Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Cognitive dissonance

I'm convinced that at this point, supporting President Bush and his war is becoming increasingly painful for those in the Bush Frat. (I used to call it the Bush Cult, but I've downgraded it, mainly because I think it's a more accurate description of the phenomenon.) Psychic pain, I mean. They might want to jump ship, but they've put so much energy and time into supporting this guy that the more things go south, the more motivation they have to hang on. If they jump, that means they have to admit that their whole worldview was a mistake in the first place.

That's why fraternities put pledges through so much hell. Because psychologically, these young men think, hey, if I put up with all this in order to become a member of this group, I'm going to value that membership above all else. No criticism of my frat will be allowed. I will never betray my frat brothers. If being a part of this group is meaningless, then I ate all those goldfish and wrestled naked in the quad for no reason. And no one wants to admit that.

As the great Robert Cialdini, author of "Influence," said:
Once we make a choice or take a stand, we will encounter personal and interpersonal pressures to behave consistently with that commitment. Those pressures will cause us to respond in ways that justify our earlier decision. We simply convince ourselves that we have made the right choice and, no doubt, feel better about our decision. It is, quite simply, our desire to be (and to appear) consistent with what we have already done.
Bush Frat Brothers have been through a lot - Plame, Katrina, Gitmo, Abu Ghraib, no WMDs, Halliburton, Iraq, port security, and on and on and on. They sure as hell can't back out now.

Glenn Greenwald hits it out of the park again

"Those who insisted on this war, who started it, who prosecuted it, who controlled every single facet of its operation – they have no blame at all for the failure of this war. Nope. They were right all along about everything. It all would have worked had war critics just kept their mouths shut. The ones who are to blame are the ones who never believed in this war, who control no aspect of the government, who were unable to influence even a single aspect of the war, who were shunned, mocked and ridiculed, and who have been out of power since the war began. They are the ones to blame. They caused this war to fail."

-Glenn Greenwald on the right's refusal to take personal responsibility for the war in Iraq, an "experiment" (tm Dean Esmay) that even William F. Buckley admits has failed.

Apparently, the U.S. Coast Guard is racist

Racist, I tells ya.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Love the graphic

Love it. Love it. Love it.

Bush Ratings At All-Time Low

34 percent! Cheney at 18 percent!

Live by the sword, die by the sword, motherfuckers.

Forgot this one

During the "Cheney's Got a Gun" incident, everyone's favorite falafel, Bill O'Reilly, was fond of saying that the Vice President of the United States shooting a guy in the face just wasn't a big deal, and that it didn't affect the lives of average American citizens one bit.

To which I say, Natalee Holloway. Fox News, heal thyself.

(Oh, and the "War on Christmas," and how brown people will give you anthrax, and Air America's finances, and George Clooney's politics, and oh-dear-god-in-heaven whatever Dick Morris thinks about anything.)

Hey, at least he's honest

Bask in the glory of this bracing rant from man's-man Guy Adams (even his name is masculine - and check out the 'stache!):

The secularization of America

If only the rest of the right wing was as honest in their rhetoric.

RELATED: Why do all these homosexuals keep sucking my cock?

A MESSAGE TO GUY: It might interest you to know that your celebrity hero, Stephen Baldwin, once starred in a movie called "Threesome," where he played a college-age male slut who ended up in the title entanglement with both a woman and a gay man. Chew on that for a while.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Hell forecast: frozen over

Bush cultists all over the place are freaking out about the latest Rasmussen poll, which shows that Americans now trust Democrats more than Bush when it comes to national security.

National. Security.


Hmm. I guess turning over the operation of our ports to a terrorist-friendly government might not be the absolute best idea after all. Who knew?

Mmmmmm. Chocolate mousse....

Friday, February 24, 2006

Of cabbages and kings

Great comment on Balloon Juice from the always-interesting ppGaz, on the UAE port deal:

It’s really the same issue as the Cheney lawyer-shoot story. It’s about the arrogance and fuck-you attitude of these people. The NSA story strikes me as being in the same category. For that matter, the whoe Iraq war is in this category.

These are people who don’t like process, because it gets in their way. They don’t like courts. They don’t like the legislative branch. They don’t like the press. They really don’t like the people. They want to do whatever they want to do, and fuck anyone who doesn’t like it.

When the apologists and the spinmonkeys are playing with their feet and wondering why we “hate Bush”—this is why. This is exactly. America is all about the rejection of the King model of government. These people want to be kings.

Thursday, February 23, 2006


Well the latest defense/attack strategy of the Bush Cultists who are defending the UAE port deal is that people who don't like it are "racist." Hmmm.

Which means that people like Bill O'Reilly are in effect calling people like Michelle Malkin, who wrote "In Defense of Internment," racist.

Delicious, delicious irony. It's like the chocolate mousse of irony. Sweet and creamy and chocolatey.

It's funny because the Bush Cultists are trying to ignore the fact that people on the right also oppose this deal. They are trying to squeeze their eyes shut really tight and convince themselves that this is just traitorous Commies and their George-Clooney-loving friends in the traitorous mainstream media. But it's not. It's Bill Frist and it's Peter King. It's Lindsay Graham and Sean Hannity. And it's Michelle Malkin. Open your eyes, cult members. You can handle it.

There's nothing better than the rare sight of people on the right tearing each other apart, hammer and tongs. Because when they turn their guns on each other, only little gobbets of flesh are left. You always hurt the ones you love.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Monday, February 20, 2006

Dick Cheney: Moral coward

Well, that's Josh Marshall's take, anyway. I thought it would make a good headline, and intro to his piece about Mary Matalin's dissembling over the "Cheney's Got a Gun" incident. He's got Mary cold.

The thing is, I sort of admire Cheney in a bizarre way. With him, what you see is what you get. Not like Bush, who hides behind a rather absurd hail-fellow-well-met, all-hat-no-cattle sensibility. Cheney doesn't do pretense. Which is why it was so hard for him to do even the soft Brit Hume mea culpa, which he only did when the Prez leaned on him. I'm sure he honestly believed that he had nothing to explain, nothing to apologize for. He knows he comes off like the Emperor in Star Wars, and he's OK with that. Good for him.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

The gang that couldn't shoot straight (literally)

Well now we find out that the Bush administration is outsourcing our major port operations to the United Arab Emirates, a country with ties to the 9/11 hijackers. Michael Chertoff, who oversaw the many failures of Katrina, and Condoleeza Rice, who was national security advisor during the largest attack ever on U.S. soil, have been making the rounds defending this decision.

But of course they can't really specifically defend it, because that stuff is classified, you see.

Why does half of the country trust these people? And don't tell me it's because we haven't been hit since 9/11. That's a false conclusion. Al Qaeda takes *years* between attacks. They wait. They plan. And considering the criminally-negligent security at our ports and chemical and nuclear plants, their job probably isn't all that hard.

And Bill O'Reilly and Michelle Malkin want you to think that the greatest threat to your security in Ottumwa, Iowa is an undocumented Mexican.

UPDATE: President Bush, who hasn't vetoed a bill in his five years in office, promises that if Congress tries to block the port deal, he'll stop that cold. Good job, Mr. President! Protect the hell out of us.

Shepard Smith on (gasp of surprise) Fox News had the following tack: Hey, since we don't really search the containers anyway, why does it matter who runs the ports?

Oh and BTW, Bush didn't know about the sale to the UAE until it was already done. Yep - eye on the ball, that's these guys.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Oh my freakin' god

Actual CNN headline:

Shooting victim apologizes to vice president

Anyone who doubts that we live in an absolutely batshit crazy time should print out that headline and look at it several times a day. Because that, my friends, is the world we live in.

Anyone got any vodka? Or grain alcohol?

RELATED POST BELOW: Congress, why do you have to make me hit you like that?

RELATED: Iraq apologizes for being invaded

UPDATE: VP Accident Tale Filled with Discrepancies

The shooting could hardly be a better metaphor for Cheney. It neatly packages his faulty judgment, insularity and arrogance in a story that is not cataclysmic on its own terms but will prove hard to forget. That's too bad for Cheney, and certainly for Harry Whittington. But it is a blessing for anyone hoping to restore some accountability to a government that increasingly believes it is a law unto itself.

-Jonathan Alter, Newsweek
Oh and one more thing...

While ranch owner Katherine Armstrong told the media initially that absolutely no alcohol had been consumed by the hunting party, Cheney did tell Brit Hume that he had "had a beer at lunch." This line was conveniently removed from the broadcasted interview and the posted transcript.

As one commenter elsewhere noted, "I'll stop calling this administration 'Orwellian' when they stop using '1984' as their political playbook."

Monday, February 13, 2006

Mr. Vice President? Your kitten hammer is ready.

Why all the hysteria? The vice president accidentally shot a hunting companion with buck-shot over the weekend. He is in "very stable condition." The media were not notified for some time. And we're all supposed to be worked up about that?...Who cares? I don't.

-Mark Levin, National Review Online

Congress, why do you have to make me hit you like that?

Forgot to mention this gem from Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' testimony about the domestic spying:
"Well, Senator, I'll repeat what the president has said, and that is to the extent that Congress wants to suggest legislation, obviously, we'll listen to your ideas."
Hmmm. So now Congress just "suggests" stuff, and maybe, just maybe, King George will consider it. How magnanimous of him.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

A prediction

If a Republican wins the White House in 2008 (I give it an 85 percent chance), that person is going to make George W. Bush look like a piker. We will look back fondly at the restraint and common sense of the GWB administration.

The future's so bright, I gotta retreat into my concrete-reinforced fallout shelter.


Glenn Greenwald absolutely nails it in his deconstruction of what I have come to call the Bush Cult. All that matters to these people is fealty to one man, George W. Bush. Bush tomorrow announces that we are in a War on Peanut Butter, and these people organize a peanut butter bonfire within hours. Past statements in support of peanut butter never happened. John Kerry loves peanut butter. Anyone who questions this new PBW are traitorous bastards who should be hanged until they are dead, dead, dead. (Or suffocated in peanut butter. Whichever is handier.)

I've been saying this stuff for years. Sadly, at this point, the small number of people who are even willing to broach the subject won't make much of a difference. The cultists have to leave on their own power. We can't kidnap half of the nation and throw them in a van.

UPDATE: As Glenn's commenters, and Glenn himself, point out, this isn't really a Bush Cult. It's an authoritarian cult. It can (and most likely will) be transferred to whoever succeeds Bush in the White House. It's comforting to think we have an all-knowing, all-seeing leader who can protect us and love us. Too bad it's all a fiction.

Best blog comment of the week

In a post on Balloon Juice about how Dick Cheney accidentally shot someone on a quail hunting trip in Texas:

How come we never hear any good news about hunting accidents?

(Just for the record: the man Cheney shot was *not* Scooter Libby. And to be fair, he probably shouldn't have been wearing that novelty quail costume.)

UPDATE: I find the sentence "Dick Cheney shot a guy in the face" to be strangely invigorating.

UPDATE II: In response to leads like this from the Washington Post:
"Vice President Cheney accidentally sprayed a companion with birdshot while hunting quail on a private Texas ranch."
Atrios has an object lesson.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Bush's "Pre-1776 mentality"

If there is a shred of justice and decency left in this country by then, Russ Feingold should be President come January 2009.

I hope we can wait that long.

Where are we?

  • Those who criticize the government are routinely branded as traitors.
  • The executive branch has unlimited power, and no accountability to either the people or the legislature.
  • Political opposition is nearly non-existent.
  • The government takes prisoners who are tortured and held without representation or charges for months or years in secret facilities.
  • Intellectuals and universities are routinely considered fifth columns. Anti-intellectualism is rampant.
  • Those who strive for civil liberties, both at home and abroad, are demonized.
  • The government has started a war that has no definition, and no end. Only the government has the power to define this war and its combatants, however it sees fit.
  • The press participates eagerly in the propagandization of the people, and requires no accountability from the government.

Where do we live? What year is this?

Memo to Tom Vilsack

...and all the other spineless Dems who will have to stop acting like beaten dogs and abused spouses before something gets changed in this country:

This isn't about keeping us safe. This is about whether the President is above the law.

Is that too hard to understand? Because if it is, or you can't articulate that simple, basic idea to the public, then pack your bags and go home. Now.

You just can't make this stuff up

When Sen. Joe Biden asked Attorney General Alberto Gonzales whether al Qaeda members wouldn't just *assume* they were being monitored on the phone, leak or no leak, Gonzales responded:

"If they're not reminded about it all the time in newspapers and in stories, they sometimes forget."

Wily terrorist scum or Forrest Gump? You decide.

UPDATE: Another gem from Gonzales:
"President Washington, President Lincoln, President Wilson, President Roosevelt have all authorized electronic surveillance on a far broader scale."
UPDATE II: True, but sad, words from a site called "Right Wing Nut House":
"No GOP senator would ever do anything to harm Bush in the NSA hearings. Ever. The Dems are in the minority. Hence the outcome of these hearings is immaterial, and thus so are the hearings."

Monday, February 06, 2006


Apparently Attorney General Alberto Gonzales wasn't under oath when he testified today about the NSA spying program. This is because Russ Feingold, bless his heart, demanded that Gonzales be sworn in, and the Republicans blocked it.

Honor and credibility. Yep.

The U.S. Attorney General isn't willing to say, under oath, why the illegal domestic spying program was, in, fact, legal.

When is enough enough? What's the tipping point? Does it exist?

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Why does he have to lie like that?

AKA "I'm so sick of this shit, Part Deux"
"Secondly, there are such things as roving wiretaps. Now, by the way, any time you hear the United States government talking about wiretap, it requires -- a wiretap requires a court order. Nothing has changed, by the way. When we're talking about chasing down terrorists, we're talking about getting a court order before we do so. It's important for our fellow citizens to understand, when you think Patriot Act, constitutional guarantees are in place when it comes to doing what is necessary to protect our homeland, because we value the Constitution."

-George W. Bush, April 20, 2004

Friday, February 03, 2006

I'm getting so sick of this shit

More evidence now comes out that Bush told Tony Blair months before the start of the war in Iraq that the U.S. was going to attack no matter what - the weapons, any real threat, didn't matter. Further, Bush floated a plan to disguise a U.S. spy plane as a United Nations plane, trying to goad Saddam into shooting it down and thus justify the already-inevitable conflict.

But that's OK, right? Yeah. No problem there. Nope. It's all good. Protecting us. 9/11. Terra. Yep.

Hey, is "Survivor" on?

Amen, brother

"I don’t know why Republicans would feel any concern aboout the 2006 election. If Democrats continue on the path they’ve been on for the last 13 or so months - that is, capitulation, wimpiness, flip-flopping - the GOP should expect either the status quo or to pick up seats in the House and Senate. They’ll deserve it, because at least they want to fight for their side, no matter how evil their intent may be."

-Oliver Willis

My only State of the Union analysis

Mrs. K: Anyone have any questions?
Bart: How would I go about creating a half-man, half-monkey-type creature?
Mrs. K: I'm sorry, that would be playing God.
Bart: God shmod! I want my monkey-man!
That's about all it warrants.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Reason No. 1,634 why I love Molly Ivins

Bush, Cheney and Co. will continue to play the patriotic bully card just as long as you let them. I've said it before: War brings out the patriotic bullies. In World War I, they went around kicking dachshunds on the grounds that dachshunds were "German dogs." They did not, however, go around kicking German shepherds. The minute that someone impugns your patriotism for opposing this war, turn on them like a snarling dog and explain what loving your country really means.

-Molly Ivins, "Put up or shut up," 1/22/06
I don't support Hillary Clinton either, Molly. Hillary's always struck me as the worst sort of pandering, triangulating, which-way-is-the-wind-blowing sort of politician. And it disgusts me that the crapweasel right is able to paint Cindy Sheehan as "the left" simply because of the vacuum on the left side of the aisle.

Why doesn't anyone have the courage of their convictions? Most Americans *don't* support this President or his war, but yet all we get is Joe Lieberman doing his Droopy Dog impression on Meet the Press. That's maddening.

Like women in the corporate world, progressives have to be 10 times better than the ruling right in order to be considered equal. But with this crowd, why is that so hard?