Monthly Archives: June 2007

Today on Athenae’s Obsession with the Freepi: Epic Wanksplosion Edition

Holden wasn’t wrong when he predicted Bush’s appearance rededicating the Islamic Center of Washington would break Freepers’ hearts. It’s 59 posts of betrayal, splooge, whining, empty threats to leave the party, not to mention some of the most hilariously transliterated Arabic I’ve ever seen:

President Bush helps Islam take a giant step towards its goal of a North American Caliphate, the establishment of Shariah law, and the enslavement of the Dhimmi.

Dear George, you have let me and my fellow countrymen down. BIGTIME! I’m ashamed to having supported you through 2 elections. The comfort I once had when I disagreed with your stance of having been a better alternative than Al Gore or John F’n Kerry is no longer a consolation.

Your failure to call a spade a spade empties your rhetoric.

Bush is just being what he is…an evangelical patrician elitist who sticks to a few guns but succumbs to political correctness on anything about any “minority” because to him it’s good works

i know a lot of soft on hard issues Christians like him

The size of a lie is a definite factor in causing it to be believed, for the vast masses of a nation are in the depths of their hearts more easily deceived than consciously and intentionally bad. The primitive simplicity of their minds renders them a more easy prey to a big lie than a small one, for they themselves often tell little lies but would be ashamed to tell big ones.

As Hitler explained in Mein Kampf

I realized not too long ago that the problem with George Bush is he actually believes his own rhetoric.

Then there’s the charmer who I’m sure, if asked, would tell me that by saying “the only good Muslim is an ex-Muslim” was actually advocating conversion. Of course.


All I got…

The loss today will be a heartbreaker for a city struggling to come back. But I think it should be said that the Saints had a great season and they did more to lift the spirits of a city than anyone. I do wish today had played out differently. I hate to think of the heartbreak right now in New Orleans. I’ve never wanted a team to win more except for the 1994 1995 Packers. And it’s all I have to offer. In 1994 1995 the Packers had a great 11-5 season only to lose the NFC championship game to the Dallas Cowboys. BUT the next year a 13-3 Packers won the Superbowl.

The Saints have been a class act and had a great season. They’ve done more for a city than any other team I can think of. I do believe there will be a next year for them and New Orleans. I know that is easy for me to say but still just had to say it. And hugs to my friends in NOLA.

$19 Billion Down The Shitter

Worse than that, it’s $19 billion to arm and train our enemies.

The United States has invested $19 billion to train and equip nearly 350,000 Iraqi soldiers and police since toppling Saddam Hussein, but the ability of those forces to provide security remains in doubt, according to the findings of a bipartisan congressional investigation to be released today.

As a result, President Bush’s pledge to have U.S. troops “stand down” as Iraqi forces “stand up” remains unfulfilled. Instead, U.S. troop numbers and operations have escalated in recent months, and the overall level of violence has not decreased.


The Pentagon “cannot report in detail how many of the 346,500 Iraqi military and police personnel that the coalition trained are operational today,” according to the 250-page report. Details of the document were provided to The Washington Post by congressional staff members.

“We have no idea what our $19 billion has gotten us,” said Rep. Martin T. Meehan (D-Mass.), chairman of the Armed Services subcommittee on oversight and investigations, noting that the United States investment represents $55,000 per Iraqi recruit.

“The DOD can’t tell us how well the Iraqis perform their missions or even plan them,” he said in an interview. “The police are in particularly bad shape, although they are critical to counterinsurgency.”

The lack of transparency is especially worrisome, the report said, because of the possibility that Iraqi forces trained and equipped by the United States have joined the insurgency or sectarian militias.

“This report details the complete lack of understanding of who we have trained and what happens to them after we train them,” Meehan said. “Many of the forces we have trained are unaccounted for, and others are on the rolls but haven’t been vetted,” he said, adding that forces “could actually be fighting against us.”

The subcommittee’s report found “strong evidence” that some Iraqi forces trained by the U.S.-led military coalition are involved in sectarian violence and other illegal activities. In addition, the Pentagon “cannot account for whether coalition-issued weapons have been stolen or turned against U.S. forces,” the report said.


The report criticized as “premature and ill-advised” the U.S. decision to transfer responsibility for vetting the Iraqi police to the national government early this year, after only a year of focused effort in generating police forces, saying that police remain ineffective and their organization is “riddled with corruption and sectarian influence.” Tens of thousands of police have been hired outside of the U.S.-led training program, it said.


The Iraqi ministries of defense and the interior are incapable of “accounting for, supporting, or fully controlling their forces in the field,” or even executing their own budgets, the investigation found. In addition, the ministries lack critical intelligence and logistics systems that would help in planning independent operations.


Breaking from AP

WASHINGTON – The Senate Judiciary Committee subpoenaed the White House and Vice President Dick Cheney’s office Wednesday for documents relating to President Bush’s warrant-free eavesdropping program.

Also named in subpoenas signed by committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., were the Justice Department and the National Security Council.

The committee wants documents that might shed light on internal
squabbles within the administration over the legality of the program,
said a congressional official speaking on condition of anonymity
because the subpoenas had not been made public.


Advice to the out-of-towners.

Tourist season is upon us in Chicago as well, which is my cue to hide in my house until early October. Not really, I mean, I love the summer festival season, with the exception of Taste of Chicago which turns the entire lakefront into a beshitted refugee camp full of vomiting frat creatures and their skanks. I just wish summer festival season could be accompanied by less than a full serving of the most congealed form of human stupid on the planet.

I’m sympathetic to the bewildered tourist, I mean, I’ve been unfamiliar places myself. The rules are not always apparent, and it’s unfair for those of us who spend every day negotiating the indignities of city life to complain when people who choose another milieu don’t immediately pick it all up. But I do wish that there was some kind of crash course, perhaps a Practice City, in which people could be enrolled before showing up here from the exurbs for the first time, all twitterpated and frightened.

For instance, in the Practice City there could be a parking garage, and people who’ve never parked in one before could be taught the proper way to maneuver their minivan or SUV into a space that is NOT labeled “compact” and is also not on the first six floors so don’t even bother looking, without creating a giant backup line of people who need to be someplace and don’t have time for the learning curve.

There could also be Practice Sidewalks and Practice Escalators, to demonstrate that one does not walk five abreast holding hands at a snail’s pace and then stop at the bottom of the MOVING STAIRCASE. I don’t like bumping into people but when the escalator disgorges me directly into your backside while you’re consulting your map of IKEA, it might be useful to realize it’s not my fault.

Oh, and Practice Food Line, in which tutors emphasize the importance of reading a menu far, far, far away so that by the time you get to the front you’ve already conversed with the family about what little Timmy and Becky both want and can rattle off the order without making a scene. The efficient functioning of a crowded food joint is dependent on you being able to respond to your environment decisively, and if you don’t do that naturally it may take some work to get you there.

Don’t Stare at the Blue-Haired Kids, He’s A Doorman Not A Car Jacker, and Yes It Costs More For A Sandwich Here could be take-home reading.

And there should also be a Small Talk Phrasebook, so that out of towners don’t make the mistake of saying things like, “Gosh, the traffic is just terrible!” and “How do you live here?!!!” and “Isn’t this a (furtive look around)bad part of town?” and “Everything’s so expensive!” much in the same way city dwellers shouldn’t moan about the presence of wildlife in the country or lack of a Starbucks or a stoplight on every corner of a small town.

(In fact, I think everybody could use a Don’t Insult Somebody Else’s Home refresher course since many acquaintances seem to have no problem telling me how nuts they think I am to live in this close proximity to 8 million other people. “The traffic is terrible,” is my favorite one. Yeah, it is. You know WHY it is? Because lots of people drive in for the summer festivals. Including YOU. I’m supposed to do what about this exactly?)

The best visitors always understand that the occasional inconvenience is part of the deal. You want to experience the city, you’re going to have to experience the city. Traffic, crowds, waiting in lines, paying $5 for a cup of coffee, that’s the city, too. It’s what you get that makes up for it:

Eat the dodgy street food. Dance to the music. Have another overpriced beer at the ballgame. Go back home happy and stuffed and broke as nature intended. That’s what I want for you, because it’s what I used to have before I moved here, and it’s part of what convinced me this was one of the most wonderful places on earth to be. But if we could just have a Practice City session or two to get everybody over the culture shock, I think it might make things easier on everybody.


Your President Speaks!

Today, at the White House, on health care.

Old Habits

Democrat leaders in Congress are considering a massive expansion of government health care through a program called S-CHIP, which stands for State Children’s Health Insurance Program.

Children From Family

If their proposal becomes law, S-CHIP would expand its reach to include children from family that earn as much as $80,000 a year, as well as some adults.

What The Federal Goverment Has Got

It’s a dual responsibility. If we want a better system, the federal government has got a responsibility to reform, and so do states.

CREW: FEMA’s best laid plans ignored

Back in Sept 2005, CREW filed FOIA’s seeking records on the federal government’s plans for a Gulf Coast hurricane. Today CREW has released a new report:“The Best Laid Plans: The Story of How the Government Ignored Its Own Gulf Coast Hurricane Plans.” From CREW’s website we learn…

Critically, CREW found that FEMA had created a “Southeast Louisiana
Catastrophic Hurricane Plan” (SLCHP), which forecast a range of
specific consequences, including:

* New Orleans would be flooded with 14-17 feet of water, the levee
system inundated with at least 10 feet of water and the hurricane would
move into Mississippi;

* One million people would evacuate, but flooding would trap at least 250-350,000; and

* Each hurricane victim would require a minimum of two Meals Ready to
Eat, one gallon of water and eight pounds of ice per day.


The SLCHP included plans to:


* Evacuate residents and position resources pre-hurricane;

* Provide power, water and ice to hurricane victims; and

* Provide short-term shelter and longer-term temporary housing.


Nevertheless, despite the comprehensive SLCHP, post-Katrina FEMA
documents demonstrate that that the plan was never implemented. On
August 28, 2005, the day before Katrina hit, FEMA Deputy Director
Patrick Rhode sent an email to Deputy Chief of Staff Brooks Altshuler
and Michael Heath, Special Assistant to FEMA Director Michael Brown,
with the subject line, “copy of New Orleans cat plan” stating, “I never
got one – I think Brown got my copy – did you get one?”


Today On Holden’s Obsession With [Yesterday’s] Gaggle

Yeah, I’m a lazy son of a bitch, I should have gotten to this yesterday. Oh well.

Pony Blow Sez Lugar’s Big Flip-Flop Is no Big Deal

Q Tony, you said you weren’t surprised by the substance of Senator Lugar’s comments on the Senate floor last night. Were you surprised by the timing at all, that he chose last night to do it?

MR. SNOW: I’d ask him. We certainly were not aware that there — we were not made directly aware that there would be a statement at that time. But again, it’s consistent with things he said.

Q I’m thinking, from what I heard in the gaggle and from the shrug right now that you don’t find this very significant.

MR. SNOW: Look, Dick Lugar is a serious guy, so obviously you take it seriously. But on the other hand, again, he voted against the original — he voted against the surge. He’s somebody who has had reservations. We take seriously his point of view because he is a serious guy. On the other hand, we also take seriously the efforts and the advice that the President has gotten from his commanders on the ground, and also the continuing cooperation not only with the commanders on the ground, but also Ambassador Crocker and working with our colleagues in the Iraqi government.

That Set Helen Off

Q The arguments you are using are the same ones we heard when we were on the ropes in Vietnam and about to leave. You can’t dismiss Lugar. He’s been in foreign —

MR. SNOW: I didn’t dismiss him.

Q He’s been in foreign relations, head of the committee, all through these many years. And when he says something, he’s saying something very important. The question is, what is the price that this country is willing to pay, in terms of killing people in a country that did nothing to us, and our own people? How far? How long?

MR. SNOW: You’re assuming, Helen, that, in fact, nobody did anything to the American people, and furthermore, that nobody is doing anything to the Iraqi people.

Q Did the Iraqis attack us?

MR. SNOW: Well, what’s going on right now is that you have terrorists who are killing Muslims. The United States is in the process of trying to do —

Q We went in there as an aggressor, who killed people there to take over.

MR. SNOW: No, we did not go there to take over, we went there to liberate.

Q In his speech, Senator Lugar said that the surge’s prospects for success are too dependent on the actions of others who don’t share our agenda; it relies on military power to achieve goals that it can’t achieve, and it distances allies we’ll need for regional diplomatic efforts. And he goes on. This is serious stuff.

MR. SNOW: Yes, it is.

Q He further distances himself from the President. I understand the need to downplay it, and to say that it’s consistent with what he’s said in the past, but really this goes further. This is him separating himself far further from the President.

MR. SNOW: No, that’s your characterization, that’s not mine. Let’s take a look: regional allies — I think you take a look at, do allies want the United States to leave, and you take a look in the region, and the answer is no, unless you’re Iran and Syria. In point of fact, it is very important for us to be able to complete the job of building stability within Iraq, and at the same time, sending the ultimate in terms of discouragement to the terrorist forces by demonstrating that no matter what they do, no matter how they try, their efforts are not going to succeed.

Q He goes so far as to say that Iraqis don’t want to be Iraqis.

MR. SNOW: Well, again, you’ll find that — certainly if you take a look, even — I hate to rely on polling for this — but you look at it and there are — in fact, Iraqis do want to be Iraqis, and more importantly, they want to be free and democratic Iraqis.

Q So Lugar is wrong on that one?

MR. SNOW: I’m just telling you — I’m giving you my analysis.

Continue reading

Your President Breaks The Freepers’ Hearts!

President Bush Rededicates Islamic Center of Washington

THE PRESIDENT: Imam, thank you very much. Thank you for inviting me. I bring my personal respect to you, sir.


We come to express our appreciation for a faith that has enriched civilization for centuries.

Failed States Index 2007

Foreign Policy magazine and the Fund for Peace just published their Failed States Index for the year 2007. I note that the US Military occupies two of the top ten failed states.

1) Sudan
2) Iraq
3) Somalia
4) Zimbabwe
5) Chad
6) Cote d’Ivoire
7) Democratic Republic of Congo
8) Afghanistan
9) Guinea
10) Central African Republic

Kids Today

What are ya’gonna do?

More than half of Americans ages 17 to 29 — 54 percent — say they intend to vote for a Democrat for president in 2008. They share with the public at large a negative view of President Bush, who has a 28 percent approval rating with this group, and of the Republican Party. They hold a markedly more positive view of Democrats than they do of Republicans.


At a time when Democrats have made gains after years in which Republicans have dominated Washington, young Americans appear to lean slightly more to the left than the general population: 28 percent described themselves as liberal, compared with 20 percent of the nation at large. And 27 percent called themselves conservative, compared with 32 percent of the general public.

Forty-four percent said they believed that same-sex couples should be permitted to get married, compared with 28 percent of the public at large. They are more likely than their elders to support the legalization of possession of small amounts of marijuana.


In the current poll, 62 percent said they would support a universal, government-sponsored national health care insurance program; 47 percent of the general public holds that view. And 30 percent said that “Americans should always welcome new immigrants,” while 24 percent of the general public holds that view.

Their views on abortion mirror those of the public at large: 24 percent said it should not be permitted at all, while 38 percent said it should be made available but with greater restrictions. Thirty-seven percent said it should be generally available.

Back When I Was Young

The crack den was full of posts about how completely full of shit Mickey Kaus was on any given day. He’s grown since then, however. He’s like doing full-on performance art now:

That was fast: Malkin has produced a future anti-Graham spot. It’s good! And the tag line worked against Senor Sasser. [Correction: It didn’t. But it resonates!]

Yeah, yeah, yeah … wait, what?


Bush Boom Be Boomin’

Manufactured goods orders plunge.

Orders to U.S. factories for big-ticket manufactured goods plunged in May by the largest amount in four months as demand for aircraft, heavy machinery and metals all declined.
The Commerce Department reported Wednesday that new durable goods orders dropped by 2.8 percent last month, a far bigger drop than the 1 percent decline economists had been forecasting.

The weakness was led by a huge 22.7 percent plunge in orders for commercial aircraft, which can be extremely volatile from month to month. But orders were also down for a wide array of other goods, from primary metals such as steel to machinery and electronic appliances.

And in a potentially troubling sign for the future, orders for non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft, considered a good proxy for business investment, fell by 3 percent, the biggest drop since a 4.4 percent plunge in January.

Today on Athenae’s Obsession with the Freepi

Ungrateful Iraqis chuck their shiny new freedom and want to come here instead:

I wonder how many sleepers will be arriving in the U.S. soon from the Middle East.


Why the hell are we there if they won’t stay and fix their country?

This nation is being swamped by people who don’t have the chops to fix their own nations; what will they do for this nation?


I’m just tired of it all…illegals, TB, poison in the dog food and probably my food and vitamins…chocolate plants moving to mexico

And ERs shutting down because they use them as a primary care provider, and drunk driving mexs killing 25 Americans every day on the highways, and fat mex women changing their infant brat’s diaper on the floor of Dillards, and them changing out their truck transmission in public parking lots.


Sorry but I think these people need to stay in their own country and fight for their own freedom. A mosque soon to be in every neighborhood and Shiara Law in every community. I am sick to my stomach.


Perhaps this is the reason that another attack on the US is expected.

I’m particularly fond of the one that’s condensed every angry e-mail forward from his dittohead brother-in-law into one easy sentence about drunk Mexicans changing diapers and transmissions before drunk-driving into an ER and shutting it down. It’s very efficient, when you can make all your stereotypes fit nice and neat like that.


Today On Holden’s Obsession With The Gaggle

Geeze, chemotherapy must be giving Pony Blow a hard time. They really shouoldn’t send the mentally impaired Dana Peroxide out to do the gaggle after a news weekend like the one we just experienced.

The Word Of The Day Is “Opine”

Q Dana, as long as we’re talking about branches of government, can you go back to Vice President Cheney again, the argument that he’s not part of the executive branch. Does the President believe he’s part of the executive branch?

MS. PERINO: I think that that is an interesting constitutional question, and I think that lots of people can debate it. I think when we were talking about the EO from last week, we’ve gone over that several times. You probably don’t want me to go over it again. But the Vice President — any Vice President has legislative and executive functions.


When we are talking about this EO, it is separate and apart from — the President and the Vice President oversee the executive agencies. Supreme Court precedent shows that the Vice President and the President are not seen as an agency when it comes to executive orders.

Q I know that’s your argument about an agency, but it’s very separate from the argument the Vice President is making. And what is the President — what is the White House’s view of the argument the Vice President is making on whether or not he’s part of the executive branch?

Q For one, I think — I mean, the information is clearly —

MS. PERINO: I’m not opining on it, because the President did not intend for the Vice President to be subject as an agency in that section of the EO.

Q That’s an entirely different argument. So you don’t Vice President’s —

MS. PERINO: No, it’s the same —

Q You don’t support the Vice President —

MS. PERINO: I’m not opining on it either way.

Ask The Supreme Court, Ask The Vice President’s Office — Just Don’t Ask Dana

Q But, Dana, how could the Vice President, earlier in the administration, argue he didn’t have to turn over records about the energy task force, for example, because he was a member of the executive branch? He clearly stated that.

MS. PERINO: You could ask the Supreme Court who ruled in his favor.

Q But he did not say, I’m a member of the legislative branch, as well, so I don’t have to — I mean, he clearly stated that there was strong executive power and he didn’t have to turn over these records. Now, when it suits his interest, he seems to be saying a different legal argument.

MS. PERINO: Look, I’m not a legal scholar and there’s plenty of them that you can find in Washington, D.C. But just that very point that you’re making there shows that he has functions in both the executive branch and the legislative branch.

Q But he didn’t mention those functions — dual functions in the early legal arguments at the beginning of the administration. He only used the executive branch arguments.

MS. PERINO: Look, you can try to call his office and try to get more information. I’m not opining on his argument that his office is making.

Continue reading

A Bush Boom Double-Header

New homes sales and consumer confidence tumble.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – New home sales in May fell more than expected while consumer confidence in June hit a 10-month low amid worries about jobs and the business climate, adding to signs of sluggish economic growth this year.

“These are numbers that are consistent with a slowing down in activity, a moderation on the consumption side,” said Steven Wieting, an economist with Citigroup Global Markets, Inc., in New York.

Sales of new U.S. homes fell 1.6 percent last month to an annual rate of 915,000 from a downwardly revised rate of 930,000 in April, the Commerce Department said on Tuesday. Analysts had been looking for May new home sales of 925,000.


[A]dding to the gloomy picture for housing, a measure of existing U.S. single-family home prices showed a decline in April, extending a string of negative annual returns that started in January, according to Standard & Poor’s/Case Shiller home prices indexes released on Tuesday.

As woes deepened for the housing sector, the second-largest U.S. home builder, Lennar Corp. , posted a quarterly loss, forecast a loss for the current quarter, and warned the housing market could tumble further.


Consumer confidence in June fell more than expected.

The Conference Board said its index of consumer sentiment fell to 103.9 this month, the weakest since August 2006, from an upwardly revised 108.5 in May. Economists polled by Reuters had been looking for a reading of 105.5.

Apropo of Nothing

It’s NOT the Same Guy:

The Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act of 2006 mandated that FEMA create a National Advisory Council. Recently they announced the membership. It includes in the category of Elected Local Official, the mayor of Grand Forks named—Michael Brown.

Ya think anyone had a moment of hesitation because well ya know

So now which table is George Bush dining at?

Gov. Blanco and Donna Brazille spotted Tony Bennett while dining at Filomena’s in Georgetown. Brazille decided to write a note to Bennett thanking him for his work with the civil rights movement. When she tried to discreetly hand it to him–Brazille explains— “the maitre d’ did a body block. I said, ‘I beg your pardon?’ . . . We
weren’t a threat. The governor was packing, she had three security

However Bennett recognized the women and they got a pic with him. Better yet “the governor got introduced to a corporate titan at the table who
offered assistance to rebuild hundreds of Katrina-wrecked homes.”

I take it back. That’s something.

‘Top of the List’

Via Romenesko, the Sacramento Bee:

How rare is it these days for a reader to write a letter to the paper supporting President George W. Bush?

Well, visualize quietly efficient editorial workers diligently digging through the hundreds of e-mails, letters, faxes and online offerings submitted by The Bee’s readers each week.

Days and days go by until, finally, one suddenly appears, like a glimmering gold nugget in a clear Sierra stream: a letter praising the president.


It brings a smile to Bill Moore’s face, not to mention a sense of relief.


“We’d love to put pro-Bush letters in,” he said. “If a letter like that comes in, it goes to the top of the list. I make a big deal about it.

And you know, it doesn’t matter. You can keep shunting those letters to the top of the list. You can keep fishing around for any positive sentiment, any at all, for the president. The 26-percenters are still going to hate you and blame you for his decline. No matter how well you cook the pot roast, they’re still going to beat you black and blue, so just stop pretending it has anything to do with you. It’s painful to watch.


Missionary To The Surrender Monkeys

Winger head explosion alert! Mitt Romney dodged the draft during the Vietnam War by performning Mormom missionary work…


As the Vietnam War raged in the 1960s, Mitt Romney received a deferment from the draft as a Mormon “minister of religion” for the duration of his missionary work in France, which lasted two and a half years.

Before and after his missionary deferment, Romney also received nearly three years of deferments for his academic studies. When his deferments ended and he became eligible for military service in 1970, he drew a high number in the annual lottery that determined which young men were drafted. His high number ensured he was not drafted into the military.

The deferments for Mormon missionaries became increasingly controversial in the late 1960s, especially in Utah, leading the Mormon Church and the government to limit the number of church missionaries who could put off their military service. That agreement called for each church ward, or church district, to designate one male every six months to be exempted from potential duty for the duration of his missionary work.

Romney’s home state was Michigan, making his 4-D exemption as a missionary all but automatic because of the relatively small number of Mormon missionaries from that state. It might have been more difficult in Utah, where the huge Mormon population meant that there were sometimes more missionaries than available exemptions. Most missions lasted two and a half years, as Romney’s did.