Thursday, December 14, 2006

"Dick of the Week" Returns

And Michael Crichton has it locked up. More to come.


If I ever take up mountainclimbing or museum burglary, I know what I'll use as a grappling hook. A giant set of iPod earbuds. These little bastards get tangled on everything. Forget trying to get them out of your bag or pocket, I just tried to pick them up off my desk and they snagged a big pair of scissors and wouldn't let go! Grrrr...

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Bush: "I Won't Be Rushed"

Yeah, take your fucking time, asshole. Not like this is a matter of life and death or anything.

You spent the whole fall telling us to wait for the Iraq Study Group Report. Now that it doesn't say what you wanted, and you are running out of places to look for an opinion that sounds like yours, you tell us (and the troops and Iraqis) that you "won't be rushed"

No fucking shit. We've been in Iraq longer than we were in World War II already. We know you won't be rushed, we also know you don't know what the fuck you're doing. The only question left is when you'll admit it.

Looking at that smiling group of sociopaths up there makes we want to go fucking ballistic. Where's Al Capone when you need him?

McCain: Check Your Shorts

Not two minutes ago, a coworker was in here, just giddy about Barack Obama, and ready to vote for him for President and annoint him the next JFK. I think Obama shows tremendous potential. I think he'd make a great President, but I do sort of wish he'd be Gore's Veep first.

Anyway, 2008 is a long way off. Not necessarily in terms of campaign time, after all, candidates have already started gearing things up, but in terms of what the country and the world will look like in two years. Iraq could be a full-on inferno with 10,000+ US troops dead or Bush may have declared victory and bugged out. There's no way to know.

One thing that does worry me is that the Dem nominee will have to face John McCain. Lots of folks have said McCain will never get the nomination, he doesn't have the religious right's approval. Well, he's been addressing that. And I suspect unless somebody I'm not thinking about comes on the landscape, no Republican is going to stop him from becoming the nominee. I think McCain is a formidable, if not insurmountable, candidate. He is immensely popular among voters from both parties and independents, and most importantly, the media just absolutely gushes over the guy. Maybe not Rush Limbaugh, but just about everybody else up to and including Jon Stewart. Meanwhile our guys get compared to the President of Iran and I'm sure people are warming up the next round of Gore-Robot jokes. McCain gets to parade around with his bullshit "maverick / straight talk" image as some kind of bulletprooof suit.

So, I summed up my conversation with my coworker by saying something bad (meaning coverage) has to happen to McCain. The press needs to finally wake up and stop being his PR department, or we're going to have a tough time no matter who we nominate.

Well, I turn back to my computer and the first thing I read is that "something bad" might be coming courtesy of Bush and his reverse-Midas "Everything Turns to Shit" Touch. There have already been hints that the White House might be angling for McCain to be Bush's successor—but I'm not so sure McCain wants to be endorsed by these fuck-ups. His appeal is his "outsider" status. His phony "truth to power" disagreements with the D.C. establishment. Sure, I suppose McCain would appreciate any backrooom string-pulling, but nothing out in the open. Nothing like adopting McCain's red herring Iraq strategy and actually using it...
As President Bush weighs new policy options for Iraq, strong support has coalesced in the Pentagon behind a military plan to “double down” in the country with a substantial buildup in American troops, an increase in industrial aid and a major combat offensive against Muqtada Sadr, the radical Shiite leader impeding development of the Iraqi government.

“I think it is worth trying,” a defense official said. “But you can’t have the rhetoric without the resources. This is a double down” — the gambling term for upping a bet.

As Steve Benen says:
This strikes me as a spectacularly bad idea. But for the sake of discussion, let’s put aside the fact that this hasn’t worked before, the fact that this will put an unconscionable strain on the U.S. military, the fact that military leaders on the ground don’t believe this will work, the fact that Iraqi violence is likely to worsen due to the unpopularity of U.S. troop presence, and the fact that the Bush gang hasn’t any idea what they’d do if “double down” doesn’t work, and instead look at the politics for a moment.

In this scenario, if Bush actually commits to 20,000 additional U.S. troops, John McCain will almost certainly be terrified. Bush is gambling by embracing the policy, but he’s also gambling with McCain’s presidential plans.

Just a few weeks ago, McCain insisted that “we will not win this war” without additional combat forces in Iraq. It appeared to be part of a calculated strategy whereby McCain could separate himself from Bush’s failed policy by calling for additional troops he didn’t expect the president to send. As Robert Reich explained last month, this is a way for McCain to “effectively cover his ass. It will allow him to say, ‘If the President did what I urged him to do, none of this would have happened.’”

Except now Bush appears poised to do what McCain has urged him to do. If it doesn’t work, McCain will be left in an untenable position going into the 2008 race — he’ll have a strong degree of “ownership” of an incredibly disastrous and unpopular war as voters are making up their minds about who to elect as their next president.

And Digby adds:
“McCain is positioning himself to be Lyndon Johnson in this thing without even becoming president.”

Sending in more troops is a crazy idea, but it’s the kind of crazy idea that Bush is looking for. And it is the kind of crazy idea that will make the country turn on John McCain. I seriously doubt he ever thought it anyone would do this — and I doubt he thought through the political ramifications of calling for 20,000.

He’ll be in big trouble if Bush decides to do what he wants. By ‘08, this war will be a dead albatross around his neck. But then, McCain has always been too cutesy by half on this — he deserves to be strangled by his own arrogant posturing. Who did he think he was, claiming that he could have “won” this thing if only the country had listened to him. It was always unwinnable and he’s a lying, opportunistic piece of garbage. If Bush sticks the shiv in St. John’s back one last time before he leaves office, it will be poetic justice.

I'm not sure if the White House cares one way or the other about McCain—positioning him for 2008 or as Digby says "sticking in the shiv," I think they are swingling blindly on Iraq right now, but McCain may be poised to be the one who pays the biggest (political) price.

UPDATE: Not to be taken tooo seriously, but I found this comment at Kevin Drum's interesting...
At the risk of getting lumped in with Bill Frist making diagnoses via video, McCain looks to be using tricks old men use to make it look like they still have it (ex. short bursts of energy when the cameras are rolling). This is obvious to healthcare providers now. We see it a lot when the patient senses we are about to recommend to his (it's almost always a man) family that they take his car keys). It will be obvious to everyone in two years.

We'll see...

What Not to Not Wear

A tie apparently. Or you're a terrorist. Or something.

CNN jackass Jeff Greenfield thinks that the way Barack Obama dresses on the road reminds him of somebody...
“The senator was in New Hampshire over the weekend, sporting what’s getting to be the classic Obama look. Call it business casual, a jacket, a collared shirt, but no tie.

“It is a look the senator seems to favor. And why not? It is dressy enough to suggest seriousness of purpose, but without the stuffiness of a tie, much less a suit. There is a comfort level here that reflects one of Obama’s strongest political assets, a sense that he is comfortable in his own skin, that he knows who he is.

“But, in the case of Obama, he may be walking around with a sartorial time bomb. Ask yourself, is there any other major public figure who dresses the way he does? Why, yes. It is Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who, unlike most of his predecessors, seems to have skipped through enough copies of “GQ” to find the jacket-and-no-tie look agreeable.

“And maybe that’s not the comparison a possible presidential contender really wants to evoke…. [I]t’s one thing to have a last name that sounds like Osama and a middle name, Hussein, that is probably less than helpful. But an outfit that reminds people of a charter member of the axis of evil, why, this could leave his presidential hopes hanging by a thread. Or is that threads?

Stupidest. Political. Analysis. Ever.

Yeah, that Jimmy Kimmel is up to no good, too.

[h/t Carpetbagger]

UPDATE: [via TPM] Apparently Greenfield was "joking" and cannot believe anybody would take him seriously... Well, Jeff, your boneheaded network cohorts did, and if it really was a joke, it wasn't funny, and I am pretty damn sure you would never have made it about any politician who didn't have a Muslim-sounding name. Dick.

Link Dump

Jack "The Bush-Ripper" Cafferty brings it on. Jack's packing an Olbermannesque editorial into caplet size on a nearly daily basis now. This one is worth a viewing.

Dollar Bill Jefferson. The corrupt Louisiana Democrat with ninety large in his freezer? Well, he won his House runoff election this past weekend and is ready to assume office once again, much to the dismay of the Democrats who DID run a candidate against him. There have been debates about how he should be handled—refuse to let him take office? Let him take office, then expel him? Do nothing? I think Mark Kleiman has it right.

And until then, Nancy Pelosi is taking the proper first step.

What's Behind Door Number Four? Pelosi blew this one however... She correctly bypassed Bush-hawk Jane Harmon and one-time corrupt judge Alcee Hastings for the top spot on the House Intelligence Committee, but her choice of Silvestri Reyes looks like a bad pick.

Pierced Earmarks Maybe the do-nothing Republicans should have finished a spending bill or two before bailing. Because now they get nothing:
The announcement was made last night by the incoming chairmen of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees, who also said they would impose a moratorium on new congressional earmarks, targeted appropriations for special projects in members' home districts. None would be part of the proposed funding resolution, killing hundreds that are pending in the unfinished spending bills.

Good for the Dems.

Drop By "The Neighborhood" Mike asks when is enough enough? A good discussion ensues...

12 Days... Clever T's fit in stockings...

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Just dropping by...

Yeah, I'm still kicking. Just been busy over the last couple weeks. Actually earning my paycheck during the day and spending time with the family (and my pillow) at home.

What's new with me? Well, my daughter and I walked in on a holdup, and my poor 8 months pregnant wife was already in the store. Nobody needs that shit. My daughter and I walked into the store just as this asshole pulled his gun out on the cashier—chaos ensues. Fortunately, we were able to back out the door moments later and escape to the parking lot, where my daughter was treated to the sight of the police also brandishing their weapons. Meanwhile (and unbeknownst to me at the time) Mrs. Furious was able to escape out the back of the store with a few other customers through the stock rooom, and she then had a panic-fueled run around the back of the plaza to try and catch us at the video store before we went to the supermarket to meet her. Of course had already left and were now huddling between cars in the parking lot (my wife had the keys). For a brief moment we each imagined the other trapped in the store with the gunman, when in fact we had all escaped. A passerby alerted my wife that we might be in the parking lot and we were reunited moments later. Since our car was directly in front of the store in the "expectant mom" spot, we were relegated to the coffee shop around the corner until the episode was over—all the while imagining "The Nine"-style standoffs, and hostage situations. In reality, the robber fled on foot (probably seconds behind me as I left the store), and was not apprehended.

Nightmare. My wife (and the baby) have had about as stressful a pregnancy as can be endured. A car accident, our daughter having two ambulance trips to the hospital, and now fucking shopping at the OK Corral. Sweet fucking Jesus.

On a much more positive note, we are currently mulling two major purchases. A serious digital SLR camera to replace our old POS* Olympus before the new baby arrives, it's down to the Nikon D200 or D80, and Canon D30 or Rebel XTi. I foolishly bought a Nikon 35mm SLR when Ruby was born, and now I have a drawer full of film yet to be developed... Time to take the plunge.

And it is finally time—I am retiring the Furymobile. I am looking used, a few years old, and maxing out the safety (about to double down on the Babies on Board). Unfortunately, I'm a Euro-snob, and/or have no interest in any of the current entry level new cars. And contrary to the advice I gave John Cole, I am at this point leaning European.

Current front-runners are 2001-'02-era Volvo S60 and V70, and VW Passats and slightly older Subaru Outbacks. I'm also a fan of the Pontiac Vibe and Mazda3 and Mazda6, but almost none of them have the optional side airbags...Why that shit isn't standard equipment is beyond me. If you're going to engineer that into a car, just make it standard. Inexcuseable. The American manufacturers are finally learning that lesson, but the only American sedans I like enough to buy (Ford Fusion, Saturn Aura and Pontiac G6) and have the full array of airbags but new (and used) are still out of my price range.

At this point anything will be an improvement over my current car—leaking moonroof, cracked windshield, crank windows, broken washer, a terminal condition regarding the radiator, a clutch about five feet deep... I refuse to put a dime into this thing—I won't even fill the tank for fear of it dying and me losing out on the gas.

So until I make those purchases, much of my time online will be spent on endless classified searches and trips to

NOTE: Anyone with pertinent opinion, info or expertise on these topics, I welcome the input. Also, anybody sprung for a CARFAX report before? Worth it?

*That's the technical term for obsolete.