Friday, November 18, 2005


Monday, September 12, 2005

Didn't see this coming...

A report compiled by the Iraqi Board of Supreme Audit has concluded that at least half, and probably more, of $1.27bn (£700m) of Iraqi money spent on military procurement has disappeared into a miasma of kickbacks and vanished middlemen - or else has been spent on useless equipment.

The report, leaked to the US news organisation Knight Ridder, comes as a blow to the credibility of the Iraqi army and its ability to contain the increasingly cogent insurgency.

According to the report, led by former human rights minister Abdel Baset al-Turki, the vanished money came solely from Iraqi funds, not from foreign donations to Iraq's military or the US-funded training budget.

The report focuses on an eight-month period after the transfer of sovereignty from the US-led occupation to caretaker Iraqi authorities on June 28 2004.

In this White House pool report, we learn the limits of getting your information via the airways:

The president stopped to talk to the pool outside a one story school being repaired, just after 2 pm CDT. He made no news at the 28th Street Elementary School. Asked about Mike Brown resigning, he said he hadn't spoken to Chertoff or Brown, but will be on AF One. "Maybe you know something I don't know," he said of Brown.

Can we put that on the back of the "You're doing a heck of job" t-shirts?
What Froomkin says:
Is Bush the commanding, decisive, jovial president you've been hearing about for years in so much of the mainstream press?

Maybe not so much.

Judging from the blistering analyses in Time, Newsweek, and elsewhere these past few days, it turns out that Bush is in fact fidgety, cold and snappish in private. He yells at those who dare give him bad news and is therefore not surprisingly surrounded by an echo chamber of terrified sycophants. He is slow to comprehend concepts that don't emerge from his gut. He is uncomprehending of the speeches that he is given to read. And oh yes, one of his most significant legacies -- the immense post-Sept. 11 reorganization of the federal government which created the Homeland Security Department -- has failed a big test.

Maybe it's Bush's sinking poll numbers -- he is, after all, undeniably an unpopular president now. Maybe it's the way that the federal response to the flood has cut so deeply against Bush's most compelling claim to greatness: His resoluteness when it comes to protecting Americans.

But for whatever reason, critical observations and insights that for so long have been zealously guarded by mainstream journalists, and only doled out in teaspoons if at all, now seem to be flooding into the public sphere.

An emperor-has-no-clothes moment seems upon us.


Saturday, September 10, 2005


Friday, August 12, 2005

Dear Leader, on Cindy Sheehan:

"Mur-i-cans don't care about these issues of heart broken mothers! They know we're at war and someone has to sacrifice (not me and Dick's rich friends at Halliburton and Exxon and Bechtel, though). Besides, I sent someone out there to the Free Speech Ditch to speak to her last week, what the hell does she expect from a hard workin fella on vacation? I would send Condi here out to talk about honor and perseverance and such stuff, but she says the Texas sun makes her make-up run...See ya'll later, at the September 11th Celebration Festival. Clint Black will make this war and dying sound better than even me and my speechwriters do, ya'll eat up that down-home folksy shit when a guy in a big ass cowboy hat puts it to song."
Via Rox Populi.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Fresh wingnuttiest...

Huh? Wha??

"In fact, I very much like women and wish them well, which is precisely why I consider women's rights to be a disease that should be eradicated."

Hear that gals? Now get back in the kitchen...

Friday, August 05, 2005


I found this amusing, but then I'm a sicko:


Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Some truth trickles out...

From todays WaPo:

Before the war in Iraq began, the CIA recruited and trained an Iraqi paramilitary group, code-named the Scorpions, to foment rebellion, conduct sabotage, and help CIA paramilitaries who entered Baghdad and other cities target buildings and individuals, according to three current and former intelligence officials with knowledge of the unit.

The CIA spent millions of dollars on the Scorpions, whose existence has not been previously disclosed, even giving them former Soviet Hind helicopters. But most of the unit's prewar missions -- spray-painting graffiti on walls; cutting electricity; "sowing confusion," as one said -- were delayed or canceled because of poor training or planning, said officials briefed on the unit. The speed of the invasion negated the need for most of their missions, others said.


In one case, members of the unit, wearing masks and carrying clubs and pipes, beat up an Iraqi general in the presence of CIA and military personnel, according to investigative documents reviewed by The Washington Post and according to several defense and intelligence officials.

Via The Poor Man.

How we got to where we are...

Once upon a time, a dangerous radical gained control of the US Republican Party.


Voices from the ether

Billmon: A friend of mine predicts the day will come when mothers in this country get their children to eat their vegetables (or wash their ears or do their homework or go to bed on time) by warning them that if they don't, the big bad George W. Bush will come and get them. I don't know about that, although I did successfully terrify my kids into submission once by threatening them with the Cheney monster. I'll never make that mistake again: The nightmares kept them up for weeks.

Personally, I think Dubya's fate is to be THE case study in foreign policy failure for the next two generations -- or until another president from Texas blunders into an unwinnable land war in Asia, whichever comes first. A generation of bright, eager Kennedy School grads are going to learn the secret to presidential leadership: Study everything Bush the Younger did, then do the exact opposite.

Bats Right, Throws Left: By now you will have learned that TV Guide™, once the weekly publication with the greatest circulation in the country, nay, the world, will soon cease to publish actual television listings. It will no longer serve as our Guide. They are, as it were, getting rid of the difficult math section. The size will change, too: no longer will our wait in the supermarket checkout line be assuaged by thumbing through the two-to-eight Collector's Editions nestled snug in their racks, hardly bigger than one of those index cards that are bigger than real index cards. In jettisoning the Listings section the magazine will actually become larger, in defiance of the Second Law of Thermodynamics. We live in disturbing times.

driftglass: This was democracy doing what democracy does when the stubby, webbed-toes of theocrats and neocons are not allowed to stomp on the scale. Jean Schmidt ran George Bush’s playbook, page-by-page, against a honorable veteran because she knows the only way cowards like Bush get elected is by slandering good men.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

We all go thru this....

Tell me this hasn't happened to you?

Via The Tattered Coat.

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Digby makin' sense:

I have no idea where people who don't pay much attention to the political scene would come down on this. It may be that they think the government should have a branch that does illegal dirty work. But I suspect they would also think that the president should not be allowed to run a secret foreign policy or stage wars for inscrutable reasons. Indeed, I think most people would find it repugnant if they knew that there are people in government who think the president of the United States has a right to lie to them in order to commit their blood and treasure to a cause or plan that has nothing to do with the one that is stated.
More fun is on the way!!!

In Washington it is hardly a secret that the same people in and around the administration who brought you Iraq are preparing to do the same for Iran. The Pentagon, acting under instructions from Vice President Dick Cheney’s office, has tasked the United States Strategic Command (STRATCOM) with drawing up a contingency plan to be employed in response to another 9/11-type terrorist attack on the United States. The plan includes a large-scale air assault on Iran employing both conventional and tactical nuclear weapons. Within Iran there are more than 450 major strategic targets, including numerous suspected nuclear-weapons-program development sites. Many of the targets are hardened or are deep underground and could not be taken out by conventional weapons, hence the nuclear option. As in the case of Iraq, the response is not conditional on Iran actually being involved in the act of terrorism directed against the United States. Several senior Air Force officers involved in the planning are reportedly appalled at the implications of what they are doing—that Iran is being set up for an unprovoked nuclear attack—but no one is prepared to damage his career by posing any objections.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

One from the heart...

Dear Red States...

We've decided we're leaving. We intend to form our own country, and we're taking the other Blue States with us.

In case you aren't aware, that includes Hawaii, Oregon,Washington, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois and all the Northeast. We believe this split will be beneficial to the nation, and especially to the people of the new country of New California.

To sum up briefly: You get Texas, Oklahoma and all the slave states. We get stem cell research and the best beaches. We get Elliot Spitzer. You get Ken Lay.

We get the Statue of Liberty. You get Dollywood.
We get Intel and Microsoft. You get WorldCom.
We get Harvard. You get Ole' Miss.
We get 85 percent of America's venture capital and entrepreneurs. You get Alabama.
We get two-thirds of the tax revenue, you get to make the red states pay their fair share.

Since our aggregate divorce rate is 22 percent lower than the Christian Coalition's, we get a bunch of happy families. You get a bunch of single moms.

Please be aware that Nuevo California will be pro-choice and anti-war, and we're going to want all our citizens back from Iraq at once. If you need people to fight, ask your evangelicals. They have kids they're apparently willing to send to their deaths for no purpose, and they don't care if you don't show pictures of their children's caskets coming home. We do wish you success in Iraq, and hope that the WMDs turn up, but we're not willing to spend our resources in Bush's Quagmire.

With the Blue States in hand, we will have firm control of 80 percent of the country's fresh water, more than 90 percent of the pineapple and lettuce, 92 percent of the nation's fresh fruit, 95 percent of America's quality wines (you can serve French wines at state dinners) 90 percent of all cheese, 90 percent of the high tech industry, most of the U.S. low-sulfur coal, all living redwoods, sequoias and condors, all the Ivy and Seven Sister schools, plus Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Cal Tech and MIT.

With the Red States, on the other hand, you will have to cope with 88 percent of all obese Americans (and their projected health care costs), 92 percent of all U.S. mosquitoes, nearly 100 percent of the tornadoes, 90 percent of the hurricanes, 99 percent of all Southern Baptists, virtually 100 percent of all televangelists, Rush Limbaugh, Bob Jones University, Clemson and the University of Georgia.

We get Hollywood and Yosemite, thank you.

Additionally, 38 percent of those in the Red states believe Jonah was actually swallowed by a whale, 62 percent believe life is sacred unless we're discussing the death penalty or gun laws, 44 percent say that evolution is only a theory, 53 percent that Saddam was involved in 9/11 and 61 percent of you crazy b*****ds believe you are people with higher morals then we lefties.

By the way, we're taking the good pot, too. You can have that dirt weed they grow in Mexico.

Peace out,
Blue States

Saturday, April 23, 2005

New tsunami pictures

I must say these new pictures of the Boxing Day tsunami (9 pix taken from a mountaintop in Southern Thailand) are pretty darned impressive. I'd never seen them before.


Saturday, November 06, 2004

High Desert Skeptic - I blog, therefore I know

The end.....

I started this blog to give me a place to vent my frustrations at The Way Things Are, Bush-wise. I worked hard, and we lost.

Life goes on. This blog doesn't....

Saturday, October 02, 2004

Debate this!