Commentary on whatever I am thinking about, usually written while watching baseball.
Thursday, November 30, 2006
While you were in Iraq
The gunmen came at night to drag Mohammed Halim away from his home, in front of his crying children and his wife begging for mercy.It's not only the Iraqis who are hurt by Bush's "war of choice."
The 46-year-old schoolteacher tried to reassure his family that he would return safely. But his life was over, he was part-disembowelled and then torn apart with his arms and legs tied to motorbikes, the remains put on display as a warning to others against defying Taliban orders to stop educating girls.
Mr Halim was one of four teachers killed in rapid succession by the Islamists at Ghazni, a strategic point on the routes from Kabul to the south and east which has become the scene of fierce clashes between the Taliban and US and Afghan forces.
What a tragic, tragic failure.
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
A nation's loss.
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist will not run for president in 2008, Republican officials said Wednesday, as the field of White House contenders continued to shrink more than a year before the first convention delegates are chosen.I'm sure being a top-ranking member of the do-nothing congress has more than adequately prepared him for retirement.
And should we really bother pretending not to know whom the GOP candidate is going to be?
Being in a bubble means never having to say I'm sorry
Seeems like a reasonable request, given what he's "allegedly" been through.
Khaled El-Masri says he is not after money but answers about why he spent five months in harsh captivity as a prisoner in the war on terrorism.But good luck getting a "my bad" from this guy.
“It’s a question of moral values, of principles. I want to find out why they did to me what they did,” El-Masri told CBS News in an exclusive interview. “I want an explanation, and I want an apology.”
UPDATE: Maybe there's hope after all.
Classic Christmas music
Click here to read about Vince Guaraldi's soundtrack to "A Charlie Brown Christmas." Network executives hated it. Go figure.
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
I’m troubled by all this talk of trading Manny Ramirez. Especially as it's accompanied by talk of signing J.D. Drew.
Ramirez is due $18 million in 2007 and $20 million in 2008, which took on added importance when the Sox bid $51.1 million for the right to negotiate with Daisuke Matsuzaka. But Drew isn’t going to come cheap: He just walked away from $33 million over three years with the Dodgers, and his agent is Scott Boras.
By the way, Boras is also Matsuzaka’s agent.
Last season, Drew hit .283 with 20 homers, 100 RBI and a .498 slugging percentage. A nice season, but Ramirez hit .321 with 35 homers, 102 RBI and a .619 slugging percentage.
And those totals are low for Manny, who hit 45 homers and drove in 144 runs in 2005, and hit 43 homers with 130 RBIs in 2004. Drew’s highest HR total? 31, with Atlanta in 2004. His highest RBI total? Last season’s 100. His season in Atlanta, when he had 93 RBI, was the only time he came even close to that total. An injury-prone player, he’s had only one season with 500 at-bats. In two 400+ at-bat seasons in St. Louis (2000 and 2002), he failed to drive in 60 runs.
Manny is simply a better player than Drew. J.D. Drew might save the Sox a couple of bucks (not as many as they would like), but he isn’t going to make anyone pitch to David Ortiz.
Starting outfield, 2004: Ramirez, Johnny Damon, Trot Nixon.
Possible starting outfield, 2007: Wily Mo Pena, Coco Crisp, Drew.
How far a fall, how fast.
Thursday, November 23, 2006
I hope everyone has a happy day with family and friends.
I also hope the NFL starts scheduling games that people around the country actually want to see, and letting the Lions and Cowboys stay home for the holiday. I understand tradition and all, but the Lions? Please.
Scheduling the Broncos and Chiefs is a good move. Airing it on the NFL Network isn't.
Speaking of tradition, click here if you want to sing/speak along.
Things are going so well in Iraq that the one person who still says we're winning has to travel there in secrecy.
Iraqi state television reported Thursday that Vice President Dick Cheney was in Baghdad, but U.S. officials said Cheney was not in the capital.Let's not pretend that Bush administration officials don't announce their visits for the same reason parents don't tell their children what's inside the packages under the Christmas tree. The secrecy is for security reasons, not because Cheney plans to pop out of a cake.
State-run Iraqiya TV and the private Al-Arabiya TV station reported that Cheney had arrived in the Iraqi capital on Thursday morning, apparently to visit American troops for the Thanksgiving holiday.
But Lt. Col. Christopher Garver said that the vice president was not in Iraq "as far as we know."
There's a measure of the state of Iraq worth watching for: whether administration officials feel confident enough to announce their visits/photo-ops in advance.
This administration is such a fucking joke.
Crazy for cash
Hey, big pharma execs have to eat, too. It's just that they happen to prefer caviar and 14-karat utensils.
Last year in the United States, about 1.6 million children and teenagers — 280,000 of them under age 10 — were given at least two psychiatric drugs in combination, according to an analysis performed by Medco Health Solutions at the request of The New York Times. More than 500,000 were prescribed at least three psychiatric drugs. More than 160,000 got at least four medications together, the analysis found.Of course, parents usually aren't in a position to know this, but doctors are. And those golf outings and vacations aren't going to pay for themselves, you know.
Many psychiatrists and parents believe that such drug combinations, often referred to as drug cocktails, help. But there is virtually no scientific evidence to justify this multiplication of pills, researchers say. A few studies have shown that a combination of two drugs can be helpful in adult patients, but the evidence in children is scant. And there is no evidence at all — "zero," "zip," "nil," experts said — that combining three or more drugs is appropriate or even effective in children or adults.
"There are not any good scientific data to support the widespread use of these medicines in children, particularly in young children where the scientific data are even more scarce," said Dr. Thomas R. Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health.
But don't judge pharmaceutical companies too harshly. After all, they're under a lot of pressure: No matter how much money a company makes, if it's less than last year, it's a failure.
Bring ’em home
The people of Redsoxville have spoken.
Massachusetts residents made it rather clear this past election through the "Home from Iraq Now" nonbinding resolution - they want to bring our troops home from Iraq.Too bad the administration thinks admitting a mistake is worse than letting more people die.
More than 60 percent of Massachusetts voters in 36 state representative districts voted in favor of the resolution that calls on Congress and the president to end the Iraq War immediately and bring all U.S. military forces home.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Impeach impeach impeach
This is what Dick Cheney refers to as winning:
At least 101 Iraqis died in the country's unending sectarian slaughter Wednesday, and the U.N. reported that 3,709 Iraqi civilians were killed in October, the highest monthly toll of the war and one that is sure to be eclipsed when November's dead are counted.What do you suppose failure looks like to old Five-Deferment Dick?
The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq also said citizens were fleeing the country at a pace of 100,000 each month, and that at least 1.6 million Iraqis have left since the war began in March 2003.
Life for Iraqis, especially in Baghdad and cities and towns in the center of the country, has become increasingly untenable. Many schools failed to open at all in September, and professionals — especially professors, physicians, politicians and journalists — are falling to sectarian killers at a stunning pace.
Lynchings have been reported as Sunnis and Shiites conduct a merciless campaign of revenge killings. Some Shiite residents in the north Baghdad neighborhood of Hurriyah claim that militiamen and death squads are holding Sunni captives in warehouses, then slaughtering them at the funerals of Shiites killed in the tit-for-tat murders.
Wednesday's death count included 76 bodies found dumped in four cities, 59 of them in Baghdad alone, according to police, who said at least 25 people had been gunned down.
I mean, besides admitting a mistake.
And now he wants to attack Iran.
Can anyone still seriously question whether impeachment of both George Bush and Cheney is a good idea? It's time to put political posturing aside. For the good of mankind, these fools must be removed from office.
As Americans, as human beings, it's our responsibility.
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Monday, November 06, 2006
Digby on Richard Perle's explanation that the failure he led the cheers for isn't his fault:
When I first saw that article, like many of you, I was entertained by the spectacle of these scoundrels having to eat crow. But then I remembered that poor kid whose parents were killed and whose legs and an arm were severed by a bomb I paid for.This is why I don't bother commenting on some of the better-known shitfucks who pollute the public discourse with their innane lies. For one thing, reporting that a certain limp-dicked, painkiller-abusing douchebag said something stupid, or that a certain Fox News O'Asshole repeated a lie at top volume is like reporting that the sun came up today.
And I remembered that a television anchor asked the reporter on the scene whether the shocked, traumatized beyond all belief, child really understood that all of this happened to him for a good cause, the liberation of his country.
And after I remembered that I felt ashamed of my schadenfreude towards Perle. For he is among those directly responsible for the murder of that child's parents, and for that kid's own permanent mutilation. And he implicated me, and you, in that murder and gore as well, despite the fact that we protested loud and long. And he helped create the ghastly environment of immoral self-righteousness reflected in that anchor's remarks. And he urged it happen. He wanted it to happen. He rejoiced when it happened. He wants it to happen again in Iran, in Syria, and elsewhere.
And I felt ashamed that this country's public discourse is even now still so unspeakably corrupt that people as morally sick as Richard Perle, Michael Ledeen, and Ken Adelman still have access to a wide public. And I felt furious that while Vanity Fair fusses to find the most elegant way to fling Perle's shit at America, the rest of us can only wait anxiously for the inevitable catastrophes, the direct result of the advice and avid support of these people, to unfold, with little opportunity to guide the discourse back to anything close to sanity.
It is high time that Perle, Ledeen, Adelman and the whole sick crew stop getting their phone calls returned from the media. And for the media to stop calling them. For truly, Perle is not Joshua Marshall's peer. Perle is Joe McCarthy's. He is Curtis Lemay's. Perle is a nutcase, a madman. He makes Ward Churchill appear a paragon of insight and integrity. As for not being delphic, he makes Anne Heche seem normal.
Let this Vanity Fair article be the last time any mainstream publication would think enough of someone as utterly worthless as Richard Perle to publish his comments surrounded by the trappings of seriousness. And if it's not the last time, then by God, let's work to make sure its the second to last. Or the third to last.
These people say nothing worth hearing. To react with wide-eyed shock every time they say something proving they're totally lacking in brains and decency is to pay them more attention than they deserve. Their moronic noise is nothing more than a distraction from the debate about the government and the future of our damaged union, reducing it to a schoolyard game of He Said/She Said that the press laps up enthusiastically.
I don't care that some blonde cunt criticized 9/11 widows. I don't care that some worthless sack of shit accused an actor with a terrible disease of faking his symptoms. I care that George W. Bush lied us into a war, and that untold thousands of people have died as a result. I care that our troops will remain in Iraq until after Bush is scheduled to relinquish office -- even though mercenaries and government contractors are leaving -- because Bush is incapable of admitting he made a mistake. I care that our government imprisons people without charges, and tortures them. I care that Congress passed a bill eliminating habeas corpus. I care about the national debt. I care that I can't enjoy a piece of fish unless I don't mind eating mercury. I care that healthcare in this country is getting worse and more expensive. I care that 37 million people in this country live in poverty. I care about the future of this great nation.
These GOP mouthpieces are irrelevant to any serious conversation, and it's way past time to start treating them that way.