Monthly Archives: June 2008

Fill in the blank:

Larry Craig and David Vitterco-sponsoring the Marriage Protection Amendment is like________________________________________.

Today on Athenae’s Obsession With The Freepi: We’re Not A Hate Site, You Filthy Bitch, Pt. 2

The Washington Post takes them to task for spreading the Obama/Muslim smear, and they respond with the kind of peace and tolerance that has given them the reputation they have:

That bimbo Danielle Allen doesn’t have the first clue about stalking. If I wanted to, I could have her entire credit and employment history, complete criminal history, and a whole bunch of interesting stuff from her neighbors past and present, and she couldn’t do a damn thing about it.

I spent enough years doing skiptracing for a major corporation that I could figuratively put a microphone and a camera up her tail, have a good look around, write ‘Kilroy was Here’ inside her colon, and she would never have a clue.

They later post “that bimbo’s” contact information, so you can call her up and tell her what you think. Stay classy, Free Republic.



Yeah, They Could At Least Throw In The Health Care

So long as we’re doing Stalinism, apparently:

I would throw in the ecstatic rightwing support for police state government powers (and I’m not talking about the fringe – the line starts at Andrew Sullivan and includes every Republican Congressperson save one) to make a larger point. On the subject of government power, the reversal was so extreme that it was like watching the GOP step out of a bodysnatcher pod. It became obvious America doesn’t have a conservative party any longer. There aren’t even that many conservatives; if it was Jews most cities couldn’t form a minyan. In the late Bush era, if you count out the fringe parties we have on the one hand reformed ‘conservatives’ whose domestic and foreign policy amounts to stalinism minus the healthcare, and on the other hand you have Democrats.

We’ve had about sixteen things go wrong in one week, and I was talking offline about this with some people, but what Democrats aren’t grasping entirely is just how fucking fucked we are, as a country, when governed with this kind of selfish “fuck you, I got mine and you ain’t getting yours” mentality. Governed by fear, governed by rage, governed by suspicion, governed by our worst instincts and darkest thoughts and most batshit worst-case scenarios. Governed by the people who, on balance, looked at the numbers and said fuck it, let’s go pack this in, it’s Miller time, and so what if a few more die while we chill?


Saturday Blogwhoring Thread


Because that kind of sums up the week.

Post away.


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

Dana Sez We Can’t Outlaw Torture

Q Has the President ever considered an executive order that would ban torture specifically? There’s a letter out now from a bipartisan group of former Secretaries of State, including Secretary of State George Shultz, with whom the President was a couple of weeks ago, and former Defense Secretaries and military officials saying that there should be an executive order with the force of law saying that torture is unacceptable.

MS. PERINO: Well, we certainly respect the views of George Shultz. And one thing I would point to is that we have a set of laws that have been passed during this administration, and an executive order, in fact. There was the Detainee Treatment Act, there was the Military Commissions Act, and then there was the President’s executive order interpreting Common Article 3.

So we feel like we have taken steps to address that issue. And I would also point out that we face a very different enemy today than America has ever faced before. We face an enemy that respects no borders, respects no uniforms, and certainly has no regard for civilians, especially innocent women and children and the elderly. So we take his position seriously, but we do think that we have the mechanisms in place to address the issue.

Sovereignty Is A Bitch

Q After the meeting with President Talabani, how close is the U.S. and Iraq to reaching an agreement on the strategic force —

MS. PERINO: Well, they continue to work on it, and I couldn’t put odds on it either way. But we continue to work on it. We think that it’s critically important that we have some sort of mechanism to — legal mechanism to make sure that our forces can operate legally there. So they had a good conversation about it, and obviously the negotiators continue to work on the issue.

Q Did they get into the details of it?

MS. PERINO: No, I don’t think — no, I don’t — the negotiators are getting into the details.

Surprised? He Approved!

Q What was the President’s reaction to the Justice Department report on improper hiring?

MS. PERINO: I said today that the President appreciated the fact that Attorney General Mukasey had already implemented all the recommendations that the Inspector General had put forth, and he expects that those should be implemented fully across the board, and that no politicization in terms of hiring practices should be allowed.

Q Was he not surprised that such a process was taking place?

MS. PERINO: Was he not surprised?

Q Was he surprised that such a process was taking place?

MS. PERINO: Well, I didn’t ask if he was surprised or not. But we do know that he was thankful that General Mukasey had taken this on and had implemented the recommendations of the Inspector General.

Dana Don’t Know, But It’s A Good Idea!

Q Has the President ever met with a group of TV military analysts assembled by the Pentagon?

MS. PERINO: I don’t know. But what — I don’t know.

Q The Pentagon released emails saying that they were seeking such a meeting — that was in March 2006.

MS. PERINO: I think it would probably have been a good idea if they had. It would have been a good meeting.

Q What would such a meeting have —

MS. PERINO: I’m not going to speculate on a meeting that I don’t remember, that I don’t know it happened. I just will say I don’t know, but I think it would have been a good idea had there been a meeting.

Les’ War OnThe New York Times

Q The New York Times reported this morning from San Francisco that the Presidential Memorial Commission of San Francisco is planning to ask voters to change the name of the prize-winning water treatment on the shoreline to, “The George W. Bush Sewage Plant.” And my question: What is the White House reaction to this New York Times news report?

MS. PERINO: I just don’t think it dignifies a response.

Q But do you think that The New York Times doesn’t deserve an answer? Is that what you’re saying?

MS. PERINO: I think your question doesn’t deserve an answer. (Laughter.)

Q Wait a minute, what about The New York Times? I didn’t bring it up. It was The New York Times, Dana, New York Times.

MS. PERINO: I don’t think they were the first to report it.

Q Well, don’t you have any comment on The New York Times?

MS. PERINO: No. Since she’s not here to defend herself, I’ll pass.

Attacks in Afghanistan up 40%

CNNreported today that “the number of foreign forces in Afghanistan killed in June has reached 39, the highest monthly toll of the war.”

In a Wednesday articleStars and Stripes reported that tactics used by insurgents in Afghanistan are becoming more complex and it included this:

Compared to the same time period in 2007, there has been a 40 percent
increase in attacks against coalition personnel in Afghanistan since he took his
post in early April, Schloesser said. [Army Maj. Gen. Jeffrey J.
Schloesser, commander of Combined Joint Task Force-101

Insurgents attacking coalition forces have increased their use of direct-fire
attacks, indirect fire attacks which employ mortars and crude rockets, and
improvised explosive devices such as roadside bombs, Schloesser said.

The enemy has decreased its number of suicide attacks, Schloesser said.

Twelve percent of all attacks, Schloesser said, are cross-border forays from
Pakistan’s frontier into Afghanistan by an increasingly diverse variety of
groups that are using the no-man’s land as a safe haven.


This is why it’s pointless to “work with them.”

Because in the end, no matter how much they pretend to be your friends, they will fuck you when it matters. They have always done this, will always do this, and since nobody really cares anyway if Republicans and Democrats are nice to each other so long as they can continue to eat, you might as well on balance not waste your time.

It’s on Brownback that he’s acting like a fucking asshole, don’t get me wrong. But this is exactly why most people who’ve been relatively awake for the past eight years hear “bipartisanship” and “working across the aisle” and “ending the gridlock in Washington” and “getting things done for YOU” and hear the sound of one hand wanking Richard Cohen.


Friday Ferretblogging: Troublemaking Edition

Disclaimer: I know we brought this on ourselves. We adopted big, fat, young boy ferrets, and they’re made of snips and snails and puppy dog tails and they’re just being big fat young boy ferrets. I’m notreally angry at them. “Vermin” and “varmint” are terms of affection.

Now. I don’t know what it is this week. Astrology out of whack again? Moon phase not right? Heat making the beasties as crazy as it’s making me? For whatever reason, they’ve chosen this particular moment in time to be absolute monsters, climbing things we didn’t think they could climb (how did you get up THERE?!!?), finding new places to use as a latrine (I’ll just clean under the … eww), shredding important mail (I might NEED that credit card offer if this thing with the gas prices keeps up) and generally making unholy pests out of themselves.

And after they do something like, say, pry open the door to the recycling bin and make a nest out of all the paper and plastic, they give me these looks:



Which is why when I refer to them as “crow bait,” it’s said with a great deal of love.


Stupid Shit Friday

Simple enough, right?

Does the world ever seem absurd beyond reckoning to you?

Above, you will see an ice cube bin. You probably have one in your freezer. Well, I recently bought a new one, myself. 

It’s an ice cube bin. Labeled as such. For the storage of ice cubes. In your average department store, they’re sold right next to the ice cube trays. 

If this seems a little repetitive, please just bear with me. 

When I got home, and proceeded to wash it, I peeled off the adhesive label. And, at this time, I took a close look. Here’s what it said:

Ice Cube Bin

  • Holds up to 4 trays of ice
  • Freezer/top rack dishwasher safe

Wait, what?

  • Freezer/top rack dishwashersafe

Huh. Ya think?

I mean, was that really necessary? Does anyone make non-fucking-freezer-safe ice cube bins? Wouldn’t that be like making a non-oven-safe cookie sheet?

Sometimes, I just gotta scratch my head.

Know Who Your Friends Are

FDL has the FISA cloture vote tally.

We get back up. We may take a minute to lay here and kick our feet (thanks for showing up to work, senators, honestly, thanks for making it into the office, I know it can’t be easy to walk with your head so far up your own colon) but in the morning, we get back up. When that’s all you’ve got left, that’s what you take. You pull me up, I’ll pull you.


Every Day

I love Steve Rhodes more:

I read Lewis Lazare’s column today on a book called The Dumbest Generation with interest because for the last couple of years Lazare has called me up periodically to complain about how dumb young people are these days, and he usually blames the Internet.

Why he calls me, I don’t know. I’ve never met the man.

I also don’t believe today’s generation is dumber than those who came before because they don’t read newspapers. I think newspapers are dumber.

And I’m not sure where a Sun-Times columnist gets off complaining that the Internet is dumbing down America while the paper is running a “Which Team’s Fans Are Hotter?” contest.

If I ran a major school of journalism (oh, the hilarity of imagining the curriculum) this man would be in charge of all of everything while I took trips, enjoyed faculty parties, and hung out with the kids in the student newspaper office.


Today on Athenae’s Obsession with the Freepi: Vote For McCain!

The fate of Western civilization “is in the balance:”

The fate of Western Civilization is in the balance, and the very best person the republicans could find was McCain???

The GOP forces this moron down our throats, then we are told that the entire fate of civilization depends on us to agree with them. What a bunch of lunatics!

No President can save western civilation, especially McCain or Obama.

Sounds like the promo for a WWF event.

I could care less and I refuse to choose between the Flaming Marxist and the RINO Liberal!!! The Republican Party has cut it’s own nuts off when it gave us Conservatives the finger after 2004.

I remember people saying the same thing about Carter, and twice about Clinton…but we’re still here.

As an extra little treat, apparently Barack Obama was secretly born outside the US and smuggled in here as a Muslim plot. So running through the thread about how McCain sucks are demands that The Mystery Obstetrician Reveal Himself To Us:

I want the hospital records. Funny how no one has come forth claiming to have been the doctor or nurse who delivered the man.


They’re Not Like Us

Not that this is new, but HONESTLY:

He seems to think the Iraqis are sad and mad because we liberated them instead of letting them liberate themselves. It’s nice that Tommy Friedman likes this happy rhetoric of liberation, though it’s a bit different from the days when he was saying we invaded Iraq so our soldiers could go door to door telling Iraqis to Suck. On. This. I don’t know how much our soldiers actually did this, but in any case Little Tommy Friedman can’t get himself to understand that maybe Iraqis are sad and mad because we invaded and occupied their country and then hundreds of thousands of people died.


But more than that, we may remember that many Iraqis did, in fact, fight for it. They didn’t fight for it in the way Tommy Friedman imagines they should have, which I think involves having a staring contest or something. They fought for it by killing a lot of people and blowing a lot of things up.

I know it’s a DFH thing to say, that people who do bad things should at least be understood, if only because you can’t fight something you don’t get, but come the fuck on. It’s not like this is a way of behavior we’ve never seen before. For Friedman to pretend that this wasn’t visible coming about twenty miles down the pike is unconscionably dense, even for a splendid specimen of garden implement like him.

I am really coming to dislike this right-wing meme that Iraqis simply aren’t grateful enough for the glorious freedom we gave them. It’s been clear since at least 2005 that that was going to be the way we got out of this war and pretended not to be the asshole: blame the people whose country we blew up for not wanting to rebuild it themselves with duct tape and baling wire in their infinite spare time, you know, the vast hours they have to spend twiddling their thumbs, in between trying to find clean water and dodging mortar fire. That’s how we’re going to excuse what we did, by blaming them for not liking it. “Eh, we tried, but you ungrateful bitches threw it back in our faces and then blew some stuff up like animals. Fuck you. You don’t DESERVE the glory of our incoming grenades!”

Moreover, I am getting incoherent about the condescending, patronizing tone of Friedman and his “expert” columnist ilk. It’s just beyond the fucking pale to look at suicide bombings and political violence as somehow “other,” as something so alien we couldn’t possibly, no, we wouldnever. Christian Bale takes his shirt off a lot in Batman Begins (bear with me, here) so I watch it pretty much every time it’s on whatever random cable channel is providing background just for the push-up scene, but in talking about how to wreck civilizations: “In Gotham we tried a new kind of weapon: Economics.” Sad that I should have to go to a movie about a fucking comic book character for a point that should be made by the likes of our newspaper columnists. Like, say, Tom Friedman. Who is busy pointing out how much better than this we are. We fought for our freedom. We don’t do suicide bombings. We don’t do political violence. We’re different.

Here’s a clue for the golf outing set: Just because our people die of poverty and preventable disease (mostly) quietly and out of sight of elite columnists like Friedman doesn’t make us a place free of political violence. Poverty is political violence. Substandard health care is political violence. And yes, drive-by shootings and systemic neglect of entire swaths of humanity referred to as “the ghetto” constitute political violence. Just because nobody’s waving a flag when they die doesn’t make our society any more reasonable or moral.

Walk a mile from Friedman’s shiny office. Walk a mile from my house. Open your fucking eyes. We “fought” for this society, and it’s full of violence, and most of it begot by the same things that cause violence anywhere. Take hundreds of desperate people, wall them off from their fellow men and women, and tell everybody to forget they exist. Let their sewer pipes rot. Shut off their heat. Ignore the holes in their streets. Skip their housing inspections, and when they call to complain, tell them there’s nothing you can do. See how grateful they are for your benevolence then. See how different it looks from fucking Baghdad. We’re all people. We’re all the same. We do this to each other and then wedare act like we don’t understand?

Friedman thinks he’s standing on a pedestal here. It’s a rickety stack of wooden boxes, half of them rotted, teetering this way and that, and he hears the roar of the storm coming to knock it all over and thinks it’s applause. You mentally tone-deaf asshole, Tom. You ought to be ashamed.



A Recap of Today’s FISA Debate

Senate Chaplain: Please deliver us from the morons and attention whores in this chamber, and rendereth your healing powers upon Norm Coleman’s gopher-fur toupee, in the name of the Lord, amen.

Chris Dodd: Let’s do dis.

Mitch McConnell: If you’re not putting on a rabbit suit and engaging in what I think the kids today call “yiffing,” you don’t have anything to worry about from being wiretapped!

Chuck Grassley: The phone companies are fine, patriotic corporate citizens who bent over their desks and took it just like your mom did. BOOYAH!

Saxby Chambliss: The only people opposed to spying on Americans are tinfoil-hat wearing 9/11 truthers.

(No, really. I can’t improve upon perfection. Scroll down to about 14:30.)

Orrin Hatch: We were ATTACKED! By TERRORISTS! In case you FORGOT!

Russ Feingold:Jesus, these people suck.

Chris Dodd: Word.

Ron Wyden:

The end.


Deadly consequence


NOPD Officer Nicola Cotton


Bernel Johnson charged with the murder of Officer Cotton

(Times Picayune photos)

This is just a sad story all around. While I think it is something that could have occured in any city and in New Orleans prior to Katrina, the fact remains and has been known for quite some time that there is a continuing mental health care crisis in NOLA post Katrina/federal flood.Below are excerpts from a NYT article on the shooting death of NOPD Officer Nicola Cotton, 24, on Monday. She was shot 15 times by Bernel P. Johnson, a man with a long history of mental illness … 

NEW ORLEANS — On Monday morning, in a bleak shopping strip almost under
the Pontchartrain Expressway, Bernel P. Johnson wrestled the gun away
from a young police officer and shot her dead. When backup officers
arrived, he handed them the weapon.

But Mr. Johnson, 44, who had a long history of psychiatric
problems, was not supposed to be anywhere near that street or any
other. Just three weeks earlier, on Jan. 4, the police “observed him to
be mentally ill and dangerous to others,” said Dr. Jeffrey Rouse, the
chief deputy coroner, who signed the papers committing Mr. Johnson to
involuntary treatment.

He was sent to a state mental institution,
to be confined until he was no longer a danger to himself or others.
Somehow, for reasons that remain unclear, the institution released him
before the shooting. Because of privacy laws, state officials are not
saying which institution it was, or how the decision was made.

But the mental health system has been in chaos since Hurricane Katrina,and questions over these kinds of releases are adding to waves of grief, anger and fear that have swept over many in the city, even as it celebrates Mardi Gras.


Police officers are furious over what they see as a shortage of
acute-care psychiatric beds at the remaining public hospital in the
city and a lack of follow-up treatment. A prominent judge says the
parish jail has become a de-facto replacement for closed psychiatric
wards, and the sheriff who runs the prison agrees.

officials contend that they are struggling to rebuild the system, even
as more people here are uninsured and so do not have access to other
treatment. Doctors warn that the stress of living in a deeply damaged
city, often without family and friends, is pushing people over the edge.

And some also say that since Hurricane Katrina, the city has been
attracting transients with mental health problems, who end up homeless
and troubled on the streets. Or, as Dr. Rouse puts it, “It’s almost as
if New Orleans has become a magnet for chaos.”

The Times Picayune had a more detailed article yesterday titledProfile of a Murder.


(Times Picayune photo by
New Orleans police officer Matt Patin comforts
fellow officer E.C. Whitfield, left, during a memorial for slain
officer Nicola Cotton at the NOPD Sixth District on Martin Luther King
Blvd., New Orleans, Wednesday, January 30, 2008. Dozens of NOPD
personnel and members of the community memorialized Cotton as her
patrol car was draped with a black cloth and flowers on the hood.

UPDATE: Link above has been updated with the following…

An autopsy performed on Cotton revealed she was eight weeks pregnant,
said Cedric Pollard, 25, who said he was her boyfriend. Pollard said in
a telephone interview that he’d had some inkling Cotton might be
expecting. He said he found out for sure only after her death.

Blog Pimpin’

Listen to her. Keep these fools off yo’ ass.

Hey hey, everyone!

My dear, dear friend Emily, who is also a friend of Athenae, has a blog. It’s not full of weighty stuff like politics and fuckin’ FEMA and Battlestar Galactica, but it will help you to look sharper. If you’re a guy. And, come on. You know you could stand to dress more nicely. I’ve seen what you wear.

So check her out! She’s a hell of a writer, you’ll enjoy it, and, like watching Fat Albert, you just might learn something.

Her place isFashionable Men-tions

Dodd FISA Filibuster Crack Van, Er, Speech

C-Span watch here. Fuck me blind, he’s actually doing it.

Update: False alarm. Dodd gave an absolutely blistering speech, which ishere:

None of our fellow Americans will have their day in court.

What they will have is a government that has sanctioned lawlessness.

Well, I refuse to accept that, Mr. President. I refuse to accept the argument that because this situation is just too delicate, too complicated, that this body is simply going to go ahead and sanction lawlessness.

We are better than that.

And if I have needed any reminder of that fact, simply look to all those who have joined this fight – my colleagues and the many, many Americans who have given me strength for this fight. Strength that comes from the passion and eloquence of citizens who don’t have to be involved, but choose to be nonetheless.