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2006 April — Why Now?
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Posts from — April 2006

I’m Not Laughing

The Pensacola Beach Blog called it Comedy at the Edge, Stephen Colbert’s performance at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. It was the truth; and most of the people sitting in that room can’t handle the truth, they hide from it.

Wikipedia notes that “In British common law, an outlaw was a person who had defied the laws of the realm.” The Shrubbery isn’t acting above the law, he has placed himself outside of the law. The conduct described in Glenn Greenwald’s post makes him the outlaw President, and puts him on the same level as any petty third world despot. He uses money from the Treasury to reward his friends and punish his enemies.

Digby calls it a Constitutional Crisis, but it is a simple case of a man of limited intellect ignoring the rules rather than attempting to understand them. He has never been held accountable for anything, so he isn’t interested in starting now.

I think Digby should retire the metaphor of the “little old lady clutching her pearls” given the reality of Helen Thomas, Madeleine Albright, and the Raging Grannies. I would think that draft-age Republican bloggers, or David Brooks would be suitable substitutes.

Steve writes about the Wall of Secrecy that has been created to hide the crimes. This is camouflage used to cover what they are doing.

April 30, 2006   Comments Off on I’m Not Laughing

Forget The Alamo

As Phinky and PSotD have noted, we use a host of words in American English that have been borrowed from other languages.

Apparently Texans are now supposed to remember the Poplar, in Saint Anthony.

As Николай Васильевич Гоголь said at the end of his краткое содержание Нос: “Кто что ни говори, а подобные происшествия бывают на свете, — редко, но бывают.”

[Edit: everyone should read the short stories of Nicholas Gogol so they can wonder how a 19th century Russian writer could understand life under the Shrubbery. There are good translations on-line and you can start with The Nose. Come on, you didn’t really think that corruption, cronyism, and incompetence were new? They are part of every empire.]

April 30, 2006   3 Comments

An Immigrant Dies

John Kenneth Galbraith, economist, writer, US ambassador to India, and witty, erudite conversationalist died Saturday at age 97.

Born in Canada, he chose to make the United States his home, and we, as a country, were better for it.

[Update] From the BBC: “The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable.”, and the phrase, “conventional wisdom”, belong to Mr. Galbraith.

April 30, 2006   3 Comments


If you are in for some absurdity be sure to see Colonel Sander’s typing pool over at Pandangon. Apparently they didn’t like their medals.

I borrowed some Javascript from Michael to avoid opening a book and “reinventing the wheel” to produce a countdown calendar for the Shrubbery and to track how long Osama has been wandering about since the “Wanted: Dead or Alive” poster was announced.

One of my diversions on the roll The Daily Kitten was down for over a week as the result of what amounted to a denial of service [DOS] attack every day when the ailurophiles hit the site at the posting of the day’s kitten. The problem has been resolved with a new server, but that kind of spike can make a system administrator’s life a nightmare.

Maru is on vacation and out of contact with the ‘Net for a week.

Rook has hit a burn out and is on hiatus. I hope the time out helps him recharge and return to the battle in time for the elections. We need every voice available to balance the misinformation campaign.

I’ve added two diversions to the roll:

Crap I Drew on My Lunch Break is a comic strip that updates on Tuesday and Thursday. It is an acquired taste.

Mythstory is written by Chris Regan, who has been working on a cable television show, The Daily Show, but I won’t hold that against him.

April 29, 2006   5 Comments

Al Qaeda Sweeps Week

First it was the big cheese, Osama bin Landen, then it was Abu Musab al-Zarqawi , the leader of al Qaeda in Iraq, and now Ayman al-Zawahiri, the real and only number 2 in al Qaeda, has made it to the studio. They seem to have time to make their media dates.

Maybe al Qaeda is on Spring Break?

April 29, 2006   2 Comments

Now We’re Talking Real Money

As the late Senator Everett Dirksen [R-Illinois] said: “a billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you are talking about real money.”

Over at Facing South they are wondering if anyone will ask Rumsfeld about the over one trillion dollars that the Department of Defense can’t account for in its records.

When the Republicans said they were going to run the government like a business, they apparently meant Enron.

A terabyte of money, $ 1,000,000,000,000 – that’s real money, and Congress isn’t holding hearings.

April 28, 2006   5 Comments

Making Us Safer

The Shrubbery doesn’t has a problem with Dubai buying Doncasters, the British company that makes parts for the engines used in Abrams tanks.

He gets to retire in less than 1000 days, so why should he care?

April 28, 2006   Comments Off on Making Us Safer

Rush Given A Free Pass

Via All Hat, No Cattle, Rush Limbaugh was arrested on one count of fraudulently obtaining prescription medication [doctor shopping], but he isn’t going to trial or prison.

In New York we called the process ACD [adjournment in contemplation of dismissal]. He spends 18 months in a rehabilitation program, pays for the cost of the investigation, keeps his nose clean, and everything disappears. No record of anything.

Some poor kid with a couple of marijuana cigarettes caught within 1000 feet of a convenience store would be facing years in prison, but wealthy white Republicans walk away with their voting rights intact.

April 28, 2006   2 Comments

Revisionist History

The effort to canonize Ronald Reagan never ends. No matter how much history has to be twisted, the “miracles” never stop.

Tonight on All Things Considered, Benjamin Zycher explains how Ronnie saved the world during the last energy crisis without a nasty windfall profits tax.

Ben’s version omits the real actions that left us in better shape than we had been in some time. Jimmy Carter explained the problem and proposed a solution in a 1977 speech.

A series of things begun by Carter [55mph speed limit, Energy Star appliances, tax credits for renewable energy, and energy conservation] pulled us back from the brink and help to reduce the consumption of oil which brought down the price. If Reagan and the Bushies had continued the programs, we wouldn’t be hurting like we are.

A point I would like to make absolutely clear is that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries [OPEC] is a cartel, and they significantly influence the oil market, i.e. it is not a free market, so free market solutions don’t work.

If the oil companies find new sources of oil, the price of crude oil drops. If the oil companies build new refineries, the profits on refined products drop. Where is the economic reason for oil companies to spend money to reduce their profit margins?

Update: Mustang Bobby corrected me, it was “Tricky Dick” Nixon who imposed the “double nickel” on the US. Nixon was also behind the Department of Energy and the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

April 28, 2006   2 Comments

Friday Cat Blogging

AtTax Time

Friday Cat Blogging

What were we doing?

[Editor: I’m minding my own business when Ringo starts muttering [Korats don’t meow, they chirp or mutter] and breaks into a cat fit, sweeping the tax book to the floor, and then attacks Sox. I turn around and take the picture as they decide to sleep instead. My cats are weird.

Friday Ark

April 28, 2006   6 Comments

The Paradox of Pat Roberts

The Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee complains about leaks, but , according to Laura Rozen, just before the launch of “Shock and Awe” he told the press that we had people pinpointing Saddam’s location. [Sources and methods, the biggest no-no.]

Quiddity explains how Roberts is using a Zeno Paradox to avoid actually investigating the Shrubbery’s manipulation of intelligence.

You have to wonder: is Senator Roberts is schizophrenic, or just another steaming pile of elephant dung?

April 27, 2006   2 Comments

Price Gouging?

Proving that there is no end to the number of topics that he knows absolutely nothing about, Bill Frist wants the Senate to investigate gasoline price gouging by retailers.

First of all, there is actual competition at the retail level because of the number of retailers, so jacking up prices doesn’t work and doesn’t explain why the prices have spiked all over the nation.

Secondly, retailers are given their mark-up price by wholesalers, which is 10¢ or less per gallon. Retailers made their dime when it was $1.50/gallon, and are still making a dime at $3.00/gallon. Retailers make their money by selling more gallons, not by charging more for each gallon. The standard convenience store and gas station makes the majority of its money from the convenience store. When the price of gas goes up, people aren’t buying Slurpies. The owner makes as much or more on a liter bottle of Coke as 5 gallons of gasoline.

When the large oil companies merged, they shut down refineries. We have fewer refineries now than we had a decade ago, and we are at the limit of refinery capacity.

Last year Exxon spent $5 billion on oil exploration and $6 billion buying back stock to jack up the share price. So you can see where their priorities are. They aren’t interested in bringing down the price of oil; that would reduce their profits. They aren’t interested in building refineries; that would reduce their profits.

April 27, 2006   6 Comments

Now It’s Serious

As long as it was about money, and government contracts, there was no need for the Beltway Bobbleheads to take it seriously. After all what’s a little influence peddling and bribery among friends?

But now there’s a real problem because the Cunningham investigation has discovered: SEX!

The DC press corps, who never questioned how a Congressman with only a military pension in addition to his Congressional pay, was living on a yacht and driving a Rolls Royce, will finally start poking around.

April 27, 2006   Comments Off on Now It’s Serious

Bay County, Florida

If people know about Panama City on the Florida Panhandle, it is probably because MTV has been going there for its Spring Break shows for several years. That bacchanal is the result of business greed overcoming the real culture of the place.

Some may have been stationed at Tyndall AFB, current home of the F-22, but to most people, Panama City and Bay County are names they hear when there’s a Gulf hurricane headed north.

If John Ellis Bush has his way with the US Senate race in Florida, as noted by Mustang Bobby, then more people will hear about Bay County.

JEB wants Allan G. Bense, Speaker of the Florida House, to enter the Republican primary against Cruella de Harris. Allan is from Panama City, and as far as most of the state is concerned, it could as well be in the country of Panama as the county of Bay.

I just wrote about Martin Lee Anderson, but every American who is arrested for a felony receives a reference to Bay County justice. When they read you your rights and get to the part about getting an attorney if you can’t afford one, you are benefiting from the Supreme Court decision in Gideon v. Wainwright, which began as a Bay County burglary.

April 27, 2006   2 Comments