Thursday, May 17, 2007

We're number 3 !!

The folks in the Self Promotion Department brought this to my attention, and asked that I pass it along. It goes without saying that we have been consistently on the front page of Google since our founding in November of 2004, and more times than we can count have been in the top ten rank in Google searches for current political events.

Thanks, everybody.

Alberto Gonzales, White House Enforcer

They said it couldn't be done, but here it is: Gonzo has outdone himself.

You will recall that Gonzo couldn't recall if he was particularly responsible for the firing of at least nine federal district attorneys? Now Gonzo is more or less saying, oh, yeah, I remember now, the guy responsible for firing those DA's wasn't me, it was my deputy, Paul McNulty. I just signed the walking papers.

Warming to his theme, he added, I don't really remember specifically approving those particular firings, even though I might have. I disremember. I now understand that the papers were, in fact, signed and the federal attorneys were fired, maybe by me, but maybe by Sampson. No, wait a minute, it was McNulty. Yeah, McNulty; he's the guy. I'm just his boss.

Bear in mind that I'm not strictly going by the transcript here, but more or less winging it on what I believe the truthiness of the event was. Just like Gonzo, come to think of it. But wait! there's more.

Former Deputy Attorney General James Comey (now shit-canned), testified on the Hill yesterday that when Gonzales was the White House counsel to the Prez, Gonzo tried to strong arm a sick and drug-addled AG John Ashcroft while he was in hospital recovering from a serious gall bladder infection [circa March, 2004] into giving his (Ashcroft's) blessing on a seriously illegal domestic wiretapping program that the Prez had the NSA running. (To their credit, the NSA geeks were acutely nervous about the legality of the program.)

Comey, knowing the past history of Gonzo's weaselly consigliere relationship to the Shrub, ran like a raped ape to Ashcroft's bedside to prevent the kneecapping that Gonzo was surely going to administer to a (presumably) helpless Ashcroft. En route, Comey apparently called FBI Director Mueller, told him what was up, and Director Mueller ordered the on-duty Special Agents at Ashcroft's bedside to make sure that Comey was not barred from entering Ashcroft's room. In other words, that Gonzo and sub-goon Andy Card not be left alone with Ashcroft to do what thugs like G. do to uncooperative colleagues, usually with baseball bats.

[I know this stuff sounds like a bad plot line lifted from a Robert Ludlum spy novel. You ever read any of his books? His plots are as sick and twisted as a Kama Sutra sculpture and just as improbable, but there it is: sworn testimony in front of the fricking Congress.]

What Comey is telling us is that he was sure that Gonzo and the Card were going to smack Ashcroft around until he signed off on the NSA warrantless spying program that was exposed by the New York Times the previous week, the very program admitted to by the Shrub in front of God and everybody else. (Most of us non-MSM types out here beyond the Beltway already knew about the wiretapping, but it took the NYT to announce it "for the record").

This was pure madness, of course, as Gonzo surely knew that what Ashcroft had to say wasn't worth spit; Ashcroft had turned over the AG's office to Comey for the duration of his recovery. Constitutionally, Ashcroft had no standing in terms of proper legal advice while in that hospital bed, especially since he was as wired as a smack slut at the time and knew it. It's that whole "incompetency in office" thing. On the other hand, the Shrub wanted somebody that he respected to give him a pass on the wiretapping program, and Ashcroft was that authority figure. Even George knows that Gonzo is a toadying weasel and his legal advice isn't worth dog vomit.

Ashcroft, while he may be a Holy Roller awaiting the Rapture, is a moral man. To prove it, when Gonzo confronted him and requested his blessing on the dubious - strike that - illegal wiretapping program, Ashcroft said "No, and furthermore, fc*k no." Or words to that effect, according to Comey.

Bitterly disappointed but resolute and undeterred, the Shrub kept the program running anyway, and here we are.

So, Gentle Readers, that's this week's installment of "Washington Does Deadwood," complete with gratuitous profanity.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Being in Iraq can shrink your brain

Ah, this is not good news. This newsflash from tells us of a government-funded study 's just released report stating that veterans of the first Gulf war are suffering from shrunken brains.

Veterans Exhibit Brain Differences

Week of May 14, 2007

Veterans of the first Gulf War who developed numerous health complaints have areas of the brain that are measurably smaller than those of healthier vets, according to a new study. The results of the U.S. government-funded study provide some of the first hard evidence that veterans from the 1990 to 1991 conflict are suffering from a real neurological illness, researchers say. The findings are preliminary and do not confirm that wartime exposures changed the veterans' brains, only that differences exist.
Notice the disclaimer: "the findings are preliminary"... like it's only been 16 freaking years.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Angel returns to the war

US soldiers on convoy duty in Iraq
US soldiers on convoy security detail

Our little buddy Angel went off to the war on Wednesday (he's 24 and a private in the National Guard). He'll be spending about two months in retraining before they ship his Guard unit back to Iraq. Originally, his unit was headed for Kuwait, to a previous assignment- convoy security - but a last minute change of plans (sound familiar?) changed the orders to Baghdad. Yup. He's headed for the meatgrinder.

This is not Angel's first deployment and may not be his last if things remain the way they are, what with no benchmarks or any reasonable guidelines other than "victory."

I asked Angel about that victory stuff, and he responded, "The only thing that matters to me is keeping my buddies' asses covered. That's it."

I quipped, "Yes, indeed, the sweet smell of victory in the morning: the odor of your buddy's 'safe ass'." Angel didn't laugh.

Angel is pretty computer savvy - in fact, he helped me build this very computer that I am blogging on right now - so we are looking forward to hearing from him about conditions on the ground. He cautions against any kind of realtime communications, however. He informs me that the powers-that-be have clamped down pretty hard on blogging from the zone, but he says he'll do what he can.

I told him to keep his head down, and he said, "Yeah, that's what they all say."

Good luck, Angel.

It's still about the oil

US soldier guards Iraq oil facility
US soldier guards Iraqi oil facility

Well, let's see how we're doing there in ol' Iraq.

Hmm, it doesn't look good. General Pretaeus is saying that "there is no military solution"; then he condradicts himself and says, "As citizens feel safer, conditions will be set for the resumption and improvement of basic services."

Duh, how does he figure that citizens will "feel safer"? From what I read, 50,000 Iraqis a month are fleeing the country, as I have previously pointed out. Among those leaving Iraq are the blue-collar technicians who used to run the "basic services." At this rate, there won't be anybody left in the country to vote for the new, unified, and harmonious government, much less "improve" what's left of a country and oil industry in freaking ruins.

President Bush continues - against every standard of sane or reasoned thinking - to hope against hope for some kind of victory in Iraq, any victory, even going so far as to grudgingly start talking about "benchmarks."

However, let's make one thing perfectly clear: the only benchmark that really counts for Bush and his neo-con cabal (and plenty of Democrats are secretly in agreement with these thugs) is the "oil law," and remember, when push comes to shove - fuck "victory" - it's still all about the oil.