spook of the ozarks

unapologetic liberal

Thursday, August 31, 2006

More, please

WaPo calls bullshit:

Bush suggested last week that Democrats are promising voters to block additional money for continuing the war. Vice President Cheney this week said critics "claim retreat from Iraq would satisfy the appetite of the terrorists and get them to leave us alone." And Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, citing passivity toward Nazi Germany before World War II, said that "many have still not learned history's lessons" and "believe that somehow vicious extremists can be appeased."
Pressed to support these allegations, the White House yesterday could cite no major Democrat who has proposed cutting off funds or suggested that withdrawing from Iraq would persuade terrorists to leave Americans alone.

The media should report these lies as what they are.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

President Cheney

Robert Kuttner thinks he deserves more coverage.

October surprise?

Gene Lyons wouldn't be.


Eric Margolis defines and identifies them, and they're not Muslims.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

What's with these people?

Par for the course:

WASHINGTON, Aug. 29 — State Department investigators have concluded that Kenneth Y. Tomlinson, the head of the federal agency that oversees most government broadcasts to foreign countries, improperly hired a friend on the public payroll for nearly $250,000 over two and a half years, according to a summary of their report made public this afternoon by Democratic Congressional staff members.
They also said that Mr. Tomlinson, whose job puts him in charge of the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe, used his government office for personal business, including running a "horse racing operation" in which he supervised a stable of thoroughbreds he named after leaders from Afghanistan, including President Hamid Karzai and the late Ahmed Shah Massoud, that have raced at tracks across the United States. They also said that Mr. Tomlinson repeatedly used government employees to do his personal errands and that he billed the government for more days of work than the rules permit.

... The employee was known by other employees as "the phantom" because he was often not at work, other agency employees said.

"The phantom." Heh.

Drinking liberally

Al fresco. Powerhouse patio, 7 p.m.

Monday, August 28, 2006

John Mark Karr

It was apparent -- or at least close enough to warrant skepticism -- that he didn't kill her. Even a day or so after his arrest, the media were reporting something like: "Maybe he made up the confession, but he sure was obsessed with the case." OK. He's a sick freak. What, for example, is AP's excuse? Or the rest of the national media? What a disgraceful feeding frenzy.

Catching up

Web-free weekend.

Friday, August 25, 2006

He'll get an A

From War Room:

University of Virginia students seeking a spot in Larry Sabato's seminar on campaigns and elections have to write an essay as part of the admissions process. S.R. Sidarth's successful three-word submission: "I am Macaca."

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Desperate senators

Santorum goes negative.
Joementum courts GOP.
Liddy can't help Burns.
Allen apologizes.
Up against the wall.

Here we go again


WASHINGTON, Aug. 23 — Some senior Bush administration officials and top Republican lawmakers are voicing anger that American spy agencies have not issued more ominous warnings about the threats that they say Iran presents to the United States.

Not bellicose enough. This story is based on this House Intelligence Committee report (pdf) that the WaPo reports was written by John Bolton's former chief of staff when Bolton was at State. Don't these people ever learn anything from their mistakes? Oh, that's right. They're lethally incapable of acknowledging their fallibility.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

More of this, please

Hit piece?

That's what War Room called this pathetic attempt.


But really, that attack piece is sort of embarrassing. I'd fire whoever wrote it. I expect future Republican Party hit pieces on me to be better focused and use more effective examples of my liberalism. I'm not exaggerating, I've had over 10 reporters email me the hit-piece laughing at how bad it is.

Gene Lyons

At last

They're starting to get it:

WASHINGTON, Aug. 22 — Americans increasingly see the war in Iraq as distinct from the fight against terrorism, and nearly half believe President Bush has focused too much on Iraq to the exclusion of other threats, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.

Old saying.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Iraq experts

Inhofe: "What's happened there is nothing short of a miracle."

Boozman: "I feel like we very definitely have an exit strategy."

Monday, August 21, 2006

Big storm cometh

5:30 update: Impressive: Ferocious, howling, wind-chime-wrecking, sustained, 2 1/2-hour power-failure-inducing, straight-line blast, with torrential downpour. Then more high winds, with rolling thunder.

Think it can't get any worse?

Dr. Alterman predicts:

If Lieberman wins the election, he will not switch to the Republicans, as some fear. But he will do the functional equivalent, which is accept Bush’s appointment to replace Rumsfeld as secretary of defense, resign his seat and allow the Republican governor of Connecticut to appoint a Republican in his stead. That is the implicit deal between the Lieberman camp and Rove, Cheney, Bush etc. and the reason, that alone, in the entire country, this is the only race where this most partisan of political operations refuses to support the Republican in the race. Bush, Rove and Cheney do not make political decisions on the basis of what they think is good for the country. They care only about their party and themselves. If Lieberman supporters are genuinely supporting him as a Democrat, it is not enough for him to pledge to vote with the party in the Senate. He must pledge that, under no circumstances, will he accept an appointment from Bush or resign his seat under any circumstances, so long as a Republican occupies the Statehouse.

Joe doesn't even care about his putative party. Secretary of Defense Lieberman? Jeebus help us.

0 for 4

Eric Margolis:

For a leader who styles himself "the war president," U.S. Commander-in-Chief George W. Bush's military record now stands at 0 for 4. Even Italy's born-again "imperial Roman conqueror," Benito Mussolini, fared better.

Margolis is the conservative Toronto Sun's equivalent of Gene Lyons.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

We're screwed

Daniel L. Byman and Kenneth M. Pollack:

The debate is over: By any definition, Iraq is in a state of civil war. Indeed, the only thing standing between Iraq and a descent into total Bosnia-like devastation is 135,000 U.S. troops -- and even they are merely slowing the fall. The internecine conflict could easily spiral into one that threatens not only Iraq but also its neighbors throughout the oil-rich Persian Gulf region with instability, turmoil and war.

They make a pretty good case for why we can't just leave now, present some pretty grim scenarios about what could happen next and make some suggestions -- some pretty good, some not so (more troops!) -- about how to manage it. But there is no prediction of a happy ending.

Fear strikes out

Saturday, August 19, 2006

'Good' doesn't do these guys justice

If you're not watching the PGA, you're missing a friggin' great golf shot about every 15 seconds.

Friday, August 18, 2006


These people should be banished from the Washington, D.C., region for eternity.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Not skeptical?

Read this. Seems those binary liquid explosives aren't that easy to make, except in the movies.

Stop it

Good judge:

DETROIT (AP) -- A federal judge ruled Thursday that the government's warrantless wiretapping program is unconstitutional and ordered an immediate halt to it.
U.S. District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor in Detroit became the first judge to strike down the National Security Agency's program, which she says violates the rights to free speech and privacy as well as the separation of powers enshrined in the Constitution.

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati covers Michigan. Sitting on the appeals court are six W appointees, four of whom were nominated in 2001 or 2002 and had to be renominated after the 2002 elections, when the GOP gained its Senate majority. In other words, the NSA can probably find one who will stay Taylor's order pending appeal.


John Kerry:

If the Bush administration could plan and execute the war on terror as well as it executes its shameless pre-election fear-mongering, we'd all be a lot safer.

It's all they have. They can't run on their record.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


Andrew Sullivan doesn't trust the Bush administration anymore.

In case you missed it

Dick Holbrooke dismantled Bill Kristol on "Charlie Rose" the other night. The video is here. Kevin Drum summarizes.

Lyons, Conason

Gene: The neo-cons hate the Mideast cease-fire.
Joe: But they still love them some Joementum.

Drinking Liberally

Good time, nice people. Thanks to Greg for hosting.
Even got home in time to catch Dilana singing "Cat's in the Cradle," and because Dave Navarro declared it the best performance of the night, we'll take his word for that.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Gas explosions

Maybe the U.S. military really did think that a gas leak caused blasts in Baghdad that killed 63 people and wounded 140, but surely they couldn't have expected anybody else to believe it. Anyhow, now they say car bombs triggered gas explosions.


We forgot yesterday was our first anniversary.

Be there then

Tonight, 7:00, Powerhouse Seafood and Grill.

Monday, August 14, 2006

The U.S. and the Israel/Hezbollah war

Sy Hersh explains how it was a less-than-successful trial run for a U.S. attack on Iran.

The fear card

Herbert, too.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Peace plan

Let's see how much shit we can blow up before we're supposed to stop blowing shit up.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Straw man


"We must never make the mistake of thinking the danger of terrorism has passed."

Does anyone think that? Of course not. On the other hand:

"Unfortunately, some have suggested recently that the terrorist threat is being used for partisan political advantage."

Yeah, we agree that this is unfortunate. So is this and this. Shameless, even.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Mo' Joe

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Red alert

OK, this one looks legit. From Froomkin yesterday:

Tony Snow [on Tuesday]: "Today the President got up, had his normal intelligence briefing. He also had briefings from the National Security Advisor and the Homeland Security Advisor. And I believe they're working on a dock today."

How reassuring to know he's on top of it, protecting Americans. Of course, they're already trying to score political points. Never mind that it was the British and Pakistanis who apparently foiled the plot. Some wingnut will probably claim the plotters were emboldened by Nomentum's primary loss. Because the fear card is all they have.

'Rock Star' elim 6 -- and 7

Two encores, two ousters. We didn't see Magni's family in the audience, so we assume they just liked his chops. As they cull the field, they have more time to fill. We must have underestimated the voters' taste: apparently they liked "All The Young Dudes" enough to save Zayra. Neither Josh nor Jill was ever gonna win.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Here's an idea

Personal peccadillo:

ROME (Reuters) - Italy's government plans to clamp down on broadcasters turning up the volume when they show advertisements in order to get viewers' attention.
... "We need to stop television advertising that raises its voice," [Communications Minister Paolo] Gentiloni told a news conference.

This is not exactly what he's talking about, but we have resolved to never knowingly patronize any business or buy any product with advertisements featuring someone screaming at us, regardless of the volume level.

'Rock Star' week 6

Watch it. No notably bad performances, but they'll probably ditch Zayra. Dave said what we've been thinking since about week 2, which is that they should just go ahead and hire Dilana. Lukas should get the encore, although they may give it to Magni because his family's in from Iceland.

How'd this happen?

Krugman in the Demo-zette.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Get the message

Lieberman is a loser (click the links).

Local TV news wanker

Craig Cannon used the Ari Fleischer invention, adopted by Fox News, "homicide bomber." Wikipedia:

Some effort has been made to replace the term suicide bombing with the term homicide bombing. The first such use was by White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer in April 2002[31] with the intent to emphasize the murder of the bomber's victims and also to de-emphasize any self-sacrificial connotations associated with the term suicide.
With the exceptions of
Fox News Channel and the New York Post (both owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation) the phrase is not used.[32]
An obvious problem with using this phrase for "suicide bombing" is that literally, the phrase "homicide bombing" covers any bombing that kills another person, whether or not the bomber has also died.

Monday, August 07, 2006


Another one bites the dust

Bob Ney, a.k.a. "Congressman A."

Pierce explains

Why Lieberman must go. Primary tomorrow.

Admit you were wrong

Bob Herbert on Democrats like Hillary, Biden et al.:

Despite the rationalizations now suddenly on the lips of so many, the problem with the current war in Iraq is not the way it was conducted, but the fact of the war itself. It was launched amid blinding, billowing clouds of deceit. There was never any legitimate reason for the war. Iraq had not attacked the U.S. and there was no imminent threat of attack.

Feingold and 22 others were right. Everyone on this list under the header "Yeas" was wrong, and they should admit it, like Edwards, if they want to be the nominee in 2008.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Lebanon week in review

Courtesy of Mr. Fisk. And more.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Czech beer tour

Great idea someone had.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Like it is

Nancy Youssef:

BAGHDAD, Iraq - The top U.S. military commander for the Middle East, Gen. John Abizaid, told Congress on Thursday that the violence in Baghdad "is probably as bad as I've seen it," and went on to say that the country could be headed toward civil war.
Nearly all of the dozen Iraqis who work for McClatchy Newspapers' Baghdad bureau -- evenly split between Shiite and Sunni Muslims -- reached that conclusion long ago.

Everyone else who's been paying attention has, too. Except Rummy, who's stuck in a time warp.


Thursday, August 03, 2006

Twentysomething anchor

KFSM's Matt Splett:

"Oklahoma is suffering its worst drought ever."

Not quite, Matt.

Also war crimes

On both sides:

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Hizbollah guerrillas killed seven people in Israel in a rocket barrage on Thursday despite an intensive Israeli ground and air campaign to wipe them out, as world powers struggled to end the 23-day-old war.

One world power could end it at any time. Sidney Blumenthal explains why it won't.

War crimes

Human Rights Watch:

(Beirut, August 3, 2006) – Israeli forces have systematically failed to distinguish between combatants and civilians in their military campaign against Hezbollah in Lebanon, Human Rights Watch said in report released today. The pattern of attacks in more than 20 cases investigated by Human Rights Watch researchers in Lebanon indicates that the failures cannot be dismissed as mere accidents and cannot be blamed on wrongful Hezbollah practices. In some cases, these attacks constitute war crimes.

'Rock Star' elim 5

Jill saved her ass -- temporarily -- with a strong performance. Dana's gone.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

'Rock Star' week 5

Tommy Lee's a pretty good drummer. It will be an injustice if Dilana isn't Supernova's singer. Zayra's a freak. Jill's probably a goner. If you missed Ryan doing "Losing My Religion" you can watch here, or just tune in tonight: It'll probably be the encore.



What has made this bad situation worse — and promises to inflict incalculable damage long into the future — is the feckless encouragement of Israel’s disproportionate response by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and her obtuse boss. Having neglected Israel and Palestine for years, their parody of diplomacy has achieved nothing so far, except to discredit the United States.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

At last

We're there, but not tonight. Too damn hot to take the hike.

Paul Eells dead