Mostly politics, a few current events, a squirt of seltzer down yer pants .. a little blog for my rambles and rants.
The man who staged a fake FEMA news conference has lost a chance to be National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell's top public information officer.
"The Federal Emergency Management Agency's director of external communications was denied a post as senior spokesman for Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell yesterday, becoming the highest-ranking casualty of a fake news conference staged by FEMA last week to publicize its response to California's devastating wildfires.
By MAUREEN DOWD, NYTimes Op-Ed Columnist
Yet the administration’s policy in northern Iraq is another adventure in hypocrisy, according to a story yesterday by The Times’s Richard Oppel. The administration expresses solidarity with Turkey and tries to negotiate when Kurdish militants make raids against the Turks. But when Kurdish guerrillas stalk and kill Iranian forces, “the Americans offer Iran little sympathy.”
I'm not a reporter, I just play one at FEMA press conferences.
"FEMA has truly learned the lessons of Katrina. Even its handling of the media has improved dramatically. For example, as the California wildfires raged Tuesday, Vice Adm. Harvey E. Johnson, the deputy administrator, had a 1 p.m. news briefing.
"Kuwaiti firm blamed for Baghdad embassy flaws wins new contracts
(CNN) -- The U.S. State Department is unable to account for most of $1.2 billion in funding that it gave to DynCorp International to train Iraqi police, a government report said Tuesday.
And Congress will probably give it to him.
Quote of the Day:
"I think there is a handful of people who hate America. Unfortunately for them, a lot of them are losing their homes in a forest fire today." -- CNN and syndicated radio host Glenn Beck, on the wildfires that have raged across San Diego county, killing at least one person, injuring four firefighters, scorching 100,000 acres, and driving 250,000 people from their homes.
If this outing of a CIA agent had happened with Hillary Clinton as President, all hell would break loose. Imagine a Democrat shopping around for a reporter to disclose the identity of ANY CIA agent, whether at home or abroad ... yet, it seems to be totally acceptable to most Republicans.
If the war in Iraq is so necessary to our country's very survival, and the US has a population of 300,000,000, why do we have to rely on the same 130,000 Guardsmen and Marines over and over and over again?
"$45,000 is latest Army sweetener for recruits
The money is for the soldier to buy a home or business when military duty is finished. The pilot program starts next month.
WASHINGTON -- With the Army entrenched in two protracted wars while trying to increase its overall troop levels, commanders are finding they have to sweeten the pot to attract a few good men and women and keep the ones they already have.
Apparently "Myanmar's" General Than Shwe believes that contact with women's panties saps him of power, so women around the world are mailing their knickers to Burma to protest the oppressive regime's militant crackdown on citizens.
Righties just don't have a clue about, or respect for, the women of this country. Female sexuality is a threat, they feel compelled to control all those wanton uteruses (uteri?). A female presidential candidate really seems to intimidate the average knee-jerk wingnut, they don't even know what to call her.
Every sperm is great.
If a sperm is wasted,
God gets quite irate.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
The Bush administration again has appointed a chief of family planning programs at the Department of Health and Human Services who has been critical of contraception.
Just when you thought politics couldn't get any weirder....
The other day we had the first genuine controversy of the presidential campaign: the shocking news that Barack Obama doesn't wear an American flag lapel pin, so apparently he and America are no longer going steady.
It's pretty amazing that Gore won an Academy Award and a Nobel Peace Prize in the same year, that he has been this successful reinventing himself after a presidential loss; because looking backwards -- Dole, Dukakis, Mondale, McGovern, Humphrey, Goldwater -- I can't think of any whose stature grew this much after the election.
MoDo shares her column with Stephen Colbert
The article below is the harshest criticism we've heard yet of the Iraq war from a retired military General.
We all know that she's the most attention starved human on the planet, but who knew that writer Ann Coulter was such a Christian? We all know she's a freaking nut case, so far to the right of moderate that she makes Newt Gingrich look like a peacenik hippie, but a Christian?
You know, around here when a redneck wants to get "lucky" he just goes down to the local honky-tonk on a Saturday night, waits until some woman gets drunk and falls off a barstool, goes over and tells her her hair looks nice, then takes her home for the night.
I would feel sorry for him if he wasn't such a hypocrite.
Sgt. Dave Karsnia claimed Craig entered a neighboring stall after peering at him through a crack in the door, then slid his foot underneath the stall divider, tapping it several times before moving it so it touched the officer's foot. Then, Karsnia said, Craig waved his hand underneath the divider. Karsnia said he recognized the gestures as a coded invitation for gay sex.
...or spray starch would bring those little buggers down.
...about the "Phony" Pentagon? Because just when you thought they couldn't sink any lower...
My, my .. how the worm has turned.
From examiner.com: "Chris Matthews had barely finished praising his colleagues at the 10th anniversary party for his “Hardball” show Thursday night in Washington, D.C. when his remarks turned political and pointed, even suggesting that the Bush administration had "finally been caught in their criminality."
...would be a pretty good advertising slogan for what Blackwater represents, because it turns out that Blackwater's CEO is born-again Christian, comes from a prominent evangelical family who gave gobs of money to Bush's election campaigns.
"U.S. military reports from the scene of the Sept. 16 shooting incident involving the security firm Blackwater USA indicate that its guards opened fire without provocation and used excessive force against Iraqi civilians, according to a senior U.S. military official.
(my attempts at exposing Blackwater were sooo puny compared to MoDo's)
"He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster," Nietzsche said. "And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."
We’re gazing into the abyss all right, and Blackwater is gazing back.
Besides having an army for hire, brave kids who are paid to fight so that most Americans are not personally touched by war, we have the real mercenaries. And they’re a spooky cadre, careening outside the laws of Iraq, the United States and the military.
President Bush continues to preach that we must defeat the "dark ideology" of extremists with "a more hopeful vision."
But the compromises W. makes to slog on in Iraq, be it with warlords, dictators or out-of-control contractors, are spreading a dark stain on America’s image.
"Blackwater appears to have fostered a culture of shoot first and sometimes kill, and then ask the questions," said Representative Elijah Cummings, a Democrat, yesterday at a House hearing.
The Times reports today that Blackwater’s explanation of an incident in Baghdad on Sept. 16 that left 17 dead and 24 wounded is sketchy.
It seems as though a bullet struck an Iraqi man driving his mother to pick up his father, a pathologist, at the hospital. The dead man’s weight, The Times reports, "probably remained on the accelerator and propelled the car forward" toward a Blackwater convoy.
Blackwater guards then unleashed a spray of gunfire and explosives, even though witnesses did not see anyone shooting at the American convoy and even though Iraqis were turning their cars around and escaping the scene.
Newsweek quotes the Iraqi national police as saying that Blackwater vehicles "opened fire crazily and randomly, without any reason."
The Blackwater desperados are a sinister symbol of how little progress we’ve made in Iraq, that V.I.P.’s — or "packages," as the contractors call them — can’t make a move in the country without the high-priced hired guns of the State Department.
Americans have been antimercenary since the British sent 30,000 German Hessians after George Washington in the Revolutionary War.
But W. outsourced his presidency to Cheney and Rummy, and Cheney and Rummy went to war on the cheap and outsourced large chunks of the Iraq occupation to Halliburton and Blackwater. The American taxpayer got gouged, and so did the American reputation.
The mercenaries inflame Iraqis even as Gen. David Petraeus tries to win their trust.
Henry Waxman, the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, summoned the 38-year-old crew-cut chairman of Blackwater, Erik Prince, to defend his private security company yesterday.
Once there was the military-industrial complex. Now we have the mercenary-evangelical complex.
Mr. Prince, a former intern to the first President Bush and a former Navy Seal, is from a well-to-do and well-connected Republican family from Michigan.
He and his father both have close ties to conservative Christian groups. His sister was a Pioneer for W., raising $100,000 in 2004, and Erik Prince has given more than $225,000 to Republicans.
Blackwater, in turn, has been the beneficiary of $1 billion in federal contracts, including a no-bid contract with the State Department worth hundreds of millions.
Mr. Waxman yesterday called the State Department "Blackwater’s enabler." His committee staff summarized State Department reports revealing a cascade of Blackwater trouble.
"In a high-profile incident in December 2006, a drunken Blackwater contractor killed the guard of Iraqi Vice President Adil Abdul Mahdi. Within 36 hours after the shooting, the State Department had allowed Blackwater to transport the Blackwater contractor out of Iraq."
The State Department chargé d’affaires "suggested a $250,000 payment to the guard’s family, but the Department’s Diplomatic Security Service said this was too much and could cause Iraqis to ‘try to get killed.’ " In the end, they agreed on a $15,000 payment.
"The State Department took a similar approach," the report stated, "upon receiving reports that Blackwater shooters killed an innocent Iraqi, except that in this case, the State Department requested only a $5,000 payment to ‘put this unfortunate matter behind us quickly.’ "
Mr. Prince was pressed by Representative Paul Hodes about the penalty paid by the Blackwater employee who, while drunk and off-duty at a Christmas party, killed the Iraqi guard.
The man was fired. And he had to pay his own airfare home and forfeit his bonuses, amounting to a loss of about $14,697 — slightly less than the amount paid to the family of the Iraqi he blew away.
By MAUREEN DOWD-New York Times-October 3, 2007-Washington
Top-tier GOP candidates boycott the 'minority debate' in Baltimore .. maybe they were afraid the audience would be shuckin' and jivin' and yellin' for their motherf**kin' ice tea.