Wednesday, July 26, 2006

A quick question

Is it Hezballah? Hizballuh? Hizbullah? Herballah? Hullabaloo? I just don't know how to say "The Party of God" in Arabic. Anyone out there know?

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Ten Ways You'd Act If You Were the Republican-Led Congress

I want to get away from the 'post something someone else wrote with little added on' thing that bloggers do, but I couldn't pass up the Rude Pundit's latest:

(In honor of our hardworking members of the legislative branch)

1. If your pipes were leaking to the point that your basement was flooded and your foundation was going to crumble, you'd order out for pizza and argue with the delivery guy over whether or not you wanted anchovies on the pie. You wouldn't tip.

2. If your computer hard drive crashed, taking with it all the digital photos of your kids and your vacations, you'd write an angry letter to Ronald McDonald, demanding to know if the McDLT is ever coming back. You like hot and cold separate.

3. If a garbage truck ran over your foot, you'd go shopping for a new hat. A jaunty summer beret, perhaps.

4. If five men with clubs killed your sister's dog and then raped her, you'd reorganize your copies of People magazine alphabetically by cover celebrity rather than by date. You'd argue with your spouse over using first or last names.

5. If your credit cards were maxed out and your debit card was used to empty your bank account by someone who stole the numbers and you didn't have anything left to cover the cost of formula for your baby, you'd go sing Christmas carols at the Alzheimer's wing of the nursing home. Even though it's July.

6. If your car was on fire at a gas station with your three children unconscious inside, you'd play Tetris on your cell phone. You'd curse Jesus whenever you missed the chance to make three rows disappear.

7. If you caught your husband cheating on you with the 15-year old boy who mows your lawn, you'd buy flowers for Barbaro, the horse with a hoof healing. Even though Barbaro just eats every daisy he can.

8. If your doctor told you that you had inoperable breast cancer that had spread to your lungs and wrapped itself around your heart, you'd write a dirty limerick about two lesbian midgets that rhymed the words "dykey" and "psyche." You'd be upset that very few funny or dirty things rhyme with "midget."

9. If your parents committed double suicide with razors and left a note in blood declaring that they were doing so because they couldn't stand the agony of watching you die from your horrible disease, you'd hire a fat clown to do pratfalls for all the Korean ladies at the local nail salon. They need a good laugh.

10. If you were on your deathbed, all alone, everyone you know dead or gone, you'd watch infomercials until the final mortal pain gripped you. You'd die thinking you should have done more to clear up the blemishes on your skin.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

From the Imperiosus Muneris

If there's ever been a phrase to define Prez Bush's attitiude he's shown for the last 5 plus years, it's this from Bill in Portland Maine (Of Cheers & Jeers at dailykos):

Recedite, plebes! Gero rem imperialem!
(Stand aside plebians! I am on imperial business!)

Now if we could just get him to pronounce the thing...

Monday, July 17, 2006

Of Science Fiction and Voting

I was browsing the usual suspects after doing my 8 hours when I saw this little snippit in a thread of little snippits:

Rolling Stone wonders if the draft might make a comeback. I've already gone on the record supporting mandatory national service (which can be non-military). I also understand I'm in the vast minority in thinking people should serve their nation for at least a few years to avail themselves of the benefits of citizenship.

And I thought I was the only one that read Starship Troopers (yes read. It was a book first). For the uninitiated --most of you, unfortunatly-- the Starship Trooper universe is one in which there are two citizens of earth: Civilians and citizens. Everyone is a civilian at first. They have all the rights necessary to living, such as fair trial, freedom of speech etc... They cannot, however, vote. Only by becoming a citizen can one vote. Citizenship is obtained through military sevice (though possible through other means, service is the most common choice by far).

I've always fancied this idea, especially when drinking (like now!). It's compelling to have voting be a privilage of service rather than an inaliable right. It would definately prevent the 101st Fighting Keyboardists from polluting the pool with their votes, as well as anyone who doesn't ahve the balls to fight for what they believe in. But on the other end of the looking glass, it is a blatent denial of basic rights given to citizens.

But is it? In Starship Troopers, the rights given to citizens is gained through military uprisings after a true world war. Fed up with what politicians have done to the world, veterans overthrough governments around the world and create a world government that brings peace to earth (though not peace for earth...). How much different is this from our right to vote? Initially gained through military uprising (American Revolution, anyone?), we've had to fight for the expansion of that right beyond the initial white, land- owning male. It's really only a change of direction in voting rights that frankly can be abused by the wrong people.

I won't pretend to know the answer to this right now, wine has boggled the higher functions too much. On one hand, it makes sense to make a trade for something as important as voting. It creates a sense of commitment. On the other hand, denying voting to a large segment of the population simply because they haven't joined the military doesn't seem fair at all.

Then again, tell that to the 2,550+ that have died in Iraq so far. They may have voted, but it wasn't vets that chose to go to war in Iraq. Indeed, the Bush Whitehouse seems to have the highest deficency of any military service of any recent presidency (or any at all. I'm too lazy to check). And yet they seem to want war more than anyone from the past. Big suprise, but this little logic formula leads me to not trusting those who haven't gone to war with issues of war and peace; for they surely haven't seen both sides. When you think about it, that's a very frightening thing indeed. I disagree with George Clemenceau when he says that "War is much too serious a matter to be entrusted to the military." I agree much more with Thomas Mann when he says that "War is a cowardly escape from the problems of peace." But that's just the cynic in me swimming to the surface through the wine. In all honesty, it could be the truth.

PNAC Rises From its Grave

I had been planning on writing about PNAC (Project for a New American Century) after Iraq, and how they weren't dead, just recovering, when good ol' Bill Kristol himself proves my non-article right. Arguing that Iran and Syria are fighting a proxy war against Israel, Kristol offers this advice to the USA:

The right response is renewed strength--in supporting the governments of Iraq and Afghanistan, in standing with Israel, and in pursuing regime change in Syria and Iran. For that matter, we might consider countering this act of Iranian aggression with a military strike against Iranian nuclear facilities. Why wait? Does anyone think a nuclear Iran can be contained? That the current regime will negotiate in good faith? It would be easier to act sooner rather than later. Yes, there would be repercussions--and they would be healthy ones, showing a strong America that has rejected further appeasement.

For the uninitiated, PNAC is the conservative thinktank. Anyone who is anyone in the conservative movement (That isn't a christian nut) is a member, especially in the Bush Whitehouse (Which also has it's fair shares of christian nuts). They want to show the world just how awesome America is with them at the helm. They even asked President Clinton to invade Iraq, stating potential WMD development. Clinton, in response, bombed these potential sites with long range missiles, effectively removing any WMD capabilities without endangering American servicemen. How very 'Clinton' of him.

With the rise of the Bush Administration, PNAC got its wish. The mess of generating an excuse for the invasion was conveniently given when 9/11 happened. Add a good helping of rhetorical slight- of- hand and a dash of paranoia and bam: We got Iraq episode III: Revenge of the Shi'a. (I being the Phantom war and II being the Phony war- no- fly zones and such). But it wasn't all flowers and candy, as it turned out. The mess of a civil war there is enough to tell anyone in reality that the plan didn't work. It's only those very special people outside of all that messy 'logic' and 'facts and evidence' that don't think it's a shitstorm.

Which brings me back to Billy here. Since Iraq went so well, he wants to do Iran now. Oh we won't get Iraq again. You see in Iraq, we didn't try hard enough. If we hit Iran really hard, then we'll get candy and flowers... ...and teddy bears and widdle bunnies and....

Kristol's mentality seems to be that if you put meat in an oven, set it to roast, and don't get a cake, you just need to roast it more. The only possible way to get a cake is to cook whatever went into the oven more until it becomes a cake. There are no other ways to make cake! I wouldn't be too concerned about this if it wasn't endemic of the conservative movement in general: When you have failure from an abolutely conservative government, it's not that conservatism has failed, it's because the government wasn't conservative enough. You know, because dominance of the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches isn't enough. ("It's those damned demoblogifacistacommunists!" Says the little Rushie on my shoulder. "Them and the feminists. Don't forget the feminists" Says the little Newt in addition.)

I say now what I wish I said before the Iraq sabre- rattling began. "Look who's not crying now, Stacy; look who's lasting longer than thirdy seconds!"

Now that that's out of the way, here's another one: Don't get caught up in the beat of the war drums (DC Dems, I'm looking your way). We don't need a war with Iran, now or ever. Only a dishonest person will push for one and well, I don't tend to trust dishonest people. Seems to be a good rule.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

A thief! A thief!

Someone's pulling my schtick again. Now it's a Congressman:

Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-IL) offers a few more lessons learned:

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the President said we continue to be wise about how we spend the people's money.

"Then why are we paying over $100,000 for a 'White House Director of Lessons Learned'?

"Maybe I can save the taxpayers $100,000 by running through a few of the lessons this White House should have learned by now.

"Lesson 1: When the Army Chief of Staff and the Secretary of State say you are going to war without enough troops, you're going to war without enough troops.

"Lesson 2: When 8.8 billion dollars of reconstruction funding disappears from Iraq, and 2 billion dollars disappears from Katrina relief, it's time to demand a little accountability.

"Lesson 3: When you've 'turned the corner' in Iraq more times than Danica Patrick at the Indy 500, it means you are going in circles.

"Lesson 4: When the national weather service tells you a category 5 hurricane is heading for New Orleans, a category 5 hurricane is heading to New Orleans.

"I would also ask the President why we're paying for two 'Ethics Advisors' and a 'Director of Fact Checking.'

"They must be the only people in Washington who get more vacation time than the President.

"Maybe the White House could consolidate these positions into a Director of Irony."

Man, if it wasn't for all the money I get from blogging, I just might have to do something else for a living...

Thursday, June 29, 2006

My Head's Going to Explode

June 28 (Bloomberg) -- Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, asked about a report that Sunni insurgents have made a conditional offer to halt attacks in Iraq, said the U.S. won't set a timetable for withdrawing troops from the country.

The Associated Press today said 11 Sunni insurgent groups offered to stop attacks on U.S.-led military forces in Iraq if the Iraqi government and President George W. Bush set a two-year deadline for withdrawing all foreign troops.

Rumsfeld told reporters that while he hadn't seen the report, ``the president's view has been and remains that a timetable is not something that is useful.'' A schedule for a pullout ``is a signal to the enemies that all you have to do is just wait and it's yours,'' he said.

``The goal is not to trade something off for something else to make somebody happy, the goal is to succeed,'' Rumsfeld said at a Pentagon press conference with Australian Defense Minister Brendan Nelson. ``And that means exactly what the president has said: It's condition-based.''

Ow, ow, ow, ow! My head hurts, so give me a second. We don't accept the Sunni's offer --which very well could lead to a safer, more peaceful Iraq-- because we want a safer, more peaceful Iraq? What. The. Fuck. That's two years from now: Summer '08. What better for Bush's 'legacy' than to have the troops come home under his banner, instead of that homecoming being political fodder for the next Exec. (And let's face it: Everything this administration does is either about money or politics. Might as well think that way.) More realisticly, that's two years. Think about how long that is and try to tell me that's not enough time to arrange at least a partial withdrawl. At least it's enough time for the Admin to weasel its way out of the deal.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The Art of Ignoring the Truth

Rove loses an election, surveys the situation, and concludes that the GOP left 4 million evangelicals off the table and they need to find and mobilize them. We lose four years later and conclude that, um, we need to talk to evangelicals. In other words, they lose and turn to their base, but we lose and turn to...THEIR base! Am I losing my mind or is this about as absurdly upside-down ass-backwards as possible?

Electoral strategist Tom Schaller email to Chris Bowers of MyDD

It always grinded against me that the Democratic Party thought it was their best plan to appeal to the 'evangelical vote'. Being the good progressive I am, I felt rightly rejected when almost the day after Nov 2nd, Democrats were calling for conservative voters. "What he hell?! Why not oh, appeal to your base just like the republicans did? Where does it make sense to appeal to their base?" It felt like if you really hit it off with someone at the bar, really were digging where everything was going. Then, right when it was time to seal the deal, along comes some turd of a ball and chain. You dismiss them for the shit they are, but for some dumb reason, your attention is drawn to your courtee running away with shithead. Where am I going with this? I hate to beat a dead hooker, but this is another part of the not- so- cold war happening for the soul of the democratic party.

On one side, there are those that see the Republican 04 victory as a sign that the nation is turning conservative. If more conservatives voted, it is only logical that the nation is more conservative. Then there's the other side (those people residing in that weird reality thing) see the republican victory, and realize that the nation has not suddenly turned conservative; rather the republicans did a better job working their base voters: Evangelicals, baptists, the south; the usual gang of theives and charlitans.

Now think of what the 'liberal' national party has done lately for the base. No, go ahead, I'll wait.

Yeah. Now imagine what would happen if the Democratic party reached out to all the disenfranchised liberals in the nation: Throw in the Greens, GLBT, the new labor unions in the service industry and start actively appealing and courting their votes. I like where this leads me, and I'm not all that imaginative.

In other words: Screw the conservative base. You want their votes? They're alot easier to get if you put an R after your name.