A tribute to Condoleeza Rice and George W. Bush who, despite voluminious evidence to the contrary, said, "I don't think anybody could have predicted that these people would take an airplane and slam it into the World Trade Center, take another one and slam it into the Pentagon, that they would try to use an airplane as a missile," adding that "even in retrospect" there was "nothing" to suggest that" and "I don't think anyone anticipated the breach of the levees," respectively.

Thursday, December 30, 2004


The guiding principle of the right-wing chorus is to all be on the same page, singing the same song. For instance, whenever anyone talks about the increasingly deadly insurgency in Iraq, they are obliged to say that the motivation of the insurgents is to disrupt the elections and to keep the U.S. planted seed of democracy from flourishing in the land between the two rivers (damn evil-doers). Naturally, this line of reasoning is parroted by right-wing pundits, right-wing commentators, the main-stream news organizations and assorted other jackals.

The administration insists that no matter how much death and destruction the insurgents cause, the elections will be held as scheduled in June, I mean January (We’re steadfast, dammit). So by setting the goal for the insurgency, the administration guarantees itself a “win” by holding the elections as promised in June, I mean January. (Both Bush and Powell have made this slip up which makes one wonder if Freud was on to something)

Anyway, the reasoning that the insurgents’ sole motivation is to disrupt the election and thwart the promise of democracy is as illogical as it is simplistic. Of course, as we know, repeat a lie often enough and it becomes accepted as fact. Would Americans take up arms to expel a foreign invader. Would Americans seek revenge for the killing of their loved ones? Would Americans defend what they see as an assault on their religion and the freedom to practice it? We could, of course, just accept the party line about disrupting the elections if we believed anything they say at this point.

Do you suppose that when GWB heard about the Tsunami, he thought it was yet another trial lawyer filing a frivolous lawsuit against George Wendt?

In other news: The USS Abraham Lincoln is in the Indian ocean to provide disaster relief assistance. The ship is off the California coast far enough now that flying onto it in a jet fighter instead of a helicopter might actually be warranted.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004


As if the country doesn’t have enough cheerleaders in the media for the right-wing agenda, Mark Hyman (GOP Attack Weasel) from Sinclair Broadcasting and Fox commentators are whining that the main stream media (MSM) only shows the bad news coming from the Iraqi misadventure. Sure, there must be something positive to say about what’s happened there that justifies the death of 1300+ Americans and an estimated 100,000 Iraqi civilians.

For example:

Thousands of Iraqi children were not killed or maimed by previously unexploded ordnance, including cluster bombs.

Thousands of soldiers and thousands of Iraqis are not displaying any adverse reaction to being exposed to depleted uranium.

Thousands of soldiers were able to eat lunch without being blown up.

Donald Rumsfeld was able to sneak in and sneak out without so much as a spitball being lobbed at him.

Perhaps we should apply this good news standard to the news in general and not just news coming from Iraq.

For example:

A plane carrying 455 passengers landed safely today at LAX. The flight was routine and there were no in-flight incidents. The flight crew had arrived early and there were no signs that any of them was impaired in any way. Turbulence was virtually non-existent and the food served was satisfactory to everyone as was the in-flight movie. The passengers all disembarked in an orderly fashion and everyone was able to retrieve their luggage from the carousel in a short period of time.

A pretty, young female teacher at a middle school did not have sexual relations with any of her students. Her husband smiled when talking to the media about her apparent fidelity.

Thousands, perhaps millions of children, were not abducted today, either by a parent, family friend, or a stranger.

Tomorrow: The “Disrupt the Elections” mantra.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004


Mark Hyman (GOP Attack Weasel), has proclaimed that some members of Congress hate the troops.

To prove this, he cites the votes on a politically-motivated resolution in the Congress that says that Congress supports the troops and the Iraqi people. Naturally, those members of Congress who saw this as a thinly-veiled, political ploy, voted against it. Now, Hyman wants you to believe that voting against this meaningless, feel-good resolution means that these legislators hate the troops.

So Mr. Hyman, when George W. Bush threatened to veto the version of the $87 billion dollar supplemental appropriation that earmarked money to go to supplying and equipping the troops, did this show he hated the troops?

Stop-loss orders, extended deployments, multiple deployments, lack of state-of-the-art body armor, bullet shortages, water shortages, unarmored vehicles, proposed cuts in hazardous duty pay, proposed cuts in veterans benefits, rotten food served by Halliburton, are, I suppose, examples of the love those in charge show for the troops. Support needs to be more than empty rhetoric.

Tomorrow: The crybabies on the right whine about the “media filter.”

Saturday, December 25, 2004


As you know, you go with the family you have, not the family you might want or wish to have at a later time.

Regardless of how or if you celebrate the holidays, the importance of family cannot be overstated. Try to get along!

Friday, December 24, 2004


Wonkette reports that a high-ranking Republican staffer has been arrested for attempting to steal a plasma screen TV from a federal building and is suspected of having stolen the old plasma screen TV which this one replaced.

Now, I don't know whether this is true because I have not seen it reported anywhere else. If it is true, it raises some serious issues. For instance:

How did the staffer get the old TV out of the building without being observed. Geez, I can't buy a lottery ticket at the AM/PM without having my picture taken. Is there no surveillance in these buildings?

How lax is security at this building. If someone can sneak out with something the size of a plasma TV, what's to stop someone from sneaking something in which is far more sinister?

If it's true, will it be pushed down the memory hole like all the other reports of (R) misconduct. For example, Katrina Leung, the Plame Exposer, Ken Lay, Rudy, AWOL, Jack Ryan, the Gropinator, and the (R) staffers who accessed (D) confidential communications.


Thursday, December 23, 2004


This large settlement was made because two doctors were performing heart surgery on patients who did not need it.

A company spokesman said, "The additional revenue from the surgeries was needed to fight frivolous lawsuits. So in essence, we were fighting frivolous lawsuits with frivolous surgery. More than anything else, this is just another example of the need for tort reform and not an attempt at self-enrichment by violating the Hippocratic Oath."

In Other News: The White House said today that, "It's hard work! Everyone's working hard. It's such hard work, it's really torture."

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

mea culpa: I wrote the following based on initial reports that it was a rocket or mortar attack as reported in the mainstream media. Also, General Schwarzkopf was the expert who said it was a "lucky shot." Regardless of that, after the Jessica Lynch and Pat Tillman fiascos, there should have been no reason for me to believe the initial reports were factual. Now they're saying it was a "suicide bomber" who infiltrated the base and detonated the bomb inside the mess tent. Perhaps this is true, but it does manage to get KBR off the hook for not finishing the fortified mess hall in time if it was in fact not a rocket or mortar attack. Eventually, we may even know the whole story.


The recent devastating attack in Mosul has expert opinions ranging from it was just a lucky shot to an alarmingly new degree of precision not seen previously. Either way, it should be a cause of concern.

Nobody Could Have Predicted (NCHP) that the contractor responsible for and behind schedule on building a permanent mess hall structure would be Kellogg, Brown & Root (KBR), a subsidiary of Halliburton.

NCHP that KBR would blame the lack of security in Iraq as the reason the mess hall had not been completed.

NCHP that the lack of security in Iraq was the result of too few boots on the ground from the inception of the invasion.

So let's summarize. The contract to build the structure that would have provided some degree of protection to our troops was given to a company notorious for incompetence and over-billing. This same company blames the delays in construction on the miserable security situation in Iraq despite the repeated assurances that "we're making progress." The miserable security situation is considered by some to be the direct result of Rumsfeld's decision to limit the number of troops in theater in his concept of transforming the military.

Seems to me that Rummy is now a candidate for the Presidential Medal of Freedom. One more full cup ought to cinch the deal.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004


As noted by others, spectacular seems to be the word of the month for the Bush Administration. After watching all I could bear of the press conference yesterday, I had these thoughts:

Why no follow-up questions?

Knowledge of the issue exhausted in the canned answer.

No sense dwelling on statements inconsistent with the facts.

More in depth explanation of an issue may result in Bush debating himself, whatever that means. My guess is it means too much of a chance he'd contradict himself.

Why no pictures from the back or side?

Was there perchance a mysterious bulge, or crease, or wrinkle in his hand-tailored suit?

Is it true that immigrants, legal and illegal, do the work Americans are unwilling to do?

Perhaps another explanation is they’re willing to do the work at a rate of pay unacceptable to “Americans.” If you want to curb illegal immigration, target those who employ them. It’s about market forces, you know.

Who selects the clips to be broadcast?

Both local and national news organizations who played clips of the press conference used clips where he is not stumbling over his words or making some ludicrous circumlocution. One has to marvel at the extent the media protects his image.

Oh, and is the quality of an Ivy League education overrated?

Sunday, December 19, 2004


I read where some (R) Senator was blaming the lack of proper equipment on the cuts made by Clinton to the military budget. Of course, the world had been changed for the better since Ronald Reagan single-handedly defeated the oppressive Soviet Union and we foolishly believed they were no longer a threat.

So why didn’t Clinton supply all the troops with the new ceramic body armor? Well, because it was being developed, improved and made more economically feasible while he was President. In fact, the first orders for the new ceramic plates came in early 2001 and additional units were contracted for by the pentagon. What little I know about military procurement leads me to conclude that these upgrades were ordered during the Clinton Administration.
[By early 2001, the U.S. government had procured more than 30,000 of the new plates and had another 130,000 on contract. It wasn’t long before the new armor was tested in combat—U.S. troops first wore the IBA system in operations in Afghanistan, where it was credited with saving numerous lives. According to one report, some soldiers pinned down in firefights survived AK-47 and other small-arms fire to their chest and back because of the new vest, and most of the wounds suffered by U.S. troops were in the arms and legs. Many of these same systems have been credited with saving soldiers’ lives in Operation Iraqi Freedom.]

Chuck Hagel on “Meet the Press”

But Sen. Chuck Hagel, a Vietnam veteran, said he had "no confidence" in Rumsfeld." Hagel, R-Neb., did not say that Rumsfeld should step down.
"I find it astounding. … Things are worse than they've ever been" in Iraq, Hagel told CBS' "Face the Nation." Hagel said the decision to replace Rumsfeld was Bush's.

Andy Card on “This Week”

"Secretary Rumsfeld is doing a spectacular job," the president's chief of staff, Andrew Card, told ABC's "This Week."

"The president has provided good direction for our military, and Secretary Rumsfeld is transforming our military to meet the threats of the 21st century," Card said.

While security remains a concern in Iraq, Card said the growing economy and the establishment of the educational and electrical systems in the country were positive developments, Card said.

"There are no guarantees, but we'll work hard to provide security," for the elections, Card said. "It'll be a wonderful success story."

Card said Rumsfeld has a good relationship with Congress and "knows the budgets that are needed to fight the war."

"And he will fight to get those budgets, and he will earn the confidence of the people in the Senate and the House so that he can continue to do that which is best for the country," Card said.


Card painted such a rosy picture of Iraq I’m thinking of going there for my next vacation. Here’s my fantasy interview with Card:

Me: Mr. Card, can you tell me why you’re here today?

Mr. Card: Well, I wanted to state positively that we should not focus on the negatives In Iraq. There are plenty of things which we can be proud of. For instance, the schools have a fresh coat of paint and most of the blood stains can no longer be seen on the city sidewalks.

Me: What about the reports of all the civilian casualties, including woman and children.

Card: Sure, that’s a negative, but this is war. There’s also a positive aspect; the lowering of class size at the schools.

Me: Seems a little drastic, what else can you tell us about why you’re here?

Card: I wanted to positively spin all the negative reports and not actually answer any question without some circumlocution.

Me: I often wondered, how do you prepare for such an interview?

Card: First we try to get the questions ahead of time. Failing that, we try to anticipate the questions to be asked. Then, either way, we get together and try to formulate responses that don’t actually answer the question posed while exhausting time allotted for the interview always keeping in mind not to take responsibility for anything that did not go well. Didn’t you see Condi at the 9/11 Commission hearings?

Me: That can’t be all there is to it!

Card: You’re right. An important step is for me, or any other administration official, to memorize our canned, cliché’-filled answers. Haven’t you ever noticed that when you pose the same question, perhaps in a different way, that we recite nearly verbatim the answer we just gave. No one really communicates that way unless they planned it in advance. Think telemarketing without ethics.

Me: Earlier, when you talked about Bernard Kerik, you said that the administration had expressed an intention to nominate Mr. Kerik. Is this just word play like what would have gotten Bill Clinton or Al Gore into trouble or like GWB’s weapons of mass destruction program related activites?

Card: No, clearly, we had not nominated BK so you should hold us to a lower standard for vetting. See, even if we have to admit a mistake, we always try to mitigate the circumstances. You know, like everyone thought Saddam had WMD so don’t blame us for being wrong.

Me: Thank you Mr. Card. Have a good flight back to Stepford. (Triumph the Insult Comic Dog)

Friday, December 17, 2004


In the spirit of the recent awarding of Presidential Medals of Freedom to Bremer, Franks and Tenet, the following was reported today:

Tom Green and David Arquette will share the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Motion Picture Academy.

People Magazine named Ann Coulter Sexist Man Alive.

Ariel Sharon wins Nobel Peace Prize.

William Hung wins Grammy.

Scott Peterson named Father of the Year.

Mike Tyson wins Rhodes Scholarship.

Mark Hyman wins Pulitzer Prize for fiction for his “The Point” commentary (propaganda).

Paris Hilton named as role model for teenage girls.

Mary K. Laterno named Teacher of the Year (retroactively).

Yushenko's "Extreme Makeover" cited as unqualified success.

Thursday, December 16, 2004


gwb receives promotion to 2nd lieutenant without going to Officer Candidate School.

gwb receives honorable discharge without showing up for assigned duty.

Jessica Lynch gets Bronze Star for being captured while unconscious and treated in Iragi hospital.

Pat Tillman gets Silver Star for being shot by his own troops in what can only be described as one big FUBAR operation.

Paul Bremer gets Presidential Medal of Freedom for foolishly disbanding the Iraqi army and having unaccounted for billions of dollars that were to go to reconstruction.

George Tenet gets Presidential Medal of Freedom for recognizing and warning the President of the threat of Al Queda only to have his warnings ignored and then keeping quiet about it.

Tommy Franks gets the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which is civilian award, for his leadership (while in the military) of the invasion of Iraq. The media likes to portray this military campaign as "brilliant." A new "blitz krieg" if you will. But seriously, with the disparity of the military forces involved, can you imagine any other initial outcome? I wonder if the award has anything to do with Franks' endorsement of gwb in the last presidential selection.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004


NASA Shuttle Disaster Investigation - $50 million

Whitewater and Independent Counsel Investigations in Coup Attempt - $50 million +

Scott Peterson Trial - $2.5 Million. With Appeals, Estimated at $5 million

9/11 Commission to Probe Worst Attack On U.S. Since Pearl Harbor - $3 million

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

BOYCOTT SINCLAIR BROADCASTING. Epitomizes need for return of the "fairness doctrine." These people take advantage of media ownership to promote their radical right-wing agenda and couch it as "commentary."

GOP Attack Weasel Posted by Hello

Boycott Sinclair Broadcasting: Contact Advertisers

Saturday, December 11, 2004


The Peter Principle was first introduced by L. Peter in a humoristic book describing the pitfalls of bureaucratic organization. The original principle states that in a hierarchically structured administration, people tend to be promoted up to their "level of incompetence".

This priniciple suggests that once that level of incompetence is reached, the people will not be promoted further, but will instead remain at the level of incompetence.

So along comes the Bush Administration. Incompetence is not only promoted to the level of incompetence, it is further rewarded with more promotions. I would like to dub this process as the "Salt Peter Principle." Incompetence to the point of impotence, if you get my drift. People will continue to rise (may be inappropriate verb) up the heirarchy as long as they are loyal and can lie straight faced when confronted with an uncomfortable reality. If ever there was an example of this, it has to be Condoleeza Rice, the worst NSA ever, but a damn good liar and workout partner.

You know you've got to have your priorities! Posted by Hello
Accountability is Not an Option

Nope, no state-of-the-art body armor or up-armored Humvees under here! Posted by Hello

Friday, December 10, 2004

TWO YEAR AGO: Iraq Files Weapons Report

Iraq has filed a report that it claims proves it is free of weapons of mass destruction. Iraq submitted the 12,000-page document over the weekend, meeting a United Nation’s deadline.

The Bush administration claims that it has proof that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction but that it is not releasing it to avoid risking sources and methods of intelligence gathering.


You can’t trust the word of a madman!

And whatever happened to the 8,000 pages that were redacted?

Thursday, December 09, 2004

IT'S HARD WORK: Keeping Up With Your Own Rhetoric

Apparently, having properly equipped troops has gone from a commitment to an expectation (wishful thinking).

This is what gwb had to say about the lack of proper equipment today:

"The concerns expressed are being addressed, and that is, we expect our troops to have the best possible equipment. And if I were a soldier overseas, wanting to defend my country, I'd want to ask the secretary of defense the same question," Bush said. [Might want to ask this question of the Commander-in-Chief as well. The buck stops over there!]

He told reporters in an Oval Office event that he has been telling military families that "we're doing everything we possibly can to protect your loved ones in a mission which is vital and important."


This is what he had to say back in February, 2004

George W. Bush to Tim Russert:

And the other thing that I think it's important for people who watch the expenditures side of the equation is to understand we are at war, Tim, and any time you commit your troops into harm's way, they must have the best equipment, the best training, and the best possible pay. That's where we owe it to their loved ones.


Wednesday, December 08, 2004


George W. Bush to Tim Russert:

And the other thing that I think it's important for people who watch the expenditures side of the equation is to understand we are at war, Tim, and any time you commit your troops into harm's way, they must have the best equipment, the best training, and the best possible pay. That's where we owe it to their loved ones.


Don Rumsfeld to soldier about to be sent into war zone concerned about lack of armored vehicles:

Rumsfeld replied that, "You go to war with the Army you have," not the one you might want, and that any rate the Army was pushing manufacturers of vehicle armor to produce it as fast as humanly possible.

And, the defense chief added, armor is not always a savior in the kind of combat U.S. troops face in Iraq, where the insurgents' weapon of choice is the roadside bomb, or improvised explosive device.

"You can have all the armor in the world on a tank and it can (still) be blown up," Rumsfeld said


Tell me again why it was imperative to lauch the attack sooner rather than later. Actually, it was because the inspectors were coming up seriously empty in the their search for WMD. If they were allowed to continue their inspections and continued to come up empty, the primary rationale for invasion would be removed.


Rumsfeld Faces Tough Questions from Press Corp.


Rumsfeld Faces Tough Questions from Troops


The California Health Association is running an ad on television with two obvious goals: Convince the public that they’re better off if nurses have to administer to more patients than fewer and to promote Arnold. As one of his largest donors, even though he won’t take “special interest” money, the CHA represents hospitals and health care organizations not nurses. Their ad is clearly deceptive in that it purports to represent the nurses and their views on staffing levels. By “executive order,” Arnold has decided that his judgment about staffing levels is superior to that of the legislature. What is he, an “Activist Gropinator?” As I understand our system of government, the legislature makes the laws and the executive branch carries them out.

It seems that as a group, the right-wing is incapable of approaching any issue without some sort of misrepresentation. One has to wonder if the general public will ever tire of these techniques?

Sources for this post:

California Health Association

Arnold Claims to Have "Kicked Their Butts"

Tuesday, December 07, 2004


Mass graves have been replaced by thousands of individual graves.

Plan to prevent the public from seeing more pictures of abuse and torture in Iraqi prisons by forbidding the use or possession of cameras an unqualified success.

Anticipating the killing or capture of Al-Zarqawi after raising the bounty to $25 million, a list of candidates to name as "villain du jour" narrowed to 5 names.

Convinced everyone in the media that any reference to Al-Sadr must be prefaced with "radical cleric" much the same as any reference to the Northern Pike must be prefaced with "predatory."

Monday, December 06, 2004


The Pat Tillman saga is yet another example of reality taking second chair to fiction. The story, as originally told, goes beyond embellishment to the point of fabrication.

Certainly, there much to be admired about Tillman's devotion to his country and the sacrifices he was willing to make. However, it diminishes his contribution to have the circumstances of his death portrayed as something other than what seems to be a tragic series of events in order to confer hero status.

As with the Jessica Lynch story, the reality departs dramatically from the script as provided by the Pentagon. Is this an effort to sway public opinion or to divert attention from other issues? Who knows?

See Editor & Publisher for more on this story.

Sunday, December 05, 2004


Why do they always focus on the negative? For instance, even if 380 tons of high explosives went missing, what about all the explosives that were found and secured? Why not talk about the positive?

Three things:

1. For the same reason that when police frisk a suspect they don't let him keep some of his weapons.

2. For the same reason surgeons try to remove the whole tumor.

3. For the same reason nobody ever talked about all the interns Clinton did not have sex with.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

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