Saturday, December 30, 2006

On this triumphal day

Where's Osama?

(just askin')

Thursday, December 28, 2006

WMD my ass

How flimsy were the Bush rationales for his disastrous war in Iraq? Even dim-blub Gerald Ford, the liberator of all Eastern Europe, could see through them.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Fitting Tribute

With his usual impeccable timing, Gerald Ford seems to have died during the Tonight Show (Eastern/Central). In the middle of Leno quizzing passers-by about American history for laughs, a voice-over started reciting the “highlights” of the Ford presidency. On Letterman, a dog was solving math problems. It was a confederacy of dunces.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Hot prospect

At the news that Tim Johnson of South Dakota seemed to suffer a stroke in his Senate office this afternoon, Republicans leapt immediately to counting their chickens. As NPR’s David Welna reported,

“Should the Republicans regain control of the Senate, that would be an important victory for them after all the losses they suffered last month.”

Never mind that we don’t know Senator Johnson’s condition or prognosis, or that last month’s losses were suffered at the hands of voters in our representative Democracy, Bush will step over Johnson’s body to claim another “mandate’.

Friday, December 08, 2006

The $84,000 cover-up

On today’s “Live with Regis”, Kelly Ripa and guest host Anderson Cooper delve into the current White House dress scandal:

Kelly: And it was a couture dress!

Anderson: What do you mean “couture”?

A fine question from Gloria Vanderbilt’s son. I think we need to get to the bottom of this: What does Anderson Cooper know, and why won’t he admit it?

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Shock, horror, probe

What is the biggest crisis facing our nation? War and rumors of war? Leadership meltdown? Assault on our basic freedoms? Wake up, people, it’s Katrina fraud.

NPR’s Pam Fessler, who never met a Bush memo she couldn’t swallow whole, is tireless in sounding the alarm.

Calling the misspending “Mindboggling!” Fessler notes that $17 million may have been overpaid for rent, and as much as $20 million issued in duplicate payments.

“It appears that some of these individuals were paid twice, for the same television, refrigerator, washer and dryer,” says Gregory Kouts of the GAO.

In a disaster that drowned a major American city, killed over 1800 people and ravaged 90,000 square miles, where are our priorities? Sure we never really counted the dead, and it took us weeks to collect and bury the ones we found, but do you mean to tell me we lost track of some major appliances?!

And what about “payments to hundreds of ineligible foreign students and workers” (upgraded from last night’s total of “50 foreign students.”) The horror! The horror!

What’s more, 20 flat-bottomed boats are unaccounted for. Or maybe 21.

Never mind that this all sounds much more like shoddy FEMA management than fraud, the frightening statistic remains: Of the $81.2 billion estimated Katrina damage, $1 billion may have been misspent. That’s (very slightly) over 1 %. Where’s the accountability? No swift boat left behind!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Rummy's Last Memo

TomDispatch has a fabulous close-reading of Rummy's Last Memo, which includes great advice like:

Begin modest withdrawals of U.S. and Coalition forces (start ‘taking our hand off the bicycle seat'), so Iraqis know they have to pull up their socks, step up and take responsibility for their country.

I'm picturing a hapless kid trying to pedal and pull his socks up as his witless Dad shouts instructions. The Bushies are never far from negligence, if not outright abuse.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Kill the messenger

Today’s Guardian reports:
Iraq's interior ministry has formed a press monitoring unit in response to what it described as "fabricated and false news" that misrepresents the country's security situation.

Singling out the Associated Press for criticism, spokesman Brigadier General Abdul-Karim Khalaf said yesterday that dedicated unit would monitor news coverage and even initiate legal action if journalists do not correct stories it believes to be incorrect.

"Fabricated and false news hurts and gives the Iraqis a wrong picture that the security situation is very bad, when the facts are totally different," he said.

He added that the media should consult the ministry's large public relations department staff for "real, true news".