November 30, 2006

Get Out, Get Out, Get Out.

So the early leaking from the Baker/Hamilton group is that they will be calling for phased withdrawal. Ah good old phased withdrawal. Not seting a timetable or deadline, mind you, just kind of slowly moving to the exit. Shuffle your feet, slowly back away, however its done, these guys want out of Iraq. Leave fast, leave slow, call it anything you want, just get out.

Next step: The Bush administration doing its best to ignore the report, while making a big deal out of how much they are "considering" it.

UPDATE: More leaks. Now the word is the panel will recomend "withdrawing nearly all U.S. combat units from Iraq by early 2008 while leaving behind troops to train, advise and support the Iraqis, setting the first goal for a major drawdown of U.S. forces. Get Out.

November 29, 2006

Thin Bench

So Bill Frist, the man who lead the GOP from the Majority to the Minority in the Senate, will not be taking those amazing political skill on the Presidential circuit. I'll still wondering who is going to be the Conservative standard bearer in the Republican primary. Someone is going to have to challange the moderates - McCain or Mr. Mayor. Allen and Santorum lost their Senate races, Mitt Romney is from MASSACHUSETTS(No Conservative standard bearers hail from that great state)and there's that whole Mormon thing, that has yet to play out.

As Mara Whatshername was saying on NPR today, this leave the GOP field without a major player from the South or the conservative movement. Its does look like the conservatives have a pretty thin bench.

Ah but she forgot NEWT! NEWT! who just went to a First Amendment award dinner and talked about how we should limit free speech or else the terrorist might win.

that's our guy.


Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress, is just bringing out the base id of conservative talking heads.

First there was Glenn Beck's "Are you a traitor?"

Now here's Dennis Prager, radio guy, getting his hate on because-

[Ellison] should not be allowed to [swear on the Koran] – not because of any American hostility to the Koran, but because the act undermines American civilization.


Insofar as a member of Congress taking an oath to serve America and uphold its values is concerned, America is interested in only one book, the Bible. If you are incapable of taking an oath on that book, don’t serve in Congress. . . . Mr. Ellison, America, not you, decides on what book its public servants take their oath.

Wow! This is just pure "I hate Muslims." Thanks, Congressman Ellison, for showing us.

Thanks to Lean Left.

November 28, 2006

What's in a Name

Would horrible violence, called a civil war, have as much negative political impact?

NBC news et al has decided to call the Iraq violence a civil war. Words have meanings and there's a reason the Administration has fought so hard to keep people from calling it a civil war. An "insurgency" fighting the "democratically elected government" or a "battle against terrorists" has the suitable us verse evil vibe that Americans need to justify going to war. But a civil war between Sunni rebels allied with Al Qaeda fighting Shia miltia allied with Iran doesn't have any good guys. Suicide bombers against death squads. Can you pick the good guy? Certainly there is no one worth getting Americans killed for. If Iraq is a civil war the natural question is "What the hell are we doing there?"

November 27, 2006

Trouble with Twins

The Bush Twins are vacationing in Argentina.

Seems they are kicking up a real fuss, cause the US Embassy is asking them to leave.

You know if the twins have all this time on their hands, I hear the Army is hiring.

Good Morning!

Rise and shine, it's Monday.

Really fascinating story on the death of New England Republicans here. The last remaining Republican representative is Chris Shays. The entire State of Rhode Island had the same feeling for Lincoln Chafee that I did. Nice guy; got to go. They gave him a 62% approval rating on the same day they voted him out 53%-47%.

Our new SecDef may be a trigger happy nut.

Baker/Hamilton commission: Useless.

Absolutely fascinating international mystery here.

Power to the people: Bahrainis use Google Earth to spy on royals' palaces.

November 26, 2006


Here it is, the motherlode of cheesy music videos. Over seven minutes long. Grand Epic Song. The kind that makes you throw your head back and make big hand gestures when you sing along. Babes. Motorcycles. Breaking Mirrors. A plot stolen from either Beauty and the Beast or Phantom of the Opera or maybe both. Oh, man, I love it so:

Meat Loaf's I'd Do Anything for Love.

What It All Means

One of the manditory activities post-election is determining "what it all means." This game is a lot more fun after your side wins. After Dems lose by 1% votes we are treated to a round of "Dems are too liberal, Dems are wimps, Dems look funny" and that's why they lose and will keep losing. Of course, some people are so attached to this story that they keep telling it ever after we WIN. Here's MyDD catching Washington wise-man Tom Edsal sticking to the "Dems are losers" script ever after the real world has smacked him along side the head. Pretty embarrassing to release a book called Building Red America which argues that the GOP will be in charge forever right before the 2006 election.

Turn around is fair play, so the only safe conclusion to the 2006 elections is that the GOP is stupid, ugly and has moved too far to the right. They must embrace universal health care if they are to have any chance of regaining political power in the United States.

Alas the Republicans will never hear nor heed my advice, because they already have their answer. Jonathan Chait explains the system:

Republicans, on the other hand, pretty much never change. They're like a Terminator machine (and unlike the governor who played the Terminator and who has dramatically recast his ideology). Crush them in a machine press, or freeze them and blow them into tiny pieces, and they'll just regroup and keep lurching forward, cutting taxes for the rich and jacking up defense spending.

Ever wonder why that is? It's because conservatives have an apparatus in place to interpret every election. If Republicans win, it's because they were conservative. If they lose, it's because they weren't. No matter what the facts may be, they will always conclude that the answer is to run further to the right.

Republicans are never going to change, so the only safe path is to just keep them out of power. Forever.

Better keep winning.

November 24, 2006

Happy Day of Shopping!

Last nights local weather report called the Friday forecast the "shopping-cast." The whole world is in a vast conspiracy to try and sell you stuff today. I for one will be spending today on the couch, with a plate of leftover turkey.

November 22, 2006

Can't Get it Done

So it turns out that the outgoing (Yeah Outgoing!) GOP congress can't even pass the required spending bills.

Keep in mind that passing the budget is the one thing that Congress has to do each year. The Republicans couldn't do it.

Time for the adults to take over.

November 21, 2006

Aaron Sorkin Call Your Office!

The Town of Pahrump, Nevada. (Yes, same town) has just made it makes it illegal to fly a foreign flag.

Oh Please

Check out this line from Newt Gingrich:

"I'm going to tell you something, and whether or not it's plausible given the world you come out of is your problem. I am not 'running' for president. I am seeking to create a movement to win the future by offering a series of solutions so compelling that if the American people say I have to be president, it will happen."

I wish to join this movement! Run Newt Run!

I Want to See Him Prove It

Barack Obama says America Is Ready For A Black President.

I'm pretty sure he can do it.

November 20, 2006

His Fear, Our Hope

Bill Kristol, leading intellectual light in the "invade Iraq, Invade Iran, invade everyone" movement, fears that Republican support for the Iraq war will crumble in the next two to three months.

Support for the Iraq war is already gone among democrats. Its gone among Independents. Two thirds of the Country is already debating how big a failure Iraq is and what is the best way to get ourselves out of this mess. There was just an election that supports me on this point. The only thing that's keeping Bill Kristol's war going is support among Republicans. That's what let Bush and his supporters keep pretending that if we just stay longer, everything will be fine. Let's see if they can keep it up if that last third of the Country loses faith with the War.

November 19, 2006

Bond, James

Still cool after all these years. Casino Royal is the new picture and the tastefully named Daniel Craig is the new Bond. Not what you expect, but takes the franchise to interesting places. This movie owes a lot to Batman Begins and the Bourne Movies.

Batman Begins because this is a reboot, that goes back to Bond's first mission, his first kills, his first Martini. (Shaken or Stirred? Does it look like I give a damn!)

This movie also moves in a much more Bourne direction with its action. The fights are much more brutal and real and the high-tech gizmos are almost completely gone. No invisible cars and no laser watches. No "Q" at all.

But the locations remain exotic and the babes remain top-rate. A fun time for all.

November 17, 2006


President Bush is in Vietnam:

The president said there was much to be learned from the divisive Vietnam War -- the longest conflict in U.S. history -- as his administration contemplates new strategies for the increasingly difficult war in Iraq, now in its fourth year. But his critics see parallels with Vietnam -- a determined insurgency and a death toll that has drained public support -- that spell danger for dragging out U.S. involvement in Iraq.

"It's just going to take a long period of time for the ideology that is hopeful -- and that is an ideology of freedom -- to overcome an ideology of hate," Bush said after having lunch at his lakeside hotel with Australian Prime Minister John Howard, one of America's strongest allies in Iraq, Vietnam and other conflicts.

"We'll succeed," Bush added, "unless we quit."

So according to Bush, the lesson of Vietnam is "Don't ever stop a war. Ever. No matter how futile or wasteful or stupid."

November 16, 2006

Team Office

It's primarily because of my relatively new cubical-based day job (yesterday I faxed someone 11 blank pages because I put the paper in the machine backwards), but I've really gotten into The Office this season.

Thanks to EW's Popwatch I have found the Best. Office. T-Shirt. Ever:

You can buy them here.

Who the Hell is This Guy?

And why does CNN headline news put him on the air? Here's Glenn Beck saying "[W]hat I feel like saying is, 'Sir, prove to me that you are not working with our enemies" to the first Muslim ever elected to Congress.

Here he is calling a letter criticizing Al Qaeda as "surprising," because "the man who wrote it is a Muslim"

Headline news is supposed to do one thing: give us the news every half hour. What the hell are they putting this guy on the air for?

I Can't Dance

Unlike Emmitt Smith, I can't dance. The main reason I can't dance is that I just don't think that its important that I dance. I could spend some time learning and at least become acceptable, but I've got other things I would rather do. So in the rare moments where you drag me out on a dance floor the results are pretty pathetic.

Which brings me to the Bush Administration and Diplomacy. They don't like diplomacy, they like blowing things up. They would much rather threaten than talk, bluster rather than negotiate. The don't want to do it, so they don't work at it. Which means they continue to suck at it, even six years later.

So when they are dragged out on that dance floor the results are embarrassing.

Keep that in mind when the Baker Commission says we should be doing more diplomacy.

November 15, 2006

Stuff to Talk About

Jack Abramoff goes to prison today.

Congresswoman for a Month

Democrat Joe Courtney just won by 91 votes. Congradulations Congressman Courtney! There is now only one Republican Congressman in all of New England.

A look inside Fox News. Deep inside.

What else you got to talk about?

November 14, 2006

Danger! Danger!

The one real hope I have for the Iraq war to end is the fact that a lot of the Republicans who survived this year didn't survive by much. Such near death experiences is likely to change one's thinking. And its clear that the Iraq war is the leading cause of political death and near-death.

There are a whole bunch of Republicans who don't want to run with the Iraq War weighing them down for a second election cycle. So start seeing some heat from Republicans to end the war. Quiet heat, but heat.

Naturally the one Republican who controls our fate in Iraq is the only one who will never face the voters again.


November 13, 2006

Commission Mission

The talk of Washington right now is the so called "Baker Commission" a classic panel of Washington wise men who a going to get us out of Iraq with victory in hand. (uh sure) Its headed up by James Baker - leading fixer for the Bush family.

James Baker has a long resume with lots of high titles like Chief of Staff and secretary of State. But he also headed up the Bush recount team in Florida 2000, so he's pretty much responsible for all the crap that followed.

It remains to be seen if the commissions will offer a way out of Iraq (Call it what you will) or is there to provide two more years of cover so the Bushies can muck this mess off on the next administration. (See Below)

Go see Michael Kinsley for a good background briefing and the proper dismissal this commission deserves.


That's right-the 2008 Presidential campaign just started. Russ Feingold is out. McCain is in. Craigorian Chant will remain undecided at this early date.

Except to say - please oh please let Newt get the GOP nomination.


November 11, 2006

Tracking It Down

The Departed (Kind of Gushy Review Here) movie soundtrack features a bunch of 60's rock: "Gimme Shelter" by the Stones and "Comfortably Numb" by Van Morrison. Good stuff, but nothing you didn't hear 1000's of times already and gave parts of the movie a rather dated sound.

But right in the heart of the action comes this amazing song - traditional Celtic instruments combined with hardcore punk guitar and roaring lyrics, like the bastard love-child of the Chiefians and Anti-Flag. It's an absolutly perfect a song for a bunch of Boston-Irish cops and Boston-Irish Mobsters to do epic violence to.

So I finally tracked the song down (Anything on the Internet) It's "I'm Shipping up to Boston" by The Dropkick Murphys. A great Village Voice story on the song and the band and the movie is here:

So it's weirdly thrilling to know that a legendary 63-year-old film director (or at least the music supervisor he hired) thought to include a song from these guys on the soundtrack of a movie that so perfectly reflects the corner of the world they represent. The Departed, after all, is a movie about Irish people doing violent shit in Boston, and the Dropkick Murphys are a band that sing about Irish people doing violent shit in Boston; it's a match made in heaven. Scorsese is better at picking the perfect song for his scenes than any other director working (fuck a Tarantino), but I'm still amazed that he managed to nail this one so completely. "I'm Shipping Up to Boston" also shows up earlier in the movie, as Leonardo DiCaprio does pushups in jail. And the movie wouldn't really suffer if the song played over every single scene, sort of like "Scarborough Fair" in The Graduate.

The song is playing on the band's Myspace Page.

November 10, 2006

Last Gasps

Now the new, improved Congress doesn't take office till the new year, so there's still some time for some last gasps of stupidity.

Like an attempt to get John "I hate diplomacy" Bolton back in as UN ambassador:

Word has just reached me from a well-placed source that the White House has continued to push John Bolton's confirmation prospects as US Ambassador to the United Nations despite the election outcome.

Another highly placed source has informed me that in just a few minutes Senator Lincoln Chafee is calling a press conference to state categorically that he will not support John Bolton's confirmation in the upcoming lame duck session.

The Bolton confirmation will be officially dead in a few minutes.

One last cheer for Lincoln Chafee, who was the best guy in the whole Senate with a R after his name. But we needed that 51st seat, so he had to go.

A lot of the good things that are going to happen with the new Congress will take the form of bad things that don't happen.

November 9, 2006

How to Avoid a Thumping

Move massively to the left. That is the lesson of the Govenator's 2006 reelection, standing proud and true among the Republican wreckage.

Now some will try and spin Schwarzenegger as moving to the "center" but the truth is after his own "thumping" in the 2005 special election, he has been firmly planted on the left. His chief of staff is now an out lesbian, former chief of staff to Grey Davis. In fact, he pretty much working the exact same ground that Grey Davis did.

He's put in big spending increase for education and campaigned (successfully) for a host of bond measures to massively increase infrastructure spending. He's signed a minimum wage increase and a global warming measure. He's said US troop should come home from Iraq. Sure, he's gotten wormy about finances in order to offer no tax increases, but it’s not like Grey Davis didn't play these exact same games.

So given the fact that policy-wise Schwarzenegger is indistinguishable from a Democrat, why not vote for the global celebrity? Its fun. It’s funny. It only stops being funny when Schwarzenegger actually acts like a Republican. Now he knows better.

The same California voters just elected Jerry "Moonbeam" Brown Attorney General by an even larger margin that Schwarzenegger won. Donkeys won for Lt. Governor, SecState and Treasurer, not to mention kept large margins in both houses of the State Assembly and Senate. The Govenator is a party of one.

The lesson of Schwarzenegger is act like a Democrat, get elected like a Democrat. I seriously doubt that this is a model the GOP can export to the rest of the Country.

November 8, 2006


These go out to all the Republicans are now Gone Daddy Gone:

My Side

Now Rumsfeld is gone!

I think I just pulled something, I'm gloating so hard.

These elections are fun. We should have them more offen.

Here Come the Boom!

Yesterday was a great party and W got stuck with the bill.

As of right now the Dems have picked up 28 seats in the House with 13 still too close to call. Boom! Madam Speaker!

We have four Senate seats in the books, and leads in two more. The margins are razor thin (>2,000 votes in Montana and >8,000 in Virgina) and headed for recounts, but if those numbers hold up, we got the Senate as well.

Not a single seat the Donkeys were defending was lost.

We also picked up six Govenorships but Schwarzenegger crusied to reelection. More on that later.

John Doolittle has escaped the forces of light. Charlie Brown came so close (49-46) but the little eel sliped away. My guess is the indictments will catch him before Charlie gets another chance in 2008.

Pompo is gone baby gone! Congratulations Congressman McNerney!

There is just so much good stuff happening on this election map I might lose my mind.

Rick "Man on Dog" Santorum lost 59-41!

Katherine "Florida 2000" Harris lost 60-38.

J.D. "Annoy the Hell out of Craig on Hardball" Hayworth is toast.

South Dakota's abortion ban went down hard.

Good Day. Good Day.

November 7, 2006

We got the House

Turns out we can count to 15 after all. Some video from Chris to watch while the rest of the results come in:

Battle On

The first polls are starting to close and the first results are rolling in. Bernie Sanders will be the first Socialist elected to the US Senate, the Dems have won the Govenor's race in Ohio. All the easy races will get called right away. The races that we really care about...will take a little longer.


You have about two and a half hours left to vote in California. You have about three minutes left if you live in Arkansas.

I'll continue to remained focused like a laser beam on these election resu...oohh look Britney dumpted the lump. Shiny.

Day of Days

Election Day! Can you feel it!

Get yourself to a polling place and vote! Doolittle we are coming for you! Pombo we are coming for you!

The exit polls this year are under lock and key, so early numbers to pore over will be hard(er) to get. Those exit polls only raised false hopes in 2004, so maybe its for the best.

Dick Cheney is spending election day hunting, so if you are in South Dakota today, duck!

Post your exciting tales of voting in comments. Or even your not exciting tales.

Election Day!

November 6, 2006

Let's Review

Links to Craigorian Chant recomendations here and here. Just print them out and take them with you into the polling place.

The Waiting

Is the hardest part.

Prediction Ceremony

I have spent the day in a sweat-lodge of my own construction, burning pages and pages of news articles and polling results and inhaling the smoke. At the end of the ritual, I drink an entire bottle of cough syrup. The results of Tuesday election have come to me in a vision.

The Democrats will gain 30 seats in the House and take control.

They will gain five seats in the Senate, resulting in a 50-50 tie. The strain from all the close votes and having to serve as a constant tie-breaker will drive Dick Cheney to yet another heart attack.

I can see it clear as day. I am now going to go lie down.

November 5, 2006

Work the Steps

So after starting off with a "never did it" and then moving to a "Yes I buy Meth, but I didn't use it" and "Massages only, no sex" super-minister Ted Haggard is today doing confession:

Saying that he was a "deceiver and liar" who had given in to his dark side, the Rev. Ted Haggard confessed to sexual immorality Sunday in a letter read from the pulpit of the megachurch he founded.

The disgraced former president of the National Association of Evangelicals, which represents 30 million evangelical Christians, apologized and said "because of pride, I began deceiving those I love the most because I didn't want to hurt or disappoint them.

Now, here comes the worse part:

"The fact is I am guilty of sexual immorality. And I take responsibility for the entire problem. I am a deceiver and a liar. There's a part of my life that is so repulsive and dark that I have been warring against it for all of my adult life," he said.

The man is gay. He has spent his whole life hating that fact, trying to surpress that fact. He's tried to pray it away. He build a giant church and an entier movement around dening what he is. Now I would hope that exsposing this lie will give conservative Christians some pause, but my guess is next week we will again be hearing about how being gay is a choice and how the evil homosexuals are trying to recruit your kids and blah blah blah.


The adventures of Ahmad Chalabi in Iraq:

When the election came, Chalabi was wiped out. His Iraqi National Congress received slightly more than 30,000 votes, only one-quarter of 1 percent of the 12 million votes cast - not enough to put even one of them, not even Chalabi, in the new Iraqi Parliament. There was grumbling in the Chalabi camp. One of his associates said of the Shiite alliance: "We know they cheated. You know how we know? Because in one area we had 5,000 forged ballots, and when they were counted, we didn't even get that many." He shrugged.

American Classic The Sting:

Floyd: Doyle: I KNOW I gave him four THREES. He had to make a SWITCH. We can't let him get away with that.

Doyle Lonnegan: What was I supposed to do - call him for cheating better than me, in front of the others?

November 4, 2006

Deploy the Quote!

I'm always looking for a chance to deploy my favorite JFK quote:

Victory has a thousand fathers, but defeat is an orphan.

So it turns out the Iraq War is now being disowned by a bunch of people whose idea it was in the first place!

November 3, 2006


Here's the lead:

A leading evangelist and outspoken opponent of gay marriage has given up his post as president of the National Association of Evangelicals while a church panel investigates allegations he paid a man for sex.

and here's the kicker:

"It is important for you to know that he confessed to the overseers that some of the accusations against him are true. He has willingly and humbly submitted to the authority of the board of overseers, and will remain on administrative leave during the course of the investigation," the e-mail stated. A copy was obtained by KMGH-TV in Denver.

I'm not a big follower of the Evangical community, but TPM assures me that:

this is the conservative equivalent of Jesse Jackson getting caught wearing a hood at a Klan cross burning. The political implications are enormous.

TNR points us to the following pic, which say bit more than a thousand words.

Now this isn't the epic hipocrisy that you think it is. Haggard is an outspoken opponent of gay marriage. He is not an outspoken opponent of three year relationships with gay prostitutes.

November 2, 2006

Not Leaving

Bush made it clear yesterday: Donald Rumsfeld is never leaving. Ever. So long as he is President. A quick check of the historic record reveals that there has never been a Secretaries of Defense that served the full two terms of a Presidency. Ever. The closest was Robert McNamara and you don't want to be mentioned in the same sence as him when we talk Defence Secretaries.

Does anybody think that Rumsfeld is worthy of being the longest serving Defence Secretary in history. Based on all his great achievements? Please.

Poll Action

Ruy Teixeira does the math so you don't have to.

November 1, 2006

Words are Good but Video is Better

Grasping at Straws Time

So the GOP Machine took something Kerry said out of contex, completely misinterprets it, and completely blew even that complete lie completely out of proportion. This is a conservative movement desperate to change the subject. Because the real subject is Iraq and that is devastating.