Today on Holden’s Obsession with the Gaggle

From Holden: While shopping for a card for my wife’s birthday I was struck by the number of “Stupid Bush”-themed cards. For instance, one had a photo of Bush holding up three fingers on the outside with the caption, “I have three words for you on your birthday.” Then on the inside of the card it said, “Happy Birthday.” Well, during today’s gaggle Ken Herman of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution got in on the act: Q Is it true the President thinks the American Legion is the one with the designated hitter? (Laughter.) Continue reading Today on Holden’s Obsession with the Gaggle

Losing Bush’s War

Krugman in today’s NYTimes: “Ever since the uprising in April, the Iraqi town of Fallujah has in effect been a small, nasty Islamic republic. But what about the rest of the Sunni Triangle? Last month a Knight-Ridder report suggested that U.S. forces were effectively ceding many urban areas to insurgents. Last Sunday The Times confirmed that while the world’s attention was focused in Najaf, western Iraq fell firmly under rebel control… [snip] Other towns, like Samarra, have also fallen. Attacks on oil pipelines are proliferating. And we’re still playing whack-a-mole with Moqtada al-Sadr: his Mahdi Army has left Najaf, but … Continue reading Losing Bush’s War

What It’s Really All About

In case any of you still labored under the false impression that Republcans were concerned about fighting terrorism instead of fighting Democrats, here’s an illustrative little moment via the NYT: The terrorists were booed, and so was Senator John Kerry, but the loudest scorn in the convention hall Monday night was reserved for the filmmaker Michael Moore. Senator John McCain, speaking from the podium, mentioned “a disingenuous filmmaker,” an obvious reference to Mr. Moore, whose film, “Fahrenheit 9/11,” was a scathing attack on President Bush. Mr. Moore just happened to be sitting in the hall, having found his way into … Continue reading What It’s Really All About

Hell Yeah

Via Theoria at Kos. Use this thread to discuss the speeches tonight if you want. But don’t be discouraged. Don’t give up. Keep fighting, no matter how weak or small you might feel. Speak up with whatever voice you have. Even if it’s a marker scrawled on a paper bag, or a light so small you think only you can see it. You never know who your actions influence. You never know where your work ends. Speak now. A. Continue reading Hell Yeah

Today on Holden’s Obsession with the Gaggle

From Holden: Poor Little Scottie, once again he has to clean up after the boss. Bush this morning: Earlier in the day, in an interview on NBC-TV’s “Today” show that was broadcast to coincide with the start of the Republican National Convention in New York, Bush was asked “Can we win?” the war on terror. “I don’t think you can win it,” he responded. “But I think you can create conditions so that those who use terror as a tool are less acceptable in parts of the world.” Uh-oh, Scottie, time to back-pedal: Q Do you want to expand at … Continue reading Today on Holden’s Obsession with the Gaggle


If people want to get an idea of what it’s like to live in my city, check these blogs out. This is what we do in Chicago. We bitch about the traffic and we bitch about the weather. The weather here is 10 minutes on the news, at least. That’s if there isn’t a “Stormwatch SuperTurboDoppler 2004 OMIGODWE’REALLGONNADIE!!!” going on. We are very serious about our weather. I had friends in from England once who arrived at my house for dinner perplexed. They had just seen the local news. “There was a whole story about how a window blew out … Continue reading Diverting


From Holden: They cannot exist together. The NY Times provides the matter: [Pfc. Lyndie] England has said she and other guards were told to “soften up” prisoners for interrogations. But several witnesses denied any such orders were given. They testified instead that the abuse depicted in the photographs — men tethered to leashes, forced to simulate homosexual acts and piled in nude pyramids — was more for sport or revenge. While WaPo provides the anti-matter: Under pressure to extract more information from the prisoners — to “go beyond” what Army interrogation rules allowed, as an Army general later put it … Continue reading Matter/Anti-Matter

Ain’t She Sweet?

Howie sucks off Laura Ingraham: Ingraham (pronounced IN-gram) is on her third or fourth career by now. First female editor of the Dartmouth Review. Reagan administration speechwriter. Clerk for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Criminal defense lawyer for Skadden, Arps. In the late ’90s she became a CBS commentator, hosted the program “Watch It!” on MSNBC and wrote books (including “The Hillary Trap”) before getting behind the radio mike. What’s striking about Ingraham’s 9 a.m. program is how she seamlessly mixes politics and pop culture, talks about her dog and her search for a husband, and leavens it with what … Continue reading Ain’t She Sweet?

“On bicycles, on foot, and some with their children in tow…”

link here. “On bicycles, on foot, and some with their children in tow, hundreds of thousands of people moved through areas of Manhattan today in rallies or mass demonstrations, carrying messages against war and the Bush administration. In the largest demonstration ever at a political convention, people swarmed through the midtown area of Manhattan in a march organized by United for Peace and Justice, passing by Madison Square Garden…At the height of the march, it took more than an hour to move one block. I am so proud to be an American today. Yesterday, Americans showed up and made it … Continue reading “On bicycles, on foot, and some with their children in tow…”

So Much For That Oil Revenue

I guess the oil fields were insufficiently “liberated.” Oil exports from southern Iraq have come to a complete halt because of attacks on pipelines and are not likely to resume for at least a week, a senior Iraqi oil official said Monday. Oil flows out of the southern pipelines which account for 90 percent of Iraq’s exports ceased late Sunday, an official from South Oil Co. said on condition of anonymity. “Oil exports from the port of Basra have completely stopped since last night,” said the official. He added that exports were not likely to resume for at least one … Continue reading So Much For That Oil Revenue

Bush: We Can’t Win

Well, this should help with that “steady leadership in times of change” image: Bush: ‘War on terror cannot be won’ � President George Bush has acknowledged that he does not think the war on terror can be won, but said it would make it less acceptable for groups to use terrorism as a tool. In a US TV interview, Bush, who has said he expects the war on terror to be a long, drawn-out battle, was asked: “Can we win it?” The president replied: “I don’t think you can win it. But I think you can create conditions so that … Continue reading Bush: We Can’t Win

Something To Do

Why I’m here. Freedom from fear also demands that our liberties and our sense of trust at home be safeguarded. Two hundred and two Septembers after the creation of our Bill of Rights, Attorney General John Ashcroft drafted a document that has eroded our Constitutional rights and broken down the mutual trust between the American people and their government — and between Americans and each other — by making suspects out of all of us. That is not the act of a patriot. A true Patriot Act is not born out of fear, but out of trust; it is not … Continue reading Something To Do

We Want More Than The Wars Of Our Fathers

Sometimes you just have to see it. A lot of people counseled the protesters to stay home. I’m personally glad they didn’t. In times like these, you shout with whatever voice you have. And this is why: The Pentagon says 969 Americans have died in action, including 831 since Bush stood on an aircraft carrier more than a year ago before a banner that read “Mission Accomplished.” There are going to be parts of this week that will be discouraging. It might feel, for a while, as if those of us who are dismayed at the direction our country has … Continue reading We Want More Than The Wars Of Our Fathers

“A Failure of Accountability”

As long as we’re discussing what is motivating those of us who oppose this administration, (per Athenae’s post, below,) perhaps this will make it clearer to those who profess not to understand why we are so motivated. link “Only a fews years ago, it seemed the slightest suggestion of malfeasance by a persidential administration–allegations of tampering with a minor administrative official, say, or indications that a cabinet secretary might have understated the amount of money given to a former girlfriend–could trigger a response from the other two branches of government: grand juries, special prosecutors, endless congressional hearings, even impeachment proceedings. … Continue reading “A Failure of Accountability”

It’s The Lies, Stupid

The San Fran Chronicle takes up the “Bush Hatred” idea. Bush has also driven many detractors to the brink of rage, where the very sound of his voice or the sight of his face on television prompts an intense, gut-level reaction. “There are occasionally politicians who are galling to a certain segment of the public,” said Loyola Marymount Professor Michael Genovese, co-author of “Polls and Politics: The Dilemmas of Democracy.” “There is something about their personality, their style, their approach and what they are that brings out contempt in their opponents,” Genovese said. “And more than any politician in my … Continue reading It’s The Lies, Stupid

How To Please Your May-Unn

I really need to make a category on this site for posts along the lines of “What the fucking fuck?”. You know, I’ve been married six years now to the love of my life, and I just never realized what our relationship was missing all this time. Excerpts: I don’t care what he says…he wants your hair long. Quit chopping it off into a cut you see in a magazine on Hallie [sic] Berry. She would look better with long hair too. “Cute” is not a compliment…if he says your hair is “cute” it means he can’t think of anything … Continue reading How To Please Your May-Unn

Plus ca change, and all that

link Najaf, Iraq (Agence France Press) – Iraqi policemen rounded up dozens of journalists at gunpoint in a Najaf hotel and took them to police headquarters before later releasing them, an APF correspondent said. The story goes on to say that the chief of police, Ghaleb al-Jezari, told the reporters he had had them brought to police headquarters because they don’t publish the truth, as he sees it, anyway. Progress in Iraq, the middle east’s newest democracy. Yup; uh huh. Continue reading Plus ca change, and all that

I Want Your Resignation On My Desk By 5 p.m.

Excuse me, Mr. Feith? You might not remember me. We haven’t talked in a while. I’m your boss. I pay your salary with a portion of what I work 50-60 hours a week to earn. The man whose election was partially paid for by my tax dollars hired the man who hired you; nonetheless, since I sign your checks, I consider myself your supervisor. Like everyone else who works for me, you got a certain amount of slack at first. Some projects you worked on seemed to go well for a while. And the events which you weathered at the … Continue reading I Want Your Resignation On My Desk By 5 p.m.

Kitty Meets The Real World

Kathryn Lopez chewed through the leather straps this morning, got out of bed and discovered people! On the street! Expressing their opinions of her preznit! Heavens to Betsy, Maude, have the housemaid bring the smelling salts. Around 7, a woman on the downtown side of 34th street, outside of a sport bar stopped in her tracks, looking at the police-state look of the Garden-surrounding streets, the condensed traffic lanes, and said, for anyone who cared to listen, “F*** Bush. You hear what I’m saying?” Yup. Two guys nodded. But this wasn’t even an ANYBODY BUT BUSH moment, necessarily. It was … Continue reading Kitty Meets The Real World

Political street art in NYC

I got this email today: We are emailing certain bloggers to let them know about a street art project happening during the Republican National Convention. Since the authorities quickly remove political posters and activist stencils, we plan to use to document unprecedented levels of political street art. Signed: Ryan, editor of StreetMemes. Examples already up can be found: here here and here Continue reading Political street art in NYC

Feith Aide Spied for Israel

From Holden: Ya gotta hand it to Doug Feith, he does not discriminate between spies for Iran and spies for Israel. He likes them both. The FBI is investigating whether an aide to the Pentagon’s No. 3 official acted as a spy for Israel, giving the Jewish state classified materials about secret White House deliberations on Iran, two federal law enforcement officials said Friday. [snip] The officials refused to identify the Pentagon employee who is under investigation, but said the person works in the office of Douglas J. Feith, the undersecretary of defense for policy at the Pentagon. Feith is … Continue reading Feith Aide Spied for Israel

A Great Record — For Me to Poop On

From Holden: I’m channeling Triumph the Insult Comic Dog after reading the new 19-chapter President Bush’s Record of Achievement at the White House web site. Some lowlights: The Introduction, which summarizes the achievements of a “first term [that] has been among the most consequential and successful in modern times”, fails to mention Iraq (kinda like the official Cheney bio that doesn’t mention Halliburton). There is actually a chapter called Promoting Peace and Democracy – and Acts of Mercy Iraqi WMD, or any Iraqi threat to America, received no mention. The chapter entitled The Condition of America seems to be leftover … Continue reading A Great Record — For Me to Poop On

Your Republican terrorists at work

link. Police have confirmed that an explosion that blew out the windows of a Boston area lab that specializes in stem cell research was caused by a pipe bomb. I don’t think it is an overstatement to say that the president has created a climate of intensifying division and conflict in this country by exploiting the religious convictions of the fundamentalist christians in his base. I often wonder if Bush himself really has the deep christian convictions that he claims he does. But whether he does or not, by his words and his actions he has given a certain amount … Continue reading Your Republican terrorists at work

Inside The Imam Ali Shrine

Just to make sure, you’re all reading Christopher Allbritton, right? I was on the roof trying to get my BGan to connect when Najaf’s finest burst onto the roof with a Kalashnikov and order me and the other journalists down to the lobby. The cops had raided the hotel and forced all the journalists out onto the street. We were terrified. The cops yelled at us and pointed their weapons toward us. Several large trucks were waiting and knew we would be loaded onto them. Then they started shooting. “Yella, yella” they ordered us. BANG BANG! They fired their weapons … Continue reading Inside The Imam Ali Shrine

The Whore’s Price

Attention NYC bloggers. I want photographs of any reporter, correspondent, photographer or “pundit” who visits this. Besides an army of antiwar and anti-Bush activists, New York’s Republican National Convention is ready to greet you, directly across from Madison Square Garden, with a full city block of indoor media workspace, gourmet prepared-to-order edibles, and dozens of permanent bathrooms. And if that’s not enough, there’s the complimentary day spa, which will offer free massages, facials, manicures and shoe shines. Oh, did we mention the complementary cold beer? I’m not surprised they’d offer the spa. But I’d be appalled if anyone took advantage. … Continue reading The Whore’s Price

President Clueless

From Holden: The New York Times’ David E. Sanger and Elisabeth Bumiller briefly interviewed Dubya on the campaign trail yesterday. Let others blog about his belief that John Kerry is telling the truth about his Vietnam experiences while stubbornly refusing to denounce the Swift Boat Liars, or his grudging admission that he miscalculated on the aftermath of invading Iraq. I’m struck once again by his totaly lack of a clue. First, the setting: Mr. Bush conducted the interview in an unusual setting: A cinderblock dressing room, outfitted with a conference table and leather reclining chairs, accessible only by walking through … Continue reading President Clueless

I Just Put My Bush Boom on a Milk Carton

From Holden: Second Quarter GDP slips to 2.8%: The U.S. economy, struggling under the weight of a bloated trade deficit, grew at a relatively modest 2.8 percent annual rate in the second quarter, a slower pace of expansion than previously thought. The new reading on gross domestic product (GDP) issued by the Commerce Department Friday furnished fresh evidence that the business recovery hit a rut in the spring and early summer. The growth rate was weaker than the 3 percent figure first estimated a month ago and showed that the economy, which had been moving along at a decent clip, … Continue reading I Just Put My Bush Boom on a Milk Carton