s skippy the bush kangaroo: January 2007

skippy the bush kangaroo

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

who needs to pay taxes when you're a gop official?

the fbi is investigating publican gary miller (r, sleazy town) and his avoidance of paying capital gains tax from land sales by claims that the cities involved forced him to unload the properties, something the cities deny. latimes:

the federal investigation was initiated after the times reported in august that officials in both cities denied that they had acquired miller's property using eminent domain, which enables governments to buy land for certain purposes even if owners do not want to sell.

after a land sale in monrovia in 2002 and two subsequent sales in fontana in 2005 and 2006, miller claimed an exemption under internal revenue code section 1033, which grants those forced to sell property through eminent domain at least two years to reinvest the profits without paying capital gains taxes.

miller's repeated use of the forced-sale exemption has enabled deferment of capital gains taxes through at least 2009.
the gop, the law and order party!
posted by skippy at 10:20 PM | 1 comments

bob carroll, co-creator of 'i love lucy,' dead at 88

in a night of sad news, we are sorry to report that hollywood writer bob carroll has passed.

bob carroll's work is familiar to anybody who watches tv. along with his partner madelyn pugh davis, and a third writer, jess oppenheimer, carroll wrote the pilot script, and worked on every single episode of 'i love lucy.' tv week:

mr. carroll created the pioneering, long-running cbs sitcom starring lucille ball and her then-husband desi arnaz with his longtime writing partner madelyn pugh davis and the show's producer and head writer, jess oppenheimer, in 1951.

mr. carroll and ms. davis co-wrote every one of the half-hour series' 180 episodes from 1951-57, either with mr. oppenheimer or with bob schiller and bob weiskopf, who joined the writing staff in the show's fifth season to help with the work load.

mr. carroll and ms. davis first worked with mr. oppenheimer and ms. ball on the cbs radio show "my favorite husband" beginning in 1948. it was that show that cbs originally intended to transfer to tv, but "i love lucy" was instead developed after ms. ball expressed her desire to star opposite her real-life husband mr. arnaz, a cuban-born bandleader.
carroll went on to write or produce every other tv show lucy was on, including "life with lucy," "the lucy-desi comedy hour," and "lucy," as well as the lucille ball-henry fonda flick "yours, mine and ours" (which was the distant ancestor of "the brady bunch," tho you'll never find documentation to say as much).

anybody who ever enjoyed a television sitcom owes at least some of their laughter to bob carroll, who helped pioneer the medium.

we guess god's in the mood for some laughs, since he called both bob and molly ivins home.
posted by skippy at 10:05 PM | 1 comments

wednesday night music club

in honor of molly ivins' passing...

beethoven - sanctus from missa solemnis
edda moser - soprano
hanna schwarz - mezzosoprano
rene kollo - tenor
kurt moll - bass
concertgebouw orchestra
conductor, leonard bernstein


posted by skippy at 9:05 PM | 0 comments

rip molly ivins

sadly, molly succumbed to her illness at 62 years of age. msnbc:

more than 400 newspapers subscribed to her nationally syndicated column, which combined strong liberal views and populist-toned humor. ivins’ illness did not seem to hurt her ability to deliver biting one-liners.

“i’m sorry to say (cancer) can kill you, but it doesn’t make you a better person,” she said in an interview with the san antonio express-news in september, the same month cancer claimed her friend former gov. ann richards.

to ivins, "liberal" was no insult. "even i felt sorry for richard nixon when he left; there's nothing you can do about being born liberal — fish gotta swim and hearts gotta bleed," she wrote in a column included in her 1998 collection, "you got to dance with them what brung you."

in a column in mid-january, ivins urged readers to stand up against bush's plan to send more troops to iraq.

"we are the people who run this country. we are the deciders. and every single day, every single one of us needs to step outside and take some action to help stop this war," ivins wrote in the jan. 11 column. "we need people in the streets, banging pots and pans and demanding, 'stop it, now!'"
we'll be banging some pots and pans in your honor, molly. rest in peace.

slightly-related but disgusting tangent: oh those hate-filled liberals in the blogosphere. why can't they learn how to be civil, like the conservatives. here's just a few of comments, presumably left by the well-mannered and gracious conservatives, found on the message board at msnbc's piece on molly:

i'm glad she is dead. that "thing" did nothing but spew the same old worn out left wing slogans. the world is now a better place. oh when will cancer take care of hillary?!?!
a sad case -- she couldn't help being ugly and stupid, but she could have kept her mouth shut and her fingers off the keyboard. good riddance.
all that liberal anger and rage against those not like her neocommunist self decayed molly from the inside out. hate kills.
you see molly, when you are so full of hate, the cheap way you attacked the president, no wonder you got cancer. the world is a better place without this vile witch!
sorry that she died of cancer, but i'd have to make the observation that there is now one less whining, bleating liberal.
i am soooooooo glad that she is dead. i smiled so big when i saw the news of her passing. good riddance to a hate filled bitter old hag who had nothing good to say about anyone outside of her political views. i hope to god that there will never be another one-sided close-minded hate-filled columnist but then again........when she goes there are plenty of acid tongue liberals to go around to fill her shoes.
good riddance to bad rubbish as my mom used to say. her one-sided left-wing hatchet jobs are finally gone and will soon be forgotten.
greenaway day,

#1 take yourself and your liberal friends back to canada. we need you like we need more friggin' mexicans.

#2 jimmy carter is an idiot. the epitome of incompetence!

ivans down, feinstein , boxer & pelosi to go.....

you're on the right track, pal. let's just add a few more names like fonda, robbins, penn, sarandon, ginsberg.....
they say bitterness is what brings on cancer and lowers the bodies resistance to fight the disease,and with the venom this legacy media relic spewed out it is no wonder she got it and "lost the fight".....i'm sure st. peters has some good ol folks by his side who will see her for what she is and bounce her butt of the cloud.......good riddance molly , may you keep saddaam warm for eternity!!!!
ding **** the wicked witch is dead! i wonder if she will be able to smell urine on her grave from 6 feet under.
ding, ****, the witch is dead. too bad it didn't take longer... i'd have loved to see her witness hillary's implosion in 2008.
no tears here, she was taking up space on this earth as with most liberals blaming their problems on everyone else, instead of themselves. good riddance!!
actually, given the opportunity, i'll go vomit on her grave!!!
molly ivins was a liberal puke. surprised she died so young though.
i wouldn't wish cancer on anyone, but on the bright side, no one will ever have to read her horrible, venomous, bitter columns again.
damn! rid of that bitch & sadamm, in the same quarter! go, fidel, go!
oh yeah, class acts all the way...

addendum: if you don't feel like the posters above, and would like to show some love to molly, pls. sign the sfchron guest book.

double addendum: mad kane gives us her ode to molly ivins.
posted by skippy at 5:18 PM | 17 comments

we were hoping for dick, but we'll take heinlein

we're robert a. heinlein. can you grok that?

which science fiction writer are you?

via virushead.
posted by skippy at 5:12 PM | 9 comments

when does skippy get $180?

big congrats to our blogging buds over at square state and calitics, and also a nod to dbk's buds at blue jersey, all for winning the coveted mydd gives free money grants for political lefty blogs working on a state level award.

when do we get a grant? and we don't mean lou.

posted by skippy at 12:19 PM | 1 comments

some of our best friends are named obama

john amato at c&l points out an incredibly offensive thing that joe biden said about barack "to the future" obama:

joe biden's presidential campaign may be over before it started: here's the unbelievably stupid thing that the delaware democrat said about barack obama, in an interview published today:

“i mean, you got the first mainstream african-american who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy,” he said. “i mean, that’s a storybook, man.”
he probably doesn't even realize what he said was offensive. should he be given the benefit of the doubt?
uh, no.

what storybooks did he read as a little kid? goldilocks and the three little nicely groomed black people?
posted by skippy at 11:51 AM | 3 comments

conservatism is dead and we aren't feeling so good ourselves

the erudite thereisnospoon makes a convincing case (over at my left wing) that conservatism, real conservatism, is dead:

gone is the old right--those paleoconservatives who believe in the venerated american tradition of non-interventionism abroad and rural-values agrarian populism at home.

gone is the rockefeller republican--the pro-business conservative who welcomes government investment in social programs but simply wants to run them more efficiently. olympia snowe and susan collins are two the very last of a dying breed--outcasts in both of america's political moieties.

gone is the small government conservative. as even the wall street journal staff have admitted, "the the era of small government is over. sept. 11 challenged it. katrina killed it." the republican party is the party of big government conservatism now (whatever that means), as the cato institute has lamented at length.

gone, also are the old burkeian and hamiltonian conservatives whose preference for aristocracy and republic over mob rule and democracy has given way to the pseudo-populism of bill o'reilly and rush limbaugh, and the unilateral attempt to ostensibly spread direct democracy across the globe.

and gone too are the old ayn rand conservatives: those who view selfishness as the highest good, absent all communal forces to the contrary--including not only government but organized religion as well.

all of these proud descendants of the burkeian conservative tradition have been utterly marginalized in today's american political discourse. and there's a very good reason for that: conservatism as we know it has ceased to provide any meaningful answers for the problems that confronted by the nation and the world. instead, we are at a crossroads of epic proportions that will determine nothing less than the future of the free world in ways that most of us probably fail to fully grasp.


in the place of traditional conservatism--as thomas frank and hundreds of others have pointed out time and again--is an alliance between what markos and jerome call the "corporate cons" and the "theocons". i would also add the "neocons"--though many would simply say that they are a subset of the corporate cons.

the problem with this categorization, however, is the obvious difficulty that two of the above are not conservative at all, while the third is only conservative of religious tradition and nothing else. the old rhetorical adage "what are conservatives conserving, exactly?" is perfectly applicable for these people--none of whom are true conservatives at all.
posted by skippy at 12:03 AM | 3 comments

but other than that how did you like it?

we weren't expecting anything good from epic movie, but after reading pajiba's opening paragraphs of their review, we plan on disinfecting our tv anytime an ad for that flick comes on:

no matter how low your expectations for epic movie are, reduce them by at least 90 percent. really, think of the worst movie you’ve ever seen. now take away any redeeming qualities. now take away any element that was esthetically neutral. now add in the most painful moments from the 10 next-worst movies you can think of. that’s what epic movie would be if it were a hell of a lot better than it is. i never laughed, not once; the closest i came was a small “heh” at a harold and kumar joke thrown into one of kal penn’s scenes.

i’ve seen all four films in the scary movie franchise, and late one night, very drunk, i even watched the first 20 minutes of date movie on hbo (i then, blessedly, passed out). compared to epic movie, each of those films might as well have been made by preston sturges.
posted by skippy at 12:02 AM | 4 comments

if you can't beat them, ask them for work

tennesse guerilla women tell us about a homophobe too broke to let his bigotry stand in the way of making money:

our old foe and crusader against gay rights, former state senator jeff miller is back in the news. this time the former laughingstock of the tennessee legislature stands accused of soliciting lobbyist work from the gay rights organization, the tennessee equality project.

oh, how the homophobe has fallen.

the tennessean: "project president chris sanders said miller's solicitation was 'certainly not one that we're going to follow up on.'"

"'i suppose he thinks helping pass discriminatory bills would make him an effective advocate for the gay, lesbian and transgender community,' sanders said monday."

"miller did not return telephone messages today from the associated press seeking comment."
posted by skippy at 12:00 AM | 0 comments

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

so sad

molly ivins isn't doing so well...our prayers are with her.
posted by skippy at 11:26 PM | 0 comments

we love it when a blog comes together

big shout out to our blog buddy lindsay of majikthise who has joined our other friends over at this modern world.
posted by skippy at 11:22 PM | 0 comments

birthdays don't mean dick

the rude pundit has a birthday poem for cheney.
posted by skippy at 11:20 PM | 0 comments

worm turns

gee, the war party, oops, i meant republicans, used to love non-binding resolutions:

h.res. 861
s. 2766

i wonder what changed?
posted by Pudentilla at 7:52 PM | 0 comments

tuesday night music club

the c&l music club last night discussed cover songs (you know our thoughts, steveaudio!) and in nicole's comments we found this little gem:

weird al yankovic - bob

special tuesday night music club bonus:

readers of this space know our fondness for sinead's nothing compares 2 u and the scissor sisters' rendition of comfortably numb for best covers ever, but we found our number three best cover song ever:

the flying lizards - money - live!


posted by skippy at 6:28 PM | 3 comments

stop (yawn) the presses

nice of the mmm (multi-millionaire media) to catch up with blogtopia, and yes, we coined that phrase, but jack cafferty, usually a lone stalwart among the drivel that is cnn, showed that he should be riding the short bus today by "breaking" the story that there are (gasp!) private independent contractors acting as para-military in iraq.

he even mentioned the dreaded "blackwater," and reported that the helicopter that was recently downed in baghdad belonged to that private security firm, and that the four men which were killed and hung in fallujah three years ago were contractors of same.

don't get us wrong, we love jack cafferty. he's the only guy that seems to be able to shut wolf "how's my beard" blitzer up, or at least render him speechless, if only for a few seconds.

but, jack, if you had been reading the blogs for the past three years, you would have known about blackwater and the government contracts (read: taxpayer monies) that they have been getting to strut around iraq like so many macho roosters in sunglasses.

related but somewhat off-topic congrats go out to fdl, whose libby trial blogging got linked to, (via the word "colorful" in "colorful insight from bloggers") on cnn's situation room blog, under the category "libby trial online."

(also, another link on the word "suit" in "patrick fitzgerald's suit." way to go, fdler's!)
posted by skippy at 2:32 PM | 0 comments

A lesson for state legislators

Cross posted from West Virginia Blue.

There are more important things for West Virginia's legislature (and citizens) to worry about than about what people do in the privacy of their own bedrooms or who they hold in their hearts.

Our good friend Pam of Pam's House Blend points to an editorial from New Mexico that should be required reading for our representatives in West Virginia as well.

Editorial: Republicans are fixated on gay sex

It seems to me Republicans spend more time thinking about gay sex than any other group of people in the known world even more so than gay people trying to find other gay people with whom to have sex.

Of course, I'm talking about our very own esteemed state representative Gloria Vaughn. In case you missed the latest, Vaughn has proposed we amend the New Mexico State Constitution to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

Now I could criticize this move from so many angles that frankly my mind fizzles and goes blank, making it hard to choose from which direction to attack.

Nevertheless, I'll give it my best.

How about: It's is a colossal waste of time.

Evidently, every New Mexican makes a decent living wage. No child will go to bed tonight with an empty stomach, because they are all well fed. For that matter, no child will go to bed with an empty mind because our education system is tops in the world.

Evidently our streets are free of drugs. Every New Mexican has a job and can feed their families with a $5.15 minimum wage. Our roads are the best in the nation. Everyone in the state has access to affordable health care.

We can only assume such is the case, because Vaughn isn't seeking to amend the Constitution to solve any of those problems. No. The most important item on her agenda is to make sure that gay people can't marry one another in the state of New Mexico.

...So please Mrs. Vaughn, and any other Republican who supports this, let's work on some issues that might actually improve the lives of New Mexicans. After all, time is short. There's only 60 days in the session and while you all were arguing about legislative initiatives to ban gay marriage last year, you failed to pass any laws to improve the minimum wage.

In other words, some poor mom will cry herself to sleep tonight because her kids went to bed hungry. She's trying to figure out how to make ends meet on $5.15 an hour . She doesn't give a tinker's damn about who's sleeping with who.

Amen. As a Sunday school teacher at my small church in West "By God" Virginia, I've pointed out that four verses cover all homosexual activity while hundreds more focus on hetereosexual relations that are constantly broken by faux Christianists. More than 3,000 verses cover the poor. If the fake Christians really wanted to follow their Biblical teachings, they would put a lot more emphasis on helping the poor than they would between what occurs between other people in their relationships. But how often do you see that from the religious right?

Besides, does West Virginia want to lose our coveted No. 1 title in Fred Phelp's rankings?
posted by Carnacki at 12:38 PM | 1 comments

how the white house operates

dan froomkin of washingtonpost.com nails it:

From the first time the White House was asked about allegations that senior officials had exposed a CIA agent's identity as part of a plot to discredit an administration critic, the answer was consistent.

As spokesman Scott McClellan put it as early as July 22, 2003: "That is not the way this President or this White House operates."

But in the course of the Scooter Libby trial, one thing has become quite clear: That is precisely the way this White House operates.

Faced with accusations that they had marched the country to war on evidence they knew was suspect, White House aides evidently responded with little if any restraint in attempting to discredit their critics.

we (the collective anti-iraq war crowd in 2002 and 2003) f'n told you so.
posted by Carnacki at 11:35 AM | 1 comments

help google improve their results

as you may have heard, google has stopped the miserable failure search from working and now returns irrelevant results.
dissatisfied with your search results?

so I told them

i think george bush was the most relevant result for this search. now I don't know how to find george bush's biography.

and i added the url http://www.whitehouse.gov/president/
posted by George at 12:49 AM | 2 comments

john mccain't

rassmussen reports that john mccain't now trails both barak obama and john "crossing over" edwards in a general election match up:

obama leads mccain 47% to 44%. edwards also holds a three-point lead, 46% to 43%. a month ago, mccain held a two-point edge over obama and a five point lead over edwards.

mccain’s support has declined among unaffiliated voters. obama now leads mccain by an 11-point margin among this important segment of the electorate. edwards and mccain are essentially even among unaffiliated voters.

mccain’s position on iraq—considered the most important issue by voters--may be taking a toll. most americans want exactly the opposite of what mccain advocates and want to reduce the number of troops in iraq. public confidence in the war on terror has declined sharply in recent months and a plurality now believes that the terrorists are winning. ninety-four percent (94%) of americans say it is likely that american soldiers will still be facing combat in iraq when the next president is sworn into office on january 20, 2009.
posted by skippy at 12:09 AM | 0 comments

Monday, January 29, 2007

dog whistle court room antics

lambert, over at corrente wire, asks why did scooter libby quote la confidential?

la confidential, the gloriously seamy noir movie (from james elroy’s novel), has the following tagline:

off the record, on the qt, and very hush-hush…

compare ari fleischer today. from firedoglake’s live blog:

[fleischer] what i recall libby saying to me, reiterated that vp did not send wilson. ambassador wilson got sent by his wife, she works at cia, works in cpd, i recall that he told me her name. this is hush hush this is on the qt….
(see also newsweek—later, of course, and with inferior analysis.)

apparently both libby and fleisher knew la confidential well; after all, they’re quoting it to each other, much like one old dfh quoting firesign theatre to another. why, you’d almost think they were using movie quotations to, um, send signals to each other. (as firedoglake points out, there is a protocol for dealing with classified information, and movie quotations definitely aren’t part of that protocol). we’ve already seen this handwriting of obviously coded messages sent en claire in libby’s famous though not decoded “aspens turning” note to judy “kneepads” miller.

so what signal was libby sending to fleischer? it would be irresponsible not to speculate!...

so, here’s what i’d say libby, quoting hudgeons, was signalling fliescher:

1. on the overt channel: “keep this conversation off the record” (as indeed, the tagline states)

2. on the covert channel: “play ball, because we’ve got photos in our files that you, ari, never want to see the light of day.

off the record, on the q.t., and very hush hush….
we'll believe it when patrick fitzgerald calls rollo tomasi to the stand.

meantime, we like the government disclaimer that lambert puts at the bottom of all his emails:

(confidential to all us government personnel to whom this private letter is not addressed and who are reading it in the absence of a specific search warrant: you are violating the law and you are co-conspiring to subvert the constitution that you are sworn to defend.

you can either refuse to commit this crime, or you can expect to suffer criminal sanctions in the future, when constitutional government has been restored to the united states of america. i do not envy you for having to make this difficult choice, but i urge you to make it wisely.)
posted by skippy at 8:13 PM | 4 comments

monday nite music club

los lobos - pawn shop - live!

one of our fav local la bands to make it big. the lobos rock! check out the wicked guitar solo!


posted by skippy at 6:44 PM | 0 comments

yet even more blogs at the libby trial

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

yes, our good friend jeralyn merritt of talkleft is now attending the libby trial, thus joining the fdl crew and brad blog as blogs of note in the court room.

now if we can just get some truth in there, things might pop. apparently, instead, we got air fleischer with immunity.


posted by skippy at 6:39 PM | 0 comments

don't ask us, we're broncos fans

atrios found a good reason to root for the bears in the superbowl:

the day the indianapolis colts beat new england in the nail-biter that will take them to the superbowl next sunday i posted a cheer on behalf of a lot of loyal and admiring lgbt fans. i firmly share their deep admiration for coach tony dungy and his efforts. but i also share their dismay and disappointment over the news that in march tony will be the guest of honor at the indiana family institute's special event dinner.

the ifi is one of the leading proponents of sjr7, the proposed indiana constitutional amendment on marriage rights, and other legislative efforts to deny equal rights to lgbt folks. under the guise of protecting traditional family values, it helps spread misinformation that fosters bigitory toward our community and our own families. tony is undoubtedly a very fine father and devoted family man, and for that he deserves high praise. his refusal to resort to shouting, cursing and other demeaning tactics many other nfl coaches use is extremely commendable. and i think most in our community take pride in the fact that either he or his colleague lovie smith, coach of the bears, will become the first african american coach in nfl history to win a superbowl.

but tony's prominent appearance before this group, as a representative of a major sports institution in indianapolis, sends a chilling message. all of us shared the grief that tony and his family experienced a year ago when his son took his own life. i understand that stories about a connection to sexual orientation were unfounded, and i would defend tony's right to consider that a private matter. still, there is an irony many of us in the lgbt community know well: the number of lgbt youth who have taken their lives because of self-hatred and homophobia is much above the national average. organizations of the ifi variety cannot escape the fruits of their helping to foster the myths and resulting bigotry which contribute to those grim statistics. surely tony doesn't in any way support that; so why is he lending his celebrity and role model status to such a group?
as we said, we don't have a dog in the superbowl fight, we're bronco fans. and how do you make a denver omlette? throw two eggs just past the pan...
posted by skippy at 6:30 PM | 0 comments

is it hot in here or are we just crazy?

yes, it's the punchline to the joke about manson in prison, but it's also a legitimate question, considering the results of the united nations' six-year study on global warming, soon to be released. new jersey star-ledger:

the united nations is poised to release a report on climate change so grim and so vast in scope that scientists involved in the six-year study say it will end the debate on global warming.

the report will say that global warming caused by human activity is no longer a theory. it is a fact.

"this is slam dunk city," said jerry mahlman, the retired director of the geophysical fluid dynamics laboratory at princeton university, who reviewed a preliminary draft of the report. "we are certain that global warming is the real deal. we expect the warming of the planet to be pretty much incontestable."

charged with producing a definitive examination of the causes and effects of a planetary atmosphere overdosing on carbon dioxide, members of the united nations' intergovernmental panel on climate change will gather for opening ceremonies in paris tomorrow.
[ed. note: that would be today. we are late in posting this. so sue us]
posted by skippy at 6:01 PM | 2 comments

buying air

cookie jill, who is having trouble convincing blogger to let her post on our blog, sends us word that air america has found a buyer:

the agreement with stephen green, the founder and chairman of sl green realty corp., appears to rescue the struggling network, which has been seeking a buyer since last fall when it filed for bankruptcy reorganization after reaching an impasse with one of its creditors.

any sale would have to be approved by the bankruptcy court. the company has signed what is called a letter of intent to sell itself to green and expects to agree on financial terms soon, air america spokeswoman jaime horn said.

green is the brother of mark green, a longtime new york politician who has also appeared frequently as a guest on air america radio.
in other air america news, al franken will be leaving next month. rumor has it he is exploring a run for the senate. in a related story, tom davis is unsuccessful in his bid for student council president.
posted by skippy at 5:06 PM | 0 comments

Weak-hearted fright wingers

Digby blogs about this too, but I want to highlight something Dick Cheney says in this Newsweek article. It's the sort of line I've seen repeated in numerous comments from fright-wing bed wetters.

It is an existential conflict. It is, in fact, about the future of civilization on large parts of the globe, in terms of what's represented by Al Qaeda and their associates. And it's very important that we recognize it's a long-term conflict, and we have to be engaged. There might have been a time when we could retreat behind our oceans and feel safe and secure and not worry about what was happening in other parts of the globe. But that day passed on 9/11.

And now, when we face the very real prospect that attacks can be mounted against the United States from various parts of the globe, including Europe—remember, the last threat was out of the U.K. with airliners to be blown up over the Atlantic—and where the possibility exists that the terrorists could next time have far deadlier weapons than anything they have used to date, this is a very serious problem. And the United States cannot afford not to prevail.

Cheney sounds like the typical dittohead. Compare his comment to this from last week posted by a fright winger on Time's blog.

If you want to win the War on Terror, you should be able to defeat them on the field.

If not, if you are defeated, remember this : each day you will see your kids taking a plane, a train or a buse pray they won't be hit by the international jihad reaching America.

A withdrawal of Iraq is an open door for terrorists to blow up in the streets of NY.

Cheney and the fright wingers are so terrified and have so little faith in the United States that they believe the nation can be defeated militarily. They actually have comic books with Islamic militants taking over the streets of the country.

It is one thing when a fright wing bed wetter makes such comments. But for the Vice President of the United States to display so much cowardice, and so little faith in the military and in law enforcement, that I can't help but feel he is emboldening our enemies with his words.

The only way for Al Quaeda or another terrorist organization to succeed in a massive attack is to have a president and vice president so inept and incompetent as to ignore multiple warnings and to shrug off any signs of an impending threat by saying to a CIA briefer that he had covered their ass and then to blithely dismiss them while remaining on vacation. And since Bush and Cheney only have a short time left in office before their terms expire or they're impeached, the time is running out for such terror attacks to occur again.

It would take a trained psychoanalyst to go through and explain why Cheney, who so identifies his administration with the nation itself (just like a monarch would do), sees the United States as so weak as incapable of defending itself properly from people with box cutters and improvised explosives.

As for me, I believe the nation as a whole is made of sterner stuff. As long as we're not led by weak and cowardly people.
posted by Carnacki at 1:02 PM | 2 comments

more on the march

our blog buddy gmoke also went to the dc protest march last saturday, and posted his report from washington on dkos.
posted by skippy at 8:57 AM | 0 comments

Legislation to Help Breast Cancer Patients

Representative Jo Ann Davis (R-VA-1) is the sponsor of H.R. 119, the Breast Cancer Patient Protection Act. The legislation requires "that health plans provide coverage for a minimum hospital stay for mastectomies, lumpectomies, and lymph node dissection for the treatment of breast cancer and coverage for secondary consultations." The minimum stay period is 48 hours. Because insurance companies do not cover that length of stay, men and women (it is mostly women, but men can have breast cancer too) are often forced to go home just a few hours after surgery, against the wishes of their doctors, still groggy from anesthesia and sometimes with drainage tubes still attached. This is just wrong and it is something that can be fixed.

Lifetime Television has put this bill on their web page with a petition that you can sign to show your support. The bill has only five co-sponsors in the House so far, but barring an extensive lobbying campaign from insurance companies, there should be more coming. Only lobbying by the insurance companies could possibly derail such a compassionate effort. Only your voice can counteract the lobbying.

The bill has been referred to, among other committees, the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and the Subcommittee on Health is chaired by none other than Frank Pallone, who represents New Jersey's 6th Congressional District. Congressman Pallone is one of the good guys, but it wouldn't hurt if his constituents let him know that they support H.R. 119.

(Sorry for the capital letters, but I just don't have the time to rewrite this in all lower case.)
posted by DBK at 6:53 AM | 4 comments

Sunday, January 28, 2007

go wes young lady

ms in la attended wes clark's talk at ucla law school last week, and here's her dkos diary about it.
posted by skippy at 8:50 PM | 0 comments

sunday night music club

buddy rich just wailin' away


posted by skippy at 5:37 PM | 3 comments

the short version of my take on yesterday's march in d.c....

the greyhound bus to richmond left on time, much to my surprise. (thank you, red state blues, for diving me to the station -- sorry about the two false destinations!) i had a dull ache in my left knee. but what could i do? just had to sit there and bear it -- i don't march every day, you see. it was dark by then, and i'd been awake since 3 am. i'd be lucky if i got home by 11 pm.

somewhere near triangle, virginia, the streetlights along i-95 south ended, and the highway stretched on into the darkness. after a long, taxing day marked by sunlight in my eyes and wave after wave of human noise for hours and hours, the darkness, and nothing but the sound of the bus engine, were a welcome relief from heaven. i stared out the window into the black sky, amazed at how many people showed up for the event, thinking about all the things my four fellow bloggers said, and how i hadn't laughed that much in one day in years.

it was the perfect ending to a fantastic day. i'll never forget it.

(full version at mockingbird's medley...)
posted by Jim Yeager at 5:34 AM | 1 comments

gen. petraeus' imaginary army

everyone needs a friend. if you have to, you have imaginary friends. every general needs an army. if he has to, he'll have an imaginary army.

we know general petraeus thinks he'll need at least 100k coin forces in baghdad. we know that there were 24K us forces in baghdad before the "surge." we know that of the surge forces, 17,.500 are going to be sent to baghdad. so the general needs 60,000 more soldiers.

he says he's going to get them from the iraqi facilities protection service, which currently numbers 150k. only problem, according to wapo:

that service is widely considered unreliable, and elements were described in July by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki as "more dangerous than the militias," according to Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.)....

The Iraq Study Group described FPS members as having "questionable loyalties and capabilities." It quoted an unnamed senior U.S. official as saying that they are "incompetent, dysfunctional and subversive," with some serving the manpower needs of sectarian party militias and death squads....

The FPS units employed by those ministries are "a source of funding and jobs for the Mahdi Army," Sadr's militia, according to the Iraq Study Group report.....

In Fallujah, members of the Marine Expeditionary Force said that when they retook the hospital in Ramadi, local leaders insisted "that the FPS be barred from returning because of their corruption and unreliability."
the newsweek story on the fps is, perhaps, more alarming than the wapo account. another wapo story suggests that dod is kind of freaked out by the fps, too.

The latest Defense Department report on Iraq said there is "anecdotal evidence" that FPS personnel "are unreliable and in some cases responsible for violent crimes and other illegal activities." It also described a survey done at the Central Bank of Iraq, which found that of the bank's 1,800 FPS guards, "800 failed to show for work, suggesting that they were either ghost employees or otherwise unfit for such employment."
indeed, as this story, notes, the dod's opinion of the fps is not reassuring:

Brig. Gen. Dana J.H. Pittard, commanding general of the Iraq Assistance Group, told reporters Dec. 17: "The minister of interior has got to eventually deal with or wrestle with the Facilities Protection Service. I mean, it's got over 150,000 armed individuals that must be brought under a certain amount of control. And I think over time you'll see the minister of interior working on that."
according to another wapo story, efforts by the iraqi government to reign in the rogue fps began last may. until then:

U.S. officials training Iraq's security forces say they have no more control over the FPS than the Interior Ministry does. "Negative. None. Zero," said Lt. Col. Michael J. Negard, a spokesman for the U.S. training of Iraqi forces.

we're sure the families of the 17,500 troops assigned to man the stations in baghdad's most violent and difficulty neighborhoods will be relieved to learn that their compatriots in this effort appear to aspire to the discipline and moral order of a biker gang.

indeed, it sounds like that fps is so corrupt that no rational general would want the safety of us counter insurgency troops to depend on their participation. and it sounds like they probably won't help us coin efforts against sadr, since the fps is where a lot of sadr's boys have their day jobs. so it sounds like if petraeus is serious, the sunni population of baghdad could well regard this as a choice to unleash the shia, if not sadr's boys, against them. which might be counter productive from a coin point of view, not to mention a civil war point of view.

now everyone, democrat and republican alike, tells us that gen. petraeus is an honorable man - indeed the best man for the job - indeed, he "wrote the book on counter insurgency!" so perhaps, gen. petraeus wasn't really serious when he said he'd use the fps. because as bad as the fps sounds, it sure sounds better than the alternative.

which is gen. petraeus' imaginary army.
posted by Pudentilla at 4:17 AM | 1 comments

Saturday, January 27, 2007

saturday night music club

the shins - pink bullets


posted by skippy at 5:14 PM | 2 comments

peter, paul and mary cheney

our folksinging friend robert morgan fisher sends us this huffpo contageous video festival entry: folk songs of the far right.

it's very funny. trust us.
posted by skippy at 11:45 AM | 1 comments

more blogs at the libby trial

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our buddy the bradblog now has blogger margie burns as their exclusive correspondent at the libby trial, so along w/the intrepid reportage of firedoglake, bradblog makes sure blogtopia* is well-represented at the most important trial of the third week of january 2007!

(you can see bradblog's logo there sitting behind fdl's in the jury box...ok, ok, we know they aren't on the jury, but the cartoon we stole for the pic wasn't big enough for a gallery shot)

(*and besides, yes! we coined that phrase!)

addendum: enigma4ever of watergate summer made a plamegate timeline in the summer of 2005, and it's still relevant today.
posted by skippy at 9:23 AM | 1 comments

freeway blogging makes dead trees media

the freeway blogger directs us to the nytimes, where one of his slogans (on a protest placard) made it into a pic about today's demonstrations in washington.

speaking of which, our trusty greater maryland area correspondent, mimus pauly, is there at the march today (he'll be the one in the skippy tee-shirt). we expect to get a report from him about the activities in dc sometime this weekend.

Labels: ,

posted by skippy at 8:59 AM | 0 comments

ghost in the plane

the talking dog interviews stephen grey, a london based journalist and author of "ghost plane: the true story of the cia torture program." the td writes us: "i hope you find it of interest; it seems that the war on terror, detentions, and warrantless eavesdropping, not to mention 'the surge' and threats of wider middle east war... are just not going away."
posted by skippy at 8:56 AM | 0 comments

you can't spell "ohio" without "o ho!"

politicky bitch sends us news of voter fraud convictions in ohio for the last presidential election (a story which our friend, the bradblog, first reported earlier this week):

ohio poll workers convicted
from the associated press
january 25, 2007

cleveland -- two election workers were convicted wednesday of rigging arecount of the 2004 presidential election to avoid a more thorough review in ohio's most populous county.

jacqueline maiden, elections coordinator of the cuyahoga county elections board, and ballot manager kathleen dreamer each were convicted of a felony count of negligent misconduct by an elections employee.

they also were convicted of one misdemeanor count each of failure to perform their duty as elections employees.

read more.
posted by skippy at 8:50 AM | 3 comments

a really big shew

one two three...

some of skippy's bloggers have been having trouble posting. if you can read this, it means something.

for instance, carnacki was unable to post this transcript of the april 2007 press club roast:

[rich] little screws up his face into a nixonian grimace while thrusting his arms into the air. his fingers form a peace sign.

the assorted media and political glitterati who sat on their hands during stephen colbert's routine the previous year laugh hysterically.

this is in keeping with the consensus that making fun of unpopular dead presidents is acceptable. only living presidents of both parties that can expect excessive deference.

mr. little puckers his lips and folds his arms across his chest, relaxing his nixonian mask a bit. "and now, right here on our stage," he says affecting a nasally voice, "we have a really big shew for you tonight."

white house correspondents invested in protecting the status quo laugh uproariously. making fun of dead celebrities like ed sullivan is funny.

"it's an honor to be here, ladies and gentlemen," mr. little says switching to a voice that sounds remarkably like that of president bush's father.

"not going to make fun of my son. wouldn't be prudent. heh-heh-heh!"

half of the washington press corps stands up and applauds like trained seals. actor bruce willis stands and puts two fingers in his mouth to make a long, sustained whistle of appreciation. the rev. al sharpton looks at his watch and again at the nearest exit.

tears of joy roll down fox news comedian dennis miller's cheeks. dr. phil glares at all the celebrities whose lifestyles he doesn't approve of.

mr. little smiles and makes the great leap from imitating the father to imitating the son: "say, where are those wmds?"...

rich little chuckles with self-satisfaction. he sees colorado congressman tom tancredo taking pictures of people in the audience with his cell phone.

summoning the voice of howard cosell, mr. little points to antonio villaraigosa, the mayor of los angeles.

"hey, tom tancredo. the man you're looking for is over there trying to look american. quick, check his papers. he looks foreign to me."
posted by skippy at 8:40 AM | 2 comments

read the friggin' book!

many wise people keep telling us to respect general petraeus' judgment on the surge because he "literally wrote the book on counterinsurgency." we have a lot of respect for gen. petraeus, but why doesn't someone ask him about what he says in the book (pdf)?

twenty counter-insurgents per 1,000 residents is often considered the minimum troop density required for effective coin operations; however, as with any fixed ratio, such calculations remain very dependent on the situation. (par. 1-67).

wikipedia notes that estimates of the current population of baghdad vary between 5 and 7 million. let's be conservative. 5 mil/1000 * 20 = 100,000 counter-insurgent forces. a current cfr report says that there are 24,000 troops presently in bagdhad. with the addition of the 17,500 troops of the current "surge" intended for bagdhad, petraeus will have 41-42000 troops when, by his own analysis, he'll need 100,000.

if we are to follow general petraeus' "book," therefore, we should be quite skeptical about the size of the surge - it needs to be 3 to 4 times as large as aWol has proposed. just as a point of rhetorical analysis, if we are to grant authority to gen. petraeus because he wrote the "book," we must refuse to grant him such authority if he doesn't follow his own book.

if petraeus only needs 17,500 more troops for bagdhad, why did he write a book that said we'd need 75,000 more to do effective coin. was he wrong before, but right now. has military doctrine changed and no one bothered to tell the congress? under this analysis, we should defer to petraeus' judgment not at all - indeed we should wonder why aWol has appointed a general who doesn't mean what he says.

alternatively, has aWol promised petraeus another 60k troops - but asked for time to politically finesse it? i.e., is there a "secret" surge plan to be executed after they pull off this present public relations effort? - in such a case, military doctrine stands but you got the military and executive branch colluding to deceive congress. nothing new, but it appears that the only way that aWol can deliver on the promise is to draft troops pretty fast.

perhaps between these darkly conspiratorial options lies a third. perhaps aWol's just stalling - running out the clock. the surge will allow him to appear like he's doing something - a democrat president will inherit his mess and the republicans will claim iraq, indeed, is all clinton's fault and jeb will win in 2012. in which case the surge is just the political offering of 20 some thousand american lives on the altar of aWol's political machinations. in which case, petraeus is either just another remf or an anti-hero of the existential tragedy aWol has made of american policy and politics.

maybe that's why hagel calls iraq a meatgrinder.
posted by Pudentilla at 6:03 AM | 1 comments

Friday, January 26, 2007

welcome back, blogger

jane's out of the hospital and back on her keyboard!
posted by skippy at 11:32 PM | 0 comments

friday night music club

johann sebastian bach - toccata and fugue in d minor

performed and realized by stephen malinowski

this is a great video...if you liked fantasia, you'll love this one!


posted by skippy at 5:22 PM | 5 comments

all right...

stop the damn bus...
posted by Jim Yeager at 4:42 PM | 1 comments

meanwhile, back in iraq

cookie jill sends us an asspress piece that soldiers were killed after, not during, the raid on the karbala governor's office last week:

contrary to u.s. military statements, four u.s. soldiers did not die repelling a sneak attack at the governor's office in the shiite holy city of karbala last week. new information obtained by the associated press shows they were abducted and found dead or dying as far as 25 miles away.

the brazen assault 50 miles south of baghdad was launched jan. 20 by a group of nine to 12 militants. they traveled in black gmc suburban vehicles -- the type used by u.s. government convoys, had american weapons, wore new u.s. military combat fatigues and spoke english.

in a written statement, the u.s. command reported at the time that five soldiers were killed while "repelling the attack." two senior u.s. military officials as well as iraqi officials now say three of them were found dead and one mortally wounded in locations as far as 25 miles east of the governor's office.
posted by skippy at 1:05 PM | 0 comments

happy blogiversary

to vidiot speak! we are glad the vidiot, mr. vidiot, and certainly the sailor have been blogging consistantly for one year, no mean feat.

we are mostly glad that the vidiot's health issues have resolved themselves in a positive outcome, but we are also glad that the sailor not only knows who coined the phrase "blogtopia," but who coined the phrase "blogiversary."

keep on blogging, kids, good on ya!
posted by skippy at 12:48 PM | 1 comments

Cheney gave orders to Senator Roberts

West Virginia's Sen. Jay Rockefeller, the new chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, revealed what many of us suspected that Vice President Dick Cheney gave former committee chairman Republican Sen. Pat Roberts orders to block the Senate from performing its oversight duties.

From Think Progress:
In an interview with McClatchy Newspapers, Sen. John Rockefeller (D-WV) said that Vice President Dick Cheney exerted “constant” pressure on the former chairman, Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS), to stall an investigation into the Bush administration’s use of false intelligence on Iraq. The so-called Phase II report on the administration’s use of pre-war intelligence was delayed for over two years. Two of its five portions were finally released in Sept. 2006.

Rockefeller said that he knew Cheney attended regular policy meetings in which he conveyed White House directions to conservative Capitol Hill staffers. They “just had to go along with the administration,” he said.

The nation's founders wrote the U.S. Constitution making Congress an equal branch of the federal government to the president. The Republicans in Congress turned themselves into a Rubber Stamp for the Bush administration.
posted by Carnacki at 12:11 PM | 2 comments

say hello

to the daily background.
posted by skippy at 10:31 AM | 2 comments

whose default is it?

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we cross-posted our discussion of california housing defaults over at booman tribune the other day. we got some interesting comments with links to even more articles about the current housing debacle slump.

idredit linked us to some eye-opening news. rge reports the recent headlines about housing produces 3 good ones vs 19 bad ones:

they add up to 19 bad/bearish news and only 3 good news, specifically higher housing starts, homebuilders’ sentiment slightly up (but still very poor) and lennar (a major homebuilder) being more optimistic about 2007 after posting a large loss for q4.

conclusion: do not be misled by the warmer weather. the housing market is nowhere near to be bottoming out if you look at the full set of news about this market.

housing starts in u.s. unexpectedly climb on growing sales, warmer weather

buyers scarce, many condos are for rent

u.s. jan home builder sentiment highest since july

us home loan demand drops as mortgage rates rise

foreclosure rates up big in december

south california southland home sales: new price peak, slowest december in ten years

san diego 2006 housing decline paints uneven picture

centex, kb home write off $793 million on value of land holdings, options

gmac rescap to cut 1000 jobs in mortgage-related business

washington mutual profit up despite mortgage loss

bank results show signs of credit deterioration

foreclosure leader: calif. lender’s hub loans hit

blue chip news: trading alert for countrywide financial corp.

foreclosure filings in nc reach all-time high

three new casualties among the sub-prime lenders: home 123 corp (subsidiary to new century), clear choice financial inc (and its subsidiary bay capital) and popular financial holdings

las vegas: assessed home values dropping

lennar logs q4 loss

homebuilders rise amid lennar’s optimistic outlook for 2007

bay area home prices flat, slow sales

more struggling builders warn market hasn't turned yet

two more home builders say times are tough

funding america decided to discontinue accepting any new business
cnnmoney tells us foreclosure rates way up this year:

americans continue having difficulties paying their mortgage obligations, with december foreclosure rates above the 100,000 mark for the fifth straight month.

the number of homeowners entering into some stage of the foreclosure process in december was 109,652, down 9 percent from november but up 35 percent from december 2005, according to realtytrac.

adjustable-rate mortgages, especially subprime arms, continue to drive the spike in foreclosures: many of those loans are due to reset in 2007, and many of the loans written in 2006 are performing less well than in previous years.

"the combination of slower home sales and rising interest rates on arms continues to drive foreclosures at significantly higher numbers than a year ago," said james j. saccacio, chief executive officer of realtytrac.
funding america, a mortgage broker, has announced it will no longer take on new business:

due to current market conditions in the mortgage industry, funding america has decided to discontinue accepting any new business.

effective immediately, all loans in our pipeline will be processed out of our houston location and we will work to close those loans in as smooth a manner as possible. for questions concerning any loans that are currently in process, you should contact our processing team at (866) 782-0100 ext.1931, 1928, 1924 or 1933 for further information and status.
mortgagedaily.com says, tho wells fargo mortgages is growing, many others are going under:

home 123 corp. has closed two dozen offices since december, a spokeswoman for parent new century financial corp. told mortgagedaily.com. the move resulted in approximately 200 job cuts…

clear choice financial inc. announced it is insolvent. more than 100 layoffs at a mortgage lending subsidiary began in december, ceo chad mooney told mortgagedaily.com.

"we have been unable to raise additional capital to remain current on our pending obligations," mooney said in an announcement. (http://www.mortgagedaily.com/closureclearchoice011207.asp?spcode=pr)

popular financial holdings, a sister company to e-loan, announced it will exit subprime wholesale lending. the move will result in the elimination of approximately 627 positions. (http://www.mortgagedaily.com/popularsubprime011007.asp?spcode=pr)
also at booman, mikeinohio tells us his home state is leading the charge in defaults:

about 3.3 percent of ohio homes and small apartment buildings were in foreclosure in october through december, the highest rate of any state and three times the national rate of 1.1 percent, said a study by the mortgage bankers association. ohio's rate has been higher than the nation's for every quarter since the end of 1998.

new foreclosure filings in ohio increased by 1 percent in the third quarter of 2006 from the second quarter, trailing only michigan and rhode island for the largest increase, according to the study of 42.6 million residences with one to four units.

plus, 7 percent of loans in ohio were delinquent in the period, meaning payments are at least 30 days past due. the national delinquency rate was 4.7 percent.
the bubble is bursting.
posted by skippy at 10:12 AM | 2 comments

time to buy a bike?

u.s. plans envision "broad attack" on iran

washington (reuters) - u.s. contingency planning for military action against iran's nuclear program goes beyond limited strikes and would effectively unleash a war against the country, a former u.s. intelligence analyst said on friday.

"i've seen some of the planning ... you're not talking about a surgical strike," said wayne white, who was a top middle east analyst for the state department's bureau of intelligence and research until march 2005.

"you're talking about a war against iran" that likely would destabilise the middle east for years, white told the middle east policy council, a washington think tank.

option 1, we conclude that aWol isn't satisfied with losing iraq, afghanistan and new orleans - he wants to lose a war in iran as well. but ask yourself, is it all part of a bold new republican health initiative to promote cardiovascular fitness. you could tax carbon emissions to get people out of the cars - but war in the middle east is an option only a republican would prefer.
posted by Pudentilla at 7:45 AM | 0 comments

google takes one for awol

google bomb is now a dud. miserable failure no longer leads to bush but the right wingers' bombing of michael moore as a miserable failure still works.
posted by George at 7:29 AM | 1 comments

is obama walking his talk?

obama's "liberal ideal" sounds great - but when the pedal hits the metal (on gay marriage), he still wants to to do the jesus thing, not the american thing.

I have the audacity to hope that soon Barack Obama will practice what he preaches, resist the temptations of the old politics of religion, and lead us into a new politics based on the moral value inscribed in the First Amendment, namely that religious freedom is best protected when no one tries to impose his or her religious principles on persons of different faith or no faith at all. As the Senator wrote, “I cannot simply point to the teachings of my church or invoke God’s will and expect that argument to carry the day.”
this is how legal scholars say, "snap!"
posted by Pudentilla at 7:08 AM | 1 comments

orwellian or kafkesque

you decide. booman says "kafkesque". but when you realize that it's the "department of justice" that's fucking with principals of liberal democracy, developed over 800 years, you got give "orwellian" some consideration.
posted by Pudentilla at 6:47 AM | 0 comments

Thursday, January 25, 2007

helping a journalist

get a story out. a story that needs to be told. a story that needs an audience to understand the reality of what is going on in baghdad.

a story reported by lara logan.

the battle for haifa street
the segment in question–”battle for haifa street”–is a piece of first-rate journalism but one that only appears on the cbs news website–and has never been broadcast. it is a gritty, realistic look at life on the very mean streets of baghdad, and includes interviews with civilians who complain that the us military presence is only making their lives worse and the situation more deadly. “they told us they would bring democracy, they promised life would be better than it was under saddam,” one told logan.“but they brought us nothing but death and killing. they brought mass destruction to baghdad.” - mediachannel.org
posted by SantaBarbarian at 10:59 PM | 0 comments

may the cleanup on aisle four be with you

chad vader - day shift manager, episode 2
posted by skippy at 7:32 PM | 0 comments

to trip where no man has tripped before

jefferson starship enterprise
posted by skippy at 7:15 PM | 3 comments

special bonus thursday night music club

we've plugged this song probably more than anything else we've touted (with the possible exception of who coined the phrase 'blogtopia'), but once again, here is the party party's rendition of awol singing imagine/take a walk on the wild side.


posted by skippy at 6:47 PM | 1 comments

thursday night music club

taking back sunday - liar

fun video, rockin' song


posted by skippy at 6:47 PM | 0 comments


our good buddy steveaudio, against all common sense, recently attempted to engage uber-pundit david horowitz in civil debate.

horowitz was spewing the hardly-ever-right-wing meme that the nytimes was treasonous in its printing pics of cheney and rumsfeld's homes (even tho the info about same had been public knowledge for years, and rumsfeld himself gave permission for the pics to be printed). steve tried to correct the fallacies in horowitz's argument:

still, i wrote back again:


first, these are not presidential retreats. second, this is the most divisive war america has fought since the civil war, and it is a war with terrorists. consequently, the potential for crank attacks on american leaders is much greater.
i don't dispute that point. the problem is that rumsfeld gave permission for the photos to be taken. and both his and cheney's vacation homes in st. michaels had already been discussed by newsmax, who published the information, so it was in the public sphere long before the nytimes article.

so again, i ask, why single out the nytimes as the villain, when others were complicit, including rumsfeld when he agreed to have pictures taken.

it seems to me that the real agenda is not the safety of leaders and cabinet members, but the smearing of the nytimes.

again, thanks for the opportunity to discuss this with you, i appreciate it.

and finally, david responded with the money quote:

i think i have answered these points already in my blog. the ny times is singled out because it is a paper with great authority and has been abetting the enemies of this country since the vietnam war.
indeed. that is the full quote copied and pasted from the email from david. let's read that one part again:

the ny times is singled out because it is a paper with great authority and has been abetting the enemies of this country since the vietnam war.
so. no real security damage was done. this was just an admitted opportunity to rail against the nytimes. with critics like horowitz, who needs a free press?
there's plenty more on steve's post, showing how horowitz fights strawmen, avoids the points steve makes, gives answers to questions not asked in lieu of defending his own position, and generally exhibits every debate dodge the hardly-ever-right wing has perfected in the past decade.

steve, next time you feel like debating one of these goofballs, call pundits anonymous! we can help! we'll talk you down!
posted by skippy at 1:18 PM | 0 comments

sometimes you gotta hit a jackass with a 2x4 to get its attention

the good people at bilerico are tired of fighting clean against the forces of ingorance and oppression. aren't we all? they've been fighting the anti-gay marriage amendment in indiana by using all the clean tactics they could. now they're looking for information on inappropriate sexual conduct by indiana public officials and they seem to have a lot of rumors but lack only details to confirm them. any hoosiers, former hoosiers, or hoosier-knowledgeables out there want to help them out? got a tip? did you get more than the tip? here's where you can send the information:

(i changed the title of this posting...didn't like that one I was using before)
posted by DBK at 10:17 AM | 1 comments

foreclosures in the land of $1.2mil median priced homes

have risen 260%.

just reported on our local "progressive" station, kist 1340.
posted by SantaBarbarian at 7:45 AM | 0 comments

we couldn't have said it better ourselves

we are scratching our heads, puzzling over the multi-millionaire media's insistence on deciding who's better, obama or hillary, so early in the game. we must state our agreement with bill scher of liberal oasis, who says:

with the informal entrance of sen. barack obama into the race, the primary season is heating up faster than expected.

but it is still liberaloasis' view that the bulk of this year is better focused on articulating our vision than getting caught up in the personaility game. that will best set the stage for 2008.

in fact, this should be a truism for any non-election year.

we need to get out of the habit of sitting back and waiting for a sweet-talking savior to do all the heavy lifting, since it's a years-long team effort to communicate an overarching vision and build trust with the broader electorate.

but it is especially so this year, because every prospective democratic candidate has plenty to prove.

and candidates, here's a way not to prove it:

trying to put a little wrinkle into a non-binding anti-surge senate resolution so you can have your own super-special iraq position to distinguish yourself from your rivals.

here's a way to prove it:

directly challenge the fundamental goals and objectives of the current neoconservative foreign policy, in iraq and beyond, and offer an alternate vision so compelling that the party gets behind you.

in other words, show some real leadership skills.
any other year, we would have said, leadership? democrats? don't make us laugh! but this year, we just might be pleasantly surprised.
posted by skippy at 12:08 AM | 2 comments

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Shorter Robert D. Novak

Robert D. Novak is cranky even by his standards (it must be the Scooter Libby trial).

Here's the short version of his latest column:

How dare the Democrats not take the blame for Bush's Iraq war!
posted by Carnacki at 10:43 PM | 0 comments

ladies and gentlemen, the tubes!

via jonathan singer of mydd
posted by skippy at 8:02 PM | 0 comments

this administration's healthcare plan...

"don't get sick or injured if you can't afford a private hospital."
to help pay for that effort, federal officials said the president’s budget would allow states to redirect money out of a medicaid program, which currently pays billions of dollars to hospitals that care for a disproportionately high share of patients who are uninsured. most often, these are public hospitals.

...daniel sisto, president of the healthcare association of new york state, a hospital industry group, said, “you cannot rip away the safety net serving society today on the belief that a vision, a new system, will suddenly appear.” - nytimes
this administration wants to penalize those people who buy into "gold plated" healthcare plans...and not do anything about those folks who actually can afford the penalties and still go to "gold plated private hospitals" like the four seasons' cwi westlake village.
blurring the lines between a european spa experience and traditional medical care, our unique, onsite diagnostic medical center is managed by the california health and longevity institute, inc. punctuated by highly personalized, unhurried consultations and exams, physicians listen carefully to you and your body for clues and diagnostic findings to make recommendations for traditional and alternative lifestyle changes you can make today to improve your quality of life now and increase your lifespan.
posted by SantaBarbarian at 7:46 PM | 0 comments

Speaking of swamp dwellers

John Kerry - Class act.
Ana Marie Cox - Ass act.
posted by Carnacki at 6:49 PM | 0 comments

the chuck stops here....and here...and here....

and he's pissed off and he's not hiding it.

i don't think we've ever had a coherent strategy. in fact, i would even challenge the administration today to show us the plan that the president talked about the other night. there is no plan. i happen to know that pentagon planners were on their way to central com over the weekend -- they haven't even team b'ed this plan....there is no strategy. this is a ping-pong game with american lives.... we'd better be damned sure what we're doing, all of us, before we put 22,000 more lives into that grinder.... and i want every one of you, every one of us, 100 senators to look in that camera, and you tell your people back home what you think. don't hide any more, none of us." -tpm muckracker
and there is good reason for him to be angry....(from an interview in this month's gentleman's quarterly)

it’s incredible that you had to ask for that.
it is incredible. that’s what i said to andy card. said it to powell, said it to rice. might have even said it to the president. and finally, begrudgingly, they sent over a resolution for congress to approve. well, it was astounding. it said they could go anywhere in the region.

it wasn’t specific to iraq?
oh no. it said the whole region! they could go into greece or anywhere. i mean, is central asia in the region? i suppose! sure as hell it was clear they meant the whole middle east. it was anything they wanted. it was literally anything. no boundaries. no restrictions.

they expected congress to let them start a war anywhere they wanted in the middle east?
yes. yes. wide open. we had to rewrite it. joe biden, dick lugar, and i stripped the language that the white house had set up, and put our language in it.

and tonight on pbs

ifill: once again from vice president cheney, his interview, senator hagel, today, at cnn, he said that part of what's going on here is that people do not have the stomach to complete this mission. senator hagel, your response to that?

hagel: oh, i am so sorry that the vice president so underestimates the people of this country--he has so little faith in this country to say something like that. that's an astounding statement from the vice president of the united states.

you're telling me, or maybe more directly, maybe the vice president should tell the families of those who have lost their lives--over 3000, and over 23,000 wounded, some very seriously for life, that they don't have the stomach? - kovie's diary over at kos

senator hagel....good for you. i worry about your physical safety with the delusional neo-con crowd. i'm sure that spocko might some right wing whackjob urging their listeners to do you harm because you dared to question the "emperor."

posted by SantaBarbarian at 6:41 PM | 1 comments

default of de economy

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things are not all that rosey w/the housing market in california. the east bay business times reports that mortgage defaults are at an 8 year high:

the number of mortgage default notices filed against california homeowners jumped last quarter to the highest level in more than eight years, a real estate information service reported.

lending institutions sent homeowners 37,273 default notices during the october-to-december period. that was up by 36.9 percent from 27,218 the previous quarter, and up 145.3 percent from 15,196 for the fourth quarter 2005, according to dataquick information systems.

last quarter's foreclosure activity was the highest since 38,053 default notices were recorded statewide in the third quarter of 1998. defaults peaked in the first quarter 1996 at 61,541. an average of 33,615 notices of default have been filed quarterly since 1992, when dataquick's statistics begin.

"several factors are at play here. the numbers last year and the year before were very low because of strong sales and appreciation. also, most defaults occur a year or two after the loan was made, so we're in a period where the loan pool is at risk. and then there are those inventive loans that have been made the last few years, where qualifying involves assuming more risk. we're in the midst of an adjusting market right now, and we won't know until spring or summer if this is ominous or not," said marshall prentice, dataquick's president.
we like that euphamism "inventive loans."

these would be the ajustable rate mortgages, sold to the unsuspecting homeowners w/the comforting lie "they probably won't go up." the sfchron:

california is experiencing a rise in defaults because so many people took out adjustable-rate mortgages, economists say. about 28 percent of all outstanding loans in california are adjustable, more than in any other state in the country, according to first american loanperformance, which tracks mortgage risk. borrowers with such loans have seen their monthly payments increase at the same time that home price appreciation has slowed, making it more difficult for homeowners in financial trouble to sell or refinance.

"the state of california has been tremendously dependent on adjustable-rate mortgage products," said scott anderson, senior economist for wells fargo. "when people have overstretched and are spending more than 50 percent of their net income on housing, it doesn't take much of a surge in interest rates to lead to financial problems."
no, not much.
posted by skippy at 6:39 PM | 1 comments

gonna find out who's naught and nice...

bob geiger is making a list...specifically of the 18 publicans who voted against the minimum wage increase and are up for re-election next year.
posted by skippy at 5:00 PM | 0 comments

jonesin' for james earl

the vader sessions
posted by skippy at 4:47 PM | 0 comments

wednesday night music club

in honor of dbk's parody (below), we bring you

george harrison, ringo starr, eric clapton, phil collins, elton john, and a bunch of other guys - while my guitar gently weeps

bonus music club beatles extra:

john lennon - imagine


posted by skippy at 4:21 PM | 0 comments

tales from the swamp

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carnacki reported on jay "hey, rube!" carney's dubious blogging attempt over at swampland, where he first tried to make up facts about clinton's poll numbers (as well as who sits behind the president during sotu), and then insult the readers who pointed out the mistakes.

(semi) big media picks up on it. via romensko via athenae at first draft, lance lehmkuhl, the philly daily news online editor, not only gives mad props to fdl for its libby trial live blogging, but won't let carney off the hook:

and meanwhile, time's jay carney is being schooled in the craft of blogging by hundreds of (mostly civil!) commenters for a mistaken post - on a very black-and-white, easily checked issue, presidents' poll numbers - which he has now "corrected" by calling the commenters "dittoheads" and attempting to dance around his basic error. throw into the mix the bizarre revelation that time's washington bureau chief was unclear on who sits behind the president at the state of the union.

taken together, these two examples illustrate a shifting balance between bloggers and mainstream journalists, which i suggest we all would do well to keep track of. the familiar notion of expertise, civility, factchecking, and quality residing on one side of the aisle and parasitic, shoot-from-the-hip glibness residing on the other is way out of date, and those who fail to keep up with this fact may soon be in the same position.
"parasitic, shoot-from-the-hip glibness?" pardon us while we suck your blood, paperboy.
posted by skippy at 3:58 PM | 3 comments

change of address card

steve gilliard's the news blog has moved to this new url. bookmark it.

addendum: we love steve's explanation of the move on his old site:

unlike some bloggers, who feel oppressed by the act of writing and need to dramatically quit every few months, the simple fact is that we're moving our blog to a new domain, http://www.thenewsblog.net.
what? you mean ted barlow disease is really munchhausen's syndrome?
posted by skippy at 2:55 PM | 0 comments

a picture is worth a thousand scowls

cookie jill likes the crooks & liars post a tale of two pictures
posted by skippy at 2:52 PM | 0 comments

this is supporting the troops...how?

oh..i'm sure this administration will "spin" it as a new weight loss program they've instituted.
marines deployed in afghanistan are not getting adequate nutrition from the defense department’s standard combat ration, meals ready to eat, the marine corps center for lessons learned (mcll) said in its january newsletter.

marine and army troops deployed to afghanistan conduct dismounted operations – meaning they walk instead of ride – in mountainous terrain and mre's do not provide enough nutrition for their mission, the mccll newsletter states.

as a result, “many marines and soldiers lost 20 to 40 pounds of bodyweight during their deployment,” the newsletter states. it adds that at least one solider was evacuated because of malnutrition and a 60-pound weight loss. - fcw.com
posted by SantaBarbarian at 1:23 PM | 0 comments