Wingnut Pathology

Mash catches Nepotism Hire in a moment of particularly egregious stupidity:

But Jill Carroll is increasingly starting to bug me. The details are still murky and it’s hard to appreciate what she’s been through. And maybe JPod’s right about Stockholm syndrome. And maybe the media’s selectively choosing what to show of her statements. But it would be nice to hear her say something remotely critical of her captors, particularly about the fact that they murdered her translator in cold blood. I’m very glad she’s alive, but I’m getting a very bad vibe. More, no doubt, to come.

And you know, what I find really interesting here is that Jonah really does seem to think that the point of Jill Carroll’s release is his dilemma over how to feel about it.

I knew from an unfortunately necessary familiarity with his work that Jonah cherishes opportunities to show that he has a more elevated sensibility than the rest of us. It takes a man’s man, after all, to joke about hurricane victims as the hurricane is hitting them.

Continue reading “Wingnut Pathology”

‘absolute lunacy’

CJR schools McGuirk & his wingnut friends. The most egregious form this jumping to conclusions took was on the Don Imus show yesterday, in a disgusting exchange between Imus and his executive producer, Bernard McGuirk (incidentally, also before the troubling pre-release tape emerged). McGuirk said, “She strikes me as the kind of woman who would wear one of those suicide vests. You know, walk into the, try and sneak into the Green Zone … She cooked with them, lived with them … She may be carrying Habib’s baby at this point.” That isn’t just irresponsible speculation – it’s absolute lunacy. … Continue reading ‘absolute lunacy’

The Shiites May Just Kick Our Asses Out Of Iraq

From Holden: Juan Cole: Al-Hayat reports on remarks of Abdul Karim al-Anizi [Ar.], leader in parliament of the Dawa Party – Iraqi Organization, which has about 15 seats. He is also minister of national security. He denied that Iran is contributing to instability in Iraq. He also accused the United States of training “an Iraqi military force loyal to it, which does not submit to the authority of the Iraqi government.” [snip] Al-Anizi told al-Hayat that “a new army has appeared on the Iraqi scene, recruited by the Coalition forces, which does not receive its orders from the Iraqi government.” … Continue reading The Shiites May Just Kick Our Asses Out Of Iraq

Condi Calls President “Brain Dead”

From Holden: One can only reach a single conclusion based on her remarks. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice conceded Friday that the United States probably has made thousands of “tactical errors” in Iraq and elsewhere, but said it will be judged by its larger aims of peace and democracy in the Middle East. [snip] Rice replied that leaders would be “brain-dead” if they did not absorb the lessons of their times. [snip] At a high school visited by Rice and Straw, about 200 protesters stood across the street with banners and signs, chanting “Condoleezza Rice, Go Home!” One demonstrator held … Continue reading Condi Calls President “Brain Dead”

Condi Calls President ”Brain Dead”

From Holden: One can only reach a single conclusion based on her remarks. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice conceded Friday that the United States probably has made thousands of “tactical errors” in Iraq and elsewhere, but said it will be judged by its larger aims of peace and democracy in the Middle East. [snip] Rice replied that leaders would be “brain-dead” if they did not absorb the lessons of their times. [snip] At a high school visited by Rice and Straw, about 200 protesters stood across the street with banners and signs, chanting “Condoleezza Rice, Go Home!” One demonstrator held … Continue reading Condi Calls President ”Brain Dead”

Begging for a Chance

From Scout: This is the headline of the Times Picayune online today: LA. Lawmakers Plead For More Levee Money: Delegation Begs Bush For Immediate Request The story: WASHINGTON — Stunned by new estimates that almost $6 billion more could be needed to raise and repair levees to protect the New Orleans area from a major hurricane, the Louisiana congressional delegation is demanding that the Bush administration quickly request the money from Congress. President Bush’s Gulf Coast recovery coordinator, Donald Powell, told reporters that the administration will decide in the next two weeks whether to request the additional money — nearly … Continue reading Begging for a Chance

Achieving Irrelevancy

From Holden: It really does not matter what Chimpy says about Iraq, his words carry no meaning there. A letter from President Bush to Iraq’s supreme Shiite spiritual leader, Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, was hand-delivered earlier this week but sits unread and untranslated in the top religious figure’s office, a key al-Sistani aide told The Associated Press on Thursday. The aide who has never allowed use of his name in news reports, citing al-Sistani’s refusal to make any public statements himself said the ayatollah had laid the letter aside and did not ask for a translation because of increasing “unhappiness” over … Continue reading Achieving Irrelevancy

Striving for Irrelevency

From Holden: Republicans, with their proposal to turn 11 million illegal immigrants into felons and punish citizens who help immigrants, are doing their best to paint Texas blue. Texas is now a majority-minority state, meaning that we have more “minority” residents than we do “white”. And the vast majority of those “minorities” are Hispanics and Latinos who take great pride in their cultural herritage. One would expect hundreds of students here in liberal Austin to protest the GOP’s fear of all things brown, but students in Dallas, Irving, Grand Prairie, Alvin, Baytown, Fort Bend County (Tom DeLay’s district), and Houston … Continue reading Striving for Irrelevency

A Letter

Dear Mr. McGuirk,

I’ve started this letter to you several times. Each time, I erase the polite salutations and explanations of why I’m writing to you, the explications of my background and my opinions, because while there are circumstances which warrant addressing people with whom I disagree with respect and dignity, I see no such need for courtesy here.

I don’t just disagree with you, sir. I am sickened by you. I am ashamed to share membership in the family of mammals with you, you miserable, selfish, sanctimonious prick.

Continue reading “A Letter”


From Scout: This is a video I just completed about Jose Fernandes a photographer who lived in New Orleans. He is Portuguese but is going to become an American citizen. In my eyes he already is. He stayed in NOLA during Katrina and went out the day after Katrina struck to photograph people. He was back in NOLA at the time I was there to again photograph his city and its people. Credits: ALL the photographs are Jose’s Video: scout (who needs a tripod) Music: “Secret of Love” by Buckwheat Zydeco “Crying” by John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers “Wish Someone … Continue reading Hope

Reads Like a Bill of Particulars on Impeachment

From Holden:

Via HuffPo, Murray Waas effectively documents the fact that Bush knew he was lying when he sold his War on Iraq.

Karl Rove, President Bush’s chief political adviser, cautioned other White House aides in the summer of 2003 that Bush’s 2004 re-election prospects would be severely damaged if it was publicly disclosed that he had been personally warned that a key rationale for going to war had been challenged within the administration. Rove expressed his concerns shortly after an informal review of classified government records by then-Deputy National Security Adviser Stephen J. Hadley determined that Bush had been specifically advised that claims he later made in his 2003 State of the Union address — that Iraq was procuring high-strength aluminum tubes to build a nuclear weapon — might not be true, according to government records and interviews.

More attrocities, click Read More…

Continue reading “Reads Like a Bill of Particulars on Impeachment”

Stupid Republican Tricks

From Holden: I think this calls for a “Heh.” Alex Castano, a Republican House candidate in southwestern Travis County [Texas, y’all], amassed more than $35,000 in credit card debt before three credit card companies took him to court. Castano, 34, owner of a commercial real estate firm, has touted “state budget discipline” as one of his campaign issues in the District 47 race. Continue reading Stupid Republican Tricks

Your President Speaks!

From Holden:

Your President is a cornucopia of bloggy goodness. Let’s see what spilled forth today before Freedom House.

First: a couple of questions.

What There Is

Q From Australia. I’ve got a question about global warming — in the Australian Parliament, Tony Blair called for greater action. And this seems to be something that the U.S. President could make a major difference on. There’s a virtual consensus that the planet is warming. If you addressed issues like emissions, fuel efficiency, issues to do with alternative energy in your last few years as President, it could make a significant difference I think to the — [snip] — and I suppose I want to know, what is your plan?

THE PRESIDENT: Good. We — first of all, there is — the globe is warming. [continues in transcript]

Homewurk Suks

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, sir. You’re going to ask me if I read the book.

Q Mr. President, as you noted at the beginning — I’m with Freedom House, and I gave the President a copy of our annual report, Freedom in the World, before he took the stage. And as you noted, our reports have —

THE PRESIDENT: Little print, no pictures. Go ahead.

Q It’s the bible of freedom, yes.

THE PRESIDENT: I’m the funny guy. Go ahead.

And a few quickies. Click Read More to … well, read more.

Continue reading “Your President Speaks!”

National Security Democrats

The new plan to firmly establish the Democratic Party as the party of National Security is up and out, and it’s our customary thick sheaf of well-researched, well-argued points about how we’re good and they suck and their Homeland Security sucks. There’s a couple of good points that are likely to get lost in this massive layout of every Republican argument ever and the refutation thereof, so I’d like to pull these points out:

Eliminate Osama Bin Laden, destroy terrorist networks like al Qaeda, finish the job in Afghanistan and end the threat posed by the Taliban.

Yes, yes, oh God baby yes. Listen, for too damn long we’ve been silent on the subject of bin Laden. Our “national security” energy has until now been spent picking at nits instead of asking the question designed to kick lazy, uninformed, gut-check voters right in the emotional solar plexus: Where in the world is Osama? Why haven’t we caught him, “dead or alive” like we promised? Osama’s a gut check. Don’t know a single person, doesn’t want him in jail and isn’t ready to knight whoever makes it happen. We’ve ignored that for too long and allowed them to ignore the fact that he’s still out there, making tapes, freaking people out, when they promised to get him taken care of by now.

There’s more …

Continue reading “National Security Democrats”

Froomkin on Domenech

From Holden: Dan Froomkin is too smart to say anything controversial about the decision to hire a 25-year-old, home-schooled, college-drop-out, plagiarising racist. Richmond, Va,: Your thoughts on the role of the progressive blogosphere and its impact on the mainstream media? In recent months, they have actually mobilized their readers to campaign against the mainstream media with some notable successes, mainly with the Washington Post (Domenech and Howell’s misstatements on Abramoff). Dan Froomkin: I think that a lot of reporters and editors within the traditional media have internalized a nearly-physical aversion to doing anything that they think might somehow make … Continue reading Froomkin on Domenech

Another NOLA obstacle

From Scout: There are so many obstacles to overcome in rebuilding a city. Here’s another…. As people in the New Orleans area try to get on with their lives by acquiring new homes, they’re discovering that most homeowners insurance companies operating in Louisiana aren’t interested in insuring their homes. The situation is delaying, and sometimes scuttling, real estate closings, and public officials worry that high prices and limited availability of homeowners insurance could deter banks from lending money and derail efforts to rebuild New Orleans. “It’s very difficult but not impossible” to get homeowners insurance, state Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon … Continue reading Another NOLA obstacle

The Usual Suspects

From Holden: Two weeks ago Chimpy gave his little Iraq speech to an audience screened by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, whose board includes such luminaries as Steve Forbes, Jack Kemp, Jeane Kirkpatrick, Louis Freeh, Joseph Lieberman, Newt Gingrich, James Woolsey, Gary Bauer, Donna Brazile, Charles Krauthammer, Bill Kristol, and Zell Miller. This week an organization called Freedom House did the screening. And the Freedom House board? Well, it includes Steve Forbes, Kenneth L. Adelman, Jeane Kirkpatrick, Anthony Lake, Mara Liasson, and Diana Negroponte (wife of John Negroponte). Continue reading The Usual Suspects

From Scout: At After the

From Scout:

At After the Levees Boyd Blundell writes about the Poor Nolas family living in Bush Gardens to demonstrate the fear that America is abandoning New Orleans. In my previous post I examined how it is that America can be doing this but perhaps had the cart before the horse in that one must first accept the dirty truth that this is now occurring……

It’s been a very bad year for the Nolas; as disastrous a year as anyone can remember. Their house burned to the ground, the entire property is destroyed, and they can’t even think about the expense rebuilding the family house until all sorts of even more expensive repairs are done to the property. Much of the family is bunking with neighbors. Some died in the fire, and a few are unaccounted for. And while the fire department and other emergency services haven’t done such a great job, most of the people in Bush Gardens are great. They seem to feel really good about helping the Nolas. But when it becomes clear that the help needs to be ongoing, the enthusiasm of many starts to wane. Because the causes of the Nola’s sudden “poverty” are very complicated and not easily fixable, many quickly become distracted by other things. Some are actually quite hostile, as though the Nola’s flagrant suffering is an insult to their sense of propriety.

(more after cut…click Read More)

Continue reading “From Scout: At After the”

Good News from Iraq!

From Holden: I found some! Around 30-40 bodies, many shot in the head and showing signs of torture, are being found on the streets of [Baghdad] every day, morgue officials say. No, wait, what about this? Special inspector general for reconstruction Stuart Bowen told Reuters in Washington he saw signs of progress, but remained concerned about corruption and waste. In one case, an audit showed a $243 million project to build 150 health clinics would produce just 20. There you go. Twenty health clinics for the price of 150. That’s good news! Continue reading Good News from Iraq!

Halliburton, Again

From Holden:

Damn, I can’t wait until Rep. Henry Waxman gets subpeona power.

Even as a Halliburton subsidiary was absorbing harsh criticism of its costs on a 2003 no-bid contract for work in Iraq, the government officials overseeing a second contract wrote that the company was running up exorbitant new expenses on similar work, according to a report issued yesterday by the staff for the Democrats on the House Government Reform Committee.

The report, prepared for a frequent critic of Halliburton, Representative Henry A. Waxman of California, was based on previously undisclosed correspondence and performance evaluations from 2004 and 2005.

The documents show that the government’s contracting officers became increasingly frustrated as they tried to penetrate what they considered to be inaccurate or misleading progress reports and expense vouchers filed by the subsidiary, Kellogg Brown & Root.

Keep reading by clicking Read More…

Continue reading “Halliburton, Again”

A Question of Ugly Americans

From Scout:

I remember a woman in Mississippi who was clearly upset by the lack of attention paid to their plight asking me, “What is the rest of the country saying about us?’ Actually what I remember more clearly was my silence as I debated telling the truth…Not much, Sorry…or coming up with some other less painful answer.

Just why isn’t Katrina getting more attention? It’s a question I’ve asked myself time and again. And I do try to answer it. Is it that Americans are not informed, have a short attention span, it’s complicated, its overwhelming, maybe its racism, they’re too busy, they just don’t care, too selfish? I’ve yet to make sense of it so I’ve not written about it. But I decided it was time to begin tackling it more directly. In the process of doing so I’ve found some ugly questions. I hope you’ll read on and give some thought to mine or yours.

First I went to the Polling Report to see if there were any answers as to what is going on with Americans. Here’s a quick shot of polling results from the few recent polls (Feb ‘06).

–Are Americans satisfied with what is occurring regarding Katrina? NO… Only 31% are pleased or satisfied with rebuilding efforts.

–Approve of Bush’s handling of response? NO….Polls have a range of 57% to 64% disapproval on Katrina response

— As for future handling? 72% believe that Bush has no plan yet.

— Are Americans aware it is bad? Yes… In one poll 87% stated that the Gulf Coast is still badly damaged.

–Is it a priority to Americans? Apparently…respondents placed Katrina recovery over Iraq as a priority by 64-31% in one poll.

So perhaps Americans are aware and disapprove. It gets more telling though when you get down to dollars. In a CBS poll 66% of respondents think federal agencies should be doing more. But in an AP poll 66% believe the feds are spending too much or the right amount. It’s different polls but this points to an incredible disconnect….. The federal government should do more but we don’t want to pay for it? Is this the ‘When Pigs Fly Recovery Plan‘? Or are there other explanations.

(more after the cut…click Read More)

Continue reading “A Question of Ugly Americans”