spook of the ozarks

unapologetic liberal

Monday, July 31, 2006

Their hours are not like our hours

That didn't last long:

QANA, Lebanon (AP) -- Israeli warplanes carried out strikes in southern Lebanon on Monday, hours after agreeing to temporarily halt air raids while investigating a bombing that killed at least 56 Lebanese civilians, mostly women and children seeking shelter.

By contrast:

By 4:30 p.m. Monday, no Hezbollah rockets had hit the region, a remarkable turnaround for an area hit by dozens of missiles a day during the offensive.

Heckuva job, Condi.

Makes sense

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Condi diplomacy in action

Robert Fisk ended his report yesterday (there is garble at the link; just stop there.) thusly:

[S]tand by for an "increase" in the "urgency" of diplomacy -- and for more women with their skin torn open by cluster bombs.

Then this happened:

QANA, Lebanon (AP) -- An Israeli airstrike Sunday killed at least 56 Lebanese, mostly women and children, when it leveled a building where they had taken shelter. The deadliest attack in nearly three weeks of warfare forced Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to cut short a Mideast mission and increased world pressure on the United States to back an end to the fighting.

The Israelis blame Hezbollah; they are lying. We'll remain on standby a while longer, it seems. Of course, Hezbollah and Hamas should stop firing missiles into Israel and release those soldiers they kidnapped -- things they have expressed a willingness to do if the Israelis stop slaughtering civilians, which the Israelis won't do. So the carnage will continue.
UPDATE: They say they will -- for 48 hours, conditionally.

Don't miss this one


NYT endorses Ned Lamont.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Two of a kind

Sounds familiar:

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has ordered government and cultural bodies to use modified Persian words to replace foreign words that have crept into the language, such as "pizzas" which will now be known as "elastic loaves," state media reported Saturday.

When a tsunami killed a bunch of Indonesians several years ago, Griffin Smith, jr, executive editor of the Demo-zette, banished the foreign word in favor of "tidal wave," even though they're not the same thing.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Can't help themselves

Surprise: a poison pill:

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Republican leaders are willing to allow the first minimum wage increase in a decade but only if it's coupled with a cut in future inheritance taxes on multimillion-dollar estates, congressional aides said Friday.

This is how they get Republicans to vote for it. These people are devoid of altruism.

Joe Galloway

Robbing Peter to pay Paul:

A couple thousand more Americans on the streets of Baghdad won't contribute much, except to the number of Americans being killed and wounded there. But the places they left are going to miss them in the worst way.

He retired, but he's still writing a weekly column.

They lie about everything


Just in time:

WASHINGTON, July 27 — Under intense pressure from their moderate wing, House Republican leaders moved on Thursday toward allowing a vote Friday on an increase in the minimum wage before sending anxious lawmakers home for a month of campaigning in the battle for control of Congress.

They're counting on everyone forgetting that they've blocked any raise since 1997. They have a moderate wing? Doesn't the GOP leadership have a rule about only allowing votes on bills that have the support of a majority of their members? They're so anxious about November they're getting bipartisan? Yeah, right.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

W doesn't get it

Michael Hirsh elaborates in Newsweek:

[W]e have found ourselves making enemies in the Islamic world faster than we could round them up or kill them.

'Rock Star' elim 4

They couldn't take another week of the wobbling head.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

'Rock Star' week 4

Almost forgot. Watch it. This was one of those weeks they'd like to ditch about half the remaining contestants. But especially Phil. Storm and, of course, Dilana excelled. And what's up with Gilby's aversion the the grind?

War with Iran

James Bamford in Rolling Stone:

Even before the bombs fell on Baghdad, a group of senior Pentagon officials were plotting to invade another country. Their covert campaign once again relied on false intelligence and shady allies. But this time, the target was Iran.

Actually, that's a summary, probably written by an editor. As the neocons see it, perpetual war is the only way they can hold on to power.

Feeling that Joementum?

Neither are Gene Lyons and Joe Conason. The primary is Aug. 8.


If the Israelis really want a multinational force to deploy between them and Hezbollah, killing unarmed U.N. observers is not exactly a tactic that will encourage anyone to contribute troops for such a force.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The other Oklahoma senator

Tom Coburn. Voters over there are stupid.

Markos on 'Nightline'

Monday, July 24, 2006

Interview with a madman

CAUTION: Large mug shot of Jim Inhofe at this link. Excerpt:

... Inhofe insists that he feels even stronger about taking on what he sees as the current hysteria about global warming than he did several years ago when he first uttered that now-famous hoax statement.
In an interview, he heaped criticism on what he saw as the strategy used by those on the other side of the debate and offered a historical comparison.
"It kind of reminds ... I could use the Third Reich, the big lie," Inhofe said.

He's among a very few delusional and/or intellectually dishonest folks left on the globe who deny it's happening, as Naomi Oreskes explains. Even among Republicans. But they chose him to be chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

GOP racism

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Something evil this way comes


HIGHFILL — Vice President Dick Cheney will come to the Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport, then travel to Springdale on Monday, all on behalf of Asa Hutchinson, the Republican candidate for governor.

This should doom Asa's already slim chances.

W, stem cells, Ralph Reed, Joementum

Saturday, July 22, 2006

'Media Matters'

That incorrect Anne Kornblut story about Hillary Clinton reminds Jamison Foser of campaign 2000.

Good questions

Over at Juan Cole's place, Patrick McGreevy asks:

The western media has been focused like a laser on the dramatic story of the evacuation of refugees from western countries. The Americans I know who are on their way out all have the same question: Why are we the story? With hundreds dead, thousands injured, hundreds of thousands displaced, Lebanon essentially turned into a Gaza with mountains, and the Bush Administration saying that talk of a cease-fire is "premature," can we ever expect the western media to report what is significant rather than what will entertain its audience?

Here's Robert Fisk, demonstrating the ability to do both.

Friday, July 21, 2006

What's the point?

Why the hell is Condi going to the Middle East if she's not going to push for a cease-fire? Then she says this:

Asked why she didn't go earlier and engage in quick-hit diplomacy to try to end the death and destruction that has gripped the region, she replied, "I could have gotten on a plane and rushed over and started shuttling and it wouldn't have been clear what I was shuttling to do."

So what is she going for? If she thinks she's going "to address the root causes of that violence" she better pack for a long stay.

'The crazies'

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Here's more

Pound sand, farmers:

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) -- A federal judge temporarily stopped construction on a $320 million irrigation project Thursday, ruling the changes could disturb the habitat of a woodpecker that might or might not be extinct.

Good photo, too.

Some good news

Reverse Joementum:

BOSTON (Reuters) - U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman, facing a backlash in his own party for supporting the Iraq war, has been overtaken by a political novice in Connecticut's Democratic Senate primary, a poll showed on Thursday.
The three-term senator and vice presidential nominee in 2000 has support of 47 percent of likely Democratic voters against 51 percent for Ned Lamont, a millionaire who gained on Lieberman by portraying him as too supportive of President George W. Bush, the Quinnipiac University poll showed.

Hammer declawed:

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The fundraising organization that helped vault former Rep. Tom DeLay to Republican leadership ranks in the House and distributed election money to numerous Republicans has been fined for campaign finance violations and is shutting down.

Couldn't happen to nicer guys.

That's one way of looking at it


Faced with almost daily reports of sectarian carnage in Iraq, congressional Republicans are shifting their message on the war from speaking optimistically of progress to acknowledging the difficulty of the mission and pointing up mistakes in planning and execution.

Or, faced with midterm elections and an electorate that increasingly opposes an unnecessary, failed war that congressional Republicans wholeheartedly supported for the past four years, GOP lawmakers are cynically trying to shift blame to W, Bigtime, Rummy et al.

'Rock Star' elim 3

We'll miss Jenny from Vancouver. She was a beauty, and talented, but not really Supernova material. Speaking of whom, some of the band's commentary seems, uh, not exactly spontaneous. And neither Dana nor Josh will be around much longer. We keep expecting the band to just say, "None of you guys are going to work out," and dismiss all three at once. Watch here.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

From the hands of babes

Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk. Maybe we should adopt a local wingnut to ridicule daily.
via Atrios.

Too many talent contests on TV

Tom Shales:

From the look and sound of the opening installments, "America's Got Talent" is that one show too many that has killed many a television trend. It has no charm, it's edited into anarchy, and its so-called judges ([Piers Morgan,] the vacuous Brandy and frighteningly primitive David Hasselhoff) could hardly be less articulate.

Haven't seen it; don't intend to. Ditto "The One." And after that Ford commercial that's on about every 10 minutes, no more "American Idol," either. Or any of those stupid dancing shows.
Which brings us to "Rock Star," week 3. Too many good performances to confidently predict who gets the encore, but we'd pick Patrice or Storm, maybe Lukas. Either Jenny (inappropriate song choice) or Dana should be toast. Will Dave Navarro and Brooke Burke hook up? Maybe they already have?


Just an innocent misinterpretation, the NYT says.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


W has some behavioral issues. Merkel should have slugged him. Markos summarizes:

Between urging Putin to adopt "Iraqi-style democracy", to Bush talking with his mouth full, to having his ignorance of geography broadcast via an unexpectedly live microphone, to having his weird fratboy groping thing captured on film, can we say that this was the worst foreign trip for a US president since his poppy puked on the Japanese prime minister's lap?

The manchild is an international disgrace.

Bring it here

This sounds good:

LONDON, July 18 (Reuters) - BSkyB placed a big bet on broadband on Tuesday with a 400 million pound ($728 million) plan to bundle high-speed Internet access with satellite TV, taking on telecoms giants BT, NTL and France Telecom.

Maybe we're misreading, but if they're going to offer Internet over satellite, that's something new, we think. You can bundle Earthlink DSL with Dish Network, but the Internet service appears to work over phone lines: "Not available in all areas."

Time to go, Joe

Atrios writes an op-ed in the LATimes.


From today's Demo-zette (no link):

PASADENA, Calif. — The Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour eased into full stride July 10 ...

Shouldn't we have been reading this a week ago?

Monday, July 17, 2006

Not a bad idea


TUCSON, July 13 — To anyone who ever said, “I wouldn’t vote for that bum for a million bucks,” Arizona may be calling your bluff.
A proposal to award $1 million in every general election to one lucky resident, chosen by lottery, simply for voting — no matter for whom — has qualified for the November ballot.

It would surely increase turnout. The problem is that its legality is dubious. And of course, it won't happen here.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Intentionally dishonest?

Atrios catches Anne Kornblut in The New York Times using partial quotes taken out of context to spin Hillary's speech in Bentonville Rogers 180 degrees. At DailyKos, mcjoan detects a pattern. We await the editor's note.

More Fisk

Here and here (twice).


Saturday, July 15, 2006

Local Fox affiliate follies

This must have been exciting:

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Scott Rolen's RBI single with two outs in the 10th inning gave the St. Louis Cardinals a 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday, their fourth extra-inning triumph during a season-best six-game winning streak.

Unfortunately, the bottom of the 10th commenced at 3:30, so KPBI viewers would have instead seen a previously scheduled infomercial had they not switched channels in disgust after having watched 9.5 innings.

Fisk in Beirut

Friday, July 14, 2006

Stabbed in the back

This isn't helping

Shouldn't some diplomacy be under way here?

Israel Blasts Beirut's Airport, Highways
Bush Defends Israeli Attacks in Lebanon

And this is among the results:

Stocks fell sharply yesterday for a second day as oil prices surged to a new high amid growing turmoil in the Middle East.

As Froomkin and others have noticed, we're doing nothing.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

'Rock Star' elim 2

How the hell did Zayra survive? She not only insulted the band, she also turned around and performed the same song she butchered the night before. Anyhow, Chris sucked, too.

Warms the heart

Let the good times roll:

The former CIA agent whose identity was leaked to reporters by administration officials filed a civil lawsuit today against Vice President Dick Cheney, his former top aide, top presidential adviser Karl Rove and other White House officials, accusing them of conspiring to destroy her career out of revenge.

Can't wait.

Dog shit

In Esquire, of all places.
via Atrios.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

What he says

Will Bunch has a good post about the fear-mongering GOP and its enablers on cable TV.

Shorter Conason, Lyons

Joe: Lieberman doesn't get it, never will.
Gene: Al Gore does, so go see his movie.

This is ridiculous


WASHINGTON, July 11 — It reads like a tally of terrorist targets that a child might have written: Old MacDonald’s Petting Zoo, the Amish Country Popcorn factory, the Mule Day Parade, the Sweetwater Flea Market and an unspecified “Beach at End of a Street.”
But the inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security, in a report released Tuesday, found that the list was not child’s play: all these “unusual or out-of-place” sites “whose criticality is not readily apparent” are inexplicably included in the federal antiterrorism database.
The National Asset Database, as it is known, is so flawed, the inspector general found, that as of January, Indiana, with 8,591 potential terrorist targets, had 50 percent more listed sites than New York (5,687) and more than twice as many as California (3,212), ranking the state the most target-rich place in the nation.
The database is used by the Homeland Security Department to help divvy up the hundreds of millions of dollars in antiterrorism grants each year, including the program announced in May that cut money to New York City and Washington by 40 percent, while significantly increasing spending for cities including Louisville, Ky., and Omaha.

None of which will disturb the beltway pundits' conventional wisdom that Americans trust the GOP more when it comes to national security issues. Feel safer?

Beisbol con cerveza en Springdale

Glad that's over. The local TV newspeople's lame metaphors were about to make us cry.

'Rock Star' week 2

Web site. They can't have Dilana encore two weeks in a row, can they? Maybe Toby or Patrice. Zayra insulted the band -- not the great house band, but the one she's auditioning for. Josh did a Creed song. Either of them can go.

Inhofe vs. the scientific consensus

Environment panel spokesman denounces Brokaw, seizing on this:

Producers speak to no one, at least on film, who believes the current warmth is part of the Earth's natural cycle and who minimizes the importance of what is happening.

That's because no one but wingnuts and George Will take those flat-earthers seriously. Predictable. In fact, we were negligent in not predicting it.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


Shine on:

Syd Barrett, the former lead singer of Pink Floyd and one of the key figures of the 60s, has died at the Cambridgeshire home to which he retreated as a recluse more than 30 years ago.
The Guardian has learned that the singer, 60, who suffered from a psychedelic-drug induced breakdown while at the peak of his career, died last Friday from cancer.


The media Y the guy, and it has consequences.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Par for the course

From Froomkin:

John Schmeltzer writes in The Chicago Tribune about the White House's search for backdrops."'I received a phone call last week from the White House asking for the names of some manufacturers where they could take the president. They said they needed a manufacturer in the Loop,' said [Greg Baise, president and CEO of the Illinois Manufacturers' Association]. 'I suggested that might be difficult because there has not been a manufacturer in the Loop for more than a century.'"

Weren't they supposed to be masters of photo-ops?

Brokaw joins global-warming fight

This couldn't hurt:

NEW YORK (AP) -- Tom Brokaw is giving Al Gore some company in the effort to raise awareness of global warming. The former NBC anchorman is host of "Global Warming: What You Need to Know," which doubles as an explainer and call to action for average Americans. It premieres Sunday at 9 p.m. EDT on the Discovery Channel.

Do nothing Congress

Larry Sabato tells Reuters:

"Historically this is certainly not a Congress that will be remembered," said Larry Sabato, of the University of Virginia's Center for Politics. "There is just not much there."

He's talking about legislative accomplishments. It may be remembered for the lack of any substantative ones or of any oversight of the executive, and for its corruption scandals.

A day late

Sunday, July 09, 2006


World Cup.

Saturday, July 08, 2006



[Bush] rejected conducting one-on-one negotiations, insisting that he needed China and other neighbors at the table so that Mr. Kim did not make the United States to appear the blockade to an agreement.
"One thing I'm not going to let us do is get caught in the trap of sitting at the table alone with the North Koreans," Mr. Bush insisted, rejecting the criticism by Democrats who say such talks would be the only way to break the logjam.
"If you want to solve a problem diplomatically, you need partners to do so," Mr. Bush said, adding later that his worry about "handling this issue bilaterally is that you run out of options very quickly."


SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- A U.S. envoy expressed support for China's proposal to hold informal six-nation talks on the North Korean nuclear threat and offered to meet bilaterally with the North on the sidelines of those discussions.

At least the actual diplomat has the right idea. Prediction: Anti-diplomat John Bolton and his pal Bigtime won't let it happen.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Mountain crumbles

But Jim Inhofe will remain impervious to fact.

Not a bad idea

Jamie "Mr. Christiane Amanpour" Rubin thinks we should redeploy our troops from Iraq to Afghanistan.

Thursday, July 06, 2006


Do it. We'll patronize it. The spookhouse is about three blocks away. We need a walkable downtown. Sensible development is good. How about a suitably designed convenience store? Don will be rounding up the latest on Divinity.
UPDATE: The council OK'd it.

'Rock Star' elim

Did we mention that someone could self-destruct? Yes, we did. A Duran Duran number qualifies. Matt had hair issues, too. "L.A. Woman" was a good choice for Chris, who still won't be around for the final.

Pryor can't resist that Joementum

When Ned Lamont beats Lieberman in the senatorial primary, Joe says he'll run in the general as an independent, defying the wishes of Connecticut Democrats. Apparently that's OK with Mark Pryor, who "will be supporting Lieberman no matter what the outcome," according to Pryor's spokesperson. Bad decision, Mark, and one we'll remember in two years. Pryor has earned a primary challenge of his own.
Hat tip to Matt.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Surely they jest

'Rock Star: Supernova'

Watch the premiere here. See ya, Chris, unless you slay 'em Thursday and someone else self-destructs. Tommy Lee looked like he would've canceled the show and hired Dilana on the spot if he hadn't been contractually obligated to continue to the end. But there are several other talented singers -- mostly the chicks -- in play. Supernova's gonna have a good singer when it's over. But the reason this show is better than "American Idol" is the musical content: no "Suds in The Bucket."

Lyons, Conason

Gene and Joe on the hypocrisy of the Bush junta.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Obligatory post o' the day

Overcome with patriotism, we spent the day listening to Lee Greenwood.
But seriously, that North Korean missile volley was unintimidating. The Taepodong-2 lasted 35 seconds. They reportedly fueled it up nearly three weeks ago. Noah Shachtman noted a couple of weeks ago:

The hype kicked into high gear when The New York Times claimed that the Norks "completed fueling a long-range ballistic missile" over the weekend. But the report is getting fishier by the second. The Norks generally rely on a highly corrosive gasoline-kerosene mix for their missile fuel, and an oxidizer containing nitric acid. It's nasty, metal-eating stuff. And once fueled up, the missile has to be launched quickly — two or three days, I've been told — or else the missile is basically ruined.

Is it possible they didn't know this? And on this "may be capable of reaching America" stuff, Josh points out that The NYT got it right today: It might be capable of hitting Alaska -- not that that would be OK -- but it would hardly constitute "a relentless annihilating strike and a nuclear war." Well, it would get them nuked. Cheney wouldn't hesitate.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Malkin, et al

These people would be dangerous if they weren't cowards.

Sunday, July 02, 2006


This story has provoked a lesson on why they're called wingnuts.

What he says

AOL hell

This can't get too much exposure. Although we've never subscribed, we've said repeatedly that if AOL were the only ISP, we'd still be Internetless.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Shuttle launch

At 2:48 CDT, weather permitting.
Better luck tomorrow, perhaps.


Reuters hed:

Freeing Israeli troop key to ending crisis: Bush

One guy does not constitute a "troop."

Why Net neutrality matters

This is what we can expect if the telcos control the Internet. Seems like bad timing for an ad rollout.
(fixed link)