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May 30, 2007

Naomi Wolf: Burkhas Are Hot!

In another time when people like me aren't so irony fatigued, we might take concern and actively engage retrograde commentaries. Nowadays all we can do is just point and laugh.

Elections Matter

If you are a woman and you just LOOOOVE being paid less than men for the exact same type of work, vote for Bush and approve of his wingnut Supreme Court picks:

WASHINGTON, May 29 — The Supreme Court on Tuesday made it harder for many workers to sue their employers for discrimination in pay, insisting in a 5-to-4 decision on a tight time frame to file such cases. The dissenters said the ruling ignored workplace realities.

The decision came in a case involving a supervisor at a Goodyear Tire plant in Gadsden, Ala., the only woman among 16 men at the same management level, who was paid less than any of her colleagues, including those with less seniority. She learned that fact late in a career of nearly 20 years — too late, according to the Supreme Court’s majority.

The court held on Tuesday that employees may not bring suit under the principal federal anti-discrimination law unless they have filed a formal complaint with a federal agency within 180 days after their pay was set. The timeline applies, according to the decision, even if the effects of the initial discriminatory act were not immediately apparent to the worker and even if they continue to the present day.

. . .Workplace experts said the ruling would have broad ramifications and would narrow the legal options of many employees.

In an opinion by Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., the majority rejected the view of the federal agency, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, that each paycheck that reflects the initial discrimination is itself a discriminatory act that resets the clock on the 180-day period, under a rule known as “paycheck accrual.?

“Current effects alone cannot breathe life into prior, uncharged discrimination,? Justice Alito said in an opinion joined by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony M. Kennedy and Clarence Thomas. Justice Thomas once headed the employment commission, the chief enforcer of workers’ rights under the statute at issue in this case, usually referred to simply as Title VII.

Under its longstanding interpretation of the statute, the commission actively supported the plaintiff, Lilly M. Ledbetter, in the lower courts. But after the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case last June, the Bush administration disavowed the agency’s position and filed a brief on the side of the employer.

Compassionate conservatism in action.

Yet Another Eye-Rack War Casualty

This is getting to be one lousy Memorial Day weekend:

Minnesota National Guard member killed in a standoff with police in central Minnesota was suicidal in the past, and initial reports indicated he was intoxicated and driving with a loaded shotgun on the morning of his death, authorities said Tuesday.

But Spc. Brian William Skold, 28, of Sauk Rapids, was also a caring person, who loved water-skiing, fishing and hunting, and drew people in with his outgoing personality.

"He had just a zest for life," said his sister, Jenny Trager. "People really liked him. I guess he would be what I would call a social butterfly. ... He enjoyed being with friends and family."

Skold served about a year in Iraq. Police weren't saying whether lingering effects from his deployment contributed to Sunday morning's incident along Interstate 94, in which he fled from authorities and fired at least one shot from a 12-gauge shotgun before police returned fire, killing him.

Baghdad Bob Maliki

They say that September is the make or break time. If things don't turn around, oh there is going to be some soul-searching and reconsiderations I'll tell ya what!

Except that the bushies will say whatever the fuck they want at any time, probably using their puppet Nouri Al Maliki as their spokesman:

In his first American television interview since the U.S. troop surge began in February, Iraq's prime minister told CBS News chief foreign correspondent Lara Logan on Tuesday that the additional forces have prevented an even greater catastrophe in Iraq.

"If the Baghdad security plan had not been implemented, we would have a true civil war in Iraq,? Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said.

. . .Despite this month's deadly toll on U.S. forces, Maliki said there have been many victories in breaking up al Qaeda and other militant cells. Although he cautioned it was too soon to do a complete evaluation of the surge, he has great hopes for more progress in the next two or three months — just in time for America's top commander here to report to Congress.

Shyeah, whatevah:

MOSUL, Iraq — The letter tossed into Mustafa Abu Bakr Muhammad’s front yard got right to the point.

“You will be killed,? it read, for collaborating with the Kurdish militias. Then came the bullet through a window at night.

A cousin had already been gunned down. So Mr. Muhammad and three generations of his family joined tens of thousands of other Kurds who have fled growing ethnic violence by Sunni Arab insurgents here and moved east, to the safety of Iraqi Kurdistan.

“We had our home in Mosul and it was good there, but things are now very bad between Arabs and Kurds,? said Mr. Muhammad, 70, standing outside his new, scorpion-infested cinderblock house in the nearby town of Khabat.

While the American military is trying to tamp down the vicious fighting between rival Arab sects in Baghdad, conflict between Arabs and Kurds is intensifying here, adding another dimension to Iraq’s civil war. Sunni Arab militants, reinforced by insurgents fleeing the new security plan in Baghdad, are trying to rid Mosul of its Kurdish population through violence and intimidation, Kurdish officials said.

Mosul, Iraq’s third largest city, with a population of 1.8 million, straddles the Tigris River on a grassy, windswept plain in the country’s north. It was recently estimated to be about a quarter Kurdish, but Sunni Arabs have already driven out at least 70,000 Kurds and virtually erased the Kurdish presence from the city’s western half, said Khasro Goran, the deputy governor of surrounding Nineveh Province and a Kurd.

. . .The violence here against the Kurds and other minorities is vicious and unrelenting, Kurdish and American officials say. More than 1,000 Kurdish civilians have recently been killed in Mosul, and at least two or three are gunned down each day now, Mr. Goran said. One well-known Kurdish singer was murdered because he had the same last name as Mr. Goran.

. . .But the surge in ethnic violence has sharpened the animosity of Kurds toward Arabs, and few Kurds are ready to forgive the atrocities committed by Mr. Hussein’s Sunni Arab government.

“I compare the Sunni Arabs to Bosnian Serbs: their behavior, their way of thinking, their way of acting,? Mr. Goran said in an interview at the fortified government center downtown. “They are for killings, they are for mass graves. Not all of them, but the majority of them.?

So far, Kurdish militias have refrained from engaging in the kind of wide-scale reprisals against Sunni Arabs that Shiite militias have carried out in Baghdad. But the Kurds are capable, Mr. Goran warned.

“We can kill every day 50 Arabs in the streets,? Mr. Goran said with a quick smile. “Every day, everywhere, in Mosul and outside of Mosul. But we don’t do that, because we know they want us to do that.?

Republicans Still Being Mean To Democrats

It's like the Democrats have achieved learned helplessness. They continue to cave to conservative opposition in a feeble attempt to neutralize a talking point, but Republicans still bash them anyways:

SPARTANBURG — Sen. Jim DeMint on Tuesday blamed Democratic “wimps? in Congress for American casualties in Iraq, and cited Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for special censure.

During a luncheon speech to 100 constituents in Spartanburg, DeMint also took issue with the now widespread belief that Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction, saying the executed Iraqi dictator had “stockpiles of chemical weapons? that still exist.

DeMint devoted most of his comments to the current immigration debate in the Senate. But he spoke about the war when a woman in the audience stood and asked him how long U.S. troops will remain in Iraq.

“Al-Qaida knows that we’ve got a lot of wimps in Congress,? DeMint said. “I believe a lot of the casualties can be laid at the feet of all the talk in Congress about how we’ve got to get out, we’ve got to cut and run.?

Yes, we must appease obvious morons like Demint in order to maintain our incumbency protection racket.

Ijits.

Breaking News: Valerie Plame Was Covert

Once again, reich-wing gasbags are proven how they never, repeat NEVER deal with the facts and would rather commit treason than let their boy king president (gasp!) get called upon for waging a war based on lies:


WASHINGTON - An unclassified summary of outed CIA officer Valerie Plame's employment history at the spy agency, disclosed for the first time today in a court filing by Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald, indicates that Plame was "covert" when her name became public in July 2003.

The summary is part of an attachment to Fitzgerald's memorandum to the court supporting his recommendation that I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Vice President Cheney's former top aide, spend 2-1/2 to 3 years in prison for obstructing the CIA leak investigation.

. . .The unclassified summary of Plame's employment with the CIA at the time that syndicated columnist Robert Novak published her name on July 14, 2003 says, "Ms. Wilson was a covert CIA employee for who the CIA was taking affirmative measures to conceal her intelligence relationship to the United States."

Plame worked as an operations officer in the Directorate of Operations and was assigned to the Counterproliferation Division (CPD) in January 2002 at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia.

The employment history indicates that while she was assigned to CPD, Plame, "engaged in temporary duty travel overseas on official business." The report says, "she traveled at least seven times to more than ten times." When overseas Plame traveled undercover, "sometimes in true name and sometimes in alias -- but always using cover -- whether official or non-official (NOC) -- with no ostensible relationship to the CIA."


May 29, 2007

"The Intelligence And Facts Are Being Fixed Around The Policy"

After reading this and juxaposing it with this, I have only three words to say:

m_peach_w.gif

One day in December 2002, [head of the CIA Weapons Intelligence Non-proliferation and Arms Control Center Alan] Foley called his senior production managers to his office. He had a clear message for the men and women who controlled the output of the center's analysts: "If the president wants to go to war, our job is to find the intelligence to allow him to do so." The directive was not quite an order to cook the books, but it was a strong suggestion that cherry-picking and slanting not only would be tolerated, but might even be rewarded.

Scratch One Disaster Scenario

This is what happens when people set their minds to solving a problem, instead of throwing good money after bad plutocrats:

Antibodies that could protect against bird flu in humans have been isolated by an international team of scientists.

The discovery could lead to treatments that complement flu vaccines in the event of a human epidemic of the virus.

The H5N1 bird flu virus is estimated to have killed more than 180 people around the world since 2003.

Some countries are already stockpiling vaccines for a possible bird flu outbreak in humans, but no one knows how effective they might be.

Bloggerz R Teh Hot

A tiny tidbit in a New York Times profile of the popularity of teen magazines happened to catch Ezra Klein's eye:

In a finely conceived piece on "Dating Dares," the wise and forward-thinking Elisa Benson of Seventeen explains that she's "uncovered a few new guys for you to try! Among them are those old mainstays The Emo Guy ("Find him at: A dive-y dinner with his buddies, discussing the merits of My Chemical Romance."), The Club Promoter, and The Store Clerk ("Your first move: Write your name and phone number on the receipt he hands you, then slyly push it back across the counter."). But watch out, girls, because we've now got, The Blogger:
You don't agree with all his posts, but they make you think about new issues -- and whether he's as cute as his pics!

Find him at: A friend of a friend's Top 8 Your first move: Bloggers love having an audience almost as much as they like a battle of wits, so stir up some controversy by telling him when you disagree with a post.

Hidden payoff: An outspoken guy can stir up passions you never knew what you had -- and help you figure out what you really stand for.

I tend to agree with the commentators that nothing gets teen-aged girls more hot than flaming the Bush regime on a daily basis, or, in Klein's case, debating the merits of the preventative care versus health care.

But seriously, the girls need to be warned that not every blogger is as dreamy as Ezra Klein (plus last time I heard, he's already been spoken for). Just putting it out there.

Happy Memorial Day

God damn:

BAGHDAD - At least eight U.S. soldiers were killed in restive Diyala province north of Baghdad on Memorial Day, two of the victims in a helicopter that went down, the military reported Tuesday.

All the dead were Task Force Lightning soldiers. The military said six soldiers died in explosions near their vehicles, but gave no further information.

It was not immediately known if the helicopter was shot down or suffered mechanical difficulties.

May 28, 2007

Nice Job, Nubian. Thanks For Letting The Racists And Mysogynists Win

In case you people haven't noticed, I am black. My online experience has been pretty good (otherwise, I wouldn't have wasted this much time in cyberspace) until I reveal myself as a black man in online discussions. Then the racists and other whites who think they know better will start rolling in, dismissing my point of view and hurling all sorts of sickening things at me.

And do you know what? Fuck em. They do that shit to get a rise out of you, and if you ignore them and don't let them get to you, they don't need to be a problem.

Feministing has just recently taken down an interview she did with a black feminist blogger who writes under the pseudonym Nubian because the latter was dismayed over the number of hateful responses the post has gotten from those same troglodytes who live to do that sort of thing. Well, I'm glad she no longer has to worry her fragile little head over the fact that black people have known since their birth: that racists exists and they happen to take their shots at blacks. Christ, where would we be if the likes of her populated the civil rights movement, in which being cussed at by anonymous douchebags was the LEAST of the problem blacks active during that time had to face?

Feminist bloggers have had to deal with mysogynist dickheads all the time (e.g. see the types of e-mails Amanda Marcotte of Pandagon received after she left the Edward's campaign). It's unfortunate but it comes with the territory. Blacks who blog about racial issue will have to deal with racists online as well.

Nubian, in an ironic attempt to insult someone who respected her opinions enough to give it a wider airing, says she does not call herself a feminist anymore. That is just as well, because real feminsts do not cower away whenever some idiot says "bitch" or "nigger." Real feminists do this:

On Monday, March 3, 1913, clad in a white cape astride a white horse, lawyer Inez Milholland led the great woman suffrage parade down Pennsylvania Avenue in the nation's capital. Behind her stretched a long line with nine bands, four mounted brigades, three heralds, about twenty-four floats, and more than 5,000 marchers.

. . .The procession began late, but all went well for the first few blocks [picture]. Soon, however, the crowds, mostly men in town for the following day's inauguration of Woodrow Wilson, surged into the street making it almost impossible for the marchers to pass. Occasionally only a single file could move forward. Women were jeered, tripped, grabbed, shoved, and many heard “indecent epithets? and “barnyard conversation.? Instead of protecting the parade, the police “seemed to enjoy all the ribald jokes and laughter and part participated in them.? One policeman explained that they should stay at home where they belonged. The men in the procession heard shouts of “Henpecko? and “Where are your skirts?? As one witness explained, “There was a sort of spirit of levity connected with the crowd. They did not regard the affair very seriously.?

But to the women, the event was very serious. Helen Keller [picture] “was so exhausted and unnerved by the experience in attempting to reach a grandstand . . . that she was unable to speak later at Continental hall [sic ].? Two ambulances “came and went constantly for six hours, always impeded and at times actually opposed, so that doctor and driver literally had to fight their way to give succor to the injured?. One hundred marchers were taken to the local Emergency Hospital. Before the afternoon was over, Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson, responding to a request from the chief of police, authorized the use of a troop of cavalry from nearby Fort Myer to help control the crowd.

And don't get me started on what the black civil rights activists have to deal with. It's safe to say that they didn't have time or the luxury for thin skins.

ICE, ICE, Baby

immigration.jpg

An Iowa business owner shows his disapproval of the Department of Homeland Security Division of Immigration and Customs Enforcement during a raid.

Shocker o' the day: The Department of Homeland Security is more concerned about putting brown folks in cattle cars - I mean deporting them - than actually going after terra-ists:

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Claims of terrorism represented less than 0.01 percent of charges filed in recent years in immigration courts by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, according to a report issued Sunday by an independent research group.

This comes despite the fact the Bush administration has repeatedly asserted that fighting terrorism is the central mission of DHS.

The Transactional Records Action Clearinghouse said it analyzed millions of previously undisclosed records obtained from the immigration courts under the Freedom of Information Act.

Of the 814,073 people charged by DHS in immigration courts during the past three years, 12 faced charges of terrorism, TRAC said.

Those 12 cases represent 0.0015 percent of the total number of cases filed.

"The DHS claims it is focused on terrorism. Well that's just not true," said David Burnham, a TRAC spokesman. "Either there's no terrorism, or they're terrible at catching them. Either way it's bad for all of us."

The TRAC analysis also found that DHS filed a minuscule number of what are called "national security" charges against people in the immigration courts. The report stated that 114, or 0.014 percent of the total of roughly 800,000 individuals charged were charged with national security violations.

TRAC reported more than 85 percent of the charges involved more common immigration violations such as not having a valid immigrant visa, overstaying a student visa or entering the United States without an inspection.

In Any Other Country, There Would Be Mobs In The Street Wielding Pitchforks

Not here though, people still cling to that useful fiction that if you work hard and play by the rules, you will get rewarded:

American men in their 30s today are worse off than their fathers' generation, a reversal from just a decade ago, when sons generally were better off than their fathers, a new study finds.

The study, the first in a series on economic mobility undertaken by several prominent think tanks, also says the typical American family's income has lagged far behind productivity growth since 2000, a departure from most of the post-World War II period.

The findings suggest "the up escalator that has historically ensured that each generation would do better than the last may not be working very well," says the study, which is scheduled for release today. The study was written principally by John Morton of the Pew Charitable Trusts, which is leading the series, called the Economic Mobility Project, and Isabel Sawhill of the Brookings Institution. Other participating think tanks are the Heritage Foundation, American Enterprise Institute and the Urban Institute. (See the study.)

In 2004, the median income for a man in his 30s, a good predictor of his lifetime earnings, was $35,010, the study says, 12% less than for men in their 30s in 1974 -- their fathers' generation -- adjusted for inflation. A decade ago, median income for men in their 30s was $32,901, 5% higher than 30 years earlier. Ms. Sawhill said she isn't sure why men's wages have stagnated. "It seems there's been some slowdown in economic growth, it's possible that the movement of women into the labor force has affected male earnings, and it's possible that men are not working as hard as they used to."

. . .The report also found that between 1947 and 1974, productivity, or output per hour, and median family income, adjusted for inflation, both roughly doubled. Between 1974 and 2000, productivity rose 56% while income rose 29%. Between 2000 and 2005, productivity rose 16% while median income fell 2%, challenging "the notion that a rising tide will lift all boats," the report says.

And those Wall Street cheerleaders are simply flabberghasted as to why people aren't as happy as they are that rich people are becoming richer. Well, here you go.

May 27, 2007

"Iraq Will Not Accept A Breach Of Its Sovereignty"

The Turkish ministers must be rolling in the aisles when they heard this. It would be ironic that Turkey must holster their guns in the face of terrorist attacks while the U.S. and Israel are free to wage ruinous wars whenever they want. It would be if irony exists anymore in bushworld:

Iraq urged its northern neighbour Turkey on Sunday to pursue diplomatic means as it attempts stop armed Kurdish separatists operating out of northern Iraq.

Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Barham Salih told reporters after meeting with a Turkish delegation in Baghdad that Iraq would not accept a breach of its sovereignty.

"We spoke about what are perceived to be security threats to Turkey coming from Iraqi territory. We emphasised the need of dealing with the perceived threats based on established channels between the governments of Iraq and Turkey," he said.

Turkish envoy Oguz Celikkol said a number of issues had been discussed, including Ankara's growing anger at recent violence it blames on the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). The Turkish rebel group has thousands of fighters in the mountains of northern Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan region.

Your Tax Dollars At Work

This is why I didn't shed one drop of tear when those mercernaries were fricassed in Fallujah in 2004:

Employees of Blackwater USA, a private security firm under contract to the State Department, opened fire on the streets of Baghdad twice in two days last week, and one of the incidents provoked a standoff between the security contractors and Iraqi forces, U.S. and Iraqi officials said.

A Blackwater guard shot and killed an Iraqi driver Thursday near the Interior Ministry, according to three U.S. officials and one Iraqi official who were briefed on the incident but spoke on condition of anonymity because of a pending investigation. On Wednesday, a Blackwater-protected convoy was ambushed in downtown Baghdad, triggering a furious battle in which the security contractors, U.S. and Iraqi troops and AH-64 Apache attack helicopters were firing in a congested area.

Blackwater confirmed that its employees were involved in two shootings but could neither confirm nor deny that there had been any casualties, according to a company official who declined to be identified because of the firm's policy of not addressing incidents publicly.

Blackwater's security consulting division holds at least $109 million worth of State Department contracts in Iraq, and its employees operate in a perilous environment that sometimes requires the use of deadly force. But last week's incidents underscored how deeply these hired guns have been drawn into the war, their murky legal status and the grave consequences that can ensue when they take aggressive action.

Matthew Degn, a senior American civilian adviser to the Interior Ministry's intelligence directorate, described the ministry as "a powder keg" after the Iraqi driver was shot Thursday, with anger at Blackwater spilling over to other Americans working in the building.

Fifty Body Days

Bush and the Surge™ are both miserable failures:

BAGHDAD (CNN) -- Casualties mounted over the weekend for Iraqis and U.S. forces, despite the much-touted security crackdown in the capital.

Forty-five unidentified bodies were found Sunday in Baghdad, an Interior Ministry official said.

Twelve of the bodies were found in southern Baghdad's predominantly Sunni district of Dora.

So far in May, the bodies of 631 victims of sectarian violence have been found in Baghdad, surpassing the total of 585 for the entire country in April, according to data collected by the Iraqi Interior Ministry.

I Dunno About Atrios

But I and most other people would give their left nut to live through the 90's again if all we had to worry about is idiodic Clinton-bashing from a bunch of wingnuts.

Another Century Mark Month

heckuva job, dumbya.

May 26, 2007

"F@$king Stupidest Guy On The Face Of The Earth" Part II

CIA officer Pat Lang recounts how he tried to get a job with former Eye-Rack war architech Douglas Feith:

“He was sitting there munching a sandwich while he was talking to me,? Lang recalled, “which I thought was remarkable in itself, but he also had these briefing papers — they always had briefing papers, you know — about me.

“He’s looking at this stuff, and he says, ‘I’ve heard of you. I heard of you.’

“He says, ‘Is it really true that you really know the Arabs this well, and that you speak Arabic this well? Is that really true? Is that really true?’

“And I said, ‘Yeah, that’s really true.’

“That’s too bad,? Feith said.

The audience howled.

“That was the end of the interview,? Lang said. “I’m not quite sure what he meant, but you can work it out.?

And people wonder why Eye-Rack is so fucked up.

Anderson Cooper Can Shove It

Back when I first saw Anderson Cooper's sensationalized and almost context-free 60 Minutes report on the so-called Stop Snitchin' campaign, I didn't really want to comment on it because it is the type of media dreck that should not get any more attention than it deserves. Apparently the gist of the report is that black communities have all of a sudden stop reporting crimes to cops because they have been influenced by rappers like Cam'Ron, and also by thugs and drug dealers, against talking to the police. Although some of the interviewees tried to get the real story out, they have been silenced by Cooper's larger narrative. In other words, typical garbage from the white establishment media.

But then today comes Bob Herbert, that New York Times columnist who usually indulges in writing missives steeped in bleeding-heart platitudes that preaches to the choir but is unpersuasive to those that hold differing views, comes out with one of those rare columns that justifies his place in the punditocracy:

No one is paying much attention, but parts of New York City are like a police state for young men, women and children who happen to be black or Hispanic. They are routinely stopped, searched, harassed, intimidated, humiliated and, in many cases, arrested for no good reason.

. . .Last Monday in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn, about three dozen grieving young people on their way to a wake for a teenage friend who had been murdered were surrounded by the police, cursed at, handcuffed and ordered into paddy wagons. They were taken to the 83rd precinct stationhouse, where several were thrown into jail.

Leana Matia, an 18-year-old student at John Jay College, was one of those taken into custody. “We were walking toward the train station to take the L train when all these cops just swooped in on us,? she said. “They cursed us out and pushed the guys. And then they handcuffed us. We kept asking, ‘What are you doing?’ ?

Children as young as 13 were among those swept up by the cops. Two of them, including 16-year-old Lamel Carter, were the children of police officers. Some of the youngsters were carrying notes from school saying that they were allowed to be absent to attend the wake. There is no evidence that I’ve been able to find — other than uncorroborated statements by the police — that the teenagers were misbehaving in any way.

Everyone was searched, but nothing unlawful was found — no weapons, no marijuana or other drugs. Some of the kids were told at the scene that they were being seized because they had assembled unlawfully. “I didn’t know what unlawful assembly was,? said Kumar Singh, 18, who was among those arrested.

According to the police, the youngsters at the scene were on a rampage, yelling and blocking traffic. That does not seem to be the truth.

I spoke individually to several of the youngsters, to the principal of Bushwick Community High School (where a number of the kids are students), to a parent who was at the scene, and others. Nowhere was there even a hint of the chaos described by the police. Every account that I was able to find described a large group of youngsters, very sad and downcast about the loss of their friend, walking peacefully toward the station.

. . .Capt. Scott Henderson of the 83rd Precinct told me that the police had developed a “plan? to deal with youngsters going to the wake because they suspected that the murder was gang-related and there had already been some retaliation. He said he had personally witnessed the youngsters in Bushwick behaving badly and gave the order to arrest them.

Many of the kids were wearing white T-shirts with a picture of the dead teenager and the letters “R.I.P.? on them. The cops cited the T-shirts as evidence of gang membership.

Thirty-two of the youngsters were arrested. Most were charged with unlawful assembly and disorderly conduct. Several were held in jail overnight.

On Cooper's broadcast, he interviews a group of black schoolchildren. One of them, a boy named Alex, tells Cooper distinctly that he doesn't trust the police precisely because he has been profiled by them too many times. If Anderson Cooper had any talent for real journalism other than a "rap artists are violent" story, he might have explored that angle of the story even deeper and entirely abandoned the vanities, plutolatires and fake machisimos of the corporate rappers.

But instead Cooper took that grievous fact about black experience as a given and has decided to spin the story in a way that blames the victims. In case Anderson Cooper and the rest of country recognize that the distrust of the police predates any type of rap music and is based on gross miscarriages of justice like the one highlighted by Bob Herbert, nothing will be done even if we get rid of all the Cam'Rons of the world.

May 24, 2007

Fubar Surge

More on the Worst Friedman Ever:

BAGHDAD, May 23 -- More than three months into a U.S.-Iraqi security offensive designed to curtail sectarian violence in Baghdad and other parts of Iraq, Health Ministry statistics show that such killings are rising again.

From the beginning of May until Tuesday, 321 unidentified corpses, many dumped and showing signs of torture and execution, have been found across the Iraqi capital, according to morgue data provided by a Health Ministry official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release the information. The data showed that the same number of bodies were found in all of January, the month before the launch of the Baghdad security plan.

Such killings are a signature practice of Shiite militias, although Sunni insurgents are also known to execute victims. The number of found bodies is a key indicator of the level of sectarian violence, but the statistics also include some who died from causes unrelated to the political situation.

Worst Friedman Ever

Agreed

Is Joe Klein Right?

Is Al-Qaeda on the run in Eye-Rack?

No.

(link via Atrios)

An Addendum To Previous Post

If Bin Laden was such a danger to us that we must continue wasting our resources babysitting a civil war in Eye-Rack, how come the chimp-in-chief ordered the CIA's Bin Laden Unit closed down around the time that original piece of intelligence was received?

WASHINGTON, July 3 — The Central Intelligence Agency has closed a unit that for a decade had the mission of hunting Osama bin Laden and his top lieutenants, intelligence officials confirmed Monday.

The unit, known as Alec Station, was disbanded late last year and its analysts reassigned within the C.I.A. Counterterrorist Center, the officials said.

The decision is a milestone for the agency, which formed the unit before Osama bin Laden became a household name and bolstered its ranks after the Sept. 11 attacks, when President Bush pledged to bring Mr. bin Laden to justice "dead or alive."

The realignment reflects a view that Al Qaeda is no longer as hierarchical as it once was, intelligence officials said, and a growing concern about Qaeda-inspired groups that have begun carrying out attacks independent of Mr. bin Laden and his top deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri.

Yep, the exact opposite sentiment of Bin Laden still being a mastermind being peddled by the Bushies. Once again, WorstPresidentEver gets away with his lies because we have no liberal media with a sense of hisory.

May 23, 2007

We're Fighting Them Over There So They Can Attack Us Over Here

Can someone make sense of this latest scare-us-straight propaganda campaign brought to us by WorstPresidentEver?:

WASHINGTON: President George W. Bush, trying to defend his war strategy, declassified intelligence Tuesday that asserts Osama bin Laden ordered a top lieutenant in early 2005 to form a terror cell to conduct attacks outside Iraq. The United States was to have been the top target.

Frances Fragos Townsend, the White House homeland security adviser, said the intelligence bolsters the Bush administration's contention that al-Qaida wants to use Iraq as a staging area to launch terror attacks around the world, including the United States.

In January 2005, bin Laden tasked al-Qaida operative Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who was in Iraq, to organize the cell, Townsend said. Al-Zarqawi, former leader of al-Qaida's Iraq operations, was killed there in June 2006 by a U.S. airstrike. "We know from the intelligence community that al-Zarqawi welcomed the tasking and claimed he already had some good proposals," Townsend said.

She said that in the spring of 2005, bin Laden instructed Hamza Rabia, a senior operative, to brief al-Zarqawi on al-Qaida planning to attack sites outside Iraq, including in the United States. She did not disclose where in the United States attacks were being plotted. Around the same time, Abu Fajah al-Libi, a senior al-Qaida manager, suggested that bin Laden send Rabia to Iraq to help al-Zarqawi plan the external operations, Townsend said.

It is unclear whether Rabia went to Iraq, she said.

And the next part is almost adorable:

She said the information was declassified because intelligence agencies have tracked all leads from the information.

Nope, it has nothing to do to boost Commander Guy's approval ratings above freezing point.

Ghosts of Mossadegh

Isn't this how we got the CURRENT regime in Iran? And Bush has a degree in history from Yale? Oy vey iz mir!

The CIA has received secret presidential approval to mount a covert "black" operation to destabilize the Iranian government, current and former officials in the intelligence community tell the Blotter on ABCNews.com.

The sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the subject, say President Bush has signed a "nonlethal presidential finding" that puts into motion a CIA plan that reportedly includes a coordinated campaign of propaganda, disinformation and manipulation of Iran's currency and international financial transactions.

"I can't confirm or deny whether such a program exists or whether the president signed it, but it would be consistent with an overall American approach trying to find ways to put pressure on the regime," said Bruce Riedel, a recently retired CIA senior official who dealt with Iran and other countries in the region.

A National Security Council spokesperson, Gordon Johndroe, said, "The White House does not comment on intelligence matters." A CIA spokesperson said, "As a matter of course, we do not comment on allegations of covert activity."

May 22, 2007

Voice of Islamism

This latest embarrassment from the shitmire is just a sad metaphor how unprepared we were for the war and how little the drivers care for competence during the war:

Al Hurra television, the U.S. government's $63 million-a-year effort at public diplomacy broadcasting in the Middle East, is run by executives and officials who cannot speak Arabic, according to a senior official who oversees the program.

That might explain why critics say the service has recently been caught broadcasting terrorist messages, including an hour-long tirade on the importance of anti-Jewish violence, among other questionable pieces.

Facing tough questions before a congressional panel last week, Broadcasting Board of Governors member Joaquin Blaya admitted none of the senior news managers at the network spoke Arabic when the terrorist messages made it onto the air courtesy of U.S. taxpayer funds. Nor did Blaya himself or any of the other officials at the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which oversees the network.

"How does it happen that the terrorists take over?" asked Rep. Gary L. Ackerman, D-N.Y., at a hearing last Wednesday of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee he chairs. "Is there no adult supervision?"

Blaya conceded that the top officials in the network's chain of command could not understand what was being said on al Hurra broadcasts.

Also, the network's news division also had no assignment desk, he said. That left decisions over al Hurra's content in the hands of its reporters and producers, who are, according to Blaya, hastily-hired Arabic-speaking journalists with insufficient understanding of Western journalistic practices or the network's pro-Western mission.

The Christian Jihad Al Harb

Brought to you exclusively by the late Jerry Fallwell:

LYNCHBURG, Virginia (CNN) -- A first-year Liberty University student was arrested in what police said was a plot to detonate explosive devices Tuesday, the day of the Rev. Jerry Falwell's funeral.

Mark David Uhl's intended target is unknown, authorities said.

ABC News was reporting the youth told authorities he had made the bombs -- which were found in his car -- to stop protesters from disrupting Falwell's funeral.

May 20, 2007

Average Gas Prices Hits New Record

Andfor you bush-tards who want to find any silver lining under any of the administration's fuckups, that's adjusted for inflation, not nominal:

The average price of self-serve regular gasoline hit a record high of $3.18, rising more than 11 cents over the past two weeks, according to a nationwide survey released Sunday.

The previous record adjusted for inflation was $3.15 per gallon in March 1981.

May 17, 2007

Black Kid + Closely Cropped Haircut = Suspension

Yes, Pamela, it's about race. Black kids have had their hairs closely shaved since God knows when, and it hasn't become a problem until now. The school administrators could have easily used discretion on this matter, but instead have decided to be needlessly punitive. Remember, we still live in a country where black kids get in trouble for getting the answer right.

Quit Lying About The SATs

Paul Butler of Blackprof.com means well in his post addressing Barack Obama's answer to George Stephanopolous 's question about affirmative action for wealthy black folks this past Sunday, but he should really stop propogating the myth that middle-class blacks do worse on the SATs than poor whites. While the average SAT scores seem to suggest that fact, it also says that almost every middle-class blacks take the test while very few poor whites take that test. In fact, more poor blacks take the test than poor white students, which means that the scores of poor whites taking the SATs represents a HIGHLY biased sample of those who know full well they want to go to college and have prepared themselves, while the sample of blacks taking the SATs represent something of a must do since a lot of them know that college is the only way to get themselves ahead in this country.

May 15, 2007

I Say This Without Any Hesitation Or Equivocation

The world is better off without him:

The Rev. Jerry Falwell, the television minister whose 1979 founding of the Moral Majority galvanized American religious conservatives into a political force, died Tuesday at age 73.

Falwell was found unconscious and without a pulse in his office at Liberty University, the college he founded in Lynchburg, Virginia, said Ron Godwin, the school's executive vice president.

Though paramedics tried to revive him at his office and en route to Lynchburg General Hospital, "Those very timely and very efficient and effective efforts were unsuccessful," Godwin said.

The Commander Guy Picks His War Czar

Folks, meet your new fall guy:

lute.jpg

After a frustrating search for a new "war czar" to oversee the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, ABC News has learned that President Bush has chosen the Pentagon's director of operations, Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute, for the role.

In the newly created position of assistant to the president and deputy national security adviser for Iraq and Afghanistan policy and implementation, Lute would have the power to direct the Pentagon, State Department and other agencies involved in the two conflicts.

Lute would report directly to the president and to National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley.

May 14, 2007

Let Allah Sort Em Out

This was the great military mind guiding our way through the beginnings of the Eye-Rack occupation:

HOLMES: There are some good things happening here. There's - you know, Petraeus is -- General Petraeus is a smart guy. He's a scholar of counterinsurgency. Written books about it. And he's doing some very good things, but I wonder whether they're a couple years too late.

(GENERAL RICK) SANCHEZ: I'm just thinking that is there a way to win? And what is the definition of winning? Mine would be -- I'll share mine with you. Mine would be, A, stop killing them, thereby they'll stop hating you and wanting to kill you, or B, kill them all.

And people wondered how Abu Ghraib happened.

The diarist, Gorette, who posted the story on Daily Kos is right. It's a wonder how people can spew these things and wonder why people hate us. Everyone has been getting outraged (OUTRAGED) over the Hamas video shown on television where some guy in a Mickey Mouse costume is indocrinating children to seek violence against Israel and America. But if the Arab world had the equivalent of MEMRI or CAMERA scouring the western media for genocidal messages against Muslims and Arabs, wouldn't their examples be limitless? The very fact that someone responsible for waging war in Eye-Rack and was actually in the business of killing Arabs without restraint harbors those very same deplorable tendencies trumps whatever foolishness comes out of Al-Aqsa TV.

(via Atrios)

May 13, 2007

B-But It's Only 21 Bodies A Day!

Before the Surge we were finding 40-50 bodies scattered all over Baghdad. Can't you hippies see how great life is in Peoria, Eye-Rack?

The US military surge in Iraq, designed to turn around the course of the war, appears to be failing as senior US officers admit they need yet more troops and new figures show a sharp increase in the victims of death squads in Baghdad.

In the first 11 days of this month, there have already been 234 bodies - men murdered by death squads - dumped around the capital, a dramatic rise from the 137 found in the same period of April. Improving security in Baghdad and reducing death-squad activity was described as one of the key aims of the US surge of 25,000 additional troops, the final units of whom are due to arrive next month.

In a further setback, the US military announced yesterday the loss of an entire patrol south of Baghdad, with five soldiers dead and three others missing, after they were ambushed by insurgents in the town of Mahmoudiya.

The new figures emerged as the commander of US forces in northern Iraq, Major General Benjamin Mixon, admitted he did not have enough soldiers to contain the escalating violence in Diyala province, which neighbours Baghdad and has become the focus of the heaviest fighting between largely Sunni insurgent groups and the US army, which has seen casualties increase by 300 per cent. Sixty-one US soldiers have been killed in Diyala this year, compared with 20 in all of last year.

May 12, 2007

"He's No More Racist Than Any White Male"

College professor exposes a truth in his quest to defend a congressman who quoted a KKK Grand Wizard on the House floor.

What Liberal Media?

Yes, we can have half-wits and blowhards paid to spew lies on our televisions all day, but a retired general who is passionate about ending a quagmire gets the axe.

What, you're surprised? Here's what Batiste's former boss had to say about supporting Bush for financial gains:

With the scandal at CBS still festering, questions are being raised about whether a felony was committed when the network broadcast apparently forged memos in an attempt to discredit George W. Bush. Yesterday, the chairman of CBS's parent company chose Hong Kong as a place to drop a little bomb. Sumner Redstone, who calls himself a "liberal Democrat," said he's supporting President Bush.

The chairman of the entertainment giant Viacom said the reason was simple: Republican values are what U.S. companies need. Speaking to some of America's and Asia's top executives gathered for Forbes magazine's annual Global CEO Conference, Mr. Redstone declared: "I look at the election from what's good for Viacom. I vote for what's good for Viacom. I vote, today, Viacom.

"I don't want to denigrate Kerry," he went on, "but from a Viacom standpoint, the election of a Republican administration is a better deal. Because the Republican administration has stood for many things we believe in, deregulation and so on. The Democrats are not bad people. . . . But from a Viacom standpoint, we believe the election of a Republican administration is better for our company."


How's That Surge Coming Along? Part XVII

Sorry, soldiers, Bush will abandon you all just like he did Ahmed Qusai Al-Taei:

BAGHDAD (AP) - An attack on a unit of U.S.-led forces patrolling outside the Iraqi capital before dawn left five soldiers dead and three missing, the military said.

The attack on the patrol of seven U.S. soldiers and an Iraqi interpreter soldier occurred near Mahmoudiya, in a Sunni insurgent stronghold about 20 miles south of Baghdad, the military said.

Troops were searching for the three missing soldiers, the military said.

Plus other news:

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Truck bombs exploded on three important bridges near Baghdad on Friday, killing 26 people and damaging two of the spans in an apparent attempt by insurgents to paralyse road links to the Iraqi capital.

The attacks defy efforts by the U.S. military to smash car bomb cells and are the latest in a series of attacks on infrastructure around Baghdad, where U.S. and Iraqi forces have deployed thousands more troops under a three-month-old security plan.

Here's Hoping

bushresignsmay11.jpg

If only it were true.

May 10, 2007

Winning Dirty

Your "Plan B" (aka The Final Solution) in case the surge doesn't work, brought to you by the fair and balanced minds at FAUX Nooze.

Ivy-League Dickhead Makes Economic Case For Unlivable Wages

Oh no, N. Gregory Mankiw, an influential economist whose textbooks are required reading for any aspiring economist, he didn't just apply overly simplistic, non representative Econ 101 models to the labor market, did he? He can tell me the number of recessions that happened due to the countless times Congress have raised minimum wages right? So when prices go up, we buy less huh? How does that explain how my gas tank is still full with $3.00 gas, but my checking account is still considerably empty, huh? They still teach things like "inelastic product" over at Hah-vahd, don't they?

There, you see kids, Ivy League education just doesn't live up to its hype.

Update: Speaking of required reading, paperback books are supposed to be cheaper than hardcovers, right? So who the hell would make money trying to sell a paperback book at $121?

Oh that's right, it's those rip-off artists like Mankiw who call themselves college professors that can command that price, unless their students take that "timeless economic lesson" to heart and simply choose to lower their demand for the textbooks as the prices go up, while maintaining the same equilibrium of grades.

(via Atrios)

Eye-Rackees To America: Get Out

The majority of the Frei Eye-Rack Parliament just voted in favor of setting timetables for U.S. troop withdrawals, the first time they've ever done so. And apparently it's the half that has their own militias. So now Bush only has his zombie yes-men generals to validate his CYA strategy of leaving office without leaving Eye-Rack.

Codpieces

So that explains why I had to put up with Jonah Goldberg and Mona Charen in the Strib each week. Overall, it really is a shame that the Wall Street corporations that currently control most of the print media are hellbent in destroying their product whenever they lose a little revenue to an emerging media.

(via Atrios)

May 9, 2007

How's That Surge Coming Along? Part XVI

Can't leave the Kurds out of all the fun:

ARBIL, Iraq, May 9 (Reuters) - A truck bomb in the northern Iraqi city of Arbil on Wednesday killed 12 people and wounded 40, a Kurdish security official said.

First Lieutenant Mariwan Kareem, from the local security forces,
said the truck had been packed with explosives. The bomb left
a massive crater in the road, television pictures showed.

May 8, 2007

Harvard Grad Wins Minnesota Teacher Of The Year

No kidding:

Michael Smart said he is used to addressing groups of 20 to 25 students at a time, so it was understandable that his heart was racing when he stepped to the microphone on Sunday after being named the 2007 Minnesota Teacher of the Year.

. . .Smart gave his remarks in English, but he is just as comfortable conversing in Japanese, a subject he teaches at Robbinsdale Armstrong High School in Plymouth through Intermediate School District 287's Global Languages Program.

He also teaches online classes in Japanese.

Smart, a teacher for 20 years, was one of 11 finalists and one of 130 candidates for the annual award from Education Minnesota, which represents more than 70,000 educators.

Four Minnesota teachers who have won the award in its 43-year history have gone on to become the National Teacher of the Year.

"When I started teaching, I wanted to become a great teacher," said Smart, 45, of Golden Valley. "But classes went much better when I stopped focusing on becoming the best teacher I could be and started focusing on helping my students become the best students they could be."

In choosing Smart, Education Minnesota noted his use of nearly every available means to keep students engaged and involved, including interactive cable TV, videos, computers, the Internet, role playing and games to personalize learning.

"I love to see kids laughing. I love to see kids learning. When you have laughing, learning and bring relevance to the classroom it makes my job so easy it is a joy," he said.

Smart's enthusiasm for his subject and his students might explain why enrollment in his courses has jumped from 12 students in 1991 to more than 100 this year.

. . .Smart earned an economics degree from Harvard in 1984 and a master's degree in education from the University of Minnesota in 2003.

He spent four years teaching at the ECC Foreign Language Institute in Japan in the late 1980s and early 1990s before coming to Minnesota to teach Japanese to students at Cooper, Armstrong, Osseo, Park Center and Maple Grove high schools through District 287, a district created by 13 school districts in the Twin Cities area to provide specialized services.

Yes, it takes extra-ordinary people to be able to teach kids as effectively as he does. Especially in the public schools where you don't get to choose your students. But more often than not, extra-ordinary people tend not to get into the education business because of the high stress and low pay. Why the hell should you get a graduate degree for a job that pays, at best, bachelor degree wages? And look at this Michael Smart guy. He survives Marty Feldsteins class(es?) to get a degree in Economics and instead of becoming rich elected to impart his knowledge on high-school students. That is a rare breed indeed. But as long as we pay babysitters more than we do teachers, the Michael Smarts of the world will remain the exceptions that prove the rule.

Like Refrigerator Light To Cockroaches

Looks like the Democrats' subpoena power have those corporate crooks running scared:

The Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce offers a series of programs for its government contractor members: seminars, networking opportunities, news about latest developments. And, last week, this one: "Congressional Investigations: The Challenge of Responding Effectively."

It sold out.

About 40 people showed up, lured by the chamber's warning that the recent change in control of Congress will inevitably mean more investigations by newly empowered Democrats. "They're looking at security, police, construction in Iraq -- we do all of that," said Greg Lagana, a spokesman for DynCorp International who attended the early morning breakfast at the Ritz-Carlton in Tysons Corner.

. . .DynCorp, a major government contractor in Falls Church, got a letter last month from a House oversight committee headed by Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.), asking for details about the behavior of its gun-carrying employees. This wasn't DynCorp's first experience with scrutiny -- it has faced criticism of the quality of the Iraqi security forces it trains and questions about the merit of its expenditures.

. . ."There's been a significant spike in breadth, depth and scope of investigations," said moderator Gerry Sikorski, who heads the government section of law firm Holland & Knight. "There's no rules of evidence like a courtroom. It is part governmental, part political and part P.R."

How's That Surge Coming Along? Part XV

More "progress":

BAGHDAD (AP) - A roadside explosion outside the Iraqi capital on Sunday killed six American soldiers and a civilian journalist, the military said, among 12 U.S. troop deaths reported on a day when two car bombs killed at least 44 Iraqis at a Baghdad market and a police headquarters.

A car bomb in the capital, where U.S.-led forces are in the midst of a crackdown on sectarian violence, killed at least 30 Iraqis. At the police headquarters in Samarra, a volatile city in the Sunni heartland 60 miles north of Baghdad, a car bomb and shooting attack killed 12 police — including the police chief.

American soldiers racing to the headquarters to help also came under attack by small arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades that left two soldiers wounded, the military said.

. . .

BAGHDAD, May 7 (Reuters) - Two suicide car bombers killed 20 people and wounded more than 40 in separate attacks near Iraq's city of Ramadi on Monday, police said.

The first car bomb went off in a busy market in a town called Albu-Thiyab, east of Ramadi, said Tareq al-Thiyab, a police colonel and a government security adviser in western Anbar province.

The second car bomb targeted a police checkpoint in a town called al-Jazeera, he said.

Sunni Islamist al Qaeda is engaged in a fierce power struggle with local Sunni Arab tribesmen in Anbar province, who oppose the group's campaign of indiscriminate attacks and its efforts to impose a harsh interpretation of Islam.

Recent big suicide attacks in Anbar, an overwhelmingly Sunni province west of Baghdad, have been blamed on al Qaeda.


George Bush Don't Like Kansas People

An entire town gets destroyed, and the state only has 40 percent of its National Guard equipment to use for that disaster because the rest of it is being used in Eye-Rack. So who's to blame for the lack of preparedness? Why the local government of course, because they, you know, didn't ask for the much needed National Guard Equipment.

But that is just what the Bush administration is saying, so you know they are lying.

Wake Me Up When September Ends

Atrios is right. Even when the the benchmark the Republicans kinda, sorta imposed comes around this September, they will still find more pony excuses of why we must remain in Eye-Rack. And besides, the Bushies have already made clear that they will stay in the shitmire come hell or high water.

May 5, 2007

Looks Like Atheism Doesn't Make You More Moral

Case in point: Karl Rove.

Any Warm Body

If nothing else, the Eye-Rack war will expose the "don't ask, don't tell" policy as the unsustainable, unreasonable sham that it is:

On his wedding night in July 2004, then-Petty Officer 3rd Class Jason Knight finally accepted a truth he had fought against for years: he was gay.

Almost immediately, he moved to get his marriage annulled. He apologized to the woman he’d married. And when it came time to explain his changing circumstances to the Navy, he left nothing out. Under the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell? policy, he was quickly discharged from the service.

But now — whether through a clerical oversight or what some claim is an unwritten change in policy to keep more gay servicemembers in the ranks at a time of war — Jason Knight is back on active duty. Since promoted to petty officer second class, Knight is finishing a scheduled one-year tour in Kuwait with Naval Customs Battalion Bravo. And, already kicked out of the Navy once, he sees no need to hide his sexual orientation.

“I thought it was a joke at first,? he said, remembering the day he received his recall orders. “It was the ultimate kick in the ass. But then I thought, there isn’t much they can do to me they haven’t done the first time.?

May 2, 2007

"I'm The Commander Guy"

Not content to be just "The Decider," WorstPresidentEver invents a new job title for himself.

"You'll Have To Pry The Medal Of Freedom From My Cold Dead Hands"

So sez "newly contrite" ex-CIA director George Tenet.

There Is A God

Couldn't have happened to a nicer bunch of assholes:

Circuit City fired 3,400 of its highest-paid store employees in March, saying it needed to hire cheaper workers to shore up its bottom line. Now, the Richmond electronics retailer says it expects to post a first-quarter loss next month, and analysts are blaming the job cuts.

The company, which on Monday also revised its outlook for the first half of its fiscal year ending Feb. 29, 2008, cited poor sales of large flat-panel and projection televisions. Analysts said Circuit City had cast off some of its most experienced and successful people and was losing business to competitors who have better-trained employees.

"I think even though sales were soft in March, this is clearly why April sales were worse. They were replaced with less knowledgeable associates," said Tim Allen, an analyst with Jefferies & Co.

In particular, the televisions showing disappointing results are "intensive sales" requiring more informed employees, Allen said. "It's a big-ticket purchase for somebody. And if they feel like they're not getting the right advice or are being misled by someone who doesn't know, it would be definitely frustrating. They will take their business elsewhere."

The Army Calls It Suicide, The Father Says Rape And Murder

and with the Army's track record concerning Pat Tillman and Jessica Lynch, I'd bet the farm with the father's account (typos in the original ABC News blog post):

army private lavena l. johnson was just 19 years old. she had been in iraq for only a few weeks before she was found dead at balad airbase on july 19, 2005. the army said she died of a "self-inflicted wound" but when her father identified her body he discovered she had a disfigured lip, was missing some teeth and looked like she had been in a fight. and then there was that phone call to her mother just a couple of days before her death. private lavena johnson was talking about coming home for christmas. something about her death just didn't add up. that's when her father, dr. john johnson, started asking questions and that is when the army stopped being helpful.

Nit-Picklering Bush

My, as that one long-haired, freak-o, hippie singer once said, the times they are a-changin'. You all remember AP political reporter Nedra Pickler, who was notorious for writing outrageously biased wire reports against Democratic candidates for president during the 2004 election. Her modus operandi would be to say that Candidate A said something but "failed to mention" some right-wing Republican talking point that seemed to refute what s/he was saying.

Anyways, it looks like The Pickler has noticed the political weathervane has shifted against the chimp-in-chief and has sicced her considerable reporting skills on WorstPresidentEver:

WASHINGTON - Democratic presidential candidates made a point of reminding voters that Tuesday was the fourth anniversary of President Bush's speech declaring an end to major combat in Iraq.

. . .White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said the president was aware of the anniversary, although he didn't mention it during a meeting in Florida with military commanders. She said the president has since acknowledged mistakes in Iraq, but Tuesday was a day to thank the commanders for the successes and talk about his new strategy for the war.

Heh indeed.

Joan Baez Banned From Performing At Walter Reed

This is proof positive that to these clowns, military or otherwise, they view "supporting the troops" as supporting Bush's fuck-up in Eye-Rack, or maybe just all wars in general:

WASHINGTON (AP) - Folk singer and anti-war activist Joan Baez says she doesn't know why she was not allowed to perform for recovering soldiers recently at Walter Reed Army Medical Center as she planned.

In a letter to The Washington Post published Wednesday, she said rocker John Mellencamp had asked her to perform with him last Friday and that she accepted his invitation.

"I have always been an advocate for nonviolence and I have stood as firmly against the Iraq war as I did the Vietnam War 40 years ago," she wrote. "I realize now that I might have contributed to a better welcome home for those soldiers fresh from Vietnam. Maybe that's why I didn't hesitate to accept the invitation to sing for those returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. In the end, four days before the concert, I was not 'approved' by the Army to take part. Strange irony."

Baez, 66, told the Post in a telephone interview Tuesday that she was not told why she was left off the program by the Army. "There might have been one, there might have been 50 (soldiers) that thought I was a traitor," she told the paper.

May 1, 2007

"Mission Accomplished" Day

Let May Day be forever recorded and remembered in history as the day WorstPresidentEver pre-emptively declared the Eye-Rack war to be won. But we must remember that Bush didn't actually use the phrase "mission accomplished" during that speech (although it was on the banner behind him that Bush swore before God that his handlers did not put up). He actually said it 35 days later during a speech to troops stationed in Qatar:

I am happy to see you, an so are the long-suffering people of Iraq. America sent you on a mission to remove a grave threat and to liberate an oppressed people, and that mission has been accomplished.

Putz.