond to the shopper with the appropriate holiday greeting (if any).

A happy shopper = happy retailer profits. And happy retailer profits make baby Jesus happy.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Post Mortem: War On Christmas

It's kind of tough to do a post mortem on the War On Christmas considering that it was dead on arrival. But, what the hell, John Gibson,, Bill O'Reilly and a legion of insecure Christians seem to enjoy it. And since they seem to revel in conjuring up wedge issues and using them as diversionary tactics... let's join in the fun!

Amongst all this talk of war and Christmas, no one has mentioned the casualties:
  • 172 Elves (68 from the woodworking division alone)
  • 112 Reindeer (Prancer, Vixen both KIA in operational reindeer war games)
  • 4 Snowmen divisions wiped out when they were accidentally airdropped into Texas on a search and destroy mission
  • The last %2 of John Gibson and Bill O'Reilly's dignity
  • 28 Christians offended at various retailers
But perhaps the biggest casualty was me, when I passed out and hit the floor upon hearing the White House's response to the White House "Holiday Card" scandal:
"Their cards in recent years have included best wishes for a holiday season, rather than Christmas wishes, because they are sent to people of all faiths"
You know, it really is that simple.

Microphone Check

Check... Check... Is this thing on?

Trying to get things back online here.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Rumsfeld Plays Dominoes With Kissinger?

Ok, this is too weird. Raw Story is reporting that Donald Rumsfeld had dinner with Henry Kissinger last thursday in Washington, DC.

The reason I find this strange is that it comes on the heels of a December 5th speech that Rumsfeld gave wherein he stated:
"Iraq would serve as the base of a new Islamic caliphate to extend throughout the Middle East, and which would threaten legitimate governments in Europe, Africa and Asia. This is their plan. They have said so. We make a terrible mistake if we fail to listen and learn."
As the article I cited above states, Rumsfeld sure seems to be trying to invoke the flawed Domino Theory from Kissinger's days. Why is he playing this card now? Is Kissinger trying to put Rumsfeld back in line for trying to fly such a hole-filled kite with no wind?

Or is it something more benign like Kissinger offering Rummy a slot at his consulting firm, Kissinger and Associates?

We shall see.

Beware The Smear

Karl Rove still has a job for now. The Republicans are trying to find their backbone with the elections coming up. You know what that means. Ready the mud bucket brigade.

Of course, I made this graphic so that I can easily add names to it. Should come in handy in the coming months.

Ford Folds Under Pressure

The fundamentalists strike again with their anti-homosexual crusade. This time they struck the fatal blow to Ford Motor Company's advertising campaigns in various Gay publications. Not only did they succeed in getting Ford to stop their ads that targeted Gay consumers, but apparently they got them to stop buying ad space altogether. Ford responded that they will still be buying ads for their Volvo line in several Gay magazines.

A right-leaning friend of mine likened this move to when several gay rights groups lobbied to get Michael Savage and Dr. Laura knocked off their new television shows. I told him that I thought that was an asinine comparison.

I used the analogy of a Ford Mustang. That it is much easier and safer to drive a car forward. Savage and Dr. Laura, like these gay hating groups that dogged Ford, are trying to drive our society in reverse. They are driven by hate and exlcusion and are trying to keep the gay segment of our population under the tires.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Tom Delay Gets Hammered With... A Delay

In a move that will likely strip Tom Delay of his leadership status, Texas Judge Pat Priest denied a motion to dismiss all charges against Tom Delay. Judge Priest dismissed conspiracy charges against Delay, but let stand 2 charges of money laundering against the beleaguered former House Majority Leader.

Delay's lawyer still wants those charges dismissed before the new year, but by all accounts that seems unlikely. That would set the stage for a trial to begin in January. A trial of even moderate length would almost guarantee that House Republicans would bring in a new Majority Leader and Delay would be left out in the cold.

Interestingly enough, these charges are wholly separate from the mounting storm on the Jack Abramoff front. Many who are watching the Abramoff debacle unfold believe that it will extend to ensnare Delay as well.

Lapdog Lieberman

This has to be a joke. It's certainly nothing more than a rumor and a lame one at that. But then again it has been confirmed that Rumsfeld met with Liberman yesterday.

Lieberman to replace Rumsfeld as secretary of defense? Is Bush trying to throw a bone to the democrats? Is this some weak attempt at reversing the polls? I thought Bush likes to project an air of strength in his cabinet positions? Lieberman? Just listen to the guy when he talks. I would honestly be more intimidated (and impressed) by a tepid bowl of plain oatmeal.

Let's not spend too much time on this one. But he's still Bush's lapdog.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

EXCLUSIVE: Luskin and Novak's Original Strategy

A high level source has provided us with a copy of Luskin's original strategy that he had planned to deliver to Fitzgerald to stave off an indictment against his client, Karl Rove.

According to our source, Luskin and Novak had agreed to use the above photo - which we have determined to be a horribly doctored security camera image from a Washington, D.C. Fortune Teller's shop - to convince Fitzgerald not to indict the fragile Turdblossom. Luskin was apparently ready to testify that he and Viveca Novak had knocked back a few too many Irish Car Bombs and stumbled into 'Madame Tshurka's Bleeding Palm' velvet ensconced , paranormal nook. He continued to say that Luskin and Novak had agreed to frame out this scenario under oath:
"After 15 minutes of trying to persuade the crystal ball into contacting the long lost soul of Woodward's journalistic career, Novak asked the following benign question... "Who was Matt Cooper's source for Valerie Plame's name?" Suddenly, all the lights went out and a cold breeze blew out the candles despite the fact that all the windows and doors were closed. The table rumbled, the tarot cards scattered and the crystal ball began to glow and swirl with clouds and demonic faces. Then, as if by magic, the crystal ball crackled with electricity and a ghostly apparition of Karl Rove burst from the ball, laughing maniacally. The Karl Rove spirit then disappeared into the small, adjacent bathroom and plunged head long into the toilet and disappeared. The lights flickered back to normality and Luskin plunked down 2 crisp $100 bills and he and Novak left without getting a receipt."
Personally, I think that the above story and photo would have gone over as a more believable than the one they are currently trying to float with Fitzgerald.

Update: I should have provided more information about the weakness of Luskin's strategy that he decided to go with. As Jane is pointing out over at firedoglake, there is an apparent discrepancy between Novak and Luskin as to when their meeting took place. While that certainly looks bad, in my opinion it is overshadowed by the fact that Luskin waited until the last second to provide information of the Novak/Luskin meeting to Fitzgerald. It smacks of desperation and stall tactics.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Down, but not out yet

First off... let me apologize for the way I pulled the plug last night. I was caught up in the moment and knee deep in anger and confusion over my lovely gift from the IRS. I spent the better part of today going through my options and my records. It remains to be seen what the outcome will be. In the mean time, I realized that even though I tried to leave the blog, the blog hasn't left me. All day today I was still being bombarded by ideas for articles and graphics.

Second, I am deeply humbled by all the comments and emails I've received asking me to continue and offering support. Thank you all very, very much.

It is with slight trepidation and sincere motives that I've added a donate button to the sidebar.

For now, I will continue to fight the fight as best I can. The political pendulum has reached it's apex and now is the time to help give it the momentum it needs. I can't quit now.

I've got some good ideas and some even bigger plans and I'll be throwing out requests for help to make them happen.

Again, thanks so much.


Monday, December 05, 2005

The Dartboard Has Deflated


I find it strange that all of the sudden I get blindsided by a large, unrealistic tax bill from almost 5 years ago when I was making really good money.

It was fun while it lasted... Time to focus on reality.


9/11 Report Card: Bush Totally Off Track

Look, I dont' like beating up on this administration continually, but this is ridiculous. 4 years, 100's of billions of dollars, erosion of freedoms and constitutional rights, disjointed and upside down strategy for combatting terrorism, death, destruction, mangled reputation of the US and no signs of anything changing anytime soon.

Some of the more in depth, interesting pieces:

SF Gate: Sept 11th Panel: US Remains Unprepared
Financial Times: US Commission Hits At 'Shocking' Post-9/11 Failures
ABCNews: 9/11 Panel Faults White House, Congress

Google Round-Up news search on this issue

Daily Dissent points out the Bush administration is pointing fingers at the Republican controlled congress for not getting the job done. Another example of prime Bush Strategery.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Iraqi Paper Payola: Don't Let This Story Die

We should all be familiar with this story by now, but we can't let it die in the main stream media. Last week, a whistleblower alerted the press to the fact that the Pentagon had awarded a $100+ million dollar contract to an interesting, dubbed The Lincoln Group, to pay Iraqi papers to print pro-american stories.

Administration officials and republican lap dogs are quick to defend this as typical and justifiable war time propaganda. We must pause to consider the strange state of affairs when GOP loyalists shrug off the serious nature of corrupting an emerging free press as being nothing but a propaganda tool.

Perhaps the catalyst for the leak to the LA Times (who broke the story) was this statement by Donald Rumsfeld the day before the article appeared:
"[Iraq] is -- has a free media, and they can -- it's a relief valve. They could have hundred-plus papers. There's 72 radio stations. There's 44 television stations. And they're debating things and talking and arguing and discussing."
Keith Olbermann has already commited to reporting on this issue further on his show for Monday. With Jack Warner at the helm of 'investigating' this issue, it's almost assured to die off quickly from an oversight perspective. But as long as bloggers and the press keep up the heat, we can keep the word out there.

Click here for a Google News search result page for this issue and read, read, read.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Karl Rove Out Of Options

Rove Roundup:

This article from Media Matters does a great job of summing up the wall that is headed quickly towards Rove.

Think Progress underscores the obvious with an article titled "A Bad Sign For Karl Rove".

Jane Hamsher, leading plameologist, scooped everyone by succinctly pointing the finger at Viveca Novak for kicking down information to Robert Luskin (Rove's Attorney).

The Moderate Voice frames up the idea that the White House is sharpening their knives and dusting off the chopping block for Rove.

This was charming, no doubt: but they shortly found out That the Captain they trusted so well Had only one notion for crossing the ocean, And that was to tingle his bell.
- Lewis Carroll; The Hunting of the Snark (l. 105-108).

Friday, December 02, 2005

Bush Is Merely Ornamental

I've always been terribly unimpressed by Bush's performance at podiums and lately he's taken on a new degree of incompetence from a leadership perspective. He mailed in his 'Victory In Iraq' speech in my opinion. It was fraught with nervousness and nervous jaw ticks, pauses and whats worse is that it ultimately rang hollow. A very poor performance. That is not to say that I'm just judging him on his appearance, the content of his message was weak and repetitive.

His recent trip to Asia was a trainwreck from a diplomatic perspective. While he managed to refrain from puking on anyone, he had the equal impression on the other leaders and dignitaries I'm sure.

He used to have a certain air about him that most defined as "swagger". I could see it, but I was never impressed by it because it struck me as arrogance that was thinly veiling total incompetence. The last remnants of that swagger is now gone and Bush is left naked and vulnerable. The worst part is that he lets it show. His eyes are vapid and his expressions are melancholy. He feels sorry for himself.

We need a new leader. The time has come for Bush to step down. He's been neutered politically and he is not the person who should be steering this country. He's like the Captain of the Exxon Valdez, absent and preoccupied while America drifts aimlessly through waters filled with approaching hazards.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Rush Limbaugh Fleeces His Ditto-Heads

I was speaking to a good friend last night and we commenced our regular swapping of current and political events. If we were somehow transformed into Dungeons and Dragons characters, we would both be classified as 9th Level News Mongers. In other words, rarely do we catch each other off guard with an unknown news item.

Last night was an exception to that rule. My fellow news junkie floored me with the revelation of the Rush Limbaugh "Adopt A Soldier" program. Sounds benign and perhaps even honorable at first. Well, one should always be suspicious if Rush is involved. I offered up my laptop and he directed us to Rush's lair on the web. Sure enough, on his front page, there is a large graphic for the "Adopt A Soldier" scam.

Why is it a scam? Here's how it works... there are two buttons for you to click on. You choose button one if you want to adopt a soldier, click on button two if you are currently a soldier. Then the incredibly complex database matches a soldier with the kind donation of one of the charitable donors.

So what is it that these folks are donating? Could it be much needed body armor? Perhaps scraps of steel for their Hum Vees? Sand repelling lubricating oil for their guns? Tasty baked goods from nice little old ladies? What goodness is Rush spreading to the troops?

None of the above. The adopted soldier is the proud recipient of a annual subscription to Rush Limbaugh's "24/7" newsletter! How exciting and useful! What's more is that Rush only charges $49.95 to each donor for the subscription rate. In fact, he states that the $49.95 is a "reduced rate". How incredibly kind of him.

I've seen these newsletters at a ditto-head relative's house. They are very light on both content and pages, thus the term "newsletter" and not "magazine". I subscribe to a couple magazines and the subscriptions for both don't even come close to $49.95.

The only thing I can gather is that the printing company that prints this newsletter charges him an inflated fee because all the crap he writes about spurts, sprays and gunks up all the printing presses and equipment operators.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Scooter Libby's Nightmare

The mirror black surface is not comforting for Scooter Libby as he laboriously treads water with his bum leg. It's been some time now since his republican cohorts gave up on him and paddled off for calmer waters to regroup and lick their wounds.

Scooter's eyes dart left and right as the periphery of his vision plays tricks on him. Periodically, his subconscious makes him stop breathing so his sense of hearing will be sharp and pure. A straight and true black fin pierces the obsidian plane directly in front of him and he catches the look of horror on his own face in the wet reflection.

Something large brushes up against him and he recoils in horror, thrashing wildly backwards as he slams into his headboard and sits up panting in his bed. Thank goodness it was only a bad dream he thinks to himself momentarily.

Suddenly the waking dream of his present reality comes rushing back in and he fumbles for the barbituates and glass of water on his night stand. As he knocks the pills back and goes to wash them down, he is faced with the same nightmarish reflection of his face in the surface of the water in the glass. He solemnly puts the water back down without taking a drink, chokes the pills down with a grimace and lays back to welcome the relative escape of sleep. For even a nightmare filled slumber is a respite compared to the growing shadows of reality.

Sleep tight Scooter. It won't be long now.

Tony Blair And The Two Memos

Tony blair is scrambling to downplay the European press frenzy over a leaked document that reportedly shows that Blair talked bush out of bombing the headquarters of Al Jazeera in Doha, Qatar.

What started out as a leak of one document, may now have multiplied into 2 documents.

Now it looks like 2 men have appeared in court and are facing charges over the leaked documents.

It's only a matter of time before these documents come out.

Come on Blair, get off the leash. Or should I say anchor?

Victory: Objective, Not Strategy

Once again I've tried to clear the slate and give this President a chance. Once again I'm completely underwhelmed by his message and overwhelmed by his administration's marketing talent for delivering shiny packaging with no product inside.

How many times are we going to be subjected to these ridiculous backdrops, stage dressing and large slogans that go farther in getting their message across than Bush could ever hope to? And then there's the aspect of the crowd he delivers these dry, robotic speeches to. I am not impressed by the fact that he continues to exlcusively address troops and party loyalists. This is not to say that I would expect him to orate in front of a room full of liberal Bush-bashers, that wouldn't be constructive either.

What I'm talking about is saving the taxpayer's money by showing Bush with rolled up sleeves and giving a comprehensive and intelligent speech from the Oval Office. Show us a true strategy that utilizes Bush's cabinet and some demonstrable tactics that are being employed to steer this behemoth of a disaster towards the light.

Also, am I the only one that is enraged by Bush and Rumsfeld trying to dress up the readiness of Iraqi soldiers, troop levels and troop readiness? Just one month ago General Casey sat in front of a congressional panel and said that there was only 1 Iraqi battalion that was operational. That was down from a previous count of 3 Iraqi battalions. Factoring in that level of attrition and coupling it with the slow pace of Iraqi troop readiness and a growing instability in Iraq - one wonders what type of math is being employed by this administration.

One of the other important factors that I believe this administration is ignoring is the belief that our presence in Iraq is fueling the insurgency. I firmly belive this is true. Factor this into the equation and it becomes obvious that any military strategy taken will only serve to help the insurgency grow.

I, as well as a growing segment of America, have no faith in Bush or his ability to lead. So why deliver more Bush to us reading a staccato speech and painfully pausing for applause? You can't polish a turd. Let's see some real leadership because it's sorely lacking and even more urgently needed.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Cunningham And The Commode Confusion

Ok, time to straighten things out here. One of the items in Cunningham's long list of lavish gifts is the following:
  • $7,200 paid to an antique store for a circa 1850 Louis Phillipe period commode and a circa 1830 Restoration period commode
As much as I would like to believe that the Dukester was just "dropping some kids off at the pool" in luxurious style each morning, people are getting this one wrong.

I've heard Chris Matthews, Dan Abrams and a bevy of other journalists and pundits mock Cunningham for his penchant for expensive crappers today. Am I the only one who knows that an antique commode is actually a piece of furniture similar to a buffet?

In fact, all one has to do is google up an image search for 1850 Louis Phillipe commode for confirmation. So, rather than getting kickbacks for toilets, Duke was selling his soul for silly little pieces of barely-functional furniture.

Is Jim Vandehei High?

After reading his article today and considering the fact that Jane Hamsher already eviscerated him over it, I was going to let Jim Vandehei slide today. It really irked me that the overarching theme of his article is that Viveca Novak is Rove's saving grace. The article title sets it up with "Time Reporter Called a Key to Rove's Defense In Leak Probe" and then he goes for the over-the-net slam by sourcing his incantation to "two people familiar with the situation."

Two people familiar with the situation? What the hell does that mean? I have 10 close friends that are "familiar with the situation" and I'd say 3 of them have a firm grasp of the situation. I mean, come on, talk about weak sauce.

So anyways, I was going to let him slide... But then I caught Vandehei's appearance today on the Abrams Report and right out of the chute he summed up the thing that irked me most about his afore-mentioned article.

Abrams directs his first question to Vandehei (paraphrased):
Abrams: "How is it that a Time reporter is going to be the key to Rove's defense?" Vandehei: "Well, that really is the big mysterious question"
How does one bring himself to write and then have published an article whose premise is so fatally hollow and "mysterious"? I understand that speculative journalism is nothing new, but why muddy the waters on such an important case? Especially after your ace and fellow reporter screwed the pooch so hard on this very issue.

Perhaps Woodward is letting Vandehei take pinches from his stash.

Bush Wasting Time With Immigration Push

Who does President Bush think he's kidding with this sudden trudge into the trenches of the battle over illegal immigration? He has simply beaten around the Bush over the last 5 years because of his affinity for the gringo sympathy vote. It's just more smoke and mirrors to try to shake the current woes his administration he is facing.

He will be totally ineffectual on this topic as long as he remains loyal to the corporate side of the debate who embrace illegals because they pad the bottom line as cheap labor. He's offered nothing new to solve the problem.

He's throwing more money at the issue to put up more obstacles for those trying to sneak across the border. That tactic has proven to be largely unsuccessful due to the fact that those people will just try to come across again and again until they get through. It's like trying to keep back the tide.

Rove: Same As He Ever Was

The only difference about Karl "The Architect" Rove these days compared to the Rove of days-gone-by is that the strategies he erects now fall apart under the slightest bit of pressure. That's not to say that Rove is doing something different, he's not. It's just that the public is finally waking up and even if they don't know it, they are now hip to his shady tactics. He is now politcally castrated and housebound.

The fact that Fitzgerald is circling above Rove like a vulture doesn't help, but even if Fitzgerald came out today and clear Rove... it's too late. He's damaged goods. He's a political leper.

Raw Story has an interesting story up about Rove that shines some more light on his apparent knack for selectively logging phone calls.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Cracked Ribs Really Blow

Thanks to all of you who have sent me emails and left comments about my Thanksgiving day incident. Sorry I haven't been able to blog much, I just haven't really been able to get comfortable in any position and stay there for more than 5 minutes.

I have no desire to go the Rush Limbaugh route and get addicted to pain medication, so I'm trying to tough it out.

For those who have expressed curiousity as to how I was so lucky to have this injury bestowed upon me, it's really anti-climactic... but here it goes:

Every year here in Sacramento there is a large (500-600 people) Turkey Day bike ride that winds through the downtown area, circles the State Capitol, vibrates through the cobble stone streets of Old Town Sacramento, merges onto the Sacramento river bike trail and ends up at a nice little beach at Discovery Park.

Well, this year I volunteered as a traffic guide for the ride (read: cyclist shepard) and early on in my duties I saw some confusion mounting, so I bolted to the head of the pack and took up a position in the middle of the street directly in front of our beautiful State Capitol building. Stradling my bike and diverting traffic like a pro, I didn't even see the out of control guy who was going 10 times faster than anyone else on a giant, old battle ram of a cruiser. Well, next thing I know I'm on the ground after he apparently forgot how to turn, put his feet on the ground (read: flintstone braking method) and plowed directly into me, hockey check style. The very next thing I noticed was that the guy was very drunk. So did the cops that were near by. I was fuming as I was bending my front tire back into shape (I did a surprisingly good job), all the while trying to ignore the pain throbbing from the back of my ribcage.

So, not much to do other than ride it out and sit and lay in weird positions while my calciferous organ protectors get back up to speed.

Cunningham Throws In The Towel

Representative Randall "Duke" Cunningham takes the fall and resigns after pleading guilty to conspiracy and tax evasion charges. Standing on the courthouse steps in San Diego, the Duke kicked on the water works and with shaking hands tried to wipe away the tears.

I'm sorry, but that Jimmy Swaggart crap just doesn't fly with me. Not on the heels of his statement in July 2005 where he claims to have committed no "wrongdoing". He didn't stop there, his bravado allowed him to quip:
"If I've done anything wrong, come get me."
Well, he's been gotten. He's 65 and looking at 10 years of jail time.

Anyone else notice that this isn't getting much in the way of airtime on the major news outlets?

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Bolton The Big Bully Walrus

Close to realizing his dream of hamstringing the United Nations after just 4 months into his ambassador position, John Bolton has encountered a major snag. Britain has rejected Bolton's proposal to withhold the 2006 operating budget for the U.N until his demands for U.N. reform are met.

I would imagine that most U.N. members, including Britain, have had enough of Bolton's ham handed approaches to diplomacy. Especially considering his embarassing, backdoor recess appointment by Bush.

An interesting quote from the Telegraph article:
"Privately, British diplomats express surprise that he has not made greater efforts to cultivate them or build alliances. "You're either with him or against him," said one."
Bolton should know where that tactic got Bush. Nobody likes a Bully.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Turkey Day

I wish you all the best and sweet dreams in your post-turkey, trypotphanic slumber.

Extra Special thanks to the firedoglake folks for all the kind words and wishes.

Big thanks to all the troops abroad who are longing for the comfort we enjoy. Thanks to you most of all.



Last night I was enjoying a pint with a friend at my local pub when I was approached by a lanky man with bad teeth. He said nothing, but his eyes underscored the importance of the yellow envelope he had offered up to me. As I took it, he spun around, walked up to the bar and proceeded to knock back a full glass of red wine in one belt. Then he disappeared out the front door and not 2 seconds later, 3 gunshots echoed into the establishment.

As people scrambled for cover, I sat motionless and methodically opened the envelope. I was bowled over by the gravitas of the photo I was staring at and have posted above. This brave man had provided me with the British Intelligence satellite photo that proves Tony Blair fended off George Bush's plan to blow up Al Jazeera's headquarters in Doha, Qatar. Even though I found the photo riveting, I couldn't help but wonder why he didn't just give me the memo since that would be much more powerful and damning.

In silent retrospect, I imagined how much different the war in Iraq would be if Tony Blair hadn't been able to keep the cowboy in check that day.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Scanlon Takes The Stool

Teeth are chattering and knees are knocking throughout the halls of Congress now that Michael Scanlon has pled guilty to bribing public officials and agreed to cooperate with investigators. One can only guess as to how investigators are going to run their game plan.

Ever the armchair political quarterback, it seems obvious that they'll ride Scanlon hard and long about his crooked dealings with Abramoff. Then use that information to take the legs out from under Abramoff and get him to turn as well. Jack Abramoff is the hub. A veritable octopus of influence and power in the world of high pressure lobbying.

It will be interesting to see how and if this investigation penetrates into democratic congressional members. Reason being, the model that Tom Delay and Grover Norquist established sought to segregate the parties in congress. This model came in the form of "The K Street Project" - a project by the Republican Party to pressure Washington lobbying firms to hire Republicans in top positions, and to reward loyal GOP lobbyists with access to influential officials.

The GOP blood will flow and the irony will be monumental if Delay and Norquist were so successful in setting up their Republican firewalls, that it turns out to be more of an oven that will cook them all from the inside.