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The Last Bastion of America's Liberal Media

17 Nov, 2003

Turd of the Week

Dick Cheney, you can't hide. Your whole Iraq invasion plan has gone so hideously wrong, so catastrophically badly, so irrevocably hellish that even little Georgie is starting to figure it out.

See stories below

Blabbering Bush Head

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Jacob Weinberg's The Complete Bushisms - Netscape users hit reload

Iraq War Cost
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Civilian casualties update
This data is an accounting of civilian deaths in Iraq to date.
See Iraqbodycount.net for statistical methodologies


Growing fat off juicy Iraqi rebuildin' contracts. Did you know the bin Laden group is one of our top investors?

screw all the other stockholders, we're cashing out!

Hey, what do you know? We make money from American militarily screwed up countries in the Middle East!

We're already negotiating with the “new Iraqi democracy” for oil rights!

Selling weapons all over the globe to ensure civilian death and instability which in turn ensures a strong market for years and years...



Bush Capitulates to the French
Yep, in the panic-racheting reactioneering of Bush and Co., the Iraq desperation level is drawing a deeper and deeper divide between the Disney-inspired lip service to Iraq progress and the growing unanimity that resistance is eroding all chances of success by any measure. Things don't look good and it's easy to see the Bush team scurrying for answers behind their veneer of Mish Accomplish. Bremer gets yanked back to Washington, Rummy gets more distant and philosophical in answering questions about broadening the coalition, the Iraqi interim authority is rumored to be on the chopping block, all the while attacks are becoming more calculated to sap American will. The Iraqi resistance believes it can sap the American will to nation build and finally Bush can sense the tenuous American support growing more doubtful with every new headline of mayhem.

So the Bush team is moving in an interesting direction: toward cut and ru..., I mean... greater empowerment of the Iraqi people, along the lines of what the French, the Germans and the rest of the sane world have been pushing for all along. It may be too late. The escape route for Bush is becoming narrower and more obstacle laden each day the resistance becomes emboldened.

When will America learn that superior military power, even vastly superior military power can be rendered irrelevant by guerilla warfare? Our cultural ignorance of Iraqi customs, language and politics position us as utter buffoons unable to determine liberatee from saboteur, a confusion that is easily and cheaply exploited. The only good that can come of such military misadventure is that maybe, just maybe, this time we will learn the limits of military power when pitted against our own eventual intolerance of suffering.

Bush has thrown the dice in Iraq, putting America's power and prestige on the line in the middle of an unwelcoming land. America's options have been quickly whittled down into a small set of unpalatable choices, each with a looming scepter of Damoclesean failure. Ironic then that the very display of America's military might has instead revealed its pitiful shortcomings when pitted against a nation who's villains and victims have become indistinguishable.

But recently leaked timetables of dumping in June 2004 and running by November show an interesting strategy - Maybe, just maybe the strategy will be embryonic enough and chaotically confusing enough by November 2004, that the clear failure won't be apparent enough to cost the court-annointed Prezdent his throne. Chances of that are extremely remote - a more likely scenario being Iraq's descent into civil war without all those American targets - but Karl Rove is smart enough to know Americans won't be very outraged with Iraq in a bloody civil war when thousands, even millions of Iraqis are slaughtered. Then, it'll be time for another military disaster...

Professor Pissed - Disgust from Across the Pond

You know you're in trouble when you find yourself completely behind Senators John McCain and Joseph Lieberman (as a leftie -- OK, I'll come clean -- I actually find the former more appealing; at least he has integrity), who fronted a bill to cap emissions of greenhouse gasses. This modest bill, calling only for a capping of emissions at the level established in 2000 (hardly draconian), was soundly defeated in the currently Dante-esque (as in, hellish... at least surely purgatory for any of the very small percentage of senators who have a whit of intelligence and ethical fiber left) environment of the U.S. Senate. Or should I say Kafka-esque? (Or Beckett-like -- any number of literary epithets come to mind, none of which are flattering.)

Thinking about American politics and social values from afar is truly like being immersed in a grotesque fantasy (perhaps Hieronymous Bosch is an even more evocative connection....). What is wrong with "those people" (among whom I still must consider myself, as a U.S. citizen)? They can't use the same (perfectly generous, even itself perhaps excessive) amount of energy as every other "first world" country? They have to -- simply have to -- drive cars that get two to five times less efficient gas mileage as the serviceable and comfortable cars driven across Europe? They simply can't get their act together to support an efficient and useful national train network? Construct inefficient buildings even though we have the technology to save massive amounts of energy just through simple construction innovations? Use more efficient, and fewer, appliances?

Aren't Americans worried about the documented fact (put out by numerous scientific agencies, including NASA) that the polar ice cap is shrinking at an alarming rate (9% per decade, which will eliminate it entirely by the end of this century)?

Shouldn't the same Americans who claim they simply must drive enormous, tank-like SUVs in order to keep their children "safe" also be concerned about the availability of oxygen and water for said children?

Bafflingly, the right-wingers (with the help of many ineffectual, Republican-whipped Democrats) since Reagan have managed to convey the comforting message that greed and excessive energy consumption are American "rights" -- that they are even "patriotic." Destroying the environment is A-OK (the secret message is that, at any rate, the richer countries like the US can always just hoard resources once they (we) control the entire middle-east....).

I have to work next week when Bush is visiting London but I know people who will be there "welcoming" him -- and it won't be a pretty picture. Let's just hope his secret service phalanx doesn't keep anybody with views towards the center or left a mile away from him. Wouldn't want the world to know what a pariah Bush is in the UK.

At the same time, after a week of legally suppressed "rumors" that can't be directly revealed in the British press (even the scandal-mongering Murdoch-owned tabloids) have been circulating about Prince Charles -- I should end by saying that the U.S. political system is, indeed, worth trying to rescue from the death-grip of the right-wingers. Personally, I'd love to hold the specter of a scandal-ridden, ineffectual, laughably and embarrassingly perverted royal family up as a warning for U.S. citizens of what might have been (and what, if George W. and his courtiers have their way, will be)..... There but for the grace of those renegades in the late 18th century would go the U.S.... It seems symbolic that the self-appointed president currently holding office is, effectively, a new King George.

More and more pissed as the UK gets warmer and warmer...

The good professor is catching up on Fawlty Towers and Rybena drinks as we speak...

It's not a Filibuster, it's a "Block"
How dare those impertinent Democrats not cede their final shred of influence to the power party! Their refusal to allow an open floor vote on 4, then 3, Bush nominated beardless Borks is an attack on the very foundations of liberty!

Ultimately the Dems won, not just on the issue of the 3 judges whose records are perfectly mainstream... for the Gengis Khan-era Mongolian military justice tribunal, but also on the PR initiative. They were able to cleverly show the record of resistance was 168 passed, 4 held up, which is a ratio awarding the GOP 97.5% of its judicial druthers. But withhold all but passive support for the Elephants and suddenly the Dems are trying to subvert the constitution.

Bush Unites Europeans
Rending asunder allegations that he is anything but a consensus builder, our Rhinestone Cowboy moseys on over to England this week, bringing together people from all over the British Isles and the European continent in unanimous contempt for his policies of death, destruction and dumbassery. You can bet Her Majesty will do everything in her power to contrive a non-hostile setting for his royal honoree of social promotion.

But word on the rue, strauß, ulice, gade, katu, utca, via, ulica, rua and calle is the seething resentment at American hubris is organizing en masse to stage gigantic protests of Bush's manifest conceit. There will be hundreds of thousands protesting the foolish, fatal and fiscally ruinous policies of the White House interloper. Will Bush see them? It doesn't matter. His brand of single-mindedness will view them with the highest levels of self-deception. What will matter is the rest of the planet viewing the personification of outrage at these hideous policies - a mass of angry people of many nations, many religions, many different backgrounds - all united in their disgust at Bush's policies.

Professor Pissed, we expect a full report.

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