29 November 2006

Green Peace

Satanic deviants, Bill Trimarco & Lisa Jensen

A Christmas miracle! The Loma Linda Homeowners Association
decide to give peace a chance.

DENVER -- A subdivision has withdrawn its threat
of $25 daily fines against a homeowner who put a
Christmas wreath shaped like a peace sign on the
front of her home.

Homeowner Lisa Jensen told The Associated Press
on Monday that the board of directors of the Loma
Linda Homeowners Association had apologized,
called the incident a misunderstanding and had
withdrawn its request for the wreath's removal.

Jensen was ordered to take the wreath down when
some residents in her 200-home subdivision saw
it as a protest of the Iraq war. Bob Kearns, president
of the board, also said some saw it as a symbol of

$25 a day for a satanic Christmas wreath? And I thought my
neighbors were assholes. I can just imagine the fun they must
have in Loma Linda when Halloween rolls around. I'm sure it's
standing room only for the Harry Potter book-burning fiesta.
Borat could probably film a entire sequel in this neighborhood

But it's nice to know there are still some fans of peace and free
speech in this country.

Jensen, a past association president, said she was
overwhelmed with hundreds of calls of support and
offers to help her pay the $1,000 fine that would be
due if she kept the wreath up until after Christmas.

"We would like to thank everyone who has contacted
us with moral support and offers of financial support.
We are grateful to hundreds of complete strangers
who felt so moved by this story they contacted us,"
she said.

"It seems whenever someone tries to say 'Peace on
Earth' it is met with so much resistance," she said.
"The incredible amount of support we have received
over the last couple of days really is proof to us of how
many people believe in peace and in our right to say it."

27 November 2006

Civil War

It's official.

In a bombshell, however, Matt Lauer on the Today
show this morning revealed that NBC had studied
and perhaps debated the issue anew, and then
decided that it will now use "civil war" freely. "For
months the White House rejected claims that the
situation in Iraq has deteriorated into civil war," he
said. "For the most part news organizations like
NBC hesitated to characterize it as such. After
careful consideration, NBC News has decided the
change in terminology is warranted and what is
going on in Iraq can now be characterized as civil

14 November 2006

The Big Losers

I can’t figure out which is worse...

To believe in the Genius of Rove.

Finally, after the "thumpin' " Republicans took,
Rove's tactics have come under closer press
scrutiny, particularly his late campaign predictions
that proved to be embarrassingly naïve. But even
there, the coverage has been artificially restrained
with the starting point for many of the media
post-mortems being, how could a strategist as
brilliant as Karl Rove misread the looming election

The press also continues to look away from Rove's
string of colossal miscues that led to the Republican
losses. For instance, Republicans themselves are
furious that Bush waited until the day after the
elections to fire beleaguered Secretary of Defense
Donald Rumsfeld. "I think the timing was exactly
backwards," complained Newt Gingrich, who said
Bush's clumsy maneuver likely cost Republican
candidates between 10 and 15 seats in the House.
For now Bush is getting the blame. But does
anybody really think that Rove did not play a
significant role in the misguided decision to keep
Rummy on through the elections? After all, it was
Rove who insisted all year that Iraq could be a
winning issue for Republicans and that candidates
would get credit for sticking close to the president.
That turned out to be a costly blunder, and so did
Bush's refusal to can Rumsfeld.

Or to believe in nothing.

They have no passion about anything. And they
thus assume that everyone else suffers from the
same emptiness of character and ossified cynicism
that plague them. And all of their punditry and
analysis and political strategizing flows from this
corrupt root.

Not only do they believe in nothing, they think
that a belief in nothing is a mark of sophistication
and wisdom. Those who believe in things too
much -- who display intense political passion or
who take their convictions and ideals seriously
(i.e., Feingold, Howard Dean) -- either are naive
or, worse, are crazy, irrational, loudmouthed
masses and radicals who disrupt the elevated,
measured world of the high-level, dispassionate
Beltway sophisticates (i.e., Joe Klein, David
Broder). They are interested in, even obsessed
with, every aspect of the political process except
for deeply held political beliefs, which is the only
part that actually matters or has any real worth.

08 November 2006

Goodbye Rummy

When I think about the conversation President Bush and
Donald Rumsfeld must of had right after the election, I’m
reminded of what legendary Yankees manager Casey Stengel
told his outfielder, Bob Cerv, one summer day in 1956.

“Nobody knows this yet, but one of us has just been traded
to Kansas City.”


America's next Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi (D-California)

Democrats spanked the GOP all across the country, taking
control of the House
. And with a few Senate races still
too close to call (TPM has a comprehensive scoreboard, here)
there might be more good news to come.

Overall, it was a great night. I can't remember the last time
I had so much fun watching Fox News -- Brit Hume looked
like he had landed in his anchor chair after seeing a ghost
and falling down a few flights of stairs. The best spin he
could muster all night was that the Dems victory is no big
deal because it wasn't "a surprise."

Maybe he'll change his tune when congress starts passing
out subpoenas

06 November 2006

Weapons of Mass Disintegration

As Homer often says, "It's funny cause it's true."

05 November 2006

We're In Good Hands

Neo-Comedy Legends: (l. to r.) Richard Perle, David Frum,
Ken Adelman & Dick Cheney.

How could things have ended up so shitty with such
great minds advising our fearless leader?

Richard Perle: "Huge mistakes were made, and I
want to be very clear on this: They were not made
by neoconservatives, who had almost no voice in
what happened, and certainly almost no voice in
what happened after the downfall of the regime in
Baghdad. I'm getting damn tired of being described
as an architect of the war. I was in favor of bringing
down Saddam. Nobody said, 'Go design the
campaign to do that.' I had no responsibility for

David Frum: "I always believed as a speechwriter
that if you could persuade the president to commit
himself to certain words, he would feel himself
committed to the ideas that underlay those words.
And the big shock to me has been that although the
president said the words, he just did not absorb the
ideas. And that is the root of, maybe, everything."

Kenneth Adelman: "The problem here is not a
selling job. The problem is a performance job.…
Rumsfeld has said that the war could never be lost
in Iraq, it could only be lost in Washington. I don't
think that's true at all. We're losing in Iraq."

Dick Cheney: QUACK-QUACK!

And don't miss the sequel, when those wacky neo-cons
put several unidentified Iraqi government documents
online for everyone to see -- including detailed
instructions for building a nuclear bomb!

Hail, Hail Freedonia!

01 November 2006

Measuring Chaos

New York Times

WASHINGTON, Oct. 30 — A classified briefing
prepared two weeks ago by the United States
Central Command portrays Iraq as edging
toward chaos, in a chart that the military is
using as a barometer of civil conflict.

A one-page slide shown at the Oct. 18
briefing provides a rare glimpse into how the
military command that oversees the war is
trying to track its trajectory, particularly in
terms of sectarian fighting.

The slide includes a color-coded bar chart
that is used to illustrate an “Index of Civil
Conflict.” It shows a sharp escalation in
sectarian violence since the bombing of a
Shiite shrine in Samarra in February, and
tracks a further worsening this month
despite a concerted American push to tamp
down the violence in Baghdad.


One significant factor in the military’s
decision to move the scale toward “chaos”
was the expanding activity by militias.

Another reason was the limitations of Iraqi
government security forces, which despite
years of training and equipping by the
United States, are either ineffective or, in
some cases, infiltrated by the very militias
they are supposed to be combating. The
slide notes that “ineffectual” Iraqi police
forces have been a significant problem,
and cites as a concern sectarian conflicts
between Iraqi security forces.

Other significant factors are in the political
realm. The slide notes that Iraq’s political
and religious leaders have lost some of their
moderating influence over their constituents
or adherents.

Notably, the slide also cites difficulties that
the new Iraqi administration has experienced
in “governance.” That appears to be shorthand
for the frustration felt by American military
officers about the Iraqi government’s delays in
bringing about a genuine political reconciliation
between Shiites and Sunnis. It also appears to
apply to the lack of reconstruction programs to
restore essential services and the dearth of job
creation efforts to give young Iraqis an
alternative to joining militias, as well as the
absence of firm action against militias.

Meanwhile, over 100 American troops were killed in Iraq
last month -- trapped in the middle of this nightmare as
the country rips itself apart from all ends.

No WMD. No democracy. No security.

Just chaos.

Had Enough?