Saturday, December 23, 2006

Zippy Strip for Our Leaders

Seems to say it all....



Link.

Our Leaders Have Special Love for Jews

Our Leaders so love the Jews and have such respective for the losses of the Holocaust that thay gave us this:
Ever since [Dennis Prager] wrote this totally innocent column suggesting that the only holy book that matters in the U.S. is the Bible, all the liberals just keep bashing him. And we feel bad for poor Prager, we really do. After all, he was misunderstood. When he said, to Congressman-elect Keith Ellison, that "America should not give a hoot what Keith Ellison's favorite book is. Insofar as a member of Congress taking an oath to serve America and uphold its values is concerned, America is interested in only one book, the Bible," he wasn't being discriminatory, not really. Because, hey, Prager's Jewish, and he says he'd take the oath of office on the New Testament, because it's totally not at all about religion -- really, how could you think otherwise?

Members of Congress don't take the oath of office on a Bible anyway. But we digress.

They're being mean to Prager again, is what we really wanted to talk about. The president recently appointed Prager -- no doubt for his expansive views on the freedom of all religions to exist peacefully -- to the Holocaust Memorial Council, the board that oversees the U.S. Holocaust Museum. And now the council has condemned Prager, writing that what Prager said was "antithetical to the mission of the Museum as an institution promoting tolerance and respect for all peoples regardless of their race, religion or ethnicity."
Link. (Emphasis added.)

Truly, Our Leaders believe in the best and the brightest....

Friday, December 22, 2006

Another America-Hating GOP Exemplar

Virgil Goode is a Republican Congressman from Virginia. He might be the most anti-Semitic person ever elected to the United States Congress. Just look at what he has to say about Jewish-Americans:

"If American citizens don't wake up and adopt the Virgil Goode position on immigration there will likely be many more Jews elected to office ... I fear that in the next century we will have many more Jews in the United States if we do not adopt the strict immigration policies that I believe are necessary to preserve the values and beliefs traditional to the United States of America."

How can we allow a member of Congress to be this out of control anti-Semitic? Is there any way he can be removed from office? Can we mobilize to take action? Will the media be calling for his resignation?

Oh wait, I screwed that up. He didn't say that about Jews. I put "Jews" in for every time he said "Muslims." My bad.Since that's a direct quote about Muslims instead, it's no problem. Then he obviously doesn't have to apologize. It's perfectly acceptable to discriminate against Muslim-Americans.
Link.

And from an open letter to this crime against humanity:
I am writing to you today to thank you for making all Virginia residents look like lip-doodling, drooling morons.

Your recent letter to supporters regarding the already bottom-feeding “controversy” regarding what bound stack of papers Rep.-Elect Keith Ellison of Minnesota will rest his palm upon when his photograph is taken as he pretends to be sworn in has managed somehow inexplicably to make more of this towering non-issue than has already been made of it, and you managed as well to prove yourself to be an ignoramus.
Of course, I can't criticize the idiots and cretins and all around general scum that keeps him in office since my district kept re-electing the vile Sue Kelly....

Word For th Day: Zugswang, Zugswang, Zugswang!!!!

zugswang (noun, from German): a position in chess where every possible move you can make results in a worse position.
Link.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Increase Your Word Power: Word of the Day

Surge -- surge to victory.
Folks talking about increasing U.S. troop levels should first consider some painful military statistics: to begin with, according to the Pentagon’s own figures, every front line soldier requires at least three other military types to back him up: engineers, electricians, medics, bookkeepers, etc. Which means that 20,000 more troops to Iraq works out to only about 5,000 additional American trainers or soldiers actually pulling the triggers.

There’s another jolting irony: while the conflicts in Iraq (and Afghanistan) have been a recruiting dream come true for radical jihadists, they’ve created an enlistment nightmare for the American military. Though the U.S.army claimed they had met manpower targets for 2006, they managed to do so only by offering 700 million dollars in retention bonuses; and spending $300 million more for their recruiting drive.

On top of that is the soaring cost to prepare each American soldier: $120,000 for training plus $25,000 for basic equipment. For that amount, the government could instead send each new troop to Harvard for three years.

But, despite the huge sums spent to fill the ranks, the Army has at the same time been obliged to lower its standards. According to a recent Wall Street Journal report, more than ten percent of the recruits last year required “moral waivers” for past drug use and criminal offenses—that came to 8,500 men and women, triple the figure of ten years ago.

The military was also obliged to accept more applicants scoring in the lowest third on the army’s aptitude test. if that wasn't enough, word was also passed to hapless drill instructors that just about everyone was to make it through basic. In May 2005, about 18% of Army recruits were selected out before completing initial training. These days, only about 6% get the boot. Magnifying the problem is the serious shortage of sergeants, who have always been vital for leading rank-and-file grunts.

All of this, at a time, when the U.S. troops are being dispatched to what has become an ever more bewildering conflict: attempting to combat local insurgents in an urban environment, at the same time as much of the country is engulfed in a sectarian civil war. In addition, though they lack any real knowledge of the peoples of Iraq, their cultures and language, U.S. troops are somehow supposed to train Iraqi soldiers or engage in grass roots projects intended to foster economic growth and democratic development. Yet, instead of learning about differences between Sunni and Shiites, or acquiring basic language skills, they are just learning to use weapons they should have been issued with months ago.

Incredibly, one of the key factors still limiting the ability of the army to increase its forces in Iraq— is that they don’t have the equipment. This despite the fact that over the past fifteen years, the Pentagon has spent more than 1.7 trillion dollars. Problem is, most of that huge sum went for multi billion dollar weapons systems—aircraft carriers and super sophisticated bombers—the kind of toys that fascinated Donald Rumsfeld, Washington lobbyists and defense contractors—but not the basic weapons and protection--—rifles, body armor and Humvees – the American soldier desperately needs to deal with the bloody guerrilla conflict they are confronting in Iraq and Afghanistan—and other countries down the road.
Link.

We must surge to victory because the only alternative is to lose.

And, personally, we owe the Iraqis. You know, like an eye for an eye: Destroy the country, rebuild the country.

Actually, maybe the best solution is to rebuild the armed forces to near-1991 levels then hope for a military coup. Some of our best allies used to be military juntas... maybe again. It'll be a tribute to Pinochet, the Republicans' lust object!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

John Dean has a Great, Wonderful Idea

Don't impeach W.; impeach the enablers....
The Constitution's Impeachment Clause applies to all "civil officers of the United States" - not to mention the president, vice president and federal judges. It is not clear who, precisely, is among those considered "civil officers," but the group certainly includes a president's cabinet and sub-cabinet, as well as the senior department officials and the White House staff (those who are issued commissions by the president and serve the President and Vice President).

Quite obviously, Bush and Cheney have not acted alone in committing "high crimes and misdemeanors." Take a hypothetical (and there are many): Strong arguments have been made that many members of the Bush Administration - not merely Bush and Cheney -- have engaged in war crimes. If war crimes are not "high crimes and misdemeanors," it is difficult to imagine what might be. Jordan Paust, a well-know expert on the laws of war and a professor at University of Houston Law Center, has written a number of scholarly essays that mince few words about the war crimes of Bush's subordinates. For example, many of their names are on the "torture memos."

Why impeach lower-level officials, rather than the "big enchilada," as Nixon used to say? There are multiple reasons.

Focusing On Bush Administration Officials

Lowering the aim of an impeachment effort to focus on those who have aided and abetted, or directly engaged in, the commission of high crimes and misdemeanors, would have all the positives, and none of the negatives, of going after Bush and Cheney. It would not be an effort to overturn the 2004 election, but rather to rid the government of those who have participated, along with Bush and Cheney, in abuses and misuses of power; indeed, many among them have actually encouraged Bush and Cheney to undertake the offensive activities.

Many of these men (and a few women) are young enough that it is very likely that they will return to other posts in future Republican Administrations, and based on their experience in the Bush/Cheney Administration, they can be expected to make the offensive conduct of this presidency the baseline for the next president they serve. Impeachment, however, would prevent that from happening.

It will be recalled that Article I, Section 3 of the Constitution states: "Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States." (Emphasis added.) After any civil officer has been impeached, under the rules of the Senate, it requires only a simple majority vote to add the disqualification from holding future office.

In addition, it is likely that the impeachment process of any official in a position below that of the president or vice president, would be treated the same as the impeachment of federal judges. The work is done in both the House and Senate by special subcommittees, so it does not consume the attention of the full bodies until the final votes.
Link.

Image of the Day



From somewhere at buzzflash.com.

It's a Lie that Our Leaders and Their Enablers Oppose Gay Marriage and Out-of-Wedlock Children

Mary Cheney.

Whose mother is in denial that her daughter is a known gay
. And, I would suppose, that she's in a gay marriage, and is pregnant by someone other than her husband.

You really, really have to love the hypocrisy... even by modern political standards low as they are....

You Have to Love Charlie Rangel

I mean, at the least, he's one of the most honest speaking, direct pols out there (I know, the pool is pretty $%#@ing small... tiny):
"....you have a President that’s in deep shit."

Our Next Leaders

Giuliani. McCain. Newt:
Gingrich cited last month's ejection of six Muslim scholars from a plane in Minneapolis for suspicious behavior, which included reports they prayed before the flight and had sat in the same seats as the Sept. 11 hijackers.

"Those six people should have been arrested and prosecuted for pretending to be terrorists," Gingrich said. "And the crew of the U.S. airplane should have been invited to the White House and congratulated for being correct in the protection of citizens."
Link.

One nightmare after another, one more unfit than the next. The Dems are at least mediocre; these guys are all scary crazy nuts.

Making the Homeland Safer

Maybe we are getting something out of our tax dollars to DHS.



Link.

Well, There's Gotta be Good News Our of Afghanistan? Our Leaders have to Succeed Somewhere

Afghanistan was considered a necessary war after 9/11 because, you know, Al-Qaida was there. Or near there. Or had been there. And it was a historically uncontrolled and uncontrolled area at the time under such control as there was by Islamofascists.

So how we doing?

Um, let's not
:
The Taliban owe some of their renewed strength to the fact that they can play on the fears of a generally conservative population who worry about corrupting foreign influences exemplified by the new brothels in Kabul. A hundred miles to the south of the capital, for instance, the Taliban have recently appeared in force in nearly half the districts of Ghazni province, which sits astride the key road between Kabul and the southern city of Kandahar. Around Kandahar this past summer fierce battles raged between the Taliban and NATO forces, who encountered much stiffer resistance than they anticipated. In September I embedded with soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division at a fire base on Afghanistan's eastern border with Pakistan. The Taliban launched rockets at the base on an almost daily basis, and foot patrols were regularly encountering Taliban forces. Three years earlier, when I was embedded in the same region with soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division, their main complaint was how little action they were seeing.

Between the rising Taliban insurgency, the epidemic of attacks by suicide bombers and improvised explosive devices (IEDs), and spiraling criminal activity fueled by the drug trade, Afghanistan today looks something like Iraq in the summer of 2003, when the descent into violent conflict began. As a former senior Afghan Cabinet member told me in September, "If international forces leave, the Taliban will take over in one hour."

* * *

A key theme of Chayes's angry, very well-written book is her gradual disillusionment with President Karzai, who early in the narrative is portrayed as a possible savior of Afghanistan, "remarkably cultivated" and "uniquely devoid of brutality and arrogance." The villain of Chayes's story is the uncouth Gul Agha Shirzai, who became governor of Kandahar with US support in December 2001. Once in office Shirzai built his "personal power base" with no regard for anyone other than his own tribe, which received the choicest American contracts, and he would allegedly bump off perceived rivals on occasion. Yet much to Chayes's frustration, Karzai seemed unable or unwilling to rein in warlords like Shirzai. "Instead of protecting the people from the warlords, curbing them, or removing them from office, Karzai seemed to be waltzing with them." In January 2003 Chayes, who was close to the president's brother Qayum Karzai, hammered out a plan of action about how to rid Afghanistan of the warlords. Item one of Chayes's plan, which she submitted to President Karzai, was: "Begin with Gul Agha Shirzai." Nothing happened.

* * *

Where Kabul in Winter begins to take off is in Jones's devastating critique of American aid to Afghanistan, which is consumed all too often by foreigners, evident in the fleets of Land Rovers and Toyota Land Cruisers that choke Kabul's smog-filled streets. Jones wryly observes: "Afghanistan, we learned from TV, had been 'rebuilt' thanks to millions of dollars of international aid pouring into the country. Where was it?" In a conversation with an American education expert Jones receives a depressing answer to that question. The expert explains that 80 to 90 percent of American aid goes to US contractors to cover overhead for back offices in the States as well as housing and office space in Kabul, and perks such as drivers, R and R, imported food, furniture and alcohol.

* * *

The United States' experience in both countries calls to mind Kant's observation: "Out of the crooked timber of humanity, no straight thing was ever made." Perhaps in coming years we will learn a little humility and patience about the efficacy of the wholesale export of Western democratic values and institutions into countries with very different social mores and political structures. Those Western exports have now beached on the shoals of reality from the Tigris to the Kabul River.

I Miss the Point

We destabilize and de-weapon a country, invade it for no good reason (no reason but for, maybe Our Leader's personal animus but definitely to loot), destabilize it much more, have no clue what we're doing there (actually, it's Our Leaders who have no clue), and people on the left actually think the correct thing to do is bug out.

Here's the example of the moment.

Last intelligent thing Colin Powell said was we break it, we fix it. The goal, at least, is that simple.

Sunday Funnies


Doonesbury usually is at least making a dead-on point when it isn't funny i.e. it has socially redeeming value generally when it fails to meet its primary target, making one yuck.

Then there's today's (17 December) strip, which does both.