Monthly Archives: February 2011

Will someone explain the funny please?

This is from the website Big Government, love child of Andrew Breitbart (and his ego) who just entertained CPAC audiences with his bombast. It is apparently a ‘cartoon’.

Something new?

Watch yer language citizen!

There were a few protest demonstrations in Tehran today – maybe the orange Green Revolution of last year 2009 has life in it yet. What I saw reported today had an aspect I don’t remember from last year. Yesterday, people in the streets were  calling  for the ouster of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.  I’ve no idea whether that’s because they don’t want to be an Islamic state or if they just want jobs. Either way, calling out Ayatollahs so disrespectfully in public feels new.

UPDATE: Iran is heating up. Just heard that the State Department has established Twitter feeds and Facebook pages in both Arabic and Farsi to broadcast support to the demonstrators.

A random thought

If the Courts uphold the ‘individual mandate’ in the new health care law . . .  Medicare for All could be more viable.

Any excuse for Elvis

May cupid pierce your cold cold heart (don’t take it personally, that’s a bit of projection there)

Like father, like son

I went looking for an appropriate video for Valentine’s Day – cuz I’m such a frackin’ romantic – and I came across this. You’d be well advised to skip the  music – just watch this one-minute introduction by Ronald Reagan, circa 1960. (Until I saw this, I was sure there wasn’t a hint of the late President in the face of  his son Ron Jr.  I guess I didn’t look hard enough.)

Old men who send young men to war

Maureen Down in the NY Times today looked upon Donald Rumsfeld and found it distasteful. As she should.

On the eve of the invasion of Iraq, Rumsfeld asked for a comprehensive report on the weapons intel. From Down today we learn this:

“Major Gen. Glen Shaffer, then the director for intelligence for the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the secretary of defense, responding to Rummy’s request to know the “unknowns” about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, wrote “We range from 0% to about 75% knowledge on various aspects of their program.” Schaffer wrote. 

“Our assessments rely heavily on analytic assumptions and judgment rather than hard evidence,” the report said. “The evidentiary base is particularly sparse for Iraqi nuclear programs.”

It added: “We don’t know with any precision how much we don’t know.” And continued: “We do not know if they have purchased, or attempted to purchase, a nuclear weapon. We do not know with confidence the location of any nuclear weapon-related facilities. Our knowledge of the Iraqi nuclear weapons program is based largely — perhaps 90% — on analysis of imprecise intelligence.”

On biological weapons: “We cannot confirm the identity of any Iraqi facilities that produce, test, fill, or store biological weapons,” the report said, adding: “We believe Iraq has 7 mobile BW agent production plants but cannot locate them … our knowledge of how and where they are produced is probably up to 90% incomplete.

On chemical weapons: “We cannot confirm the identity of any Iraqi sites that produce final chemical agent.” And on ballistic missile programs they had “little missile-specific data.”

DOWD added: “Somehow that was twisted into “a slam-dunk.” You go to war with the army you have, but the facts you want.”

Freedom for some! Sometimes!

Them Mooslims ain't getting near me!

King: Obama needs to put his foot down on Muslim Brotherhood

The chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee said Friday that it’s essential that the U.S. try to prevent the Muslim Brotherhood from having a part in Egypt’s new government.

Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) said on Fox’s “Hannity” that Washington has six months to work with the military leaders guiding the democratic transition in Egypt. . .  As Americans we have a strategic interest in the Middle East. We cannot just sit back and say that the Muslim Brotherhood can work itself in . . . as Americans we cannot take the risk of allowing a group that fraternizes with terrorists who talks radically to have them get any power in the Middle East,” King said.

Okeydokee Pete, let’s go with that. A question: How?

(Maybe by building on our success with Al Qaeda and the Taliban? Oops, they  blew up a great big bomb in Kandahar today – Baghdad yesterday).

Pete King is has a bit of a temper and is really really skeered of Mooslims. He says so all the time.

Don’t need those kids to live too long

Even I've got my priorities straighter than that!

At CPAC, Haley Barbour just bragged that Mississippi is the safest place in America for an unborn child. He didn’t dare mention it’s the most dangerous place in America for a born child.

Per thousand rates put Barbour’s state a proud 1st among the fifty in infant mortality. Brag on Haley! (Who’s doing the best job in keeping their born babies alive? Why, that would be the liberal hellhole of Massachusetts.)

Earlier they were all excited denouncing government ‘investment’ proposals. Barbour said ‘can’t borrow your way to prosperity”. But of course, that’s what successful businesses have to do all the time – it’s the only way they can grow their companies, their sales and thus their revenues. Standing still is how you commit suicide.

Egypt joke

Obama calls Mubarak and says “Hosni, it’s time. It’s time to say goodbye to the Egyptian people.”

And Mubarak asks“Where are they going?”

(just heard it on PBS)

Where’s my foot? I need to shoot it.

Aaaahhhh . . . Just looking at this thing depresses me so much I’ve not the energy to search up a proper link. Happily Paul Krugman did.

DESCRIPTION

(via Krugman h/t Digby)

Friday night oldie

(For those of you who are, well, young . . . Georgie Girl was a 60’s movie with Lynn Redgrave in the title role. )

Seems right for now

Warsaw, Berlin and Cairo

I’ve been saying (well someone has to give me some credit!) in posts and threads here and elsewhere that Egypt has felt like Poland, where they went through what was  called the Velvet Revolution – for its peaceful aspect and its success. It felt like Berlin at times; today is so reminiscent of that first night in Berlin when the wall came down.

Yes, peril still lies ahead, but this moment is epic. It is humanity at its most noble.

I hope they manage to move forward with the same spirit they’ve shown the world for the last three weeks.

And I hope they succeed in creating a free and democratic nation. Now that would be an example.

Ghandi would be proud

Those Egyptian protestors are remarkable people. The spark of anger following Mubarak’s speech has moderated itself. They seem to have pulled back from violence once again, as they gear up for the 18th day. Reader pino tells me he lived and worked in Egypt and isn’t optimistic.  But these are brave determined people, and my admiration for their restraint grows by the day.

Stats spike: Bartcop hearted me!

I had a cheap thrill just now. Went to my site stats and saw 511 visits for today! Ahh, I thought, as I turned to sing love songs to my mirror, I am the cookies I am. But then I looked a little further. Sigh, my ego blushed red when I saw that 329 of those came from a single place. So my army of newbies came, looked, and left. Easy come. It happened because I emailed a comment to Bart, the proprietor at Bartcop.com  yesterday (an oldie but goodie). Today he posted a link.

21st century bolsheviks?

Egypt like St. Petersburg? Moscow? 1917? That popular uprising against the  Tzar was exploited by the Leninists but it was originally populist and huge and it was all over the Country.

Jordan now planning demonstrations. Bahrain too.

It’s officially frightening now

Mubarak isn’t stepping down. Whether that’s the right or wrong move, I honestly don’t know. But the crowd in Tahrir Square is already exhibiting the characteristics of an angry mob. They’ve gone from full of hope to anger in mere minutes. (This is an almost unimaginably huge mob.)

UPDATE: Richard Engle just reported that protestors have begun a march to the Presidential Palace. He does add, however, that they may be directing their main efforts and energy toward an even larger march tomorrow.

Well, he did get the Central Park skating rink back on track

Donald Trump might run for President.

“Advisers to Mr. Trump say that he will decide by June whether to go forward with a Republican presidential bid. The timing is built around his television program, “The Apprentice,” which is scheduled to end by June.”

Elvis help us.

Egypt may be changing our world

Egypt. Wow. I just plugged in – been doing yard work most of today. I just brought up Al Jazeera English for the live feed and have my teevee on as well – (the crowd shots are identical right now).

We don’t get moments like this often. The entire world is watching as the oldest nation on the planet charts its future. It’s fraught with danger but there is no stopping it now. If Mubarak doesn’t firmly resign, I fear greatly for the next days. And even if – as expected – he does, there is always plenty to fear from instability, from jockeying for power – not to mention the enormity of the economic hit the country took and must now recover from.

I wish them a bright future. I wish us all a bright future. If Egypt succeeds, we’ll live in a different world.

Don’t bother me with details dammit!

Shock n' Awe! This is more fun than those boring old weapons inspections!

Bush Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has a book to sell, so he’s left his hidey-hole to appear on the teevee again and tell us all about the Iraq War.
The Washington Post Fact Checker took issue with this exchange last week on Good Morning America:

George Stephanopoulos: “But you had inspectors in the country [Iraq]. Why was it necessary to invade–”
Former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld: Saddam Hussein “had thrown them out about the second or third or fourth time.”

Anyone with a rudimentary knowledge of the timeline as we marched into Iraq knows that Mr. Rumsfeld is lying here. (I could say ‘obfuscating’ or ‘fabricating’ or ‘dissembling’ – I believe these are the words our media prefer, ‘lying’ being so, well, so succinct. So it’s just not done my dear – unless of course you’re Rep. Joe Wilson and then you can call  the President of the United States a liar in front of the whole world.)

Or maybe the old fellow really doesn’t know what happened in that war he led.

From the Fact Checker:

2002-2003 inspections

The departure of the inspectors in 2003 is much more clear-cut: They wanted to keep looking for weapons of mass destruction and reported that Iraq was showing increasing cooperation. But the Bush administration clearly had its own timetable for military action.

From November 2002 through February 2003, the inspection teams conducted more than 760 inspections of 500 sites. Hans Blix, who headed what had been renamed UNMOVIC, reported there was no evidence of active chemical or biological weapons programs or stockpiles.

The IAEA reported no evidence of any kind of reconstituted nuclear weapons program. In a March 2003 appearance before the Security Council, then-IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei (now active in the Egyptian protests) went even further, directly disputing key pieces of evidence that the American administration had touted in its case for war.

Blix, in his memoir “Disarming Iraq,” notes that in early March he began getting warnings from senior U.S. and British officials about the safety of the inspectors. Then the company that supplied helicopters for the teams withdrew its equipment from Iraq.

The inspections ended quickly. On March 17, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan announced the inspectors would be withdrawn. A day later, they left the country. On March 19, the U.S.-led invasion began, without explicit authority from the Security Council. (The Arms Control Association has another timeline, while the Congressional Research Service has an excellent report on the inspections.)

No weapons of mass destruction were ever found in Iraq.

A random thought

The only US Presidents who raised taxes in the last 31 years were Republican.

The US has the highest corporate tax rate in the world

True – if only the big guys paid taxes.

One of the little know facts about the cruise industry is that it pays virtually no U.S. taxes. The cruise lines take advantage of an obscure provision in the U.S. tax code which permits shipping companies to evade taxes by incorporating overseas and flying the flags of foreign countries. That’s why Carnival is incorporated in Panama, Royal Caribbean is incorporated in Liberia, and Princess Cruises is incorporated in Bermuda.

My sentiments exactly

 RJ Matson, Roll Call  via http://www.cagle.com/

Mr. Limbaugh doesn’t ‘do’ war zones himself. There is golf to be played.

This is what he gets away with on a regular basis. This blatant dishonesty, the carelessness. is accepted by millions. He doesn’t do teh crazy like Beck, but he is an opinion leader and even in that role gets away with this stuff all the time.

The second quote below comes following the news about the FOX guys in Egypt. Same day, a few hours apart. From Limbaugh’s credibility-free zone:

“Even two New York Times reporters were detained. Now, this is supposed to make us feel what, exactly? How we supposed to feel? Are we supposed to feel outrage over it? I don’t feel any outrage over it. Are we supposed to feel anger? I don’t feel any anger over this. Do we feel happy? Well – uh – do we feel kind of going like, “neh-neh-neh-neh”?”

And then, a few hours later:

“Fox News’ Greg Palkot and crew have been severely beaten and are now hospitalized in Cairo. Now we were kidding before about The New York Times, of course. This kind of stuff is terrible. ”

Of course. (h/t Bartcop)

Serendipity: Mike Stark and Rush Limbaugh and me

kaystreet at The Fifth Column tells us about a conversation on The Rush Limbaugh Show when caller blogger Mike Stark succeeded in getting through on the air last week. Stark has done this a few times.)

I heard the conversation in real time – serendipity! I tune in most weeks for about five minutes just to keep track of the current script and was lucky enough to catch what to me was a most entertaining segment.

kaystreet tells us: “Mike called Limbaugh to find out why all the big hoopla about Reagan when Reagan raised taxes, negotiated with terrorists . . . [gave] amnesty to undocumented workers, and he cut and ran from Lebanon.  The kicker is that Mike was quite polite and actually made Limbaugh tongue tied with his remarks.  Limbaugh never answered the question.  Instead, he attacked Mike Stark.”

The transcript is at kaystreet and at Stark’s site, Stark Reports.

The part that I found most interesting was that, Limbaugh’s bloviation at the end of the call clearly showed he was knowledgable enough to have a conversation with Stark about his questions. But he didn’t. He chose instead to insult, attack, and mock. The usual.

Can. Not. Write.

Go. Away.

Not today anyway.

That is all.

Another juicy tidbit

The oddness of Glenn Beck is beginning to cause unease  among those Republicans who think winning the occasional election is a good idea. It’s not just Bill Kristol. There’s also this from The Washington Monthly post linked below:

Joe Klein noted over the weekend that he’s “heard, from more than a couple of conservative sources, that prominent Republicans have approached Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes about the potential embarrassment that the paranoid-messianic rodeo clown may bring upon their brand. The speculation is that Beck is on thin ice.”

Oh goodie!!!

Ahhh, an old-fashioned knock-down drag-out – stir in a little Sarah Palin and the GOP looks to be imploding.

Apparently little Billy Kristol said:

When Glenn Beck rants about the caliphate taking over the Middle East from Morocco to the Philippines, and lists (invents?) the connections between caliphate-promoters and the American left, he brings to mind no one so much as Robert Welch and the John Birch Society. He’s marginalizing himself, just as his predecessors did back in the early 1960s. [National Review chimed in and said ‘dude.’]

And then Glenn Beck said:

I don’t even know if you understand what conservatives are anymore, Billy. People like Bill Kristol, I don’t think they stand for anything any more. All they stand for is power. They’ll do anything to keep their little fiefdom together . . .

And then Beck accused Kristol of failing to see that:

 “we are fighting the forces of evil on this planet. . . . I think he’s still trying to get Bob Dole elected. Have you done a minute of research Bill?”

Here. More here.

Check that baby off the list!

Online backup established. Wish I’d done it before my unfortunate miscommunication with Picassa (enough said about THAT).

Mozy just told me ‘welcome, go ahead with your regular work, Mozy works in the background and it will take about two days to establish your base backup’.

It never takes that long in the movies!

And he sits in the US Congress

We do have some odd ones in this new Congressional class. The son of one of our more illustrious VP’s, Dan Quayle, is one of them – of the new guys that is; I really don’t know what he stands for. But never mind, a legacy name is a legacy name and he knew Ronald Reagan, so the young one got a nice op-ed spot at Politico this weekend.

Now, everyone is not a writer. Fine. Nor are all writers mature; indeed not everyone is mature. But we do hope that those who govern us can produce something beyond the sappy sentiments of a sixth grader. Digby at Hullabaloo says “This, by the way, is the reason why America wasn’t supposed to have an aristocracy”.

Sayeth the young Quayle.

“When I was a child, President Ronald Reagan was the nice man who gave us jelly beans when we visited the White House.

I didn’t know then, but I know it now: The jelly beans were much more than a sweet treat that he gave out as gifts. They represented the uniqueness and greatness of America — each one different and special in its own way, but collectively they blended in harmony . . . “