30 June 2004


From the irreverent Wonkette:

Bush-Claus 2004: Christmas in July?

Drudge may have the inside scoop on the Vice President Hillary story, but we've been making a list and checking it twice -- The Bush-Santa Claus ticket has a much better chance of actually happening.

Official Washington has fallen in love with the idea, says a well-placed elementary school student. And while some claim to have spotted Kris Kringle leaving the Clarendon headquarters of BC04 early this morning, the campaign continues to deny that they will bump Cheney to pursue what one analyst calls a "very Northern strategy," and another simply dismissed as "polarizing."

St. Nick's connections to the birthday of Bush mentor Jesus Christ would seem to put Claus on good footing with evangelical groups, yet some close to the campaign worry that when it comes to politics, he wobbles like a bowl full of jelly. ("Like he really holds people to this naught/nice thing. When's the last time someone actually got a lump of coal in their stocking?" snipes a consultant.) Others say his party affiliations are dubious. Kringle campaigned vigorously to eliminate the estate tax and has given generously to GOP causes; still, a White House insider says that deep down, "I always figured he was a lib -- with his giving ways, his environmentally sound transportation, his hippy beard, and bright red clothing." But, as another source said, "It still makes more sense than McCain."

Developing. . .


Yes, I am. I got Mrs. F's new laptop working with my home network, sort of. The IT nitwit where she works set it up like a desktop PC when she has to take it on the road with her. I made it work with my shit (she does a lot of work from home) and IT-boy can make it work around that. Fuck him, he's getting paid for it. Have a good evening.

Pleasant dreams.

Oh, and by the way, NASA does get something right once in a while:

PASADENA, Calif. - NASA’s Cassini probe is lined up for Wednesday night's pass through Saturn's rings, part of a maneuver that will put it in orbit after a seven-year, 2.2-billion-mile (3.5-billion-kilometer) trip.

Scientists hoping the spacecraft will encounter only galactic dust, instead of pea-sized rocks that could severely damage the craft. as it hurtles between the rings at 50,000 mph (about 22.5 kilometers per second).

More good news

From The Head Heeb:

The Israeli government is planning further adjustments to the route of the wall in the wake of a Supreme Court decision upholding the right to build it but ordering changes to "30 kilometers of the route so as to minimize hardship to Palestinians." The section that will be changed is northwest of Jerusalem, in one of the most densely populated areas through which the fence will pass:

It looks like the Israeli Supreme Court is trying to do the right thing. Read the whole post here.

My deal is that the fucking wall shouldn't be built in the first place. Walls don't work (China, Berlin, The Maginot Line, etc.), especially when they cut neighborhoods and towns in half, separating friends and family, and restrict access by the Palestinians to the water supply.

Kerry's message

Is spelled out at Liberal Oasis today. Go read. You'll see he's more than the Bush commercials make him out to be.

Run away

Well the Thais are the next ones out of Iraq. The Coalition of the Billing, er, Willing is fraying. Via Melanie at Just a Bump in the Beltway:

From Australian Broadcasting Corporation
By South-East Asia correspondent Peter Lloyd

Thailand will begin withdrawing military forces from Iraq tomorrow.

When the Thai Government agreed to send 450 engineers and medics on a one-year deployment last September, the US touted Thailand as one of the "coalition of the willing".

Thai officials have been insisting that the troops will see out their mission, despite calls for their withdrawal after two Thai soldiers were killed in a car bombing last December.

However, the Government has now announced that a phased withdrawal of military hardware and some troops will start from Thursday.

A Defence Ministry official said the decision did not reverse Thailand's one-year commitment but he refused to specify how many troops would remain in Iraq until September.

Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra says Thai troops will be brought home sooner if attacks on foreigners worsen.

Another one bites the dust, and NATO still doesn't want any part of sending troops there. So where is Bush gonna go now? Who knows, but I guess I should get my blue Class A uniform out of mothballs and to the dry cleaners, huh? Do you think Air Force Special Operations has an opening for a 42 year old ex-forward air controller with a bum hip? Fucking assholes.


Jesus' General, the great J.C. Christian himself, explains the true meaning of the word to us.

Re: Josh Marshall's post at Talking Points Memo.

. . . I guess Josh doesn't understand the history of the word impotence, because if he did, he'd know that it's a word with which any man would be proud to be associated.

I can't blame him. I didn't know about it until recently when Mrs. Christian and her sister explained it to me. It was a Saturday morning last spring. I had just walked into the kitchen where my wife and my sister-in-law were sitting at the table smoking cigarettes and drinking that Dr. Pepper with milk thing they like so much. Upon seeing me, Mrs Christian said, "Here's His Impotence, now." Needless to say, it made me embarrassed and angry, so I snapped back at her. It was then that she taught me the true meaning of impotence.

It's an Old American word from the Middle Ages--Old American is the language we spoke before it became fashionable for everyone to sound like they came from Kansas. It's a form of the word impotent, which in Old American was a contraction of the phrase, "I am potent"--the exact opposite of what people think it means today. At least that's how Mrs. Christian explained it to me--ladies know these things because they write in diaries and read books and stuff.

And the General also asks us to link the word to the website that defines it, in Old American, that is. Glad to do my part for the cause, sir.


I'm in love with my car

Well, that's good, but with that outlook, you're gonna end up hating it. I hear this too many times when I ask people why they bought a used car without having us look at it. "Oh, I just fell in love with it."

"Why?" I ask.

"Because it's cute (red, cool looking, my friend says they're good, or whatever blew your skirt up at the time.)"

That's when I shrug my shoulders and offer congratulations. When you leave, we're all laughing. Trust me, we know the quirks in most cars, what will go bad first in your particular used piece of shit and, considering the mileage, we can guess pretty well when you'll bring it back wondering why it doesn't run. If you go buy a used car without having your mechanic look at it first, you're asking for it. Any used car dealer who doesn't let you bring it to your mechanic, or bring it to me himself, ain't worth the powder to blow him up. Odds are, he's a crook. A reputable used car dealer will bring one of his cars for inspection to any mechanic you want.

"Oh, but look at how clean it is under the hood," you say.

A steam cleaner and Armor All, and 20 minutes of elbow grease can make any old leaky motor look clean. Armor All, or some equivalent, works as well on old, worn out hoses as well as it does on your dashboard. Yeah, it looked clean, but why are there spots all over your driveway, Lugnut? Some oil leaks require big labor to fix. Think about that when the motor looks so clean.

Rule #2: Car salesman (especially used car salesmen) are generally the lowest form of life on the planet. Don't believe anything they say. If he says the sky's blue, go outside and check. If you have any doubts, have someone who knows their way around a car go with you. And I'm not talking about your buddy who reads hotrod magazines. He knows just enough to be dangerous. Get someone who pays their bills by fixing cars.

So, to summarize:

1. Don't go shopping for a used car based on color, make, model, or anything like that. Keep every option open. Who cares if it's the ugliest thing you've ever seen or the color makes you puke. You're buying a piece of machinery, not art. The money you save on repairs can go for new paint. If you are buying becasue of any of the above, buy new. New cars come with warranties and if it's a piece of shit, you can get rid of it in a couple years without losing too much money.

2. Always have a reputable mechanic of your choice look it over before you lay any money down. And don't bring it to a guy who's near the dealer. He probably gets half his business from the dealer and he doesn't want to fuck up that arrangement.

Listen to me, Lugnut. I've seen too many people get fucked by the car they fell in love with.


Mrs. F isn't going into Manhattan today (she's got meetings in New Jersey), so she let me sleep late. Much as I'm appeciative, it throws off my whole routine. So I'm running late.

Remember what I said about the November elections?

Look, you might think I'm crazy, but from what I've heard about Germany in 1933, the similarities between Hitler's rise and corruption of Germany, and Christo-Fascist takeover of the Executive and Congress in the U.S. are striking. Mark my words, even if Kerry is elected President in November, the Bush crowd will do something to hold power. If there is another terrorist attack on U.S. soil of the magnitude of 9/11 or greater, expect President/Emperor Being-President-makes-my-dick-bigger Bush will declare martial law and suspend the elections "to ensure order at this time of emergency". Guys like this don't give up just because a majority of the population wants them to.

Well, Eschaton has this today:

WASHINGTON -- The government needs to establish guidelines for canceling or rescheduling elections if terrorists strike the United States again, says the chairman of a new federal voting commission.

Such guidelines do not currently exist, said DeForest B. Soaries, head of the voting panel.

Soaries was appointed to the federal Election Assistance Commission last year by President Bush. Soaries said he wrote to National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice and Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge in April to raise the concerns

Think about it. Off to the mines.

29 June 2004

This is soooo good

High Desert Skeptic has a cool picture here. Go see.

This should be good


BAGHDAD, Iraq - Iraq's Prime Minister Iyad Allawi declared that Saddam Hussein will be handed over to Iraqi custody on Wednesday and face charges before an Iraqi court the following day.

[. . .]

Saddam will appear before an Iraqi judge to face charges related to his 23 years of rule, Allawi said. However, he will remain in a U.S.-run jail because the Iraqi government lacks a suitable prison.

I'm just gonna sit back and watch. You know this Saddam thing can't go smoothly. It just can't. Something's gonna happen either now or during the trial, mark my words.

Well, I'm done unless something blows up. Have a good evening and remember, don't do anything I'd do.

Pleasant dreams.

From the Conservative

Jim Pinkerton at Newsday looks at the Iraq handjob, er, handover and determines Iraq will go back to being . . . Iraq:

And so Iraq, now taking its first steps toward restored sovereignty, will probably default to its historical pattern as well. So long as Hussein doesn't come back, so long as no weapons of mass destruction exist within its borders, Iraq, like Afghanistan before it - and like Haiti, Somalia and Vietnam before that - seems destined to drift out of our consciousness.

Go read the whole article damn it.

Hearts and Minds

From the Herald Tribune. This is the thinking on the street in Iraq. Among the poor and the hopeless:

He[Falah, a 23-year-old man in a shabby checkered shirt, said to an Iraqi reporter.] boasted about driving a friend to stage attacks on U.S. patrols. The two wait in a farm field by the main road. When the Humvees roll by, his friend fires a rocket-propelled grenade, Falah said. The two hit the ground. The soldiers open fire, but the Iraqis lie still until the patrol leaves.

"I really didn't ask my friend whether they have a boss or not and whether they organize their work or not," he said. "I really don't care as long as I can take part and drive the Americans out of our country. We are all resistance."

[. . .]

U.S. commanders acknowledge that military might alone cannot defeat the insurgency; in fact, the frequent use of force often spurs resistance by deepening ill will.

"This war cannot be won militarily," said Major General John Batiste, commander of the 1st Infantry Division, which oversees a swath of the northern Sunni triangle, as the area is called. "It really does need a political and economic solution."

Remember when the slogan of the week was 'hearts and minds'? It was just before the war in Iraq started last year. We were gonna go there and 'win the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people'. Now, I knew they wouldn't act like the French after D-Day, but I was hoping this hearts and minds thing would work out. I know what it was like when we kicked over Grenada, and then I went back a dozen years later to the day. I showed my wife the airport and the town of Port Georges, and when it was known I was a veteran of that operation, we were treated to drinks and good wishes. The thankfulness of the people was overwhelming to me, and moved me, and there will always be a bond between me and the residents of Port Georges. It is what I had hoped would happen with our troops in Iraq.

I know it happens on a small scale there, and it gladdens me that there are success stories, but I was hoping for more. I was hoping for more good news on TV and on the Internet. There's a guy who (god bless him) keeps count of the dead and wounded over there, both American/Coalition and Iraqis. [Today in Iraq] He does it in memoriam and I make it a daily stop, because this Administration wants to hide the true realities of war. I think it's sad he has to do it and I'd hoped there wouldn't be a need after 'Mission Accomplished'.

My point is that I wanted to see the bonds that developed between the people in my mother's town in Germany and the American soldiers who occupied it. Some still return to visit the people they 'liberated'. I hope at least some Iraqis will smile when they look back on their interactions with the occupying forces the way my old uncle did when he thought of his friends in the U.S. infantry. I hope some Americans will return there, years from now, to bring their grandchildren to meet their 'Iraqi cousins' the way my people in Germany welcome their 'American cousins' of the 101st Airborne, regardless of who is in the White House. The way I was welcomed back in Grenada. Sadly, I don't think that will happen anytime soon.

Hearts and minds, it's what moves the people in the street, and it is amazing how we can forget that so easily. There are two routes to victory. Kill 'em all or make them like you. The first is out of the question, at least so far on our part, so the second is preferred. All we've managed to do in Iraq is kill them and make them hate us. Hearts and minds.

Update 16:15: From MSNBC:

The Arab satellite station [Al-Jazeera] broadcast a videotape showing the three Turkish hostages, believed to be contractors, kneeling in front of three militants as one read a statement.

“For the sake of you, our brothers, and Muslims of the people of Turkey ... we will release these hostages and send them safely home,” the statement said.

This is why the Iraqi Street follows these guys. Because they know how to win the favor of the people. Now the Muslims in Turkey like them too. I thought we hired a PR firm to help us in this regard? Hear anything about that lately? Assholes.

I'm falling

President Bush's job approval rating has fallen to the lowest level of his presidency, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll. The poll found Americans stiffening their opposition to the Iraq war, worried that the invasion could invite domestic terrorist attacks and skeptical about whether the White House has been fully truthful about the war or about abuses at the Abu Ghraib prison.

Melanie at Just a Bump in the Beltway has this article and her take on it. I'm doing the dance of joy!

It's getting drafty

From Reuters by way of Eschaton:

By Will Dunham
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Army is planning an involuntary mobilization of thousands of reserve troops to maintain adequate force levels in Iraq and Afghanistan, defense officials said on Monday.

The move -- involving the seldom-tapped Individual Ready Reserve -- represents the latest evidence of the strain being placed on the U.S. military, particularly the Army, by operations in those two countries.

[. . .]

The official said the last time the Individual Ready Reserve, mainly made up of soldiers who have completed their active duty obligations, was mobilized in any significant numbers was during the 1991 Gulf War.

[. . .]

The defense official said that while soldiers in the Individual Ready Reserve have served their voluntary obligation in the Army they still can be mobilized involuntarily for several years after returning to civilian life.

Details here.

Now we're calling the inactive reserves back to duty. Mark my words, the draft isn't far behind. Like I told my wife, if the draft comes back and they call up my old carcass, sell every thing we have and leave the country because we're doomed. Just think about this, now that our armed forces are stretched so thin. What if a major power, say China, decides that our oil consumption is a threat to their national security? What if they decide to attack the U.S. mainland? Is our military of a strength to counter them? I think not. Certainly not with half our deployable ground forces in Iraq. Stupid motherfuckers.

Other places

Remember what I said about places worthy of U.S. attention, instead of Iraq?

When you take the Bush Administration's claim that regardless of the lack of WMDs, or an Al Qaeda connection, we were doing the humanitarian thing going to war to oust Saddam Hussein. "The torture chambers and rape rooms are closed," President Numbnuts is fond of saying. Fine, even forgetting about the tortures and rapes that occurred at Abu Ghraib on the part of 'Americans'. But if that's the case, why haven't we gone after, aguably, more dispicable tyrants and regimes . . .

And I brought up the subject of the Sudan, quoting that young smart guy, Matt Yglesias[link down]. Today, The Head Heeb talks more about the situation in the Sudanese civil war. This is a place that is a breeding ground for terrorists and a destabilizing force in Africa and the Middle East.

The conflicts in western and southern Sudan are becoming intertwined with the SPLA's announcement that it will "refuse to join a coalition government that 'crushes' Darfur." This announcement could move the conflict one of two ways. It might influence the Sudanese government, which badly wants to conclude the peace process in the south, to moderate its Darfur policy. On the other hand, it might also lead Khartoum to abandon or delay the implementation of the peace accord in the south until it settles affairs in Darfur to its liking. The coming weeks will tell whether the SPLA's principled stand helps bring an end to the wars in Sudan or whether it only inflames them.

There is a peace treaty in the works there, but it is threatened by squabbling and what amounts to ethnic cleansing in the Darfur district. There are also thousands of refugees just across the border in Chad, most of them starving on their feet and the NGOs can't keep up. Had the Bush Administration not squandered our credibility and treasure, and spread our troops so thin, maybe we could have done something here. I mean, isn't that the reason we went into Iraq? To liberate people from a tyrant? Doesn't Sudan qualify? Oh, that's right, the Sudanese didn't try to kill Bush's daddy. Jesus H. Christ, this is a situation begging for American leadership and we just ignore it.

Well, that's it for the morning. I'm off to the mines.


From Kicking Ass:

We've got questions if Bush has answers

According to an Washington correspondent who recently interviewed Bush, the White House has made it a policy to only answer questions that have been previously submitted in writing.

Irish reporter Carol Coleman talked about the White House Q&A policy (RealPlayer) saying, "The policy of the White House is that you submit your questions in advance. So they had my questions for about three days."

Now that we know the protocol, the DNC would be more than happy to submit several questions to the President. If we had known sooner that we simply needed to submit them ahead of time, we may have had answers to the plethora of questions George W. Bush has left unanswered. We're busy working on our list for Bush (Where are all the jobs you promised? Where are the WMDs in Iraq?), but we know there are so many more out there. So post your own questions here.

Go here to see what people submitted.

My deal is that we're supposed to have a FREE press. But heaven forbid, President C-minus think on his feet or be thrown a curve. He'd probably curl up in the fetal position and suck his thumb. Fucking moron.

28 June 2004

The wheels are coming off

Yes, the wheels are coming off the Dubya wagon. At least, Cheney is acting that way. From Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo:

Certainly, Cheney and his partisans deserve the knuckle-rapping they're now getting. And it's entertaining to watch avatars of dignity, good order and responsibility like Bill Frist and the folks over at the White House call Cheney's antics good clean fun and politics as usual.

But for those who have few good things to say about the vice-president, I think, the correct response is less outrage than the sort of grim (or perhaps not so grim) satisfaction one feels when malign character unwittingly reveals himself to a larger audience. Because even if Cheney "felt better" after his outburst, this wasn't a show of strength but one of desperation or, perhaps, impatient impotence.

Details here.

Well, I'm done. I got the toilet unclogged and the bathroom cleaned, and then I took a long, hot shower. I'm tired and I have to get my dog in and pick up Mrs. F at the station. Have a good night.

Pleasant dreams.

I don't get it

People don't take their votes seriously. I got a guy, a retiree in town, who stops in and bullshits with us when his wife is sick of him hanging around the house. Now I love this guy and respect him. He's an Air Force vet, a plus right off the bat, and he's a genuinely nice guy. The problem is, I can't figure out how he can be so supportive of Bush.

The other day, he's telling me that Bush did good by enacting the No Child Left Behind legislation. Then I told him that all the funding for the fucking program fell on the states and local school districts. And it happens a lot, mostly the older guys I know, mostly WW II vets, who think that Bush is the greatest thing since sliced bread. They hear the Coward in Chief saying 'I'm assuring that no child is left behind' or some other slogan of the week, and they don't bother looking any further.

I don't know about you, but they're the ones who bitch the most when their school taxes go up. Doesn't anybody look past the rhetoric and see what these Presidential decrees actually entail? I mean, their vote could be the tipping point in an election; we saw it in Florida in 2000. It seems that all they see is this guy who likes to 'give them Arabs what they deserve', or some other shit. This guy told me this morning that the U.S. sudden turnover was proof of Bush's competence in handling the situation. I almost fell down.

I'm venting here, because I know that people who need to hear this are definitely not reading it, and I try not to talk politics with folks. Friendships are too dear to fuck up over politics. Also, the neighborhood where I work is very conservative and I don't need to be losing Harry customers. I just don't get how people who proclaim they hate and distrust politicians believe everything they are told by said politicians.

Man, we gotta get the United States working correctly again, not perpetuate this mutation that we've morphed into. Make your vote count, dig past the top layer of bullshit and find out what is really going on. Ever since Al Gore [sic] invented the Internet, it's easy.

The Iraq fuckover, er, turnover

Kevin at Lean Left has this take on it:

Bush Admin Afraid of Insurgency
by Kevin

That is the only way to read their decision to hand over sovereignty two days early. They did not even have live video -- much less a spectacle -- to show on CNN this morning. The only reason to turn what should have been a grand day for the Iraqis (in theory, they were getting their country back today. Yes, the sovereignty was pretty much a joke in practice, but in theory, the hand over was supposed to be truly significant) into an almost secret event was that the Bush Administration as afraid of what was going to happen on June 30th.

That is how bad the situation in Iraq actually is -- their is no event or person that the insurgents cannot completely destroy or derail.

Like I said this morning; like thieves in the night.

Update 16:00: From Ezra over at Pandagon:

The political calculus here was a simple one. The June 30th transfer would symbolize success; make it a ceremonial event fitting of a historic occasion and the political rewards would be enormous. At the very least there'd be a significant uptick in support for the war and satisfaction with the outcome; sham or not, a milestone would have been reached. The downside of this plan was its importance, were insurgents to substantially interrupt or wreck the proceedings, it'd be further evidence of our weakness and exponentially more damaging due to the event's significance.

But even I didn't expect this. Not only did the Bush Administration sacrifice the political benefit of the transfer, they did themselves harm. Pushing it up two days and conducting it in a tiny room with few watching leaves the media with no relevant spin save "they were afraid of insurgent attacks". Stunningly, they essentially admitted that they can't protect the country and they've no control over the events.

The next few days will be spent on damage control with the Administration's political arm hoping that this'll fade from memory and Americans will begin ignoring Iraq as Bush begins washing his hands of responsibility for the attacks. . .

Read it all here.

Update 17:00: My guess is that the timing is right for them to hastily train some sort of Iraqi national army so the Administration can begin a limited pullback of American troops by the end of September. By the end of October, Bush/Cheney '04 ads are going to emphasize the pullout and the American victory in Iraq. The country will probably be in a complete shambles by then but hey, fuck it, we won and the boys are coming home.

SCOTUS ruling

MSNBC Breaking News

Supreme Court gives Bush partial victory on terror detainee rights -
The U.S. Supreme Court delivered a partial victory to the Bush
administration, ruling that Congress gave the president the power to hold an
American citizen without charges or trial, but that the detainee can
challenge his treatment in court.

Being that I'm no legal weenie, I've been going through the blogosphere to find someone who can 'splain this. By way of Eschaton, SCOTUSBlog does.

The plurality goes on to emphasize, however, that the detention must be "to prevent a combatant's return to the battlefield," which the plurality views as "a fundamental incident of waging war." This means that Hamdi can be held, the plurality concludes, not until the end of the "war on terror," which the plurality acknowledges may not come in Hamdi's lifetime, but only until the end of the "active combat operations in Afghanistan." And here's the key sentence: "Certainly, we agree that indefinite detention for the purpose of interrogation is not authorized."

I'm not even gonna try. Read the whole thing at SCOTUSBlog.


President Clueless is in Turkey for the NATO summit. Democratic Veteran's take on it here:

And oooh, baby, are they happy about that...heading out to the NATO summit, Preznit Going to Turkee is facing a group of our bestest international friends, who, after three years of drooling, idiotic foreign policy he has turned into, well...sorta not-friends of his anyhow.

Having spent a good portion of my life living in Europe, I learned one thing. The Euros have LONG memories. (Just ask my old aunt, who remembers EVERYTHING I did as a kid and brings it up at every opportunity.) Does the Nitwit in Chief think they'll just forget about all that nastiness at the U.N. before we went to war in Iraq? For the rest of his Presidency, Bush will get squat from Europe. Well, off to the mines.

Talk amongst yourselves.


Other peoples' kids generally don't impress me. Most just annoy the shit out of me, especially if I know their parents before I meet them. Most people tell you they have the next Einstein, or Perlman, or DiMaggio, and then I'm disappointed when I finally meet the little brats. Usually, they've had so much sunshine pumped up their asses that they actually believe it and they're also arrogant little bastids.

Yesterday, I had the honor and privelige of meeting two young people who knocked my socks off. Mrs. F's friend, who is in from Cincinnati, brought her 19 year old daughter and 16 year old son along. Not only are they two good looking kids, but they are poised and intelligent. They were truly young adults and, by the end of the day, it was difficult to see them as youngsters. I'm very impressed.

All the credit goes to their mother, who raised them alone while holding down a job. She is very proud of them and has every right to be. It gives me faith in the younger generation and hopefully, kids like these will be the world leaders of tomorrow. If they are, we will be in good hands.

Like thieves

in the night:

MSNBC Breaking News

Sovereignty handover to Iraqi government brought forward to Monday - Reuters - The formal handover of sovereignty to an interim Iraqi government has been brought forward two days to Monday, a coalition source said.

Just the way the Bush administration works, fuck the place up and then hand it back surreptitiously. Like those Friday afternoon document dumps they're famous for. More on this later, but this is what I woke up to. Well, that and Mrs. F telling me the toilet is backed up. Oy!

27 June 2004


Well, folks will be showing up soon for 'Barbecue-Part Deux', so I'm probably done for today. You don't need to hear an alcohol-induced, profanity-laden rant that will probably make little sense.

So, have a good Sunday, hope you're doing what I'm doing.

Pleasant dreams.

A national embarrassment

I was looking for a phrase to describe President Now-watch-this-drive with a minimum of words and this fits perfectly. He is a national embarrassment.

From Corrente on the subject of Bush's interview on Irish TV:

Three more times he scolded the interviewer:

- "Let me finish, please. Please. Let me finish, and then you can follow up, if you don't mind."

- "Let me finish."

- "Please. Please. Please, for a minute, OK. It'll be better if you let me finish my answers, and then you can follow up, if you don't mind."

Sounds like the interviewer wasn't giving proper deference to the Boy Emperor.

You know, if Bush was running for dog-catcher—or goat-catcher—and His local paper published that exchange, He wouldn't get a single vote, Blue or Red, because He'd be laughed out of town for being, well, ignorant, petty-minded, and vindictive.

But Bush isn't running for dog-catcher, He's running for President. And for some reason, he keeps getting a pass on this kind of behavior. Why is that?

I think that sound you hear is the wheels coming off....

Read the relevant parts of the interview and Lambert's post on the AP article .

It's incredible what President Nitwit and his administration get away with in this country. It has to do with money, ratings, and access. If Bush denies you access (and he will if you don't play by his rules), your employer falls in the ratings, thus losing his network large amounts of money. Most of the reporters coving the White House are whores, pure and simple, even Bob Woodward, who has lost a lot of credibility with me.


Okay, now it's official. Mrs. F just got the confirmations and everything is booked and paid for. And, for the second year in a row, we'll be out of the country on 9/11. This isn't a conscious decision, just worked out that way.

This year's trip will be a week in London followed by a trans-Atlantic cruise home aboard the Queen Mary 2. Now, I have to admit, I'm looking forward to the crossing more than I am spending time in London, just because I'd rather veg out on vacation than do the tourist thing. Mrs. F, however, wants to see as much of the world as possible, so this works out perfectly. It will also be the first time I'll be in London sober. I guess I should see some of the landmarks.

The last time I was there was when I was TDY to RAF Lakenheath. Let's just say that the British constabulary wasn't too happy with me and my buddies, zooted and driving an American Air Force Jeep on the wrong side of the street, going the wrong way, and screaming at the Brits for being shitty drivers. Needless to say, Colonel Bryant wasn't too happy either when he got us out of the lockup the next morning. Ah, the excesses of youth.

Hopefully, this trip will be less eventful and not involve the police. However, I am planning to do an inspection tour of the London pubs. Ha!

I like this

From Al-Ahram via The Head Heeb:

Change is in the air for a new generation of Saudi Arabian women. Karim El-Gawhary speaks to some of the women at the forefront of change in the kingdom

Salwa Alireza sounded self-confident on the telephone. "Come and visit me at the office any afternoon," she said, describing how to get to her office, a small advertising agency in the Saudi Arabian Red Sea city of Jeddah.

[. . .]

The frosted glass door at the entrance to the office looks modern. Inside, the cool breeze from the air conditioning contrasts starkly with the heat outside. The desks, of surprisingly modern design, are not occupied. A black and yellow scarf sporting the colours of the local football team, Al-Ittihad, is draped across the back of a chair, but Salwa is nowhere to be seen; she is praying, the porter says.

But I am confused: how does the environment of an ultra- modern office like this one, which would not look out of place in London's business district, harmonise with the traditions of a society in which the call to prayer is strictly observed? And will Salwa shake my hand?

Salwa appears around the corner, hand outstretched, a 26- year-old Saudi Arabian woman, unveiled, relaxed and professional. Registering the baffled look on my face at her uncovered state, she rushes to explain: "As you can see, all windows and doors are made of glass; it would be ridiculous to spend the day taking your abaya on and off depending on who comes into the office," she explained.

[. . .]

Whether it is basketball-playing Salwa or the female journalists sipping lemon juice in a café on the coast, all of these women have found their particular niche in this male-dominated society. For many of them, the balancing act between their career and the realities of daily life is nothing less than an ordeal.

"Whenever I return to Saudi Arabia after a holiday, I carry anti-depressants in my hand luggage," relates one of the young journalists at the table. Salwa, on the other hand, is more optimistic. "My generation of young Saudi city women no longer sits at home waiting for better times; they take things into their own hands."

Full story here.

The Saudi connection

From the Center for American Progress.

BUSH'S PERSONAL FINANCIAL TIES TO SAUDIS RUN DEEP: According to various sources, Bush has been awash in Saudi money for years. Journalist/author Craig Unger in his new book "House of Bush, House of Saud" traced millions "in investments and contracts that went from the Saudis over the past 20 years to companies in which the Bushes and their allies have had prominent positions - Harken Energy, Halliburton, and the Carlyle Group among them." According to the Boston Herald, that includes a $1 million gift from Prince Bandar to the Bush Presidential Library in Texas.

Read the whole thing here.

More Dick

Dick Advice
CNN is reporting that on the floor of the Senate yesterday, Dick Cheney told Sen. Pat Leahy, "Go fuck yourself." We agree! Go fuck yourself -- while it's still legal!
-- Via Wonkette, 24 June '04

From this morning's NY Times, my girl Maureen Dowd on Dick Cheney.

One thing you've got to say for Dick Cheney: No one will ever again dismiss the vice presidency as a pitcher of warm spit. Mr. Major League Potty Mouth has shown that, with obsequiousness to the president and obtuseness to the facts, a vice president can run the world. Right into the ground.

This week, it's not just Democrats who are questioning whether Vice is losing it. Now, even some in the White House are saying it's bizarre that he chose a class photo-op on the Senate floor to suggest that Senator Patrick Leahy do something that you won't even find described in Bill Clinton's "My Life."

[. . .]

By playing on the insecurities of an inexperienced leader, Mr. Cheney has managed to change W. from a sunny, open, bipartisan, uniter-not-a-divider, non-nation-builder into a crabby, secretive, partisan, divider-not-a-uniter, inept imperialist. Vice is bounding around the country, talking to his usual circumscribed audiences of conservatives, right-wing think tanks and Fox News anchors. No need to burrow in the bunker when you've turned America into one.

[. . .]

After disastrously dividing the world into the strong (Bush hawks) and the weak (everyone else), Vice turned his coarseness into another macho, tough-guy moment against a Democrat considered a pill by many Republicans. "I think a lot of my colleagues felt that what I had said badly needed to be said, that it was long overdue," he preened.

[. . .]

Mr. Cheney assured Fox's anxious viewers that he would stay on the ticket and in the White House until January '09. (No four letter words, dear Democrats.) Vice said of W., "he knows I'm there to serve him."

Mr. Bush must have missed that classic "Twilight Zone" episode where the aliens arrive with a book entitled, "To Serve Man." It turns out to be a cookbook.

Full story.

For more on 'Dick' see what I wrote here. Talk about a penis with ears.

Rain and alcohol

Well, the rain moved out and the wind picked up yesterday afternoon, and everything dried out. Indian, Harry, and their wives made it. Vast quantities of beer and my 'German moonshine' were consumed. Mrs. F made a wonderful meal, with a smorgasbord of homemade salads. Surprisingly, I'm not that hungover this morning. It was a good time and we had a boatload of fun. Not So Dead Ed was a little under the weather so he couldn't make it, but we'll get his carcass out here one day.

Gonna do it again today too. One of Mrs. F's childhood friends is in from Cincinnati with her family and another is coming from Jersey. Wonder what I'm gonna be like tomorrow. Detals later.

26 June 2004

I'm gonna throttle 'em

I'm tempted driving over to the local TV station and throttling the weather asshole. Just had to call everybody and push the barbecue back a couple hours thanks to the rain they said would be gone this morning. Lying asshole motherfucker.

Lewinsky on Clinton

From CNN:

Lewinsky, now 30, the former White House intern whose affair with Clinton led to his impeachment, said his description of their relationship in his just-published "My Life" made it sound like the dalliance came only at her initiative and was purely physical.

[. . .]

"Instead, he talked about it as though I had laid it all out there for the taking. I was the buffet and he just couldn't resist the dessert," she was quoted as saying.

Just shut the fuck up, Monica. You were there and you were willing. You're just like all the other groupies, on your knees with your mouth open. The only reason he picked you was that you were convenient. Your claims mean nothing and your protestations mean even less. Do you think anyone believes what you're saying? Even the Right wing Jesus freaks don't believe you even though they're happy you're saying it. Anyone who's nuts enough to save a dress Slick Willie splooged on has no right to comment on anything. What were you going to do, sell it on eBay? Well, maybe I'd respect your opinions on fellatio. You must be good at that to satisfy the leader of the free world. Face it, your 15 minutes is up and you've proved you're nothing more than an insane DNA receptacle. I repeat, just shut the fuck up and go away.

I hate Lisa Myers

I thought I was the only one who couldn't stand this affected bitch, but Atrios over at Eschaton feels the same way. I lifted the whole thing 'cause it wasn't too long.

Myers on Moore

I didn't see it, but a couple have emailed/commented about Lisa Myers report on MSNBC complaining about Moore's movie, without really having any factual complaints. I'll try to TIVO it or track down a transcript (if anyone else finds a transcript let me know).

Of course, as a "journalist" Myers had committed worse sins than anyone sane has ever accused Moore of doing. Since David Bossie has been making the rounds whining about Moore's movie, too, this little Myers/Bossie flashback is a twofer.

You may remember that Bossie was fired from his job on Dan Burton's committee after he leaked doctored transcripts of recordings of Webster Hubbell's conversations in prison. The doctored transcripts implied serious wrongdoing by Hillary Clinton, while the actual recordings didn't. At the time most of our stenographers dutifully wrote the stories up into print. On Nightline, strangely, they played the actual recordings while they put the doctored transcript on screen, apparently without noticing the differences.

Lisa Myers, however, beat them all - including Bossie. She had the tapes, and made some creative edits of her own!...

holden has a full description. Jeebus this is so weird. These people can't distnguish opinion from fact.

...skippy has more - part 1, part 2
part 3.

So, does she work for the RNC, or is she just a paid operative of Bush/Cheney '04? It seems that a number of supposed journalists need remedial ethics education. Either that, or Myers should seek a job at Fox News.

Movie review

South Knox Bubba went and saw Fahrenheit 9/11 yesterday. Here's his review:

Burning down the house
Friday June 25, 2004

At 2:15 this afternoon I was standing in line in the rain to see a movie. It's the first time I've been to see a movie in a theater in a while. It's the first time in 15 years or more that I stood in line on opening day. I'm glad I did.

The first showing at 11:50 almost sold out according to theater employees. The 2:30 showing sold out shortly after we got our tickets. We were among the last 50 or so to get in. The line stretched out into the parking and the pouring rain. A sign said tonight's 7:50 showing had already sold out. There was a long line for the 5:10 show as we were leaving. There appears to be a great deal of interest in this film, and judging from the loud standing ovation at the end it's a hit.

Say what you will about Michael Moore, but Fahrenheit 911 is a masterpiece. Moore puts you through an emotional wringer, relentlessly assaulting your sensibilities with the outrageous, the profane, and the absurd. During the first five minutes, I whispered to Mrs. Bubba that I didn't know if I would be able to take it. She concurred. By the time it was over we had both gone through a few Kleenexes. But thankfully Moore provides comic relief just when it's most needed.

I won't say much about the content. Besides, if you've been paying attention you won't learn much of anything new. The camera work is goofy, the news footage is grainy, the editing feels choppy and haphazard (as if he was editing the last reel as they were printing the first so he could get in as many current events as possible), and some of the scenes go on too long or fall flat. But the man knows how to tell a story and is not above kicking you in the gut to tell it.

If you are setting out to make a film critical of the Bush administration your source material is an embarrassment of riches. Moore chooses wisely, and in fact is more subtle and restrained than I expected (or than I would have been). And make no mistake. This movie is not about 9/11. It is about Bush. And war. In fact, if anyone tells you Moore is politicizing or exploiting 9/11 you will know they haven't seen the movie. When you see it you will know what I mean, not because of what he portrays but partly because of what he doesn't.

As for "lies" and "distortions", I didn't see any. There are, however, plenty of facts left hanging for you to decide how to interpret. Moore uses music and humorous subtitles as cues (to excellent effect), but leaves it mostly up to you. The scenes in which he wants to be perfectly clear about his point, however, are powerful, emotional, and undeniable by even the most hard-core Bush supporters.

Of course, they won't be going to see this movie. And that's a shame. (Judging from the turnout, by midnight tonight every Democrat in Knox/Blount/Anderson county will have seen it, but then we're a small minority around here). Moore is preaching to the choir, but it's a sermon every American who cares about America should have to sit through. Anyone who does won't be fooled again.

OK, then.

Wisdom, or the lack thereof

Thanks to Encino Man for sending this along.

In his memoirs, "A World Transformed," written five years ago, George Bush Sr. wrote the following to explain why he didn't go after Saddam Hussein at the end of the Gulf War.
"Trying to eliminate Saddam...would have incurred incalculable human and political costs. Apprehending him was probably impossible...

We would have been forced to occupy Baghdad and, in effect, rule Iraq...

There was no viable "exit strategy" we could see, violating another of our principles. Furthermore, we had been consciously trying to set a pattern for handling aggression in the post-Cold War world. Going in and occupying Iraq, thus unilaterally exceeding the United Nations' mandate, would have destroyed the precedent of international response to aggression that we hoped to establish. Had we gone the invasion route, the United States could conceivably still be an occupying
power in a bitterly hostile land."

If only his son could read

If only his son could do a lot of things. When I was a young man, I thought I knew more than my father, but by the time I was in my thirties, I figured out that he spoke from experience and took his counsel. Now, in my mid-forties, I regularly think back to his admonitions and realize just how right he was on many things. As I always say, the older I get, the smarter my parents get. It's known as wisdom. Unfortunately, the moron running this country doesn't know the meaning of the word, nor would he know wisdom if it bit him on the ass.

25 June 2004


President Numbnuts is in Ireland. If I give 'em a hundred bucks and a pint, will they keep him? Fucking idiot. I can't believe this moron represents our country to the world.

Ah well, got a lot of shit to do. Some serious partying going on tomorrow. The boys I work with and their wives will be over for a barbecue. Well, that's if the weather nitwit is right. I gotta clean the patio furniture and get some shit together today so I'm not scrambling in the morning.

NASCAR is in Sonoma this week. Yawn. I hate road races, don't give a shit who wins, won't watch it. Ain't no way you should take a bunch of clowns who make nothing but left turns and throw 'em some rights. All they do is tear up good equipment.

I'm off. Have a good night.

Pleasant dreams.

You don't know Dick

Why do guys named Richard want to be called 'Dick'? Do you want to be a dick? Do you like being identified as dick? Do you look like a dick? Do you suck dick? Are you a fucking dick?

My name's been Richard all my life and I never, repeat never, wanted to be called 'Dick'. People who took liberties and called me Dick for whatever reason were soon corrected. What the fuck are you guys thinking?

Duh, hi, I'm Dick. Think about it boys. Richard, Richie, Rick, Rich, call me anything but dick. Unless I'm actually being a dick, of course.

Happy Friday!

Update 16:00: Just going over my posts for the past twenty four hours and I noticed the subject of dick has come up (pun?) a lot. Think I have a penis fixation lately?

The Holy Land, again

What I said about the Israeli Settlements in the West Bank and Gaza:

Israel is a Jewish state and should remain that way (no right of return for the Palestinians) but there should also be a state of Palestine consisting of the West Bank and Gaza. The Israeli settlements within Palestine should either be removed or their inhabitants become Palestinian citizens. That is only right and the Palestinian sovereignty issue would be more workable.

This is what The Head Heeb says today:

But I'm not ashamed, and never will be, of supporting the withdrawal, opposing the settlement movement or demanding an end to the occupation. The settlers are not the only ones with moral rights, and both the future of Israel and the dignity and freedom of the Palestinians are in the balance. Neither of these can, or should, be cast aside for the settlers' sake. The settlements must go regardless of the pain, because far more pain will result if they don't.

Have I said that I love this guy? Anyway, read Jon's entire post because he makes the point much more eloquently than I could. He also has a far better grasp of the mindset in the region than I do.

More troops huh?

From the Baltimore Sun via Today in Iraq:

By Tom Bowman
Sun National Staff
Originally published June 23, 2004

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Central Command has informally asked Army planners for up to five more brigades - about 25,000 troops - to augment the American force of 138,000 soldiers and Marines now in Iraq, military officers and Pentagon officials said.

[. . .]

Even with 22,000 troops from other nations, primarily Britain, joining the American force, the U.S.-led coalition does not control Iraq's borders, has taken substantial casualties along roads and highways, and avoids key cities such as Fallujah.

[. . .]

Within the past two weeks, two Army National Guard units - totaling about 7,000 troops - have been alerted for possible duty in Iraq in the next rotation. That is in addition to the four Guard units the Pentagon said in March would be sent to Iraq by the end of the year.

The two added units are the Mississippi Army National Guard's 155th Brigade Combat Team, which has 4,015 soldiers, and the 2,944 reservists from the 56th Brigade of the 36th Division from the Texas Army National Guard. Both units are expected to be mobilized in the next two months, officials said.

Full story here.

Do you notice who they're planning to call up? Mostly Guardsmen. Watch how all the Guard activations will hurt recruiting. Ask any member of the National Guard why they signed up and they'll tell you they did it to help their neighbors. The Guard is a state militia and their primary role is support of the governor. The guard assists in times of crisis and natural disaster. Ask any of them if they signed up to go half a world away to fight in a misguided, unjust war. Then ask them if they're going to reenlist.

Finally, ask the civilian idiots who run the Pentagon for President Flightsuit how they plan on keeping up troop strengths over the next two years, and five, and ten. I'd like to know the answer to that.


What is it with old ladies in big luxury cars? Do you EVER look in your fucking rearview mirror? Jesus H. Christ, if there's NO ONE in front of you for miles and a HUNDRED cars behind you all stacked up, can you maybe get the hint you're going too fucking SLOW?

I'm sorry, I know old folks have to get around, it's starkly obvious here on Long Island, but there has to be a point where a competency test is in order. My-fucking-God, these people have these big fat Lincolns and Caddys and they're losing their grip. I saw one this afternoon throw her land yacht across three lanes of traffic without looking, just to get into TJ-fucking-Maxx. Thank the lord all of us around her had fairly new cars with anti-lock brakes and we could get slowed down before she collected us with her fucking Town Car. Horns blowing, cars swerving, and she's the blissful idiot, listening to Mozart, staring straight ahead at her destination. Oy, gevult!

I had the same problem with my mom, rest her soul. She was a stubborn old German artillery horse (and I say that with love), and it took her blowing the nose off her big ol' Buick (and me refusing to get it fixed), before she'd put down the keys. For six months she would nag me to 'either fix it or get me a new car', and I'd refuse. Finally, when I was just about to break down (did I mention my mom was stubborn), she decided that she'd been out from behind the wheel too long. That and she'd made friends with all the bus drivers.

In all seriousness though, something's gotta be done, for the sake of grandma and grandpa (thankfully, no one was hurt when my mom threw her car into traffic), and for the rest of us happy idiots who are trying to stay alive. There are enough young and middle-aged morons (myself included) to watch out for. What I guess I'm saying is that at a certain age, yearly road tests should be mandatory. Every two years maybe. The problem is, doing it without destroying our elders' dignity. I guess stark honesty is best.

Hey, grandpa. You're fucking deaf and blind and you think your dick is a microphone. How about we see how you drive that car before we renew your license?

Well, maybe not, but you get the idea. Something's gotta be done.

Yeah, what he said

What I said the other day:

Remember when Slick Willie got all funny about the definition of 'is' and the Republicans broke his balls? Well, seems President Bullshit Artist has a different idea of what 'all' means than the rest of us, especially regarding his military records.

Via Lambert at Corrente. Seems the Associated Press is suing to get the complete record from the Department of Defense. Full story.

There are questions as to whether the file provided to the news media earlier this year is complete, says the lawsuit, adding that these questions could possibly be answered by reviewing a copy of the microfilm of Bush's personnel file in the Texas archives.

I really don't care, but there's one document that I haven't seen that would put this all to rest. It's called a DD Form 214. Ask any veteran about it and he (or she, you PC busybodies) will explain it.

Today, Melanie at Just a Bump in the Beltway has this:

By Joe Strupp
Published: June 24, 2004 12:01 AM EST

NEW YORK The Associated Press has sued the Pentagon and Air Force, seeking access to all records of President George W. Bush's military service, but the news agency wonders why it has come to this.

"It seems a little curious because the president made a pretty forceful presentation that he had nothing to hide," said AP General Counsel Dave Tomlin, when asked for his reaction to what the AP considers government stonewalling. "But we are not surprised."

[. . .]

The Air National Guard has control of the microfilm, which should be disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act, the lawsuit claims. AP says the records "are being unlawfully withheld from the public." The lawsuit adds that no one has looked at any of the Bush military records at the state archives since 1996.

Wonder what he's trying to hide?

Where there's smoke, there's usually fire. It's starting to get hot in the White House kitchen. Rat bastids.

Now I'm really pissed

I took the whole thing from Lambert at Corrente. This should piss everyone off:

Medicare benefits

My God.

They're planning a lottery where winning can mean life, and losing could mean death. Could anything make more clear that health care should be a right, enjoyed by all citizens, as it is in every other Western nation but ours? Get this:

Medicare is planning a lottery later this year for people with cancer, multiple sclerosis and several other diseases. For the 50,000 winners, the government will start helping pay for their medicine, but more than 450,000 others must wait until 2006.
(via AP)

You know, Shirley Jackson wrote a short story called The Lottery where losers were stoned to death. It gave me quite a chill when I read it in junior high. I just never expected to see it used as blueprint for national health policy.

Unbelievable. Just unbelievable. Oh, if you're rich, you get to live as a matter of course, since you can buy as much medicine as you want. If there is a God in heaven, He will rain down fire on the Republicans for setting up a system where the rich purchase life, while the poor have a 1 in 10 chance of winning it.

Have you die hard Bush supporters changed your mind yet? Well you should, especially if you plan on growing old. Fucking assholes. I'm disgusted. Off to the mines.

24 June 2004

Gossip vixen

Wonkette gets the best dirt:

Dick Advice
CNN is reporting that on the floor of the Senate yesterday, Dick Cheney told Sen. Pat Leahy, "Go fuck yourself." We agree! Go fuck yourself -- while it's still legal!

UPDATE: Speaking of sodomy. . . Wonkette operatives tell us that the fighting words sprang from an exchange in which Cheney told Leahy he didn't like what Leahy had been saying about Halliburton, to which Leahy replied that he didn't like Cheney calling him a bad Catholic. So you'd see how "Go fuck yourself" is the only appropriate response.

Had to get this one in before I quit for the day.

Goodnight all

Oy, I'm still hungover and I'm tired, thanks to little sleep and a hectic day at work. Have a good evening, folks.

Pleasant dreams.

Are you better off?

From The American Street:

For the past 24 years, a new conservative ideal has been driving policy, concluding with massive tax cuts the President would like to make permanent. Now the median family pays over 25% of its income in taxes (income and FICA)--about the same as the top 1%. At the beginning of the Reagan era, the median family had roughly $32,000 in after tax income when adjusted for inflation. Now they have...roughly $32,000. In order to earn that same amount of money, families are now working 200 hours more a year (5 weeks). And on the other side of the ledger, they are now in far deeper debt.

The wealthy have prospered. Their taxes are far lower now than they were a generation ago and their incomes are up. While median families saw their incomes stagnate, the top 20% saw their own after-tax incomes rise from $74,000 to $102,300 (adjusted for inflation). Corporations have also received gentle treatment, with tax rates below 10%--almost half what they were in 1970.

Jeff Alworth compares the differences between progressive and conservative periods in the last century. Guess what, we've done better during progressive times than conservative. Well, except for the rich.

This is just sad

I lifted this from South Knox Bubba:

First in acid rain!
Thursday June 24, 2004

Smokies most polluted national park in America:
Great Smoky Mountains National Park has been designated once again as the most-polluted national park in America.

The report also concludes that views that should range from 80 to 117 miles average only 20 miles in the summer. The Park, according to the conservation groups, also records the highest acid precipitation levels of all monitored national parks.

"Three of the five most-polluted national parks are situated fairly near to and downwind from clusters of power plants," said Appalachian Voices Chairman Harvard Ayers in a press release. "Between the power plants and parks are towns where people breathe the same polluted air."

Mammoth Cave in Kentucky and Shenandoah National Park in Virginia were number two and three respectively. Gee, I wonder which cluster of power plants they could be talking about?

If you've ever been out Bubba's way, you know how beautiful his corner of the world is. I've been priveliged to drive through there many times when heading home on leave and it's sad to see this land spoiled thanks to bureaucratic mismanagement. You can thank the Tennessee Valley Authority for this fiasco.

The costs of war

Via Melanie at Just a Bump in the Beltway:

From the Institute for Policy Studies:

Paying the Price: The Mounting Costs of the Iraq War

U.S. Military Deaths: Between the start of war on March 19, 2003 and June 16, 2004, 952 coalition forces were killed, including 836 U.S. military. Of the total, 693 were killed after President Bush declared the end of combat operations on May 1, 2003. Over 5,134 U.S. troops have been wounded since the war began, including 4,593 since May 1, 2003.

Contractor Deaths: Estimates range from 50 to 90 civilian contractors, missionaries, and civilian worker deaths. Of these, 36 were identified as Americans.

Journalist Deaths: Thirty international media workers have been killed in Iraq, including 21 since President Bush declared the end of combat operations. Eight of the dead worked for U.S. companies.

[. . .]

Low U.S. Credibility: Polls reveal that the war has damaged the U.S. government's standing and credibility in the world. Surveys in eight European and Arab countries demonstrated broad public agreement that the war has hurt, rather than helped, the war on terrorism. At home, 54 percent of Americans polled by the Annenberg Election Survey felt that the "the situation in Iraq was not worth going to war over."

Military Mistakes: A number of former military officials have criticized the war, including retired Marine General Anthony Zinni, former commander of the U.S. Central Command, who has charged that by manufacturing a false rationale for war, abandoning traditional allies, propping up and trusting Iraqi exiles, and failing to plan for post-war Iraq, the Bush Administration made the United States less secure.

Low Troop Morale and Lack of Equipment: A March 2004 army survey found 52 percent of soldiers reporting low morale, and three-fourths reporting they were poorly led by their officers. Lack of equipment has been an ongoing problem. The Army did not fully equip soldiers with bullet-proof vests until June 2004, forcing many families to purchase them out of their own pockets.

Read the whole report here.


Fucking Bush and his Ship of Fools. Little boys playing with soldiers but, unlike GI Joe, real soldiers die. As I said in the past, we wasted resources in Iraq that we could have used to build goodwill in the world. These amateur assholes can't fathom that people don't respond well to bullys, let alone snap to at the point of a gun. Idiots.

What's going on here?

From the AP via Jim Hightower:

Court Won't Order Cheney Papers Released

By GINA HOLLAND, Associated Press Writer, June 22, 2004

WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court refused Thursday to order the Bush administration to make public secret details of Vice President Dick Cheney (news - web sites)'s energy task force, but kept the case alive by sending it back to a lower court.

[. . .]

The decision extends the legal fight over the information. Justices could have allowed a judge to immediately move ahead with ordering the release of the papers.

[. . .]

Thursday's decision buys the administration more time. If it loses in the appeals court, the administration can return to the Supreme Court in another extended appeal before having to release information as to whether Cheney's task force was cozy with energy executives, including those with his former company, Halliburton.

[. . .]

The suing groups allege the industry representatives in effect functioned as members of the government panel, which included Cabinet secretaries and lower-level administration employees. The open government law requires advisory committees with nongovernment members to conduct their business in public, and allow the public to inspect their records.

Until the government produces some records it won't be clear who drafted the government's policies, lawyers for the Sierra Club and Judicial Watch argued.

Now, unlike many on the Left, I still give the Supreme Court Justices the benifit of the doubt after the 2000 election. I don't believe they are accessories to the rape of the nation that November, I sure as hell don't want to believe it, but they dropped the ball here. With all the questionable dealings concerning the Bush Administration vis a vis Enron, these documents and meeting minutes should be made available. In a sense, the Supremes are obstructing justice here. A state governor was brought down over California's energy crisis, a crisis evidence suggests was manufactured by energy corporations in an effort to bilk the citizens of California. I mean, after all, the Justices are officers of the court, aren't they?

Update 17:25: Lambert at Corrente isn't as generous toward SCOTUS as I am.


Well, had dinner and drinks with the King of the Jews and a good time was had by all, until I opened my eyes this morning. Boy am I fuzzy. Mrs. F had more fun than the rest of us and she's doing better than I. With the hangover I have, I'll probably set customer relations back 20 years at work today. Oy! Well, gotta get ready, off to the mines.

23 June 2004

The list

The industrious South Knox Bubba publishes an "updated list of Bush accomplishments so far". This one torqued my sphincter more than most of the others:

Appoints administration made up of former executives and government officials who helped Saddam develop WMD, were involved in illegal arms sales, traded with the enemy in violation of U.S. law, and whose companies now profit from war.

How can people still support this guy? Oy! Well, gotta get ready, have a good night.

Pleasant dreams.

You gotta be shitting me

Remember what I said yesterday about Jack Ryan, Illinois Senate candidate? Well, Eschaton reports that good ol' Rick Santorum, that right wing whacko senator from Pennsylvania is holding fundraisers for Ryan. Despite the fact that they're throwing good money after bad in light of yesterday's revelations, what in Hell is the self-proclaimed Moral Arbiter of the United States doing standing up for this sex fiend? In light of yesterday's revelations, of course.

Actress Jeri Ryan accused ex-husband Jack Ryan of insisting she go to "explicit sex clubs" in New York, New Orleans and Paris during their marriage - including "a bizarre club with cages, whips and other apparatus hanging from the ceiling."

Santorum is the same guy who equated homosexuality with beastiality and necrophilia. Another Jesus freak fucking asshole. Well one, it seems, who is okay with a little light BDSM and swinging. Hypocritical tight ass.

Oh, and don't forget, it's John Kerry Thursday at Eschaton tomorrow. Give if you can.


Light blogging today. Gotta make myself pretty for the King of the Jews this evening. Mrs. F and I are having dinner with him later.

Another thing I keep forgetting to mention. I'm trying not to make product endorsements, just because what works for me might not work for you. However I must make an exception for the place where Mrs. F and I buy our vehicles. If you live on Long Island or the NY Metro Area and you're in the market for a new car, you owe it to yourself to check out Newins Ford in Bay Shore. There is nothing I hate more than salesmen, car salesmen in particular (well, maybe lawyers). Now, I know the car business (too goddamn well), and I warn these assholes that I'm in the business and I don't want their usual sales dog and pony show. Every where I have gone, except Newins, I get the bullshit regardless of what I tell them. It's as if they operate from a script. Now, I don't even consider other dealers. I'm buying a Ford anyway, so I'm not going to competing brands, but there's a choice of Ford dealers and I'm particular about whom I give my money to. After just buying my fourth vehicle from Newins, I would recommend them to anyone, especially their salesman Hal Hickey, who arranges my wife's Explorers and who I bought my truck from. They are here:

Newins Bay Shore Ford
219 West Main Street
Bay Shore, NY 11706

Sun 11:00 AM-4:00 PM
Mon-Thu 9:00 AM-9:00 PM
Fri-Sat 9:00 AM-6:00 PM

I hope you'll have the same pleasant experiences I did.

Our children and their murderers

Lifted this from Democratic Veteran. Read it here.

Snapshot of a lie

This is what it looks like. Today. The numbers can't go down any more than the lies can be put back in Preznit Dental Appointment's face.

Of the 842 U.S. service members who have died in Iraq since the invasion 15 months ago, 622 were killed by hostile fire, according to a Pentagon tally. The largest part of that combat death toll, 513, has come since President Bush's declaration on May 1 last year that major combat was over.

The Post opines that the deaths are indirectly being caused by Iraqis and foreign fighters who are "seeking to derail" the occupation. Duh.

I guess that with all the RNC Blastfax facilitation that the Post and other media outlets of the SCLM* kind have done since January 2001 it's hard to hold that mirror up to view themselves. I'm guessing about 842 pairs of Lost American eyes stare right back at the SCLM* whores everytime they look towards Iraq.

For the people who think I'm crazy to be as pissed at Bush as I am. Unfortunately, most of you have never served, let alone seen combat. If you would, you would be just as angry as I am over this waste of lives. I'm sick and tired of you people sitting back in your easy chairs, all happy about us 'kicking Arab ass'. If you knew what war was really about, you wouldn't be so gung ho for it, let alone one so unjustified. Time to stop watching Rambo reruns and take a look at the human wreckage in our VA hospitals, goddammit.

*SCLM = So Called Liberal Media

A good day

Well, a pleasant surprise this morning. Our office guy, Not So Dead Ed is back on duty full-time. He still has yet to get a release from the doctor, allowing him to go back to work, but he's sick and tired of hanging around at home. 'Bout time the slacker came back to work. It's good to have him back.

One more

I have been remiss about an enlightened soul, although I do pirate from him regularly. Jonathan Edelstein, better known as The Head Heeb, has his finger on the pulse of the Holy Land and Africa and one of my primary links to news from that part of the world. You should make him a regular stop while you're surfing. I read his insights every day.


It'll probably be a light day for me. The King of the Jews (our dear friend Dave from California) is in town and we're having dinner with him. Since he has business in NYC and we live on the Island, we're going to meet at a restaurant equidistant from both which, coincidentally, is not far from where I work. So I'm driving 30 miles home to change can clean up my nasty ass before heading back, meeting Mrs. F at the nearby LIRR station, and then meeting the King. Oy! Anyway, it'll be good to see him, though my productivity at work tomorrow will be much lower than normal thanks to the hangover I'm certain to have. It's worth it. Well, gotta empty the dog and I'm off. Have a good day.


Remember when Slick Willie got all funny about the definition of 'is' and the Republicans broke his balls? Well, seems President Bullshit Artist has a different idea of what 'all' means than the rest of us, especially regarding his military records.

Via Lambert at Corrente. Seems the Associated Press is suing to get the complete record from the Department of Defense. Full story.

There are questions as to whether the file provided to the news media earlier this year is complete, says the lawsuit, adding that these questions could possibly be answered by reviewing a copy of the microfilm of Bush's personnel file in the Texas archives.

I really don't care, but there's one document that I haven't seen that would put this all to rest. It's called a DD Form 214. Ask any veteran about it and he (or she, you PC busybodies) will explain it.

22 June 2004

I'm livin' large

Melanie over at Just a Bump in the Beltway points out that not only are we pissing away American money in Iraq, we're blowing the Iraqis' money too according to a just-released report from the U.N. Read the full story here.

The Financial Times, which obtained a copy of the report, said the auditors judged the fund to be "open to fraudulent acts".

"The CPA does not have effective controls over the ministries' spending of their individually allocated budgets, whether the funds are direct from the CPA or via the ministry of finance," it quoted the report as saying.

The US-run DFI was mandated by the UN security council to collect and spend Iraqi oil revenues in May last year, but has been dogged from its inception by accusations of a lack of transparency.

Bush and Company are corporate raiders, pure and simple. It would be something if they were good at it, but they're all-around inept morons and everything they touch goes to shit. And they say Dubya has grown up. Ha. When he was a businessman(and a drunken cokehead), he was a failure too.

I like surprises

And the Mrs. just walked in from Jersey, able to beat the horrendous rush hour traffic in the NY Metro Area. I'm happy and the dog's happy. I'll say good night now.

Pleasant dreams.

With friends like these

From the Asia Times:

Saudi Arabia and Pakistan: Grim choices
By Ehsan Ahrari

America's two major allies, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, "played important roles in the growth of al-Qaeda". That is one of the themes filtering out of the information provided by members of the 9-11 Commission in Washington to the American media on a background basis. The brunt of this support or acquiescence, according to those members, existed before the terrorist attacks of 2001.

The troubling aspect of that information is that these members - basing their information from all the information that they have acquired from various classified sources - are claiming that support or acquiescence for al-Qaeda in both those Muslim countries existed even in 2003, more in Saudi Arabia than in Pakistan. The unstated aspect of these contentious assertions is that both Saudi Arabia and Pakistan have now turned against al-Qaeda and their hardline Islamist supporters, when those elements threatened the very survival of the two regimes.

Details here.

Who needs fucking enemies?


Before you try to legislate morality, you'd better be squeaky clean yourself. And yet another Republican crashes and burns, this time it's the GOP candidate for an Illinois Senate seat named Jack Ryan, ex-husband (or soon to be) of Jeri Ryan of Boston Public and Star Trek: Voyager. Billmon has all the dirt over at Whiskey Bar.

Actress Jeri Ryan accused ex-husband Jack Ryan of insisting she go to "explicit sex clubs" in New York, New Orleans and Paris during their marriage - including "a bizarre club with cages, whips and other apparatus hanging from the ceiling."

Jack Ryan wanted her to have sex with him while others watched, the star of "Boston Public" alleged...

Now, I give a shit what you want to do in private as long as it's with consenting adults. You want to be caged, gagged, whipped, whatever, have a nut, but don't come off holier than thou and preach to my ass while you're taking it in yours. I smell the stench of hypocrisy, or did you forget to wash that thing off?

Like I always say, people who live in glass houses shouldn't get stoned.

She blinded me with scripture?

Stole this from Kicking Ass:

Sound science

President Bush recently said, "When we make decisions, we want to make sure we do so on sound science; not what sounds good, but what is real." But what does "sound science" mean to him?

Let's see:

John Kerry, along with 48 Nobel Prize winners, takes issue with Bush's definition of "sound science" — saying that Bush allows ideology to overshadow the facts when determining science policies.

"We need a president who believes in science again in America," said Senator Kerry. Kerry pledged to lift the ban on federal funding of stem cell research, which offers new hope for people with life-threatening illnesses ranging from Alzheimer's to diabetes. Kerry also said that when elected, he would immediately lift the global gag rule, reinstated by Bush on his first day in office in January 2001.

Science? We don't need no stinking science. The Scriptures tell us everything we need to know. Yeesh, I'm off to the mines.

Caution: This is no satire

See what I mean about the Jesus freaks? Ever heard of a Rapture Index? Lifted this directly from their website:

The Purpose For This Index

The Rapture Index has two functions: one is to factor together a number of related end time components into a cohesive indicator, and the other is to standardize those components to eliminate the wide variance that currently exists with prophecy reporting.

The Rapture Index is by no means meant to predict the rapture, however, the index is designed to measure the type of activity that could act as a precursor to the rapture.

You could say the Rapture index is a Dow Jones Industrial Average of end time activity, but I think it would be better if you viewed it as prophetic speedometer. The higher the number, the faster we're moving towards the occurrence of pre-tribulation rapture

These are the type of people running your government. Jesus freaks waiting for The End, presumably happy it's coming so the world will be free of sinners like me. Fucking asshole, rat bastids.

21 June 2004

I'm REALLY done

Nite-nite. By the way, I had a steak sandwich and washed it down with a Dos Equis.

Unhappy majority

Mother Jones just ran a poll and what they find is interesting:

Voters remain deadlocked in a partisan divide over which candidate to support, but this split is not indicative of the bipartisan discontent felt by most Americans, a new national poll by Mother Jones reveals*. Nearly two thirds of American voters say the country is "on the wrong track" and most -- including a majority of independents and even many moderate Republicans -- believe that they are personally worse off than three years ago on a broad range of issues, from their tax burden and job opportunities to their access to quality health care and schools. This "discontent gap" between party loyalty and the issues indicates a strategic opening for a candidate who promises real change.

Details here.

*Conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research between May 17 and May 22, this poll of 1,007 registered voters has a margin of error of 3.1 percent for the complete sample, and up to 7 percent for polling of subgroups, such as evangelicals or voters from swing states.

The feeling I get is that this election might not be as close as the pundits think.

Aw, Jeez

Bill at Whiskey Bar comes up with an apt, albeit sad, metaphor.

Contractors, again

About these civilian contractors who are meeting their demise in the Middle East. Now, I feel bad for their families, but these guys knew the risks, especially those going into Iraq. Why in Hell do they think they're getting these great salaries for going there? I knew a guy who worked in Saudi Arabia for quite a few years, and he knew the risks. He worked in Iran too, just before the Shah fell. There are risks, great ones, and those who go over there are aware of them, or they should be. If you're gonna work in a war zone or some other unstable place, you should be prepared for the danger.


Connecticut Governor John Rowland to resign this evening at 6 p.m.

Rowland, who is 47, was easily reelected to a third term in 2002. He's admitted lying about accepting gifts and favors from friends, and he is also accused of helping out a wealthy real estate businessman, making phone calls for him, and earning a wind fall profit in the process.

Full story.

About time the crook left. Another Republican crashes and burns. Good, damn good. Remember Ella Grasso? I miss the old broad. Now she knew how to run Connecticut.

Another reminder

Fahrenheit 9/11 opens Friday. Go see the trailer here.


One of the drawbacks to Mrs. F going away on business (aside from not having her to curl up with tonight) is that I have to cook for myself. Well, not really. I have to heat something up for myself; she did all the cooking on Saturday. The problem is that I'm a lazy bastid when it comes to food. Eating has never been a priority for me, although Mrs. F's cooking has brought it up quite a few notches. In years past, I would have gone to bed without eating dinner, knowing she'll be home tomorrow and I won't starve, or I would have just eaten some potato chips or some crap. Now I know there's barbecue chicken and steak in the fridge, and some of Mrs. F's homemade cucumber salad and potato salad. but I don't want to have to put it all together and heat up the meat. See, lazy. Makes the Mrs. nuts, but hey, I'd eat burgers for every meal if she'd let me. That makes her crazy too, because that's all I'll eat if she's gone for any length of time. Burgers and dogs, a meal in one pan and I can eat it off a paper towel without using utensils. Only one thing to wash. I guess my being lazy about washing dishes is directly proportional to my enthusiasm for cooking. Or heating stuff up as it were. Oh well, I'll think of something.

Anyway, I'm knocking off, although I might be on later if I'm laying in bed, surfing the Net with my pants around my ankles. I'll say goodnight now, however.

Pleasant dreams.

The Kiwi view

Via Today in Iraq, from the Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton District, New Zealand:

Without in any way denigrating our soldiers’ professionalism, maybe they’d be better off at home.
We’re wasting them in the so-called “war on terrorism”. Sending troops out against terrorists doesn’t work.
The British know. Crack SAS troops fought IRA Provisionals for decades and never looked like defeating them.

[. . .]

Some reports suggest that al Qaeda wants President George W. Bush in the White House for another four years.
Why? Well, for starters, Mr Bush’s Middle East policy is providing a bonanza of new funding and new recruits for al Qaeda. Almost three years after the September 11 atrocity, al Qaeda is flourishing. Instead of being pounded into dust, it’s stronger.
Another reason for al Qaeda to back the Republican ticket is the gulf emerging between Europe and the United States.
This gulf is in the best interests of terrorists worldwide, and President Bush seems hell-bent on widening it.

Sounds about right. Read the whole story here.

A bright spot

Remember when I spoke about actual cooperation between Isrelis and Arabs?

Too bad you don't hear more of this. From The Head Heeb.

More quiet cooperation

Al-Ahliyya Amman University, Jordan's first private university, wants to open a branch in Israel. Maher Hurani, the university's owner, evidently hopes that an influx of Israeli Arab students - and possibly Jews as well - will make up for the 500 Syrians who have threatened to resign if the Israel branch is built.

Details here.

I posted that on 2 June and today The Head Heeb has more good news on this front.

Maher Hurani, the owner of Al-Ahliyya and a Jordanian millionaire of Palestinian descent, has put together an organizing team that consists of Israeli Arab businessmen and both Arab and Jewish professors. The designated president of the Israeli branch will be Eitan Ben-Tzur, a former director-general of the Israeli foreign ministry, and much of the financing and planning will come from Nizar and Annan Darawshe, who have long-standing connections in the Jordanian business world.

It does my heart good to hear this. Read the whole story.