Sunday, August 31, 2008

McCain Shows Off His Collar and Leash ...

... Or, Why Sarah Palin Got Picked.

See, McCain's good buddies with Senator Joe Lieberman, and he thought (and why not?) that it'd be a great idea to have someone who's a known quantity on the ticket as his Vice President. Lieberman's been in the Senate and, to be fair, his removal from the Senate would only help the Democrats.

Enter the dragon, in the form of Ayatollah Jim Dobson and the zombie legions of the Religious Right, who vigorously opposed Lieberman as Veep because of his pro-choice attitude. They wanted someone who was a hard-core "social conservative" who shared their views. Romney, being Mormon, didn't cut it, and neither did Pawlenty.

But here's Sarah Palin, and the Zombies are swooning.

She's a mother of five still married to her first husband.

She's a woman who feels that women are too stupid to be allowed to determine for themselves what to do with their bodies.

She's a gun owner.

She's a committed Christian who's dead set against any science education in public schools.

In short, she's a Zombie's wet dream fantasy.

Never mind the facts that she's been Governor of Alaska less than two years and before that was the mayor of a town of about 5,000 people. Never mind the fact that she was all for the 'Bridge to Nowhere' until the federal funds got cut off.

And never mind the fact that the Republicans have cut their own dominant campaign meme of 'Obama is too inexperienced' right off at the knees, or that the man who supposedly puts his country first instead accepted an accommodation with the extremist American Taliban Wing of the GOP in hopes of getting his septuagenarian ass elected.

I'm all for anything that loses the GOP the election, but this smacks of McCain deliberately trying to throw the game. The Zombies who forced this on McCain obviously don't give a fluffy little rodent's derriere about the future of the country if McCain should die in office, nor do they give the mass of the American people much credit for intelligence (Palin being female, it is apparently hoped that any woman will vote automatically for any woman regardless of her politics or stances on issues).

Still, watching Palin fumble will be fun, and if it turns into an Eagleton Moment, fine by me. Because sometimes you have to destroy the village (or the Party) in order to save it.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Meanwhile, in the "Real World..."

While 34 million people were watching a televised Obama give his nomination speech to the Democratic Convention in Denver before 84,000 supporters and delegates, and while McCain apparently took a gigantic step away from his good senses, we had other things happening.

Let's go day-tripping through reality!


Georgia On My Mind, Reprise:

The cease-fire's in place, and ratified, but Russian troops remain in certain areas of Georgia. Areas like Gori, only an hours' drive from the capital, Tbilisi, and the major commercial seaport of Poti. A studied reluctance to be seen confronting the Russians (as well as wanting to make sure that nothing happens) the US landed medical supplies at the port of Batumi. Some refugees are complaining that the Russians are not allowing them to return to their homes.

In the biggest news, the Russian State Duma officially recognized the independence of both South Ossetia and Abkhazia, paving the way for both territories to incorporate themselves into the Russian Federation. Europe protested, as did Georgia - and I think the Russians basically waved their private parts at their aunties.

Because, seriously, what the hell can you do about it?


And Iran, Iran So Far Away ...

Lost in all the hoopla and hype of our own troubles is the announcement by the Iranian Government that it's increased the number of gas centrifuges in its nuclear program to 4,000. In the gaseous diffusion process for enriching uranium, the more centrifuges you have the faster you can go towards achieving your goal, whether it's moderately enriched (reactor-grade) or highly enriched (suitable for bombs).


The Next Stop on MTV Cribs:

Former President and General Pervez Musharraf, late top dog in Pakistan, decided to retire rather than face impeachment, a distinctly novel thing in Pakistan (where most leaders end up dead). I had thought he might seek a comfortable asylum in Saudi Arabia (in exchange for Saudi access to Pakistan's nuclear arsenal), but he's having a villa built in Pakistan. Quite a nice one, too, with only a (reportedly) minimal guard force.


Why Does the L.A. Times Hate America?

An article in the Los Angeles Times states that McCain's selection of Sarah Palin as his vice presidential candidate was motivated mainly by the emotional impulse to one-up Obama on the heels of the DNC. Supposedly, this has angered the top two aspirants for the job, Mitt Romney and Tom Pawlenty (Pawlenty thought he had a lock on it). How sincerely do you think these two surrogates will campaign for the man who just told them to Suck. It. Hard? And the Times is scarcely alone in its reservations about Palin.

Impulsively choosing a virtual unknown who you've only physically met once can be seen as either a gutsy move or a desperate one. Either way, it speaks volumes about McCain (of which more later).

Take your pick.


Oh, the Times, They Are A-Changin'

Yeeha! A full month of history in one week. The debates are going to be fun, so I need to lay in more popcorn and beer.

Friday, August 29, 2008

It's Palin

An ... interesting choice. John McCain selected Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his presumptive Vice Presidential nominee.

I had to look up her biography on Wikipedia, as I know next to nothing about her.

She's a hardcore anti-abortionist, doesn't believe in teaching science in the public schools, and was mayor of a town of about 9,000 people before being elected Governor. She's been in the post for about a year and a half, and as far as anyone knows has no political experience outside of Alaska. She's also known (again, according to the Wikipedia article) to have blown the whistle on corrupt practices within her own Party.

She's also cooperating with an ethics investigation regarding her firing of the State Police Commissioner.

So, what are the pluses and minuses?

Pluses? She's young and female, which might be used to woo away women from the Obama/Biden ticket over a supposed slur against Clinton. She's very opposed to abortion (and has 5 kids) - which might appeal to the Jesus Freak wing were it not for the fact her husband's a Yu'pik indian. Racism cuts both ways. However, I see a lot of GOP stalwarts being very aghast at this.

Minues? McCain's just celebrating his 72nd birthday today. If he cashes in after getting elected, we'll have a woman with less than two years experience running the country (and I'm not sure the GOP al Qaeda has given up their misogyny). Contrast that to Obama, who would be succeeded by a man with 29 years of experience in DC.

Like I said, an interesting move by McCain. Make a little history and change the narrative a bit by taking the "experience" card out of play.

We shall have to see.

Obama's Speech

I said it once before, after he clinched the nomination:

"I thank God that I have lived long enough to see this day."

Saturday, August 23, 2008

It's Biden

I awoke from a sound sleep at about 4 AM this morning sensing another disturbance in the Force. I switched on the telly and discovered that Senator Obama had chosen Senator Joseph Biden (D-MBNA) to be his running mate.


Plagiarist with a Potomac jones that has made him run for Prez twice in the past 20 years. Said publicly that Obama had no experience, then went on to a just-this-side-of-racist backhanded compliment. Shill for Big Banking and co-author of the egregious bankruptcy bill that guaranteed that millions would remain slaves to their credit cards.

But he's got the foreign policy chops that Obama needs to fill in the gap in his resume. Sure, Biden's a smartass.

But he's a competent smartass, and I think we can live with that.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Baiting the Bear

Way back in the day, quite a few countries throughout the world used to practice various blood sports. And no, I'm not talking football or even rugby. I'm talking about animal blood sports.

One of the very popular animal sports was the practice of bear baiting. A tethered bear in a pit would be set upon by a pack of hunting dogs (mastiffs or pit bulls or some equally large and nasty breed - you didn't see dachshunds in the pit). As the dogs attempted to bring down and kill the bear, the bear would do its best to defend itself by injuring or killing the dogs.

Fun, eh?

The sport attracted a lot of people and the betting on it was fierce and very lucrative. Henry VIII fancied it, and even his youngest daughter Elizabeth I would attend a bear baiting every now and then.

So what does this have to do with anything?

The Bear is also the traditional animal symbol for Russia (which is odd, as the old Imperial symbol was the two-headed Byzantine eagle, and said eagle has reappeared on the state coat of arms).

And we (the United States and NATO) are baiting the bear.

The Russian people have a couple of character traits that make them a wee bit touchy whenever another power starts drawing its sphere of influence's boundaries too closely. This is usually regarded as paranoia, but let's face facts - if your country had been invaded by everyone from Huns and Mongols to French and Germans over the centuries, you'd get a little edgy too.

Since the collapse of the Warsaw Pact in the late 80s and early 90s and the dissociation of the Soviet Union, Russia has seen NATO drawing ever more eastward until its member countries either touch Russian borders or are very close to it. Georgia's abortive membership in the North Atlantic Alliance was the last straw, and all it took was a spark to induce the Russian Federation to draw a line in the sand.

A spark that Georgia's President was all too happy to provide, sending Georgian troops into South Ossetia.

The response was swift and overwhelming (the Russians have never been known for either a feline touch or for doing things by halves), and the Russian Army now sits about 40 miles away from the Georgian capital. Georgia's military, trained by Ukraine and equipped by the United States, was routed and now the Russians are gleefully confiscating US-made Humvees. President Saakashvili's overheated rhetoric notwithstanding, I seriously doubt that we'll be coming to Georgia's aid militarily.

NATO membership would be off the table as well, if it weren't for the US and Germany (of all people) actively suggesting it. If Georgia becomes a full member of the Alliance, any Russian soldier who so much as sneezes on Georgian territory will activate the collective defense clause.

That clause is what has NATO troops fighting alongside us in Afghanistan, by the way - an attack on one is an attack on all.

Now we have just inked an agreement with Poland (a NATO member) to base Patriot interceptor missiles on Polish territory as part of an illusory "missile defense shield." The great flaw in this idea is that the missile has only a 45-mile range, and the missiles they're supposed be intercepting (Iranian, mind you) can't reach as far as Poland or Western Europe. The bigger flaw is that the Patriot isn't the most accurate beast in the thicket, and the best way to defeat it is to overwhelm it; i.e., throw a whole cloud of missiles at it - a few will get through regardless.

The Russians, understandably, are irritated. Poland has been part of the Russian sphere of influence since the First Partition back in the early 18th Century, and the only thing separating Poland from Russia now is Belarus (which is sympathetic to Moscow, not Warsaw). A Russian general has even intimated that Poland may come under attack so that Russia can get those missiles out of its front yard.

The neocons are loving this - they get their Cold War rhetoric back and denounce the Russians, even as the military-industrial complex the neocons actually serve begins salivating at the prospect of huge defense contracts.

But what happens if Russia calls the US bluff, and does attack Poland? Is NATO prepared to go to war as part of its collective defense policy over a few missile launchers that everyone already believes to be a deliberate provocation?

Or will it cause the Alliance to shatter?

Stay tuned, boys and girls. I'll order pizza and a pitcher of beer.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

This Month's Darwin Award Contestant

Monday, August 18, 2008

Post #805

From Our "Stupid Lawsuit" Desk

A group in Spain calling itself the descendants of the Order of the Temple of Christ (or Knights Templar) are suing Pope Benedict XVI to recover $150 billion in assets they say were seized wrongly by the Vatican way back in the Middle Ages.


One: Since the Knights Templar were sworn to chastity, they shouldn't have descendants - making all of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit a bunch of bastards.

Two: The lawsuit further alleges that Pope Clement V charged the Order with heresy and dissolved it. That's quite so, although Clement afterward retracted it. But here's why he dissolved the Order in the first place: The Pope was, at that time, the virtual prisoner of the French King Phillip IV. Phillip needed money and lots of it so he could fight the English, so he secured the acquiescence of the Pope to despoil the Templars. Torture was used to persuade them to disgorge their treasuries throughout France (the Templars were the biggest - Christian - mortgage holders in Europe at the time) and of course everyone else wanted a piece of the pie.

Three: So, the plaintiffs in the lawsuit need to direct their suit against the heirs and assigns of King Phillip IV, to wit, the Bourbon Pretender to the throne of France. Lots of luck doing that, guys.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

The Silly Season

The second half of August is usually the hottest part of the summer in most parts of the country (you can't really call it the 'dog days' because those traditionally coinicided with the heliacal rising of the star Sirius, which no longer happens), and there's something about the heat that just seems to fry the hell out of the cerebral ramen noodles in some peoples' heads.

Case in point:

Petrol pump pilgrims keep faith

A prayer group in Washington DC is claiming the credit for the recent sharp drop in the US price of petrol.

These people have been going around to gas stations in some parts of the country (according to the article, their last stop was in Huntsville, Alabama, which should explain a lot), holding prayer meetings at the pumps in an effort to bring down gas prices. Now comes the fun bit - they added a secret ingredient to their petitions to The Most High in order to get him to drop what he's doing regarding famine, AIDS and war and lower gas prices twenty cents.

They carpooled and drove less.

That was the secret ingredient.

Well, as a control on their efforts, I decreased the amount of driving I did, restricting my use of the automobile, and didn't pray. Guess what?

Gas prices fell at the station near my house. Thirty-nine cents, as a matter of fact.

Hmm. Could a rational response have actually done better than asking God (who conceivably might have had better things to do)?

Americans are getting a bit crazy as the summer heat continues; for these people I recommend sticking their heads in the fridge for a few minutes - and stop driving.

"Who REALLY Won the Cold War?"

It's a question asked on DailyKos by a contributor named Devilstower, and here's his take on it.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Profiles in Impotence

Our Dear Leader Kim Jong Bush, Barbarian-Quelling Generalissimo and Purveyor of the Pax Americana Upon Undeserving Brown People Whether They Want It or Not, has a bit of an impotence problem.

And it's not the kind of thing you can fix with a dose of Certain Patent Medicines.

This is political impotence - the impotence of a President who is only months away from handing over the keys to the Oval Office Executive Washroom to another. His approval ratings have been hovering around Suck for so long that few of his attention-deficit-addled followers can envision a time when he was (and he was, inexplicably) wildly popular.

His support for the Republic of Georgia has, since its invasion by Russia, proved to be largely rhetorical. Our military is hamstrung like Gulliver by the military adventurism of Bush, Cheney and the neocons to the point that we couldn't intervene militarily even if we wanted.

(I'll be discussing why it'd be stupid to try even if we were capable in another post.)

So here's Bush, his chance at vicarious manhood mired axle-deep, the economy in a shambles, our Constitution used as toilet paper, and his one and only hope at this point is to be able to rest in peace without long lines of people queuing up to violate his grave.

So what to do?

Simple - take the savage mauling he's done to our civil liberties and cast them in legal concrete!

He wants to codify into law all of the provisions of the Patriot Act and expand them, then allow local law enforcement to spy on ordinary Americans even if there's been no actual crime committed. Further, it allows the local police to share this info with the Federal agencies (shades of the old Silver Platter Doctrine) and retain the information for 10 years.

Yes. Ten years. Your emails, phone conversations, etc. kept by the police (not even the FBI) fo ten years.

The ACLU's already up in arms about this, and so should be the Democratic leadership in both houses of the Congress. This disgusting wastrel who's failed in everything he's done in his adult life now wants to swing for the fences and screw everything in this nation up for decades to come.

So what we need to do is to take his proposal, roll it up nice and tight and lube it up with some heavy Caspian Sea crude, and ram it up his -

But no. He might like it too much, in a Jeff Gannon sort of way.

Friday, August 15, 2008

And Now, For Something Completely Different ...

Russia v Georgia - Where We Stand Now

The dust may be starting to settle in Georgia now that Russian forces appear to have achieved their strategic objectives - separating Abkhazia and South Ossetia from Georgia. President Medvedev stated that he would not allow the Georgians to retake either province, so President Saakashvili and the Georgians may just have to sit there and take it.

Meanwhile a bit of sporadic fighting continues in Gori, which is most definitely not South Ossetian territory but is the point at which the rump of the Georgian Army (which, let's face it, has been savaged by the Russians) and the Russian Army are in actual contact. There are also reports that the Russians have been destroying military infrastructure as they withdraw under the terms of the cease-fire brokered by France.

Destroying military infrastructure (port facilities, airfields, etc.) - well, it's something I would do. You don't want to have to come back six months later, do you?

And the idea that France brokered the cease-fire must really stick in Bush's craw, and probably makes Cheney and the other neocons apoplectic.

A conspiracy theory was advanced that this entire mess was suggested by Israel as a means to distract Russia away from operations in Iran, or something like that. I'm not so sure about that - Russia has enough eyes on the ground to make sure that things in what they call the "Near Abroad" stay closely monitored.

So where does that leave us?

Sort of flatfooted.

We may not be able to man the International Space Station if we decide to go with economic sanctions, as NASA is contracted with the Russian Space Agency to provide Soyuz spacecraft to get us up there until 2014 when (we hope) the Orion will be in service. Economic sanctions from the European Union? Stop laughing; it'll never happen. Russia supplies a good bit of Europe's natural gas and oil via its trans-Siberian pipelines, and you won't want to piss off the Bear.

So that's about where we stand now. Not very comfortably.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Hot Steel and Hotter Air

Since the fighting broke out in South Ossetia a few days ago, the Russians have apparently managed to shove the Georgian Army out of the separatist province (although the BBC reports bombs still fall on the border town of Gori). Fighting is also reported in Abkhazia, with the Kodori Gorge region (see map) the only area still under Georgian military control.

Georgia has asked for a cease-fire, and it has supposedly been accepted by Russian President Medvedev; however, one of the terms the Russians are demanding (the ouster of Georgian President Saakashvili) doesn't seem to be happening yet.

So much for the hot steel.

Now for the hotter air (just our luck - this is a rather warm August).

John McCain seems to think we should start bombing Russia, or at least send troops into Georgia to help the country that President Kim Jong Bush expressed solidarity with.

That's not going to happen, Johnny. The US military is still stretched awfully thin thanks to our military adventures in Iraq and Afghanistan (and I recall you're full-bore 100 percent behind all that). Not much else we can do from that quarter.

Barack Obama says we should deploy the diplomats and try to get both sides to talk it out rather than resort to crude firepower.

That might happen, Barry, if it weren't for the fact that we no longer have a moral leg to stand on. Since our invasion of Iraq, and the revelations of extraordinary rendition, open flouting of the Geneva Conventions and the use of torture - well, we've lost whatever moral capital the attacks of Black Tuesday might have gained us.

Secretary of State and Bush Trophy Chick Condi Rice was a Soviet expert, which might have stood her in good stead in this matter - unfortunately she's proven to be a better piano polayer and buyer of expensive footwear than a foreign policy "expert." Hang it up, Condi. You're done.

What Russia has done is take the US/NATO strategy vis-a-vis Kosovo and use it against us:
1. A breakaway province that wants repatriation with another country that is ethnically the same;
2. The country the province belongs to sends in troops to establish a firmer grip on the province;
3. We start bombing the country and send in "peacekeepers" to allow the separatist province to remain separate and perhaps amalgamate itself with the ethnically similar country.

The only difference here is shown in the picture above - that thick black line running from Armenia to the Georgian capital of Tbilisi and then into Turkey. That's an oil pipeline, funneling Caspian Sea oil to ports on the Turkish coast.

Russia has already proven that it can cause pain and angst in Europe by shutting off or curtailing its flow of oil and natural gas from the Russian steppes. I'm very surprised that the price of oil per barrel on the NYMEX hasn't gone over $120 again.

So, with French President Sarkozy in Moscow to make chin-music with President Medvedev, we wait and see.

With fighting continuing in the Kodori Gorge, and bombs still falling on Gori.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

That Isaac Hayes was One Bad Mutha -

(Shut yo' mouth!)

(Jus' talkin' 'bout Isaac Hayes!)

(We can dig it!)

Yes, folks, Isaac Hayes, one of the big artists of the 70s, was found dead in his home. He was 65.

He's known to some younger folks as Chef from South Park, but he'll always be remembered for this little ditty:

Rest in Peace, Isaac.

War in the Periphery

One of the things that war can do (in a backhandedly positive way) is teach geography:

As one can see on the map, Georgia's province of South Ossetia sticks into the country like a sore thumb. The BBC has reported that Russian artillery and air strikes chased the Georgian military out of the provincial capital of Tskhinvali and there also attacks underway on the town of Gori (by coincidence, Stalin's birthplace). BBC also reports that elements of the Russian Black Sea Fleet sortied from its base at Sevastopol to blockade the Georgian port of Poti to block the importation of weapons; according to another report the ships were withdrawn after Ukraine threatened to close the port to the Russians.

To say that things are confused in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi would be an understatement, but it seems that even the opposition is rallying around President Saakashvili. Given the small size of the Georgian military, there doesn't seem to be all that much the Georgians can do, even as Russian bombs continue to fall.

Meanwhile, ITAR-TASS reports that Russian PM Putin visited the North Ossetian capital of Vladikavkaz to get reports from commanders in the field and brief President Medvedev. Although it's reported that President Saakashvili had ordered Georgian forces withdrawn from South Ossetia, the Russian report that they haven't received any cease-fire offer (which would be predicated on the complete withdrawal of the Georgians).

It's also being reported that separatist forces in Georgia's other problem province of Abkhazia may be mobilizing, determined to take advantage of the Tbilisi government's misfortunes. Abkhazian President Bagapsh declared that the West and the Ukraine are mainly at fault for the conflict (primarily because the Georgians are trained by the US and NATO, and they get their weapons from Ukraine).

This has been simmering for over 15 years now; a few shots, here and there, and much bad language. Now, there are reasons - nationalistic ones (Russia not wanting to get pushed around by the West any more), ethnic ones (South Ossetia is full of ethnic Russians), and economic ones (oil, of course). It's entirely possible that Russia may want to redraw the map you saw at the top of this post at Georgia's expense.

That leaves only the people caught in the middle of this whole sorry affair:

Meanwhile ...

1. A car bomb went off in Tal Afar, Iraq, killing some 21 people and injuring 70.

2. A rash of bombings by alleged Uighur terrorists took place in Kuqa county, part of the remote western Xinjiang Province; this follows an attack a few days ago in Kashgar that killed 16 policemen.

3. There are reports of clashes on the Afghan-Pakistan border that have so far killed a reported 100 Taliban militants.

Friday, August 08, 2008

A Certain Amount of Viewing with Alarm

The Caucasian Republic of Georgia has been having a problem with its province of South Ossetia over the past decade or so. South Ossetia, with its large Russian population, doesn't want to be part of Georgia, instead wanting to become either independent or a part of the Russian Federation.

Georgia doesn't see it that way, and its military forces apparently invaded earlier today and reportedly have taken the pronvcial capital, Tskhinvali.

Russia has started sending in tanks, and there are reports of casualties.

NATO's Secretary-General is watching this closely. Georgia applied for NATO membership, which pissed off Russia.

President Bush was informed and is said to be watching the situation, although what he can accomplish is amatter of debate.

Which just leaves this little blurb from Duck Soup as my take on little Georgia fighting Russia:

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Guess what?

I learned how to embed a video clip onto Blogger, so like the song says, another waypoint on the road to Apocalypse has been reached.


No, not George Walker Bush, Dear Leader, Barbarian-Quelling Generalissimo etc. etc. etc.

Don't get your hopes up.

There is a push forming in Islamabad, Pakistan to impeach President (former General) Pervez Musharraf, he of the greasy mustache and the armload of nukes. There are several procedural hurdles that must be achieved before the dirty deed can be consummated, but the ruling coalition in Parliament think it can be done.

The BBC correspondent reporting the news said that an impeachment of the President would take Pakistan into an entirely unexplored territory, as Pakistan's never had to impeach a leader before (they usually end up dead).

Now Musharraf can get out of this by dissolving the Parliament and rule by executive fiat. But it might be easier if he just goes the same route as his buddy George W. and either issue a signing statement or ignore the legislative branch entirely.

So, with the northwestern border provinces increasingly restive, tensions mounting over cross-border incursions by US, NATO and Afghan forces to retaliate against the Taliban and al Qaeda, inflation at 20 percent and a constitutional crisis brewing in Islamabad, Pakistan is on shaky ground.

And it's always instructive to pay attention to the fact that Pakistan has its own nuclear arsenal. A militant government might just be crazy nuts enough to think about using them the next time India gets pushy about Kashmir.

I'm going to start watching our "ally in the Total War Against Terror" very closely to see what develops.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Big Surprise ::yawns:: UPDATED!

The military court trying the case of United States vs Salim Hamdan just heard from the jury. Hamdan, Osama bin Laden's purported driver, was on trial for various terrorism-related offenses.

And the envelope, please ... thank you, Brigitte.

::drum roll::

Hamdan was found guilty.

One wonders if he'll go to trial next on traffic charges.

The military court found him guilty, which was, I mean, like, totally unexpected - considering one prosecutor was caught on record as saying that the higher-ups in the Pentagon and White House didn't want anything that even came close to an acquittal. They wanted convictions, and that was that.

Yessiree bob, a scrupulously fair trial, followed by a first class hanging.

And who says we no longer have lynch laws in this fading Republic?


The jury went through their sentencing phase, and they sentenced Hamdan to 66.5 months in Federal prison. With time served.

Which means he'll walk in about 6 months.

Which means he won't, as this goofball-addled "Administration" reserves to itself the right to say, "You go home when we say so, dumbass."

Which means that even if he were acquitted, or his conviction gets overturned on appeal, Hamdan will not be released.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008


It's an open question now whether or not Vice-President/Eminence Grise/Martin Bormann Lookalike/Eater of Babies Richard Cheney will attend the Republican National Convention in Minnesota in early September.

Gee whillikers, I wonder why?

Could it be that the economy's in the toilet and rapidly swirling downward to the bottom?

Could it be that our grand military adventure in Iraq, while showing some progress, is still as fragile as a Meissen teacup?

Could it be that al Qaeda is as big as it was prior to 9/11 (HE SAID 9/11! DRINK!) and is still planning attacks?

Could it be that the Mideast is less stable than it was eight years ago?

Could it be that Americans are now worse off than they were eight or four years ago?

Everything that Bush and Cheney have touched has turned to a loose glob of runny shit, with the exception of the profits realized by Halliburton, KBR and Exxon/Mobil.

Which explains the mass exodus of GOP candidates away from the tainted, toxic legacy of George W Bush (who is expected to be at the Convention the first night, then stay home). Apart from calling Bush out for private fundraisers (oh, and expect the next closed-door function he attends to have all cameras and cell phones confiscated), he's Not Wanted.

Good. Fuck him. Name a sewage treatment plant or landfill after him and Cheney, and exile them to Saudi Arabia.

The Saudis deserve it.

Deliberate Indifference

Barack Obama has a problem. He's letting his opponent, John McCain, set the narrative and gain an edge in the polls by allowing McCain's campaign to frame Obama as a lightweight celebrity and Scary Black Man while his own surrogates meekly roll over and let the GOP's talking points go unchallenged.

There's so much that can be used against McCain:

1. His pathetic showing at the Naval Academy (895th out of 899, and membership in the far-less-than-prestigious Century Club),

2. His performance as a naval aviator (crashing his own planes),

3. His desertion of his first wife in favor of a beer heiress,

4. His publicly calling his present wife a "cunt,"

5. His voting record of slavish devotion to Dubya (95% in 2007, 100% in 2008),

6. His 0-6 record on attending his own committee's hearings on Afghanistan,

7. His pandering to Big Oil,

8. His repeated gaffes and apparent memory lapses,

9. His consistently wrong takes on the Iraq War,

10. And shall we go on?


Senator Obama is being deliberately indifferent to the attacks by the McCain camp, and it is not doing his campaign a lick of good. This posture didn't do Kerry any good at all in 2004, and it won't do any bit of good this time.

My advice - my two cents - is for Obama to come out swinging and to tell his surrogates to do the same. Reframe the narrative and get into the media's faces about it. Tar this Bush wannabee with the Bush brush (four more years of stupidity!) and recapture the initiative.

Now, I know what you're saying, "Oooh, but that's dirty politics. We want to fight the campaign on issues, not negative attacks."

Dirty tricks and negative adds are a part of the America political process and have been ever since John Adams campaigned against Thomas Jefferson and called him every dirty name in the book. But the more Obama remains indifferent to these attacks (or worse, on the defensive), the easier it will be for McCain's campaign to gain on and eventually pass him.

And America can not tolerate another four years of the Bush Administration.