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Updated: 2014-10-02T23:05:41.265-05:00


Gilliard Family Statement


The family of Steve Gilliard, wishes to express our heartfelt gratitude for all of the many acts of kindness extended toward us during this sad time. The outpouring of support, the thousands of emails, the tens of thousands of commentary, the thousands of donations, have all overwhelmed us. While we would love to send an individual thank you to each one of you, it is simply not possible. It will take us some time to read all of messages of care, love, sympathy and concern that we have received. We hope that this acknowledgement and expression of our thanks will be received with the love it is meant to express.

As we move forward, it is our desire to gather all of Steve's writing and, if possible, publish it. This will be a lengthy process and we ask for your patience with our efforts. To assist us, if you have links or documents of Steve's writing, we ask that you forward them to Francine Smith at She, along with Steve's sisters will be working on this project together.

Again, our heartfelt thanks to all of you. May God richly bless each one of you and our prayer is that you keep up the fight that Steve was so instrumental in starting. We know it is what he would want you to do.

Be Blessed
The Family of Stephen Gilliard, Jr.

The Gilliard Family's Obituary for Steve


Steven Gilliard Jr., dynamic, controversial, left wing, editor and journalist of The News Blog (one of the top political blogging communities), died at Lenox Hill Hospital Saturday, June 2 after a lengthy illness. He was 42 years old. Steven was a highly regarded journalist, researcher, and historian. However, Steve was best known for his work in the blogosphere as a no-nonsense, in your face, liberal blogger who had cut his teeth while at Netslaves and Daily Kos before he published The News Blog. The oldest child of Evelyn Gilliard (of the home) and Steven Gilliard Sr., (Manhattan), Steven displayed his passion with the written word as a young child and was reading the newspaper by the time he was three. This passion fueled his academic success throughout Hunter Elementary School, Hunter College High School, and New York University, where he received his degree in Journalism in 1989. A caring, generous, and loving son, Steven shared his zest for life with those most important to him. With his mother he shared his political view points and traveled with her often; with his father, an enthusiasm for the Mets, history and model airplanes. These would begin to build the foundation for Steven's his future. A compassionate and considerate brother, Steven was always available to his sisters Valerie and Roberta (both of Massachusetts) with whom he talked often. To his nephews, John, Robert and Ernest and his niece, Erica (all of Massachusetts), he was a terrific uncle, educating them, and treating them as his own children, encouraging their every interest, and supporting them. Their fondest memories of their uncle were their frequent trips to libraries and museums, for being their "walking" encyclopedia that helped with school projects or homework assignments, watching old movies, for their fun outings with Jen, and for cooking with Erica.To Jen, one of his closest friends in NYC, he was Gilly… and she also recalls their outings with his niece and nephew. Gilly was the consummate friend often doing things for people anonymously. If you where special to him, you could count on him. He ran annual fundraisers for those in need and was always ready with a listening ear and a caring heart. His friends were lifelong friends as the gentleness he radiated made you want to be around him. When his health was better Gilly enjoyed his weekly football games, hanging at the barbecues with his many friends. An undaunted Mets fan, Gilly also enjoyed European football favoring Manchester United. Gilly was funny, fearless, fierce, and foremost always himself.A Voice Remarks of how Steven touched the lives of bloggers have poured in. Many remark that his is the first blog they read every day. Even those who were vastly opposed to Steven's decidedly liberal political voice, respected his opinions and read him to get their history lesson as his facts could not be disputed. His quick wit and fearless candor landed him on many panels, radio talk shows and the like and he was either thoroughly appreciated or he infuriated many. Either way they came away with more information than they had when they came. Steven was skillful at pulling apart history and military strategy and clearing away the spin to reveal the real truth, which is something not many others are capable of doing. Many bloggers have commented that they waited for his commentary when any major news event took place to get the "full" story. Well known for his attack on Michael Steele (MD Senator, whom he depicted in blackface) and his fierce opposition to George Bush and the war in Iraq long before it was popular to be anti-war, Steven was a door opener for African American bloggers. Many described him as a "hardnosed independent" (Daily Kos) with a powerful voice that supported the values and issues important to working people. His cry "We Fight Back . . ." will hopefully ring in the ear of every liberal blogger as they pick up the reins and try to cut through the news spin to the truth and speak out loud for justice, equality and those thin[...]

Steve's notice in the New York Times


You can read it here. Thanks to those who contributed to Noam's well-written piece.

- Jim in LA

Good Morning America from Tokyo


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Fatboy Slim, Push The Tempo.

Hey Achmed



Sen. Shithead: Hey Achmed, I will give you 1 U.S. Dollar for these glasses! Thats a lot of money to you people.

Shopkeeper: Sure, sure, $1, i am looking forward to having a power drill put holes in my spine tomorrow, just before they put a bullet in my head, because you chose my shop, but sure, $1 dollar is fine. Thank you brave American political person. [sigh]

"They're not Pollyannaish about this," Lieberman said referring to the soldiers. ''They know it's not going to be solved in a day or a month."

Pollyanna? Who talks like that about Iraq? These kids are having their limbs blown off, they requested better body armor and armored hummvees and information on withdrawal and shitbag says they arent Pollyannaish?!?

Pollyanna tells the story of Pollyanna Whittier, a young girl who goes to live with her wealthy Aunt Polly after her father's death. Pollyanna's philosophy of life centers around what she calls "The Glad Game": she always tries to find something to be glad about in every situation, and to always do without delay whatever she thinks is right. With this philosophy, and her own sunny personality, she brings so much gladness to her aunt's dispirited New England town that she transforms it into a pleasant, healthy place to live.

Joe Lieberman is not mentally healthy

No End In Sight


It's the first film to chronicle the Iraq side of the descent into guerilla warfare. Numerous interviews with U.S. government officials, many for the first time, will leave you absolutely stunned! Col. Paul Hughes is of particular interest and if there was any justice, he would be given the Medal of Freedom. Additional interviews with Gen. Jay Garner, Ambassador Barbara Bodine, Richard Armitage, Col. Lawrence Wilkerson and Major General Paul Eaton will open your eyes to the incompetence and sheer idiocy of this incredible folly.

We are thinking about screening this in Tokyo, anybody seen it?

Turks mass for Kurd attack


Turkey's military massed more troops and tanks on the border with Iraq Thursday as the country's military chief said he was ready to stage a cross-border offensive to fight Kurds.

Our spreading peace and democracy is really starting to kick in now!
His latest remarks appeared to put Erdogan's government under pressure to ask for approval from parliament to send soldiers into Iraq to fight separatist Kurdish guerrillas.

The United States opposes any unilateral Turkish military action, fearing it could destabilize northern Iraq - the most stable part of the war-torn country.

Past cross-border operations have yielded mixed results, with many guerrillas sheltering in hide-outs and emerging to fight again once the bulk of Turkish units withdrew from Iraq. A government official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the military could set up a buffer zone in northern Iraq to block Kurdish rebels from entering Turkey.

I think he means; 'a buffer zone of northern Iraq', the whole thing, then the Turks will have the Lebenstraum living area they need.

The Surge is Working! Thanks NeoCons!

hat tip to reddan, more here

A Casualty of Asymmetrical Warfare


The Talking Dog has been covering the legal aspects of the Gitmo story since it started. Now he's on the part where our guests are killing themselves.So far, no flippant responses from the Defense or Justice Departments to the latest news that yet another GTMO detainee, this time a Saudi national, has managed to kill himself at our gulag beach resort at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. (Around this time last year, when three detainees killed themselves, GTMO commanding officer Rear Adm. Harris insisted that this was some kind of gesture of "asymmetrical warfare".) While we do get the usual explanation of a detainee "found not responsive", we get no details such as the name, or whether the detainee was one of those scheduled for release (because they're all "the worst of the worst", of course), or in this case, the manner of suicide. The WaPo article relies on insanely under-stated official estimates of "around 40 suicide attempts by 25 detainees". We know, for example, from our interview with Joshua Colangelo-Bryan that his own client Juma Al-Dossari may have exceeded that number all by himself, and that suicide attempts were rampant. What has happened, of course, is that the military has simply stopped counting suicide attempts, and calling them other things. Well, three of the Orwellianisms managed to work last year, and a fourth this year. That's around 1% of the current detainee population. Given that, unlike the usual super-max prison, where those held have been tried and convicted of something and have a determinate sentence (even if its a long one, or a life sentence), the GTMO detainees have simply been determined guilty by executive fiat, and may face life, or may be released tomorrow, again, by executive fiat and whim. And unlike the usual super-max, they are subject to the kind of officially sanctioned abuse and torture, which, stateside, some lawyer and judge might find offends the Eighth Amendment. No matter. A "cultural advisor" is on hand to make sure that the prisoner's body is treated with the kind of respect that the prisoner was denied while he was alive (doubtless using protocols written by former chaplain Capt. James Yee, interviewed here.) And so it goes. Another day at the office, if the office is Joint Task Force Guantanamo. This ongoing stain on our nation's integrity continues. Our friends at Cage Prisoners count this as day 1967 of illegal imprisonment at GTMO; my Bush Countdown Calendar tells me we have 600 days left of this Administration. Deep sighs all around.His earlier interviews are linked below.Readers interested in legal issues and related matters associated with the "war on terror" may also find talking dog blog interviews with attorneys Tina Foster, Brent Mickum, Marc Falkoff H. Candace Gorman, Eric Freedman, Michael Ratner, Thomas Wilner, Jonathan Hafetz, Joshua Denbeaux, Rick Wilson, Neal Katyal, Joshua Colangelo Bryan, Baher Azmy, and Joshua Dratel (representing Guantanamo detainees and others held in "the war on terror"), with attorneys Donna Newman and Andrew Patel (representing "unlawful combatant" Jose Padilila), with Dr. David Nicholl, who spearheaded an effort among international physicians protesting force-feeding of detainees at Guantanamo Bay, with physician and bioethicist Dr. Steven Miles on medical complicity in torture, with law professor and former Clinton Administration Ambassador-at-large for war crimes matters David Scheffer, with former Guantanamo detainees Moazzam Begg and Shafiq Rasul , with former Guantanamo Bay Chaplain James Yee, with former Guantanamo Army Arabic linguist Erik Saar, with law professor and former Army J.A.G. officer Jeffrey Addicott, with law professor and Coast Guard officer Glenn Sulmasy, with author and geographer Trevor Paglen and with author and journalist Stephen Grey on the subject of the CIA's extraordinary rendition program, and with journa[...]

Like Cartoons, Politics Defies Logic


Via TBogg recently, the behind-the-curve wingnuts are all fired up over the immigration bill.
So fired up in fact, that gol-dernit!, they're gonna use teh google to impact their officeholders stance on said bill:

"Last year, I organized the Rightroots effort to raise more than a quarter of a million dollars for Republican candidates in the last 3 months of the election. This year, if this amnesty bill passes, I'm going to organize a group of blogers to raise money for any viable primary challengers to pro-amnesty Republicans in the Senate. I'm also going to offer those candidates my services, pro-bono, as a consultant, to try to get their names out in the blogosphere. On top of that, I'm going to hunt down every single piece of dirt I can find on the pro-amnesty Republicans and I'm going to release it in the blogosphere. Put another way, if you're a Republican Senator up for reelection in 2008 and you vote for amnesty -- and you face a viable primary challenger -- I've got two words for you,

Scorched Earth." pointed out in comments by our own Julia of Sisyphus Shrugged:

"and Google, who rewrote their algorithms last year specifically to combat linkbombing, are never going to notice."

I believe it was Driftglass who I first heard say, "these people could f*ck up a two car funeral". If you want to understand why the top-down style of the wingnuttosphere is the abject failure it is, bass-ackwardness such as this is proof positive of Drifty's point. So by all means, my dear C-cuppers and cheerleaders, fire up your Amigas and Lisas and have at it. Do try to not give the hamster powering your beige boxes a heart attack, though.

Oh, and while nibbling at your cheetos, enjoy this little cartoon break.
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And in the spirit of bi-partisan disgust, this week's craven bullsh*t on our side will not go uncommented on. Fill up a bowl of Congress Crispies, my fellow lefties.

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Life was so much simpler when we were a bunch a' cartoon-watching kids, wud'n it? :(

-- Lowermanhattanite

of the people, by the people, and for the people


D. Sidhe has some thoughts about the uses of governmentPhil Nugent had some thoughts on defunding the federal government this weekend, you are encouraged to read them. The man's an amazing ranter, and I mean that with absolute respect. But it sent me off on a tangent of my own, and about the time I realized that my comment was going to get truncated over at No More Mister Nice Blog's place, where Phil crossposted, I decided perhaps it'd be better over here where a smaller audience might mean no one points out my various and prominent flaws in logic. (Unless you feel like it, in which case, have at it.)For some reason, I'm pro-government. Always have been. People who say things like "Government doesn't solve problems", or "Name one good thing the government's ever done", or "Capitalism can do that better" baffle the living hell out of me. Give me a few minutes, and I could name at least three dozen government programs that are important enough they need doing but that capitalism isn't capable of, or interested in. Let's start with orphan drugs. People with rare diseases, for which drugs aren't available because any given company can make more manufacturing Cialis than something maybe a thousand or so people across the US take. Unless we're willing to just write these people off, telling them, well, yes, a cure exists, but you can't have it because there's not enough profit in making it, taxpayer subsidies seem like a good solution.Rural electrification, there's another good one. No for-profit company is going to string wire all the way out to some tiny hamlet in the Ozarks for the sake of a few hundred people. For that matter, no for-profit hospital is going to spend much if any time treating the indigent in their ERs if they're not made to. For-profit schools is another good way to say "MacDonald's Training Academy", and no kid is going to learn literature or citizenship or art there. Anybody want to explore the concept of capitalistic fire departments? Remember, your non-covered neighbor's housefire can very quickly become yours, and even if the fire department saves your home, you'd have less damage if they put out the fire when it was still two houses away. Road building, police departments, prisons, the military, you want to see what happens when they go capitalistic, Iraq is rather instructive. There's an awful lot of stuff I'm perfectly happy to pay taxes for so everybody can use, and so no one person or group controls how it gets used. If civil courts are replaced with the sort of arbitration my bank tells me is my only option if we have a disagreement, those of us who aren't hiring and paying the arbitrators will never see justice. If the roads are maintained by auto companies, you can just keep your bike in your garage. If Microsoft is the only source of funding for the local aquarium, you can expect to have to wait outside with the field trip kids while they hold their monthly employee banquet. When the Wall Street Journal gives PBS more money than anybody else, you can expect to see programming where some B-list columnist quizzes guests as to whether the economy is going "great" or "really great". So government can absolutely solve problems, and paying taxes is how we have a government with an interest in and an ability to solve problems that are important, rather then just profitable. And right off the bat, I have an adversarial stance toward anyone who tells me smaller government is inherently better--which is not to say I'm any happier with those who propose that larger government is inherently better. It's not the size, as they tell us, it's what you do with it.The thing is, I don't actually know anyone who goes around saying that big government is inherently good, unless you count the walking pathologies we've come to refer to as "authoritarians", and even they ar[...]

Top Cheney Aide: 2007 Is 'The Year Of Mexico,' U.S. Attack ‘A Real Possibility'


As the Bush administration ratchets up pressure on Mexico, Vice President Cheney’s top national security aide has been sourced by the Washington Post — in the 10th paragraph on page A18 — saying that war with Mexico is “a real possibility” this year:

Some senior administration officials still relish the notion of a direct confrontation. One ambassador in Washington said he was taken aback when John Hannah, Vice President Cheney’s national security adviser, said during a recent meeting that the administration considers 2007 “the year of Mexico” and indicated that a U.S. attack was a real possibility. Hannah declined to be interviewed for this article.

Those with knowledge of the build-up to war in Iraq will recognize John Hannah’s name. In Bush’s second term, he replaced Scooter Libby as the head of Cheney’s national security staff. During Bush’s first term, he personally wrote the first draft of the infamous speech that Secretary of State Colin Powell delivered to the United Nations, according to Powell’s former aide Lawrence Wilkerson.

Moreover, Hannah was a top source for false pre-war intelligence from Iraqi exiles that was “stovepiped” past the intelligence agencies and sent directly to the White House:

For months, Cheney’s office has denied that the veep bypassed U.S. intelligence agencies to get intel reports from Mexico, and the latest information from inside the Miss Universe pageant have the players in motion.
The latest outrageous action will not stand. For more info see here

John Hannah’s comments about Mexico should be taken seriously. He knows how to mislead a nation into war.

reprinted in part from Think Progress

UPDATE: commenter tassawwuf points out the activities of EZLN are not to be overlooked, and their suspiciously named Subcommandante Marcos
Coincidence, I think not!

UPDATE: Lets not forget about known Mexican Agent Selma Hayek!

Michael Powell and Guliani - Gay Lovers ?


Michael Powell of the New York Times wrote a piece on Rudy Guliani today that, because I know the Times does not take money to write pieces I can only assume that Powell and Guliani are gay lovers.

Mr. Giuliani laughs, he gestures expansively, he even pokes fun at his tendency to wax a wee bit authoritarian. (He suggests a touch of the cane was necessary to impose discipline on that liberal asylum known as New York.) He shakes hands with reporters he once viewed as “jerky” and assures them he is fine with tough questions about abortion, where he has settled on a position supporting a woman’s right to choose, and about gun control

He runs! He Jumps, He Shoots, He Scores! WOW! What a guy...

He dresses in the one-size-too-large suits he has favored since his days as a federal prosecutor, with the top shirt button fastened and tie knotted tight. It is difficult to imagine anyone asking him a “really dopey” (two favorite Giuliani words now in abeyance) question about his favored style in underwear, as someone once did of Bill Clinton.
Mr. Giuliani has made upgrades. The comb-over, his decades-long insistence on combing his hair across a substantial expanse of cranium, is history. His remaining hair is slicked back and comes to rest in a tight nest of graying curls.

Hubba Hubba, get a room girls.

This piece is ridiculous. What is the Times thinking? Will Keller pull Powell off this race before his boy's man-crush cause them any more embarrassment.

In Atlanta, Mr. Giuliani offers to take questions, and a stout blond woman in a red pantsuit shoots straight up, raising her hand and nearly shouting, “I think you are sooooo handsome.”

(In 1994, a woman in Queens translated the same compliment into New Yorkese; she peered carefully at Mr. Giuliani and acknowledged, “You look a lot better in person.”)

hmmmm... 1994?... Does Powell keep a Guliani Diary? with hearts drawn on the cover?

Republican Crooks, $3.8 million in VA Executive Bonuses


Secretary of VA Affairs, Jim Nicholson with BushWASHINGTON (AP) — Nearly two dozen officials who received hefty performance bonuses last year at the Veterans Affairs Department also sat on the boards charged with recommending the payments.Documents obtained by The Associated Press raise questions of conflict of interest in connection with the bonuses, some of which went to senior officials involved in crafting a budget that came up $1.3 billion short and jeopardized veterans' health care.The documents show that 21 of 32 officials who were members of VA performance review boards received more than half a million dollars in payments themselves. - (AP - VA Bonuses)These crackerjack political appointees, after bungling the 2005 budget and creating a $1.3 billion dollar shortfall paid themselves over $3.8 million in bonuses.While veterans wait more 6 months for care, and the VA itself has a 100,000 case backlog. These bastards voted themselves bonuses. The bonuses were awarded even after government investigators had determined the VA repeatedly miscalculated "if not deliberately misled taxpayers" with questionable methods used to justify Bush administration cuts to health care amid the burgeoning Iraq war. - (TIME VA Bonuses Questioned) Michael Walcoff, Ronald Aument, and William Feeley just some of the many VA incompentents who stole money from veterans at Walter Reed and around the country.Annual bonuses to senior VA officials now average more than $16,000 — the most lucrative in government. The VA said the payments are necessary to retain hardworking career officials.Most of these guys make more than $150,000 a year. According to the White House Office of Personnel Management, roughly three of every four senior officials at the VA have received some kind of bonus each year.Listen, son, you and your folks are heading out right? we're going to need this bed, be sure and get your bill at reception.Now, what was it that jackass Glen Reynolds was saying about Democratic Pork?[...]

Key Lime Pie


As I said in a comment, food is my friend in times of distress or conflict. A food post is therefore my first humble contribution to The Newsblog in honor of Steve, Jen, Jim in LA and the rest of you irregulars.Summer is just around the corner if you count the days until kids are out of school in many parts of the US. Here in South Florida, we have what passes for summer in most places year round! I’m not much of a dessert eater, especially as I get older and the battle of the waistline reaches epic proportions. However, Key Lime Pie is something special and always welcome on my table. Not too sweet, a great take-along to a party or BBQ, and absolutely refreshing. Kinda healthy, too – if you count mental health!Easy to make – unless you are the lucky chef’s assistant assigned to juice the key limes. Key limes are rather tough-skinned little rascals with a firm pulp and many seeds, and you need a bunch to extract enough juice for a decent pie. (Decent is defined in my pie lexicon as having enough citrusy tang to curl your lip but not your hair.)Fresh key limes come in a net bag and are more yellow-green than their big perfectly colored green cousins (see photo). Most in the Miami area are imported from Mexico. The good news is that stores now carry bottled key lime juice. The Pompeii brand in a sage green lemon-shaped plastic container is a good alternative if you can’t find fresh. The following egg-free, no baking required pie travels well to outdoor picnics or ‘cues. No worrying about spoilage if you do not tope it with whipped cream. I added recipes for a crumb pie crust and whipped cream if you have time to make your own.Key Lime Pie • Graham cracker, other crumb-crust* or plain pie crust (pre-made or homemade)• 8 oz cream cheese, softened• 1 can sweetened condensed milk• 3/4 cup key lime juice (fresh or bottled) – I add extra for more tart goodness!• 1/4 tsp vanilla extract• Key lime zest, swirls or thin slices (optional garnish)• Whipped cream topping (optional) – I only use the real thing or Reddi-Whip (in a time pinch), never Cool WhipSoften cream cheese. Place in blender or food processor and add sweetened condensed milk. Mix in lime juice and vanilla extract. Pour cream cheese mixture in crust. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Top with whipped cream plus key lime garnish if desired.Crumb-Crust Pie Shell• 1-1/2 cups fine crumbs* (graham crackers, toasted bread, vanilla wafers, or zwieback recommended to complement the key limes)• 1/4 cup sugar• 1/2 cups butter, meltedMix crumbs and sugar together; stir in melted butter. Line pie plate with mixture, pressing firmly into place. Chill for 20 minutes or bake at 350° for 10 minutes. Makes 1 pie shell, 9-inch.Whipped Cream• 1 cup whipping cream or heavy cream• 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract• 1 tablespoon confectioner’s or superfine sugar (they dissolve faster than granulated sugar that also can be used)For 2 cups of whipped cream, pour whipping cream or heavy cream into a chilled bowl and whip it vigorously until it just begins to hold its shape. Add vanilla extract and sugar and continue to whip until it holds very soft, droopy peaks. Best used immediately, but can be refrigerated up to 24 hours and briefly whisked by hand before serving.-- murfmom[...]

Captain Obvious


Goes bucking for Commodore.Every now and then as I run barefoot over the burning shores of the NYT, I catch a glint of Tom Friedman talking about, say, energy policy. Like a shiny nickel washed up along a great swath of poo, catching the light just so.And I nod and I say “Good on you” and then scamper away, because man, the reek at high tide’d knock a dung beetle out of Fred Phelps’ mouth. And for, oh, about a minute I indulge the notion that one of the most highly paid, highly regarded, highly quoted, best selling, A-listed op-ed columnists for America’s paper of record is not a vulgar and irredeemable idiot.That maybe he doesn’t deserve to be cast into ignoble oblivion. Reduced to writing, say, lunch menu specials at IHOP (“A cab driver in Bangalore assured me that these pecan waffles in a peach compote are genuinely Vishnulicious!”) or ghosting the “Turn Ons/Turn Offs” for “Ass Fancier” centerfolds.And then I read something like this (Behind the NYT blast wall, a snip if which is transcribed here) and I get cranky all over again.…They actually thought they could unite Iraq, while dividing America.Whenever Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney had a choice between seeking political advantage at home or acting in a bipartisan fashion to buy more unity, time and space to do all the heavy lifting needed in Iraq, they opted for political advantage.When Franklin Roosevelt fought World War II, he made a conservative Republican, Henry Stimson, his secretary of war and did all he could to hold the country together. The Bush- Cheney team, by contrast, summoned us to D-Day and then treated it like it was just another political wedge issue, whenever it suited them.It has not worked. As Leon Wieseltier, literary editor of The New Republic, put it: “You cannot govern like Winston Churchill some of the time and like Grover Norquist most of the time.”First my mind wanders momentarily away from Captain Obvious to contemplating his employers and I wonder what kind of feeble-minded, inbred, tasteless Peter Keatings must be running the place?Seriously, it is one of those questions that just nags at me: In a world quite literally overflowing with talented, literate, pungent writers, how in the world do utterly talentless, debased hacks like Friedman and Brooks find themselves at the very pinnacle of the mediaverse?I know the general answer -- Market forces compacting competent journalism into the ever more Procrustean Bed of Entertaining InfoHappyBytes. The rise of the Hatekrieg Xian Right blasting away at the press for 30 year, shellshocking them into giving the out lame, the crazy and the outright liars ever more column inches and prime time space in the name of Holy “Balance”. The deliberate murder of the Fairness Doctrine by Reagan, Bork and Scalia (That was just for you, Ivory Bill Woodpecker). -- but I still think the particular, specific answers would be interesting.I still dream of going full Patrick McGoohan on NYT Chairman Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., President and CEO Janet L. Robinson, Executive Editor Bill Keller and Editorial Page Editor Andrew M. Rosenthal.Muse that whisking them off to The Villagefor some fun, frolic and Pentathol would yield some remarkable and gag-inducing results.And then my mind wanders back the fact of Captain Obvious and I just want to wish him into the cornfield.Preferably just before the threshers roll in so that the Captain can be reaped and processed into something useful.Like, say, ethanol.There would be something satisfyingly poetic about that.Because, Tom, how in the fuck dare you be surprised? How dare you?For thirty years the GOP has campaigned and governed on a deep and abiding hatred for gov[...]

Memorial Day Weekend Open Thread Post


Thomas E. Vandling Jr., 26, Army Reserve Sergeant, Jan 01, 2007 Charles D. Allen, 28, Army Staff Sergeant, Jan 04, 2007 Michael Lewis Mundell, 47, Army Reserve Major, Jan 05, 2007 Jeremiah Johnson, 23, Army Corporal, Jan 06, 2007 III, Raymond N. Mitchell, 21, Army Specialist, Jan 06, 2007 Elizabeth A. Loncki, 23, Air Force Senior Airman, Jan 07, 2007 Daniel B. Miller Jr., 24, Air Force Senior Airman, Jan 07, 2007 Timothy R. Weiner, 35, Air Force Technical Sergeant, Jan 07, 2007 Eric T. Caldwell, 22, Army Corporal, Jan 07, 2007 Stephen J. Raderstorf, 21, Army Corporal, Jan 07, 2007 Ryan R. Berg, 19, Army Private 1st Class, Jan 09, 2007 Ming Sun, 20, Army Private 1st Class, Jan 09, 2007 James M. Wosika Jr., 24, Army Sergeant, Jan 09, 2007 Gregroy A. Wright, 28, Army Sergeant, Jan 13, 2007 James D. Riekena, 22, Army Sergeant, Jan 14, 2007 Paul T. Sanchez, 32, Army Sergeant, Jan 14, 2007 Ian C. Anderson, 22, Army Sergeant, Jan 15, 2007 John E. Cooper, 29, Army Sergeant, Jan 15, 2007 Jason J. Corbett, 23, Army Specialist, Jan 15, 2007 Mark J. Daily, 23, Army 2nd Lieutenant, Jan 15, 2007 Matthew T. Grimm, 21, Army Corporal, Jan 15, 2007 Collin R. Schockmel, 19, Army Specialist, Jan 16, 2007 Joseph D. Alomar, 22, Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class, Jan 17, 2007 Jennifer A. Valdivia, 27, Navy Petty Officer 1st Class, Jan 17, 2007 William J. Rechenmacher, 24, Army Corporal, Jan 18, 2007 Russell P. Borea, 38, Army Sergeant 1st Class, Jan 19, 2007 Luis J. Castillo, 20, Marine Reserve Lance Corporal, Jan 19, 2007 Jacob H. Neal, 23, Marine Reserve Corporal, Jan 19, 2007 Brian D. Allgood, 46, Army Colonel, Jan 20, 2007 Jeffrey D. Bisson, 22, Army Specialist, Jan 20, 2007 Johnathan Bryan Chism, 22, Army Specialist, Jan 20, 2007 Shawn Patrick Falter, 25, Army Private, Jan 20, 2007 Sean P. Fennerty, 26, Army Sergeant, Jan 20, 2007 Jacob N. Fritz, 25, Army 1st Lieutenant, Jan 20, 2007 Ryan J. Hill, 20, Army Private 1st Class, Jan 20, 2007 Allen B. Jaynes, 21, Army Private 1st Class, Jan 20, 2007 Jonathan P. C. Kingman, 21, Army Sergeant, Jan 20, 2007 Victor M. Langarica, 29, Army Corporal, Jan 20, 2007 Phillip D. McNeill, 22, Army Sergeant, Jan 20, 2007 Jonathan Millican, 20, Army Private 1st Class, Jan 20, 2007 Toby R. Olsen, 28, Army Specialist, Jan 20, 2007 Daryl D. Booker, 37, Army National Guard Staff Sergeant, Jan 20, 2007 John G. Brown, 43, Army National Guard Sergeant 1st Class, Jan 20, 2007 David C. Canegata, 50, Army National Guard Lieutenant Colonel, Jan 20, 2007 Marilyn L. Gabbard, 46, Army National Guard Sergeant Major, Jan 20, 2007 Roger W. Haller, 49, Army National Guard Command Sergeant Major, Jan 20, 2007 Paul M. Kelly, 45, Army National Guard Colonel, Jan 20, 2007 Floyd E. Lake, 43, Army National Guard Staff Sergeant, Jan 20, 2007 Sean E. Lyerly, 31, Army National Guard Captain, Jan 20, 2007 Michael Taylor, 40, Army National Guard Major, Jan 20, 2007 William T. Warren, 48, Army National Guard 1st Sergeant, Jan 20, 2007 Brian Scott Freeman, 31, Army Reserve Captain, Jan 20, 2007 Darrel J. Morris, 21, Marine Corporal, Jan 20, 2007 Brandon L. Stout, 23, Army National Guard Specialist, Jan 21, 2007 Andrew G. Matus, 19, Marine Lance Corporal, Jan 21, 2007 Emilian D. Sanchez, 20, Marine Lance Corporal, Jan 21, 2007 Nicholas P. Brown, 24, Army Specialist, Jan 22, 2007 Jamie D. Wilson, 34, Army Staff Sergeant, Jan 22, 2007 Michael J. Wiggins, 26, Army Staff Sergeant, Jan 23, 2007 Gary S. Johnston, 21, Marine Sergeant, Jan 23, 2007 Michael M. Kashkoush, 24, Marine Sergeant, Jan 23, 2007 Keith A. Callahan, 31, Army Sergeant 1st Class, Jan 24, 2007 Hector Leija, 27, Army Staff Sergeant, Jan 24, 2007 Michael Balsley, 23, Army Private 1s[...]

Memorial Day Weekend Open Thread Post


Jason Lee Bishop, 31, Army Sergeant 1st Class, Jan 01, 2006 Christopher J. Vanderhorn, 37, Army Staff Sergeant, Jan 01, 2006 William F. Hecker III, 37, Army Major, Jan 05, 2006 Jason Lopezreyes, 29, Army Sergeant, Jan 05, 2006 Robbie M. Mariano, 21, Army Private, Jan 05, 2006 Johnny J. Peralez Jr., 25, Army Sergeant, Jan 05, 2006 Christopher P. Petty, 33, Army Captain, Jan 05, 2006 Ryan D. Walker, 25, Army Specialist, Jan 05, 2006 Stephen J. White, 39, Army Sergeant 1st Class, Jan 05, 2006 Michael E. McLaughlin, 44, Army National Guard Lieutenant Colonel, Jan 05, 2006 Adam Leigh Cann, 23, Marine Sergeant, Jan 05, 2006 Albert Pasquale Gettings, 27, Marine Corporal, Jan 05, 2006 Ryan S. McCurdy, 20, Marine Lance Corporal, Jan 05, 2006 Radhames Camilomatos, 24, Army Sergeant, Jan 07, 2006 Joseph D. deMoors, 36, Army 1st Lieutenant, Jan 07, 2006 Douglas A. LaBouff, 36, Army Major, Jan 07, 2006 Michael R. Martinez, 43, Army Major, Jan 07, 2006 Clinton R. Upchurch, 31, Army Specialist, Jan 07, 2006 Jaime L. Campbell, 25, Army National Guard 1st Lieutenant, Jan 07, 2006 Michael I. Edwards, 26, Army National Guard Specialist, Jan 07, 2006 Jacob E. Melson, 22, Army National Guard Specialist, Jan 07, 2006 Chester W. Troxel, 45, Army National Guard Chief Warrant Officer 4, Jan 07, 2006 Stuart M. Anderson, 44, Army Reserve Major, Jan 07, 2006 Nathan R. Field, 23, Army Reserve Sergeant, Jan 07, 2006 Robert T. Johnson, 20, Army Reserve Specialist, Jan 07, 2006 Darren D. Braswell, 36, Dept. of Defense Civilian, Jan 07, 2006 Kyle W. Brown, 22, Marine Lance Corporal, Jan 07, 2006 Jeriad P. Jacobs, 19, Marine Lance Corporal, Jan 07, 2006 Jason T. Little, 20, Marine Lance Corporal, Jan 07, 2006 Brett L. Lundstrom, 22, Marine Corporal, Jan 07, 2006 Raul Mercado, 21, Marine Lance Corporal, Jan 07, 2006 Michael Joseph McMullen, 25, Army National Guard Staff Sergeant, Jan 10, 2006 Mitchell K. Carver Jr., 31, Army Chief Warrant Officer 3, Jan 13, 2006 Kyle E. Jackson, 28, Army Chief Warrant Officer 2, Jan 13, 2006 Jonathan Kyle Price, 19, Marine Lance Corporal, Jan 13, 2006 Michael Anthony Jordan, 35, Navy Petty Officer 1st Class, Jan 13, 2006 Justin J. Watts, 20, Marine Corporal, Jan 14, 2006 Kasper Allen Dudkiewicz, 22, Army Private 1st Class, Jan 15, 2006 Dustin L. Kendall, 21, Army Corporal, Jan 15, 2006 Ruel M. Garcia, 34, Army Chief Warrant Officer 2, Jan 16, 2006 Rex C. Kenyon, 34, Army Chief Warrant Officer 3, Jan 16, 2006 Adam R. Shepherd, 21, Army Private 1st Class, Jan 17, 2006 Dennis J. Flanagan, 22, Army Sergeant, Jan 20, 2006 Matthew C. Frantz, 23, Army Specialist, Jan 20, 2006 Rickey Scott, 30, Army Staff Sergeant, Jan 20, 2006 Clifton J. Yazzie, 23, Army Sergeant, Jan 20, 2006 Carlos Arrelano Pandura, 22, Marine Corporal, Jan 20, 2006 Brandon Christopher Dewey, 20, Marine Lance Corporal, Jan 20, 2006 Brian McElroy, 28, Air Force Staff Sergeant, Jan 22, 2006 Jason L. Norton, 32, Air Force Technical Sergeant, Jan 22, 2006 Lance M. Chase, 32, Army Staff Sergeant, Jan 23, 2006 Matthew D. Hunter, 31, Army Sergeant, Jan 23, 2006 Peter D. Wagler, 18, Army Private 1st Class, Jan 23, 2006 Lewis T. D. Calapini, 21, Marine Private, Jan 23, 2006 Joshua A. Scott, 24, Marine Lance Corporal, Jan 23, 2006 Sean H. Miles, 28, Marine Sergeant, Jan 24, 2006 Jerry M. "Michael" Durbin Jr., 26, Army Staff Sergeant, Jan 25, 2006 Joshua Allen Johnson, 24, Army National Guard Sergeant, Jan 25, 2006 Hugo R. Lopez Lopez, 20, Marine Lance Corporal, Jan 27, 2006 David L. Herrera, 26, Army Sergeant, Jan 28, 2006 Brian J. Schoff, 22, Army Private 1st Class, Jan 28, 2006 Felipe C. Barbosa, 21, Marine Corporal, Jan 28, 2006 Garrison [...]

Memorial Day Weekend Open Thread Post


Jeff LeBrun, 21, Army Specialist, Jan 01, 2005 Brian P. Parrello, 19, Marine Lance Corporal, Jan 01, 2005 Thomas E. Houser, 22, Marine Sergeant, Jan 03, 2005 Cory R. Depew, 21, Army Private, Jan 04, 2005 Bennie J. Washington, 25, Army Sergeant, Jan 04, 2005 Curtis L. Wooten III, 20, Army Private 1st Class, Jan 04, 2005 Jimmy D. Buie, 44, Army National Guard Corporal, Jan 04, 2005 Joshua S. Marcum, 33, Army National Guard Sergeant, Jan 04, 2005 Jeremy W. McHalffey, 28, Army National Guard Specialist, Jan 04, 2005 Christopher J. Babin, 27, Army National Guard Sergeant, Jan 06, 2005 Bradley J. Bergeron, 25, Army National Guard Sergeant, Jan 06, 2005 Kurt J. Comeaux, 34, Army National Guard Sergeant 1st Class, Jan 06, 2005 Huey P. L. Fassbender, 24, Army National Guard Sergeant, Jan 06, 2005 Armand L. Frickey, 20, Army National Guard Sergeant, Jan 06, 2005 Warren A. Murphy, 29, Army National Guard Sergeant, Jan 06, 2005 Kenneth G. Vonronn, 20, Army National Guard Private 1st Class, Jan 06, 2005 Julio C. Cisneros-Alvarez, 22, Marine Lance Corporal, Jan 06, 2005 Zachariah Scott Davis, 25, Marine Sergeant, Jan 06, 2005 Daniel F. Guastaferro, 27, Army Private 1st Class, Jan 07, 2005 Dwayne James McFarlane Jr., 20, Army Specialist, Jan 09, 2005 Joseph E. Fite, 23, Marine Reserve Corporal, Jan 09, 2005 William F. Manuel, 34, Army National Guard Staff Sergeant, Jan 10, 2005 Robert Wesley Sweeney III, 22, Army National Guard Sergeant, Jan 10, 2005 Michael J. Smith, 24, Army Specialist, Jan 11, 2005 Gunnar D. Becker, 19, Army Private 1st Class, Jan 13, 2005 Brian A. Mack, 36, Army Sergeant 1st Class, Jan 13, 2005 Matthew W. Holloway, 21, Marine Reserve Lance Corporal, Jan 13, 2005 Juan Rodrigo Rodriguez Velasco, 23, Marine Reserve Lance Corporal, Jan 13, 2005 Paul C. Holter III, 21, Marine Corporal, Jan 14, 2005 Nathaniel T. Swindell, 24, Army Sergeant, Jan 15, 2005 Jayton D. Patterson, 26, Marine Sergeant, Jan 15, 2005 Alain L. Kamolvathin, 21, Army National Guard Specialist, Jan 16, 2005 Jesus Fonseca, 19, Army Private 1st Class, Jan 17, 2005 George R. Geer, 27, Army Private 1st Class, Jan 17, 2005 Thomas E. Vitagliano, 33, Army Staff Sergeant, Jan 17, 2005 Francis C. Obaji, 21, Army National Guard Private 1st Class, Jan 17, 2005 Christopher J. Sullivan, 29, Army Captain, Jan 18, 2005 Kyle William Childress, 29, Army Sergeant, Jan 21, 2005 Joe Fenton Lusk II, 25, Army Captain, Jan 21, 2005 Nainoa K. Hoe, 27, Army 1st Lieutenant, Jan 22, 2005 Jose C. Rangel, 43, Army National Guard Staff Sergeant, Jan 23, 2005 Michael C. Carlson, 22, Army Sergeant, Jan 24, 2005 Jesus A. Leon-Perez, 20, Army Private 1st Class, Jan 24, 2005 Javier Marin Jr., 29, Army Sergeant, Jan 24, 2005 Joseph W. Stevens, 26, Army Staff Sergeant, Jan 24, 2005 Brett D. Swank, 21, Army Sergeant, Jan 24, 2005 Viktar V. Yolkin, 24, Army Specialist, Jan 24, 2005 Leonard W. Adams, 42, Army National Guard Sergeant, Jan 24, 2005 Taylor J. Burk, 21, Army Specialist, Jan 26, 2005 William S. Kinzer Jr., 27, Army Sergeant, Jan 26, 2005 Paul C. Alaniz, 32, Marine Captain, Jan 26, 2005 Brian D. Bland, 26, Marine Staff Sergeant, Jan 26, 2005 Jonathan Edward Etterling, 22, Marine Lance Corporal, Jan 26, 2005 Michael W. Finke Jr., 28, Marine Sergeant, Jan 26, 2005 Travis J. Fuller, 26, Marine 1st Lieutenant, Jan 26, 2005 Timothy M. Gibson, 23, Marine Corporal, Jan 26, 2005 Richard A. Gilbert Jr., 26, Marine Corporal, Jan 26, 2005 Lyle L. Gordon, 30, Marine Captain, Jan 26, 2005 Kyle J. Grimes, 21, Marine Corporal, Jan 26, 2005 Tony L. Hernandez, 22, Marine Lance Corporal, Jan 26, 2005 Brian C. Hopper, 21, Marine Lance Corpora[...]

Memorial Day Weekend Open Thread Post


Solomon C. "Kelly" Bangayan, 24, Army Specialist, Jan 02, 2004 Dennis A. Corral, 33, Army Sergeant, Jan 02, 2004 Kimberly N. Hampton, 27, Army Captain, Jan 02, 2004 Eric Thomas Paliwoda, 28, Army Captain, Jan 02, 2004 Marc S. Seiden, 26, Army Specialist, Jan 02, 2004 Luke P. Frist, 20, Army Reserve Specialist, Jan 05, 2004 Jesse D. Mizener, 24, Army Private 1st Class, Jan 07, 2004 Craig Davis, 37, Army Staff Sergeant, Jan 08, 2004 Michael A. Diraimondo, 22, Army Sergeant, Jan 08, 2004 Christopher A. Golby, 26, Army Sergeant, Jan 08, 2004 Gregory B. Hicks, 35, Army Sergeant 1st Class, Jan 08, 2004 Philip A. Johnson Jr., 31, Army Chief Warrant Officer, Jan 08, 2004 Nathaniel H. Johnson, 22, Army Specialist, Jan 08, 2004 Ian D. Manuel, 23, Army Chief Warrant Officer, Jan 08, 2004 Jeffrey C. Walker, 33, Army Sergeant, Jan 08, 2004 Aaron A. Weaver, 32, Army Chief Warrant Officer, Jan 08, 2004 Ricky L. Crockett, 37, Army Staff Sergeant, Jan 12, 2004 Keicia M. Hines, 27, Army Sergeant, Jan 13, 2004 Roland L. Castro, 26, Army Staff Sergeant, Jan 16, 2004 Cody J. Orr, 21, Army Private 1st Class, Jan 17, 2004 Larry E. Polley Jr., 20, Army Specialist, Jan 17, 2004 Edmond Lee Randle Jr., 26, Army Sergeant, Jan 17, 2004 Kelly L. Hornbeck, 36, Army Master Sergeant, Jan 18, 2004 Gabriel T. Palacios, 22, Army Specialist, Jan 21, 2004 James D. Parker, 20, Army Private 1st Class, Jan 21, 2004 Michael T. Blaise, 29, Army Chief Warrant Officer (CW2), Jan 23, 2004 Brian D. Hazelgrove, 29, Army Chief Warrant Officer (CW2), Jan 23, 2004 Jason K. Chappell, 22, Army Specialist, Jan 24, 2004 Randy S. Rosenberg, 23, Army Sergeant, Jan 24, 2004 William R. Sturges Jr., 24, Army Specialist, Jan 24, 2004 Kenneth W. Hendrickson, 41, Army National Guard Staff Sergeant, Jan 24, 2004 Keith L. Smette, 25, Army National Guard Sergeant, Jan 24, 2004 Christopher Bunda, 29, Army Staff Sergeant, Jan 25, 2004 Ervin Dervishi, 21, Army Private 1st Class, Jan 25, 2004 Patrick D. Dorff, 32, Army Chief Warrant Officer, Jan 25, 2004 Adam G. Mooney, 28, Army 1st Lieutenant, Jan 25, 2004 Matthew J. August, 28, Army Captain, Jan 27, 2004 James T. Hoffman, 41, Army Sergeant 1st Class, Jan 27, 2004 Luke S. James, 24, Army 2nd Lieutenant, Jan 27, 2004 Lester O. Kinney II, 27, Army Staff Sergeant, Jan 27, 2004 Travis A. Moothart, 23, Army Sergeant, Jan 27, 2004 Cory R. Mracek, 26, Army Sergeant, Jan 27, 2004 Sean G. Landrus, 31, Army Staff Sergeant, Jan 29, 2004 Luis A. Moreno, 19, Army Private 1st Class, Jan 29, 2004 Juan C. Cabralbanuelos, 25, Army Corporal, Jan 31, 2004 Holly J. McGeogh, 19, Army Private 1st Class, Jan 31, 2004 Eliu A. Miersandoval, 27, Army Sergeant, Jan 31, 2004 Armando Soriano, 20, Army Private 1st Class, Feb 01, 2004 Roger C. Turner Jr., 37, Army Staff Sergeant, Feb 01, 2004 Seth J. Dvorin, 24, Army 2nd Lieutenant, Feb 03, 2004 Joshua L. Knowles, 23, Army National Guard Specialist, Feb 05, 2004 Richard P. Ramey, 27, Army Staff Sergeant, Feb 08, 2004 Thomas D. Robbins, 27, Army Sergeant, Feb 09, 2004 Elijah Tai Wah Wong, 42, Army National Guard Sergeant, Feb 09, 2004 Jude C. Mariano, 39, Air Force Master Sergeant, Feb 10, 2004 William C. Ramirez, 19, Army Private 1st Class, Feb 11, 2004 Patrick S. Tainsh, 33, Army Sergeant, Feb 11, 2004 Eric U. Ramirez, 31, Army National Guard Specialist, Feb 12, 2004 Bryan N. Spry, 19, Army Private, Feb 14, 2004 Michael M. Merila, 23, Army Sergeant, Feb 16, 2004 Christopher M. Taylor, 25, Army National Guard Specialist, Feb 16, 2004 Nichole M. Frye, 19, Army Reserve Private 1st Class, Feb 16, 2004 Jeffrey C. Graham, 24, Army 2nd Lieute[...]

Memorial Day Weekend Open Thread Post


Jay Thomas Aubin, 36, Marine Major, Mar 21, 2003 Ryan Anthony Beaupre, 30, Marine Captain, Mar 21, 2003 Therrel Shane Childers, 30, Marine 2nd Lieutenant, Mar 21, 2003 Jose Antonio Gutierrez, 22, Marine Lance Corporal, Mar 21, 2003 Brian Matthew Kennedy, 25, Marine Corporal, Mar 21, 2003 Kendall Damon Waters-Bey, 29, Marine Staff Sergeant, Mar 21, 2003 Brandon Scott Tobler, 19, Army Reserve Specialist, Mar 22, 2003 Eric James Orlowski, 26, Marine Lance Corporal, Mar 22, 2003 Thomas Mullen Adams, 27, Navy Lieutenant, Mar 22, 2003 Jamaal Rashard Addison, 22, Army Specialist, Mar 23, 2003 Edward John Anguiano, 24, Army Specialist, Mar 23, 2003 George Edward Buggs, 31, Army Sergeant, Mar 23, 2003 Robert John Dowdy, 38, Army Master Sergeant, Mar 23, 2003 Ruben Estrella-Soto, 18, Army Private, Mar 23, 2003 Howard Johnson II, 21, Army Private 1st Class, Mar 23, 2003 James Michael Kiehl, 22, Army Specialist, Mar 23, 2003 Johnny Villareal Mata, 35, Army Chief Warrant Officer, Mar 23, 2003 Lori Ann Piestewa, 23, Army Private 1st Class, Mar 23, 2003 Christopher Scott Seifert, 27, Army Captain, Mar 23, 2003 Brandon Ulysses Sloan, 19, Army Private, Mar 23, 2003 Donald Ralph Walters, 33, Army Sergeant, Mar 23, 2003 Michael Edward Bitz, 31, Marine Sergeant, Mar 23, 2003 Brian Rory Buesing, 20, Marine Lance Corporal, Mar 23, 2003 Tamario Demetrice Burkett, 21, Marine Private 1st Class, Mar 23, 2003 Kemaphoom "Ahn" Chanawongse, 22, Marine Corporal, Mar 23, 2003 Donald John Cline Jr., 21, Marine Lance Corporal, Mar 23, 2003 David Keith Fribley, 26, Marine Lance Corporal, Mar 23, 2003 Jose Angel Garibay, 21, Marine Corporal, Mar 23, 2003 Jonathan Lee Gifford, 30, Marine Private, Mar 23, 2003 Jorge Alonso Gonzalez, 20, Marine Corporal, Mar 23, 2003 Nicolas Michael Hodson, 22, Marine Sergeant, Mar 23, 2003 Nolen Ryan Hutchings, 19, Marine Private, Mar 23, 2003 Phillip Andrew Jordan, 42, Marine Staff Sergeant, Mar 23, 2003 Patrick Ray Nixon, 21, Marine Lance Corporal, Mar 23, 2003 Frederick Eben Pokorney Jr., 31, Marine 2nd Lieutenant, Mar 23, 2003 Brendon Curtis Reiss, 23, Marine Sergeant, Mar 23, 2003 Randal Kent Rosacker, 21, Marine Corporal, Mar 23, 2003 Thomas Jonathan Slocum, 22, Marine Lance Corporal, Mar 23, 2003 Michael Jason Williams, 31, Marine Lance Corporal, Mar 23, 2003 Gregory Paul Sanders, 19, Army Specialist, Mar 24, 2003 Thomas Alan Blair, 24, Marine Lance Corporal, Mar 24, 2003 Evan Tyler James, 20, Marine Corporal, Mar 24, 2003 Bradley Steven Korthaus, 28, Marine Sergeant, Mar 24, 2003 Gregory Lewis Stone, 40, Air National Guard Major, Mar 25, 2003 Michael Vann Johnson Jr., 25, Navy Hospital Corpsman 3rd Cl., Mar 25, 2003 Kevin Gerard Nave, 36, Marine Major, Mar 26, 2003 Francisco Abraham Martinez-Flores, 21, Marine Private 1st Class, Mar 27, 2003 Donald Charles May Jr., 31, Marine Staff Sergeant, Mar 27, 2003 Joseph Menusa, 33, Marine Gunnery Sergeant, Mar 27, 2003 Patrick Terence O'Day, 20, Marine Lance Corporal, Mar 27, 2003 Robert Marcus Rodriguez, 21, Marine Corporal, Mar 27, 2003 Jesus Alberto Suarez del Solar, 20, Marine Lance Corporal, Mar 27, 2003 Roderic Antoine Solomon, 32, Army Sergeant, Mar 28, 2003 Fernando Padilla-Ramirez, 26, Marine Sergeant, Mar 28, 2003 Michael Russell Creighton-Weldon, 20, Army Private 1st Class, Mar 29, 2003 Michael Edward Curtin, 23, Army Corporal, Mar 29, 2003 Diego Fernando Rincon, 19, Army Private 1st Class, Mar 29, 2003 Eugene Williams, 24, Army Sergeant, Mar 29, 2003 William Wayne White, 24, Marine Lance Corporal, Mar 29, 2003 James Wilford Cawley, 41, Marine Reserve Staf[...]



Flip-flop-a-dee-doo-dah, flip-flop-a-dee-ay...In African folklore, there are many different tales...stories of proud kings, and haughty warriors. Mischevious children, and wise beasts of the plain. Sadly, most of that folklore has been filtered, and peeled, and torn away by the peculiar, yet powerful institution of slavery--leaving us, several generations hence, with precious few of those stories told by the "village griot" from our points of origin in the Motherland.But one hardy character from many of those tales of yore stays with us to this day, and that is the character of...The Trickster. Be he Anansi (from West Africa), or Ti Malice (via Haiti's African ties), or perhaps the most familiar to us Americans, the crafty, Br'er Rabbit (later refined by the broader culture into the supremely infamous trickster Bugs Bunny)--we know his modus operandi. Seemingly "in trouble", or in peril from his enemies, he manages, via a smart mouth and quick wits to not only manage escape, but to often put his pursuer/attackers in the "trick bag", leaving them to look foolish, or with their rabbit trap laughably sprung on themselves.Ol' Br'er Rabbit came to mind recently in a big way via this um..."near-story". "Civil rights activist Al Sharpton, who led the charge to have radio host Don Imus fired for making racially insensitive remarks, is now under fire for a comment about Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's Mormon faith.During a debate on religion and politics at the New York Public Library with atheist author Christopher Hitchens, Sharpton said, "As for the one Mormon running for office, those that really believe in God will defeat him anyway, so don't worry about that. That's a temporary situation."On the campaign trail in Iowa Wednesday, Romney fired back, calling Sharpton's comment "terribly misguided.""It shows that bigotry still exists in some corners," Romney said. "I thought it was a most unfortunate comment to make."Asked if he thought Sharpton is a bigot, the former Massachusetts governor said, "I don't know Rev. Sharpton. I doubt he is personally such a thing. But the comment was a comment which could be described as a bigoted comment."Perhaps he didn't mean it that way, but the way it came out was inappropriate and wrong."Now, post-Imus, it's pretty clear that a boatload of scalp-hunters on the right were been itchin' for a fistful of the rotund Rev's bone-straight locks. And damned if this story wasn't just the angle that members of the crimson-neck-tocracy were looking for."We gotcha' bo-way! Gotcha but good this time. An' we gonna have us an ol' pic-a-nic whilst you kick n' twitch too! Sheee-*t! Somebody call Ah-mus n' Bernie, so's they can work th' grill, jes' fer irony's sake."But then, a funny thang happened on the way to the media lynching. It never took off. Didn't get any steam. It went up as nicely as one a' those old unmanned test rockets that we launched into a thousand pieces just off the pad at Canaveral back in the day. Except, this attempted "story" was the modern day version of those vintage "flopniks". So, just what happened exactly?Enter "Br'er Rabbit", ya'll. The next graf in the CNN story is where the bunny trap goes all to sh*t."Sharpton said his remarks were being taken out of context and that he was responding to an attack by Hitchens, who, he said, had charged that the Mormon Church supported segregation until the 1960s."It's where Anansi cackles while escaping the hungry bird. Where the cigar explodes in Elmer's face. Where Br'er Rabbit das[...]



Only 14?

There are only 14 Senators who want withdrawal from Iraq?

Boxer (D-CA)
Burr (R-NC)
Clinton (D-NY)
Coburn (R-OK)
Dodd (D-CT)
Enzi (R-WY)
Feingold (D-WI)
Kennedy (D-MA)
Kerry (D-MA)
Leahy (D-VT)
Obama (D-IL)
Sanders (I-VT)
Whitehouse (D-RI)
Wyden (D-OR)

Well, I guess the rest of them can sleep well this memorial day weekend, the President wont be able to criticize them.

And Chris Carney in the house, what a dissappointment that guy turned out to be.

An army marches on its stomach. - Napoleon


Theater Wide Food Delay

Multiple daily mortar and rocket attacks
Body armor and helmets required when outdoors
Convoys unable to get through
Blown bridges
Insurgents attacking fixed positions

Anybody starting to see a pattern. Also, I would like to point out our man Steve saw this coming.

our SCLM


Doghouse Riley (of Bats Left, Throws Right) watches NBC so you don't have toI'D planned on taking the day off, including blogging, but that was before I saw NBC News With Brian (Stay Out Of My Garbage Cans) Williams last night. Halfway saw, anyway, because I was roasting a chicken for dinner and sorta hovering over it. I'm really not sure what possessed me to turn the teevee on. Every now and then some vestigial trace of a long-dead carefree childhood of tanned feet on bluegrass will rise up long enough to convince me that one of the networks must be better than the worst, but it never pans out.So I'm not sure who Ol' Raccoon Eyes tossed the Iraq Funding Bill story to, but the whole thing began as one of those half-lob, half-drives that Andrea (Moonball) Jaeger used to thrill the crowds with. (I'm sorry, does anyone else remember Andrea (Bell Curve) Jaeger? She's now a nun, and dedicated to helping young cancer victims. To which we say, "Bravo!" and "Please don't make them watch any of your old matches.") Brian tossed the thing with a comment about "Democratic defeat". We suppose this is awright, if you like such things, although a bit simplistic, but the thing then became the hyperreal anchor to the piece. Whatever would the Defeated Democrats do now? Jeez, they lost the battle for a veto override back in January, and it was a foregone conclusion then. The Congress didn't get around to trying to defund the Vietnam war until after it was over, and it's absurd to expect that it could just pull the plug on funding Iraq. Okay, they're too timid to my liking, but then I'd have jumped the table and challenged Alberto Gonzales to a throwdown the minute he started talking, and I'm still sufficiently grounded in reality to recognize that as a poor parlimentary maneuver. The Democrats forced one-time President Bush to the table, and they will force Congressional Republicans to back the war or back out this fall. That's about everything that was in their cards. Bush is not going to fold. Bush is going to match every raise until his final collapse. This is not news. In fact it passed from "News" to "Psychiatric Case Study" in the autumn of 2003, at the latest.[Okay, a word on why I can't tell you who Williams tossed to--beyond that chicken and my natural level of inattention, I mean--and I apologize in advance. You were nice enough to sit through recollections of Women's Professional Tennis in the 70s without goading me into talking about Françoise Durr's invention of the Suspended Animation Serve. I have a seven year old Mac and I'm down two operating system decimals. I was gonna upgrade this Spring, but Apple delayed the next OS release to concentrate on its new Video Catheter Phone. At any rate, it's MS NBC, and in this Make Your Own Damn Transcript World I'm expected to watch WinVids if I want to catch up. I have never been one to engage in that silly PC vs. Mac stuff, but I have to say that when the 80% market share that Microsoft enjoys did not translate into millions of Americans traveling to Washington state to beat the shit out of Bill Gates over a piece of crap like Windows™ Media I, for one, simply Gave Up.]Next up was Andrea (Moonball) Mitchell with a report on how those unscrupulous Iranians had falsely imprisioned an American professor they've charged with espionage, and how this Might Be Some Sort of Negotiating Ploy. I am, I think, not alone in immediately suspecting that any word, even one so c[...]

Al Qaeda in Iraq?


Courtesy of Jim MacDonald at Making Light, the White House apparently planned for the postwar increase in terrorist activity in Iraq by, um, invading Iraq. Image courtesy of fakecrap.comFrom CNN today:WASHINGTON (CNN) — President Bush is expected to use declassified intelligence about Osama bin Laden to defend his Iraq war policy during a commencement address Wednesday.Declassified because Bush is in trouble, with his approval ratings heading for places that not even Nixon got to.The intelligence says that in 2005 bin Laden planned to use Iraq as a base from which to launch attacks in the United States, according to White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe.Bin Laden planned to use Iraq in 2005. Bush started his war in 2003. How in the world does this show any kind of link between al Qaeda and Iraq? How can this possibly justify the Iraq war? Johndroe said the intelligence was declassified so Bush could discuss it during graduation ceremonies set for 11:15 a.m. at the Coast Guard Academy in Connecticut.How very convenient. And how very pathetic.The speech will be aimed at defending a key part of the president’s war strategy — the contention that the United States cannot withdraw from Iraq because al Qaeda would fill the vacuum in the Middle East.Oh, I see. Once you’ve started kicking the tar baby you can’t stop because that baby got tar on you.Surely bin Laden noticed that the US was in Iraq in 2005? This presupposes that bin Laden thought that the ongoing occupation of Iraq wasn’t a reason for him not to use Iraq as a base from which to launch attacks in the United States. Presumably the continuing occupation (and the increasing chaos that goes with it) still isn’t a deterrent.“This shows why we believe al Qaeda wants to use Iraq as a safe haven,” said Johndroe. He added the president will talk about al Qaeda’s “strong interest in using Iraq as a safe haven to plot and plan attacks on the United States and other countries.”And how will staying in Iraq for another ten years and 50,000 US deaths help that situation? From al Qaeda’s point of view any chaotic failed state would do. Why do you suppose Iraq is a chaotic failed state today?The decision also coincides with an ongoing push by the Democratic majority in Congress to force an end to U.S. involvement in Iraq.Which majority was caused by, and which push is powered by, the overwhelming repudiation of Bush’s Iraq war by the American voters.Bin Laden and a top lieutenant — Abu Faraj al-Libbi — planned to form a terror cell in Iraq in order to launch those attacks, Johndroe said.Al-Libbi was a “senior al Qaeda manager” who in 2005 suggested to bin Laden that bin Laden send Egyptian-born Hamza Rabia to Iraq to help plan attacks on American soil, Johndroe said.Or, possibly, a guy who once delivered pizzas to someone with a name similar to someone who may have belonged to al Qaeda. Notice that this is still 2005, two years after Bush started his war.Johndroe noted that bin Laden later suggested to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, then leader of al Qaeda in Iraq, that America should be his top priority.If I recall correctly, the word at the time was that bin Laden had sent to al-Zarqawi words to the effect of “Why are you shooting at Muslims? America should be your top priority.”That was followed in the spring of 2005 with bin Laden’s ordering Rabia to brief al-Zarqawi on plans to attack the United States[...]