From Scout: There were 5339 words in the SOTU address. 93 words were devoted to Hurricane Katrina. That is 93 words of the address devoted to the worst natural disaster in our time. That is 93 words for the 1.9 million Americans presently displaced by Katrina. That is 93 words devoted to the loss of a great American city. That is 93 words devoted to the destruction of a region of America. That is 93 words for the families of the 1329 Katrina dead Shame on George W Bush! Update: Sen. Landrieu puts the word count at 152 which I … Continue reading Gulf Coast Abandoned Tonight
… or you could go here and learn everything you need to know about the State of the Union. Should I hate a people for the shade of their skin Or the shape of their eyes or the shape I’m in Should I hate ’em for having our jobs today No I hate the men sent the jobs away I can see them all now, they haunt my dreams All lily white and squeaky clean They’ve never known want, they’ll never know need Their sh@# don’t stink and their kids won’t bleed Their kids won’t bleed in the da$% little … Continue reading You Could Throw A Banana To The Chimp …
No, not the New York Rangers. I’m pleased to announce an addition to our stable (heh) of bloggers here at First Draft. Recent guestblogger and kickass blogger at her own place Scout Prime will be joining us on a full-time basis beginning tomorrow. We proposed, she accepted (I think she’d been drinking, but I’m not going to question our good fortune), the marriage will be consummated immediately. The blog marriage. You know what I meant, you sickos. I wanted to let you all know because I know how scared you get when we move the furniture around. Don’t worry, the … Continue reading Big Doings We’ve Got Here In Mystery
From Holden: Paulie Spitcomb brought the Bush Assministration personel policies with him to his new job. In the latest example of simmering tensions between Mr Wolfowitz and some members of the bank’s staff, a complaint to the bank’s whistleblower hotline this month raised questions about what it alleged were excessive pay and open-ended contracts for Robin Cleveland and Kevin Kellems, previously colleagues of Mr Wolfowitz in the administration of George W. Bush, who came to the bank with him. The complaint also questioned the terms on which Karl Jackson was retained as a consultant. Mr Jackson worked with Mr Wolfowitz … Continue reading Putting the Neocon Stamp on the World Bank
From Holden: Lauwa stamps her feet and wrinlkles her nose, January 15, 2006: So I really — I’m always a little bit irritated when I hear the criticism of abstinence, because abstinence is absolutely 100 percent effective in eradicating a sexually transmitted disease. Perhaps Laura should penetrate the Xanax haze long enough to look to her own family before preaching to the rest of us. FUN-loving First Twins Barbara and Jenna Bush were spotted dancing on tables at a boozy “Broken Resolutions”-themed soiree at D.C. hot spot Play the other night. The Grey Goose vodka-sponsored blowout featured “cigarette girls passing … Continue reading Preaching to the Proles
From Holden: A full 47% of Iraqis approve of attacks on American forces, partially because 80% believe we intend to never leave. A new poll found that nearly half of Iraqis approve of attacks on U.S.-led forces, and most favor setting a timetable for American troops to leave. The poll also found that 80 percent of Iraqis think the United States plans to maintain permanent bases in the country even if the newly elected Iraqi government asks American forces to leave. Researchers found a link between support for attacks and the belief among Iraqis that the United States intends to … Continue reading Something You Won’t Hear Chimpy Mention Tonight
From Holden: Abu Al has some (here comes the cliche) ‘splainin’ to do. Sen. Russell Feingold (D-Wis.) charged yesterday that Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales misled the Senate during his confirmation hearing a year ago when he appeared to try to avoid answering a question about whether the president could authorize warrantless wiretapping of U.S. citizens. In a letter to the attorney general yesterday, Feingold demanded to know why Gonzales dismissed the senator’s question about warrantless eavesdropping as a “hypothetical situation” during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in January 2005. At the hearing, Feingold asked Gonzales where the president’s authority … Continue reading Perjury
God, I love this guy: In his righteous fury, R. Cort Kirkwood [letter below] completely misses my point. So I’ll try again: What Hugh Hewitt and his fellow critics of the mainstream media don’t get is that for 99 percent of the work in daily journalism, a reporter’s personal political views don’t matter a whit. Is there a liberal or conservative way to cover night cops? Sewer boards? High school football? I have no doubt that conservative journalists (and I know a few, and have been considered one on occasion) would cover the overwhelming bulk of their beats just as … Continue reading Okay, Next Crisis
Hecate: Once, when I was doing chemotherapy, had just been abandoned by my lover of twenty-some years, and was about as sorry for myself as it was possible to feel, I was sitting in a restaurant trying to make myself eat something. I called for the check and the waitress said, “A man saw you sitting in the window, came in and paid for your meal. He left this.” It was a tiny, dirty scrap of paper, torn off of an envelope and it said: “Believe.” A. Continue reading Still Here
From Holden: Dammit, Scottie gets all snitified when you throw the Chimpster’s words back at him in the gaggle. Tone Deaf Q Let me ask you a question about elevating the tone, because, obviously, a lot of Americans are familiar with this talk from the President, even though it didn’t really come to pass after he was elected in 2000. The President has talked a lot recently about, in essence, trying to set the terms for how his critics should disagree with him on Iraq, what the responsible way is to do it and what the irresponsible way is to … Continue reading Today on Holden’s Obsession with the Gaggle
First of all, I’ve been screaming about hitting them with the chair for so long, you don’t need to read an open letter to Obama telling him to stop deploring the uncivil tone of politics and realize he is, in fact, a politician and should either do the job with all its indignities or, if he truly considers it beneath him, get the fuck out. (And just between him and me, when you win the race he won in 2004, I can see where you think all it takes is statesmanship and decency to beat the GOP. What he doesn’t … Continue reading A Series of Post-Cloture Thoughts
From Holden: How can anyone call the reaction of Bush’s FEMA to Katrina mere incompetnece? More heads should roll for this, Brownie did not fuck FEMA up on his own. Federal emergency officials failed to accept offers of possibly life-saving aid from the Department of Interior immediately after Hurricane Katrina, according to documents obtained by CNN. The Interior Department offered the Federal Emergency Management Agency the use of personnel who were experienced in water rescues and also offered boats, helicopters, heavy equipment and rooms, the documents say. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, chairwoman of a Senate committee with jurisdiction over the … Continue reading Crossing From Negligence to Criminality
From Holden: While the idle Bush twins continue to loll around America, doing the butt dance, table dancing at parties where condoms replace condiments, and hob-nobbing with cocaine dealers, 50,000 Americans have been forced to remain in the military past the terms of their commitments. The U.S. Army has forced about 50,000 soldiers to continue serving after their voluntary stints ended under a policy called “stop-loss,” but while some dispute its fairness, court challenges have fallen flat. [snip] “As the war in Iraq drags on, the Army is accumulating a collection of problems that cumulatively could call into question the … Continue reading Support Our Troops!
From Holden: With an Assministration formed almost exclusively of former oil industry executives who could have anticipated that the big oil companies would do so well? Chevron Corp. on Friday reported the highest quarterly and annual profits in its 126-year history, refocusing attention on the high fuel prices that have enriched the oil company’s shareholders and exasperated consumers paying more to fill their gasoline tanks and heat their homes. The San Ramon, Calif.-based company’s fourth-quarter earnings rose 20 percent to $4.14 billion, the most it has made in any three-month period since its inception in 1879. The performance topped the … Continue reading Who’da Thunk It?
Quoth Jack Shafer to newspaper execs: But instead of improving their product by deploying technology bloggers can’t afford (yet), newspapers are devolving. Many are cutting staff. Daily newspapers are growing smaller and uglier, with no paper looking anywhere near as lovely as Joseph Pulitzer’s New York World from the late 1800s. Comic strips have gotten so tiny you need a magnifying glass to read them. I’m fine with newspapers cutting back on stock tables, but they aren’t adding something new to the package. Most newspapers claim they’ve shrunk their dimensions to combat steep increases in newsprint prices, but that’s a … Continue reading Stand Up Straight And Quit Whining
Imagine how many schools we could have painted: Dryly written audit reports describe the Coalition Provisional Authority’s offices in the south-central city of Hillah being awash in bricks of $100 bills taken from a central vault without documentation. It describes one agent who kept almost $700,000 in cash in an unlocked footlocker and mentions a U.S. soldier who gambled away as much as $60,000 in reconstruction funds in the Philippines.[snip] Negligence proved deadly in at least one case. Three Iraqis plummeted to their deaths in an elevator in the Hillah General Hospital that was certified to have been replaced by … Continue reading Why They Hate Us, Vol. 697
They’re dancing about this tonight: By 51 percent to 37 percent, Americans said they trust the Democrats more than the Republicans with the main problems facing the country over the next few years, the first time since spring 1992 that Democrats have gained more than 50 percent support on that question. But tomorrow morning’s gonna dawn cold and wet, and here’s why. People are gonna say they like Democrats now, but I have to tell you, this all has the flavor of late 2004 and maybe I’m a bitter jilted John Kerry ex who’s still in her wedding dress and … Continue reading Wild Pessimism
Wow. I came back and there’s still stupid all over the place. I would have hoped somebody could have cleaned it up before I came back but no, we’re still sitting here, hip-deep in bullshit, telling the guy with the shovel that he’s making us look bad. Steve, as usual with the apt metaphor: If you owned a football team and the coach didn’t change his gameplan after several losing seasons would you not fire him? This whole conversation is irritating and here’s why. It’s a way of discounting people’s opinions. You see this in the bloggers v. Howell mess, … Continue reading What Is It Going To Take?
We’re happy to see you, too, Joe. A. Continue reading Friday, er, Sunday Ferretblogging
Some boypretty, for once, for those of you who like that sort of thing. Spoilers for this week’s intallment of
a crap soap opera the best show on TV lurk herein.
It’s no secret that the new Part D drug plans are a series of, as we in the military used to say, Romeo Charlie Foxtrots. But there was one remaining question — what was it that made this plan so appealing to Dear Leader & Cabal, Inc.? California Congressman Henry Waxman — you remember him, he’s the guy who started the look into Big Tobacco nearly a generation ago — has it figured out. As usual with Bu$hco, it’s all about the money. Medicaid didn’t pay enough for the drugs it bought, and Medicare was a big enough buyer to … Continue reading That California Congressman’s onto something!!
So here’s a piece of advice. When a guy loading your ass onto a ferry from Cozumel to Playa del Carmen tells you the ride might be “a little rocky,” consider the difference between what “a little rocky” means to you, a dumb landlocked American, and what it means to him, a man who makes his living from the sea. Understanding that distinction will save you, I say from bitter experience, about three and a half barf bags. What I mean by that is, God, am I ever glad to be back on dry land and in regular communication with … Continue reading 104 Spam Mails, Four Boats, Two Planes and a Long Car Ride Later
… Palestinian elections didn’t deliver what Bush wanted. Check out the Washington Post story about Hamas’s gains vs. W’s policies. Continue reading Even the Washington papers have noticed …
From Holden: Temperatures here in Central Texas have hovered around the 70 degree mark most days this winter. What I don’t understand about the Bushies and their loyal disciples is what world do they think they will inhabit in the future? It’s patently obvious that our climate is changing, and no reasonable, peer-reviewed study has shown otherwise. Why do they deny climate change is occurring, and why do they censor those who speak out? I think they do this because they are simply incapable of admitting they are wrong. They’ve nutured a deep hatred for environmentalists since the 1970s, and … Continue reading My 70 Degree Winter
I won’t link to CNN, but I did find this there today: There have been 2,438 coalition deaths, 2,238 Americans, one Australian, 98 Britons, 13 Bulgarians, two Danes, two Dutch, two Estonians, one Hungarian, 26 Italians, one Kazakh, one Latvian, 17 Poles, two Salvadoran, three Slovaks, 11 Spaniards, two Thai and 18 Ukrainians in the war in Iraq as of January 26, 2006, according to a CNN count. At least 16,548 U.S. troops have been wounded in action, according to the Pentagon. Today tastes of melancholy. Maybe it’s because we’re so close to the loss of 2,500 coalition troops in … Continue reading Heroes …
From Holden: Ah, someone asked a question that’s been on my mind since the Palestinian election results rolled in yesterday: Chimpy keeps babbling that “democracies yield the peace” and that “History has proven that democracies are peaceful — yield the peaceful countries.” So how does he (or during the gaggle, Little Scottie) reconcile that strange notion with the fact that in some instances democracies choose as their leaders people who are war-like and violent (as this country is said to have done in 2004)? Watch Scottie squirm with that one. Q How can you describe a belief that the Palestinian … Continue reading Today on Holden’s Obsession with the Gaggle
From Holden: Transamerica strikes again. Conservative commentator Ann Coulter, speaking at a traditionally black college, joked that Justice John Paul Stevens should be poisoned. Coulter had told the Philander Smith College audience Thursday that more conservative justices were needed on the Supreme Court to change the current law on abortion. Stevens is one of the court’s most liberal members. “We need somebody to put rat poisoning in Justice Stevens’ creme brulee,” Coulter said. “That’s just a joke, for you in the media.” [snip] At one point during her address, which was part of a lecture series, some audience members booed … Continue reading Civility
From Holden: It’s a good thing that Chimpy doesn’t read polls, because the latest from CNN/USA Today/Gallup is enough to make him cry. Fifty-two percent of adults said Bush’s administration since 2001 has been a failure, down from 55 percent in October. Fifty- eight percent described his second term as a failure. At the same point in former President Bill Clinton’s presidency, 70 percent of those surveyed by Gallup said they considered it a success and 20 percent a failure. In a poll conducted in January of 2002, after Bush was president for one year, 83 percent of those surveyed … Continue reading Miserable Failure
From Holden: Earlier this month I noted that… Late last month [December 2005], for the first time in five years, yields were higher on U.S. Treasury bonds maturing in two years vs. similar investments due 10 years from now. That’s a noteworthy reversal of the market norm called an “inverted yield curve” by Wall Street types. This market rarity could signal that a recession is around the bend. [emphasis mine] And today we learn that our Gross Domestic Product increased at the surprisingly anemic rate of 1.1% during the fourth quarter of 2005, the economy’s wors showing since the fourth … Continue reading Buddy, Can You Spare A Bush Boom?
From Holden: Would Chimpy spike a reasonable, cost-efficient, locally popular plan for rebuilding New Orleans in order to further enrich his fat cat cronies? Continue reading You Betcher Ass He Would