Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Cell Phones Numbers and Telemarketers:
Don't Let Telemarketers Eat Your Minutes

(Special thanks to Anna)

Thirty days from today, cell phone numbers will be released to telemarketing companies and you will start to receive unsolicited sales calls.
These telemarketers will eat up your free minutes.

To prevent this, call the following number from your cell phone:


It is the National DO NOT CALL list.
It will only take a minute of your time and blocks your number from annoying telemarketers for five years.


You can also register on line at:www.donotcall.gov

Monday, August 29, 2005

Technical Difficulties

Due to some electrical problems in my home that will require professional electricians to repair, Pulp Friction will be idle for a few days.

Please send prayer cards and headache pain relievers to the following address:

Karen Zipdrive
c/o General Delivery
Electrical Hell
Armanda Leg, Texas

Friday, August 26, 2005

From salon.com today:

Tell us again about the women, George

Remember Safia Taleb al-Suhail?
She was the Iraqi woman George W. Bush trotted out for his State of the Union address earlier this year, the daughter of a man murdered by Saddam Hussein who provided the feel-good moment of the president's performance when, sitting up there in the balcony with Laura Bush, she embraced the mother of an American soldier killed in Iraq.

We wonder if she'll be invited back for next year's speech.

Bush says he knows that Iraq's still unfinished constitution will be a victory for women because Condoleezza Rice told him so. But if the president were to check in with Suhail, he might come away with a different story. According to a Reuters report, Suhail, who is now Iraq's ambassador to Egypt, believes that the draft Iraqi constitution represents a major setback for the women of her country.

"When we came back from exile, we thought we were going to improve rights and the position of women," she said. "But look what has happened -- we have lost all the gains we made over the last 30 years. It's a big disappointment."

She is concerned -- as many Iraqis are -- that the draft constitution allows religious sects to run Iraq's family courts, likely leaving decisions about divorce, inheritance and other issues important to women in the hands of Islamic clerics. "This will lead to creating religious courts," she said. "But we should be giving priority to the law."

Suhail said the United States has sold out Iraq's women in the drive to get a constitution -- any constitution -- approved by Iraq's National Assembly. "We have received news that we were not backed by our friends, including the Americans," she said. "They left the Islamists to come to an agreement with the Kurds."

Thursday, August 25, 2005

A Texas Woman Recaps Her Recent Visit to Camp Casey:

Camp Casey: A Phoenix

My teenaged daughter and I, with one of her friends in tow, left Kerrville, Texas and made the four and a half hour drive north on Saturday, Aug 20th, arriving in Crawford, Texas at 8:30 PM. The five hours we spent there will forever be etched in our minds.

We followed the directions for arriving in Crawford from McGregor 6.3 miles to the south (highway 84 and 317), ...once in Crawford, we turned left onto West Fifth at the intersection where the only gas station in town is located. There, across from the gas station, town folk sat waving American flags from their lawn chairs beneath signs reading: "We Support Our President" painted onto white bed sheets. On West Fifth we drove a third of a mile to Prairie Chapel Road, where we turned right. Then, we drove about 5 miles on a flat, winding road past nondescript fields and pastures, so characteristic of rural Texas.

And then we saw them. Small white crosses, hundreds of them standing beside the road, each painted with a name of a soldier who has died in the Iraq War. Beside every sixth or seventh cross there was a solar luminary casting its light on the crosses. Soon we could see ahead a row of buses and campers and cars with signs bearing anti-war sentiments and support for the peace movement painted on or leaning against each one. Really the vehicles, tents, signs and banners meshed into a unified wall of strength. Anyone who has seen, firsthand or in film footage, images of the massive anti-war rallies of the Vietnam Era might think they had gone back in time when this wall of resistance first comes into view, rising like a phoenix from the surrounding Texas pastures.

For a moment my mind flashed back to memories of childhood nightmares which contained the whoosh, whoosh sounds made by Huey helicopters as they carried the dead and wounded out of Vietnam combat zones, which was captured by television cameras and broadcast in our living room night after night, year after year. Upon seeing such a strong reminder that the peace movement once again needs our support (and presence) to force the government to end this war and bring our troops home safely, I looked to the sky expecting to see helicopters overhead producing the traumatic sounds being replayed in my head. I squinted to read the anti-war signs: a picture of Bush sprouting a speech bubble which contained the phrase "Bring 'em on... except the MOMS," "Tell us why our sons and daughters, sisters and brothers, mothers and fathers are dying in Iraq in this immoral war," "Peace NOW," "Iraq Veterans Against War," and more.

We had reached Camp Casey I, named for Cindy Sheehan's son who was killed in Iraq last year. In and around the vehicles were tents and campsites and people. All ages of people, from babies and toddlers in strollers to men and women in their 80s. I pulled my car to the far end and off the opposite side of the road from the Bread Not Bombs bus.

At seeing the bus, my mind wandered back fifteen years, to Long Beach California where I first met the Bread Not Bombs peace activists group who, every Sunday, fed a crowd of between 200 and 700 homeless citizens of that city, in a park outside the City Council chambers. Until they were forced to move to a park on the poor side of town. Being outside council chambers became an embarrassing reminder of how so very many homeless and hungry people lived among us, and it was bad for the tourism industry. My children and I attended their gatherings to help cook and eat WITH the homeless folks, unlike many of the church people who came to help, but wouldn't sit down to talk to and eat beside a homeless person for anything. I was a political activist at the time, organizing homeless people and writing about the affects of poverty on children and families. I was also about as anti-war as one could be and loved every peace activist I met who was working in the Bread Not Bombs organization.

At Camp Casey I (called Camp One, for short) an organizer (everyone here is a volunteer) came over to our car to tell us to drive 3 miles further, past the secret service blocking the entrance to the first of two roads leading directly to the Bush compound, to the second location of Camp Casey. At this point, we could have parked alongside the road here and taken a shuttle van driven by women volunteers, but we chose to drive on, as I have mobility issues and needed to be dropped directly at the evening activities, of which we knew nothing about before arriving.

On the long drive up from the Texas Hill Country, we tried to think what might be needed at the site that we could bring to contribute to the efforts of the activists camped there. Food and water seemed logical. We gave the volunteer who'd given us directions the food we'd brought to donate, as he explained there was a free collective kitchen set up at both camps. Grateful volunteers, who seemed far less weary than I did after my long drive, carted off the two pounds of sliced turkey, loaf of wheat bread, bag of apples, box of strawberries, and six gallons of spring water that we had bought at the HEB grocery store in McGregor, TX with money borrowed to make the trip. Then, we began our trek on down the road to Camp Casey II, not knowing what we would find, only knowing that we MUST go, resisting the strong urge to remain at this extraordinary encampment to visit and network with those manning Camp One.

We drove on, eating the dust of the vehicle up ahead when the road was no longer paved. It had just become dark and the sky was colored in eerie swirls and splotches. Now we new we were on a quest, when just 8 hours before this we had no idea we would be making this journey. We arrived and saw crowds of people ready to leave, waiting to take the shuttle van back to Camp One. There was a huge tent with tables and folding chairs, a stage at one end and serving lines at the other, with Bread Not Bombs activists dishing up free food for all the volunteers and visitors alike. There were a couple of large Uhaul trucks and motor homes stacked behind the stage. There was a large area with row upon row of small white crosses with names of victims of this war painted on each, arranged just like Arlington National Cemetery outside of Washington, DC. This was named "Arlington West" and volunteers and visitors everyday work painting the names on more crosses to be placed there.

When we arrived, a Marine bugler, named Jeff Key, had just finished playing Taps over Arlington West, and I wished we had arrived in time to experience that event. I sat at the information booth and signed the visitor book and read where others came from. Illinois, Kansas, New York, Florida, Ohio, Georgia.... and Texans from all over the state. I had glanced at only the last couple of pages of a huge list. A musician was finishing up his last song. It was James McMurtry, a 43 year old Americana artist from my hometown of Fort Worth, Texas, whom I had not heard of. I found out from the woman at the information table a little about him. His father, Lonesome Dove author Larry McMurtry, exposed his son to what he called, "hillbilly music" by playing the records of Johnny Cash and Roy Acuff. At the house of his mother, a university English professor, he heard a lot of Kris Kristofferson records. Cash was James' first concert as a kid; Kristofferson, his second.

I was wishing I'd arrived sooner to hear him play, but this whole trip was a spur of the moment decision, as it was for so many others, as I found out later when talking to others. It had been dreadfully hot last Saturday and I just didn't think I could stand the heat, so waited until late afternoon to leave. As it was, I cooked in the car, gusts of hot air whipping my hair into my face and drying my sweat to keep me cool, not using the A/C to get better gas mileage. I didn't know what, if anything, would be happening at night, but felt compelled to come.

My 16 year old daughter, Molly and her 26 year old best friend, Amanda, walked up with our small ice chest and a jug of water, having parked in a ditch (no tires could be left touching pavement) along the side of the narrow road, just under a half mile further down from Camp Casey II. We made our way to the front row where there were about a dozen empty seats, as Steve Earl took the stage with his guitar.

Looking around the far side inside the tent I saw an enormous information booth with a banner overhead which read: Iraq Veterans Against War in letters three feet high, I saw a display of 40 or 50 handmade pro-peace/anti-war protest signs displayed out on the ground side by side for all to read, contributed by the many visitors and volunteers. I can't walk far so I sat and listened to the message of the musician, while my daughter and her friend went to see who had the other booths and what they were about. The food tables and Bread Not Bombs folks were at the opposite end of the tent which was too far for me to walk. I was sad I couldn't make it over there to see those folks and offer them a hug and catch up on what projects they were tackling these days, other than this historic event. Even so, I felt incredibly connected to, and a part of, everything I saw and heard from the very first moment I saw the first row of crosses alongside the narrow country road leading up to Camp One. I barely gave the police cars I had passed a cursory glance. I was told they would ticket any vehicle parked with wheels touching the pavement, which is why everyone had to park on the slant into the roadside ditch.

Nobody was selling anything or making money. Everyone was there to get information or give information. A few sat with laptops equipped with satellite Internet capabilities perched on their laps, allowing many others to send and receive email to loved ones. Everyone was fed for free and no one went hungry, whether at the camp for a few hours or several weeks. The spiritual atmosphere was both uplifting and serious, a blend of outrage and compassion and strength and sorrow, topped with a heavy dose of determination that one could almost reach out and touch. Many were there to give out information because they had been to Iraq, or was related to a soldier who had been there or was currently there, or had died or been wounded. Some were Vietnam vets now working for peace. Some were lifelong peace activists opposed to US military escapades globally, having worked on exposing the destruction wreaked by the US military in the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Central America or other places. Everyone at Camp Casey, no matter what distance they had traveled to get there, and, no matter if they had been there only a few hours or several weeks, was energized!

I visited with those around me. A very determined man set up audio/video equipment on his chair as he perched in front of me on the ground monitoring the video display as it recorded Steve Earle on stage. Earle delivered soulful country songs espousing his anti-death penalty stance and eloquent, passionate, stories of his life growing up in Texas, and also about living now with his two young-adult sons in rural Texas, and his determination to keep them out of the military. He was witty and serious. He directed a few choice comments in anger, turning on the stage to face in the direction of the Bush compound just over a mile away. He'd finished a gig in Colorado the day before and had driven all the previous night to make it to Crawford to perform and show his support for the peace camp.

After Steve Earle left the stage to a standing ovation of about 500 people under this huge tent, the man who'd been videotaping reached out his hand to me and introduced himself. He and his wife had flown in from Santa Clara, California to Dallas, and driven a rental car down to Crawford. When I asked where they were staying, they said a man at one of the information booths, who was camping at Camp Casey, offered his own apartment in Waco to them for a few nights. The couple gave me their business card and asked me to keep in touch via eMail. His wife had closed her chiropractic office for a week to accompany her husband to Camp Casey, to find out what they could do back home to support the efforts to bring about the end of the Iraq War.

During the Earle performance I opened a box of strawberries and offered them to those sitting around me and in back of me. After the performance I visited with them to learn who they were. One was a doctor who'd closed his practice in Denver for a month to come be a volunteer at Camp Casey. Another man behind me was a Science teacher who came for the weekend from a distant Texas town. Someone else near me was a retired fireman, who had come in his RV to volunteer. Then, there was Antonio, who came up from the back to join the group with whom I was visiting. He came armed with three flutes: one Irish, one Native American, and a Recorder. One of the group was playing a mandolin and Antonio chimed in playing a beautiful melody on his Irish flute. Antonio, I learned, was a man who was an organizer of a peace group in New York City. His father was killed when the second tower was hit at the 76th floor. His father was an insurance agent working in an office on the 90th floor. The name of the peace group in NYC to which he belongs is Families of Victims of 9/11 For Peace. He told me he gets very upset when he encounters folks who think the War in Iraq is justifiable and necessary retaliation for the 9/11 tragedy. He does not believe anything we are doing anywhere in the Middle East is making us safer here in the US, but rather, will incite MORE terrorist acts against us. He quoted a line in one song Steve Earle sang earlier about our government supporting Israel as they bulldoze the homes of Arabs, whose children throw stones at armed Israeli soldiers, in retaliation. I agreed with him that our government supports regimes who perpetrate heinous terrorist acts daily, and how sickening it is to hear Bush talk about his commitment to wipe out terrorism.

Now, about the Marine: Jeff Key. At midnight, he performed on stage a one-act play, named "The Eyes of Baghdad," which he wrote from the journal he kept while serving in Iraq. It is indescribable what this performance was truly like, but this is what I can offer. This tall, unassuming fellow from Georgia, who'd joined the Marines at the age of 34 after the 9/11 tragedy, made each of the 150 or so people who had stayed for the play after most left when the music was over, .... cry, laugh, feel rage and fear, and come to know on a very personal level who he was and what his experiences in Iraq had been. His job on his tour of duty was driving a special humvee-type vehicle to transport a group of fellow Marines in the combat zones. He also was the company bugler. He started out by explaining how frightening it was to fly on military planes which were older than he was and more often than not, malfunctioning and always breaking down. From there his story, infused with more humor than expected, detailed some very moving anecdotes, which made one feel as if they, too, had been with Key in Iraq. His explanation of the practice by US military personnel of referring to all Iraqis as "hajji" was priceless. He said (and I'm paraphrasing) that it is similar to calling Vietnamese "gooks" …because in reality, "hajji" is a term of reverence, used to address someone who has made a religious pilgrimage to Mecca, and when used by soldiers who are sent to kill, it just ends up making US soldiers look stupid in the eyes of their victims.... or something like that. I'm sure ALL in the audience had wished he would repeat it a second time... he said it with perfect cadence, very fast, and the whole thing seemed to just roll off his tongue in a tangy, Georgian drawl.

When his performance was over, at least half the audience stood in line to thank him, and/or hug him and talk to him. For me, I wouldn't have missed seeing his performance for anything in the world. It was so moving and enlightening.

We were tired and it was late. After 1:00 AM. We discussed the possibility of sleeping in our car, as we had come prepared with blankets and pillows. But my daughter said the car, where it was parked, was at too sharp an angle for us to attempt to sleep. We wanted to see Camp Casey in daylight, take pictures, paint a few crosses for the Arlington West project, and learn how we could help force an end to Bush's War. We considered driving further north to my brother's ranch and sleeping a few hours and driving back to Camp Casey, to stay a few hours, before making the long drive home. Molly's first day of school was Monday and we had to do laundry. We counted our money and discovered we had $22 and less than a half of a tank of gas. It didn't take long to realize we had to go straight home, with gas costing $2.50 a gallon and it being a four and a half hour drive back to Kerrville.

As everyone was crawling into their tents, bedding down on lounge chairs, walking back to their rental cars to get to the closest motels in Waco, or stepping into their RVs, we drove off into the still of a Texas night, glad we came and sorry to be leaving. My daughter and I, and her friend, all knew more upon leaving Camp Casey than we knew upon our arrival, mostly about ourselves.

We had gained personal strength from being in this place. We knew it was a good and powerful thing that we had come and witnessed this historical event. It was important to be counted as one of the thousands who had already come to add support to a vital endeavor. We knew we must now find a way to speak out in our own community against Bush's immoral war in Iraq, despite the fact that where we live is 99.9 percent war mongering Republicans.

I urge all who CAN make it to Camp Casey, even for just a few hours, do so, no matter how far you must travel or by what means. The experience will impact your Life in ways you cannot imagine, no matter what, if any, "special event" is happening. For my musician friends, grab a guitar, go there, and sign up at the information booth to perform. The volunteers there need your voice and talent.

Joan Baez was to perform, and did, at 6:00 PM on Sunday. We wanted to stay to see her perform and hear her message, but just couldn't, as we would've gotten home too late for Molly's first day of school on Monday.

Another thing we realized as we drove away, past the giant sleeping peace vigil of Camp One, past the solar luminary STILL lighting the long row of small white crosses, stuck in the dirt by the side of the road, that greeted us upon our arrival: we would be back to Crawford, TX BEFORE the entire camp marches on, and moves to, Washington, DC as part of a huge anti-war protest, which is expected to draw worldwide participants, on September 24th at the Capitol.


Texas National Organization for Women (NOW) Member
Never Mind What I Said About Bush's Boy John Roberts

A few posts ago, I said Bush's SCOTUS nominee John Roberts didn't seem like that much of a dick.
Now that I've read more about him, I made a mistake.
He sounds like a total dick, and a racist to boot.

Check out some of his legal antics.

Metro Broadcasting v FCC (1990)
Roberts argued against letting the FCC use affirmative action in distributing broadcast licenses. This case was a rare instance of the Solicitor General stepping in to block an action of the federal government to increase opportunity.

Board of Education of Oklahoma City v Dowell (1991)
In a brief signed by John Roberts, the Solicitor General's office argued against a court ruling that ordered a school district to prevent racial segregation. Roberts's brief opposed the efforts of African American families to argue that Oklahoma schools would become segregated again.

Freeman v Pitts (1992)
Roberts signed a brief urging the Supreme Court to overturn a lower-court decision that required a Georgia school district to ensure its schools were fully desegregated.

Lee v Weisman (1992)
Roberts filed a Supreme Court brief arguing that a school district should be permitted to invite clergy to lead public prayers at a graduation ceremony.

Voinovich v Quilter (1993)
Roberts co-authored a brief supporting an Ohio redistricting plan that minority voters said violated the Voting Rights Act by concentrating minority voters in a small number of districts.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Bush and Intelligent Design??

Oh, for God's sake.
Please don't tell me Bush and the word intelligent will start to be linked in any way, shape or form.
If evolution was not a scientific fact, Bush wouldn't look so much like a goddamned chimp.
End of Story.
1-2-3-4... We Don't Want Your Fucking War!

Looks like Vietnam-style protests are starting to form throughout the nation.
We should start coming up with slogans similar to the vintage 1-2-3-4 chant.
I recall with pride the protests and marches I used to participate in when Vietnam was going on, and I am certainly planning to join in the coming protests in the South Texas region.

Back then, a group called Country Joe and the Fish recorded the ultimate anti-war anthem:

Feel Like I'm Fixing To Die Rag (Next Stop Vietnam)

Come on all of you big strong men
Uncle Sam needs your help again
he's got himself in a terrible jam
way down yonder in Viet Nam so
put down your books and pick up a gun we're
gonna have a whole lotta fun
And it's one, two, three, what are we fighting for
don't ask me I don't give a damn, next stop is Viet Nam
And it's five, six, seven, open up the pearly gates
ain't no time to wonder why, whoopee we're all gonna die

Come on generals, let's move fast
your big chance has come at last
now you can go out and get those reds
cos the only good commie is the one that's dead and
you know that peace can only be won when we've
blown 'em all to kingdom come
Come on wall street don't be slow
why man this war is a go-go
there's plenty good money to be made by
supplying the army with the tools of its trade
let's hope and pray that if they drop the bomb,
they drop it on the Viet Cong
Come on mothers throughout the land
pack your boys off to Viet Nam
come on fathers don't hesitate
send your sons off before it's too late
and you can be the first ones on your block
to have your boy come home in a box..."

It's really not much different now.
We entered into Viet Nam because the United States was importing cheap tin and tungsten from South Viet Nam and wanted to keep it coming. The USSR, our bitter enemies at the time, backed North Vietnam just to stick it to us.
Basically, the war started as a North/South civil war. North Vietnam had most of the natural resources and lush farmlands, and South Vietnam wanted a share of them.
Countries like Australia and France passed their involvement on to the U.S.- they knew when to get the fuck out.
The United States lost more than 58,000 souls in the Vietnam war.
Many were my dear friends I still remember fondly.
Some 30 years later, then-Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara admitted in his memoirs that our involvement in Vietnam was a complete mistake.

At the rate we are going in Iraq, we are well ahead of the death toll for U.S. soldiers than we were at this stage of the Vietnam war.
We are quickly equaling the same number of deaths the Saudi terrorists inflicted upon the United States on 9/11, except our precious troops are fighting in a country that had nothing to do with 9/11.

Resident Bush, meanwhile, continues to cavort with the Saudi leaders, never once demanding a whit of accountability from them for sponsoring the worst attack the continental United States has ever endured.
As heavy investors in the American economy, especially the military industrial complex, the Saudis are making billions of dollars off Bush's war with hapless Iraq. So is Dick Cheney's Halliburton Company, which still pays him an annual stipend of $160,000 or more.
Halliburton has been given more than $10 billion in contracts in Iraq, with no end in sight. Cheney stays out of sight most of the time- he hates to discuss Halliburton, especially his continued involvement with them.

When your area gives you the opportunity to march or protest against this illegal, unwinnable war, please do.
Love your country by fighting for peace.
Say no to the Saudis and their hired hand Bush.
Say no to Halliburton serving our troops maggoty meals and selling our troops gasoline at 50 times the local price.

Support our troops. Bring them home.
Support America.
Oust Bush and his criminal associates.
Say yes to peace.
Pat Robertson: Jesus Christ's Little Hitman

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (Aug. 22) - Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson called on Monday for the assassination of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, calling him a "terrific danger" to the United States.

Now, I'm no devout Biblical scholar, but don't the 10 commandments pretty much cover killing as being something thou shalt not do?

So... let me get this straight.
It is ungodly to consider letting queers get married and raise families, but calling for hits on thine enemies is somehow okie dokie?

Well, at least we know where to find the village of Virginia Beach's idiot.
Praise the Lard!

Monday, August 22, 2005

A Simple Truth

Cindy Sheehan's objection to the war in Iraq is not Bush's biggest problem, the war he started in Iraq is his biggest problem.
If his exit strategy is to escalate, the war will become an even bigger problem for him.
Politicians on both sides of the aisle are starting to demand from Bush some accountability.
We Bloggers from the left were asking for accountability before the war even began.

Nice to see them catching up. Finally.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

The Media has Taken Off the Gloves, or: Why I Love Frank Rich

The Swift Boating of Cindy Sheehan
The New York Times
Published: August 21, 2005

CINDY SHEEHAN couldn't have picked a more apt date to begin the vigil that ambushed a president: Aug. 6 was the fourth anniversary of that fateful 2001 Crawford vacation day when George W. Bush responded to an intelligence briefing titled "Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the United States" by going fishing. On this Aug. 6 the president was no less determined to shrug off bad news. Though 14 marine reservists had been killed days earlier by a roadside bomb in Haditha, his national radio address that morning made no mention of Iraq. Once again Mr. Bush was in his bubble, ensuring that he wouldn't see Ms. Sheehan coming. So it goes with a president who hasn't foreseen any of the setbacks in the war he fabricated against an enemy who did not attack inside the United States in 2001.
When these setbacks happen in Iraq itself, the administration punts. But when they happen at home, there's a game plan. Once Ms. Sheehan could no longer be ignored, the Swift Boating began. Character assassination is the Karl Rove tactic of choice, eagerly mimicked by his media surrogates, whenever the White House is confronted by a critic who challenges it on matters of war. The Swift Boating is especially vicious if the critic has more battle scars than a president who connived to serve stateside and a vice president who had "other priorities" during Vietnam.
The most prominent smear victims have been Bush political opponents with heroic Vietnam résumés: John McCain, Max Cleland, John Kerry. But the list of past targets stretches from the former counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke to Specialist Thomas Wilson, the grunt who publicly challenged Donald Rumsfeld about inadequately armored vehicles last December. The assault on the whistle-blower Joseph Wilson - the diplomat described by the first President Bush as "courageous" and "a true American hero" for confronting Saddam to save American hostages in 1991 - was so toxic it may yet send its perpetrators to jail.
True to form, the attack on Cindy Sheehan surfaced early on Fox News, where she was immediately labeled a "crackpot" by Fred Barnes. The right-wing blogosphere quickly spread tales of her divorce, her angry Republican in-laws, her supposed political flip-flops, her incendiary sloganeering and her association with known ticket-stub-carrying attendees of "Fahrenheit 9/11." Rush Limbaugh went so far as to declare that Ms. Sheehan's "story is nothing more than forged documents - there's nothing about it that's real."
But this time the Swift Boating failed, utterly, and that failure is yet another revealing historical marker in this summer's collapse of political support for the Iraq war.
When the Bush mob attacks critics like Ms. Sheehan, its highest priority is to change the subject. If we talk about Richard Clarke's character, then we stop talking about the administration's pre-9/11 inattentiveness to terrorism. If Thomas Wilson is trashed as an insubordinate plant of the "liberal media," we forget the Pentagon's abysmal failure to give our troops adequate armor (a failure that persists today, eight months after he spoke up). If we focus on Joseph Wilson's wife, we lose the big picture of how the administration twisted intelligence to gin up the threat of Saddam's nonexistent W.M.D.'s.
The hope this time was that we'd change the subject to Cindy Sheehan's "wacko" rhetoric and the opportunistic left-wing groups that have attached themselves to her like barnacles. That way we would forget about her dead son. But if much of the 24/7 media has taken the bait, much of the public has not.
The backdrops against which Ms. Sheehan stands - both that of Mr. Bush's what-me-worry vacation and that of Iraq itself - are perfectly synergistic with her message of unequal sacrifice and fruitless carnage. Her point would endure even if the messenger were shot by a gun-waving Crawford hothead or she never returned to Texas from her ailing mother's bedside or the president folded the media circus by actually meeting with her.

The public knows that what matters this time is Casey Sheehan's story, not the mother who symbolizes it. Cindy Sheehan's bashers, you'll notice, almost never tell her son's story. They are afraid to go there because this young man's life and death encapsulate not just the noble intentions of those who went to fight this war but also the hubris, incompetence and recklessness of those who gave the marching orders.
Specialist Sheehan was both literally and figuratively an Eagle Scout: a church group leader and honor student whose desire to serve his country drove him to enlist before 9/11, in 2000. He died with six other soldiers on a rescue mission in Sadr City on April 4, 2004, at the age of 24, the week after four American security workers had been mutilated in Falluja and two weeks after he arrived in Iraq. This was almost a year after the president had declared the end of "major combat operations" from the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln.
According to the account of the battle by John F. Burns in The Times, the insurgents who slaughtered Specialist Sheehan and his cohort were militiamen loyal to Moktada al-Sadr, the anti-American Shiite cleric. The Americans probably didn't stand a chance. As Mr. Burns reported, members of "the new Iraqi-trained police and civil defense force" abandoned their posts at checkpoints and police stations "almost as soon as the militiamen appeared with their weapons, leaving the militiamen in unchallenged control."
Yet in the month before Casey Sheehan's death, Mr. Rumsfeld typically went out of his way to inflate the size and prowess of these Iraqi security forces, claiming in successive interviews that there were "over 200,000 Iraqis that have been trained and equipped" and that they were "out on the front line taking the brunt of the violence." We'll have to wait for historians to tell us whether this and all the other Rumsfeld propaganda came about because he was lied to by subordinates or lying to himself or lying to us or some combination thereof.
As The Times reported last month, even now, more than a year later, a declassified Pentagon assessment puts the total count of Iraqi troops and police officers at 171,500, with only "a small number" able to fight insurgents without American assistance. As for Moktada al-Sadr, he remains as much a player as ever in the new "democratic" Iraq. He controls one of the larger blocs in the National Assembly. His loyalists may have been responsible for last month's apparently vengeful murder of Steven Vincent, the American freelance journalist who wrote in The Times that Mr. Sadr's followers had infiltrated Basra's politics and police force.
Casey Sheehan's death in Iraq could not be more representative of the war's mismanagement and failure, but it is hardly singular. Another mother who has journeyed to Crawford, Celeste Zappala, wrote last Sunday in New York's Daily News of how her son, Sgt. Sherwood Baker, was also killed in April 2004 - in Baghdad, where he was providing security for the Iraq Survey Group, which was charged with looking for W.M.D.'s "well beyond the admission by David Kay that they didn't exist."
As Ms. Zappala noted with rage, her son's death came only a few weeks after Mr. Bush regaled the Radio and Television Correspondents' Association banquet in Washington with a scripted comedy routine featuring photos of him pretending to look for W.M.D.'s in the Oval Office. "We'd like to know if he still finds humor in the fabrications that justified the war that killed my son," Ms. Zappala wrote. (Perhaps so: surely it was a joke that one of the emissaries Mr. Bush sent to Cindy Sheehan in Crawford was Stephen Hadley, the national security adviser who took responsibility for allowing the 16 errant words about doomsday uranium into the president's prewar State of the Union speech.)
Mr. Bush's stand-up shtick for the Beltway press corps wasn't some aberration; it was part of the White House's political plan for keeping the home front cool. America was to yuk it up, party on and spend its tax cuts heedlessly while the sacrifice of an inadequately manned all-volunteer army in Iraq was kept out of most Americans' sight and minds. This is why the Pentagon issued a directive at the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom forbidding news coverage of "deceased military personnel returning to or departing from" air bases. It's why Mr. Bush, unlike Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter, has not attended funeral services for the military dead. It's why January's presidential inauguration, though nominally dedicated to the troops, was a gilded $40 million jamboree at which the word Iraq was banished from the Inaugural Address.
THIS summer in Crawford, the White House went to this playbook once too often. When Mr. Bush's motorcade left a grieving mother in the dust to speed on to a fund-raiser, that was one fat-cat party too far. The strategy of fighting a war without shared national sacrifice has at last backfired, just as the strategy of Swift Boating the war's critics has reached its Waterloo before Patrick Fitzgerald's grand jury in Washington. The 24/7 cable and Web attack dogs can keep on sliming Cindy Sheehan. The president can keep trying to ration the photos of flag-draped caskets. But this White House no longer has any more control over the insurgency at home than it does over the one in Iraq.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

More to Love About Maureen Dowd:

Hey, What's That Sound?

Published: August 20, 2005

Richard Nixon once gave me a lesson in the politics of war.

Howell Raines, then the Washington bureau chief for The Times, took some reporters to meet Mr. Nixon right before the 1992 New Hampshire primary. The deposed president had requested that Howell bring along only reporters who were too young to have covered Watergate, so we tried to express an excess of Juvenalia spirit.

Before the first vote of '92 was cast, Mr. Nixon laid out, state by state, how Bill Clinton, who was not even a sure bet for the Democratic nomination at that point, was going to defeat George Bush.

If Mr. Nixon said, Bill could keep a lid on Hillary (who had worked on the House Judiciary Committee looking into the Nixon impeachment), he'd have it made.

"If the wife comes through as being too strong and too intelligent, it makes the husband look like a wimp," he said.

In his jaundiced view, the first President Bush had squandered his best re-election card: if the Persian Gulf war had still been going on, Mr. Bush could have been benefiting from that.

"We had a lot of success with that in 1972," Mr. Nixon told us, with that famously uneasy baring of teeth that passed for a smile.

Was he actually admitting what all the paranoid liberals had been yelping about 20 years earlier - that he had prolonged the Vietnam War so he could get re-elected?

Bush Senior made some Republicans worry that he left Iraq too soon. Bush Junior is making some Republicans worry that he is staying in Iraq too long.

"Any effort to explain Iraq as 'We are on track and making progress' is nonsense," Newt Gingrich told Adam Nagourney and David D. Kirkpatrick for a Times article on G.O.P. jitters about the shadow of Iraq over the midterm elections. "The left has a constant drumbeat that this is Vietnam and a bottomless pit. The daily and weekly casualties leave people feeling that things aren't going well."

W. says he can't set a deadline to bring the troops home. But he started the war on an artificial deadline; he declared a "Mission Accomplished" end to major hostilities on an artificial deadline; he was inflexible on deadlines for handing over Iraqi sovereignty and holding elections. And he tried to force the Iraqis to produce a constitution on his deadline when the squabbling politicians of the ethnic and religious factions hadn't even reached consensus on little things like "Do we want one country?"

It isn't only the left that is invoking Vietnam. You know you're in trouble when Henry Kissinger gives you advice on how to exit a war.

The man who won a Nobel Peace Prize for making a botched exit and humiliating defeat look like a brilliant act of diplomacy wrote an op-ed article in The Washington Post drawing the analogy the White House dreads: Iraq as Vietnam, including an unfavorable comparison: "After the failure of Hanoi's Tet offensive, the guerrilla threat was substantially eliminated. Saigon and all other urban centers were far safer than major cities in Iraq are today."

He said Mr. Bush had only a few things to accomplish: train a real Iraqi Army that includes all religious and ethnic groups, make the Shiites stop hating the Sunnis and the Kurds stop hating everyone, and keep the Iranians from creating a theocratic dictatorship in Iraq. Oh, yeah, and a couple of other teensy little things: our troops have to defeat the vicious Iraq insurgency, and Mr. Bush needs to keep domestic support for the war.

Domestic support is waning because the president remains too stubbornly ensconced in his fantasy world - it's worse than Barbie in her dream house - to reassure Americans that he has a plan to get out.

As we approach the 2,000 mark of coffins coming home that we're not allowed to see, it doesn't even look like a war. It looks like a lot of kids being blown to smithereens by an invisible enemy.

The mother of one of the 16 Ohio marines killed in a recent roadside explosion in western Iraq addressed the president from in front of her Cleveland home. "We feel you either have to fight this war right or get out," Rosemary Palmer said.

Tricky Dick suggested that he had a secret plan to get out of Vietnam. Bikey W. doesn't even have a secret plan, unless it's to recreate forever, and never again have to speed past those pesky antiwar protesters in a motorcade..."

Bikey W?
That's too fabulous!
When Did This Happen?

I see Bush is now calling his little scorched patch of brush and cacti near Waco, "The Prairie Chapel Ranch."
Okay, okay, there are places around there called Prairie Chapel Road and so on, but hearing his acreage called The Prairie Chapel Ranch is new to me.
I think someone like Karen Hughes, or as I call her, Rove with udders, came up with the name because it sounds cowboyish and holy at the same time...two things Bush's image certainly needs help with.

They should call it something more apropos.
Like the Lazy W Ranch.
Or El Rancho Pendejo.
Or The King Fahd Ranch.
Or The Lazy AWOL Ranch
Or The Smirking Chimp Ranch.
Or The Silver Spoon Ranch.

The land that surrounds Bush's ranch was all farm land before he bought in.
Now that he's there, his land is called a ranch.
Ranches have cattle and horses, and farms grow stuff.
Well, usually that's how it goes, but when Bush bought the acreage in 1999, it had been a pig farm. Not a pig ranch, a pig farm.
In Texas, pig farms are not considered the creme de la creme of agriculture.
President Lyndon Johnson, who actually was a Texan, had a hell of a ranch. He had longhorn cattle and deer and ranchy looking stuff on his ranch. Maybe a few wild javelina around, but no damn, stinky, oinking pigs.
You always see Bush on news clips at his pig farm with a chainsaw, cutting what looks like the same mesquite branch year after year. Or clearing brush.
Real ranchers in Texas don't do that shit- they have wetbacks who do that for them.
Bush doesn't have horses or cattle on his ranch.
He doesn't even ride horses. He rides a bike and drives a big shiny Suburban on his ranch. Not a pickup truck, a Suburban, like he's some goofy soccer mom.
Real Texas ranchers don't ride bikes on their ranches. That's just some east coast sissy shit, unless you're Lance Armstrong, and he doesn't ride a nubby tire mountain bike over brushy, rocky terrain or pretend to be a jock.
The media never shows anything happening on Bush's pig farm. Just Bush with the chainsaw or Bush clearing brush with his little sickle.
I once owned three acres of undeveloped land in the Texas Hill Country.
Once or twice, I went out with some friends and cleared a little brush for a party I was throwing, but it almost broke my back, ruined my hands and it all grew back in about three days.
Clearing brush is the land equivalent of writing love letters in the sand at the beach. It's strictly symbolic unless you go in with a huge backhoe or something and dig it up and haul it off.
Bush is not a rancher, he's not even a Texan.
He was born in Connecticut of blueblood Yankee parents and he went to school at snooty blueblood prep schools in New England.
Then on to Harvard and Yale, where he was a cheerleader.
A cheerleader? Were the ballet classes full?
He learned to talk like a Texan when his daddy moved the family to Texas to get into the oil grabbing business. When Bubble Boy got into the oil business to be like his daddy, he and his wife lived in Midland, which is the left armpit of Texas. He wasn't successful at it, but the Saudis helped bail him out once his daddy became the president.
You know, the Saudis don't have much oil in their neck of the woods, so they invested in Dubya's Texas oil business and kept investing until his second company went belly up.
Once Bush sold his oil company shares after being warned not to, his daddy pulled some strings and Dubya used his millions in profits and bought into the Texas Rangers major league baseball team.
As the Rangers' managing general partner, Bush traded Sammy Sosa to the Chicago Cubs just before Sosa became one of the greatest home run hitters in history. That trade ranks number four in baseball history's stupidest trades, ever. I looked it up.
Dubya's dream job had always been to become the MLB commissioner, but they MLB people knew he was too stupid to handle such an important job, so they passed him over.
He was so shamed by his idiotic move, he sold his share of the Rangers for more than $14 million, then he used a million or so of it and bought the pig farm.
Clearing brush and sawing on that same mesquite branch month after month must have started to bore him, so Karl Rove helped him become governor of Texas, where his first act was to enable Texans to carry concealed handguns.
He also led the nation in okaying more executions than any governor in history. He loved that part. He executed women, retarded people, midgets, and especially black people or anyone with a Z in their surname (Gonzalez, Hernandez, Zuniga, Gomez, etc.).
I can't remember much else he did as governor, but Rove somehow masterminded a second term for him.
Then Rove cheated and lied and cajoled him into the White House, which he avoids as much as possible, traveling to his pig ranch more than 50 times in the last five years, thus setting a record for presidential vacations.
I guess he missed his mesquite branch, his chainsaw and his little gardening tools. He's almost done sawing off the first 14 inches of that branch, so he's a man who likes to finish what he starts, I guess.
But it is an old pig farm, not a ranch. Calling it a ranch does not make it so.
And it's got no chapel on it, or we'd have heard about it.
And even if it did have a chapel on it, Bush doesn't attend that or any other church. He says it would disrupt the services if he attended church, no matter when, no matter where.
The moral of the story is:
There is no moral.
Nothing about this guy is moral or genuine, and anyone who falls for his bullshit façade is a sucker.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Why I Love Maureen Dowd

Biking Toward Nowhere
Published: August 17, 2005

How could President Bush be cavorting around on a long vacation with American troops struggling with a spiraling crisis in Iraq?
Wasn't he worried that his vacation activities might send a frivolous signal at a time when he had put so many young Americans in harm's way?
"I'm determined that life goes on," Mr. Bush said stubbornly.
That wasn't the son, believe it or not. It was the father - 15 years ago. I was in Kennebunkport then to cover the first President Bush's frenetic attempts to relax while reporters were pressing him about how he could be taking a month to play around when he had started sending American troops to the Persian Gulf only three days before.
On Saturday, the current President Bush was pressed about how he could be taking five weeks to ride bikes and nap and fish and clear brush even though his occupation of Iraq had become a fiasco. "I think it's also important for me to go on with my life," W. said, "to keep a balanced life."
Pressed about how he could ride his bike while refusing to see a grieving mom of a dead soldier who's camped outside his ranch, he added: "So I'm mindful of what goes on around me. On the other hand, I'm also mindful that I've got a life to live and will do so."
Ah, the insensitivity of reporters who ask the President Bushes how they can expect to deal with Middle East fighting while they're off fishing.
The first President Bush told us that he kept a telephone in his golf cart and his cigarette boat so he could easily stay on top of Saddam's invasion of Kuwait. But at least he seemed worried that he was sending the wrong signal, as his boating and golfing was juxtaposed on the news with footage of the frightened families of troops leaving for the Middle East.
"I just don't like taking questions on serious matters on my vacation," the usually good-natured Bush senior barked at reporters on the golf course. "So I hope you'll understand if I, when I'm recreating, will recreate." His hot-tempered oldest son, who was golfing with his father that day, was even more irritated. "Hey! Hey!" W. snapped at reporters asking questions on the first tee. "Can't you wait until we finish hitting, at least?"
Junior always had his priorities straight.
As W.'s neighbors get in scraps with the antiwar forces coalescing around the ranch; as the Pentagon tries to rustle up updated armor for our soldiers, who are still sitting ducks in the third year of the war; as the Iraqi police we train keep getting blown up by terrorists, who come right back every time U.S. troops beat them up; as Shiites working on the Iraqi constitution conspire with Iran about turning Iraq into an Islamic state that represses women; and as Iraq hurtles toward a possible civil war, W. seems far more oblivious than his father was with his Persian Gulf crisis.
This president is in a truly scary place in Iraq. Americans can't get out, or they risk turning the country into a terrorist haven that will make the old Afghanistan look like Cipriani's. Yet his war, which has not accomplished any of its purposes, swallows ever more American lives and inflames ever more Muslim hearts as W. reads a book about the history of salt and looks forward to his biking date with Lance Armstrong on Saturday.
The son wanted to go into Iraq to best his daddy in the history books, by finishing what Bush senior started. He swept aside the warnings of Brent Scowcroft and Colin Powell and didn't bother to ask his father's advice. Now he is caught in the very trap his father said he feared: that America would get bogged down as "an occupying power in a bitterly hostile land," facing a possibly "barren" outcome.
It turns out that the people of Iraq have ethnic and religious identities, not a national identity. Shiites and Kurds want to suppress the Sunnis who once repressed them and break off into their own states, smashing the Bush model kitchen of democracy.
At long last, a senior Bush official admits that administration officials can no longer cling to their own version of reality. "We are in a process of absorbing the factors of the situation we're in and shedding the unreality that dominated at the beginning," the official told The Washington Post.
They had better start absorbing and shedding a lot faster, before many more American kids die to create a pawn of Iran. And they had better tell the Boy in the Bubble, who continues to dwell in delusion, hailing the fights and delays on the Iraqi constitution as "a tribute to democracy."
The president's pedaling as fast as he can, but he's going nowhere.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005


I just returned from gassing up my car. I spent $20 on eight gallons of regular.
Across the pumps was a lady dressed in business attire, filling her big red Suburban.
We smiled at each other and said good morning, being polite Texans and all, then I asked, "If you don't mind telling me, what does it cost to fill that thing?"
She cringed, then said, "A hundred dollars."
She said she has three kids and a job, so she has to fill up once a week. That's $400 a month, folks, on gasoline!

What does it cost to fill your tank?

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

More BU__SH__ from Camp Casey

Last night, some local Crawford redneck used his pickup truck to mow down a row of crosses on the roadside near Ms. Sheehan's vigil site, each bearing the name of a fallen American soldier in Iraq.
The imbecile was not apprehended by Crawford's Barney Fife law enforcement goobers, but he was apprehended 30 minutes after the vandalism when area sheriffs noticed a pickup driving by with its tires punctured by wooden white crosses.
Can you imagine what Fox News would say if a pro choice person mowed down a symbolic line of crosses representing aborted fetuses near the Bush "ranch"?
This is some serious bullshit.
One more reason to be sick of faux Christian Bush and his violence inspiring messages.
Someone should be checking his scalp for the 666 tattoo.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Who's Got B.D.S.?

My online friend and political nemesis Clyde (nee BarCodeKing) and I have been debating, arguing, discussing and cussing the Bush administration for almost five years. We've done it via dueling Blogs, comments on each others' Blogs and by e-mail.
He is pro Bush all the way.
I am anti Bush all the way.
He tells me I have Bush Derangement Syndrome (BDS) because he thinks I am so wrong, so paranoid and so enraged regarding everything I read, hear, say, think or feel about Bush.
Without mentioning some of his more ridiculous past statements regarding Bush's credibility that have since been proven totally wrong, my contention is that I was among the first Bloggers openly complaining about and exposing Bush's assorted blunders, misdeeds and blatantly dishonest maneuvers--and so far I've been a pioneer in rating Bush as one of America's crappiest presidents in history.
But my fellow Americans are catching up to my opinions of Bush, as shown below.

The following poll questions (as of today) were responded to by just under 30,000 Internets users:

How would you rate Bush's handling of the war in Iraq?
Poor 62%
Good 16%
Excellent 13%
Fair 9%
Total Votes: 29,164

How would you rate Bush's handling of domestic affairs?
Poor 59%
Good 15%
Excellent 14%
Fair 12%
Total Votes: 29,539

How would you rate Bush's overall job performance?
Poor 60%
Good 15%
Excellent 14%
Fair 11%
Total Votes: 29,477

In which direction do you predict Bush's approval rating will move?
Down 62%
Up 24%
It'll stay about where it is now 14%
Total Votes: 29,956

Who has Bush Derangement Syndrome now, big boy?
Here's a hint:
When your opinions match those of fewer than 15% of people who took this poll and mine match an average of 60% of people who took this poll, isn't it time you quit drinking the Bush Kool-Aid and wise the hell up?
There is a cure for terminal GOP gullibility and we are here to help you, Clyde.
Take my hand.
Come into the light.

P.S. Since Clyde's Blog "Recycled Sip" does not allow for comments (for obvious reasons), please allow me to open my comments box to those wishing to make constructive comments directed toward him.
I don't wish to have him stoned to death, I just hate to see him continue to wander aimlessly in the dark, thinking the majority of Americans are deranged and Bush is actually doing a fine job as President.
He needs our help and guidance. Let's give him some.
But the Police Did Not Arrest Him??

Associated Press
CRAWFORD, Texas (Aug. 15) - A man fired a shotgun into the air as about 60 anti-war protesters held a religious service on the road to President Bush's ranch.
Sheriff's deputies and Secret Service agents in the area of the demonstration site Sunday rushed to the home of Larry Mattlage after the shots were fired but did not arrest him.
"I ain't threatening nobody, and I ain't pointing a gun at nobody," Mattlage said. "This is Texas."

A few years ago on New Year's Eve, a friend of mine celebrating at an outdoor party was shot in the head by a bullet which fell from the sky. She was rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery, and thank God she survived.
Police said someone, somewhere, apparently fired a gun into the air to celebrate the New Year. They said the bullet could have come from as far as a mile or more away.
This also happened in Texas, but the police were unable to find the moron who fired the weapon that injured my friend, otherwise they would have arrested him.
Police in Crawford failed to arrest Bush's neighbor, or even cite him for recklessness.
Gee, what a mystery.
I wonder what the police in Crawford would have done if Mattlage had fired his shotgun in the sky as the Bush SUV limo was passing by?
No mystery there.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

A True Story That Made Me Laugh For Days

I have a good friend I'll call Whitney.
No, not THAT Whitney, this is an upper middle class Caucasian woman I am calling Whitney.
Until recently, Whitney was married to a successful dentist whom I'll call Dick.
Whitney and Dick had a pretty good marriage until Dick hit age 48 or so and started male menopause.
As part of his male menopause, Dick started attending meetings of one of those cults where they talk about how everyone at the meeting is great and has even greater potential, limited only by how much members are willing to pay to be programmed for said greatness.

Long story short, Dick, who is sort of a goofy looking but well-to-do introvert, began to feel so great about himself, he started going to modern dance classes, taking tango lessons and other sissified classes where he could prance around, feeling young and free again.
Whitney, meanwhile, was busy setting up a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping the sick and needy in third world countries.

Predictably, they started to drift apart, mostly because Dick fell in love with his fox trot teacher, Guadalupe, a spicy, heavily made-up Latina woman 12 years his junior, with a couple of kids and living with her mama in a modest little house.
Now Dick and Whitney are divorced.
They are on civil terms, primarily because Whitney is a kind person, so kind, she politely declined my offer to go over and kick Dick in his unfaithful balls.
Dick is now openly romancing Guadalupe, her mama and her kids, with all sorts of gifts and outings to places they never before could afford. Lupe acts like she struck gold with el dentista con muchos de dinero, and Dick acts like that dorky all-smiles guy in the ads for male enhancement pills.
Whitney, meanwhile decided to scale down post-divorce.
She traded in her Mercedes SUV for a Prius, a little hybrid car that uses solar power and gas so it's easier on the environment and gets a lot more miles per gallon.
Dick, who is still trying to project an environmentally responsible image, decided to trade in his Infinity gas guzzling SUV on a Prius, too.
So he tells Whitney, "Hey I am getting a Prius, too!"
Whitney replied, "Good for you."
But Dick, whose Mister Environmentalist image is basically just a front for a materialistic little showoff, told Whitney, "Yeah, but I'm getting the leather seats in mine."
Whitney, chuckling to herself that Dick wants fancy animal hides in his hybrid car so his can be better than hers, said, "Do they even make Prius's with leather seats?"
Dick answered, "No, they're aftermarket add-ons, can you believe that?"
Whitney answered, "Nope. Hard to believe, Dick."

I just hope for Dick's sake that Lupe knows how cool a Prius is, so she can still think she hooked up with Señor Dinero.
I suspect she was hoping he'd get a big, red Cadillac Escalade with those fancy wheels that spin at red lights.

And Whitney's little cloth seated Prius is still cooler than his fancier one, because she's in it... and he's not.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

File This Under: Petty, Chickenshit Republicans

Group Dedicated to Counter Clinton Library Folds

LITTLE ROCK (Aug. 12) - There will be no museums at Little Rock and Washington to counter the information available at the Clinton Presidential Library, Richard Erickson of Houston says, at least none organized by him.
Erickson said a group he put together to build two museums to rebut the displays at the Clinton Presidential Library is folding.
"I'm giving up," said Erickson, who established nonprofit Counterlibe Inc. last year to fund construction of a Counter Clinton Library in Little Rock and another in Washington.
"I was very passionate about this, but also very naive as far as fundraising procedures go," he wrote in an e-mail to The Associated Press.
He said the Counter Clinton Library's Web site would be shut down soon. In addition to railing against the former president and his wife, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., the site touts what may have been the failed organization's biggest moment - a segment on Comedy Central's "The Daily Show" in which a fake news reporter makes fun of the group's very mission.
That same show joked that presidential libaries (sic) draw "tens of visitors a year," but the Clinton Library has exceeded most expectations since opening in November, drawing more than 400,000 people in less than nine months..."

Can you believe these pathetic GOP bastards?

Resident Bush and his motorcade passed the growing camp of war protesters outside his ranch on Friday.
The resident passed by the protesters on a trip away from the ranch but did not stop.
To his credit, however, he refrained from rolling down the window to shoot the finger. Instead he was said to have made the vulgar gesture from behind the dark glass of his SUV limo.
He was on the way to a neighboring "ranch" to attend a $25,000 a plate barbecue fundraiser for the GOP.
The motorcade didn't stop because none of the protesters held out giant checks for the resident, who only "visits" with Americans who wish to donate thousands of dollars to him.
A high level Crawford official who spoke on conditions of anonymity said, "Dubya hadn't never seen no genuine protesters before and he got so derned het up, Laura had to search through her purse to find him a few Valium to go with the thermos of Jack Daniels he likes to keep in the car with him.
"Jenna, one of his twin daughters, offered to leave the SUV and 'go out and kick some Vacaville mama ass,' but the president declined her offer, saying she might stain her new Clint Black 'I Raq & I Roll' T-shirt."
On the return trip to his Crawford ranch following the barbecue, Bush was said to be passed out in the rear of the vehicle, so sources say he was not bothered again by the sight of the anti-American protesters.

Friday, August 12, 2005

One More Nail in the GOP Coffin:

Republicans paying legal bills of Bush campaign official accused of voter suppression

By JOHN SOLOMON Associated Press Writer
(AP) - WASHINGTON-The Republican Party has quietly paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to provide private defense lawyers for a former Bush campaign official charged with conspiring to keep Democrats from voting in one northeastern state's Senate race.
James Tobin, President George W. Bush's 2004 campaign chairman for the northeastern U.S., is charged with four felonies accusing him of conspiring with two other Republican officials to jam Democratic and labor union get-out-the-vote phone banks ahead of 2002 elections.

A telephone firm was paid to make repeated hang-up phone calls to overwhelm the phone banks in the state of New Hampshire and prevent them from getting Democratic voters to the polls on Election Day 2002, prosecutors allege. Republican John Sununu won a close race that day to be New Hampshire's newest senator.
At the time, Tobin was the party's northeastern regional director, before moving to President Bush's 2004 re-election campaign.
A top Republican Party official in New Hampshire and a Republican consultant already have pleaded guilty and cooperated with prosecutors. Their testimony directly implicates Tobin.
"The object of the conspiracy was to deprive inhabitants of New Hampshire and more particularly qualified voters ... of their federally secured right to vote," says the latest indictment issued in May.
Since charges were first filed in December, the Republican National Committee has spent more than $722,000 to provide Tobin, who has pleaded innocent, a team of lawyers from the high-powered Washington law firm of Williams & Connolly.
Political parties have wide latitude on how they spend their money, including on lawyers.
Republican Party officials confirmed to The Associated Press they had agreed to underwrite Tobin's defense because he was a longtime supporter and that he assured them he had committed no crimes.
"Jim is a longtime friend who has served as both an employee and an independent contractor for the RNC," a spokeswoman for the RNC, Tracey Schmitt, said Wednesday. "This support is based on his assurance and our belief that Jim has not engaged in any wrongdoing."
The Republican Party has repeatedly and pointedly disavowed any tactics aimed at keeping citizens from voting since allegations of voter suppression surfaced during the Florida recount in 2000 that tipped the presidential race to Bush.
Earlier this week, RNC chairman Ken Mehlman, the former White House political director, reiterated a "zero-tolerance policy" for any Republican official caught trying to block legitimate votes.
Paul Twomey, a volunteer lawyer for New Hampshire Democrats who are pursuing a separate lawsuit involving the phone scheme, said he was surprised the RNC was willing to pay Tobin's legal bills and that it suggested more people may be involved.
"It originally appeared to us that there were just certain rogue elements of the Republican Party who were willing to do anything to win control of the U.S. Senate, including depriving Americans of their ability to vote," Twomey said.
"But now that the RNC actually is bankrolling Mr. Tobin's defense, coupled with the fact that it has refused some discovery in the civil case, really raises the questions of who are they protecting, how high does this go and who was in on this," Twomey said."

Wow! Makes me want to send in my contribution to the GOP.
Too bad I've already spent all my charitable money on the pedophile Catholic Priests' legal defense fund.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Source: DemocracyNow.org
Can You Believe This Shit??

Rumsfeld Planning 9-11 Party/Country Music Concert

For many, the upcoming September 11th anniversary will be a time for somber reflection. Apparently not for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.
This week, he announced the Pentagon will hold a massive march and country music concert to mark the fourth anniversary of 9/11.
Rumsfeld is calling the event the "America Supports You Freedom Walk." The march will start at the Pentagon and end at the National Mall with a show by country star Clint Black.
Black is the man behind the song "I Raq and Roll," a song that conflates Saddam Hussein with "the devil" who attacked the United States on 9/11.
One verse of the song goes, "We can't ignore the devil, he'll keep coming back for more ... If they won't show us their weapons, we might have to show them ours. It might be a smart bomb -- they find stupid people, too. And if you stand with the likes of Saddam, one just might find you."
The announcement of this 9/11 celebration and concert outraged victim's family groups and veterans organizations.

Can Rummy possibly be this blasé and insensitive?
Hell, yes, he can.
He's a Bush administration member- and just as worthless as the rest of those imbeciles.

How about you? Do you plan to join in Rumsfeld's 'celebration' of 9/11?
Bank of India? India Online? Indian Express?

Dear Bank of America, America Online and American Express:

I have had occasion to call all of you in the last quarter to ask questions pertaining to my accounts.
Each time, a person sounding like Apu, the lovable Indian convenience store clerk from The Simpsons, has answered my call.
The difference is, Apu is fictional and lives in a fictitious American town, paying fictitious income taxes to America's coffers.
The three genuine Indians, with whom I spoke about my genuine accounts, had dubious names like Mark, Debbie and Bill.
They were most likely talking to me from their cubicles in Punjab, making low wages so the American companies who pay them can save money by not having to pay Americans (who use their services and pay taxes on their American wages).
I resent outsourcing.
I resent an administration which rewards big business by not taxing their offshore business dealings.
While I am sure Mark, Debbie and Bill are grateful for the pittance wages they earn from Bank of America, America Online and American Express, I just thought I'd remind everyone that those three corporations are fucking us by sending our jobs to third world countries like India.
And how can they get by with it?
Because George W. Bush, the man who couldn't care less about American wage earners, made sure they could.

Good day!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

The NY Times' Maureen Dowd Nails Him Again

Why No Tea and Sympathy?
Published: August 10, 2005

W. can't get no satisfaction on Iraq.
There's an angry mother of a dead soldier camping outside his Crawford ranch, demanding to see a president who prefers his sympathy to be carefully choreographed.
A new CNN-USA Today-Gallup poll shows that a majority of Americans now think that going to warwas a mistake and that the war has made the U.S. more vulnerable to terrorism. So fighting them there means it's more likely we'll have to fight them here?
Donald Rumsfeld acknowledged yesterday that sophisticated bombs were streaming over the border from Iran to Iraq.
And the Rolling Stones have taken a rare break from sex odes to record an antiwar song called "
Sweet Neo Con," chiding Condi Rice and Mr. Bush. "You call yourself a Christian; I call you a hypocrite," Mick Jagger sings.
The N.F.L. put out a press release on Monday announcing that it's teaming up with the Stones and ABC to promote "Monday Night Football." The flag-waving N.F.L. could still back out if there's pressure, but the mood seems to have shifted since Madonna chickened out of showing an antiwar music video in 2003. The White House used to be able to tamp down criticism by saying it hurt our troops, but more people are asking the White House to explain how it plans to stop our troops from getting hurt.
Cindy Sheehan, a 48-year-old Californian with a knack for P.R., says she will camp out in the dusty heat near the ranch until she gets to tell Mr. Bush face to face that he must pull all U.S. troops out of Iraq. Her son, Casey, a 24-year-old Army specialist, was killed in a Sadr City ambush last year.
The president met with her family two months after Casey's death. Capturing W.'s awkwardness in traversing the line between somber and joking, and his love of generic labels, Ms. Sheehan said that W. had referred to her as "Mom" throughout the meeting, and given her the sense that he did not know who her son was.
The Bush team tried to discredit "Mom" by pointing reporters to an old article in which she sounded kinder to W. If only her husband were an undercover C.I.A. operative, the Bushies could out him. But even if they send out a squad of Swift Boat Moms for Truth, there will be a countering Falluja Moms for Truth.
It's amazing that the White House does not have the elementary shrewdness to have Mr. Bush simply walk down the driveway and hear the woman out, or invite her in for a cup of tea. But W., who has spent nearly 20 percent of his presidency at his ranch, is burrowed into his five-week vacation and two-hour daily workouts. He may be in great shape, but Iraq sure isn't.
It's hard to think of another president who lived in such meta-insulation. His rigidly controlled environment allows no chance encounters with anyone who disagrees. He never has to defend himself to anyone, and that is cognitively injurious. He's a populist who never meets people - an ordinary guy who clears brush, and brush is the only thing he talks to. Mr. Bush hails Texas as a place where he can return to his roots. But is he mixing it up there with anyone besides Vulcans, Pioneers and Rangers?
W.'s idea of consolation was to dispatch Stephen Hadley, the national security adviser, to talk to Ms. Sheehan, underscoring the inhumane humanitarianism of his foreign policy. Mr. Hadley is just a suit, one of the hard-line Unsweet Neo Cons who helped hype America into this war.
It's getting harder for the president to hide from the human consequences of his actions and to control human sentiment about the war by pulling a curtain over the 1,835 troops killed in Iraq; the more than 13,000 wounded, many shorn of limbs; and the number of slain Iraqi civilians - perhaps 25,000, or perhaps double or triple that. More people with impeccable credentials are coming forward to serve as a countervailing moral authority to challenge Mr. Bush.
Paul Hackett, a Marine major who served in Iraq and criticized the president on his conduct of the war, narrowly lost last week when he ran for Congress as a Democrat in a Republican stronghold in Cincinnati. Newt Gingrich warned that the race should "serve as a wake-up call to Republicans" about 2006.
Selectively humane, Mr. Bush justified his Iraq war by stressing the 9/11 losses. He emphasized the humanity of the Iraqis who desire freedom when his W.M.D. rationale vaporized.
But his humanitarianism will remain inhumane as long as he fails to understand that the moral authority of parents who bury children killed in Iraq is absolute."

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Where's Waldo?

A woman from California named Cindy Sheehan is camped near Bush's Crawford "ranch" to protest her soldier son's death in Iraq. She wants to talk to Bush and ask him some questions.
The nearest Ms. Sheehan and her group can get to "the ranch" is about five miles away.
Bush has refused to come out and speak to her, but he has sent out some State Department flunkies to assure her Bush does care about her son, whatzisname.

No he doesn't.

He doesn't even care about the daily news coverage of Ms. Sheehan's snubbed vigil, making him look like the chicken shit he is.
He's unaccountable.
One more reason to resent the spineless, draft dodging, booze and dope addled coward.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Television Blog

Six Feet Under
Does Brenda get to keep Maya now that Nate's dead?
Does she get his share of the funeral home?

Has anyone seen this show yet?
I saw it for the first time last night. I think it might send marijuana sales soaring.

Queer As Folk
That was a pretty damn good final show. I will miss QAF and I don't think The L Word comes even close to filling its shoes. You?

The Surreal Life
How has Janice Dickinson survived this many years without being killed?
Why do people keep hiring Omarosa to be on reality shows?

Peter Jennings
I was shocked by his death. I knew he had cancer but I thought he'd be cured. I liked him.
I guess Charlie Gibson will replace him. That's fine with me.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

I Was Mistaken

I thought I didn't like Kathy Griffin but her special on Bravo, "Kathy Griffin is not Nicole Kidman" is really funny in a trashy, malicious kind of way.
Huh. Just goes to show how important it is to give people a second chance.
...Unless you know for a fact they are assholes, then one chance will suffice.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

John Roberts: Officially Okay By Me

I have waited to comment on Bush's nominee for SCOTUS until I could read up on him a bit.
After I read this snippet from The Los Angeles Times, I made my decision.

By Richard A. Serrano
Los Angeles Times

"WASHINGTON -- Supreme Court nominee John Roberts worked behind the scenes for a coalition of gay-rights activists, and his legal expertise helped them persuade the Supreme Court to issue a landmark 1996 ruling protecting people against discrimination because of their sexual orientation.

Then a lawyer specializing in appellate work, the conservative Roberts helped represent the gay activists as part of his law firm's pro bono work. While he did not write the legal briefs or argue the case before the Supreme Court, he was instrumental in reviewing the filings and preparing oral arguments, according to several lawyers involved in the case.

The coalition won its case, 6-3, in what gay activists described at the time as the movement's most important legal victory. The three dissenting justices were those to whom Roberts is frequently likened for their conservative ideology: Chief Justice William Rehnquist and Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.

Roberts' work on behalf of gay activists, whose cause is anathema to many conservatives, appears to illustrate his allegiance to the credo of the legal profession: to zealously represent the interests of the client, whoever it might be..."

Now, I realize Roberts is antiabortion, but there comes a time when I have to take a stand on my own interests and issues first- especially the gay ones.
While I support a breeder's right to choose, I have no uterus, not to mention I don't engage in pregnancy-making activities because I am gay.
Abortion is not my issue.
Besides, have the heterosexual, female pro-choice contingent ever come out in force to support my gay rights? I think not.
Queers are not their issue.

As such, Roberts has shown effectivity in supporting my gay rights, and because of that, I believe he can be a fair and legitimate justice.
When a large group of pro-choice activists throw their money and support behind equal rights for us non-breeding queers, I may change my mind and reactivate my *aggressive* opposition to these conservative busybodies who oppose a woman's right to choose. But for now, I am going to passively support pro-choice like many of their activists passively support gay rights.

One more upside to Roberts is, the story of his gay legal advocacy came out AFTER the conservatives and their pinheaded leader Bush embraced him as the great white conservative hope.
Now Bush has to face the facts that, as usual, he failed to get a clear understanding of who and what he was endorsing before he threw his support behind Roberts. And the conservatives who lauded Roberts as an excellent nominee also have some gay egg on their faces.
That's too fucking bad.
I say we queers get behind Roberts and urge the legislature to thrust him into joining the Supremes.
With an open minded Justice like Roberts has shown he can be, even the abortion-getting gals might catch a break.
And that's fine by me.
It may not be my issue, but I support their cause and invite them to support mine– a lot more vigorously than they have so far.

Friday, August 05, 2005

If I Were a Pious, Right-wing Christian Lady

If I were one of those gentle, Godly types, I believe I'd be aghast at the way my conservative leaders have stooped to the level of us Democrats and used vulgarity in their social discourse.
Yesterday, their dear media ally Mike Novak said "bullshit," during family hour on CNN.
Vice President Dick told venerated Democratic Senator Leahy to "go fuck himself" in the Senate Chamber.
The president has shot the finger so many times in public, one only need Google, "Bush shooting the finger" and find more than 13,500 references to the assorted occasions he did so.
During the first campaign, on the podium they shared, Bush pointed out a NY Times reporter and said, not knowing the mike was on, "There's that major league asshole," to which Cheney replied, "Big time," earning him the nickname, "Big Time" for life.
The list goes on.
As any good Republican politician or pundit might describe it, these fuckers are some phony ass, self-righteous, faux religious motherfuckers who need to wash out their nasty pie-holes with lye soap.

Leave the swearing to us Democrats, who have plenty of shit to swear about, thanks to you phony GOP bastards.
I'd Keep Him Hidden From the Media, too

Folks, this is a verbatim quote from our postmodernist DoD Secretary Ronald Dumsfeld:

"As we know, there are known knowns. There are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns. That is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns, the ones we don't know we don't know."

Ask yourself: if you were a small business owner interviewing potential delivery boys or girls and an applicant answered ANY question that way, would you hire him or her?
It's Getting Hot in Here, I'm Gonna Take My Mike Off

Hey Bob Novak!
What's wrong, outing a CIA agent got you a little stressed?
CNN suspended commentator Robert Novak indefinitely after he said "bullshit" and walked off the set Thursday during a debate with Democrat James Carville.
They need to fire that Allan Funt-lookin' rat bastard.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Dumb and Dumbest

"Rafael Palmeiro is a friend. He testified in public and I believe him. He's the kind of person that's going to stand up in front of the klieg lights and say he didn't use steroids, and I believe him. Still do."
-- Resident George W. Bush

Gee, Palmiero was recently suspended for flunking a steroid drug test.
I guess Al Qaida must have snuck into Palmeiro's mansion one night while he was sleeping and flew a tiny airplane loaded with steroids into his ass.

Okay- with Bush thinking this way, is anyone still wondering whether he's completely stupid?

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Bush, Bush, Bush.
You stupid bastard.

Here's the thing.
Bush didn't have the votes in the Senate to confirm John Bolton as our United Nations Ambassador, so he waited till their August break and shoved him down our collective throats.
Bolton was greeted on his first day on the job by a booing sidewalk crowd.
Bush said he had to do it because it's such a crucial time- we are in a war, he said.
We are in a war?
I thought Bush said we had prevailed and the war was over, when he stood on that aircraft carrier so long ago under the MISSION ACCOMPLISHED banner.
Okay, so now he admits the war is still on. Someone must have mentioned it to him.
So, why on Earth would he appoint a guy who openly hates the UN almost as much as his former colleagues and employees hated him?
With Bush's arrogance and unilateral aggression causing so much hatred of America throughout the world, isn't this sort of a good time to get the concept of "united nations"?
Bush said doesn't read newspapers or pay attention to polls.
Maybe he should.
He apparently has no clue that American news leaks out all over the world, and that 190 other U.N. delegates know that Bush selected to represent our interests a total bully of a prick who hates the very idea of the UN's existence.
Gee, do you think Bolton will suddenly charm his fellow delegates and create a more favorable image of Americans within the UN? Do you think he can force his will on other delegates who knew he was a prick before he even took his seat?
And what does Bush do after he sticks us with Bolton?
He goes back to Crawford for a month long vacation. This is his 50th trip to Crawford in the last five years.
What American president has ever goofed off this much?
Or is he just hiding in a place where the media can't get to him and question him about his secretive, inexperienced nominee for the Supreme Court?
His office said he planned to host many foreign leaders at the "ranch" this month.
He may host some of his buddies from Saudi Arabia, but you can be damn sure he's not going to be barbecuing for anyone he doesn't already consider a friend. Besides, even if he had a shred of diplomacy, who the hell would want to spend even a weekend in Crawford at the hottest time of the year? Crawford in August is a snake-infested sauna, with nothing to do. The nearest town is notoriously homely Waco, which doesn't even offer decent Tex Mex food.
And where is Cheney? Is he in his secure bunker, hiding too?
Who the hell is running things in Washington? Are we no longer on red/orange/yellow alert of some kind?
Bush just doesn't give a damn.
He doesn't care what we think of him or what he does.
He's the worst president in history, because he just doesn't get it.
And he never will.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

How Several UN Ambassadors can communicate with Bush's Back-door Appointee John Bolton

English: Be quiet, you unpopular walrus.
Dutch: Stil ben, u impopulaire walrus.
French: Soyez tranquille, vous des morses inpopulaires.
German: Seien Sie, Sie unpopulärer Walrus ruhig.
Italian: Sia calmo, voi walrus impopolare.
Portuguese: Seja quieto, você walrus unpopular.

"I think it is all right for one ambassador to come and push, but an ambassador always has to remember that there are 190 others who will have to be convinced - or a vast majority of them - for action to take place."

- KOFI ANNAN, secretary general of the United Nations, on the appointment
of John Bolton by President Bush.

Monday, August 01, 2005

G-Save– Sounds Like G-Spot

The "global war on terrorism" has been downgraded to the "global struggle against violent extremism" (in hip-hop, it's pronounced G-Save).
How clever of the Bushies to give it a hot new name with a cool acronym.
Here's another new acronym for Bush to use in his gibberish speeches:

Understanding &

or its acronym: