Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Screwing up a two car parade

There is no better evidence for why we should have no faith in the Bush administration than this:

The Lost Year in Iraq


After watching this report, I would guess that our entry into Iraq was based on a bet about who could screw the place up more.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Let them eat cake: Laura Bush version

God only knows why Laura 'Stepford' Bush is still liked by the American people. Here is what she had to say about violence in Iraq:
Many parts of Iraq are stable now. But, uh, of course, what we see on television is the one bombing a day that discourages everyone.
This was an educated adult woman who said this.

I am disturbed by this for two reasons-
1.) The morbid optimism this gargoyle displays, "if only those Iraqis could make lemonade out of these exploding lemons". On what planet is such a statement acceptable?
2.) She is absolutely wrong and should know better. The problem with the violence in Iraq isn't just the bombings, it is the endless murder and sectarian violence. Either Laura Bush was being intellectually dishonest or she really doesn't know what is going on in Iraq. Neither option looks very good.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

A Realistic Assessment

Oddly enough, this doesn't classify as realism in professional punditry. If you offer crazy predictions you are seen as serious, and if you offer serious predictions you are seen as crazy. Fortunately, Newsweek has made an earnest attempt to say something crazy. Michael Hirsch predicts that we are going to be in Iraq for a very long time:
...How long must we stay under the Petraeus plan? Perhaps 10 years. At least five. In any case, long after George W. Bush has returned to Crawford, Texas, for good.
...
To a degree little understood by the U.S. public, Petraeus is engaged in a giant “do-over.” It is a near-reversal of the approach taken by Petraeus’s predecessor as commander of multinational forces in Iraq, Gen. George Casey, until the latter was relieved in early February, and most other top U.S. commanders going back to Rick Sanchez and Tommy Franks. Casey sought to accelerate both the training of Iraqi forces and American withdrawal. By 2008, the remaining 60,000 or so U.S. troops were supposed to be hunkering down in four giant “superbases,” where they would be relatively safe. Under Petraeus’s plan, a U.S. military force of 160,000 or more is setting up hundreds of “mini-forts” all over Baghdad and the rest of the country, right in the middle of the action.
...
And that means the future of Iraq depends on the long-term presence of U.S. forces in a way it did not just a few months ago. “We’re putting down roots,” says Philip Carter, a former U.S. Army captain who returned last summer from a year of policing and training in the hot zone around Baquba. “The Americans are no longer willing to accept failure in order to put Iraqis in the lead. You can’t let the mission fail just for the sake of diplomacy.”
While the GOP is offering rosy assessments about our winning in Iraq, we all know that just isn't true. This is something that will take a very long time to work itself out. We can no longer say, "wait 6 months to see if it gets better"

Don't say I never did anything for you

For my Arcade Fire loving friends:

A recording of their recent live show in Washington D.C.

Real Player & Windows Media

Enjoy

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Maybe they should send Britney Spears there

In case you haven't been near a television or the internet or radio or homing pigeon or parrot...BRITNEY SPEARS IS IN REHAB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Run for the hills, lock up the kids, save up on canned food because this is huge.

We are also putting our injured soldiers in Third World hospitals. Men and women who have bravely served in our horrible wars are getting hurt every day. Now when they turn to us for help, our government ships them off to hospitals that don't work.


But that isn't important, BRITNEY SPEARS IS IN REHAB!!!!!!!!

Oh wait, isn't that Anna Nicole Smith's rotting corpse? OMG!!!

Monday, February 19, 2007

Nanny, nanny, boo boo.

This from Wikipedia:

Neon Bible is Arcade Fire's second full length album, the followup to their breakthrough Funeral. It is due for release on March 5, 2007 in Europe and March 6, 2007 in North America.


What does this mean? Well, it means that with the time difference, I get access to Arcade Fire's new album 32 glorious hours before all y'all on EST! Ha ha! Suck on that!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

PBS blows it

I just watched the latest Frontline documentary, News War, and while I was initially excited about what it might reveal it actually does a great disservice to the historical record. It starts with the lead up to the war in Iraq and how most of the press got it wrong. However, the documentary then focuses on 'Plamegate' affair and reaches the conclusion that the press and Bush White House are at war. In this war, the press is cast as the hero and the White House as a villain.

Yet, as anyone who has lived through the last 7 years can attest, the press has not performed heroically. In fact, one of the problems with the press is that it has NOT opposed this administration. And what is interesting is that they asked all of the pertinent questions, yet decided not to include it. If you go to the website you can read all of the interviews they did on this subject. However, to paint a pretty picture, the documentary does the following:

  1. Suggests that the refusal of reporters to reveal their sources in the Plame affair is equivalent to all other types of confidential protection. Yet, the Plame affair was qualitatively different and they only briefly covered this. The reporters were protecting the powerful in this instance, they were not protecting sources worried about persecution from the powerful. The press was being used by the White House to attack a critic.

  2. The documentary did not look at how cozy the relationship between the press and the administration can be. As evidenced by testimony in the Libby trial, it is shocking how close these two parties are.

  3. Presents Judith Miller as a martyr and really doesn't scrutinize her relationship to the Bush administration and the War in Iraq. She had far too cozy of a relationship with her sources on this and was dishonest when citing who her sources were. To pretend that she was somehow behaving admirably is ridiculous.

  4. Does not challenge Bob Woodward. At the end of the first hour we learn that Bob Woodward was the first journalist to be told about Valerie Plame. However, there are no follow up questions about why it took him so long to come forward or why he did not tell his editor about what he knew.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Retro Video

In my senior year at Central Washington University (I was on exchange) this was my favorite song. Enjoy...

Thursday, February 15, 2007

The Liebys: Profiles in Courage

Named in honor of Joe Lieberman, the Liebys are this nations greatest honor for political courage. The latest Lieby goes to Christopher Shays (R-CT). Before the last election he was fully behind a withdrawal in Iraq. After he won the election? Well...here are his words:

The Democratic majority in the House has adopted a resolution condemning this strategy, expressing disapproval without offering any alternatives. Ironically, they offer a stay-the-course resolution. The majority is clear on what it is against, but does not say wait is for, leaving us with what exists right now, the status quo. The resolution sends the wrong message to the President, to our troops and to our enemies. It will not get my vote. …

It is counterproductive for 535 members of the House of Representatives and Senate to micromanage the war. …

The only way we should leave Iraq is the same way we went in, together.
You see, he is courageous because he had the cajones to say this after he was safely in office. Had he said it before, when he might have been held accountable for his stupidity, he could have been voted out of office. Thus, he has lived up to the politically courageous legacy of Joe Lieberman.

Are you f*ing kidding me

A Congresswoman has quoted Larry 'The Cable Guy" in a message of support for the troop escalation in Iraq.
In the South, we have a wonderful saying and it goes like this: Get ‘er done. Our soldiers want to get it done and come home, and our President wants the same thing, and this Congress should demand the exact same thing. Let’s get out there and get ‘er done.
I don't support capital punishment, but this woman should be hanged for stupidity. We have lost 3,000+ soldiers, billions of dollars and tens of thousands of innocent Iraqi lives and this idiot thinks that we should follow the Blue Collar Comedy Hour Foreign Policy Doctrine.
Daily Show on the Ropes

Wow, after watching the great new Fox News Rip-off, I think the Daily Show is in real trouble. I think TDS better start using canned laughs like this lame-ass show if it wants to hold it's audience.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

My Dogs are "Snow" Fiends

We are finally getting some significant snowfall in the city and this does some mighty strange things to our two dogs. When we let them out to our back 'yard' they play like a pair 1980s stockbrokers, they jump around frenetically and run all over the place.

It also doesn't help that when they look up, it seems like there is some white powder on each of their noses.

From the land of ice and snow

Now that I've been in Oslo for two, that's right, two full weeks, I think that I can safely say that I'm an expert on Norwegian culture. To that end I've decided to compile a list - beginning with 1 and going until I run out of ideas - of things that I like.

1. Norwegians. I've found Norwegians to be funny, well-educated, and genuinely kind. Of course that's a generalization, but it's a nice one.

2. Sledding. More importantly, taking the subway to the site of the '52 Olympics and sledding down the Korketrekke (corkscrew): the old skeleton run. Terrifying and exhilarating.

3. Late night kabobs. Nothing better after beer and before more beer.

4. As Broca has already pointed out, the hair. Everyone here has amazing hair. Not a single bald or out of fashion person in the entire city. It's awe inspiring.

5. Actually uttering and genuinely believing the words, "$5.00 for a pils?! That's cheap!"

6. British pubs with real British people inside of them!

7. Learning what to call the "o" with a line through it and the "a" with the circle above it and then trying to repeat it with a mouth full of Chillinotter.

8. The wilderness. It's truly beautiful here, and this is coming from a guy who doesn't even like snow...or wilderness.

9. Mass transit. I know you're all educated so I won't insult you with my reinterpretation of what countless people before have pointed out in great length. Why can't America get this right though? Sorry, I had to go there.

10. Social Democracy. It's so nice to have drinks, or leg wrestle, with people and not have to explain why it's such a good idea to see that people's basic needs are met. Yes, a disdain for paying high taxes is universal, but the alternative is less desirable, so taxes it is.

11. The Nobel Peace Center is two blocks from where I work. That's just f'ing awesome right there.

12. Being around a preponderance of people who actually care about the environment and don't question the science of global warming.

I really love it here. Peace

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Lovely Little Evening

Went to see Yo La Tengo with the lady and our friend Filly grrrl. Absolutely fantastic show. Two encores, sonic experimentation and the band took requests. You can't beat that.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Thursday Night Video- Scandinavian Version

This is a wonderful song to listen to. I am just not certain when.

It is either a song to wake up to, or drive late at night to. If anyone is willing to go out there and figure this out, that would be great.

Local News as National News

This piece from the Daily Show is about right.

We won't begin to solve the big problems until the press learns what these problems are. That astronaut story was not one of them.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

How many more corners?

While Republicans put their collective heads in the sand- the last four months in Iraq have been the deadliest for US troops (from AmericaBlog):
More American troops were killed in combat in Iraq over the past four months - at least 334 through Jan. 31 - than in any comparable stretch since the war began, according to an Associated Press analysis of casualty records.
God forbid we debate the merits of continuing our adventure in Iraq because we don't want to hurt the morale of the soldiers. The worst thing that can happen is for a corpse to have no morale.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

More Mythology

Washington's Dean of Journalists files a report from the DNC meeting:
One of the losers in the weekend oratorical marathon was retired Gen. Wesley Clark, who repeatedly invoked the West Point motto of "Duty, Honor, Country," forgetting that few in this particular audience have much experience with, or sympathy for, the military.

As Oliver Willis points out, in what world is this true? Which is the party that supports veterans? While the Republicans have done everything they can to cut VA programs, the Democrats have worked hard to protect them. While Republicans have tried to provide our soldiers with sub-standard equipment, the Democrats have stood up for increased accountability.

David Broder is supposed to be the ideal Washington reporter, but how is he ideal? Ideally lazy? Ideally intellectually dishonest?

Monday, February 05, 2007

How Many More Will Die for a Lie?


NPR has amassed a graphic depiction of the Iraq War deaths here. Called The Toll of War, it details both US and Iraqi deaths. Interestingly, it also compares other Iraqi death estimates to the Bush Administration. Good thing Bush Inc. has so much credibility, 30k sounds so much better than 650k! Who ever heard of this Johns Hopkins University anyway, what is that some sort of internet-based diploma mill?

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Someone Looks Uncomfortable

This picture is from President Bush's visit to the Democrats Congressional retreat

Friday, February 02, 2007

Mary Cheney: Horrible Person

The Cheney's must have a gene which makes them evil people. I suppose if one were to look back into their family tree you would find a whole host of villains (e.g. Vlad the Impaler, Caligula, J.R. Ewing, Bert).

The apple didn't fall far from the tree with Mary Cheney. The lesbian daughter of Dick and Liz Cheney is about to become a parent. Yet instead of taking on the American Taliban who consistently attack gays and lesbians or the members of the Bush adiministration who have made the LGBT community their bogeyman. She has put her head in the sand and stated that her having a child is not a political issue.
“When Heather and I decided to have a baby, I knew it wasn’t going to be the most popular decision,” Ms. Cheney said, referring to her partner of 15 years, Heather Poe. She then gestured to her middle—any bulge disguised by a boxy jacket—and asserted: “This is a baby. This is a blessing from God. It is not a political statement. It is not a prop to be used in a debate, on either side of a political issue. It is my child."
Cue Dan Savage:

Nice try, Mary.

Yes, it’s a baby, not a prop. My kid isn’t a prop either, but that never stopped right-wingers from attacking me and my boyfriend over our decision to become parents. The fitness of same-sex couples to parent is very much part of the political debate thanks to the GOP and the Christian bigots that make up its lunatic “base.” You’re a Republican, Mary, you worked on both of your father’s campaigns, and you kept your mouth clamped shut while Karl Rove and George Bush ran around the country attacking gay people, gay parents, and our children in 2000, 2002, 2004, and 2006. It’s a little late to declare the private choices of gays and lesbians unfit for public debate, Mary.

And so long as your party insists on making the fitness of homosexuals to marry or parent—or, hell, exist—a subject of public debate, Mary, your decision to become a parent is germane and very much fit for public discussion and debate. The GOP’s selective embrace of some pregnant dykes—only knocked-up lesbians with powerful connections will be treated with respect—is a disconnect that demands answers. From you, from your father, from your venomous mother, from the idiot president you helped elect. Is that fair? Maybe not. Want to blame someone? Go look in the mirror—and then come out swinging, Mary—for yourself, your partner, and your child.

Mary Cheney exhibits the worst type of hypocrisy. She gets to live a comfortable and protected life while millions of gays and lesbians are under attack. She can't wash their struggle off of her hands.