Friday, December 08, 2006

No, you don't look like you're up to something, but whenever you look like you're not up to ANYTHING, you're up to something.

Via Atrios I see Gordo's jumping the Iraq war ship.

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- In an emotional speech on the Senate floor Thursday night, Sen Gordon Smith, a moderate Republican from Oregon who has been a supporter of the war in Iraq, said the U.S. military's "tactics have failed" and he "cannot support that anymore."

Smith said he is at, "the end of my rope when it comes to supporting a policy that has our soldiers patrolling the same streets in the same way, being blown up the same bombs, day after day."

That is absurd," he said. "It may even be criminal."

There are few things in life that are as predictably regular as Gordon Smith's "I'm really a moderate" act he puts on every cycle he's up for re-election. Change of heart? Hardly. It's just time for a conservative politician who voted for Bush's tax cuts, the Iraq war and to convict President Clinton after his impeachment, to start pretending he represents the mainstream views held by his constituents.

Gordo: it ain't gonna work this time. Come 08 it's back to pea-farming for you, bud.

And when Santa squeezes his fat white ass down that chimney tonight, he's gonna find the jolliest bunch of assholes this side of the nuthouse.

As if we needed another reason not to shop at Wal-Mart they've also joined the fray in Bill O'Reilly's "war on Christmas" nonsense.

“We, quite frankly, have learned a lesson from last year” and all of the threats of protest and bad publicity that arose from shunning “Merry Christmas” in the stores, Wal-Mart spokeswoman Linda Blakley told USA Today. “We’re not afraid to use the term ‘Merry Christmas.’ We’ll use it early, and we’ll use it often,” she said.

Apparently that "lesson" was that when the Right Wing throws themselves on the ground, kicking and screaming because you won't buy them a "real, live unicorn" that the thing to do is to give them what they want. Of course like most spoiled children all that'll do will be to enable them the next time they want something they can't have.

While I'm on the subject of Wal-Mart shame on the Salvation Army for allowing their charity to be featured so prominently in Wal Mart's holiday advertising. They're reputation as THE Christmas charity doesn't deserve to be sullied by association with the nation's leading corporate deadbeat.

Thursday, December 07, 2006


On the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor my thoughts go out to a sailor who, as a favor to a buddy who wanted a sea billet, switched billets with the guy to the naval base at San Diego from the battleship Tennessee just a month before the Japanese attack. His buddy survived but called him afterwards to jokingly accuse him of "knowing something."

He got over to Pearl anyway later in the month. He was an Electrician's Mate so they sent him into the capsized battleships first to wade through the garbage, oil and bodies of his fellow sailors and string lights so that salvage could begin. This was certainly his most vivid memory of the war and something that choked him up on the retelling even sixty odd years after the attack.

He may not of won the Medal of Honor but gramps was still a hero.

(If you're trying to figure out how the Christmas Carol quote works with the attack on Pearl Harbor - it doesn't. It's just something the sailor I'm talking about used to like to say this time of year.)

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

There's a big difference between mostly dead and all dead. Mostly dead is slightly alive.

Who would've thought that something as simple as word tense can make all the difference in the world? Yesterday Robert M Gates the heir apparent to Rummy's empty seat told the Senate Armed Services Committee "is not winning the war in Iraq." This just so happens to dovetail nicely into the sensible centrist McCain/ Lieberman position of doing whatever it takes to "win," usually manifest in the form of sending in more troops. "Not winning" is the perfect expression politically because it not only implies that there's still a chance to "win*" but also plays neatly to the American sense of rooting for the underdog.

In the afternoon and after Gates took some hits from critics on the right in that "not winning" could be interpreted as "losing" he amended his comments to say what he meant is that we are "neither winning or losing" in Iraq. Way to muddle things further, Bobby.

It occurs to me that Gates' characterization of the war is so confusingly nebulous and our options so murky is that he simply is using the wrong tense of "to lose" when describing the situation. Myself and somewhere upwards of 60% of Americans recognize the war in Iraq is already "lost" in the sense the U.S. can achieve military goals that will bring political stability. The U.S. army is the finest fighting force in the world but it was built to fight conventional, not guerilla wars.

Still- I have to give Gates and others credit for demonstrating signs that they're beginning to understand what's going on by entertaining the idea of losing in Iraq. It's just that they're about two years behind everybody else when it comes to deciding what needs to be done.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

You sit around here and you spin your little webs and you think the whole world revolves around you and your money.

The last second flood of Measure 37 claims has sent the state into a bit of a panic but has at least provided a bit of grim amusement in watching the Oregonian expressing shock, SHOCK, that corporations might take advantage of a ballot initiative they largely funded the passage of. Not the sharpest tools in the shed over there at the Lazy O.

More sympathetic are the small rural communities which strongly supported Measure 37 that are now running smack dab into the law of unintended consequences. The media has focused on coastal communities near to large tracts of corporate owned timber that may face development under Measure 37 claims but that's not the end of the story. For example:

Sandy received its first claim from Lila C. Leathers, who says her downtown property is hurt by a ban on gas stations and drive-through restaurants.

In other words: a truck stop.

The Sandy downtown is really a small, oval shaped island that splits Highway 26 East and West on both sides. Traffic on the highway is slowed to 25 mph in town and, during the winter ski months when the traffic is particularly heavy, it can be a real bear getting through town.

Leather's property is on the West end of that island bordering Highway 26 on both sides. The truck stop she's been fighting to build would no doubt add considerable traffic problems to the surrounding area as tractor trailers merged back onto the highway. That's why the notoriously development-friendly city have wisely spiked her efforts up to this point. A truck stop would not be beneficial for the local community nor the seasonal travelers that depend on the highway to get up the mountain. Sandy, which bills itself as the "Gateway to Mt. Hood," would become more gate than gateway.

The Governor and legislative leaders are discussing some "tweaking" of Measure 37 during the next session. Most likely something will come together that caps the larger, corporate claims while expediting the smaller individual claims. I would hope the Leathers deal falls into the former category because the benefit to Sandy, and to all all Oregonians that enjoy their winter sports, is negligible to say the least.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Kid's suck.

Do you have a child you particulary despise for whatever reason? Is their a toddler at whom the sound of his voice just makes you want to claw off your own ears? Well here's the perfect Christmas present for the little spawn of satan:

From the authors of "Help! Mom! There are liberals under my bed" comes another children's book which can serve as the equivalent of a literary lobotomy on any wee ones on your hate list.

If you want to ensure a certain child doesn't develop the cognitive skills to complete college, much less kindergarden, get them this book.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Overdroid advances another human temporal unit based on Terra's rotation around Sol.

Another year older another year closer to total subjugation of the earth. Congrats Seph!