Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Who wants to read that gov't sponsored health care bill everyone's been begging for/ afraid of? If the answer is "Me! Me!" please click here. And if the answer is, "That stuff is boring! I'll find out what I think on Fox News/MSNBC later," please don't vote in the next election.
Dick Cheney likes to kill people! Seymour Hersh said it, the New York Times accidentally referenced it (read the Hersh blurb first), and then this week the Times full-on reported it. Tell me, how do you get away with creating death squads available for deployment in Nowhere, Pakistan, where they will supposedly kill terrorists but are much, much more likely to cause an international incident? How do you make them personally answerable to you, without any congressional oversight at all? How do you do that as Vice President of the United States, a position with no actual authority or influence? And why aren't you in jail, if you do manage to pull it off?

One of life's little mysteries. Choice quote from the article "'It sounds great in the movies, but when you try to do, it it’s not that easy,' said one former intelligence official. 'Where do you base them? What do they look like? Are they going to be sitting around at headquarters on 24-hour alert waiting to be called?'" Remember, Dick Cheney did not serve his country during the Vietnam War! Or any other war! Mostly, he served himself.

Truly, he is the trickiest Dick of all.
Randall Terry is the victim/subject of a not altogether sympathetic profile in the Washington Post today, which chronicles his troubled personal life and the dangers of extreme pro-lifing, which, as anyone who ever went to an Operation Rescue Rally will tell you, is a full-contact sport.
And Matt Taibbi's hair-raising article about Goldman Sachs is finally up at Rolling Stone. It is quite frightening, even if read with an appropriate skepticism (Taibbi is a brilliant writer, but he's an investigative journalist, which means he presumes people guilty until proven innocent. It's the only way to do it, and he does it well). A good, if not altogether successful rebuttal is here at reasonable libertarian Megan McArdle's blog on The Atlantic.

Thursday, July 2, 2009


Former Bushie John Bolton, scrotum of the body politic, believes that Israel, yes, folks, the nation of Israel, should invade Iran, because the Tehran-only rioting over the country's stolen presidential election means that everyone in the Islamic Republic just can't wait to be annexed by Jews.

Lord knows that the Iranian people deserve (and very likely elected) a much better leader than nuke-pushing holocaust denier Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, but there's a perception that everybody up to and including Allah was on the side of Mir-Hossein Mousavi, and that perception is - how to put this - dead wrong.

First of all, Mousavi himself is not exactly a baby-kissing peacenik. A Mousavi regime would not differ significantly with the current one except in terms of crazy race-baiting nonsense and inflammatory rhetoric, which would admittedly be an improvement. The actual heroes of all this craziness are the young people who rallied behind the slightly more liberal candidate like he was Barack Obama and not a marginally less offensive theocrat. They want a more liberal government, and they thought half a loaf was better than none until they discovered their government wouldn't even give them the half.

Secondly, there is a slim chance that Ahmadinejad actually did win the election, although we'll never know now, since nobody bothered to count the votes.

I interviewed a bunch of reporters who had just gotten out of the country, most of whom were terribly depressed about the state of things there. Interestingly, Jason Jones of "The Daily Show" had some fascinating things to say, and this is one that didn't make it into my article: "People keep asking if this is going to be the next revolution, and the answer is 'no.' The government controls the money and the guns. There's not much they can do. In 79, the whole country was involved in the revolution, and this is really divided."

Jones says that his team went to Qom and other rural areas around Iran, where they met a great many people who were not, in fact, thrilled with the possibility of a more moderate Iran and believe all the horrible anti-Semitic, anti-American rhetoric spread by the current administration. Sadly, the anti-American rhetoric is not entirely baseless - the US did in fact help to overthrow Mohammed Mossadeq, an unswervingly democratic leader who decided not to give us preferential access to his country's most precious natural resource. So we had him deposed and installed the country's most hated ruler, Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi. Good for us.

By remaining utterly silent until the last possible minute, President Obama, whose foreign policy, at least, is living up to his promises, managed to totally undercut the paranoia Ahmadinejad had been trying to foment about present-day American involvement in Iran. Obama has publicly slammed Ahmadinejad for persecuting his people (long after the election was actually held, of course), but that is to be expected - the main thing to do now is not to interfere further. This is an internal conflict in a country that has never been a close ally of the United States, and it is also a potential revolution with a lot of momentum behind the correct side. Agitators didn't help the Iranian people overthrow the Shah; they did that by themselves.


Times Square was filled with people yesterday, all of them carrying signs that said "TEA: TAXED ENOUGH ALREADY," "OBAMA'S CHANGE IS KILLING MY HOPE" or "OO-RAH!" but might as well have been nametags reading "Hello, My Name Is Ignerunt Savidge" (you haven't PAID Barack Obama's taxes yet, jackass. Bitch to me next year).

As various speakers began to whip the crowd into a frenzy, the attendees started to mount the stand in order to deliver anti-tax testimonials, or something.

"My husband worked hard his whole life so we could have private health insurance," said one woman before I plugged my ears and ran away. I worked hard my whole life and still have to buy my own incredibly shitty limited coverage health insurance, lady. God protect me from anything I can't fix with Claritin, Maker's Mark, and four-year-old hydrocodone.


Here in the news biz, any time immediately before a holiday or a weekend, or better yet, a holiday weekend, is considered an opportune moment for a "newsdump." This is what happens when you have a bunch of papers you legally have to release (but really don't want to), a slight case of the galloping homosexuals that could lead to the loss of your Senate seat, or an embarrassing photograph of yourself with a girl who told you she was eighteen.

So what happens the Friday after Michael Jackson dies, a few days before the 4th of July, and amusingly stupid Governor Mark Sanford is busy telling everyone who'll listen about his affair with an Argentinian reporter?

Remember, today is Thursday. Let's see what happens tomorrow, when most reporters are off.


Kim Jong-Il, do you WANT the Pentagon to turn Pyongyang into a smoking crater?