Renegade of the Year

Posted by Susie in Arts & Music, Politics As Usual (December 28, 2005 at 3:26 pm)

Rolling Stone interviews George Clooney:

Everybody says, “Look at how bad these guys [the Bush administration] are.” Well, that’s easy, they’re beating themselves into the ground. But we can’t just be the party of “I disagree.” We have to be the party of “here’s the way out.” These Democratic senators voted for the war and say they were misled. They weren’t misled, they were afraid of being called unpatriotic. Who’s the guy or girl who’s going to step up and say, “We’re going to run out of oil sooner or later, so let’s take the bull by the horns and say ten years from now, no cars built that run on internal combustion”? It’s going to happen at some point, so why don’t we take the lead? Then we don’t have to bomb people in Middle Eastern countries—we just don’t need their product.

She’s Right

Posted by Susie in Politics As Usual ( at 2:55 pm)

Julia points out that even though she doesn’t always agree with their choices, it’s a still a good idea to go donate some money to the DCCC.


Posted by Susie in Politics As Usual, War Stories, The Regime ( at 2:52 pm)

And this sort of shortsightedness is the reason why empires always fail to win guerilla wars:

The Bush administration’s surveillance policy has failed to make a dent in the war against al Qaeda.

U.S. law enforcement sources said that more than four years of surveillance by the National Security Agency has failed to capture any high-level al Qaeda operative in the United States. They said al Qaeda insurgents have long stopped using the phones and even computers to relay messages. Instead, they employ couriers.

UPDATE: Related news from Afghanistan.

Uh Huh

Posted by Susie in Politics As Usual, The Regime ( at 2:49 pm)

Who you gonna believe, him or your lying ears?

WASHINGTON (AP) – Meeting notes, released Tuesday by a union representative for federal emergency workers, stated that Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff told employees that many changes planned after Hurricane Katrina were for publicity purposes.

Chertoff’s spokesman firmly denied he ever made such comments.

The typed notes, purportedly taken by an unidentified official, said Chertoff told the employees the retooling of the Federal Emergency Management Agency “is partially a perception ploy to make outsiders feel like we’ve actually made changes for the better.’’ [...]

Chertoff believes that FEMA is not a response agency for disasters. “We essentially should be only doing recovery,’’ the notes said.

Ruh Roh

Posted by Susie in War Stories, The Regime ( at 2:38 pm)

Steve Gilliard explains why the Kurds-willing-to-start-a-civil-war thing is such a potential problem:

See, most of Kurdistan lies in….Turkey, and a fair portion in Iran.

So, the Turks, who burnt down 4,000 Kurdish villages and raped and slaughtered their way across southeast Turkey, might see the formation of a Kurdish state as a threat. And all those “compliant” Shia, especially Moqtada Sadr, might also object to Kurdistan. The Shia don’t need to form a seperate state to run Iraq.

The Kurds are trying to bribe the Turks into acceptance with fat contracts, but Ankara will kill for territorial integrity and so will Sadr, who does not want to run half an Iraq. Nor will Turkey let the Turkomen be screwed. As far as Mosul goes, is the US willing to kill Kurds to prevent a wider civil war.

Of course, I would only point out that the Iraqi Army is merely a shell for militias. Why do Americans assume that Iraqis will put their national ambitions on hold because we say so?

They are betting long odds that the US won’t stab them in the back like they did in 1974. The tolerance the Kurds now receive is not unrestricted. If they move towards Mosul, hard choices will have to be made.

Hostility, Thy Name is Wingnut

Posted by Susie in Humor, Blogosphere, Politics As Usual ( at 2:33 pm)

James Wolcott on the terrorist leanings of right-wing bloviators:

It’s no accident that it is the rightwing bloggers and pundits who have been avid about defending the use of torture against suspected terrorists. Nor is it an accident that many of them pooh-poohed Abu Ghraib, sluffing it off as no more harmless than fraternity hazing. But what their decapitation odes reveal is that what they’d really like to do is permit torture closer to home. Domesticate it. Trivialize it. Completely destigmatize it as a tool of the state.

I don’t worry about this being actually implemented, though I worry fractionally more every day. I’m interested in it more as a pathological rash afflicting the more rabid warbloggers. It’s a sign of impotence, this lurid fury of theirs. It bugs the hell out of them that those of us who opposed the war have turned out to be right. It thwarts the hell out of them that Ward Churchill still has tenure, that they couldn’t convict Sami Al-Arian down in Florida, and that their latest purple-finger festival fizzled out so soon. If postwar Iraq swirls down the drain, they’ll be looking for someone to blame, and since they never blame themselves for anything (a bedrock neoconservative trait), they leaves nobody here but us chickens. I dread to think of the imaginary punishments they’ll devise for us appeasers, turncoats, and traitors; I’m sure they’ll be quite vivid. I may have to quarantine myself from these sites to preserve my serene disposition.


Posted by Susie in Politics As Usual, War Stories, The Regime ( at 2:26 pm)

More on the 30-year-old founder of the Lincoln Group, the company doing war propaganda in Iraq. [Via Laura.]

An Honest Man

Posted by Susie in Politics As Usual, War Stories, The Regime ( at 2:19 pm)

Via the Washington Note, a worrisome reminder from Larry Wilkerson:

After leaving his position, Wilkerson began revealing the dark secrets of the Bush-Cheney interregnum, telling a New America Foundation gathering in October that during his years in the administration: “What I saw was a cabal between the vice president of the United States, Richard Cheney, and the secretary of defense, Donald Rumsfeld, on critical issues that made decisions that the bureaucracy did not know were being made.”

Wilkerson warned that, with “a president who is not versed in international relations and not too much interested in them either,” the country is headed in an exceptionally dangerous direction. “I would say that we have courted disaster, in Iraq, in North Korea, in Iran, generally with regard to domestic crises like Katrina, Rita and I could go on back, we haven’t done very well on anything like that in a long time,” Wilkerson explained.

“And if something comes along that is truly serious, truly serious, something like a nuclear weapon going off in a major American city, or something like a major pandemic, you are going to see the ineptitude of this government in a way that will take you back to the Declaration of Independence.”

The War on Christmas

Posted by Susie in Humor ( at 7:48 am)

Have you ever read a more perfect opening line?

“I hear they got Rudolph today,” says me.
“No!” says Giblets. “Not Rudolph! With his unmatched dogfighting skills and his nose so bright he was invincible!”

“It’s true,” says me. “Zombie Judah Maccabee shot im down over the Island of Misfit Toys with his dreidel of doom.”

“Damn you Hannukah!” says Giblets. “Will your eight days of madness never end!”

“Do you think Santa really has a secret plan to take the Kwanzaan capital an win the war?” says me.

“Of course he does!” says Giblets. “And once Christmas spreads to Kwanzaa it will inspire Hannukhan dissidents to rise up and overthrow their oppressive anti-Christmanian leadership, and from there Christmas will spread to Eid and New Years and Halloween and Arbor Day until every day is Christmas!”

“Work will become obsolete in the new Christmas-based economy,” says me. “All resources will be directly mined from wells of infinite jollity.”

The Road to SG

Posted by Susie in Blogosphere ( at 7:38 am)

You wouldn’t believe how many readers end up at this site after Googling for “pissing,” “blowjobs”, “sluts” and “big ass.” (And how many of them are from, shall we say, your more repressed countries.)


Posted by Susie in Politics As Usual, War Stories ( at 6:10 am)

Oh yes, we’ll be leaving any day now:

KIRKUK, Iraq – Kurdish leaders have inserted more than 10,000 of their militia members into Iraqi army divisions in northern Iraq to lay the groundwork to swarm south, seize the oil-rich city of Kirkuk and possibly half of Mosul, Iraq’s third-largest city, and secure the borders of an independent Kurdistan.

Five days of interviews with Kurdish leaders and troops in the region suggest that U.S. plans to bring unity to Iraq before withdrawing American troops by training and equipping a national army aren’t gaining traction. Instead, some troops that are formally under U.S. and Iraqi national command are preparing to protect territory and ethnic and religious interests in the event of Iraq’s fragmentation, which many of them think is inevitable.

The soldiers said that while they wore Iraqi army uniforms they still considered themselves members of the Peshmerga – the Kurdish militia – and were awaiting orders from Kurdish leaders to break ranks. Many said they wouldn’t hesitate to kill their Iraqi army comrades, especially Arabs, if a fight for an independent Kurdistan erupted.

Unraveling the Thread

Posted by Susie in The Regime ( at 5:55 am)

Should be interesting to watch this:

WASHINGTON, Dec. 27 – Defense lawyers in some of the country’s biggest terrorism cases say they plan to bring legal challenges to determine whether the National Security Agency used illegal wiretaps against several dozen Muslim men tied to Al Qaeda. The lawyers said in interviews that they wanted to learn whether the men were monitored by the agency and, if so, whether the government withheld critical information or misled judges and defense lawyers about how and why the men were singled out.

Jeralyn explains what this means for past prosecutions. So does SusanHu at Booman.


Posted by Susie in Media, Politics As Usual ( at 5:51 am)

Based on their never-ending need for self-justification, it’s just amazing what the whores of the Corporate Media will do to rewrite their own history:

NEW YORK Appearing on “Meet the Press” with Tim Russert this week, two broadcast veterans, Tom Brokaw of NBC and Ted Koppel, agreed that the press shouldn’t be faulted too harshly for not questioning more deeply the claims of WMD in Iraq—and declared that Bill Clinton would have gone into Iraq just like George Bush if were still president in 2003.

Yeah, I hear they’re going to set up a psychic booth at the state fair.

Look, Over There!

Posted by Susie in Politics As Usual, The Regime, The American Game ( at 5:45 am)

Yeah, this is really stupid – and typical of “symbolic” (as opposed to substantive) BushCo policies:

NEW YORK —U.S. Olympic Committee chairman Peter Ueberroth called on the American government to reverse its decision to deny Cuba’s national baseball team permission to play in the United States, keeping it out of next year’s World Baseball Classic.

Ueberroth, a former U.S. Major League Baseball commissioner and head of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, said last week’s decision by the Treasury Department to deny Cuba a permit to play in the 16-team event will damage American efforts to host the Olympics in the future. Olympic host countries must guarantee all nations can participate.

Trust Me

Posted by Susie in The Regime ( at 5:37 am)

Naturally, his high ethical standards would prevent any abuse of such a program:

Bush said he had reauthorized the domestic spying program more than 30 times since the September 11 attacks and would continue to do so.

In Crawford, Texas, where Bush is spending the holidays, his spokesman, Trent Duffy, defended what he called a “limited program.”

“This is not about monitoring phone calls designed to arrange Little League practice or what to bring to a potluck dinner,” he told reporters. “These are designed to monitor calls from very bad people to very bad people who have a history of blowing up commuter trains, weddings, and churches.”

“And Democrats, and peaceniks, and people who support those National League baseball teams. I just don’t trust ‘em.”

Stacking the Deck

Posted by Susie in Politics As Usual ( at 5:32 am)

Digby points out that the Republicans’ anti-immigrant fervor is cover for something else – yet another attempt to stack the political deck in perpetuity in favor of their party. Go read.

Sneak and Peek

Posted by Susie in The Regime (December 27, 2005 at 9:23 pm)

Raw Story:

President Bush and other top officials in his administration used the National Security Agency to secretly wiretap the home and office telephones and monitor private email accounts of members of the United Nations Security Council in early 2003 to determine how foreign delegates would vote on a U.N. resolution that paved the way for the U.S.-led war in Iraq, NSA documents show.

Two former NSA officials familiar with the agency’s campaign to spy on U.N. members say then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice authorized the plan at the request of President Bush, who wanted to know how delegates were going to vote. Rice did not immediately return a call for comment.

The former officials said Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld also participated in discussions about the plan, which involved “stepping up” efforts to eavesdrop on diplomats.

The Waiting is the Hardest Part

Posted by Susie in Politics As Usual, The Regime ( at 4:16 pm)

Jane on the lull in Plamegate:

1. Luskin either got the boot or has been neutered. He’s clearly not talking to the press any more, which is so un-Luskin like that either Karl has fired him or his participation as a witness now necessitates silence.

2. The nomination of Viveca Novak’s husband to the FEC is nothing if not a giant “fuck you” to Fitz, and if it happened in say the Gotti organization it would definitely raise the eyebrows of a prosecutor. It’s also a big “who’s your daddy” moment for Viveca Novak, as she is probably out of a job and now the key defense witness for a man who is now going to be her husband’s boss. Those who want to argue they nominated him purely on his merits with no notion of any larger implication? Please. This is Karl Rove we’re talking about here.

3. The fact that they felt free to do (2) above means that they know Rove is going to soon to be indicted. With the exception of Victoria Toensig and her squirrelly husband running around calling Fitzgerald an out-of-control prosecutor, Rove has really gone out of his way up until now to refrain from his usual smear tactics and keep on Fitz’s good side. That they are no longer troubling to do this means they know the party’s over.


Posted by Susie in The Body Electric ( at 3:23 pm)

I have no comment, especially if my mother’s reading this:

(HealthDay News)—An active sex life and creativity may go hand-in-hand, according to a new British study that finds professional artists and poets have about twice as many sexual partners as other people.

While writers and artists from Byron to Picasso have perpetuated the notion of the amorous artist, the new study may be the first to offer up some real proof, according to the researchers.

“Creative people are often considered to be very attractive and get lots of attention as a result. They tend to be charismatic and produce art and poetry that grabs people’s interest,” study lead author Dr. Daniel Nettle, a lecturer in psychology at Newcastle University’s School of Biology, said in a prepared statement.

His team’s study of 425 British men and women included a sampling of visual artists and poets. The study participants were interviewed about how much poetry and visual art they created, their psychiatric history, and their sexual encounters since age 18.

The average number of sexual partners for poets and creative artists was between four and 10, compared with an average of three for non-creative people. The more creative a person was, the higher the number of sexual encounters, the researcher reported in the Nov. 29 issue of The Proceedings of the Royal Society (B).

The artistic personality may encourage sexual exploration, Nettle speculated.

Tonight, Tonight

Posted by Susie in Blogosphere ( at 3:04 pm)

Drinking Liberally at Tangier, 18th & Lombard, 6 – 9 p.m. I won’t be there tonight, but go have a good time.

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