Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Iraq: Well, It's Official--We're Negotiating With Terrorists

Yup. Surprise announcement from Condoleeza Rice today--we're going to be negotiating with Iran and Syria about Iraq. Last time we heard from Rice on the subject--in January of this year--she was telling America that "those who talk about engagement with Syria and Iran" were all wet. "That's not diplomacy -- that's extortion," she said.

But now that principle is gone, too--we're gonna have a sit-down with the extortionist murderers. Boy, how’d you like to be a fly-on-the-wall for those meetings?

Iraq: First of all, I would like to thank all of the parties for agreeing to attend.
Bush Admin: Thank you.
Iran:(lighting a cigar) My pleasure.
Syria: Yeah…
Bush Admin: These are of course, only preliminary meetings, we will be setting parameters for future talks—Wait a minute, where are you going?
Iran: Well, we ain’t interested in no “preliminary meetings,” see? We came here to talk business, you wanna talk business, we stay, you wanna do this “preliminary” bullshit—bye-bye.
Syria: Yeah…
Bush Admin: But you can’t just unilaterally decide to terminate--
Iran: Well, the way we figure it, you guys must be pretty hard up if you’re willing to eat shit publicly in front of the entire world by having a sit-down with us. So here’s you’re “unilateral,” right here (grabs his crotch.) Call us when you decide to get serious.
Syria: Yeah…
Bush Admin: But—wait, wait. (caves) Please. Come back. We’ll talk business. Please…
(Iran looks disgusted, then looks at Syria, shrugs his shoulders. Then they sigh and sit down at the table again.)
Iraq: I think at this moment, my friends—
Bush Admin:(to Iraq) Shut up. (To Iran and Syria.) Okay. First off, we want to make it clear that we meant no disrespect—
Iran: No disrespect? Are you fuckin’ kiddin’ me? What do we look like to you, a couple of fuckin’ punks?
Bush Admin: Now, now, we didn’t mean—
Iran: You didn’t mean no disrespect? For six years now you mutts have been shootin’ your big fat mouth off all over the world and talkin’ real big and tellin’ all your people that you don’t negotiate with terrorists—
Bush Admin: We are not negotiating with terrorists, we are merely—
Iran: You must have your head up your ass. We’re Iran, we practice terrorism, and you’re negotiating with us, right now. We practice terrorism, we’re practicing it right now in Iraq. Last month you sat down with the North Koreans, they practice terrorism. (to Syria) How about you, Syria, you practice terrorism?
Syria: Yeah…
Iran: So are we all on the same page now? We’re terrorist nations, we sponsor terrorism, we’re all terrorists on this side of the table—and you’re here to negotiate with us, right?
Bush Admin:(mopping its forehead) Yes…
Iran: What’s that? I couldn’t hear you. Say it louder.
Bush Admin: (louder) Yes.
Iran: Good. I just wanted to make sure we all understood that, before we started talkin’ serious. Because we don’t want you punkin’ out of any deal you came in to cut.
Bush Admin: We wouldn’t do that.
Iran: Oh, I know you wouldn’t do it. Cause you know what would happen, if you did that, don’t you?
Bush Admin: (whispers) Yes.
Iran: But I remember that back in 2002, in the Rose Garden, when Bush said: “No nation can negotiate with terrorists. For there is no way to make peace with those whose only goal is death.” You remember that, Syria?
Syria: Yeah…
Iran: You remember Bush sayin’ that, don’t you?
Bush Admin: Yeah…
Iran: And you remember when that little twerp, what’s his name, Bush’s press secretary—McClellan, when he told the reporters: “We do not negotiate with terrorists. We put them out of business.” Remember that?
Bush Admin: Yeah…
Iran: Well, it's four years later—and whaddya know. We’re still in business. And business--(take puff of cigar, blows out smoke ring)--is good.
Syria: Yeah…
Iran: You guys kill me. Fox News running headlines, “The US will not negotiate with terrorists.” Quoting Bush about how “we will not be intimidated by the brutal actions of these barbaric people.” July 10th, 2004. And now here you, are negotiating with us, us “brutal, barbaric people.” So I guess Bush got that wrong. Right?
Syria: Yeah…
Bush Admin: (softly) Yeah…
Iran: (mimicking) “Yeah.” And here’s something else he got wrong. “Death” ain’t our only goal. We came here to get something else. We’re gonna split up Iraq, between us, see?
Iraq: Now, wait wait wait a minute, this is not in the protocol—
Iran: Syria, this little mutt’s yapping is getting’ on my nerves. Put his head in the vice.
Syria: (giggles) Yeah…
Iraq: NO! NO! Wait! Help, Bush Administration, help! (head in vice) Oh! OH!
Iran: SHADDAP! Syria, you hear another peep out of the jerk, you squeeze the juice out of his head.
Syria: Yeah...
Iran: (pulls out map, puts it on the table, begins to mark off territories) Now let me tell you how it’s gonna be, Bush boy. Syria’s territory is the north west. I get the east, all the Shi’ite stuff. We had our eye on that stuff since 1980, and I want thank you Bush guys for arranging this little civil war for us, so we finally get it. You, if you’re reeeeal nice, get to keep to keep some oil wells, and maybe a belly dancer or two. And you get to say you “made peace,” before the next election. That’ll make you feel real good about yourself.
Bush Admin: Can—can I get a glass of water? I really need a glass of water right now.
Iran: No, you can’t have a glass of water, you little girl. But maybe Syria can squeeze you a little juice, how about it, Syria?
Syria: (giggles) Yeah.
(The rest is too awful to describe.)


Bill Prendergast: Just Another Angry Radical Militant Lesbian Who Hates America, the Western Tradition, and Capitalism?

Well! This IS a surprise.

It turns out, according to conservative talk radio host Jason Lewis, that I am “angry lesbian and radical pacifist.”

Yes, you read that right. My mother will be very upset.

As some of you may know, I am a regular contributor to another blog called “Dump Michele Bachmann.” That blog is devoted to getting out the most alarming facts about our new Minnesota Congressional representative, Michele Bachmann. She is in the national news this week because she told a local reporter that there was an existing agreement with Iran to partition Iraq and turn the northern and western part of that nation into a “terrorist safe-haven” called the “United Iraq State of Islam” or something like that.

A reporter for the Minneapolis Star Tribune learned about her claim and asked her about it; she immediately backed down from the claim, but not before the story broke as national news. The Star Tribune and various other professional news media are now chasing her around trying to find out where she got the notion; so far she continues to hide from them. She has either leaked a story of international importance, or announced a crackpot theory to the press as if it were fact. We shall see.

The Dump Bachmann blog is involved because one of our contributors gave the Star Tribune the “tip” about Bachmann announcing the “Iranian partition plan.” This led to an angry denunciation of Dump Bachmann by revered conservative spokesman Jason Lewis during his regular broadcast on radio station KTLK.

Lewis has thousands of loyal listeners and is one of the local “Rush Limbaugh knockoffs” in the Twin Cities radio market. In a segment of his radio show he described Dump Bachmann to his listeners as “a website run by a bunch of angry lesbians and radical pacifists.” He said we “hate America, hate Bachmann, hate western tradition, hate capitalism.”

Wait! There’s more.

He went on to characterize Dump Bachmann as “a radical or militant lesbian organization.” He said, and I quote: “Look at the people who run the thing. Dump Michele Bachmann is a radical militant lesbian organization.”

It’s just my opinion, but I think Lewis was wrong about me being “an angry lesbian.” I have just looked between my legs again and I can tell you that I am “overqualified” to be a lesbian--angry or no. I was surprised, to say the least, to find out that Lewis was describing myself and the other male heterosexual contributors as “radical militant lesbians.” I wished that Lewis had called us first to check his facts, we might have faxed him pictures of our genitals and thus precluded any misrepresentations.

And of course, many of the other things that Lewis told his listeners about Dump Bachmann were outright lies—we do not hate America, we do not hate western tradition, we do not hate capitalism. I love America, I love western tradition, and I’m just crazy about capitalism, can’t get enough of it. I am not a "radical pacifist" either; for example, I'm glad we fought and won the Second World War and rid the world of that little prick Hitler.

Jason Lewis is an irresponsible liar; is that really a surprise? I wonder who gave him his misinformation about Dump Bachmann. As I say: a phone call to Eva Young, editor of the blog, would have given him all the facts he needed, but like so many talk radio conservatives, he does not seem to be interested in facts. (Jason has met Eva Young, who runs the Dump Bachmann website; she guested on his program when she headed the Log Cabin Republicans.)

In case you are curious about who writes Dump Bachmann: according to editor Eva Young, “There is one other lesbian contributor besides me. Otherwise the demographics are a number of straight men, and some gay men. Three of the four gay people who write for Dump Bachmann are Republican or independent (and the independents had been Republican in the recent past, but left the party because it had become the party of Bachmannistas).”

I have been described as a lot of things in my time, but never before have I been held out to the public as “an angry radical militant lesbian who hates America, the western tradition, and capitalism.” Can you see why the conservatives are in so much trouble these days?


Sunday, February 25, 2007

Republicans: "You say you got a bomb strapped to you and a $500 contribution? Then welcome to the GOP!"

Here's the article:

Alleged terrorist financier was donor to Republican Party

WASHINGTON: A man charged with trying to help terrorists in Afghanistan has donated some $15,000 to the campaign committee of Republicans in the House of Representatives, and a resume in his name indicates various other links to the party.

From April 2002 until August 2004, (Abdul Tawala Ibn Ali Alishtari,) also known as "Michael Mixon," gave donations ranging from $500 to $5,000 to the National Republican Congressional Committee, according to Federal Election Commission reports…

…( A resume listed in his name) says that in 2003 Alishtari was named a National Republican Senatorial Committee "Inner Circle Member for Life" and was appointed to the NRCC's "White House Business Advisory Committee."

…The NRCC did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment Tuesday about Alishtari's apparent connections to the party.

The 2007 resume identifies (Alishtari/“Michael Mixon”) as the founder of IDPixie LLC, which is described as an "ID theft protection agency."

In an indictment last week, the government said Alishtari accepted an unspecified amount of money to transfer $152,000 to Pakistan and Afghanistan to support a terrorist training camp in Afghanistan.

SCENE: A townhouse in Washington, D.C. near K Street. A National Republican Congressional Committee “We’d Like To Get To Know You” cocktail party is in progress. The main hall is filled with GOP big wigs and conservative celebrities, big money donors. Buffet, open bar, crystal chandeliers, metal detector at front door. Two Republican insiders are talking over drinks:

--You know who I’d like to see go up against Hillary. Newt. That would get the talk radio guys back in line.
--I don’t know. Newt’s burned a lot of bridges behind him.
--Yeah, but he’s still a great attack dog, and that’s what the rank-and-file respect. (sips) Whoa! These are cottonmouth martinis.
--Yeah, you better watch yourself with those. Hey…who’s that guy?
--That guy over there…
--The one in the turban and the robes, shaking hands with Dick Cheney…
--Him? Oh, that’s Michael Mixon. You never met Mike?
--I think I’d remember him if I saw him before. He doesn’t look like a “Michael Mixon”, he looks more like an “Abdul” or something.
--No, he says he’s Irish. He’s in the party. Strictly GOP, big Ronald Reagan fan.
--Certainly stands out in a crowd, doesn’t he?
--Now don’t say anything about him wearing that camel-riding outfit. He may dress a little funny, but he’s a great guy, and he’s a cash cow for us.
--Oh, yeah, he’s practically an ATM. Every time he turns around he’s shelling out a grand for one of our guys in Congress.
--What are we doing for him?
--No special favors. All he wants is access, to know what’s going on, hear the insider stuff around the Hill. But I do know they just made him a National Republican Senatorial Committee "Inner Circle Member for Life."
--No kidding. He gets consulted on who we run for Senate?
--Sure. He put up the cash, didn’t he? And we just put him on our White House Business Advisory Committee, too.
--Hm! What line of business is he in?
--I dunno…something to do with security, I think. Oh I remember—he checks IDs, makes IDs, that sort of thing. And he’s into some foreign stuff, too. I heard he invested in some kind of camp for kids in Pakistan, Afghanistan, something like that.
--Really. Sounds like a nice guy.
--He’s a prince of a fella. We all love him around here.
--Must have a tough time getting on an airplane in that outfit, though.
--Oh, he flies all the time.
--I guess so. Every time I’m in his office to pick up a contribution he’s got all the airline schedules out on his desk. Big charts on the wall with maps of the world, little pins stuck in ‘em everywhere. Mike knows what he’s doing. Plus he’s loaded. But he’s also very old school, he doesn’t just throw money around. He’s very frugal. I caught him fixing his own shoes, once.
--Last time I dropped by I caught him trying to re-sole his own shoes, stuffing some kind of plastic into them to patch them up. Seemed a little embarrassed when I walked in and caught him at it. He put them away real quick. (sips drink) You want me to introduce you?
--Sure, why not.
--No “terrorist” jokes about his outfit, though, he’s very sensitive about that.
--Don’t worry. (downs his martini)
--Yeah. And remember now--even though he’s got an Irish name--he’s Muslim.
--Well, it’s got be more fun than talking to another one of those goddamn evangelicals.


Saturday, February 24, 2007

No Comment On The Latest "Affaire de la Bachmann"

I 'spose y'all are waitin' for me to say somethin' real witty about the latest Bachmann disaster.

She told a reporter that there was a plan in place by the Iranian government and some other unamed power to carve up Iraq and created a new terrorist safe-haven nation. Then, just weeks later, all hell broke loose when her claim was called to the attention of the world by the Star Tribune. The story broke on the blogs, it got picked up by the Drudge Report, and the Associated Press, and my God, Fox News and apparently Rush Limbaugh (who thought her statement was so stupid that he misidentified her as a "Democrat.")

The result was that Bachmann issued a retraction and is now hiding under her desk, refusing to take phone calls until the heat is off.

Well, as a matter of fact, I am not going to say anything witty about the situation. The nation is finally talking about what a nut Bachmann is, and that means that my work, for today, is done. I can finally take the night off from Bachmann--for the first time in six years.


Thursday, February 22, 2007

And, While Bush Considers Invading Iran...

Shattered after last year’s loss of Congress, Republicans around the country are desperately searching for an issue that will be a winner with the public and show that their priorities are the right ones. Look at this, from the Associated Press:

Lawmaker comes down on plastic gonads
Thu Feb 22, 9:04 PM ET

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Fake bull testicles and other anatomically explicit vehicle decorations would be banned from Maryland roads under a bill pending in the state legislature.

The measure was filed in the General Assembly Monday by Delegate LeRoy E. Myers Jr., R-Washingon, who says children shouldn't be exposed to giant plastic gonads dangling from pickup truck trailer hitches. The bill also would ban depictions of naked human breasts, buttocks or genitals, with offenses punishable by fines of up to $500.

"It's time to take a stand," Myers told The (Hagerstown) Herald-Mail.

NO, IT IS NOT “time to take a stand” against big fake bull balls! If you want to take a stand, introduce a resolution calling for an end to the war in Iraq, or something! Is that what the people of your district sent you to the legislature for, to introduce a law banning giant plastic gonads dangling from pickup truck trailer hitches? My God…

Okay, full disclosure here: shortly after the “Tech Wreck” of 2000, I diversified my portfolio and dumped a lot of Silicon Valley stuff, tech sector and telecommunications stuff that had turned to junk before my very eyes. And yes, like millions of other Americans, I bought a “basket” of stocks in big plastic gonad industry, to minimize my exposure in event of another market downturn. So that’s what my portfolio is today: energy, biotech, nuclear weapons, big plastic gonads, and a little real estate.

Seven years later I’m just beginning to make back the money I lost on telecoms, and now this numbnut comes along and wants to regulate the big false testicles sector out of existence! Why can’t they leave me alone? When do I get a break?

The American Civil Liberties Union objected to Myers' bill.

"The legislation is overly broad, and would probably make it illegal to have a sticker on your car of the Venus de Milo from an art museum," ACLU of Maryland spokeswoman Meredith Curtis wrote in an e-mail.

Oh, great, now I have to scrape the Venus de Milo sticker off the jeep, too! AND the Caravaggio! Or I’ll get a ticket, like the ticket I’m going to get for the big plastic bull gonads on my trailer hitch.
“Good afternoon, officer.”
“Good afternoon, sir. Do you know why I pulled you over?”
“No, officer. I was doing the speed limit—“
“License and registration, please.”
“It’s not about the big swing bull testicles I’ve got hanging on my trailer hitch, is it, because that was my wife’s idea—“
“Quiet, ma’am. Keep your hands on the wheel, sir—“
“Can you just let me off with a warning this time, officer? I’ve already dropped a bundle investing in the fake bull balls industry, that and the plastic boobs and buns thing, and—“
“Sorry, sir, I’ve already started to write the ticket.”

Pamela Campbell whose Bullhead City, Ariz., business sells fake bull testicles, suggested that the swinging decorations can prompt healthy discussions about anatomy and reproduction.

Yeah! What about THAT? (“Bullhead City?”) Anyway--yeah! What about all the conversations those swinging fake balls would start? Are we to be deprived of that by some Maryland fascist?

What about REAL bull balls, is he going to ban them, too, because they’re offensive? I’d like to see him try to enforce that. “Oh, so you won’t put these shorts on, eh, Ferdinand? Well then I’ll just have to put them on for you—Whoa! Hey! Calm down, I was only--”


Photo Op Extraordinaire: Bush Shakes Hands With Washington

Aide: Good morning, Mr. President.
Bush: (his feet up on the desk, trying to solve a Rubik’s cube) Well! Good morning to you, too, uh—good morning. What have you got there?
Aide: Just need your signature on these Iraq troop surge documents, sir.
Bush: Okey-doke, cap. Hand ‘em over.
Aide: You may want to give special attention to these ones on top, they’re from the Pentagon—
Bush: Yeah, yeah, Pentagon, sure. Let’s see—where do I sign?
Aide: At the bottom, sir… per usual.
Bush: Okey-doke.
(sings to himself while signing his name to all the papers)
“I been through the desert
On a horse with no name
It felt good to be out of
The rain…

In the desert
You can’t remember your name
For to give you no tum…

I said, ahhh-laaa-la-la-la-la”
--There! All done.
Aide: Thank you, sir.
Bush: No prob-lame-o, senor. Hey did you see me on TV this weekend, talking to George Washington and shakin’ his hand and everything?
Aide: No sir…

Bush: It was great! They took me up to his house, on Mount Verne, and I met him, big as life. The Father of Our Country. Big fella. Looked a lot younger than I thought he would…
Aide:(stiffens, skin crawling) Of course you know, sir…
Bush: What?
Aide: Of course you know, sir, that that wasn’t…the…”real”…
Bush: Oh come on! I know it wasn’t really George Washington, come on. I know he was an actor. Hey--that’s a little disturbing, that YOU thought that I thought… (laughs) Well, I guess you had a right to suspect that, after my little “incident” with Leonard Nimoy…
Aide:(greatly relieved) Yessir.
Bush: Still…it was quite an honor. To shake hands with George Washington…The very first president of the United States. Tony Blair never shook hands with King Arthur, I bet. I shook hands with King Arthur, it was at a Renaissance fair in Missouri, I think…I’ll never forget that moment I shook hands with Washington…not until the day I die…Think of it--I got to shake hands with the first guy to sit here, in this chair…
Aide: Well, technically, sir—
Bush: What?
Aide:(thinks better of it) …Nothing, sir.
Bush: He was a very friendly man, too. Nothing stuck up about him, despite his greatness… He looked good in that wig. Maybe I should get a wig…
Aide: I don’t know about that, sir.
Bush: No, not for appearing in public, dummy. I would only wear it in private, around the West Wing. It would be kind of like my “thinkin’ cap,” my “George Washington thinkin’ cap.”
Aide: I don’t think that’s a very good idea, sir. It would upset the members of your Cabinet, very much…
Bush: You think so?
Aide: I do, sir. I really do.
Bush: (stares at him for a moment, then says) Okay then, let it go.
(Aide sighs in relief.)
Bush: But one thing I would like to do is set up a committee. An executive committee, to explore whether I can get my picture taken shaking hands with all of the presidents.
Aide: I’ll make a note of that, sir.
Bush: How many of them are there, a hundred?
Aide: More like fifty, sir.
Bush: Good! It’ll only take half as long, then. That’s our goal. Get my picture taken shaking hands with all the presidents, dead or alive. It’s historical. It would be the first time any president did that, wouldn’t it?
Aide: Yes, sir.
Bush: And the pictures don’t have to all be taken at Mount Verne, it could be in front of that big statue they carved on Mount Seymour or wherever, any place presidential like that. (thinks) Maybe one day I’ll end up with my face on Mount Seymour.
Aide: Yes sir.
Bush: We’ll have to be careful with how we pose the Lincoln and Kennedy pictures, they had head wounds.
Aide: Yes, sir. May I go now sir?
Bush: What? Oh, sure. Skiddaddle. (picks up cube again) Now to solve this damn puzzle thing…(picks up cube, struggles with it.) Hey… this isn’t a Rubik’s cube…it’s a photo cube. This is me, my wife and my kids, and the dog and Dick. No wonder I couldn’t—what a waste of a morning. (puts it back on the desk, leans back in his chair, stares out the window, sings:)
“After three days
In the desert sun,
My teeth began to turn red…”


Sunday, February 18, 2007

Campaign Trail: John McCain Spells Out The Answers For Us

From the Associated Press:

Crowd's Questions Indicate Senator's Presidential Bid May Be Tied Closely to War

By Dan Balz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, February 18, 2007; A08

DES MOINES, Feb. 17 -- The war in Iraq followed Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) to Iowa on Saturday, as the Republican presidential candidate faced a series of skeptical questions about the lack of progress in the conflict and whether he or anyone has a plan for success.

…there was no escaping a debate over the war, even before a largely Republican audience that included veterans of combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, and their relatives.

…(McCain) said Americans are understandably frustrated because of overly optimistic expectations raised by defenders of the war.

"We raised people's expectations -- 'mission accomplished,' 'few dead-enders,' 'last throes' -- all of those comments that made Americans believe that we were on the verge of getting this thing done," he said. Instead, he added, the war has been a "long, tough struggle that we should have told the American people about."

…McCain said he has no fallback plan if the policy of sending an additional 21,500 troops to Iraq fails…

…A man who said his son had served in Afghanistan and Iraq challenged McCain to explain what it would cost the country to succeed in Iraq. McCain said he didn't know...

…"In terms of dollars and lives, I can't give you an estimate, except to say, sir, I think it's going to be very expensive," he said, "but not as expensive as the bloodletting, the killing fields that will take place in Baghdad if we just left…"

…"Whether you like him or not, McCain has been consistent on issues," Senator John Thune (R-S.D.) said.

(We take you now to the McCain campaign strategy meeting—held the night before that question and answer session in Iowa--where Senator McCain is being prepped by aides for the kind of questions he will be receiving the next day.)

Aide: Okay, Senator. Suppose someone at the question and answer session stands up and asks you why the country isn’t supporting the Iraq war anymore?
McCain: Uhh…I tell him it’s because we’ve been lying to the American public all along.
Aide: Very good! You want to spin that answer out a bit?
McCain: Sure. I say, uh, that for years we’ve been lying to the public about how the war’s going, we gave them false hope with all that -- 'mission accomplished,' 'few dead-enders,' 'last throes' – bullshit, all of those comments that made Americans believe that we were on the verge of getting this thing done—
Aide: Excellent, but lose the word “bullshit,” say “raised false expectations,” instead. They’ll take that to mean “bullshit.” Otherwise, perfect!
McCain: Okay. Gimme the next question.
Aide: Right. Someone in the audience asks you: “Senator McCain—if this surge of 21,500 US troops you supported doesn’t work, what is your fallback plan?”
McCain: I say, “I haven’t got one. I haven’t got a fallback plan.”
Aide: Perfect. That answer is gonna go over VERY big with these voters, believe you me. Now—
McCain: Are you sure this is going to work? This “I don’t know, I can’t say, we were lying, I don’t have a plan” stuff?
Aide: It’ll work like a charm. That’s what the voters want from Republicans right now—candor. Anyway, let’s keep going, answer this one: A man in the audience stands up and tells you he’s got a son serving in Iraq and Afghanistan and he asks you “What would it take for this country to succeed in Iraq?”
McCain: I tell him “I don’t know.”
Aide: Right! Because?
McCain: Because I DON’T know.
Aide: Exactly! And if he asks you how much it’s going to cost in dollars and cents?
McCain: “I don’t know.”
Aide: And if he asks you how much it’s going to cost in American lives?
McCain: “I don’t know.” Can I tell him it will cost MORE in dollars and American lives if we pull out now?
Aide: Yes, but what if he asks you “How do you know that?”
McCain: I say, “I don’t know.”
Aide: Would you launch a pre-emptive strike against Iran to destroy their nuclear program?
McCain: “I don’t know. I don’t have a plan.”
Aide: Brilliant. You stick to these kind of answers, the nomination’s in the bag, Senator.
McCain: Why?
Aide: Because no one will ever be able to say “John McCain is inconsistent on the issues.” You NEVER knew the goddamn answer to ANYTHING.


Friday, February 16, 2007

Homelessness: The GOP Ain't Down Wit Dat

So let’s do a little “news round-up” thingie here; look over the headlines and see what the big stories are this hour. First up:

Will GOP convention displace St. Paul's homeless?
by Marisa Helms, Minnesota Public Radio
February 15, 2007

As planning begins for the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul, security is a top concern…

…But right across the street from the arena, there are hundreds of people who spend their days and nights in a single-story, red brick building called the Dorothy Day Center…
Each day some 400 (homeless) people a day come through the shelter's doors for meals, and 200 of them spend the night on plastic mats.

(Homeless staying at the facility, including) Wayne Jackson, Alison Franck, and James Fletcher are talking about the security perimeter and rumors that come 2008, the place they call home will close down.

Jackson and Franck say there's been talk that the shelter could close anywhere from a few days to forever.

"That's the whole idea is to make sure that none of us go over there, to harass the people or to panhandle, or anything like that," says Fletcher. "That's what they're more worried about, us going over there and panhandling or harassing the people cause it makes them look bad."

That is the saddest frigging thing I’ve read all week. The idea of someone actually trying to panhandle at a Republican National Convention…My God, that is my new definition of “a tough row to hoe.” That is my new definition of "pathetic bastard," a homeless guy trying to panhandle at a Republican Convention. I can just imagine it, twenty minutes of being ignored on the convention floor and then, with his hand still out, he looks up at the giant screen inside the Convention Hall and sees it spelled out for him up there, lit up in thirty-foot tall letters: "NOOOO!" "HOW ABOUT "NO" FOR AN ANSWER?" "NOOOOO!" "HOW ABOUT "GET A JOB?"

(Patty Wilder, the chief operating officer for programs at Catholic Charities) says rather than closing the center during the convention, she would like to see it as an occasion for the city to show the media and delegates that it does not hide people who are in need.

Oh, Patty, you’re SOOOO right! Yeah, now all you have to do is explain that to the Republican National Committee. You know they’re not going to pass up a “photo op” like that--getting a shot of that homeless shelter just outside the Republican Convention, and hundreds of homeless people wandering around the convention grounds...What a public relations coup THAT would be for a party that just got its ass handed to it in elections last year. I can just imagine Norm Coleman glad-handing a bunch of unshaven guys in Goodwill cast-offs, passing around a bottle of wine in a paper bag. That’s what every Republican dreams about; that hail-fellow-well-met chance to get out and mingle with the urban homeless.

Close a shelter for the homeless to keep them from irritating Republicans? The very IDEA! Bah! Humbug!

What’s this? An Iraq debate story—but in the SENATE, again? What the…

Reluctantly, the Senate's Weekend Warriors

By Dana Milbank
Friday, February 16, 2007; A02


After four years of fighting in Iraq, and two weeks of trying to force senators to debate the conflict, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid yesterday wheeled out the ultimate weapon.

He ordered his colleagues to work on Saturday.

"Time is of the essence," Reid told a rapt audience in the Senate television studio yesterday afternoon. "That's why the Senate will have another Iraq vote on Saturday."

Ho…lee…shit! He asked them to come in on a Saturday? Just to vote on Iraq? Has he gone MAD with power?

But in trying to force Republicans to debate Iraq, Reid caused untold pain and suffering for his Democratic colleagues, many of whom prefer to spend their weekends running for president. Hillary Clinton was supposed to be campaigning in New Hampshire on Saturday. Barack Obama had plans to be in South Carolina and Virginia…

And then there was Republican John McCain, who had an Iowa engagement, and all those senators on both sides planning to leave on trips for the Presidents' Day recess.

It’s MADNESS! That's like asking our soldiers to FIGHT on a Saturday! That's just plain nuts! Thank goodness at least one man had the guts to speak up:

Moments after Reid's bombshell, one presidential candidate, Sam Brownback (R-Kan.), went to the Senate floor to voice his dissent. "I don't think that is a fair or appropriate process for this body to follow," he said. Particularly because he had plans to attend the National Religious Broadcasters convention in Florida on Saturday.

Hmm, let's see--should I stand up the Religious Right in Florida this weekend so I can stay in Washington and commit to a position on Iraq in the Senate? The answer to that one is real easy, if you're a man of Sam Brownback's character. I mean, come on, he already had his room booked and he had his National Religious Broadcasters beach bag and everything, come ooonnnn... Meanwhile, in the House Debate:

It's not entirely clear why Senate Republicans were so determined to avoid a debate. If it goes anything like the three-day House debate this week, the world will little note nor long remember what they say.

Ric Keller (R-Fla.) was on hand to restore gravity to the (House) debate. He spoke about lawn care as a metaphor for Iraq:

"Imagine your next-door neighbor refuses to mow his lawn and the weeds are all the way up to his waist. You decide you are going to mow his lawn for him every single week. The neighbor never says thank you, he hates you, and sometimes he takes out a gun and shoots at you. Under these circumstances, do you keep mowing his lawn forever?"

Well here's my answer: FUCK no! I am not going to keep mowing his lawn week after week if this guy takes out a gun and shoots at me! I don’t have to put up with that shit! I don’t understand what point this Congressman was trying to make about Iraq—but I will stand firm with Rep. Keller of Florida on this: Americans are NOT going to keep mowing this guy’s lawn if he never says thank you and sometimes he takes out a gun and shoots at us. That’s BULLSHIT! Finally, an area for bipartisan consensus. Let’s move forward with that.


Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Fawlty GOP: "Don't mention the war!"

Congress has been debating a non-binding resolution against the President’s proposed troop surge. How did GOP Bush supporters plan to defend the Iraq war? By not talking about it, that’s how.

A recent "Dear Colleague" letter from Republican Reps. John Shadegg and Peter Hoekstra was leaked and appeared on the front page of the Daily Kos. In the letter Shadegg and Hoekstra give their GOP brethren the following advice on how to approach the Congressional debate about the war:

“We are writing to urge you not to debate the Democratic Iraq resolution on their terms, but rather on ours…

…The debate should not be about the surge or its details. This debate should not even be about the Iraq war to date, mistakes that have been made, or whether we can, or cannot, win militarily. If we let Democrats force us into a debate on the surge or the current situation in Iraq, we lose.”

In other words: “Don’t mention the war!” And that led to this, from Kongressional Komedy Klassics Archives (apologies to John Cleese):

(The story so far: Those two wacky pro-war congressmen, John Shadegg and Pete Hoekstra, have really done it this time. John and Pete have issued strict instructions that their GOP colleagues are not to bring up the subject of the war during the debate about the war. But just before the debate is scheduled to begin, Shadegg is conked on the noggin by a huge moose head that he was attempting to hang in the Congressional Rec room. He is rushed to the Capitol infirmary, but his injury has left him a little bit “deranged.” So he escapes from his ward with a big bandage around his head, and makes his way on to the floor of Congress just as Hoekstra’s beginning his big speech on the resolution.)

Hoekstra: Madam Speaker, this is about freedom. This is about—
Shadegg: (hissing loudly) Pete! DON’T MENTION THE WAR!
Hoekstra:(sees Shadegg, horror-struck)
Shadegg: Whatever you do, DON’T MENTION THE WAR!
Speaker: Is that the gentleman from Arizona?
Shadegg: Yes! And I’d like to thank you war, you wall, you all for allowing me this opportunity to speak about the war. NO! Not the war! Who said anything about the war?
Hoekstea: Sit down!
Speaker: You’re out of order!
Shadegg: Of course we’re out of water, we’ve been fighting a useless war in the goddamn desert for three years now, you silly bitch! (hisses to Hoekstra) Don’t mention the war! I mentioned it once, but I think I got away with it!
(Hoekstra starts crying.)
Shadegg: What the hell’s the matter with you?
Hoekstra: Will you please stop mentioning the war!
Shadegg: Well you started it!
Hoekstra: No I didn’t!
Shadegg: Yes you did, you voted with me to invade Iraq! (shakes him) Now cheer up! And stop talking about the war! SMILE! Here, look at this, I’m going to do an impression, this is hysterical--(to Pelosi) This always cracks him up—
Hoekstra:(suddenly stops sobbing, rigid with horror, grabs Shadegg) NO! NO! Don’t do the impression!
Shadegg: (breaks free) Shut up! IT’S FUNNY! Who’s this, then—
Hoekstra: NO! Not that one, John! Do Jimmy Cagney, instead!!
Shadegg:(incredulous) Jimmy Cagney?
Hoekstra: Yes, Jimmy Cagney, you know, (does a crap Cagney impression) “You dirty rat…”
Shadegg: THAT’S NOT FUNNY! I’ll do my impression! (runs down in front of the Speaker’s dais, yells to the members of Congress) Right! Who’s this, then?
(Shadegg mimes his impression of Saddam being hanged, tugging at an imaginary rope around his neck, making strangling noises. Then Howard Dean and some men in white coats rush into the chamber and start chasing him around the floor. They finally catch Shadegg and sedate him, carry him out.)
Maliki: (watching the debate on a portable TV in a bombed-out basement in Baghdad, shaking his head sadly) How do they ever expect to win this war?

(Strangely enough, this tested very well with the talk radio conservative focus group.)


Monday, February 12, 2007

Congress: Bush Loyalists Plan To Defend Troop "Surge"

This one’s from the Washington Post:

GOP Expects Defections as House Debates Iraq Resolution

by Lyndsey Layton and Jonathan Weisman
Washington Post Staff Writers
Monday, February 12, 2007;

Three days of intense debate over the Iraq war begins in the House today, with Democrats planning to propose a narrowly worded rebuke of President Bush's troop buildup and Republicans girding for broad defections on their side…

The GOP, whose members have conceded they are likely to lose, is treating the debate like a mini-political campaign, deploying a rapid-response team to counter Democrats' statements, aggressively trying to get its leaders on television and radio, and creating a "resource center" off the House floor where members can fill their arms with maps, research material, videos or other visual aids to use during their floor time…

Speaker: The chair recognizes the distinguished gentleman from Alabama.
Congressman: Thank you, Madame Speaker. I would like to use my allotted five minutes to show you people a very powerful video presentation. This footage I’m about to show you makes the case the against this proposed rebuke of President Bush’s troop build-up more eloquently and more concisely than I ever could with mere words. If I may, Madame Speaker?
Speaker: Go ahead, Congressman, you’ve got four minutes left.
Congressman: Okey-doke. Just lemme get this DVD thinga-ma-bobbie here in the slot. They make the labels on these machines so tiny--wazzat say, there? It’s a little triangle-y thing there…I apologize, Madame Speaker, my aide was supposed to have this all set up for me, all he told me was not to put my thumb on silvery part of the the DVD thingie here.
Speaker: Three and a half minutes left, Congressman.
Congressman: God damn I can’t read this thing, and why do the damn Koreans make these DVD machines and stereos and such all in black, if they’re gonna sell ‘em to white people? We’ve got big round eyes, we don’t have slanty little eyes to read these teeny-tiny little labels.
Speaker: Get a page to help you.
Congressman: That’s a very good idea, ma’am. Here you go, son, here’s the remote control, let’s get a young pair of eyes on the case, heh-heh. Well look at that, he popped it right open, first try. Here you go, son, slip that in there. I just press “play” now? Thank you very much, son, I’ll come and see you later. Nice boy. Fine athletic build, too. Swimmer’s physique, I’d say.
Speaker: Congressman—
Congressman: Oh, yeah, yeah. As I was sayin’, this video—
Speaker: Just play it, you’ve got less than two minutes left.
Congressman: Alrighty, I will. “Play!” (presses button on remote)
(A video plays on a large screen. It’s a video of the September 11th attacks, about eight seconds long. The first four seconds show one plane crashing into one of the World Trade Center buildings, then the last four seconds show the other plane crashing into the other World Trade Center building. The video ends, and the screen goes black.)
(There is a silence in Congress. Then:)
Speaker: That’s it?
Congressman: Yes, ma’am.
Speaker: That’s you’re entire presentation in favor of the President’s troop increase?
Congressman:(proudly) Yes, ma’am, it is. From the way y’all are acting these days, I figure you musta forget about that. (He sits down.)
(Speaker sighs and puts her head in her hands for a minute. Then she looks up and says:)
Speaker: The chair recognizes the distinguished gentleman from Wyoming.
Another Congressman: Thank you, Madame Speaker. I, too, have a visual presentation I would like to make.
Speaker: Oh, good.
Congressman: Beg your pardon, ma’am?
Speaker: Nothing. Go on.
Congressman: Yes, ma’am. (pulls up tripod, picks up pointer. As he speaks he puts up a chart on the tripod. The chart displays a large color photo of the first jet crashing into the first World Trade Center building.) Fellow members, I believe this map, which shows our current situation in Baghdad, is the strongest evidence in favor of the President’s—(looks at his chart, sees that it is not a map but a photo) Oh, I beg your pardon, Madame Speaker, ladies and gentlemen—I see that this is not a map of Baghdad. Perhaps the map is on the other side—(he turns the chart over; it’s another photo of the second jet hitting the second World Trade Center building.) Well, there seems to have been some mistake, Madame Speaker. But as a matter of fact, these two photos support the President’s troop proposal more eloquently than any map ever could—
Speaker: Thank you, sir. The chair now recognizes the distinguished gentleman from Ohio—what are you doing there, sir?
Another Congressman: Just setting up, Madame Speaker. I also have a little presentation—
Speaker: Why are you climbing up on the desk like that and taking your shoes off?
Congressman: All will become clear in a moment, Madame Speaker. Let’s see—I simply cross my legs like this—The wife and I have been doing yoga, Madame Speaker, Christian Yoga, to be specific—
Speaker: That’s very interesting, but what has—
Congressman: Please, Madame Speaker if you will indulge me—I’m going to need my full five minutes. If I may call your attention to these long silver oven mitts, which I am slipping over my bare feet right now. You see them? I simply slip them over my feet, point my feet at the ceiling, and the silvery oven mitts look tall and long and strong. These two long silver oven mitts represent—
Speaker: --the World Trade Center buildings?
Congressman:(surprised) Yes, that’s right. Have I showed you this before?
Speaker: No. Please go on.
Congressman: Well, anyway—I have here in my pockets somewhere—here they are—two little model passenger jets. I already happened to have one, here’s another that one of my aides purchased for me at the Ronald Reagan National Airport gift shop this morning. I just have to get this second one out of the packaging to do my presentation…these things come in this clear plastic molded casing, it’s very hard to tear this…maybe if I use my teeth…
Speaker: Would you like a scissors, Congressman?
Congressman: (trying to tear package open with his teeth) Th’okay, I thing I got it…OH! I cut my cheek! OH! That smart-th…If fith okay, Madame Thpeaker, I will yield the retht of my five minuth to the dithtinguithed gentlemun from Momtana…
Speaker:(to herself, as she ticks another mark on her list) Three hundred and seventy five to go…


Saturday, February 10, 2007

Iraq Again: Questions Raised About Bush's Intelligence

New record set today: this will the Stillwater Tribune’s fourth piece in a row on Iraq. I can’t help it; the news gets crazier and crazier.

It was revealed yesterday that prior to the invasion--during the public relations run-up to the war--there was a lack of credible intelligence indicating a relationship between Saddam Hussein’s regime and Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda.

(Which reminds me of a funny Bush joke I just heard; not my material, but here it is:
“When Bush heard that Barak Obama was in New Hampshire last week, he got all excited and said: “Did we catch him?”)


It’s 2002. The Bush administration is desperate to sell the American people on the idea of attacking Iraq. To do that, they need to show that there was some kind of partnership between Saddam and al Qaeda. But the CIA and our other intelligence agencies have done the research, issued their reports, and could find no evidence of such a partnership.

So what do you do if you’re Bush and you’ve simply got to sell the country on this BS accusation? You create a BRAND NEW intelligence agency, run by pro-war Bush administration insiders, FOR THE SPECIFIC PURPOSE OF ISSUING INTELLIGENCE THAT SAYS THERE “IS” A PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN SADDAM AND AL QAEDA!

Imagine the conversation inside the Bush administration back then:

-----It’s f---ing brilliant is what it is; it’s a scheme worthy of Sergeant Bilko himself. Our official intelligence agencies won’t come to findings we need to start a war? They say there’s no evidence of any “mature, symbiotic relationship” between Iraq and al Qaeda—So what? We’ll just create a NEW intelligence agency to issue reports that say there IS!

----Where do we do it?

----The Pentagon, of course. Rumsfeld runs the Pentagon, he’s got the Pentagon under his thumb and he's a Bush man to the core. He’s got an unlimited budget, it’s a snap, they got so much money over there that Rummie could create a new intelligence department out of the change they use for coffee and donuts.

----But won’t he get ethical objections from his deputy?

----HA! You schmuck, his deputy at the Pentagon is PAUL WOLFOWITZ! Ethics? He’s even hotter for a war in Iraq than Bush and Rumsfeld!

----But who would be such a sleazeball that he would agree to head some kind of “fake” new intelligence agency created for the sole purpose of presenting war propaganda that has no basis in reality?

----Doug Feith, of course! Rumsfeld’s undersecretary for policy. He’ll produce anything we tell him, he’ll produce intelligence that says Michael Jackson would be a great babysitter, if we tell him to. Now let’s see…we need a bunch of offices in the Pentagon, no problem, they’re still re-building…We’ll call it--the “Definitely A Saddam/Al Qaeda Link Intelligence Producing Agency”—nah, too obvious. How about… “The Defense Department Policy Agency”…that’s plain vanilla, good, good--

----But they won’t be producing real intelligence! These aren’t real intelligence people, these are political appointees of the Bush administration! No one’s going to believe these are “intelligence findings” if the authors are a bunch of pro-war Bush hacks--

----Dummy, it’s not going to have the Bush administration’s name on it—it’s going to have the PENTAGON’S name on it! That’s the beautiful part, don’t you get it? This will be a real, live intelligence report that says there IS evidence of Saddam/al Qaeda partnership, and it will be AN OFFICIAL PENTAGON FINDING!

----But all you’d be doing is laundering the administration’s unsubstantiated pro-war propaganda through the Pentagon to make it look as if it had some kind of official credibility—

----EXACTLY! Now you’re starting to get it. Let’s see—we’ll need a Xerox machine, some “Official Pentagon Intelligence Finding” stationery…some paper clips--

----But it’s not real! It’s not a real intelligence finding at all, you’re just calling it “intelligence,”—In fact, it conflicts with the REAL intelligence we’ve got from the CIA and the other national security agencies—

----You’re not a team player, are you?

----But what if some day the Democrats get control of Congress, and they interview a Pentagon inspector general, and the inspector general reveals that all were doing during the run-up to the war was passing off a bunch of pro-war lies and bullshit as “intelligence findings?”

---That could never happen.

----Oh no? Read THIS.


Thursday, February 08, 2007

Iraq: Proconsul Bremer's Money Madness

One of my favorite characters in this whole Iraq atrocity story was Paul Bremer, the guy that Bush sent in to be the American “viceroy” or “proconsul” or what-have-you after Saddam was overthrown.

Bremer seemed to have an incredible knack for getting himself into the most ridiculous situations, and I was sorry to see him go when the transition to civilian government by Iraqis (!) was announced. (True to form, Bremer left Iraq undercover and secretly a day before his official departure had been scheduled—a characteristic attempt to avoid assassination.)

Anyway, you can imagine my delight when I found out he was back in the headlines again. From the Financial Times:

February 6, 2007 11:42 PM ET
Billions given away in Baghdad free-for-all

The Bush administration went on a 5 billion dollar spending spree in Iraq in 2004 just six weeks before returning control of the government to Iraqis, according to a Democratic lawmaker investigating the payments.

Huge sums were doled out, sometimes in dollar bills from the back of pick-up trucks, it was alleged.

In a hearing before the chief House oversight committee, Democrats on Tuesday demanded answers from Paul Bremer, who headed the Coalition Provisional Authority...

In his first appearance before Congress since leaving Iraq, Mr Bremer admitted making mistakes during his 13-month tenure. However, he emphasised that Iraq was in a "desperate situation" in May 2003 and that the CPA could not have waited to install a "modern financial system"…

…"I acknowledge that I made mistakes and that, with the benefit of hindsight, I would have made some decisions differently. But on the whole, we made great progress under some of the most difficult conditions imaginable," Mr Bremer told the committee.

That’s my boy Bremer!

So now we take you back in time, to Baghdad, 2004:

(A huge sound truck covered in blue tarps screeches to a stop on a side street in front of a burning market place; American Proconsul of Iraq Paul Bremer and his ever-faithful manservant Raheem scramble out of the vehicle and pull off the tarp, revealing the huge hand-painted sign on the side of the truck, in English and Arabic:


Raheem produces a bunch of little American flags and quickly climbs the truck, decorating it with the flags. Bremer wears a suit and tie emblazoned with dollar signs. He runs up to the cab, switches on the sound system: a little “ice-cream truck jingle” version of “We’re In The Money” (with an Arabic rhythm section) begins to play over the truck’s loudspeakers. Bremer scrambles up on the hood of the truck, microphone in hand, and begins to announce over the music:

Bremer:(pulling a stack of cash out of his pocket, waving it) Moneymoneymoney! It’s the US Money Man, in da 'hood! The Money Man is in da house, and he’s just givin’ it away! Free money, from the US Gov, all ya gotta do is come out into the street to get it!
(Bomb explodes.)
Bremer:(off mike, shouts at Raheem) Raheem! Get the back of the truck open! If they don’t see the dough they won’t come out!
Raheem:(scrambling down to open the truck) Yes, my prince!
(Raheem gets the back of the truck open; the truck is stuffed with money, loose bills are flying out as the door is opened; inside the truck is jam-packed stacks of cash, big sacks with ‘$$$’ printed on them, gold bars, shares of Microsoft and Exxon.)
Bremer:(into mike again) That’s right, the US is giving away free MONEY to its friends in Iraq—and everything must go! That’s right, we’re just giving it away, and why? Because we’re “ker-raaaaazy,” that’s why! (tosses wad of bills up in the air, it comes down like confetti) We folks at the U.S. government have gone “ker-aaaazy” with generosity and we want to give YOU free money—no strings attached to this limited, once in a lifetime offer! So come on out and grab a wad today! And if you act now—a free Ipod! (produces Ipod, shows it to empty street. Speaks off microphone.) Goddammit, where is everybody, Raheem?
Raheem: Tell them that it is not Iraqi money, Lion of the Desert!
Bremer: Oh shit, that’s right, I forgot—(into microphone) And remember friends, this is NOT Iraqi currency we’re giving away here, this is U.S. dollars—
(Suddenly the street is filled with thousands of Arabs, clamoring for cash. Another bomb explodes but is ignored. Raheem starts throwing sacks of bills and stacks of cash into the wild, gesticulating crowd.)
Bremer:(into mike) That’s right friends, this is the green stuff we’re talking about here, the U.S. dollar, the official legal tender of the International Monetary Fund, good anywhere in the world—
Raheem: Good heavens, Prince of Diplomats, I knocked that old woman unconscious with a gold bar—
Bremer: (off mike) Fuck her if she can’t take a joke! Keep throwin’, we’ve got to get rid of this stuff before we cross the border! (into mike) It’s free, we’ve got billions to get rid of, it’s all got to go—
(An old man is clutching at Bremer’s trouser leg, pointing to himself)
Old man: I contractor! I contractor with U.S.
Bremer: Yeah? What do you contract, gramps?
Old man: Lamb kebabs!
Bremer:(into mike) Raheem, give this man two million dollars! No, make it three million, he does the mint sauce, too. No, don't thank me--thank you, sir, for supporting the rebuilding effort. (suddenly yells) Hold on, wait a minute, everybody freeze!
(Everybody freezes, clutching cash.)
Bremer: You guys aren’t going to use this money to buy weapons, are you?
Crowd: (as a single voice) No! Never!
Bremer: Then I say—full speed ahead! (throws more cash into the air) Hit ‘em again with that lovely green, Raheem!
(Raheem starts throwing out money again. A missile lands and detonates behind the truck.)
Bremer: Christ! Okay, folks, they’re homing in on us, show’s over. (climbs down, switches off “ice cream jingle.”) We’ve got to close it up, Raheem, we can’t afford to get a flat, we’ve got four more neighborhoods to hit before curfew.
Raheem: (closing back of truck) Right as always, Mighty Benefactor. (He quickly begins pulling all the little American flags off the truck.)
(crowd screams, angry)
Bremer: Don’t worry, folks, we’ll be back as soon as the heat’s off! Keep an eye out for the big white truck with the US flag and the great big dollar signs on the front! Here, kids, help me get the tarp back on it, I’ll give you fifty grand a piece. Hop to it! (jumps into cab, starts truck) Come on, Raheem, let’s blow this popsicle stand, let’s go!
Raheem:(climbing into cab) Would it not be wise to keep at least some of the funds in reserve, Fearless One? For emergencies?
Bremer: What the hell are you talking about, Raheem, half this shit’s Iranian counterfeit anyway. (honks horn) Come on people, clear a path! Get those cripples out of the way, give us a break, we’re trying to help this country out!


Sunday, February 04, 2007

Iraq: New Iraq Plan’s Authors Don’t Think It Will Work

(Editor’s note: the following report was based on an article in the Washington Post.)

Dateline: February 4, 2007

WASHINGTON, D.C.—It seems that even the authors of the latest Bush administration plan to bring stability to Iraq have little confidence that the plan will work.

“I wrote it, and I don’t think it’s going to work,” said one official. “Me neither,” added another. “I wouldn’t want to be the poor bastard who tries to implement this year’s plan.”

“I don't think much of it. Basically our whole plan is full of holes,” said another Bush foreign policy expert. “It depends on a lot of things happening that just aren’t going to happen—hell freezing over, pigs having wings, that sort of stuff.”

When asked why they had formulated a plan that had such little likelihood of success, the officials explained that it was either that or get fired. “We’re not allowed to sound ‘defeatist’” explained one source. “Who knows, something could turn up, Jesus could come back or something. And then we’d have gotten ourselves fired over nothing. These foreign policy jobs are hard to get, you know.”

Several senior officials involved in formulating the political and economic aspects of the administration's strategy agreed to discuss its assumptions and risks on the condition that they not be identified by name. Other sources refused to be even anonymously quoted. Still other sources would only agree to talk about the new Bush plan if they were permitted to wear false moustaches and answer questions about Iraq’s future via a ventriloquist's dummy, while drinking a glass of water.

The strategy's political component centers on replacing deepening Sunni-Shiite-Kurdish divides with a new delineation between "extremists" and "moderates." Moderates are defined as those of all religious and political persuasions who eschew violence. “Basically anybody who hasn’t actually been videotaped cutting someone else’s head off,” explained one official.

What is doubtful is whether there are enough moderates in Iraq to make a real difference. One ventriloquist’s dummy contended that “You could fit all the moderates in Iraq into the hot tub at the Baghdad Hilton and still have room left over for America’s Next Top Plus-Size Model.” And then the dummy gave a scary little laugh. “A-heh-heh-heh-heh!”

The planners agreed that so far Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has said the right things about cracking down on the sectarian violence that is tearing Baghdad apart. But there are worrisome signs. “He said those things from inside a closet,” explained one official. “He had locked himself in there and refused to come out while he said them. And he was using this kind of high-pitched, falsetto voice when he talked about the need to crack down on sectarian violence, so you couldn’t really tell if it was him in there. And he sounded a little sarcastic, too.”

A key element in the current plan calls for all the members of fighting militias to throw down their weapons, form a huge circle, take each other’s arms and play “Ring-around-the-Rosie.” “That is the benchmark of success that our plan calls for by April--May at the latest,” says one of the plan’s authors. “If that doesn’t happen we will know that it’s time for us to come up with another plan.”


Friday, February 02, 2007

Iraq: Astounding Findings of U.S. Intell Agencies!

Stunning headline today, from Reuters!

US intelligence sees elements of Iraq “civil war”

OH MY GOD! You’re kidding me! Get outta here with that! They see elements of a “civil war” in Iraq? They dropped that fucking bombshell--today? Oh my God, OH MY GOD, I’m running around the room in circles right now, tearing out big clumps of hair in shock and disbelief! Right now, in February of 2007--THE INTELLIGENCE GUYS SEE ELEMENTS OF AN IRAQ “CIVIL WAR!”

WAAAGGHHHH! Quick, someone tell the President! How much are we paying them, these intelligence guys? They’re worth every cent. Double it! Double their salaries right now!

How do they do that? How do they figure these things out? They must have some of the finest minds in America—hell, in the WORLD—to be able see something like that, in the present situation in Iraq. It’s amaaaaaaazing! CRIKEY! They take these seemingly unrelated phenomena (years of Shi’ite miltias shooting at Sunni militias, vice versa, month after month after month of civilian massacres and bombings) and somehow—because they’re geniuses, “Wile E. Coyote, Sooooper Geniuses”—after just three years of analysis, they are able to construct this theory (mayhap it is yet too early to call a “conclusion”) that one can “see” “elements of” a “civil war” in Iraq.

You’re shittin’ me! “Oh, go waaayyy…” as my late Irish dad used to say, when presented with some astonishing new information. What else is new, in this report? What other startling conclusions did they come to? Let’s take a quick look through and see:

Paris may be the capital of France…” (Wow!) “we see elements of Catholicism in the Pope’s behavior”…(hmmm. Better keep an eye on that.)… “In response to the question “Does a bear shit in the woods?” we can only say that the Agency has seen elements of this…” I think they may be going out on a limb with that last one, but who knows what they’re relying on to make that conclusion. Satellite photography, probably. That’s right; they’ve probably got a four hundred million dollar satellite out there, orbiting the earth, and it’s probably got digital infrared photographs of a bear taking a shit in the woods in Siberia or someplace. Or maybe the satellite just got some photos of the bear standing near a pile of shit, and our intelligence boys can’t positively state yet that that “shit” came from “that” bear.

They may be waiting for all the facts to come in, before making their final conclusions about the matter. They may be waiting for the “magnified 8000 times” satellite photo that shows the actual contents of the shit that would prove conclusively that it did indeed come out of this particular bear. If these photos show that the shit contains nuts, berries, and “elements of” missing local hikers and campers—then they will be able to state persuasively—if not conclusively, that a bear does—at least on this particular occasion—shit in the woods.

Even so, it would be best to hold our horses before we release this information to the public. We don’t want to start a panic. Perhaps we can put the most controversial part of the assertion in quotes, like Reuters did with the “civil war” in Iraq headline. That way we haven’t committed to anything.

US Intelligence sees evidence of “bear shitting in woods” theory”

There you have it. Tomorrow’s headlines today; at—the Stillwater Tribune.

You’re welcome.