Saturday, September 29, 2007

Limbaugh clarifies

His "phony soldier" comment was only directed at people who pretend to be soldiers, but never were. To clarify his point further, Limbaugh explained that Rep. Jack Murtha, a decorated Vietnam combat vet, is an example of a phony soldier.

Got that?

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Weak-end warrior

Where's the outrage? Where's the House and Senate Censure resolutions?

Rush Limbaugh says the US military is riddled with "phony soldiers":
During the September 26 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, Rush Limbaugh called service members who advocate U.S. withdrawal from Iraq “phony soldiers.” He made the comment while discussing with a caller a conversation he had with a previous caller, “Mike from Chicago,” who said he “used to be military,” and “believe[s] that we should pull out of Iraq.” Limbaugh told the second caller, whom he identified as “Mike, this one from Olympia, Washington,” that “[t]here’s a lot” that people who favor U.S. withdrawal “don’t understand” and that when asked why the United States should pull out, their only answer is, ” ‘Well, we just gotta bring the troops home.’ … ‘Save the — keeps the troops safe’ or whatever,” adding, “[I]t’s not possible, intellectually, to follow these people.” “Mike” from Olympia replied, “No, it’s not, and what’s really funny is, they never talk to real soldiers. They like to pull these soldiers that come up out of the blue and talk to the media.” Limbaugh interjected, “The phony soldiers.” The caller, who had earlier said, “I am a serving American military, in the Army,” agreed, replying, “The phony soldiers.”
Limbaugh speaks with authority on the subject of phone soldiers. He avoided the Vietnam draft by claiming a pilonidal cyst.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Eat cheese or die!

I just want to give a shout out to both of my state's US Senators. Russ Feingold (D-Freakin' Awesome) and Herb Kohl (D-Better than McCain) have thrown their support to the Habeus Corpus Restoration Act. But alas, only 52 senators are on record for this important bill. We need eight more patriots to override President Bush's expected veto.

Habeus corpus guarantees that the government can't throw us in jail without letting us know the charges. Totalitarian dictators, police states, and the Republican Party have no use for habeus.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Bring our troop home

Among President Bush's many head scratching-moments during his Thursday night address to the nation was when he thanked the 36 nations that support the American mission in Iraq. That numbers falls to 35 after October 1 when Iceland pulls its man out of Baghdad. That's right - one guy:
Foreign Minister Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir has decided to remove an Icelandic Crisis Response Unit (ICRU) member from a NATO training program for the Iraqi army in Baghdad next month, causing disappointment among NATO leaders.

The ICRU member has been working in Baghdad for the last two years, primarily as a media representative, and will cease working there October 1, Morgunbladid reports.

John Craddock, the Supreme Allied Commander Europe for NATO and the US European Command, said at a press conference in Iceland yesterday that Iceland is an important and active NATO member and that he was disappointed with Gísladóttir’s decision.

But Craddock added that he understands that NATO member nations have to make decisions according to their best interests and “estimate what they can do and what they cannot do, what they want to do and what they don’t.”
Can you imagine a country with a leader that makes decisions based on "what they can do and what they cannot do, what they want to do and what they don’t?"

We are all Icelanders now.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

GOP to America: "We own 9/11, dammit!"

I was going to write about Ann Coulter and Rudy Giuliani appearing together at a 9/11 commemoration tonight, and what a God-awful idea that was. But then I had second thoughts. It seemed hypocritical for me to attack these two 9/11 fetishists for not remembering the day properly, while I'm venting just as much rage right back at them. President Bush and his Republican attack poodles have been milking that tragedy for six years now, and it's brought us to a point where the GOP has the country convinced it owns 9/11.

I was going to write about Ann Coulter and Rudy Giuliani, but then I read this from Milwaukee blogger Illusory Tenant:
Every once in awhile we need to be reminded that there are thoughtful and even scholarly conservative Republicans, as opposed to the contingent of moronic dipshits that populates the blogosphere and wake up every morning to go and see what Michelle Malkin commands them to be outraged about today.

Despite George Bush's best efforts to make us forget, Americans of every political stripe walk among us who can put 9/11 in its proper perspective. They know that liberals don't want to offer counseling to al Qaeda terrorists; that dissent is patriotic; and that democracies prevail because of, not despite, the rule of law. They know outrage, a natural consequence of the 9/11 attacks, becomes toxic when used to rally the base instead of the country.

Of course you won't hear these words on "conservative" talk radio, or read them on Powerline, except as a punchline to a joke. Only conservatives can make up jokes about 9/11, and Coulter and Giuliani will be knocking 'em dead tonight.

Conspiracy theories

People who think 9/11 was an inside job seriously need to have their heads examined. They cherry pick evidence that supports their asinine suspicions and ignore the mountain of data that goes against them. Debating these loons is like playing Wack-a-Mole - as soon as you knock one dubious claim on the head with the hammer of evidence, another claim pops up.

That said, if it weren't for 9/11 conspiracy nuts we wouldn't have 11 Settembre, a fascinating blog by an Italian skeptic with impressive technological skills. Enjoy.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Iraqi doctors surge to border

Maybe Brit Hume will ask White House Surge Spokesman David "On Board" Petraeus about this during their one hour Fox News love fest:
According to the Iraqi Medical Association (IMA), the shortage of doctors and nurses in Iraq is now critical and having a devastating effect, especially on small towns and villages.

“Our latest research shows that up to 75 percent of doctors, pharmacists and nurses have left their jobs at universities, clinics and hospitals,” Walid Rafi, a senior member of the IMA, told IRIN. Of these, at least 55 percent have fled abroad, he added.

According to Rafi, low salaries and the shortage of equipment and medicines, are other push factors. “Medical staff earn US$50-300 per month. They might persevere for a while but if the opportunity arises, they don’t think twice and leave the country,” Rafi said.
Here's another question that won't be asked: Why are Iraqis fleeing their country for the safety of neighboring military dictatorship Syria, if Iraq is so much better off without Saddam? What about all those purple thumbs - are they pointing up, or pointing down, when it comes to the surge?

Thursday, September 06, 2007

GOP meltdown

Ordinarily, you have to read the comments at or Powerline to see how truly inane the Republican base has become these days. But last night the GOP Presidential debates did just as well.

Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Thumb Screws) actually said "I would do waterboarding - I don't believe that that is 'quote' torture." Admittedly, Tancredo's bloodlust is toned down from what one finds at Redstate, where sunshine patriots not only endorse waterboarding terror suspects, but for the cashier at the all night convenience store down the street as well who may or may not be Muslim. But I still find Tancredo's comment astonishing given that the entire civilized world recognizes waterboarding as torture.

The GOP debate is also a rich source of found humor. Gov. Mike Huckabee (R-Who?), got into an interesting back and forth with Rep. Ron Paul (R-Can't Win) over Iraq. Paul, the only anti-war candidate in the GOP field, said the war was destroying the Party of Lincoln. Huckabee countered that the US was committed to Iraq, and said "Even if we lose elections we should not lose the honor of the Republican Party." One indication of the GOP's deep state of denial over the last seven years is that no one on the stage, or the entire audience, laughed.

Gov. Mitt Romney, with an inadvertent nod to empiricism, said the surge is "apparently" working. Big mistake. Sen. John McCain (R-Bankrupt) pounced:
"The surge is working. Not apparently working. It is working. It's working because we have a great general, we have a good strategy, in Anbar Province things have improved. The Malaki government is not doing the things we want it to do. The police are not functioning the way we want them to do. But we are succeeding. And the great debate is not whether it's apparently working or not. The great debate will take place on the floor of the United State Senate in the middle of this month, and it's going to be whether we set a date for withdrawal which will be a date for surrender, or whether we will let this surge continue and succeed and I can assure you it's more than apparent. It is working."
I feel better already.


Sean Hannity lied to Fox viewers about Dr. Ron Paul's showing in the network's post debate poll. Fox invited viewers to text message their vote for favorite candidate, and Paul outpolled the competition with 33%. The next favorite candidate was Gov.Mike Huckabee with less than 17%.

But Hannity cautioned Fox viewers, with no evidence, that Paul's numbers were due to overzealous supporters text messaging multiple votes for their candidate. That was a lie - Fox only allowed one vote per text messaging cell phone.

Evildoer-fighting progress report

A Congressional Research Office report has concluded that Iraq's government is on the verge of collapse, and the report's author concludes there are no real prospects for political reconciliation.

The report, which was commissioned by the House and Senate, questions the troop surge and further casts doubt on President Bush's claim of military progress.

Meanwhile the President, with support from Senate and House Republicans, continue to bamboozle the American people and their media with made up statistics and rosy scenarios.

In other news, the real criminal, Sen. Larry Craig (R-Wide Stance), is fighting a misdemeanor charge arising from soliciting sex in the one place where soliciting sex is illegal.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Freedom marching news

Via Newsweek:
The militia's sectarian-cleansing campaign is far too lucrative to be given up easily. When Sunni homeowners flee, say U.S. soldiers, their furniture is often locked up and their houses listed at local Sadr offices. Shiite families—many of them displaced earlier from Sunni neighborhoods—can peruse the listings, sometimes even photos of the property. For around 110,000 Iraqi dinars (about $88) per month, they can rent a furnished home and receive deliveries of cooking oil from the Mahdi Army. The militiamen earn even more money by controlling the gas stations in various neighborhoods, and by carjacking the nicest vehicles—usually, but not always, driven by Sunnis—at the checkpoints they set up.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Stall tactics

Sen. Larry Craig's stated intent to fight his guilty plea to disorderly conduct stemming from an airport restroom sex sting could cause Democrats more problems than l'affaire Craig has already caused the GOP.

Much has been written about Republican hypocrisy in this case - that Craig, an apparently gay man, had been making life miserable for gays for most of his legislative career. But few are talking about the facts of Craig's arrest and asking the simple question "What did Craig do wrong?" Esquivalience asks the right questions:
Ok, he placed his bag against the stall door, which is, apparently, something "those intending to commit lewd acts" do. Also those who don't want to leave their bag by the sink, and have it stolen or detonated. It's a cubicle. He's supposed to maybe balance the bag on his head?

By the cop's own admission, he (the cop) "pumped his foot slowly up and down in response." In other words, Craig asked for sex using an arcane code extremely unlikely to "alarm, anger, or disturb" -- according to the the equally arcane code defining disorderly conduct in Minnesota -- an uninitiated fellow-lavator, and the cop knew what it meant and said yes.

Where's the victim?
Of course the Republican law and order crowd doesn't want to ask these questions. Craig plead guilty to disorderly conduct, which is the legal system's equivalent of Put Them in Jail Free card. The DC charge has been used for decades to harass and arrest gay people, the criminal code equivalent of fire hoses and police dogs. And for decades society has looked the other way when it's applied to men cruising for icky restroom sex.

Until now. Craig's high profile arrest, and his publicly-stated intent to fight his guilty plea, promises to keep icky restroom sex in the headlines for months to come, possibly through the 2008 elections. That's where things could get interesting.

Though I don't expect to see Craig marching in San Francisco anytime soon, the former Idaho senator and homophobe is positioned to become a champion for gay rights by virtue of hiring a legal team to take on an allegedly discriminatory application of the law. I can't pretend to know how serious Craig is about clearing his name. It would be easier if he just came out - it's not like anyone believes he isn't gay.

But should he fight the charge (and not being a laywer, I'm not sure what he can do to change a guilty plea), he will unwittingly become the poster boy for the civil rights of men who choose to have icky restroom sex. That could become a huge problem for the Democrats next year.

It's easy for Republicans distance themselves from Senator Wide Stance. There's no political cost since most Republicans are comfortable with their gay bashing party. And so far Democrats have had the luxury of sitting back and enjoying the spectable of the GOP throwing one of its own under the proverbial bus.

But that dynamic will change on Sept. 30, the day Craig officially vacates his Senate seat, and slouches back to Boise, an outed, gay, 62-year-old man in denial. At that point the GOP spin machine will make sure he becomes the Democratic Party's problem. And the spin might get enough traction to help Republicans next year.

The secret is to position icky restroom sex one foot tap away from gay marriage, no big deal for the GOP spin machine and its media echo chamber. With Craig's pathetic legal challenge slowly winding its way through the courts, Fox News, Rush and the rest will have plenty of ammo.

That will leave the Democrats with little choice but to distance themselves from Craig's own fight for justice, which will leave them open to charges of hypocricy and cause problems with their own base.

Of course none of this will happen if Craig admitted what everyone already knows, that's he's a gay man trapped in misery by icky red state politics as well as by his own denial. And by his curious loyalty to a party that pitched him overboard for no good reason.

Larry Craig joke

What is the difference between a barnstorming pilot and Larry Craig?

A barnstorming pilot pulls out of a stall, and Craig pulls out in a stall.

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