Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Coming soon a theatre near you

"It is no surprise that gaps in domestic intelligence are being filled by ad hoc initiatives."

– Richard Posner

"Ad hoc initiatives" being the new euphemism for "crimes," apparently.

Coming soon a theatre near you:

"Ad Hoc Initiative and Punishment"

"Ad Hoc Initiatives and Misdemeanors"

"Ad Hoc Initiative of the Century"

"Partners in Ad Hoc Initiatives"

"Ad Hoc Initiatives of the Heart"

"A Perfect Ad Hoc Initiative"

"Ad Hoc Initiative Scene Investigation"

Monday, December 19, 2005

Making "Arguments" Not Their Strength

Why not seek a warrant? 'Cause then they'd actually have to use "reason" and "logic."

Q: "But how does FISA --"


"FISA involves the process -- FISA INVOLVES MASHALING ARGUMENTS. . . ."


Yes, Cabinet officers CAN be impeached.

William W. Belknap, Secretary of War.

Impeached and tried and in the Senate.

Acquitted Aug. 1, 1876.


Brian Williams:

“A lot of people have seen in this series of speeches
you’re giving on Iraq, a movement in your position.
They call it an acknowledgment that perhaps the
mission has not gone as it was originally planned —
three points: That the U.S. would be welcomed as
liberators, that General Shinsecki, when he said this
would take hundreds of thousands of troops in his
farewell speech, might have been right. And third,
that it wasn’t a self-sustaining war in terms of the
oil revenue. Do you concede those three points might
not have gone as planned?”

President Bush:

“Review them with me again.”


“Number one — that we’d be welcomed as liberators?”

President Bush:

“I think we are welcomed. But it was not a peaceful

–– Interview between NBC News Anchor Brian
Williams and President of the United States
President George W. Bush, December 12, 2005.




Orwell? Kafka? Lewis Caroll? Jonathan Swift?



A recent poll ranked the popularity of the last 10
Presidents. Where did Bush rank?

(A) First

(B) Third

(C) Fifth

(D) Seventh

(E) Ninth

Answer: Last.

Favorite President:
1. John F. Kennedy --26%
2. Bill Clinton – 25%
3. Ronald Reagan -- 23%

10. George Bush – 9%

Bush was also viewed as the most warlike president (43
percent), the worst for the economy (42 percent) and
the least effective (33 percent).



"In the past five years, our economy has endured
a stock market collapse, a recession, terrorist
attacks, corporate scandals, high energy costs, and
devastating natural disasters."

– George W. Bush, Monday, December 12, 2005.

Someone finally had the guts to say it.



You may fly this Christmas. And there may be a dead
solider in the cargo hold.

Soldiers coming home form Iraq are supposed to be
treated with respect, including an honor guard. But
often they are packed as freight on commercial
airliners, stopping at local airports -- stuffed in
the belly of a plane with suitcases and other cargo.

John Holley and his wife, Stacey, were stunned when
they found out the body of their only child, Matthew
John Holley, who died in Iraq last month, would be
arriving at the airport as “freight.”

Matthew was a medic with the 101st Airborne unit and
died on Nov. 15.

"When someone dies in combat, they need to give them
due respect they deserve for (the) sacrifice they
made," said John Holley.

They called U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, and Matthew was
greeted with honor and respect.

A representative from the Defense Department said she
did not know why this is happening.

Maybe because they just don’t care?



From: Emery, Edie
Sent: Friday, December 16, 2005 11:09 AM
Subject: CNN statement regarding Mr. Novak

"After 25 years of serving as a CNN commentator and
program host, our colleague Bob Novak's tenure on the
network will come to a close (effective 12/31).
Through the years, Bob has offered incisive analysis
for much of CNN's programming, including Crossfire,
The Capital Gang, Inside Politics, Evans and Novak,
The Novak Zone, and Novak, Hunt and Shields. Bob has
also been a valued contributor to CNN's political
coverage. We appreciate his many contributions and
wish him well in future endeavors."
-- Jon Klein, president of CNN/U.S.

UPDATE: Bob Novak, who you may remember put countless
lives in danger and hurt America’s ability to prevent
nuclear terrorism, by outing CIA agent Valerie Plame,
was hired by Fox News Friday afternoon.


With just days to go in a Congressional session
presiding over three wars, massive debt, a huge trade
deficit, a stalled economy and natural disasters,
Congress this week devoted itself to: Defending

The House seriously debated a resolution to support
the "symbols and traditions" of Christmas, and to
disapprove of utterly mythical "attempts to ban
references to Christmas.” H. Res. 579, is a
resolution "Expressing the sense of the House of
Representatives that the symbols and traditions of
Christmas should be protected."

It gets worse.

During the debate, Democratic members asked the
Republican author of the resolution, Rep. Jo-Ann Davis
(R-VA), if she would permit the symbols of Hanukkah
and other holidays to be included in the protection of
the resolution -- and she refused.

"Yes, Virginia... and North Carolina, Oklahoma, New
Jersey and others... your GOP representatives believe
in the imaginary 'war on Christmas,' and apparently
they think this is the best use of Congress' time.
And apparently they think nothing of pressing their
Jewish House colleagues to actually cast a
congressional vote in favor of Christian 'symbols and
traditions,' and they refuse to offer the same
supposed protections to the symbols of Chanukah,”
National Jewish Democratic Council Executive Director
Ira N. Forman said.

"In this case, House Republicans are adopting the
talking points of the most extreme, most divisive
far-right elements in today's society -- and making
that agenda the work of the people's House. Aside from
being a colossal waste of time, it's divisive, it
excludes other practices and faiths, and it buys into
the conservative fantasy that there's some war against
the 95 percent of Americans who celebrate Christmas,"
he also said.



"While radical militant librarians kick us around,
true terrorists benefit from OIPR's failure to let us
use the tools given to us. This should be an OIPR

-- Unidentified F.B.I. official. Internal F.B.I.
e-mail message, October 2003

It's phrase already sweeping the blogosphere:
“radical militant librarians” may yet enter common

Turns out though, that some liberals may have been too
worried that the government had too much power after
the PATRIOT Act.

Documents released this week showed that agents at the
Federal Bureau of Investigation have been frustrated
by their inability to get information they wanted.
The above e-mails sent in October 2003, complaining
that “radical militant librarians kick us around.”

They are a testy bunch.


Deborah Davis, a 50-year-old mother of four, is in an
all ordinary woman, although she does have a son
serving in Iraq. To save money, she rides the bus to
work in Denver, Colorado. Every morning, her bus goes
through the Denver Federal Center, a collection of
government offices in an area with increased security.
Every morning, officers from the Department of
Homeland Security board the bus and check the IDs of
all passengers, whether or not they are exiting the
bus at the Federal Center. The officers glance at it,
but don’t check it against any list. There appears to
be no earthly reason to ask for ID, except a sort of
vague sense that it’s helpful in an age of terror.

In September, they had the following conversation:

Officer: "Do you have your ID?"
Davis: "Yes."
Officer: "May I see it?"
Davis: "No."

Officers would later said she was "argumentative." In
any case they handcuffed her and arrested her.

I’ve had this experience myself – not of being
arrested, but being asked to show ID without it being
checked against a database or recorded in any way. I
also work in this field of identification and the law,
and understand the temptation to believe that an ID
has some magic function that deters terrorists.

Well, it doesn’t, and all the 9/11 hijackers had valid
ID, and few were on any watch lists. Aside from being
unconstitutional, (the charges against her have been
dropped) the exercise on the bus was a colossal waste
of time, and probably detrimental to any effort to
prevent real terrorism.

But that's the world we live in now. Unthinking,
painfully useless attempts to deal with our fear.
Which is all the terrorists wanted in the first place.



Bill Clinton's memoir “My Life” has turned out to be a
big seller (see the poll above). Even, or especially,
in other countries. But there may more to it than
thrilling tales of Georgetown, Oxford, Yale, and all
things Hillary. Turns out the Chinese translation has
a few differences.

According to the Chinese version of “My Life”, even as
a child, Bill Clinton felt an overwhelming love and
admiration for Chinese culture and politics, and
considered rulers like Mao Zedong and "Chief
Architect" Deng Xiaoping his intellectual mentors.

Original sentences like "I was concerned about China's
continued suppression of basic freedoms" were
translated out, while new more enlightening passages
added, such as:

"It was from my uncle Buddy that I first heard that
China was one of the world's most ancient cultures,
that in ancient times its technology was already very
advanced, and that very early on it had produced the
Four Great Inventions. Take, for example, the cannons
that were tested in Buddy's munitions factory.
Originally, gunpowder was invented by the Chinese. Not
only that, the compass, printing, and paper were also
great creations of the Chinese people."

It seems the Chinese are not big on Clinton’s famous
wordiness. The notoriously very long opening sentence
of Mr. Clinton's version, which takes 48 words to
describe his birth, reads:

"The town of Hope, where I was born, has very good
feng shui."



“Newsweek” magazine asks this week if Bush lives in a
bubble. It includes this quote, alternately amusing
and disturbing:

“A foreign diplomat who declined to be
identified was startled when Secretary of State
Rice warned him not to lay bad news on the
president. "Don't upset him," she said.”



It is the 1,000th day of war in Iraq, and we still
have not secured the road from Baghdad to the airport.



Liberals (those waging the war on Christmas) like to
point out all the so-called conservatives who also say
things like “Happy Holidays,” but don’t expect anyone
else to notice.

But Tim Wildmon, President of the American Family
Association, also noticed, and blasted President Bush
and First Lady Laura Bush for sending out cards that,
even though they include a quote from the Bible on the
inside, say “Season’s Greetings” on the front.

“Sometimes it’s hard to tell whether this is
sinister….or whether it just political correctness run
amok,” he said.




How many times does the The official Fox Network web
page use of the word "Holiday"?

(A) Zero

(B) Three

(C) Five

(D) Seven

(E) Nine

Answer: Eleven

How many times does the Network’s web site use the
word “Christmas”?

(A) 10

(B) 20

(C) 30

(D) 50

(E) 100

Answer: Zero.


Thursday, December 15, 2005


Jeanine's campaign of gaffes continues unabated.... Clearly, she is remaining in the race so increase her profile when she is hired as a Fox News Legal and Political Commentator in December of 2006.

New York Daily News
"Pirro told to zip it"

"Chattering outside church has officers fuming at her"

By Alison Gendar and Joe Mahoney

Westchester District Attorney Jeanine Pirro was seen giggling and chatting outside a Bronx church after the funeral Mass for slain Police Officer Danny Enchautegui - spurring outrage from cops.

One officer brusquely told her to "shut up," prompting Pirro to zip her lips and snap to attention just after the flag-draped coffin holding Enchautegui was placed into a nearby hearse.

While grim-faced Finest stood ramrod-straight, Pirro drew glares from the hero cop's fellow officers when they spotted her giggling and chatting with state Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno (R-Rensselaer).

"She should have kept her mouth shut and showed some respect," said one disgusted high-ranking member of the NYPD.

Fumed another officer: "It was bad timing. Everyone is waiting for the family to leave. The family is trying to be strong. We're all still in formation. It was out of line."

Tuesday, December 13, 2005


A University of Kansas professor wrote some e-mails
last week criticizing the serious study of
creationism. What happened next?

(A) He received unexpected widespread support

(B) The Catholic Church praised him

(C) He was nominated for a “Courage Award”

(D) Bill O’Reilly read his e-mails on the air,
prompting a backlash in Kansas

(E) He was fired

(F) He was attacked by a group “Christian” thugs

Answer: (E) and (F)

"This allows the department to focus on what's most
important, ”teaching, research and service,” said the
President when he was fired.

On Monday, the professor was treated at a Lawrence
hospital for head injuries after he said he was beaten
by two men on a country road. He said the men referred
to the creationism remarks.

Law enforcement officials are investigating.

It's a War on Christmas, and We're Losing It

I want to write about the “War on Christmas,”
but there is very little left to say at this point.

Once it was on the “Today Show,” I think it had pretty
much run its course from the nutty, borderline
anti-Semitic rantings by Bill O’Reilly to self-parody.
Although Fox News anchor John Gibson –- you may
remember him from the O.J. Simpson trial -- does have a
book out titled, seriously, “The War on Christmas”.
(Available at Amazon – I suggest you pick one up
before they are banned.)

I would, however, point out the danger in demanding
that everyone else celebrate your holiday, and
equating lack of government support with censorship.
The logical end of this will be the government
dictating what is and what is not the proper way to
celebrate Christmas. Think I’m kidding? It’s already

In Nashville, the Mayor called the lighted tree in
Riverfront Park a “holiday tree,” instead of a
“Christmas tree.” Seeing as it was taxpayer funded,
that was probably wise. Indeed some conservatives
insist on calling the public tree by that name,
since it keeps it Constitutional.

But someone was listening to too much Bill
O’Reilly, and last week a Councilman name Eric Crafton
wrote legislation stating that Nashville “affirms
and supports the use of the words ‘Christmas’ or
‘Merry Christmas,’ instead of non-descript, generic
terms such as ‘Happy Holidays,’ ‘Winter Festival’ and
the like, when referring to Metro Government entities
or activities traditionally associated with

“By using these generic, nondescript terms, it
And, quite frankly, I’m tired of it.”

He also awkwardly said “We’re not in the business of forcing
people — but we do want to recognize that the whole
reason for this holiday was … because of Jesus

His resolution, states that Christmas “derives from
the act of celebrating the Mass of Christ;” that
“Jesus Christ is an actual man who was born over 2,000
years ago, as recorded by history;” that Christ’s life
and teachings have “profoundly impacted the entire
world, especially the United States of America.”

So there you have it. A government resolution
defining the true meaning of Christmas. Which is
probably right. After all, Jesus was an American, and
a Republican. I’m pretty sure.


Complete this sentence from Pope Ratzinger:

“The suspicion emerges in us that a person
who does not sin is, after all, ________________.

(A) “Saintly”

(B) “Christ-like”

(C) “Frankly suspicious”

(D) “Boring”

(E) “Probably hiding something”

Answer: (D)

"The suspicion emerges in us that a person who does
not sin is, after all, boring; that something is
missing from his life: the dramatic dimension of being
free. We think that bargaining with evil, reserving
ourselves a little freedom against God, is, after all,
good or even necessary. But looking at the world
around us we can see that this is not so.”

–– Pope Benedict XVI


Interviewer, to Mike Wallace:

“President George W. Bush has declined to be i
interviewed by you. What would you ask him if
you had the chance?”

Mike Wallace:

“What in the world prepared you to be the
commander in chief of the largest superpower in the world?
In your background, Mr. President, you apparently were
incurious. You didn't want to travel. You knew very little
about the military. The governor of Texas doesn't have the kind of
power that some governors have. Why do you think they
nominated you? Do you think that has anything to do with the
fact that the country is so [expletive] up?”


Mike Wallace’s son is "Fox News Sunday" anchorman
Chris Wallace. His reaction to what Mike Wallace said

"He's lost it. The man has lost it. What can I
say. He's 87-years old and things have set in. I mean,
we're going to have a competence hearing pretty soon."

Later he said about his father "He's checked out. I
don't understand it," beyond the fact that Wallace Sr.
has "problems with the war. "I don't know why he said
what he said," he added.


Monday, December 12, 2005

Fox News: Where Brutal Dictators Not Only Get Their News, They Write It

According the Guardian, Fox News now re-writes their news coverage based on the approval one the world's most brutal regimes.

"Fox News was ordered to alter its coverage of the riots in France after a Saudi prince with shares in its parent company News Corporation complained to Rupert Murdoch.

Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdul aziz Al-Saud told a conference in Dubai he had telephoned Mr Murdoch after seeing a strapline on the news channel describing the disturbances as "Muslim riots".

"I picked up the phone and called Murdoch and said that I was speaking not as a shareholder, but as a viewer of Fox. I said that these are not Muslim riots, they are riots," Campaign Middle East magazine quoted the prince as saying.

"He investigated the matter and called Fox and within half an hour it was changed from 'Muslim riots' to 'civil riots'."

Just so we're clear, Fox news is now cleared for approval by an anti-freedom, misogynistic, brutal, torturing, radical muslim dictatorship?

We're Pulling Out Fingernails Now

Via CNN:

"Inspectors found "a number of problems" at a jail housing Iraqi detainees, the nation's Human Rights Ministry said today, amid a report of a dozen incidents of "severe torture" at the facility.

Today's Washington Post quoted an Iraqi official saying at least 12 of the detainees had suffered severe torture. "Two of them showed me their nails, and they were gone," said an anonymous Iraqi official quoted by the Post."

It's not going to look if the purple-finger brigage are missing their fingernails...

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

And "Mad Max" Would Help With Crazed Bikers

What is it with the Republican party and their infatuation with Hollywood?

"There is even a movement to draft Mel Gibson, the actor and director, to run against Schwarzenegger in the Republican primary next year -- in part because the success of Gibson's movie, "The Passion of the Christ," could help his chances among religious conservatives. Raised in Australia, Gibson was born in New York and is a U.S. citizen. He has not expressed an interest in elected politics.

"We need to have a good backup," said Mike Spence, president of the California Republican Assembly, a grass-roots organization that is separate from the state party. Spence's group has already set up a Web site, "He seems to be more consistent with the Republican message than the governor does."

Gibson could not be reached, and his spokesman, who was traveling Tuesday, did not return an e-mail and call for comment."

Monday, December 05, 2005

FEMA Was Warned Their Response in Mississippi Would Lead to "Riots"

According to the Associate Press, "FEMA realized its response to Hurricane Katrina was "broken" and braced for rioting over woefully low supplies in Mississippi in the days just after the storm, according to new documents released Monday."

"This is unlike what we have seen before," wrote William Carwile, FEMA's former top responder in Mississippi, in an e-mail sent September 1, three days after the hurricane. He couldn't get body bags to Mississippi.

"I personally authorized Hancock County to buy refer (sic) trucks that had been carrying ice becasue (sic) the coroner was going to have to start putting bodies out in the parking lot as his cooler was getting full. Still lots and lots of bodies out there." The next day he wrote: "System appears broken."

The troubles got worse from there. Local FEMA officials had to report that their plan could lead to disaster.

"If we get the quantities in your report tomorrow we will have serious riots," Fenton wrote.

Carwile wrote back: "Turns out this report is true. There seems to be no way we will get commodities in amounts beyond those indicated below. And it turns out these shortfalls were know much earlier in the day and we were not informed. Will need big time law enforcement reinforcements tomorrow. All our good will here in MS will be very seriously impacted by noon tomorrow. Have been holding it together as it is."

"Gulfport Ms only has enough commodities for roughly 3 hours distribution tomorrow," FEMA deputy chief of staff Scott Morris wrote in an e-mail sent at 11:46 p.m. on Aug. 29 — just hours after the storm roared ashore. "Apparently, the local law enforcement officials have allowed evacuees back into city."

Replying to Carwile's e-mail about body bag shortages, Scott wrote: "Let me know how I can help. 24/7 whatever you need."

"One of the things we have learned is that our logistic resources weren't up to the task, and the technology that we were using wasn't up to the task," FEMA's spokesman said. He also said that Michael Chertoff "has said that one of his priorities is retooling FEMA and, as part of that, making it a 21st century agency."

Friday, December 02, 2005

Friday Cat Blogging


Bush, during a week-long visit to Asia, met with
Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi as they took
a morning tour of Kinkakuji, the revered Temple of the
Golden Pavilion in Kyoto.

Koizumi showed Bush, a devout Christian, how to bow in
prayer before an idol of the Buddha, said Raitei
Arima, the temple's head priest.

What did Bush say to the priest?

(A) “That Buddha’s cute, but kind of fat.”

(B) “We pray in America too, but to Jesus.”

(C) “I wonder if my socks have any holes.”

(D) “I didn’t know they had religion in China.”

(E) “Buddha – what religion is that?”

(F) “I’ll bet you could drill for oil under here.”

Answer: (C)

"What was most interesting was that Bush said, “I
wonder if my socks have any holes.”

And Laura said not to worry," the priest told the
reporters from newspapers all over the world.