Saturday, March 31, 2007

What a difference a year makes

I believe that our beloved leader, the Shrub, has really convinced himself that no matter what he says, no one will remember at a later date. Then again, if someone does remember, he simply ignores any inconsistencies with reality and his worldview. So I suppose this example of how well things are going in Iraq shouldn't surprise me either.

March 20, 2006 -- GWB speaking to the Cleveland City Club at the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel:

"See, if you're a resident of Tal Afar today, this is what you're going to see: You see that the terrorist who once exercised brutal control over every aspect of your city has been killed or captured, or driven out, or put on the run. You see your children going to school and playing safely in the streets. You see the electricity and water service restored throughout the city. You see a police force that better reflects the ethnic and religious diversity of the communities they patrol. You see markets opening, and you hear the sound of construction equipment as buildings go up and homes are remade. In short, you see a city that is coming back to life.

The success of Tal Afar also shows how the three elements of our strategy in Iraq -- political, security, and economic -- depend on and reinforce one another. By working with local leaders to address community grievances, Iraqi and coalition forces helped build the political support needed to make the military operation a success. The military success against the terrorists helped give the citizens of Tal Afar security, and this allowed them to vote in the elections and begin to rebuild their city. And the economic rebuilding that is beginning to take place is giving Tal Afar residents a real stake in the success of a free Iraq. And as all this happens, the terrorists, those who offer nothing but destruction and death, are becoming marginalized.

The strategy that worked so well in Tal Afar did not emerge overnight -- it came only after much trial and error. It took time to understand and adjust to the brutality of the enemy in Iraq. Yet the strategy is working. And we know it's working because the people of Tal Afar are showing their gratitude for the good work that Americans have given on their behalf."

Today's headline at -- Tal Afar bomb toll hits 152, deadliest of Iraq war

"BAGHDAD, Iraq - The Iraqi government raised the death toll on Saturday from a truck bomb in the town of Tal Afar to 152, making it the deadliest single bombing of the four-year-old war."

Read more here...

Thursday, March 29, 2007

The Death of Conservatism

I've been out of town for a few days, so I haven't had much time to post -- or even think much. However, I just got finished reading Glenn Greenwald's column today at Salon and it is a brilliant analysis of the death of traditional conservatism under the neoconservative movement that has taken over the country in the last few years.

Greenwald uses David Brooks' column in today's NYT as a starting point. Brooks argues that the traditional conservative philosophy -- "that government power should be restrained in order to maximize freedom" is no longer relevant. Instead, it has been replaced by a neoconservative radicalism that argues "for expanded government power on every front."

Greenwald states convincingly that the Bush administration and its followers, while paying lip service to Goldwater/Reagan traditional conservatism, are in fact the farthest thing from it. Instead, they advance an extreme authoritarian philosophy. With this realignment of the "right" to radicalism, the "left" is also nothing like the left of the 70s. Instead, it is reduced to opposing the shift of power to the executive and to attempting to impose some form of check and balance to our government before everything previously recognizable as "American" is completely demolished.

This has been, as Greenwald notes, crystal clear since the Bush administration came into power. At any rate, it's an article well worth reading -- and memorizing.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Tony Snow's lesson for us in Constitutional Law

Diarist VermontGriz at Daily Kos alerted us in his diary post today to something that he found infuriating, and when I read the diary and watched the embedded video, I was infuriated as well.

It seems that Tony Snow, our erstwhile W.H. Press Secretary, gave us all a lesson in Constitutional Law this morning on the CBS Morning Show with Harry Smith. Snow said, with a perfectly straight face, "The Legislative Branch has no oversight responsibility over the White House." Smioth found it difficult to hide his contempt, and Snow got visibly frustrated as a result.

For the record, I note that Kos and Paul Kiel at TPM Muckraker also wrote about Snow's appearance on ABC with Diane Sawyer. Sawyer tried to hold Snow's feet to the fire, but she wasn't nearly as effective as Smith. That video is here.

It wasn't that long ago that I took two courses in Con Law, and I can't recall anything of the sort being mentioned. I managed two As without knowing this crucial fact about our system of government.

I agree with VG -- this is something that should be brought to the attention of every Senator and Representative in Congress. I've already emailed my two Senators, McCain and Kyl, as well as my Rep, Trent Franks. Quite frankly, I doubt that it will do much good -- especially in the cases of Kyl and Franks, who have proven themselves over and over to be administration bootlickers.

However, I still urge anyone reading this to read VG's diary, watch the video, and then please contact all these folks in Congress and let them know how you feel about this lawless administration, which seems intent on a bloodless coup. Also, please contact everyone you know who is concerned about this country remaining a federalist republic with checks and balances on each branch to do the same.

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post arguing against impeachment. It is now painfully obvious that I was totally and completely wrong -- not just wrong, but absolutely insane. IMPEACH NOW!!!!!!

Linen and Flowers

Special thanks to Medic for this one.....

Heres the link for

Written On The Wall my favorite Bruce boot. He's introduced by Bobby Mueller.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Our Service Contract Has Been Broken

This piece by Bobby Muller was just posted at, and I know that Peace Vet and Medic would want it shared here. Please read it, if you haven't already.

A quote: "When my government asked me to serve, I did. I paid an immense personal price, and my country subsequently turned its back on me. I had been betrayed."

"As the war began to wind down and we became aware that our government lied about the necessity and purposefulness of the war, I became very angry and the betrayal that I felt was debilitating."

After four years of another unnecessary, purposeless war (unless you consider our domination of all the oil in the Middle East a valiant purpose for the sacrifice of our fighting men/women), we need to pay heed to what folks like Bobby, Peace Vet and Medic have to say. They've seen it, done it....and, unfortunately, been repaid abysmally.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Fitzgerald a "weak prosecutor"

In more news about the U.S. Attorney scandal, I just saw in this story from Tuesday's Washington Post by Dan Eggen and John Solomon that U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, the Libby prosecutor, was ranked "below 'strong U.S. Attorneys . . . who exhibited loyalty' to the administration but above 'weak U.S. Attorneys who . . . chafed against Administration initiatives, etc.,' according to Justice documents." Those documents were among 3000 pages released yesterday by the Justice Department related to the recent firings.

Fitzgerald's supervisor had something to say about the rankings --

"Mary Jo White, who supervised Fitzgerald when she served as the U.S. attorney in Manhattan and who has criticized the firings, said ranking him as a middling prosecutor 'lacks total credibility across the board.'
'He is probably the best prosecutor in the nation -- certainly one of them,'
said White, who worked in the Clinton and Bush administrations. 'It casts total doubt on the whole process. It's kind of the icing on the cake.'"

Remember, this is the same prosecutor who has put a few Al Qaeda types away in his time, including the mastermind of the 1993 WTC bombing, and whose prosecution of Libby has overwhelming support among the American public (those who can be bothered to pay attention, at least).

In a bizarre way, I wish he had been caught up in the firings as well, because I truly would have loved to see Fredo and the Shrub run away from this one.

Meet Tim Russert -- the new administration shill

I finally caught yesterday's edition of Meet the Press late last night (transcript here), and I am once again absolutely astonished that anyone can call the mainstream media "liberal."

Tim (I'm the easiest guy to get V.P. talking points through) Russert had four guests: two Dems and two Repubs. The Democrats were former Congressman Tom Andrews, director of the Win Without War coalition, and Congressman Joe Sestak, retired vice admiral of the U.S. Navy; while the Republicans were former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, author of "No Retreat, No Surrender", and Richard Perle, former chairman of the Pentagon's Defense Policy Board.

Once again, Russert refused to act anything like a serious moderator. He didn't question Perle when he kept trying to turn the word "redeployment" into "cut and run;" he didn't do anything to stop DeLay's continuous allegations that anyone who opposes this war (or worse, goes out and protests) is "aiding and abetting the enemy." For those of you not familiar with the Constitution, that's a flagrant slander -- accusing someone of treason on national television.

However, the funny part was watching DeLay attempt to lecture a retired Vice Admiral of the United States Navy on military strategy -- and then trying to say that he has better sources in the military. This is priceless --

"REP. SESTAK: ...Tom, you're right it's about security, ultimately, our security, that we can be better and bring about a better security for the United States throughout this world.
FMR. REP. DeLAY: But surrender does not bring security.
MR. PERLE: You must be...
REP. SESTAK: Tom, it's a different strategy.
FMR. REP. DeLAY: No, it's surrender.
REP. SESTAK: That brings about a more--no. Tom, we've learned so much in the military that...
FMR. REP. DeLAY: "This is hard, so I want to surrender."
REP. SESTAK: Absolutely not.
FMR. REP. DeLAY: That's exactly what it is.
REP. SESTAK: You never just keep banging your head against the wall, we learn in the military. Is there a better way to go about it? And that's what this bill does is it takes the last leverage we have to make it happen."

Why isn't DeLay working on his defense right now in his corruption case, and why is Russert even allowing him to have a platform on what is arguably the most important of the Sunday talk shows? Not only that, but at the end of the interview Russert actually shills for DeLay's book.

Some things I guess I just don't understand. One thing I do understand, however, is that NBC really needs to do something about letting Russert continue to be a mouthpiece, or at least a facilitator for the Bush administration. He's gotten to be almost as bad as the Faux Noise Channel.



A lot of the counter-demonstrators are veterans -- of Vietnam and other
wars. They're always ready to have this fight again, anytime. But then, a
lot of the peace marchers are veterans, too, filling the front rank of the
protest column from the Lincoln Memorial to the Pentagon. "Boo! Boo!" shriek
the sideline veterans at the marching veterans. "Traitors!"

Bands of brothers in Baghdad, broken apart at home. The veterans for peace,
including active-duty men and women, and guys fresh from Iraq in desert camo,
one of whom is sobbing, don't seem prepared for veteran-on-veteran trash talk.

The marching vets look so much younger and more vulnerable than the ones on the
side waving flags. They still have the thousand-yard stare, and a
battlefield hauntedness. "Bring our brothers home," is what they say.

I can't help but shake my head in wonder when I read or hear of fellow nam vets booing and calling vets and active duty from this war/occupation traitors because they want to bring their brothers and sisters home.

I wonder how history will show who treated the Iraqi vets like shyt when the rewritting of the history starts this time.

There have been 3 days of protest in this country and around the world. Most in the US have been led by vets/active duty and their families.

To my fellow Nam vets who would condemn those vets, their families, and tear up the signs and banners of those marching with them I say:

You were used as tools in "our" war and you're being played even worse today. The corporate war pigs will never allow you into the fold. They used us as pawns then, they're using you as pawns now, and they'll try to use those brothers and sisters you condemn today in the future.

If you insist on being welcomed home every Memorial and Veterans Day for 20 years you'll never get there.

A lot of these guys are the ones who claim they were spit on when they returned home. Who was doing the "spitting" Saturday if not these brave men in there medal bestooned "cut aways"? It seems they want the men and women they were jeering to sacrifice more in a senseless war so they themselfs can rewrite history and put their seal of approval on "their" war that slaughtered 2 1/2 million SE Asians and put 68,000 names on the Wall. They claim to speak for every one of those names. Well they don't.

Most of them are bullies who relive the false glory of Nam every day. They show up at the Wall every Vets Day demanding to be welcomed home for the 5th, 7th, or 10th time. They refuse to listen to any vet Iraq, Nam, Korea, etc. who dares to call BS.

The reports I've heard about some of the things these "brave men" did on Saturday discust me. They claimed to have been protecting the Wall. In reality they were there to pose and intimidate people. The Park Rangers used them to cut off routes to the rally site. I could go on but I'm sure I don't have to.

They may want us to send our families and friends to this fooking war, they may want to send their own sons and daughters. Fook em.



Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Is God an idiot?

I usually think I'm a pretty bright guy, but the more I get into this blogging, the more I realize there are some really smart people out there who are a lot more on top of things than I am.

For example: I've railed for a long time (as have both of my partners here) about Bush relying on his conversations with God to take us into a totally unnecessary war which has cost the lives of well over 3000 American soldiers and uncounted Iraqi civilians. However, I really never made the connection that Bill Cusack makes at Huffington Post.

As Cusack notes, the God that talked to Bush must really hate us.

"Why does God want to destroy us and humiliate us? There is no doubt that is exactly what is happening. All of Bin Laden's dreams and goals are coming true. God isn't just teaching us a lesson in Iraq from which we can recover- he is stripping away our strength and power. We are done in the Middle East as a military influence, and we are now fated to sit by and watch China become king of the hill. Does God love Osama Bin Laden more than he loves Bush? Why is Bush taking orders from a God who loves Osama Bin Laden and wants to humiliate the U.S.? Did Allah kill Jesus? Jesus was a pacifist, after all, and Allah has been known to kick some serious booty- doesn't even seem like a fair fight. Poor, poor Jesus!

Perhaps Cusack is right with his conclusion:

"God put Bush in power to bring down the authorities that run this world so we will be forced to take responsibility for our lives and for our government. What say you men of faith in Bush? What does your God say now? I for one would like Bush to come clean and release the tapes of his conversation with the God who ordered this idiotic, unwinnable self-destructive war. And there had better not be any 18 minute gaps."

All I can say is, damn, I wish I had thought of and written this piece. And I hope that God, if he's really there, doesn't equate me with GWB in any form or fashion.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

I Wonder

Several years ago a radical vet friend of mine burned a cassette of 60's music I'd given him years before that onto a CD. The artwork on the CD shows a picture of me placing a "Body Bag" on a row of concertina wire at the CNWS in California. I was there with thousands of others to protest the shipment of weapons to Central America. Behind that wire was a row of US Marines whose purpose was to prevent thousands of protesters from getting onto the base or "hijacking" a weapons train.

I'll remember the looks on the faces of those GI's for as long as I live. Dozens of vets were challenging them as to where the weapons they were guarding were going, who they were supporting, and who those weapons would kill and mutilate. We got sneers of hatred from some but many of those GI's winked and and gave gestures of support.

I never got the chance to talk to any of those Marines one on one but I often wonder what they thought when Brian Wilson lost his legs to one of those trains. I know the majority of them have been out of the service for years but I wonder if they remember those days at Concord as I do.

I know I've changed young peoples minds. I've had more than a few folks say that hearing me speak in a classroom or on their campus changed their politics or made them rethink joining the military.

I'd like to think that a few of those Marines, vets now, who see this war/occupation for what it is will be in the streets this weekend. And that they'll be there because one of the vets on the other side of the wire years ago said something that struck a nerve, and that their speaking out today can do the same.


Monday, March 12, 2007

No Room at the Inn

While I'm as critical as the next person about the inability (or refusal) of the Democrats to try and end the war in Iraq, I am happy that they are at least taking their oversight responsibilities seriously.

After too many years of the Republican Congress allowing Bush, Cheney, et al., to do as they jolly well pleased, public be damned, we're beginning to see some scandals uncovered and investigated that would have been swept under the table by Hastert and Frist -- three top people have fallen in the Walter Reed/VA scandal with more to come; hearings are beginning on the repulsive and regrettable firings at the Justice Department (which were apparently aided, if not requested or pushed, by Karl Rove); and Darth Cheney, Rove and possibly even the Shrub will apparently be investigated as a result of the Libby verdict.

Which brings us to today. According to Paul Kiel at TPM Muckraker, the State Department is unable to find room in Baghdad for three congressional auditors, stating that having the auditors around for three months would be "a serious challenge to mission resources." The State Dept. agreed to a two-week visit, since three months would be far too long to have GAO auditors in Baghdad, and even that "will place considerable burden on Embassy staff and resources." You can read the entire letter from the State Department to Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) here.

I like the response to this by the Democrats, however. Sen. Harkin leads a group of 22 senators who have sent a letter to Condi Rice requesting that room be found for the auditors -- not for three, but instead for six months.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

One step ahead of "the man?"

Some breaking news from the New York Times -- apparently Halliburton, criminal Dick Cheney's former company, is moving its corporate headquarters to Dubai. Could it be that they might be a little worried about the future?

"The announcement about the Dubai move, which Halliburton made at a regional energy conference in Bahrain, comes at a time when the company is being investigated by the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission for allegations of improper dealings in Iraq, Kuwait and Nigeria. Halliburton has also paid out billions in settlements in asbestos litigation....
The move seemed to raise questions about whether Halliburton might gain tax advantages or other benefits from shifting into a foreign country with pro-business regulations."

I gotta give 'em credit -- they certainly don't lack for cojones.

By the way, the Washington Post ran the story, but failed to mention anything about the investigations.

The Case Against Impeachment

For several months, but especially since the conviction of I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby on obstruction of justice and perjury charges, a number of liberal bloggers and diarists have been calling for the impeachment(s) of Dick Cheney and/or George W. Bush. However, I believe that it is in the best interest of the liberals/progressives/Democrats to leave these folks exactly where they are for the next 22 months.

Why? One reason is that, as much as it disgusts me to say this, the time frame for impeachment has passed. Unfortunately, the time for impeachment was in '06, two years before the next presidential election. Unfortunately, that was impossible with a Republican Congress, but I don't see how things are much better now.Looking at things in a realistic manner, if the House were to pass articles of impeachment now, it would do nothing more than create a firestorm of controversy, with no realistic chance of success.

Let's face it: there definitely aren't enough votes in the Senate to convict. Now that could change if something even worse is discovered about this administration's corruption, but given what we already know and the inability of the Dems to capitalize thus far, I don't see that as likely. Instead, as a result of the lack of votes at present that would be necessary to convict, I think that trying to impeach now could easily backfire on the Dems, as it would give the Republicans ample ammunition to say that all we were interested in is smearing the "good name" of GWB and his administration in an effort to gain political capital just before the 2008 election. In a perverse way, this could easily make voters lean the other way and forget the malfeasances committed by the administration over the past six years. Mind you, just writing these two paragraphs has made me feel the need to vomit over what's happened to this country and its political system over the past forty years or so, but it's still true.

Even if an impeachment were successful now, we across the aisle must look at the possible consequences. Unless both were convicted, in which case Speaker Nancy Pelosi would be elevated to the Presidency, the options for the Dems are bad. If Bush were convicted but not Cheney, that would move Darth Vader into the White House. Is that something we can live with for x number of months? If Cheney is convicted but not Bush, then Bush would be allowed to nominate his choice for replacement, and Senatorial confirmation would be almost certain. This would allow the Republicans to move into the V.P.'s office immediately someone who could very well be on or aid the Republican ticket in 2008. In other words, to quote an old proverb, be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it.

The best reason not to impeach is this: Right now, it's open season (to use a term Cheney understands) for the Democrats. With this pair in office, everytime they open their mouths it should provide more ammunition for any and all of the Democratic candidates to use over the next months. Let's face it, the best thing the Democrats have going is the combination of the incompetence and corruption this administration has displayed during its six-plus years in office, aided and abetted by a Congress completely controlled by Republicans for four of those years. They sure can't run on their own record of inactivity and passivity. If you can't win an election when the other side gives you the kind of ammo that Bush and Cheney can provide over the next few months, then perhaps you shouldn't be in politics to begin. Ask John Kerry.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

The Imperial Presidency

For those of you who might have forgotten what happened 35 years ago, or for those of you too young to remember, I ran across this essay written by Arthur Schlesinger for The Atlantic Monthly in November 1973, shortly after the publication of his book, The Imperial Presidency (a book which went a long way towards cementing my political beliefs). Reading this essay again after all these years really brought back to mind the similarities between the push towards ultimate executive power by the Nixon administration and the same push by the Bush administration.

An excerpt:

"The belief of the Nixon Administration in its own mandate and its own virtue, compounded by its conviction that the republic has been in mortal danger from internal enemies, has produced an unprecedented concentration of power in the White House and an unprecedented attempt to transform the presidency of the Constitution into a plebiscitary presidency."

Another quote worthy of examination:
"Today the pessimism of the Supreme Court in an 1866 decision, ex parte Milligan, seems a good deal more prescient. The nation, as Justice Davis wrote for the Court then, has 'no right to expect that it will always have wise and humane rulers, sincerely attached to the principles of the Constitution. Wicked men, ambitious of power. with hatred of liberty and contempt of law, may fill the place once occupied by Washington and Lincoln.'"

I strongly urge you all to read the entire essay, and then read the book if you can find it in a bookstore or your public library (I'm not sure if it's in print anymore, but it's worth looking for).

And some righties knew about the Walter Reed disgrace

and didn't say anything so as not to embarrass the Army and the bushivics.

Senior Republicans knew about Walter Reed soldier abuse, but didn't speak up by John Aravosis (DC) ·

They knew, but didn't want to embarrass the Army. Yeah, what's 600,000 disability claims not yet responded to, soldiers sleeping in their own urine, mold, cockroaches and asbestos compared to embarrassing the Army.

From Congressional Quarterly:Senior Republicans who knew about problems at Walter Reed Army Medical Center while their party controlled Congress insist they did all they could to prod the Pentagon to fix them.

But C.W. Bill Young, R-Fla., former chairman of the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee, said he stopped short of going public with the hospital’s problems to avoid embarrassing the Army while it was fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Young and Thomas M. Davis III, R-Va., the former chairman of the House Government Reform Committee, both acknowledged in interviews that they were aware of patient care problems at Walter Reed long before The Washington Post exposed them two weeks ago.And get this: The Republican in charge of all military funding in the House didn't want to weild his influence to fix the problems at Walter Reed and across the entire military hospital system because he discovered the problems during his time off, and he didn't want to mix business with pleasure. I'm not kidding.“What else do you want me to do? I am not going to go into a hospital and push my way into a medical situation,” Young said after the hearing.

Young said he “separates my life as a member of Congress and the work I do on a volunteer basis,” visiting military hospitals with his wife almost every week.

Young said he used his role as an appropriator to push to fund a new lab at Walter Reed and a new phone system at Fort Carson so patients could more easily make appointments.

But he said he purposely opted to bring concerns about individual patients’ care privately to the attention of Walter Reed commanders, rather than wield his clout as an Appropriations subcommittee chairman.Wow, a new lab and a new phone system. I'm sure that really helped the guys sleeping in their own urine while you and your wife did practically nothing to stop it


Makes you feel fookin proud, doesn't it?


Friday, March 9, 2007

Bush predicted the latest scandal

Glenn Greenwald over at Salon notes that only Silent Patriot at Crooks & Liars brought this up:

"[The] NSL reporting requirements imposed by Congress were precisely the provisions which President Bush expressly proclaimed he could ignore when he issued a "signing statement" as part of the enactment of the Patriot Act's renewal into law. Put another way, the law which the FBI has now been found to be violating is the very law which George Bush publicly declared he has the power to ignore."

I have to agree with Greenwald when he himself notes in his column, "When a country is ruled by an individual who repeatedly and openly arrogates unto himself the power to violate the law, and specifically proclaims that he is under no obligation to account to Congress or anyone else concerning the exercise of radical new surveillance powers such as NSLs, it should come as absolutely no surprise that agencies under his control freely break the law."

Is it really any surprise that Alberto Gonzales felt perfectly free to politicize the U.S. Attorney's Office, or that Scooter Libby got caught lying to cover up for his boss, the V.P.?

I truly believe that there are no depths to which this administration will not sink in order to try to prolong and promulgate its power. As Medic noted in an earlier post here, these guys are starting to make me pine for the days of Nixon.

I need to rant.

I'm sure, by now, most people have heard how the FBI misused the (Un)patriot Act to illegally spy on Americans. Why does this not surprise me in the least. The current administration will do anything, legal or not, to advance their agenda. The bushivics have trashed our country and the Constitution. Should we continue to tolerate these law breaking, under-handed liars who run this country? They are beginning to make the nixon administration look good.

I needed to get this off my chest.


Democrats finally wise up

Apparently it took an insult from Faux News chief Roger Ailes about Barack Obama to make it happen, but according to the Huffington Post, the Dems are pulling out of the Fox-Nevada debate.

From a speech Ailes gave at an awards ceremony Thursday night: "[I]t is true that Barack Obama is on the move. I don't know if it's true that President Bush called Musharraf and said, 'Why can't we catch this guy?'"

Geez, that Roger Ailes is a card isn't he? He's almost as funny as Ann Coulter.

It looks to me as though the Republican Party, its conservative base, and its propaganda arm are all terrified of all the top Democratic candidates for 2008. But then again, I can understand their terror.

If the top choices on my side in the Presidential race were Giuliani, Romney, McCain and Gingrich (I don't see any point in even mentioning Brownback or Huckabee in the same context), I would be doing anything I could to demonize or belittle the other side as well.

If my side had begun an unnecessary war that's going as badly as this one, and lied to the American people to do it, and then got caught trying to cover up those lies, I would be doing anything I could to demonize or belittle the other side as well.

If my side had just had one of the four or five most important people in the White House convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice, I would be doing anything I could to demonize or belittle the other side as well.

If my side were trying to deal with the fallout over the disgusting situation at one of the top military medical facilities in the country after screaming about supporting the troops for four years, I would be doing anything I could to demonize or belittle the other side as well.

If my side had one of its leaders in the Senate begin to publically ruminate on the possibility of impeachment of the President and/or Vice-President, I would be doing anything I could to demonize or belittle the other side as well.

If my side were outed for politicizing the U.S. Attorney's Office by firing people for no apparent reason other than politics after slipping into the Patriot Act a little tidbit that allows the Attorney General to circumvent the Senate in appointing replacement U.S. Attorneys, I would be doing anything I could to demonize or belittle the other side as well.

Oops, I forgot....they do that anyway. No excuse needed.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Reaction to the Libby verdict

You've got to love this one, by that erstwhile conservator of morals Bill Bennett. It seems that the fact that the American people are now privy to some of the most anti-Constitutional processes and programs of the Bush administration is horrible, compared to his idea of the Libby case as "a seemingly innocent disclosure of Valerie Plame's name where her husband started the process."

I don't recall, in all the testimony I've read, anything showing that Joe Wilson outed his wife. I also seem to recall the same sanctimonious Republicans screaming about perjury about nine years ago -- "Rule of law! Rule of law!"

Yet when it's one of their own, who is admittedly the fall guy in all this, goes down for perjury and obstruction of justice, we don't hear much about the "rule of law."

The hypocrisy makes me ill.....

If you haven't seen it check it out.

Looking for a flick to throw into the DVD player this weekend? I'd like to recommend Articl 99.

When it was released in 1992 most of the reviews said that it was "to far out there" concerning the conditions in VA Hospitals. Here is a good one. In reality many of the scenes depicted in the film were based on things that happened in the stuggle for decent health for vets. (see my "thats right its nothing new" post)

Anyway check this out. I think you'll want to pass it on to a lot of folks if you do.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

That's Right. It's nothing new.

Any vet dealing with the VA from the late 70's through the mid 80's remembers the horror stories well.

Ask any vet with "Gulf Syndrome" if they can relate to a "Agent Orange" vet. The answer will be yes.

Thanks to our brother "one pissed off veteran" for the link to this story.

Sir No Sir!

This is a documentary about resistance in the military. It's a film about men and women saying NO MORE!

We've all heard of GI's refusing orders to Iraq. Many because they've already done multi-tours. Others because they've come to understand the occupation is wrong. Some have seen and know how they'll be treated if their wounded. Others just refuse to kill or die for a lie.

I believe whatever the reason they should be supported by anyone who opposes this war..

Sir No Sir is a film about GI resistance during the Vietnam War and the impact the GI movement had on the anti war movement overall.

If you have a son, daughter, or know anyone else who is considering "joining the fight" and you don't think they should go Sir No Sir just might give them some food for thought.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Plan B for Iraq

The WP was the only paper to get this story today, but it's a good one. It seems that we don't really have much of a plan to win in Iraq if the surge doesn't work.

Marine Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, spoke to a group of governors at a White House meeting about the strategy for the war. Gov. Phil Bredesen (D-TN) summarized Pace's remarks thusly: "Plan B was to make Plan A work."

You gotta love the long-range planning we keep doing to make sure we win over there.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Newt's compassionate conservatism -- Blame the victim!

It's been a few days since I've been able to post (you know, life just keeps intruding sometimes), and my first instinct with this one was to go after Ann Coulter. However, I decided there's really no point as that's been reported to death all over the blogosphere (not the mainstream media, however -- nary a word to be found in Saturday's WP or NYT about her offensive comment -- I didn't check the LAT, but I didn't find anything at AP either). I'm also beginning to be of the opinion that if we just ignore the Wicked Witch of Michigan, she'll eventually go away (although not bloody likely after seeing the applause she got at the convention and from the freepers at their website).

Something else happened at the CPAC conference though -- and this one could have implications for all of us.

Newt Gingrich, that lovable curmudgeon from Georgia, apparently wowed the crowd, helping his standing among those conservatives who fervently wish the ex-Speaker who left Congress in 1998 would consider a run for the Presidency. Liz Sidotti of the AP writes glowingly of the Newtster, mentioning several quotes that drew applause at the convention.

She neglected to mention this one, however: "How can you have the mess we have in New Orleans, and not have had deep investigations of the federal government, the state government, the city government, and the failure of citizenship in the Ninth Ward, where 22,000 people were so uneducated and so unprepared, they literally couldn't get out of the way of a hurricane." (emphasis added.)

Yes, folks, that's a man who conceivably could the the Republican nominee for the Presidency blaming the victims for their own poverty and lack of education, thereby making them responsible for their own fate in the hurricane.

Naturally I couldn't find any mention of this in the mainstream media -- but I did find the transcript at Crooks and Liars, while you can hear the audio at Liberal Oasis.

Now that's what I call compassionate conservatism.

Saturday, March 3, 2007


Anna was buried today. I played Candles In The Wind for her. I do hope that folks let her rest in peace. I can't remember what day she died but I know that in the month of Febuary 72 GI's died in country (how many died in hospitals later) and hundreds if not thousands of Iraqis were slaughtered because of "our" occupation.

Am I wrong for wanting to stand up on a bus and scream WTF? Am I wrong for telling my friends who say "peace vet, people are moving" yeah well they aren't moving quick enough? Am I wrong for thinking that every able and fit man and woman in this country between the ages of 18 and 40 should be forced to take a stand and put something on the line for or against this war/occupation?

I don't think I am and I don't know what else a pissed off vet can do but say it.

one pissed off veteran

If you look under Cool Spots you'll see a link to One Pissed Off Veteran. I stumbled onto farnsworths site after Mission Man had invited me to join this one with him.

We had already chosen our name so we didn't steal it from him but I'm sure he knows he's not the only pissed off vet on the net.

I like his blog a lot and I'm hoping that he and some of the great folks over there will check this place out and contribute here also.