What you should know about that $110 Billion for Katrina recovery…

Oyster links to an excellent article by Chris Cooper who co-authored “Disaster: Hurricane Katrina and the Failure of Homeland Security.” Cooper spoke at the Rising Tide Conference and I highly recommend his book. I also recommend reading all of this article as there is so much there. For example, Cooper addresses the fallacy of that $110 Billion. Recently Bush cited the amount to defend not mentioning Katrina in the SOTU… Well, I gave a speech that I thought was necessary to give. On the other hand, I had been talking a lot about Katrina and about the fact that I … Continue reading What you should know about that $110 Billion for Katrina recovery…

Rendition for the Renditoneers

Following in the footsteps of their Italian counterparts, German prosecutors pursue CIA agents involved in Chimpy’s “extraordinary rendition” kidnapping/torture schemes. Prosecutors in the southern German city of Munich today obtained warrants for 13 CIA agents they say were involved in the kidnapping of a German citizen, Khaled el Masri. Christian Schmidt-Sommerfeld, the Munich prosecutor, said the warrants had been issued by a local court this week. The Bush administration has resisted any suggestion that it might allow the extradition of American agents. Continue reading Rendition for the Renditoneers

Attempted Vehicular Homicide

Via ThinkProgress we bring you this Newsweek piece on Chimpy’s latest hilarious prank. “I would suggest moving back,” Bush said as he climbed into the cab of a massive D-10 tractor. “I’m about to crank this sucker up.” As the engine roared to life, White House staffers tried to steer the press corps to safety, but when the tractor lurched forward, they too were forced to scramble for safety.”Get out of the way!” a news photographer yelled. “I think he might run us over!” said another. White House aides tried to herd the reporters the right way without getting run … Continue reading Attempted Vehicular Homicide

With A Cane That He Twirled ‘Round His Diamond Ring Finger

Every now and then I check out the White House’s Current News page to keep up with what they’re up to. It’s a good place to find the latest signing statements and the like. This announcement caught my eye today. President Bush Names Amy Zantzinger as White House Social Secretary President George W. Bush announced today that Amy Swartz Zantzinger has been named Special Assistant to the President and White House Social Secretary. [snip] She is married to Richard Zantzinger and they have two children. Richard Zantzinger, Richard Zantzinger… why does that name ring a bell? Oh, yeah, Richard Zantzinger … Continue reading With A Cane That He Twirled ‘Round His Diamond Ring Finger

Today On Holden’s Obsession With The Gaggle

Just a quickie gaggle as Chimpy heads to New York. Pony sounds none too confident about the Iranian link to the attack on US forces that the Pentagon lied about last week. Q On a different subject, how confident are you that Iran was behind the agents that killed those five soldiers in Karbala? MR. SNOW: I’m not getting into that sort of speculation. I’d send you off to the Department of Defense for any readout they’re going to give. But let me just reiterate what the President said — we’re going to do force protection and people who are … Continue reading Today On Holden’s Obsession With The Gaggle

On the one hand

Democratic leaders have agreed on a spending bill which contains No earmarks.Details Here. One detail involves the Army Corps of Engineers… By declaring a one-time moratorium on earmarks, the Democratic leaders are granting the Bush administration more leeway in spending. The Army Corps of Engineers construction budget, for instance, typically outlines funding for specific projects. But under the no-earmarks pledge, Obey and Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Robert C. Byrd (D-W.Va.) decided that Congress cannot spell out spending, so they opted to give a lump sum of $2.3 billion to the Army Corps — about $38 million less than it received … Continue reading On the one hand

Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves

Well, mostly thieves. The U.S. government wasted tens of millions of dollars in Iraq reconstruction aid, including scores of unaccounted-for weapons and a never-used camp for housing police trainers with an Olympic-size swimming pool, investigators say. The quarterly audit by Stuart Bowen Jr., the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction, is the latest to paint a grim picture of waste, fraud and frustration in an Iraq war and reconstruction effort that has cost taxpayers more than $300 billion and left the region near civil war. [snip] The audit comes as President Bush is pressing Congress to approve $1.2 billion in … Continue reading Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves

New Rehabilitation Center Opens in San Antonio

I’m really glad our government is making an effort to rehabilitate the men and women who have given so much for their country, but I can’t help but think how unnecessary this war is and how poorly it has been executed. What a horrifying waste. AP Photo/Eric Gay A $50 million high-tech rehabilitation center opened its doors Monday, designed to serve the growing number of U.S. troops who return from war as amputees or with severe burns. The privately funded Center for the Intrepid includes a rock-climbing wall, a wave pool and a virtual-reality computer system. About 3,200 people attended … Continue reading New Rehabilitation Center Opens in San Antonio

Scout’s Obsession with the GAO: Why plan here for what’s over there

The GAO released a report titled “Actions Needed to Identify National Guard Domestic Equipment Requirements and Readiness” in which we learn that planning to use the National Guard domestically in large-scale terrorist events and natural disasters is lacking as well as the National Guard’s equipment readiness for such domestic events. Here is what the GAO said regarding planning…  The Homeland Security Council has developed 15 catastrophic  scenarios to guide federal and state governments in planning their  response activities.While DOD is responsible for equipping the Guard  for its federal missions and states plan for the National Guard’€™s  activities within their borders, … Continue reading Scout’s Obsession with the GAO: Why plan here for what’s over there

Your President Speaks!

This time he’s in East Peoria, Illinois, at a Caterpillar Plant. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque Drunkdeded I was at the Sterling Brothers — Sterling Family Restaurant today — Sterling Brothers? — Sterling Family, yes, run by two brothers. Let Me Finish! Before I do, I want to thank Congressman Ray LaHood. He’s been bugging me ever since I got elected President — (applause) — I didn’t tell you what he’s bugging me about. He’s bugging me to come to Peoria. You’ll Need A Translator I want to spend some time explaining that to the American people why competition is important. Has Got … Continue reading Your President Speaks!

Today On Holden’s Obsession With The Gaggle

Today’sgaggle opens with Pony Blow doing his best to belittle this weekend’s peace march. Helen. Q What did the President think of the march on Washington? MR. SNOW: I don’t think he really thought a lot about it. It’s nice to see Jane Fonda in front of the camera again. There are a number of people who were here making statements, and that’s perfectly appropriate. This is a vigorous democracy. Q You said something earlier this morning, though. Would you like to repeat that? MR. SNOW: It’s simply that there were predictions of a larger audience than showed up for … Continue reading Today On Holden’s Obsession With The Gaggle

War Crimes

Don’t hold your breath waiting for the Bush Assministration to do anything about the war crimes that the State Department says Israel committed in Lebanon this past summer. Israel likely misused American-made cluster bombs in civilian areas of Lebanon during the war against Hezbollah last summer, the State Department said Monday. Spokesman Sean McCormack said a preliminary report has been sent to Congress on a U.S. investigation of the issue. He did not provide details of the investigation. The United Nations said last summer that unexploded cluster bombs — anti-personnel weapons that spray bomblets over a wide area — litter … Continue reading War Crimes

Send In The Bicycle Brigades!

Turns out the US Army does not have the up-armored vehicles needed to properly equip Chimpy’s surge. Dutch bicycle infantry during the Battle of the Netherlands in 1940 Boosting U.S. troop levels in Iraq by 21,500 would create major logistical hurdles for the Army and Marine Corps, which are short thousands of vehicles, armor kits and other equipment needed to supply the extra forces, U.S. officials said. The increase would also further degrade the readiness of U.S.-based ground forces, hampering their ability to respond quickly, fully trained and well equipped in the case of other military contingencies around the world … Continue reading Send In The Bicycle Brigades!

Your President Speaks! Again!

Just a quickie, from his meeting today with members of Securing America’s Future Energy And I’m going to continue to call upon citizens’ groups and concerned citizens to work with members of Congress so we can — I can sign a comprehensive plan that will assure the American people that as we look forward into the 21st century that we’ll be more energy dependentand good stewards of the environment. Continue reading Your President Speaks! Again!

Into The Beautiful Sea: Galactica Thread

With thanks to the people who e-mailed this to me (spoilers for Season Three therein):


So no, I don’t “mourn the loss” of the Cylons’ mystery and menace: that’s evolution. Heaven for everybody. I think any story that wants to responsibly talk about war and genocide had better get its shit together about this, and I think this show is clearly doing so. Frankly, jihad and terrorism could stand to lose a fuckload of mystery and menace, we could all stand to read up on the Quran, because that’s how you move forward. Other people don’t need your mystery and menace, they need your strength. How you draw the line between that and saying the show’s jumped the shark, or I’m a bad American or a shitty writer for loving the Cylons, is your business.

But really go read the whole page linked there.

Spoilers after the cut.

Continue reading “Into The Beautiful Sea: Galactica Thread”

Your President Speaks!

Here, interviewed by NPR’s Juan Williams. Do In Some Extremists I will tell you, though, that this fight is an indication of what is taking place, and that is the Iraqis are beginning to take the lead, whether it be this fight that you’ve just reported on where the Iraqis went in with American help to do in some extremists that were trying to stop the advance of their democracy, or the report that there was militant Shi’a had been captured or killed. Half-Ass Full Oh, I don’t think so. I think that the vice president is a person reflecting … Continue reading Your President Speaks!

Bigots Go Home

Buh-bye, bigots. In past sessions, Colorado Sen. Wayne Allard and Rep. Marilyn Musgrave were conservative champions of a federal constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage in the last Congress, both sponsoring legislation to do just that. Not this year. The two Republicans said last week they have no plans to re-introduce their legislation in the new Congress – another sign that Democrats are now in the majority. I swear to God I’ve never seen people’s convictions unravel so fast. Three months ago there was a grave threat to marriage and all us married straight folk were going to be forced … Continue reading Bigots Go Home

I Know You Are But What Am I

Dick Cheney – also a childish prick. Q One other question. Bob Woodward reported that President Ford thought you had justified the war wrongly, and that he agreed with Colin Powell that you developed a fever, I think was the word, about Saddam Hussein, about terrorism. Did you feel that was accurate? Did it surprise you? THE VICE PRESIDENT: I’ve never heard that from anybody but Bob Woodward. Q And other comments that — criticism from Scowcroft about not knowing you anymore — people have got quite personal, people you worked with before. You wouldn’t be human if it didn’t … Continue reading I Know You Are But What Am I

Contractor Deaths

Nearly 800? Holy crap! Laboring in a war with no discernible front line, more than 770 civilian contractors have died in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion began in March 2003. Statistics kept by the Labor Department indicate fatalities among civilian contractors working for American firms escalated rapidly late last year, with at least 301 dying in Iraq in 2006 — including 124 in the final three months. U.S. military deaths totaled 818 during the year, the Defense Department has reported. [snip] [T]he Pentagon estimates… [that] 100,000 civilians [are] working for U.S.-based contractors in Iraq. Supplementing the 130,000 American troops serving … Continue reading Contractor Deaths