THEY DON'T REALIZE THE SCALE OF THIS
Many, many New Orleans residents barely had the resources to survive day to day living. When government checks come on the first week of the month, and even those with jobs may not have access to savings or even a bank account, cashing their checks at check cashing places, the ability to leave in a hurry is nearly impossible.Reed Hundt
And when people talk about looting, there is a situation where there is no order, no supply, no water and no light. Also, people are being told to not walk around barefoot to avoid skin infections. Jungle rot and trench foot are all too common in damp situations. That means people can't walk.
The problem is that the government is treating this like a US domestic crisis where people can drive to relief centers and that ain't it.
First, you have a lot of poor people who have NO resources. None. So a late check can be a problem. Katrina? They're in survival mode, but then most of their lives have been desperate anyway. They can adapt to desperate. It's the middle class who are going to get a reality check. Their savings are going to crash, their credit cards are maxed out, and they are going to be just as stranded as the poor, one-third of the city. Only the rich can live away from home for extended periods. People are already outside the Astrodome, looking for shelter, but being refused because they didn't come from the Superdome. All the middle class people who sneered at the poor and supported Bush are going to be just like those poor people are, just as reliant as they are for a government handout.
Someone suggested that if there was another 9/11, people would rally around Bush.
Here it is and people are pissed.
When Andy Sullivan knocks Kos for saying this is worse than 9/11, he's wrong and Kos is right, because I lived through 9/11 without so much as a lost glass of water. This is a lot closer to an attack than any natural disaster we've seen. An entire city has turned into a movie set, and I mean Escape from New York. The people fleeing New Orelans are refugees, soemthing we haven't seen since the Civil War. The Astrodome is a temporary solution, and refugee camps will have to be built. There are sharks and alligators swimming in the streets, nobody will be going home for a long time.
There is still an inability to realize the scale of this. They are talking about trucking in supplies. Why not do what they did in Afghanistan and just drop food and water from C-130's? They need to act like this is a humanitarian crisis, and not just a national disaster.
The President apparently said, I caught it fleetingly, that "this recovery will take years." If he did say that, I'd humbly differ. I think that the goal should be to do all that is necessary to put individuals, families, communities, businesses, communications networks, and the spirit of America back together very very quickly. Years are not acceptable for the afflicted or for their fellow citizens. The money should be spent, the resources assembled, the effort made on a massive scale, and if what that presupposes is a new tax or a change in priorities, then those decisions should be taken. Years is not an acceptable time frame. The United States is rich enough, big enough, and compassionate enough to do much better than that. Not everything can be fixed; not every loss can be made whole; too many tragedies must be suffered; but our national commitment to repair, remedy, and renew can be made and acted on with great dispatch, if our leaders make it so.
: Holy cow
Even then, there may be nothing normal about New Orleans, because the floodwater, spiked with tons of contaminants ranging from heavy metals and hydrocarbons to industrial waste, human feces and the decayed remains of humans and animals, will linger nearby in the Gulf of Mexico for a decade.
"This is the worst case," Hugh B. Kaufman, a senior policy analyst at the Environmental Protection Agency, said of the toxic stew that contaminates New Orleans. "There is not enough money in the gross national product of the United States to dispose of the amount of hazardous material in the area."
Read the whole thing. It's terribly sobering.
INTERNATIONAL ENERGY CRISIS
Fears of an international energy crisis mounted on Wednesday as the scale of human and economic devastation caused in the southern US by Hurricane Katrina became fully apparent. ...
As the human tragedy unfolded, there were fears that the economic impact of the storm, which has paralysed the Gulf of Mexico oil industry, could be felt around the globe.
Some analysts cut US growth forecasts, saying soaring petrol prices would hurt consumer spending. “US [petrol] prices are now in the process of the most dramatic spike ever seen,” said Kevin Norrish, an analyst at Barclays Capital. “It is now appropriate to talk of a major energy crisis.” ...
With nine Gulf Coast refineries closed, US wholesale petrol prices hit a closing record of $2.65 per gallon, up 34 per cent since the storm, and supplies ran short in some areas. Chevron said it had started rationing gasoline across the south-east, a move analysts said could lead to panic buying, particularly ahead of the Labor Day weekend. US consumers have not seen shortages since the petrol station line-ups that followed the 1973 Arab oil embargo.
“We recognize that prices are high,” said Mary Rose Brown, spokeswoman for Valero, a top US refiner. “The market is responding to the overnight lossof almost 2m barrels per day of domestic production. Since the US is already dependent upon 1m BPD of imports to meet demand, there is a real fear ofshortages in the near-term. Pipeline outages due to power losses have exacerbated an already challenging situation.”
Fears that oil prices could spiral out of control prompted the US government to say it would tap its emergency reserve, causing prices to dip momentarily below $70 a barrel. But the relief was short-lived, with many traders seeing the statement as a political gesture. The US Environmental Protection Agency also announced it would temporarily waive clean air standards for fuel, allowing US refiners to increase production and permitting greater petrol imports. Federal and state regulations restrict the make-up of petrol, which makes it difficult to import supplies from another state or from abroad.
Governments have begun to worry that a looming US petrol shortage could affect their economies. Europe could see strong competition for limited refinery products. Wholesale petrol prices in Europe rose by 10 per cent. “If the assessment of the damage shows a severe crisis in the petrol sector, the crisis will not be limited to the US it will be a global one,” said Claude Mandil, executive director of the International Energy Agency, the consuming nations' watchdog.
The industry scrambled to determine how long it would take to reopen its installations. Even after repairs, oil companies could face problems getting personnel to work.
Spiking gas prices and shortages -- shortages? -- will be political doom for Bush. Mark my words.
Funny how his downfall might be caused by something that's not entirely his fault.
And let's not forget that higher gas prices will disproportionately affect the poor, especially in the United States, where people in many communities have no choice but to drive. That's why I don't disagree with the release of oil from the reserve, even if it's mostly a symbolic gesture.
But lines at pumps? Doom.MORE
: "There is no question"
gasoline will hit $4/gallon.
JONAH GOLDBERG = CUNT II
He just keeps on winning
CLASS CARDS & DISASTER [Jonah Goldberg]
Several readers complain that it's in fact true that the hurricane will disproportionately affect poor people. I don't really dispute that in the sense most mean it. Yes, the poor will have special hardships. Obviously so. But what I objected to, and still object to, is the reflexive playing of the class card. Is it really true that some middle class retirees who heeded the advice of the government to leave town, only to watch their homes be looted after a lifetime of hardwork for a better life are suffering less than a poor person who lost his rented apartment? What's the metric for measuring this sort of suffering? What about the small businessman who worked his entire life to build something he's proud of? What about the families who lost loved ones, but had the poor taste to make more money than the poverty line?
Whatever happened to the idea that unity in the face of a calamity is an important value? We're all in it together, I guess, except for the poor who are extra-special.
Because the poor, having little savings, have an increased chance of DYING due to the lack of resources in the affected area, JONAH, YOU STUPID PRIVILEGED BITCH. Free temporary housing and food may not soon be available for tens or hundreds of thousands of poor people. Savings could make all the difference. It's not like poor people are gonna get checks in the mail anytime soon.
I wonder if he's ever missed a meal.
NICE GUITAR, ASSHOLE
George BushAugust 30, 2005
Much of Gulf Coast Is Crippled; Death Toll Rises After HurricaneNew York Times, August 30, 2005
A day after New Orleans thought it had narrowly escaped the worst of Hurricane Katrina's wrath, water broke through two levees on Tuesday and virtually submerged and isolated the city, causing incalculable destruction and rendering it uninhabitable for weeks to come.
With bridges washed out, highways converted into canals, and power and communications lines inoperable, government officials ordered everyone still remaining out of the city. Officials began planning for the evacuation of the Superdome, where about 10,000 refugees huddled in increasingly grim conditions as water and food were running out and rising water threatened the generators.
The situation was so dire that late in the day the Pentagon ordered five Navy ships and eight Navy maritime rescue teams to the Gulf Coast to bolster relief operations. It also planned to fly in Swift boat rescue teams from California.
JONAH GOLDBERG IS A FAT CHICKENHAWK CUNT
Goldberg is a winger blogger over at the National Review, for those of you who don't know. Here's what he wrote
ATTN: SUPERDOME RESIDENTS [Jonah Goldberg]
I think it's time to face facts. That place is going to be a Mad Max/thunderdome Waterworld/Lord of the Flies horror show within the next few hours. My advice is to prepare yourself now. Hoard weapons, grow gills and learn to communicate with serpents. While you're working on that, find the biggest guy you can and when he's not expecting it beat him senseless. Gather young fighters around you and tell the womenfolk you will feed and protect any female who agrees to participate without question in your plans to repopulate the earth with a race of gilled-supermen. It's never too soon to be prepared.
Ha ha! Hey, you're funny, Jonah! And then there was this
NOT THAT I WANT TO OFFEND ANYBODY [Jonah Goldberg]
But it would be pretty cool if Fox played to caricature and repeatedly referred to the hurricane as Katrina vanden Heuvel.
"The destruction from Katrina vanden Heuvel is expected to be massive."
"...the poor and disabled are particularly likely to suffer from the effects of Katrina vanden Heuvel ...."
"Coming up: how to explain Katrina vanden Heuvel to your children."
See, the funny thing? Is that Katrina vanden Heuvel is the editor
of the left-wing magazine The Nation. See? Isn't that funny? Ha!
The real funny thing is that Jonah Goldberg is a fucking fourth-rate chickenhawk
. Now THAT'S funny.
I BLOG BECAUSE I'M ANGRY
Bush. Failure. Useless
Look, for all the bullshitting around that we do, for all the joking about the president and his people and the stunts they pull, there's a reason we get so damn angry. It's that we need our leaders to lead. We need people, strong people, to look to in a time of crisis, who will say I am here to help you, I am in this with you, follow me and I'll take you to safe ground.
It is not naive to want to believe that when the world is burning down and going under around you, the people you elected will rise to the occasion. Even if they never seemed the type before, you want to believe that when the house is on fire, they'll run inside to save you, they'll dial 911, they'll grab the hose, they'll cover you with a blanket.
I would have forgiven much of George W. Bush if he had caught Osama bin Laden in the two years after 9/11, instead of diverting us off into Iraq. I would have overlooked a great deal and been admiring of him if he had walked down the road in Crawford the first day Cindy Sheehan set up camp, and talked with her, and then talked with all of us, about his mistakes and how he planned to correct them. There have been moments in this country's history, when a man stands up and overcomes the expectations of others. I had been willing to allow that there may have been a moment like that for this president. Until now. [I don't, and didn't, share his hopes. -ed]
A city goes under. A pundit makes jokes. A president rides his bike, plays a round of golf.
Until someone finally points out to him that it looks bad, and then he puts away his ball and goes inside. Pretends to study, pretends to know what it all means.
What matters isn't that he's back on the job now. What matters is that while the house was smoldering, starting to burn, he was two blocks over, telling everyone they were delusional for smelling smoke.
This country will suffer for decades because of these eight years.
IT'S BUSH'S FAULT
When you have a criminally incompetent and irresponsible party in power, SHIT DOES NOT GET DONE
New Orleans had long known it was highly vulnerable to flooding and a direct hit from a hurricane. In fact, the federal government has been working with state and local officials in the region since the late 1960s on major hurricane and flood relief efforts. When flooding from a massive rainstorm in May 1995 killed six people, Congress authorized the Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Control Project, or SELA.
Over the next 10 years, the Army Corps of Engineers, tasked with carrying out SELA, spent $430 million on shoring up levees and building pumping stations, with $50 million in local aid. But at least $250 million in crucial projects remained, even as hurricane activity in the Atlantic Basin increased dramatically and the levees surrounding New Orleans continued to subside.
Yet after 2003, the flow of federal dollars toward SELA dropped to a trickle. The Corps never tried to hide the fact that the spending pressures of the war in Iraq, as well as homeland security -- coming at the same time as federal tax cuts -- was the reason for the strain. At least nine articles in the Times-Picayune from 2004 and 2005 specifically cite the cost of Iraq as a reason for the lack of hurricane- and flood-control dollars.
Newhouse News Service, in an article posted late Tuesday night at The Times-Picayune web site, reported: "No one can say they didn't see it coming....Now in the wake of one of the worst storms ever, serious questions are being asked about the lack of preparation."
In early 2004, as the cost of the conflict in Iraq soared, President Bush proposed spending less than 20 percent of what the Corps said was needed for Lake Pontchartrain, according to a Feb. 16, 2004, article, in New Orleans CityBusiness.
On June 8, 2004, Walter Maestri, emergency management chief for Jefferson Parish, Louisiana; told the Times-Picayune: “It appears that the money has been moved in the president’s budget to handle homeland security and the war in Iraq, and I suppose that’s the price we pay. Nobody locally is happy that the levees can’t be finished, and we are doing everything we can to make the case that this is a security issue for us.”
LETTERS FROM LOUISIANA AND MISSISSIPPI
HIRE THIS MAN
I think Digby should be a paid consultant to the Democratic National Committee
The right (broadly speaking) can’t fathom why the left is driven into fits of rage over every Abu Ghraib, every Gitmo, every secret rendition, every breach of civil liberties, every shifting rationale for war, every soldier and civilian killed in that war, every Bush platitude in support of it, every attempt to squelch dissent. They see the left's protestations as appeasement of a ruthless enemy. For the left (broadly speaking), America’s moral strength is of paramount importance; without it, all the brute force in the world won’t keep us safe, defeat our enemies, and preserve our role as the world’s moral leader.....I think this is an good way for liberals to think about our government and how the world works. And it can even be done in simple, common sense terms that may just resonate with those who wonder what it is we stand for. And aside from the fact that an amoral superpower is a country not worth living in and one that shames all of us who live within it, moral authority leads to material good as well. A great country behaving in an immoral way makes that country weaker, not stronger. Allies mistrust it and are reluctant to join forces. Enemies are emboldened, not cowed, because they see the country behaving in an almost desperate fashion and perceive that it is much weaker than it is. And when leaders of the most powerful country in the world leave the impression that they care nothing for the world's opinion, the world begins to see that country as a potential enemy instead of a friend.
War hawks squeal about America-haters and traitors, heaping scorn on the so-called “blame America first" crowd, but they fail to comprehend that the left reserves the deepest disdain for those who squander our moral authority. The scars of a terrorist attack heal and we are sadder but stronger for having lived through it. When our moral leadership is compromised by people draped in the American flag, America is weakened. The loss of our moral compass leaves us rudderless, open to attacks on our character and our basic decency. And nothing makes our enemies prouder. They can't kill us all, but if they permanently stain our dignity, they've done irreparable harm to America.
People are naturally suspicious of power and because of that it behooves us to ensure that others can trust us and rely upon us behave morally and ethically. Breaking treaties, throwing off old friends and partners, ignoring our own constitution and the rule of of law creates an impression that the United States is unreliable, immoral and aggressive. It makes us less safe. Only shallow people think that our country can fight off the whole world. Only delusional people would want us to try. Our moral authority is not an impediment that we can or should toss off when it is inconvenient. It is an absolutely necessary component of our national security.
Totally right. And it's not like the other side is handling the other
is the article Digby was quoting.
Chavez might be a bad guy. But at least we know that he was fully and fairly democratically elected, unlike our President. Anyway, I'm sure this
will make him a villain to right-wingers:
Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez said on Monday his government plans to sell as much as 66,000 barrels per day of heating fuel from its U.S. Citgo refinery to poor communities in the United States.
The offer, made after populist Chavez held talks with U.S. civil rights activist Rev. Jesse Jackson, would represent 10 percent of the 660,000 bpd of refined products processed by Citgo. The deals would cut consumer costs by direct sales.
Venezuela's Energy Minister Rafael Ramirez said officials were still working on the details on how the oil would be sold from Citgo, a unit of the state oil firm PDVSA.
"We are going to direct as much as 10 percent of the production, that means 66,000 barrels, without intermediaries, to poor communities, hospitals, religious communities, schools," Chavez told reporters at a press conference.
The world's No. 5 oil exporter, oil cartel OPEC member Venezuela is a key supplier to the United States, providing about 15 percent of all U.S. energy imports.
But relations between Caracas and Washington have become strained since left-winger Chavez was elected in 1998 promising social reforms.
Chavez, a former army officer who survived a coup in 2002, frequently accuses the U.S. of backing efforts to kill him or topple his government. U.S. officials dismiss those charges but say Chavez has become a threat to regional stability.
It's actually happening!
BRING ME THE HEAD OF HUGO CHAVEZ
on the Pat Robertson insanity.
Gen. Richard D. Myers, Chairman of the Joint ChiefsFriday, August 26, 2005
You may have seen Army Captain Powell's interview last week on television from Iraq, when he said, quote, "I know it's hard to get out and get on the ground and report the news, and I understand that. And I appreciate that fact. But for those of us who actually have a chance to go out and go on patrols and meet the Iraqi army and Iraqi police, and go on patrols with them, we are very satisfied with the way things are going here, and we are confident that if we are allowed to finish the job we started, we'll be very proud of it, and our country will be proud of us for doing it." Does It Matter If You Call It A Civil War?Dan Murphy, Christian Science Monitor
What we observed -- end quote. What we observed during our trip is very consistent with what we have been seeing and with the reports we are getting from our commanders in the field. And I am concerned about what appears to be a growing gap between what people are hearing back here in the United States and with what we saw on this trip.
August 22, 2005:
Finding a way to head off civil war is at the heart of all the major initiatives - including the talks over a new constitution - in Iraq. But by most common political-science definitions of the term, "civil war" is already here.
"It's not a threat. It's not a potential. Civil war is a fact of life there now,'' says Pavel Baev, head of the Center for the Study of Civil War at the Peace Research Institute in Oslo, Norway. He argues that until the nature of the conflict is accurately seen, good solutions cannot be found. "What's happening in Iraq is a multidimensional conflict. There's international terrorism, banditry, the major foreign military presence. But the civil war is the central part of it - the violent contestation for power inside the country."
The spreadsheets in Dr. Faad Ameen Bakr's computer shed some light on the casualty rate. Baghdad's chief pathologist pulls down the death toll for Iraq's capital in July: 1,083 murders, a new record.
Under Saddam Hussein, Baghdad was a violent city. But the highest murder rate before the war was 250 in one month. (By comparison, New York City with about 2 million more residents, had 572 murders in 2004, and a peak of 2,245 in 1990).
The month of June, with 870 murders, was the previous record in Baghdad. In a weary monotone, Dr. Bakr explains that 680 of the victims were shot, the rest "strangled, electrocuted, stabbed, killed by blunt trauma or burned to death." The totals don't include residents killed by Baghdad's frequent car-bombings.
While he won't discuss the religious background of the victims - citing the vulnerability of himself and his staff - Bakr says a growing number of victims show signs of "extreme torture" and arrive at the morgue in handcuffs or bound with the plastic ties used by the Iraqi military and police. "I wouldn't call it a civil war, but I would call it chronic instability," he says.
Though there has been extensive training and equipment programs for the new Iraqi army and police, few Iraqis seem to be putting much faith in them. While Sunnis complain that new forces are infiltrated by the militias of the major Shiite parties, even many Shiites prefer to rely on sectarian militias for their own protection.
LANCE THE DOPER?
Good perspective from Selena Roberts in the Times
. There's a lot of evidence now on the table and Armstrong sounds like every other cheater that's been caught.
How gullible have we been?
The problem for Armstrong isn't the French newspaper L'Équipe, which reported Tuesday that six urine samples he provided in 1999 tested positive for EPO, the endurance juice of choice in a habitually sullied sport.
The problem for Armstrong isn't the Tour de France director, Jean-Marie Leblanc, who told L'Équipe, "For the first time - and these are no longer rumors, or insinuations, these are proven scientific facts - someone has shown me that in 1999, Armstrong had a banned substance called EPO in his body."
Armstrong has vehemently denied ever using performance-enhancing drugs. His problem is distinguishing his refutation amid the sports culture of deception and lies.
Several years ago, Armstrong was linked to Michele Ferrari, an Italian sports doctor accused of doping, but that guilt by association faded after Lance chastised the conspiratorial minds.
Armstrong [was] also the subject of [a] recent tell-all book...[in it,] a former assistant, Emma O'Reilly, claimed that Armstrong had dispatched her to dispose of used syringes.
With every turn of the Tour de France, he took everyone along on a very special joy ride. But with every denial, Armstrong sounds a lot like everyone else.
THE PERILS OF BEING AN INSULATED PRESIDENT
One risks sounding delusional, or retarded, or both.Thursday, August 25, 2005
Fighters believed to be members of Saddam Hussein's former regime killed 13 Iraqi police, 27 civilians and an American security-force member in a concerted attack in a west Baghdad neighborhood, first luring police within range by slaughtering five members of an Iraqi household, Iraqi and U.S. officials said Thursday.Thursday, August 25, 2005
The Baghdad attack, in which witnesses said up to 40 masked insurgents armed with grenade-launchers and AK-47 assault rifles openly walked the streets, came late Wednesday, as political violence and sectarian tensions flared across Iraq on the eve of a decision on Iraq's new constitution.
Two days of sudden clashes between government-allied Shiite fighters and a rival Shiite militia subsided in the south of Iraq by midday Thursday, after appeals for calm by Prime Minister Ibrahim Jafari and militant Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr.
Despite more violence on Wednesday in Iraq, Mr. Bush said, "What's important is that the Iraqis are resolving these issues through debate and discussion, not at the barrel of a gun."
MYSPACE / FRIENDSTER WOES
Yeah, I'm on those crappers, and I've been getting a shitload of spammed messages from girls in Russia and Eastern Europe lately. It BLOWS.
As Salto is morbidly and conspicuously single, getting a message from a random might be the cause for at least a brief, tantalizing frisson of interest. Ain't it pathetic? Might rouse me from my normal motherfucking daily stupor, mostly consisting of watching my cat methodically chase and eat bugs and writing on this fucking bullshit page that no one reads.
But instead of getting real messages from the demon spawn of Steve Buscemi and Mama Cass, like I'm ACCUSTOMED TO, there's an improbable picture of a slutty Russian -- hence
and then this entertaining word soup:
My name is Anastasia, i am 27 years old, I live
in Russia, in the city of Kazan... I long time
search for the person with whom I could cast
in the lot... And unfortunately my searches did
not give results... Now I try to find the only
thing abroad... Your structure has very much
interested me and I very much want to get
acquainted with you!
If I have interested you write to me on e-mail:
But I want to warn at once, that I need in
serious relations and words are not
necessary for me simply...
I shall wait for your answer!;)
Fuck me with a chainsaw, I don't need this shit.
...well, at least my structure interested her.
MAIDEN / OSBOURNE SPLIT
All is not well in the metal world. Hold on to your hat
"I've seen IRON MAIDEN probably 10 times in my life, and frankly this was the very best IRON MAIDEN show I've had the pleasure of witnessing. You DON'T want to fuck with IRON MAIDEN. The more the Osbournes tried to fuck with them, the better they got! IRON MAIDEN was on fucking overdrive! Considering the amount of terrorizing and intimidation that IRON MAIDEN had to deal with at the hands of the Osbournes and the other side stage and main stage bands participating, they were the consummate professionals. They had the crowd in the palms of their hands, and IRON MAIDEN and Bruce Dickinson proved beyond a shadow of a doubt why they are the greatest metal band on earth right now, and quite possibly, the classiest, too.
"The Osbournes are drunk with power. Shame on them, and shame on ANY of the bands that participated in the terrorizing and intimidation. It was disgusting display, that NO BAND should have had to endure, but especially a legend like IRON MAIDEN. That fact that it happened in front of 40,000+ people, at a Clear Channel-sponsored event, while Hyundai Pavilion Security turned a blind eye and let the Osbourne camp pelt one of the main headlining bands with eggs, beer, and spit, was simply inexcusable.
Full account of the hijinx here
. Needs to be read in full to be believed. Meanwhile, this is the statement from the Osbourne camp
It all would be tragedy if, um, metal didn't fucking blow.
Witness George W. Bush stick his own thumb up his ass
The US is expected to pull significant numbers of troops out of Iraq in the next 12 months in spite of the continuing violence, according to the general responsible for near-term planning in the country.
Maj Gen Douglas Lute, director of operations at US Central Command, yesterday said the reductions were part of a push by Gen John Abizaid, commander of all US troops in the region, to put the burden of defending Iraq on Iraqi forces.
He denied the withdrawal was motivated by political pressure from Washington.
“You have to undercut the perception of occupation in Iraq. It's very difficult to do that when you have 150,000-plus, largely western, foreign troops occupying the cou“I will tell you this, as the operation officer of Centcom, if a year from now I've got to call on all those army troops that Gen Schoomaker is prepared to provide, I won't feel real good about myself,” he said. Gen George Casey, commander of allied forces in Iraq, made similar comments last month on reductions that could come by early next year but they were quickly played down by the White House.
George W. Bush, the US president, has said no decisions have been made on troop levels in 2006. “I think they were rumours. I think they're speculation,” he said at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, this month after meeting his national security team.
Yesterday, the president again insisted: “We will stay, we will fight and we will win the war on terror. An immediate withdrawal from Iraq or the greater Middle East would only embolden the terrorists.”
Scott McClellan, the White House spokesman, insisted that Mr Bush and his top generals remained united on the issue. “Any suggestion that there is disagreement between the President and our military commanders in Iraq is absurd,” he said.
Um, so who's right? The commanders in the field? Or our first CEO Commander-in-Chief?
It's sad. He's so insulated that you can just tell
that he absolutely believes everything he says. If everything comes down like a ton of bricks, he's gonna be so bewildered
(Let's hope everything doesn't come down like a ton of bricks.)
WHY I HATE LARRY KING
Check out the comments for more unbelievable stupidity.
(Pssst. This guy makes $14 million
Hugo Chavez offers cheap gas to poor Americans.It's just beautiful
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, popular with the poor at home, offered on Tuesday to help needy Americans with cheap supplies of gasoline.
"We want to sell gasoline and heating fuel directly to poor communities in the United States," the populist leader told reporters at the end of a visit to Communist-run Cuba.
Chavez did not say how Venezuela would go about providing gasoline to poor communities. Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA owns Citgo, which has 14,000 gas stations in the United States.
The offer may sound attractive to Americans feeling pinched by soaring prices at the pump but not to the U.S. government, which sees Chavez as a left-wing troublemaker in Latin America.
? I shall fuck with you
Gary Hart in the Post today
To stay silent during such a crisis, and particularly to harbor the thought that the administration's misfortune is the Democrats' fortune, is cowardly. In 2008 I want a leader who is willing now to say: "I made a mistake, and for my mistake I am going to Iraq and accompanying the next planeload of flag-draped coffins back to Dover Air Force Base. And I am going to ask forgiveness for my mistake from every parent who will talk to me."
Further, this leader should say: "I am now going to give a series of speeches across the country documenting how the administration did not tell the American people the truth, why this war is making our country more vulnerable and less secure, how we can drive a wedge between Iraqi insurgents and outside jihadists and leave Iraq for the Iraqis to govern, how we can repair the damage done to our military, what we and our allies can do to dry up the jihadists' swamp, and what dramatic steps we must take to become energy-secure and prevent Gulf Wars III, IV and so on."
The real defeatists today are not those protesting the war. The real defeatists are those in power and their silent supporters in the opposition party who are reduced to repeating "Stay the course" even when the course, whatever it now is, is light years away from the one originally undertaken. The truth is we're way off course. We've stumbled into a hornet's nest. We've weakened ourselves at home and in the world. We are less secure today than before this war began.
Who now has the courage to say this?
WHICH NUT SAID THIS?
Welcome back, my children! It's time for another wildly entertaining game of
WHICH NUT SAID THIS?
Anyone can play! Just read the quote below and guess which nut said it! It's simple! This particular nut is talking about the democratically elected President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez. Are you ready?
You know, I don't know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it. It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war. And I don't think any oil shipments will stop. But this man is a terrific danger and the United ... This is in our sphere of influence, so we can't let this happen. We have the Monroe Doctrine, we have other doctrines that we have announced. And without question, this is a dangerous enemy to our south, controlling a huge pool of oil, that could hurt us very badly. We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability. We don't need another $200 billion war to get rid of one, you know, strong-arm dictator. It's a whole lot easier to have some of the covert operatives do the job and then get it over with.
Yumlicious nuttery. The answer is here
Dumb teen: Hey, look at this! It says 'Train for jobs in beeyotch.'
Smarter teen: Fool! That word is biotech. Why you gotta be ignorant all your life?
I especially like the Mamet
Suit #1: Sounds like Bugsy Siegel.
Suit #2: Yeah.
Suit #1: You know who Bugsy Siegel is, right?
Suit #2: Sure, yeah.
Suit #1: You know who he is?
Suit #2: Yeah. Look—
Suit #1: You know who he is?
Suit #2: Yeah, yeah—
Suit #1: Who is he, then?
Suit #2: Who gives a shit?
R.I.P. BOB MOOG
Dr. Robert Moog, musical pioneer and inventor of the Moog synthesizer, died Sunday from a recently diagnosed brain tumor.
A note on his family's personal website reads: "On Aug 21, 2005 Bob Moog passed away. He was a gentle and humble man with a wonderful sense of humor and a brilliance that inspired millions around the world."
Moog was the recipient of a Grammy Trustees Award for lifetime achievement in 1970.
I love vintage keyboards and the Moogs were a biggie.
More on this as it comes out.MORE
: Remember, his last name rhymes with "vogue" or "rogue," hipsters. Come correct.STILL MORE
: The NYT obit
is excellent. And then there's this tidbit:
Mr. Moog was born in New York City on May 23, 1934, and although he studied the piano while he was growing up in Flushing, Queens, his real interest was physics. He attended the Bronx High School of Science, and earned undergraduate degrees in physics from Queens College and electrical engineering from Columbia University.
Bronx Science! I taught there, yo.
Until recently, LaChania Govan's complaints about Comcast's service seemed relatively tame. The 25-year-old Elgin mother of two said she was put on hold, disconnected, even transferred to the Spanish language line.
But after persistent problems with her digital recording system forced her to make dozens of calls to the cable company in July, her August bill came with a change really worth complaining about: In place of her name were the words "Bitch Dog."
"I could not believe it," said Govan, who works in customer service for a credit card company.
She said she immediately called Comcast to cancel her service and was sent to an operator.
"She asked me for my name. I said, `You really don't want me to go there,'" Govan said.
Read the whole thing.
[via Steve G
Don't miss Dowd today
I'LL SEE YOUR DUKES, AND RAISE YOU A MOONRUNNER
Not like I will ever
see the movie, but this
was mildly interesting:
Acccording to MTV.com, "The Dukes of Hazzard" made more than $30.5 million last weekend, placing it in the number one spot. However, the intellectual property debacle behind the scenes has been less publicized by the studio.
As you probably know, the movie was based on a popular television show from the 1970s. What you may not know is that the television show was based on a little known 1974 movie, Moonrunners. Warner Brothers attained the rights to make the movie into a television series in 1978. According to a lawsuit earlier this year, the movie rights remained with the producer of the original movie. In fact, a preliminary injunction ordered Warner Brothers to cease marketing and postpone the release until the issue was resolved. Since Warner had already spent $53 million making the movie and had started the $30 million advertising push, settlement was definitely an option.
In the end, the copyright holder obtained $17.5 million for the rights to a movie that nobody has seen. Of course, if I come upon Moonrunners in the future, you can bet I'll watch now.
Is this where I mention Jessica Simpson's freakishly mannish
Why yes. Yes it is.
I'll give you a hint: the number could be close to 130.
MORE HARASSMENT IN CRAWFORD
2ND AMENDMENT FUNNIES
I'm kinda pro-gun, myself. Weird, huh?
President Bush might have made his peace with the antiwar encampment outside his Texas ranch, but his next-door neighbor has taken up arms.
The incident occurred Sunday morning as activists gathered for a prayer service in the tent village set up by Cindy Sheehan, whose son Casey was killed in Iraq and who is demanding a meeting with Bush to discuss the war.
On the other side of Prairie Chapel Road, Larry Mattlage hopped into his pickup, barreled across his pasture and pulled up to a fence within a few hundred feet of the protesters. He climbed out of the cab, retrieved a shotgun from the back and fired at least one blast into the air.
Mattlage insisted he was shooting at birds. But he said the activists had worn out their welcome, and he wanted them to go away.
"I done made my case. It's over," he said as he shooed away a reporter from the gated entrance to his ranch.
At times, our side should be certain to also be packin'
Yeah, I know I'm so 2003. But it's up and to the right. So add me to yr newsreaders.
HEY JENNA, YOUR FATHER'S A DOUCHEBAG
Christopher Walken is apparently running for President in 2008.
Here's his campaign website
Is this a joke?I'd love watching him debate
However, World Net Daily suspects that it's an "elaborate hoax being perpetrated by members" of the anarchic General Mayhem message boards -- and reports that the site was registered on 8/10 by someone named Richard Strickland of Destin, FL. After Sheehan, "Christopher Walken" was the #2 search on Technorati this a.m.
Days after Arnold Schwarzenegger jumped into the race for governor and girded for questions about his past, a tabloid publisher wooing him for a business deal promised to pay a woman $20,000 to sign a confidentiality agreement about an alleged affair with the candidate.
American Media Inc., which publishes the National Enquirer, signed a friend of the woman to a similar contract about the alleged relationship for $1,000.
American Media’s contract with Gigi Goyette of Malibu is dated Aug. 8, 2003, two days after Schwarzenegger announced his candidacy on a late-night talk show. Under the agreement, Goyette must disclose to no one but American Media any information about her “interactions” with Schwarzenegger.
There's a lot more.
A tabloid burying a tabloidy story to get this fucker elected. Cute.
There's a lot to read here
She's a hero.
MORE: Read Digby
IT'S GETTING TO BE THAT TIME
Nuremberg 1934, that is.
The line between parody and reality has already been blurred; haven't you seen people return to prescient Onion headlines
? Now read this shit
The Pentagon would hold a massive march and country music concert to mark the fourth anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks, US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said in an announcement tucked into an Iraq war briefing today.
"This year the Department of Defence will initiate an America Supports Your Freedom Walk," Rumsfeld said, adding that the march would remind people of "the sacrifices of this generation and of each previous generation".
The march will start at the Pentagon, where nearly 200 people died on September 11, 2001, and end at the National Mall with a show by country star Clint Black.
Word of the event startled some observers.
"I've never heard of such a thing," said John Pike, who has been a defence analyst in Washington for 25 years and runs GlobalSecurity.org.
I mean, seriously. Are you FUCKING KIDDING ME?!
Incidentally, here's a "Clint Black" album cover that cannot fail to annoy:
Go read Steve's coverage
of the whole thing. It's just sick. I want to break windows.
It's a well-worn gimmick to bamboozle the rubes: boasting about things one ought to be ashamed of.
But even by flim-flam standards, this is an egregious, bloated obscenity.
I spilled hot tea on my lap and burnt myself.
Nothing to see here; move along, please.
Honestly, this blind defense of Palmiero has little to do with loyalty. It's about Bush's faith based approach to everything. If he believes it, it must be true. He does not use reason to come to conclusions. He makes decisions based on feelings and beliefs and "instinct." In this case, his instinct is that Palmiero is a good guy and therefore could not have lied. His "instinct" is that creationism makes sense and therefore, is as legitimate as evolution. His "instinct" was that Saddam was a threat and therefore, we had to invade.
We have a man with a child's mind running this country. Millions of us can see this as clearly as we can see his face on our television screens. People can call me an elitist and a snob for pointing this out but I will never stop. It's like telling me it's rude to notice that the sun came up this morning or that gravity exists. It is observable fact that this president is intellectually stunted. I'm not going to pretend otherwise so that certain people's feelings don't get hurt. I'll lose my mind.
I'm feeling neglected.
Will the few troubled souls who still read this page leave a comment now, please?
a/s/l will be enough.
I HAVE A THOUSAND YEARS OF POWER
Watch Bob Novak storm off of a CNN set here
then watch Jon Stewart almost wet himself with glee
I <3 downloadable video!
If you're interested in freakish right-wing faux-journalist Bob Novak, this is a fine article
to curl up with.
THEY HATE SID
READ TAIBBI WEEKLY
He's worth bookmarking
In recent years it has been fashionable to compare these current Republicans with the Nazis and other totalitarian monsters. I've tended to resist those comparisons, but we've reached a point where it's looking more and more appropriate to describe the neoconservative attitude toward the rule of law as having many things in common with those other revolutionaries. These neocons may not have the authoritarian bent of the German fascists or the Russian communists. They're far more interested in stealing and deregulating than in controlling, censoring and governing. But it is more and more clear that, like these other notorious movements, they view adherence to rules and to the law as a failure of will and a political weakness.
GOOD MOVIE ALERT
Opening soon:The Aristocrats
) and Broken Flowers