Sunday, September 30, 2007

Saturday, September 29, 2007

So Newt's out after all

Too bad. It would have been fun.

Fox News accuses U.S. generals of betrayal


Wow. The right-wingers who have taken it upon themselves to protect American military leaders against criticism suddenly have a huge workload.

You already know about the big dustup over the MoveOn.org ad in The New York Times that dissed Gen. David Petraeus. And we've told you about the episodes involving Rush Limbaugh (here) and American Conservative magazine (here). Well, now Fox News has waxed treasonous with sharp criticism of our valiant military leaders.

Retired Army Col. David Hunt, a military analyst for Fox News, has written a piece for the network's Web site in which he declares: "Our generals are betraying our soldiers..."

The headline on the essay pulls no punches: "Top Military Officials are a Disgrace to Those They Lead."

Isn't it strange that in the few short days since Congress approved resolutions condemning the MoveOn.org ad for daring to question Petraeus, we've had this rash of denunciations of American troops and their leaders by conservatives?

Friday, September 28, 2007

Conservative mag rips Petraeus


What will the pseudo-patriots say about this?

American Conservative magazine says Gen. David Petraeus is a "sycophant" and "a political general of the worst kind -- one who indulges in the politics of accommodation that is Washington’s bread and butter but has thereby deferred a far more urgent political imperative, namely, bringing our military policies into harmony with our political purposes."

The piece by Andrew J. Bacevich says Petraeus "has failed his country. History will not judge him kindly."

Now, we'll see if the right-wingers who got their undies in a bunch over MoveOn.org's famous anti-Petraeus ad in The New York Times have anything to say about this far worse slap at their hero.

Let's not expect much. So far, these wingnuts haven't raised any fuss about Rush Limbaugh's latest slander of U.S. troops.

UPDATE: John McCain and Mitt Romney have criticized Limbaugh for calling antiwar U.S. troops "phony soldiers."

The Boss

Dig it (and stay with it past the first song; there's a lot of music on this clip):

http://video.msn.com/?mkt=en-us&brand=msnbc&vid=45faa98f-3264-490d-8bd1-72e72cbf62b5&playlist=videoByUuids:uuids:c586e3a4-0373-444a-b03b-046cce897194,870b2cf1-5acb-4681-9bb8-a2f6c04c2795,8cb4d767-ae3f-468d-827a-9270fc07839a,e717d3c9-de72-4daf-9664-d55ce7cb9e00,d7ecb4b7-842f-4a86-92b7-32d6a9739349,7bf48160-0f5f-4af7-ad19-5b4c36ecc355&from=Msnbc&tab=m368

Ah, baseball!


Despite all the misfortune that has befallen it through its long history, our National Pastime is experiencing its umpteenth rebirth as it heads into the final weekend of the 2007 regular season.

Attendance is at an all-time high. There is greater parity among the 30 major league teams than ever before. Excitement is at a fevered pitch with all four playoff berths in the National League still up for grabs among seven teams. A new generation of superstars is emerging. The game has survived the steroids scandal and all its other attempts at suicide.

Yes, the most democratic of our three major sports (football and basketball depend too much on players of outsized physical proportions --7-footers and 320-pounders) is in good shape.

What fun these next three days will be for fans from the concrete canyons of New York City to the natural canyons of Arizona, from historic Philly to tacky Tinseltown, from the heartland precincts of Chicago and Milwaukee to the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.

Baseball. What a magical institution.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Limbaugh: Lots of U.S. troops are '"phony"


Recovering drug addict and serial prevaricator Rush Limbaugh, the talk radio blowhard who tells America's dimwits what to think, says the thousands of U.S. troops who have indicated any misgivings about the war in Iraq are "phony soldiers."

One wonders if this slander of our men and women in uniform will engender the kind of umbrage among Republican conservatives occasioned by the recent MoveOn.org newspaper add questioning the veracity of Gen. David Petraeus.

FLASH: THE WAR IS OVER! WE WON!


The number of Iraqi insurgents who have been killed or captured now exceeds the number the U.S. military said we were fighting.

By God, this is cause for celebration. George Bush's manhood finally has been validated after decades of doubt in the wake of his chickenshit avoidance of service in the Vietnam War, which he had otherwise enthusiastically supported.

Watch your local media for times and locations of the victory parades.

Oh, and stand by for the start of the war against Iran, which will happen any day now.

Run, Newtie, run!


Welcome to the race, Mr. Gingrich.

You're not going to be elected president, but you might just raise the intellectual level of the rhetoric among Republican hopefuls. (Of course, that also could be achieved by any lunatic wandering the streets in a snot-covered sweatshirt, muttering about the bastards who stole some brilliant invention of his.)

You're a fun guy, Newtie. I've always said so.

Navy to pay $600,000 to rid itself of swastika


After 40 years, the U.S. Navy finally is going to do something about a swastika-shaped barracks complex at a base in Coronado, Calif.

Who were the idiots who designed this place to begin with?

Karl Rove meets Harry Potter

This is funny:

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Teach your childrens well


George W. Bush, the pride of Andover Prep and Yale University, declared today that "childrens do learn when standards are high."

The man has a problem with words...among other things.


Must-See TV


Ooh! I can hardly wait for this.

Katie gets a well-deserved smackdown


How did this person ever get the seat once filled by the likes of Walter Cronkite on the network where Edward R. Murrow once worked?

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Not to be rude, but where's this Abboud dude?


It's been a couple of months now since Barrington Hills Mayor Bob Abboud announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination to challenge incumbent Republican Don Manzullo in the race for Congress in the 16th District of Illinois.

Since then, however, Abboud has been silent. Oh, he's got a Web site (such as it is), but there's nothing new on it. All manner of issues and events have arisen in recent weeks, and we hear nothing about them from this guy.

If Abboud is going to have a chance to win in this traditionally Republican district, he'd better get off his tractor pretty soon. (At least his dog seems eager for action.)

Eyes Wide Open

A project of the American Friends Service Committee, Eyes Wide Open is an exhibit in which empty boots represent American troops killed in Iraq and empty shoes represent dead Iraqi civilians:


Have sympathy for global warming skeptics


Gosh, I can't help but feel sorry for the few folks who are still skeptical of global warming reports. The poor bastards!

These people are forever looking for signs that the climate situation isn't as bad as Al Gore and his ilk make it out to be. And they're forever looking for evidence that the general public isn't buying the alarmism over global warming. Their quest on both counts, however, is futile.

Some of you may remember the fun we had with the deniers a few months ago when they got all excited about a poll indicating widespread skepticism about global warming -- only to have their enthusiasm dampened when it turned out that the poll was totally bogus.

Well, now they're facing even more discouraging news. There's a new BBC World Service poll -- an honest-to-God scientific survey -- showing that people all over the planet are convinced that human activity is contributing to global warming and want something done about it.

The question arises: What are the skeptics going to do now? Most climatologists disagree with them. Most of the world's population disagrees with them. The only people still on their side are the creationists, the Limbaugh dittoheads, the Fox News crowd and assorted other mouth-breathers.

The skeptics are left only with the barely comforting thought that when they're finally proven wrong on this climate-change thing beyond any doubt, the human race might well have been made extinct by then, thereby sparing these idiots the humiliation and derision they'll so richly deserve.

Pity them.

Ralph Nader, go to hell!


So-called consumer advocate Ralph Nader seems interested in offering more help to the Republican Party.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Here Comes Success

(H/T to DailyKos)

Country music stars desert Bush


Toby Keith (left) and various other country musicians suddenly are turning out antiwar songs -- much to the dismay of some pseudo-patriotic diehards among their fans.

Let's not forget, however, that the Dixie Chicks were dissenters before dissent was cool.

Remnants of GOP wax nostalgic


The few remaining members of the Republican Party are pining for the good old days of Ronald Reagan and the even gooder and older days of a world without the United Nations.

Focus on the Family moving to Tehran?

News item: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said today that there are no homosexuals in his country.

Hmmm. Does this mean that Dr. James Dobson will be moving his operations there?

The Revolt of the Generals


John Batiste (right) and more than 20 other retired U.S. generals have spoken out against the war in Iraq, putting the lie to the slander that antiwar activism is the exclusive province of leftists, academics and shirkers.

One of those generals, John Johns, says it's "a moral duty for us to speak out in a democracy against policies which you think are unwise."

Not exactly a boon to downtown Rockford

This video of a shooting incident in which two people were wounded early Sunday isn't going to do much to encourage patronage of bars and restaurants in downtown Rockford:

Some black people aren't so bad


Illinois Commerce Commission Chairman Charles Box served three terms (1989-2001) as mayor of Rockford, an impressive record for a black man in an overwhelmingly white community.

Box, a graduate of Dartmouth University and the University of Michigan Law School, faced surprisingly little race-baiting during his tenure at City Hall. There was, however, one episode about which he told me but which drew no public attention. It involved a School Board member whose racism was so deep-seated that the guy probably didn't even recognize it in himself.

The prejudice came to the fore when this guy said to Box that he was the "smartest black person I've ever known."

I was reminded of this matter when I read the other day about how Fox News blowhard Bill O'Reilly expressed great surprise at having had a pleasant experience in a New York restaurant operated by black folks.

I just can't resist

Having raised the subject of "The Civil War" miniseries in the previous post, I can't resist passing along this clip, the latter half of which includes a recitation of Union soldier Sullivan Ballou's last letter home to his wife.

It is incredibly moving:

"Ashokan Farewell"

I saw the first installment of Ken Burns' miniseries on World War II last night on PBS. It was good but somehow not as affecting as his masterpiece on the Civil War.

I think the difference is that Jay Unger's beautifully haunting "Ashokan Farewell" served as the theme music for the Civil War series.

Check it out here:

Whoremonger wants to give $100,000 from taxpayers to flat-earthers

Stories like this give me opportunities to write fun headlines like the one above. Thank you, David Vitter.

Politics in Black and White


Paul Krugman has some interesting observations on the subject of race and politics.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Fie on Feinstein


I've always had a vague dislike of Dianne Feinstein, and now Glenn Greenwald has articulated my feelings:


California's Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein provides a perfect case study for understanding why the Congress has done virtually nothing to oppose the most extreme Bush policies, while doing much actively to support it.
Feinstein represents a deep blue state and was just easily re-elected to her third term last year. She won't run for re-election, if she ever does, until 2012, when she will be 80 years old. Her state easily re-elected a Senator, Barbara Boxer, with a much more liberal voting record than Feinstein's. Political fear cannot possibly explain her loyal support for the Bush agenda on the most critical issues decided by the Senate.
Additionally, Feinstein is a 74-year-old divorced Jewish woman currently on her third husband, and it is thus extremely unlikely that she harbors any hopes of running in the future on a national ticket. She has as secure a political position as any politician in the country. Whatever explains what she does, it has nothing to do with "spinelessness" or fear. What would she possibly fear?
And yet, her votes over the last several years, and especially this year after she was safely re-elected, are infinitely closer to the Bush White House and her right-wing Senate colleagues than they are to the base of her party or to the constituents she allegedly represents.

More on Dubya's fear of horses

I told you here yesterday that George W. Bush, self-styled cowboy, reportedly is afraid of horses.

Today, I've got a video from a few years ago that puts the issue in context:

Extremists rewrite "God Bless America"

Is nothing sacred?

All but a handful of the Republican presidential candidates took part the other night in a so-called Values Voters Debate in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., hosted by several leaders of the religious right.

A choir from Ohio enlivened the proceedings with a rendition of "God Bless America" in which the lyrics were changed to an anti-American litany of the nation's wrongs as perceived by religious extremists.

The new lyrics are as follows:


Why should God bless America?
She’s forgotten he exists
And has turned her back
On everything that made her what she is

Why should God stand beside her
Through the night with the light from his hand?
God have mercy on America
Forgive her sin and heal our land

The courts ruled prayer out of our schools
In June of ‘62
Told the children “you are your own God now
So you can make the rules”
O say can you see what that choice
Has cost us to this day
America, one nation under God, has gone astray

Why should God bless America?
She’s forgotten he exists
And has turned her back on everything
That made her what she is

Why should God stand beside her
Through the night with the light from his hand?
God have mercy on America
Forgive her sins and heal our land

In ‘73 the Courts said we
Could take the unborn lives
The choice is yours don’t worry now
It’s not a wrong, it’s your right

But just because they made it law
Does not change God’s command
The most that we can hope for is
God’s mercy on our land

Why should God bless America?
She’s forgotten he exists
And has turned her back on everything
That made her what she is

Why should God stand beside her
Through the night with the light from his hand?
God have mercy on America
Forgive her sins and heal our land

There are only two things wrong those new lyrics: One, they're full of lies. Two, they lack even a hint of homophobia.

Closeted gay Republicans unite!


Frank Rich says Larry Craig should be spared an unjust execution -- and he's right.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

This land is your land

Enjoy:

Is Georgie skeered of horsies?


The Rascal doesn't ordinarily traffick in such trivialities, but this is too delicious to pass up, especially in light of the great importance your typical Republican male attaches to macho symbolism.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Rudy's a funny guy


Rudy Giuliani still leads the pack in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, despite the fact that he regularly spews nonsense like this.

God, I hope the Democratic candidate, whoever it might be, gets to run against this idiot.

War profiteers wallowing


Wholesale corruption in the Pentagon is under investigation, but the Republican politicians are more concerned about those pesky liberals saying nasty things about poor little Gen. Petraeus.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Your "liberal" media (cont.)

Eric Boehlert analyzes the mainstream media's clownishly imcompetent handing of the controversy over the MoveOn.org advertisement dissing Gen. David Petraeus.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The general, the ad, the war and the polls

Arianna Huffington offers an overview.

And Kos has the numbers on how badly the Petraeus report flopped with the public (no matter the hysteria among right-wing pseudo-patriots over the ad questioning the general's veracity).

Monday, September 17, 2007

The Islamic boogeyman is overrated

So says Steve Chapman in an excellent column.

Did Dave Syverson put him up to it?


Three years ago, Illinois State Sen. Dave Syverson of Rockford played a central role in recruiting right-wing madman Alan Keyes (right) to run as the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate against Democrat Barack Obama. (The GOP primary election winner, Jack Ryan, had been forced off the ticket because of a sex scandal.)

Well, of course, Keyes got a comparative handful of votes, and Obama went on to become a political superstar.

Ah, but Keyes has never been one to say die. Now he's running for president. Maybe Syverson will endorse him.

Why aren't we celebrating today?


Today is Constitution Day, the 220th anniversary of the completion of work on our nation's founding document, without which there would be no United States of America -- at least not as we know it.

So where are the parades? Why isn't this a national holiday? Why do so many Americans have little or no knowledge of what's in the Constitution, how it got there and what it means?

Eric Lane and Michael Oreskes have some interesting observations on this subject.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Greenspan says the war is about oil


Alan Greenspan, lifelong Republican and former chairman of the Federal Reserve, says in his new book that the war in Iraq is "largely about oil."

Gee, I always thought the war was about defending my right to dissent against it. That's what the pseudo-patriots usually say: Our troops are in Iraq defending our freedom. If they weren't there, I wouldn't have the right to speak my mind.

But now Greenspan says it's all about oil. Gosh! Who knew?

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Your "liberal" media

The popular theory among conservatives that the mainstream media tilt toward the Democrats, especially with respect to the war in Iraq, is demolished at length in this piece by Jamison Foser.

Friday, September 14, 2007

A math lesson

This is from MoveOn.org:


Uh-oh! Newtie's making sense again


As I've noted here on several occasions recently, Newt Gingrich has been speaking some truths of late.

Today, for example, Gingrich told a group of reporters that the Republican presidential nominee next year will be toast if he doesn't represent a "clean break" from the policies of George W. Bush.

I, for one, hope that Newtie takes the presidential plunge himself. I won't vote for him, but I'm sure he'll make the process much more interesting.

Another example of how stupid Americans are


A new survey shows that less than one-third of the American populace is aware that rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court cannot be appealed to another court.

Such ignorance reminds me of an episode of 12 or 15 years ago when I was in a newsroom and overheard one side of a phone conversation between a young reporter and an attorney in the local prosecutor's office.

The attorney apparently had called with news that a defendant in a criminal trial had been acquitted of the charge against him. The reporter asked if prosecutors planned to appeal the acquittal to a higher court. There was a pause before the reporter asked the attorney to explain something he apparently had just mentioned, something about a legal doctrine known as "double jeopardy."

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Prebuttal to Bush's speech

This is from the National Security Network:

Petraeus for president?

The general reportedly has big political ambitions.

UPDATE: Newtie's got the itch, too.

UPDATE II: Petraeus won't likely get a vote from Admiral William Fallon, who considers him an "ass-kissing little chicken-shit."

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

It's fun to feel superior


I suppose I should be alarmed at the fact that most Americans, according to a poll released today, believe that the nation's Founding Fathers wrote Christianity into the U.S. Constitution.

But I'm not alarmed. Instead, I take great pleasure -- smug pleasure, to be sure -- in knowing that most of my fellow citizens are so stupid. It gives me a feeling of superiority to have actually read the Constitution and to have noticed that it makes no mention whatever of God, or Jesus, or the Creator or any such thing.

Hey, world, look at me! I'm fully aware that the Constitution is entirely a secular document. Most Americans can't say that. They're not aware. Most Americans are stupid. I'm so proud of myself!

There was a time when such widespread ignorance worried me. What's going to become of us, I asked myself, with so many of our people so unaware of even the most basic of America's founding principles? But I learned to chill. There isn't much I can do about it, anyway.

Most Americans also say they don't believe in evolution, despite the overwhelming scientific evidence supporting it. Not much I can do about that, either. All I can do is feel intellectually superior, which, as I say, is not without its pleasures.

Petraeus report not a big hit at the Pentagon


Those Americans who were favorably impressed this week by the rhetoric from Gen. David Petraeus need to know that not everybody at the Pentagon was buying it, as Newsweek reports:


NEWSWEEK has learned that a separate internal report being prepared by a Pentagon working group will “differ substantially” from Petraeus’s recommendations, according to an official who is privy to the ongoing discussions but would speak about them only on condition of anonymity. An early version of the report, which is currently being drafted and is expected to be completed by the beginning of next year, will “recommend a very rapid reduction in American forces: as much as two-thirds of the existing force very quickly, while keeping the remainder there.” The strategy will involve unwinding the still large U.S. presence in big forward operation bases and putting smaller teams in outposts. “There is interest at senior levels [of the Pentagon] in getting alternative views” to Petraeus, the official said. Among others, Centcom commander Admiral William Fallon is known to want to draw down faster than Petraeus.
John Arquilla, an intelligence and counterinsurgency expert at the Naval Postgraduate School, is even harsher in his assessment of Petraeus. “I think Colin Powell used dodgy information to get us into the war, and Petraeus is using dodgy information to keep us there,” he said. “His political talking points are all very clear: the continued references he made to the danger of Al Qaeda in Iraq, for example, even though it represents only somewhere between 2 and 5 percent of the total insurgency. The continued references to Iran, when in fact the Iranians have had a lot to do with stability in the Shiite portion of the country. And it's not at all clear why things are a little better now. Is it because there are more troops, or is it because we're negotiating with the insurgents and have moved to small operating outposts? On any given day we don't have more than 20,000 troops operating. The glacial pace of reductions beggars the imagination.” [...]
According to a former senior civilian official in the Coalition Provisional Authority, Petraeus is a “total performer.” This reporter observed Petraeus’s political skills up close while flying with him above the Iraqi city of Mosul in a Blackhawk helicopter in early 2004. Speaking through headphones over the loud whirring of the chopper engines, Petraeus pointed out to then-Iraq administrator L. Paul Bremer III how many satellite dishes had popped up on Iraqi homes during the general’s tenure as commander of the 101st Airborne Division. Citing the dishes as a sign of progress, he proposed that Bremer go national with Petraeus’s “Mosul’s most wanted” TV show, launched to get locals to call in with insurgent tips. And Petraeus called in a large press gaggle to observe training exercises at his local Iraqi military training academy. Later, back in Baghdad, Bremer shook his head and laughed indulgently. “He loves headlines,” Bremer said.

What liberal media?

The syndicated columns in American newspapers are more often conservative than liberal.

Ads for the surge

I like this:


Seven brave soldiers (cont.)


Last month, we referred here to seven U.S. soldiers who had bravely spoken out against the war in Iraq.

Today, we learned that two of those seven soldiers have been killed, and a third has been shot in the head but is expected to survive.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Light blogging alert

Work crews will begin major renovations here at Rockford Rascal World Headquarters on Tuesday morning, which means blogging likely will be light at best until Saturday morning.

Meanwhile, lots of dandy stuff is accessible from our archives on the right-hand side of this page.

Why does the V.A. hate our vets?


An internal investigation shows that V.A. medical facilities have been giving vets the run around while top bureaucrats have been lying about it to Congress.

In one case, a veteran with eye problems had to wait 259 days for a scheduled appointment at a V.A. clinic.

Liberals are more intelligent than conservatives


This study proves it.

If the Petraeus Report doesn't snap your stick...

Check out this report (and wonder, when it's over, why the pseudo-patriotic jingoists in this country won't face up to the difficult truths):


Guess who REALLY hates our troops -- Iraqis!

A new poll commissioned by the BBC, among others, says that most of the Iraqi people want U.S. troops out of their country, and most think the surge has only made matters worse, and most think attacks on Americans are justified.

So, why do we continue to waste the lives of our sons and daughters over there? Why do we continue to waste tens of billions of dollars on this misadventure? Why do those Americans who support this nonsense consider themselves patriotic?

Sunday, September 9, 2007

"Universal Soldier"

In anticipation of Gen. David Petraeus's report on Monday concerning the war in Iraq, let's take a few minutes to ponder the Buffy Sainte-Marie song "Universal Soldier," as rendered by Scottish folk-rocker Donovan:

The pols should heed what this guy says


Matthew Dowd, who was chief strategist for President Bush's re-election campaign in 2004, offers this analysis of how Americans view the war in Iraq.

Politicians of all stripes, but especially the Democrats, would do well to consider its implications.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Most Americans are still cowardly, unpatriotic, cut-and-run surrender monkeys

Despite all the rhetoric to the contrary from most of the Republican presidential candidates, most of the blunderbusses on talk radio and the entire right wing of the blogosphere, most Americans still think the war in Iraq is wrong and want our troops withdrawn.

Oh, and most folks also expect that Gen. David Petraeus will be peddling exaggerations, if not falsehoods, when he reports to Congress next week on how the war is going.

Here's the skinny from the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll.

Xenophobes froth at Rudy's truism


Rudy Giuliani managed to say something true Friday, and much of Republicandom, which generally shuns truth like the plague, recoiled in horror.

Rudy said (brace yourself) that illegal immigration is not a crime. "I know that's very hard for people to understand," he added, "but it's not a federal crime."

Mitt Romney, among others, waxed apoplectic at Giuliani's audacity. Not a federal crime? The nerve of the guy!

Indeed, illegal immigration is not a federal crime, which means the Republican candidates for president are now likely to scream for adoption of a law making it a federal crime. They'll probably also want the death penalty for illegal immigrants who happen to be gay.

Stretch of I-90 named for Jane Addams


As a long-time admirer of social reformer Jane Addams, I'm pleased to see that a 79-mile stretch of Interstate 90 between Chicago and the Rockford area has been named for her.

Addams, who was born 147 years ago this past Thursday in Cedarville, a few miles north of Freeport, is generally recognized by historians as one of the most influential women in American history. She's seen as the godmother of modern social work and was instrumental in the establishment of juvenile courts, child-labor laws, public health reforms, the 8-hour workday and countless other advances.

She was the founder of Hull House, the famed social settlement in Chicago, and was a founding member of both the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, among other organizations.

She also was the first person to win an academic degree from what later became Rockford College.

In 1931, Addams became the first American woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize. Four years later, she died at the age of 74 and was buried in a family plot in Cedarville.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Osama who? Oh, yeah! He's the guy who got away when Bush sent our avengers to Iraq


Osama bin Laden has always been a weird dude, but never more so than on his latest video. I mean, the dyed (or fake) beard, the unlikely pitch for lower taxes, the reference to the subprime mortgage crisis, the taunting of the Democratic Party -- the man was riffing all over the place, and doing it in a strangely stiff manner.

He even mentioned global warming (which mention, I'm afraid, is only going to embolden the deniers; I can hear them chortling now: "Global warming? Come on. Who you gonna believe? Al Gore and Osama bin Laden? Or Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter?")

Here's a transcript of bin Laden's rap. And here's Josh Marshall's initial take on the matter, with which I'm inclined to agree.

Big Jim is for Rudy -- but why?

Former Illinois Gov. James Thompson has endorsed Rudy Giuliani for the Republican presidential nomination, which is cause for wonder given Big Jim's erstwhile reputation for having at least half a brain.

Apparently, Thompson hasn't seen this:

Thursday, September 6, 2007

McCain has said it again


Remember last winter when John McCain and Barack Obama riled some folks by suggesting that American lives have been "wasted" in Iraq?

Well, McCain said much the same thing last night during the Republican presidential debate in New Hampshire.

By way of claiming that he was presciently early in his dissatisfaction with how the Bush administration prosecuted the war in its early stages, McCain said: "Back in 2003, amid criticism from my fellow Republicans, I spoke strongly against the then Rumsfeld strategy, which I knew was doomed to failure and [would] cause so much needless sacrifice."

According to the English language I learned in school back in the 1940's and '50s, the term "needless sacrifice" is pretty much synonymous with the word "waste."

But I've yet to hear any pseudo-patriots taking McCain to task for what he said last night.

Of course, the lives lost in this stupid war have, in fact, been wasted.

POSTSCRIPT: On this blog, Dan Balz of the Washinton Post has an item about McCain's performance in last night's debate and about prospects for a rebound in the Arizona senator's bid for the presidency.

(Balz, by the way, lived just down the street from me when we were growing up in Freeport. Oddly enough, there were two other future journalists in the neighborhood. Must have been something in the water.)

Congressional Democrats are unpopular?

For several months now, conservative bloggers have delighted in misinterpreting poll results showing deep public dissatisfaction with the Democratic-led Congress.

The right-wingers would have us believe that the polls suggest a popular preference for the policies of the Bush admininistration and the Republican Party.

The truth, of course, is that much of the disapproval of Congress stems from the failure of Democrats to more strongly oppose Bush's war policy.

Lest anyone get the idea that there likely will be a return of Congress to Republican control next year, consider the latest Rasmussen poll showing Democrats with a lead of 18 percentage points over Republicans on a generic congressional ballot.

Boo Man has more on the subject here.

More on juggling Iraq casualty figures

Twice in recent days (here and via the first link therein), I've told you of how the U.S. government is playing games with casualty figures in the war in Iraq.

The Washington Post has more on the matter.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Will the media fail us again?


When the U.S. government's long-awaited reports on the war in Iraq are issued this month, what will newspapers and other media have to say about the matter

Recent history doesn't give us much cause to expect that they'll be forthright.

How stupid can one person be?


Here's the answer.

Juggling the numbers


Last week, I warned you here that the Pentagon was playing games with casualty figures from the war in Iraq.

Steve Benen at Crooks and Liars has more today on the same subject.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Light blogging


I've got jury duty, so blogging will be pretty light until further notice.


Check out my archives on the right, if you've a mind to.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

I don't like the sound of this


This might be just a lot of hooey. But, then again, it might not be.

UPDATE: I don't like the sound of this, either. Or this.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Bad year ahead for GOP


The 2008 election season starts in earnest next week with the passing of Labor Day, and the year poses grim prospects for the Republican Party.

Yeah, Larry Craig's announcement today that he'll resign from the Senate means that his scandal soon will be off the front pages, but the GOP's problems still loom large.

Joe Sudbay surveys the situation here.

British general slams Rummy on Iraq


The guy who led the British army during the invasion of Iraq is out with a book in which he labels former U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumseld's war policy as "intellectually bankrupt."

Gen. Sir Mike Jackson also says the U.S. government depends too much on its military in the fight against global terrorism.

Bush's bogus case for war with Iran


Ray McGovern, a retired CIA officer and now an executive with a church-affiliated publishing venture, warns that George W. Bush and Dick Cheney are hell-bent for war against Iran.