June 11, 2008 archive

Four at Four

  1. Winning hearts and minds in Iraq. Iraqis condemn American demands, reports the Washington Post. Iraqi politicians are denouncing Bush’s “demands to maintain nearly 60 bases in their country indefinitely. Top Iraqi officials are calling for a radical reduction of the U.S. military’s role here after the U.N. mandate authorizing its presence expires at the end of this year.”

    The Americans are making demands that would lead to the colonization of Iraq,” said Sami al-Askari, a senior Shiite politician on parliament’s foreign relations committee who is close to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. “If we can’t reach a fair agreement, many people think we should say, ‘Goodbye, U.S. troops. We don’t need you here anymore.‘ “

    Elsewhere in Iraq, the BBC uncovers lost Iraq billions. “A BBC investigation estimates that around $23bn (£11.75bn) may have been lost, stolen or just not properly accounted for in Iraq.” Using “US and Iraqi government sources to research how much some private contractors have profited from the conflict and rebuilding. A US gagging order is preventing discussion of the allegations. The order applies to 70 court cases against some of the top US companies. While Presdient George W Bush remains in the White House, it is unlikely the gagging orders will be lifted.”

  2. Winning hearts and minds in Pakistan. The Washington Post reports that Pakistan is blaming the U.S. for killing 11 soldiers.

    At least 11 Pakistani soldiers and 10 other people were killed in northwest Pakistan in a border clash that erupted during a military operation led by U.S.-supported Afghan forces, Pakistani military officials said Wednesday.

    The Pakistani army blamed the troop deaths on a U.S. airstrike and condemned an attack it said “had hit at the very basis of cooperation” in the countries’ joint battle against terrorism.

    The army statement called the airstrike “unprovoked and cowardly” and said that Pakistan’s army maintained “the right to protect our citizens and soldiers against aggression.”

    Meanwhile the LA Times reports Michael Mullen says action unlikely against militants in Pakistan. “Any future terrorist attack on the United States probably would originate in Pakistan’s western tribal regions, where Al Qaeda leaders have set up their most secure haven since the fall of the Taliban in Afghanistan, the top U.S. military officer said Tuesday. But Adm. Michael G. Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said action to forcibly disrupt the militants’ planning effort is unlikely for now.”

    Whoops! It looks like Adm. Mullen spoke a day too soon. Good thing we’re pissing of the Pakistanis and occupying Iraq.

Four at Four continues winning hearts and minds of American rockers and championing democracy around the world. Plus a bonus story about gardening to mitigate rising food costs.

BREAKING: Oil Addicted Economy Is In The Breakdown Lane

This is an extremely brief sequel to this gasoline essay.

Here you go:

Oil prices veered wildly on Wednesday, as they swung back from a spike higher on a sharp fall in crude oil stocks shown in weekly data. Crude oil in New York trading jumped $6.79, to $138.10 a barrel immediately after the release of the inventory data. It retreated to $134.66 but was trading up $4.25, to $135.56 at midday.

The government’s Energy Information Administration showed that American crude oil stocks fell 4.6 million barrels to 302 million barrels last week, four times the drop that analysts’ expected.

The price fluctuations came as the Energy secretary, Samuel W. Bodman III, representing the world’s top energy user [that would be the US], said on Wednesday that he would attend a meeting later this month in Saudi Arabia where global energy producers and consumers will grapple with record-high oil prices.

As oil prices have surged 40 percent since January, Washington has differed with Saudi Arabia – the world’s top exporter – on the reason behind the price increase.

Did you get that?  Again:

where global energy producers and consumers will grapple with record-high oil prices

Producers and consumers will “grapple” in Saudi Arabia.  This will be bigger than the Thriller in Manilla.  Not.  This “grapple” is being promoted by the alleged “free market,” supply side, tax cutting Ayn Rand fans in DC.  I wouldn’t expect a caged, no rules, death match.  I’d expect more kissy face and tea with “our Saudi friends.”  And, of course, no short term solution, and no longer term energy policy changes.  Crickets.

Folks, everything is breaking down. Since we don’t have a short term solution for gas prices, I have nothing new to offer, except maybe hiding your wallet.

The Republicans Are Fucked {Warning: Appropriate Language}

MAN did that feel good to write!

I wanna do it again

The Republicans are Fucked!

May I suggest that you try it too? Just write it down somewhere, in a comment or something. Political caution, responsible blogging, not taking your enemy for granted, hubris, arrogance, being “looney,” all are good reasons for not writing that sentence. But today I don’t care. The Republicans are Fucked with McCain as their candidate, running in favor of a war manufactured from lies that makes us less safe, a crumbling economy that is directly tied to that war, outrageous gas prices as a result, and a rising tide of incriminating evidence detailing just how horrifically bad Bush, McCain and every other Rubber Stamp Republican Congressdufus have fucked the entire country…..The Republicans are FUCKED! And for once….they are even (sort of) facing reality! That is just how fucked they are…they are so fucked that they …Republicans…actually have to admit something! Namely….that they are fucked! I have waited all of my life for the Republicans to be this fucked….and now they are! Hold your heads high, progressives, liberals and radical lefties! Allow a smile to crack your oppressed by traitorous totalitarian theocon idiots for eight years facial muscles! Sure you gloomy gus’s out there will point out that we are all fucked by their active repression on Climate Crisis, that we are mired in a complete clusterfuck in the Middle East and that we all may starve or be foreclosed out of our houses or destroyed by tornadoes on the way to buy $5 a gallon gas while being spied on by our own government….but…. look on the bright side! They are even more fucked than we are ….and we might actually be able to fix some of this stuff soon! Maybe.

It’s early, there is plenty of time left for everything to ‘go south,’ but for today……I feel like doing an inappropriate Happy Dance….

John Kerry (and Joe Biden) Slam McCain’s Remarks on Staying in Iraq

Today, John McCain said that it was not too important when American troops came home fron Iraq.

“No, but that’s not too important. What’s important is the casualties in Iraq.”

On a conference call set up by the Obama campaign, John Kerry responded:

For military families, Kerry said: “To them it’s the most important thing in the world when they come home.”

More on the response, after the fold.

Also on Daily Kos: http://www.dailykos.com/story/…

Hilarious screenshots of McCain golf gear “reviews”

You’ve probably heard that McCain is selling golf gear on his website.  Well, some zany crazy kids went into the “reviews” section and posted a bunch of “reviews”.  The webmaster deleted them in short order — but not before I got these hilarious screenshots:

click images to see full screen views

Let’s Impeach the President for Lying

And misleading our country into war

Abusing all the power that we gave him

And shipping all our money out the door

Neil Young

On Monday of this week Rep. Dennis Kucinich introduced 35 articles of impeachment.  On Wednesday it finally was acknowledged by CNN.  In fact it was, for a time, the third most popular story right after Incest girl reunited with family and ‘Idol’ runner-up lands record deal.


Why Wesley Clark Is Going to Be Obama’s V-P

Clark on McCain, yesterday:

“I know he’s trying to get traction by seeking to play to what he thinks is his strong suit of national security,” Clark said of McCain while speaking from his office in Little Rock, Arkansas. “The truth is that, in national security terms, he’s largely untested and untried. He’s never been responsible for policy formulation. He’s never had leadership in a crisis, or in anything larger than his own element on an aircraft carrier or [in managing] his own congressional staff. It’s not clear that this is going to be the strong suit that he thinks it is.”

What a genius choice he would be.  Take all that tough chickenhawk military talk and shove it down the pugs throats.  

h/t Big Tent http://www.talkleft.com/story/…

Liberal Media Bias? Into The Belly of the Beast

We continue to hear from the strains of Right Wing Hate Radio programming to the musings in conservative rags such as the Washington Times that the media has a Liberal Bias to the stories they cover.  

The Neo-Con’s whine and cry and complain that the New York Times (to a conservative, synonymous with George Soros’ personal newspaper), CNN, The Washington Post, USA Today, BBC News, NPR, ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC and on and on, are nothing more than the mouthpieces of the dangerous liberal movement in our country!  The Wingnut set decries these media outlets for only giving us one side, TEH LIBERAL SIDE, of any story.

Well, lets once again check into the world of teh Librul Media and see exactly what they have on tap for us.  

Today we will venture into that No-Repulican-Man’s Land of The George Soros New York Times and see what those bastions of Liberal Media claptrap have up their devious progressive sleeves.

Hmmmmm, let’s see.  A story about the South Korean leader.  Nope, nothing to bash Bush or konservatives about in there.  Ok, next story!  This one compares and contrasts Senator’s Obama and McCain in a story by Michael Cooper and Larry Rohter entitled:

Our Medicated/Wounded Military

Yesterday “GregMitch” posted a Diary on the same subject I’m placing up first.

But lets expand to on what our Civilian and Military leaders are doing to Our Troops and National Security in bushs, and now mccains call for More, occupations!


Muse in the Morning

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Muse in the Morning

State of the Onion V

Art Link


He was

I am and will be

It took a sharp blade to divide us

He carried me through tough times

and brought me to where I could be

but it was unbearable

too utterly suffocating

and bitterly ravaging

that he lived while I hid

wasting away

slowly rotting

the years away

a life mislived

It was him

or both of us

There was only one vessel

One had to die

I chose

I chose him

I do not regret that he lived

I am who he wished he could be

but could not manage

to be

Not to be

was the alternative

so I chose

–Robyn Elaine Serven

–January 25, 2006

Please join us on the inside to celebrate, venerate, regenerate and/or motivate our muses.  Currently mine is a little constipated when I would prefer it be syncopated.

The Morning News

The Morning News is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Gates begins wartime transition to new leadership

By ROBERT BURNS, AP Military Writer

35 minutes ago

WASHINGTON – Anticipating the first wartime change of presidents in 40 years, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Tuesday he has begun laying the groundwork to enable his successor to manage the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan – and other challenges – from his or her first day in office.

Gates said that over the past two decades it has become more difficult and time consuming to get key officials into Pentagon jobs early in a new administration. Doing it faster will be even more important this time, he said, in light of the complexities of the wars and difficult security issues elsewhere.

“I’ve been through a lot of these (transitions) and I’ve seen them up close and I want to see if we can improve on the past,” he said. Gates’ national security career dates to the Nixon administration and includes the transition in January 1993 from President George H.W. Bush to President Clinton.

Out of Time

The complete cartoon can be read at salon.com.

In itself, referencing the BBC television show Doctor Who in a political cartoon isn’t unusual. For example, it isn’t uncommon in Britain for editorial cartoonists to depict politicians, such as Tony Blair, as Daleks. But when the show makes an appearance in an American publication, it is something unusual and oddly out-of-place.

In this week’s This Modern World, cartoonist Tom Tomorrow has the Doctor and his TARDIS make a cameo appearance. As you can see, The Doctor travels back to 2003 to bring news to Sparky the Wonder Penguin about Barack Obama being the presumptive Democratic nominee for president.

Tom chose not just any Doctor, but the 10th Doctor currently being portrayed by David Tennant. Usually when Doctor Who is referenced in America, Tom Baker’s Doctor is depicted.

Doctor Who comics have a history of penguins. In the 1980s, the comic strip in Doctor Who Magazine had Frobisher, a shape-changing extraterrestrial whose preferred form was that of a penguin.

I wonder if he knows something of Doctor Who’s comic strip past? Or was this just an odd, happy coincidence?  

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