Friday, August 31, 2007

Ready To Get Your Heebies Jeebied?

It's Friday.

Ready to get your heebies jeebied? Here's a snippet:

The ghost of Vietnam is back; the economy's sinking fast; the religious right is ranting; Ann Coulter's got new boobs (or she's finally figured out Victoria's secret); it's time to celebrate John McCain's birthday again, like we did two years ago; and, nobody suffers like Laura Bush (warning: graphic images). A true week of Republicaweirdness. Fortunately, DUers Hamlette, jgraz, and Husb2Sparkley tell it like it is. Enjoy!

Have a great weekend!

Best bar bet in the world: Delilah didn't do it.
Judges 16:19--

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Trent Lott ("Eagle Soaring" Cricket #1) Finally Chirps

Yesterday, I posted this:

The eagles must be soaring...

Because I haven't heard a word from either Lott or Ashcroft, have you?

Let the crickets chirp!

What a difference a day makes...

BOISE - Senator Larry Craig is stepping down from top committee assignments – under pressure from GOP leadership.


The announcement came in a statement from Republican leaders Senators Mitch McConnell, Trent Lott, Jon Kyl, Kay Bailey Hutchison, John Ensign.

Still waiting for John Ashcroft to chirp?

Don't hold your breath.

By the way, missing from that photo is Jim Jeffords, but he ditched the Republican party in 2001 to become an Independent.

Best bar bet in the world: Delilah didn't do it.
Judges 16:19--

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Larry Craig Was On The US Senate Ethics Committee?

Creepier and creepier.

1995 just called to remind us that Larry Craig was upset about Bob Packwood's sordid deeds and subsequent departure from government service...

``It was not an easy decision to vote to expel a colleague from the Senate, but it was the right one,'' said Senator Larry Craig, R-Idaho, one of three Republicans on the committee.

Craig noted that huge numbers of documents related to the case -- 10 volumes of 1,000 pages each -- will be released today. ``I believe that a thorough examination of this material will cause the American people to understand why the ethics committee made the decision it has,'' he said.

There's more...

One particularly poignant moment came during an exchange between Packwood and Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, a member of the Ethics panel. Afterward, they shook hands and hugged one another. Then Craig began sobbing and quickly strode into the GOP cloakroom, his hands covering his face.

And who's bright idea was it to put Larry Craig on the ethics panel?

Here's another little blast from the past...

The eagles must be soaring...

Because I haven't heard a word from either Lott or Ashcroft, have you?

Let the crickets chirp!

Best bar bet in the world: Delilah didn't do it.
Judges 16:19--

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Dumber Than Dubya: Send This Barbie Back To The Factory!

If you missed this, here it is...

You can tell it's Mattel™; it's... er, not so swell.

Best bar bet in the world: Delilah didn't do it.
Judges 16:19--

Senator Craig, An Airport Bathroom Stall, And The Idaho Values Alliance

Yep, that's US Senator Larry Craig (red circle on the right).

And that's an airport (red circle to the left of Craig).

And then there's the AP news story on the increase in sex traffic in airport restrooms.

All on the Idaho Values Alliance website. Little did they know that Craig would soon... um, enhance their AP story on desperate gay people...

Here's the text (in the red box):


Ø One of the tragic characteristics of the homosexual lifestyle is its emphasis on anonymous sex and multiple sexual partners. It is a little-acknowledged secret that many active homosexuals will have more than 1,000 sex partners over the course of a lifetime (the average among heterosexuals is seven – still six more than we were designed for). This sordid fact of homosexual life surfaced yesterday in an AP article yesterday that reports on the number of arrests police have made for indecent exposure and public sex acts in the restrooms at Atlanta’s airport, the busiest in the world. The increased restroom patrols, begun to apprehend luggage thieves, instead uncovered a rash of sex crimes. Airport restrooms have become so popular that men looking for anonymous sexual trysts with other men have advertised their airport availability on Craigslist. One such ad was from a man saying he was stuck at the airport for three hours and was looking for “discreet, quick action.” (AP: Arrests Up in Atlanta Airport Restrooms)

And here's a snippet from the IVA's linked story...

ATLANTA (AP) - At the world's busiest airport, plainclothes officers patrolling public restrooms in search of luggage thieves have instead uncovered a rash of other, more sordid crimes.

The new restroom dragnet has led to the arrests of more than 30 people in three months for indecent exposure and public sex acts at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

Airport restrooms apparently have become such popular meeting places for men looking for sexual trysts with other men that they have been suggested several times as meeting places in personal ads on the Web site Craigslist.

"Hey ... I'm stuck at the airport from 5 p.m. and I'm looking for a good time ...," one ad reads. In another, the person posting says he is stuck at the airport for three hours in the evening and is looking for "discreet, quick action."

The new patrols were started to stop theft, not catch people in sex acts, police officials say.

Too bad most Republicans (like Craig) don't read...

The Atlanta airport police efforts may be working, as new personal ads have on Craigslist have warned people to be careful.

"Do NOT do anything at the airport," one posting from March 29 reads. "If you want to hook up, do it outside the airport! Have fun but be smart about it. It's not worth going to jail for the night and having your face put on the news."

And yes, Senator Craig...

It's the hypocrisy, stupid.

Best bar bet in the world: Delilah didn't do it.
Judges 16:19--

Monday, August 27, 2007

A Tale Of Two Photos: Bush Reacts To Ken Lay's Indictment... Er, Alberto Gonzales' Resignation


On the day Enron crook And Bush BFF*, Ken Lay, was indicted...

Fast forward to today's Bush reaction to Alberto Gonzales' resignation...

And every sentient American's reaction to Bush's reactions...

* Best Friend Forever

Best bar bet in the world: Delilah didn't do it.
Judges 16:19--

Good God & Greyhound, Gonzales Is Gone!

And you thought Ashcroft was bad to the bone...

Some reactions to the sudden, unexplained resignation of felony committing US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV): "Alberto Gonzales was never the right man for this job. He lacked independence, he lacked judgment, and he lacked the spine to say no to Karl Rove."

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX): "This will not bring peace. This will bring more chaos."

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA): “The resignation of Attorney General Gonzales is long overdue. The rampant politicization of federal law enforcement that occurred under his tenure seriously eroded public confidence in our justice system."

John Edwards: "Better late than never."

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)
: "I spoke with the White House this morning, and suggested a couple of nominees who I believe would easily gain confirmation."*

And my favorite, from Rep. Rahm Emmanuel (D-IL): "Alberto Gonzales is the first Attorney General who thought the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth were three different things."


Me: "Alberto Gonzales still has to go to prison for a very long time."

Best bar bet in the world: Delilah didn't do it.
Judges 16:19--

Tin Soldiers And Nixon... er, Bush Coming

Just In Time For The Sept. 15th March On The White House...

Local Troops Deploy To Nation's Capital

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Members of the 1st Battalion 265 Air Defense Artillery have mobilized and are on a plane headed first to Ft. Bliss, then for federal active duty in the capital region.


The 265th is part of Operation Noble Eagle. (Emphasis mine)

They are ordered by the president to the nation's capital, where they will operate high-tech weapons systems against any potential air threat.


Families may get one or two opportunities to see loved ones during this year-long deployment, but it’s not encouraged. Though the solders are staying in the states, they are on serious business.

Staff Sgt. James Todd said duty at home is just as important as the mission overseas.

But who's your enemy, Staff Sergeant?


Gee, this war and its pathetic president seem familiar.

Looks like it's time to dust off those songs of old...

Trouble viewing? Just click on the screen above the logo in the bottom righthand corner.

And keep the faith, baby!

Best bar bet in the world: Delilah didn't do it.
Judges 16:19--

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Today's Sermon on the Blog: The Church Of... Dem Bones

So, somebody woke up one day and said: "I think I'll build a church and decorate it with human bones" and had no idea how creepy that would seem many centuries later?

A chandelier made of every bone in the human body?

A skull and crossbones atop the officially sanctioned church?

It's a "normal" church?

Judge for yourself...

The Ossuary in Sedlec - Kutna Hora

Kutna Hora is a town in the Czech Republic about 70 km (44 miles) east of the capital Prague. The town flourished during the 1300s due to the immense silver findings in the vicinity. The town provided most of the silver for the coins circulating in Europe at the time. As the town grew new churches were built and old ones repaired and expanded. One of the most famous medieval cathedrals, the Church of Santa Barbara (Kostel sv. Barbora), was built at that time with money raised from the miners from the area in honour of their industry's patron saint and without involvment of any governmental funding.

Another less known church (but of major interest to us!) was sittuated in Sedlec - a kind of a suburb to Kutna Hora some 2 kilometres away from the Kutna Hora town centre itself and got heavily expanded with a new Chapel added to the old buildings.

The Sedlec Cistercians weren't just joining the Kutna Hora construction boom when they started expanding. They did it because of practical reasons. That chapel with its belonging graveyard had become a well-known and attractive place to get ones relatives buried in a long time ago. Why you may ask?..

The answer is to be found in the actions of a certain abbot Henry. In the year of thy lord 1278 the Cistercian abbot Henry embarked on a pilgrim voyage to the Holy Land (Palestine). This was more or less common practice for people of the church at the time. What he couldn't have imagined is the effect a little symbolic deed that he performed would have on the future of the little Sedlec church.

While in Palestine abbot Henry visited the Golgotha and from there he brought back to Sedlec a jar full of earth. He referred to this as 'Holy Soil'. When he got back he spread the earth over the Sedlec cemetery and thus the cemetery begun to be considered as a piece of sacred land. The burial ground rapidly became one of the most popular in central Europe and people from all over the country and Europe came to Sedlec to get buried when they felt the strength of life diminishing. Many brought their dead relatives or friends to be buried in the holy soil of the Sedlec cemetery believing that the holyness of the ground was a sure way to guarantee the buried a place in heaven. Many corpses and bones were accumulated this way and especially during the times of the plague (the black death) many who were about to die from the disease came themselves to be buried in Sedlec. By 1318 over 30 000 bodies were buried there and this gave rise to the creation of the ossuary.

The ossuary is located in the All Saints' Chapel built around 1400. The chapel is still surrounded by a functioning graveyard and if you take a careful look at the top of its towers you will see that that a "jolly roger", or a skull and crossbones, replace the usual Christian cross. The ossuary itself dates from 1511 when a half-blind monk
was given the task to gather the bones from the abolished graves and putting them in the crypt to make place for new "customers". The task may seem somewhat macabre and unenviable but it served a practical purpose. Anyhow - now the material was in store and waiting for an idea and someone to realize that idea.

A more questionable task than the one of the half-blind monk was the one of the local woodcarver who as late as 1870 was hired to decorate the inside of the Chapel with the human material (an approximate of 40 000 sets of human bones) at his disposal. The name of the artist was Frantisek Rindt and the employer was the Duke (Prince?) of Shwartzenberg. The coats of arms of the family Shwartzenberg was one of the creations evolved from the artists mind. Another one is the chandelier which contains every human bone in the body, several times over, of course.

However questionable the Ossuary - it is real. The bones are real. The feeling of death is real. But also the feeling of peace. Most of the dead in the Ossuary died a "natural" i.e. non-violent death and the bones were removed from the ground to give more Christians the possibility to be buried on holy ground. I'd like to stress the fact that the church is not made of bones as so many seem to think! The interior is decorated with human bones but it's a "normal" church made of stone and bricks. I'd also like to point out that it's a normal Christian church with a Christ on the cross figure and all the rest. It's not some weird cult or Satanist church or anything like that.
Thus endeth today's sermon.

Go forth today, knowing that there are those who recycle and those who really recycle.

And ponder how such a church decorated with human bones has remained consecrated, revered, and untouched for so long.

Think about it before you dash off to Home Depot for redecorating ideas.

I mean it, damn it!

Best bar bet in the world: Delilah didn't do it.
Judges 16:19--

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Murdoch To WSJ Staff: "Baby, Please Don't Go!"

He's creepy.


Mysteriously spooky.

And not in a good way.

Rupert Murdoch, who crossed his (cough) heart (cough) and promised not to muck around with the Wall St Journal after buying it, has been phoning reporters and begging them not to bolt for the door (trans. for leftwing-like employers who offer better healthcare plans and salaries).

Hm. Wasn't Rupert's deal contingent on not taking a hands-on approach (trans. turning his new rag into another Hydra arm of his rightwingnut empire)?

And just how do the WSJ reporters feel about Murdoch?

In the newsroom, posters reflecting the mixed feelings have gone up. They feature a dotted black-and-white portrait of Murdoch as he has appeared in the Journal's pages, accompanied by the homespun headline "Show Us The Money."

Typical. No integrity there. For loony lefty workplace ideals more money and better health care, wingnut WSJers would whore out their own mothers.

Creepy is as creepy works for creeps.

In case you were wondering, there are no good guys in this story.

Best bar bet in the world: Delilah didn't do it.
Judges 16:19--

Friday, August 24, 2007

Risky Mortgage Bad; Get Yours Today!

A staff writer + an editor = advertising $$$ jeopardy?

Betcha those mortgage lenders who pay big bucks for advertising aren't too happy with the Washington Post this morning...

Today's word: juxtaposition

Today's lesson: The WaPo's either flirting with honesty or purposely wading into provacative swampland.

As for those big lenders, short-term profit still trumps civic responsibility, y'all.

Enough said.

Best bar bet in the world: Delilah didn't do it.
Judges 16:19--

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Skube You!

Michael Skube doesn't want bloggers to go away mad. He just wants them to go away.

Why? Because bloggers "don't conform" to the required journalistic process of fat-checking and editing prior to publication.

Riddle me this, Skube:

In 2006 you wrote this in the freakin' Washington Post:

I suspect they would have understood the point I tried unsuccessfully to make once when I quoted Joseph Pulitzer to my students. It is journalism's job, he said, to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. Too obvious, you think? I might have thought so myself -- if the words "afflicted" and "afflict" hadn't stumped the whole class.


You did a piss poor job "fact-checking" that quote, and...

Your WaPo editor(s) failed big time when they let you look stupid in print.

It wasn't Pulitzer, asshat.

It was Finley Peter Dunne.

So get down off your cross, Skube.

Somebody needs the wood.

Best bar bet in the world: Delilah didn't do it.
Judges 16:19--

Monday, August 20, 2007

Can Your Family Still Afford To Vote Republican?

Think I'm kidding?

But, wait!

That graphic doesn't tell the whole story...

The Bureau of Labor Statistics said in its July inflation report that egg prices are 33.7 percent higher than they were in July 2006. Over the same period, according to the department's consumer price index, whole milk was up 21.1 percent; fresh chicken 8.4 percent; navel oranges 13.6 percent; apples 8.7 percent. Dried beans were up 11.5 percent, and white bread just missed double-digit growth, rising by 8.8 percent.

But things for sale at the mall are getting cheaper, you say?

Across the economy, rising food prices were offset by falling prices for things bought at the mall: computers, cameras, clothing and shoes.

"All of that stuff is going down in price, but prices for gasoline have gotten higher, and food prices have gone up," said Mark Vitner, a senior economist for Wachovia, a large national bank based in Charlotte, N.C.

People also go to the mall a lot less than they go to the grocery store, so they're constantly reminded that dietary staples are up sharply.

Besides, are you going to believe a multimegabank economist who works for Wachovia or your own monthly bank statement?

Food, gasoline, property taxes, hidden fees, mortgage costs (Don't even get me started on the housing bubble meltdown, which economists completely ignored until it burst in their faces), tuition... and the beat goes on.

Hey, if you like being screwed by faceless companies, keep voting R. And that goes for those local R yokels you're scared shitless of because they control the Chamber of Commerce and play Caesar's thumbs up/down game with small biz startups.

Just don't come crying to President Hillary Richardson Obama Edwards for an upper-middle class lifestyle handout when your shit hits your fan. S/he'll be too busy trying to feed the truly needy and jumpstart the R-destroyed US economy and trying to clean up the R-created global diplomatic rubble.

Best bar bet in the world: Delilah didn't do it.
Judges 16:19--

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Today's Sermon: Politics, Imprecatory Prayer, & Rendering Unto Caesar

Rendering unto Caesar is not for the righteous church, whose sole mission is to spread the good word and congregate in joyous, uplifting song.

Then, there's Rev. Wiley Drake, who has a church and a radio show and some church stationery for his GOP political action endeavors... and some death threats for those who think he's crossed the IRS tax law line. Oh, yeah. He also has a email address. If you click on his name in the above radio show link, you'll see it.

Just another God Warrior?

Or just another tax cheat?

Minister: Death To My Tax Status Critics

(AP) A California minister who used church stationery and an Internet radio program to endorse former Gov. Mike Huckabee for president is asking his followers to pray for the deaths of those who filed a complaint against him with the IRS.

The Rev. Wiley S. Drake of the First Southern Baptist Church of Buena Park, Calif., called for "imprecatory prayer" targeting Barry W. Lynn, Joe Conn and Jeremy Leaming of Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

"The prayer does call for serious, serious punishment on people. But I didn't call for that, God did," said Drake, a native of Magnolia who completed a term in June as second vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Wow! Rev. Wiley's so righteous that he has a flag growing out of his head.

But even flag-headed ministers are required to know current tax laws so they can protect their flocks.

The ban on political campaign activity by charities and churches was created by Congress more than a half century ago. The Internal Revenue Service administers the tax laws written by Congress and has enforcement authority over tax-exempt organizations. Here is some background information on the political campaign activity ban and the latest IRS enforcement statistics regarding its administration of this congressional ban.

In 1954, Congress approved an amendment by Sen. Lyndon Johnson to prohibit 501(c)(3) organizations, which includes charities and churches, from engaging in any political campaign activity. To the extent Congress has revisited the ban over the years, it has in fact strengthened the ban. The most recent change came in 1987 when Congress amended the language to clarify that the prohibition also applies to statements opposing candidates.

Currently, the law prohibits political campaign activity by charities and churches by defining a 501(c)(3) organization as one "which does not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements), any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office."

Thus endeth today's sermon.

Go forth today, knowing that there are those who want God to smite you just because you question their actions.

And ponder how religious tax cheats like to hide behind (or under) the flag and ignore the New Testament's message of peace when they feel personally threatened.

Think about it.

I mean it, damn it!

Best bar bet in the world: Delilah didn't do it.
Judges 16:19--

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Bush: "Don't Diss My Passion For Fashion!"

So much for George ToughGuyMachoManClearingBrushForFun Bush!

Steve Benen @ TPM notes:

In August 2001, the president read a memo titled "Bin Ladin Determined to Strike in US." Bush didn't much care, telling his CIA briefer, "All right. You've covered your ass, now."

In August 2007, the president read a style article in a mid-size newspaper about the clothes he wears in Crawford. About this, Bush cared very much.

Benen's best jab, though...

I've heard rumors that George W. Bush is a charming fellow who's easy to get along with. Policies aside, he's supposed to be a "great guy." I don't buy it. Incidents like this one make the president sound temperamental and immature.

Indeed, if we take the White House pitch at face value, Bush is a tough guy, hardened by war, and unconcerned about pettiness -- unless the Austin American-Statesman says something vaguely derogatory about his clothes?

I'd laugh if Bush weren't so freakin' pathetic.

By the way, here's the offending article:

Here's a look back at President Bush's ranch wear as he makes the annual trek to his Crawford ranch.

By Marques G. Harper
Thursday, August 09, 2007

Presidents stick to a particular look in their off-time: Photos show Ronald Reagan in Western wear in Santa Barbara, Calif., despite the fact that Nancy Reagan had a serious sweet tooth for high fashion.

In the 1990s, we almost recoiled seeing images of Bill Clinton, pudgy and pale-skinned, in drab polos on Martha's Vineyard, in stark contrast to the dreamy pics from decades ago of John Kennedy's preppy, all-American good looks as he sailed and summered.

In November 2004, Bush wore a jacket suited to the ranch owner look to greet the king of Spain, Juan Carlos, at the ranch in Crawford.

Bush maintained a businesslike look, accessorized with a belt buckle, in May when he and Laura Bush met with NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer and wife Jeannine in Crawford.

Laura Bush and Colombian first lady Lina Moreno, wife of President Alvaro Uribe, maintain a polished look beneath a live oak tree at the ranch in 2005. A sweaty T-shirt and straw hat make sense if you're taking out cedar; President Bush takes a break from clearing an oak grove with friend Ken Englebrecht in 2002.

A sweaty T-shirt and straw hat make sense if you're taking out cedar; President Bush takes a break from clearing an oak grove with friend Ken Englebrecht in 2002.

Short-sleeved, buttoned shirts are a popular summer choice for the president, as here in 2005.

And how could we forget the vacation wardrobe of President George W. Bush, who is expected to make his annual summer trek to his ranch in Crawford?

Bush has two distinct looks when he's in Texas: the ranch-hand man and the crisp appearance of a ranch owner. In recent months, with his sliding popularity, he's opted to look more like "Walker, Texas Ranger" than a sweaty, tough ranch hand.

"As he loses popularity, his image is more and more critical," said Sara Canaday, an Austin-based communication and image consultant. "He's being advised wisely. He'd better step it up. He wants to have this sort of bravado image when he's on that ranch."

If that's the case, it's unlikely we'll see Bush with his 2002 Crawford photo-op accessories: aviator sunglasses, grungy, sweaty T-shirt, cowboy hat, light-colored jeans and Ford F-250.

It's tough times at the White House on the style front. According to The Washington Post, signs have appeared at numerous White House entrances in recent days, reminding staff members and others that proper attire must be maintained. That means no jeans, sneakers, shorts, miniskirts, T-shirts, tank tops or flip-flops.

The rules might spill over as White House staff such as Condoleezza Rice and others drop by the ranch on business. The summer season at Crawford likely will mean Bush in sports jackets, slacks and the big belt buckle with the presidential seal he likes or the one from Rewards that he received as a gift. And of course, there likely will be those short-sleeved button-down shirts Bush favors.

(So if you're a guest at the ranch in the days ahead, it's probably best to wear crisp dark jeans, a long-sleeve shirt and a Ralph Lauren-style blazer, unless you want to get a new nickname from Bush.)

With only one presidential summer left in Crawford after this, perhaps it's time for Mr. President to line up work for life after the White House. Here's a thought: Follow the lead of Mikhail Gorbachev, the former Soviet leader who is the new face of luxe brand Louis Vuitton.

In his Western duds, Bush easily could model for Ralph Lauren. But if his popularity is still low through the end of his presidency, he could always try Wrangler.

Bush? Model for Ralph Lauren?

Now that's funny!

Best bar bet in the world: Delilah didn't do it.
Judges 16:19--

Friday, August 17, 2007

Friday Film Stars Fun

How many can you identify?

More videos from the man who made this one.

Psst. Having trouble viewing YouTube videos. Just click on the background of the screen image above, and you'll be swept away to the appropriate YouTube page.

Best bar bet in the world: Delilah didn't do it.
Judges 16:19--

Is It 1929?

Hm. When the prez of a defunct mortgage company runs to the bank and pulls out $500K, it doesn't look good, does it?

FLASH - Right on schedule, panic and the run on the banks has now commenced. No surprises for HP'ers, shock and awe for everyone else

Even I'm surprised and amazed at what a Great Unwinding and Panic looks like in real life. Theory is one thing, and damn, we nailed it there, but to see it in action is, well, quite stunning. Trillions are going to be lost over the next few months. Trillions.

Prepare for more of this run on bank stuff... And if you have more than $100,000 exposed in any FDIC account, or if your accounts aren't FDIC insured, or god forbid, if you have ANY funds with Countrywide or IndyMac (I'm short), then what are you doing reading this blog - get down to the bank and get your cash out now!

A rush to pull out cash - Worried about the stability of mortgage giant Countrywide Financial, depositors crowd branches.

Anxious customers jammed the phone lines and website of Countrywide Bank and crowded its branch offices to pull out their savings because of concerns about the financial problems of the mortgage lender that owns the bank.

At Countrywide Bank offices, in a scene rare since the U.S. savings-and-loan crisis ended in the early '90s, so many people showed up to take out some or all of their money that in some cases they had to leave their names.

In West Los Angeles, a Countrywide supervisor brought in from another office served coffee to more than 25 people waiting calmly for their turn with the one clerk who could help them.

Bill Ashmore drove his Porsche Cayenne to Countrywide's Laguna Niguel office and waited half an hour to cash out $500,000
, which he then wired to an account at Bank of America.

"It's because of the fear of the bankruptcy," said Ashmore, president of Irvine's Impac Mortgage Holdings, which escaped bankruptcy itself recently by shutting down virtually all its lending and laying off hundreds of employees.

"It's got my wife totally freaked out," he said. "I just don't want to deal with it. I don't care about losing 90 days' interest, I don't care if it's FDIC-insured -- I just want it out."

Pass the popcorn and...

Stay tuned.

Best bar bet in the world: Delilah didn't do it.
Judges 16:19--

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Vacationing Bush To Staff: "Would You Die For Me?"

As a Texan, I can tell you honestly that the Texas heat in August can kill you. If you're the slightest bit dehydrated or not in tip-top shape, even doing something simple like running errands can do you in. Jogging in 104 degree heat is just Pure D stupid.

Forget mad dogs and Englishmen...

But don't forget when you read this Steven King-esque account: George "Bad Knees" Bush doesn't jog anymore. And the Bush family has had several skin cancer scares.

Bush Leads Aides on Sweaty Ranch Run

Before you get all worried, that headline would have you believe that Bush took part in this stupid exercise. He didn't.

CRAWFORD, Texas (AP) - The temperature topped 100, sweaty degrees at President Bush's ranch on Wednesday - a fine day for a three-mile run.

Forty White House staffers, members of the military and Secret Service gathered at a starting line and took off running. Their secret hope was to be inducted into the ``President's 100-degree Club.''

``You have to run for three miles. No walking. And then you get a T-shirt,'' White House deputy press secretary Dana Perino said about the event, which has become an August tradition at the ranch.

Idiots. The whole lot of them.

The president gave the runners a pep talk at the starting point of the midafternoon run - two laps on a paved road that winds near a helicopter landing zone. ``He told them not to push it too hard, but to give it their all,'' she said.

Bush cheered them on at the halfway point and then rode in his pickup truck back to the finish line in time to shake hands with every runner and present each with a light blue T-shirt emblazoned with: ``The President's 100 Degree Club.''


After his morning briefings, he cut down a few trees and took a spin on his bicycle. Earlier in the week, he worked outside building mountain bike trails.

``I would expect that there would be some brush cutting to do,'' Perino said. ``I don't know how many people are going to be able to stand it. The president, obviously, likes the heat, so maybe everyone else is just going to have to suffer through it.''

Hey, staffers!

Bush is not Jesus, and you're not apostles.

Get out of the Texas heat, dumbasses!

Best bar bet in the world: Delilah didn't do it.
Judges 16:19--

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Welcome To La-La Land: "The Consumer Could Actually Be A Drag On The U.S. Economy"

Who's to blame for the current strangling-to-death Bush economy?

You are.

But as the housing market decline moves into its second year, energy prices continue to be high and food prices jump, the consumer could actually be a drag on the U.S. economy.

"Now the consumer makes up about 70 percent of all GDP growth," Steidtmann said. "If that goes from a factor that is boosting growth to one that is (hurting) growth, that could very clearly be a factor that could lead to a recession."

And who's to blame for an impending recession/depression?

Ibidem, Baby!

David Rosenberg, North American economist at Merrill Lynch, pointed out that auto sales have fallen for a record seven months in a row, consumer spending in real terms has stagnated over the February-to-July period, chain store sales were flat sequentially in July and that while employment growth in the nonfarm payroll survey has stayed positive, the separate household survey has shown a stagnant labor market since February.

"There are plenty of signs now suggesting that we may be in the early stages of a consumer-led recession for the first time in 17 years," Rosenberg said in a research report.

Of course, it's never Hoover's the Bush administration's fault.

The only upside?

There should be an abundance of available cardboard boxes for us "unpatriotic consumers" to enjoy.

Best bar bet in the world: Delilah didn't do it.
Judges 16:19--

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

With Its RoveCo, Inc. Stock In Freefall, The Washington Post Still Doesn't Get It

From the WaPo editorial on Karl Rove's resignation:

Mr. Rove is a history buff, and we think that history's ultimate judgment will not depend much on his role in the scandals of the moment -- "Plamegate" and the firings of U.S. attorneys -- to which some attribute his resignation. Rather, he should be judged on his own terms: as the would-be architect of a long-lasting Republican majority, like the one Hanna forged more than a century ago. The GOP's wipeout in 2006 would suggest that Mr. Rove did not achieve this goal, notwithstanding his brave parting words about Republican victory in 2008. And if the manufactured polarization of the Bush-Rove years did not even serve its ostensible purpose, then what was the good of it?

Bang head against wall. Repeat.

"What was the good of it?"

Lying, cheating, and stealing in order to "win" elections for George Simple-Minded Bush had nothing to do with governing, WaPo asshats, and you know it.

So stop pretending that it did.

Your 67 WaPo articles about Rove since July 16th have nothing to do with governing, either. Mostly, they represent the WaPo's fact-facing "Oh, shit! People who hate Rove aren't buying our paper, so we should turn on him" realization and your current "We have always hated Karl Rove. Can't you tell?" marketing strategy.

Too little.

Way too late, WaPo.

You invested in RoveCo, Inc. a long time ago, and now you're stuck with the worthless paper you printed your love letters on.

Best bar bet in the world: Delilah didn't do it.
Judges 16:19--

Monday, August 13, 2007

Where Can Rove Teach Without A Degree?

It just dawned on me...
He'd (Rove would) like to teach eventually, but he has no specific job plans, save to write a book on the Bush years, which "the boss," as in Mr. Bush, "has encouraged me to do." As for what his own White House mistakes have been, Mr. Rove winces and says, "I'll put my feet up in September and think about that."

Rove doesn't even have a bachelor's degree.

In the fall of 1969, aged 18, Rove entered the University of Utah, on a $1,000 scholarship, as a political science major and joined the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity.

In June 1971, Rove dropped out of college to take a paid position as the Executive Director of the College Republican National Committee. Joe Abate, who was National Chairman of the College Republicans at the time, became a mentor to Rove.

Rove traveled extensively, participating as an instructor at weekend seminars for campus conservatives across the country. He was an active participant in Richard Nixon's 1972 Presidential campaign. As a protégé of Donald Segretti (later convicted as a Watergate conspirator), Rove painted the Nixon opponent George McGovern as a "left-wing peacenik", in spite of McGovern's World War II stint piloting a B-24.

I guess he can teach at any of the schlock wingnut "schools" run by BushCo donors and attended by... well, the French have a name for them:

Les Incompétents

Best bar bet in the world: Delilah didn't do it.
Judges 16:19--

Rove's Resigning... And You Believe That?

Rove won't stop being Rove just because he's no longer haunting the West Wing on a daily basis.

Remember this?

When it looked like Rove wouldn't be able to cheat another election and Senator Kerry would be rightfully elected president, Karl Rove took symbolism to a new level and threw himself under the bus (actually, the nose of Bush's plane).

Thanks to Diebold and corrupt Ohio Republicans, Rove's job was saved!

And remember this?

April 23, 2002, 11:30am EDT


White House counselor and trusted presidential adviser Karen Hughes announced Tuesday that she will leave Washington and return to her home state of Texas.



Karen Hughes Back In The Fold

Longtime Bush Adviser Returning To Campaign Team


And we all now how her return to BushCo turned out...

The Second Coming of Karen Hughes

Posted August 9, 2007 | 05:45 PM (EST)

Bush's propaganda czarina Karen Hughes -- her official jawbreaking title is Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs -- has had her ups and downs since being sworn in her State Department position in September 2005. When the long-time Bush confidante rejoined the "mission-accomplished" team in her new international-image-polishing job (she had been, among her previous capacities, a member of the secretive White House Iraq Group that led our country into war), some public-diplomacy veterans hoped that her close relationship with the President would make "engaging, informing, and influencing key international audiences" (the State Department's definition of public diplomacy) more successful than it had been during our Commander in Chief's first term.

But Bush Kampaigner Karen's first public foray into world affairs -- her infamous "listening tour" to the Middle East in the fall of 2005 -- was ridiculed by both the US and international media as an illustration of her ignorance (she disclosed, to an Egyptian opposition leader, that our Constitution cites "one nation under God") and lack of cultural sensitivity (she offended some Saudi women by reproaching them for not having the right to drive). After that disastrous overseas venture, she seemed to keep a lower profile, and by 2006 was practically off the media radar screen, especially during the Second Lebanese War. When she did engage in rare (for her official position) public events (many directed to American audiences to show them how good we US citizens were because of our compassionate-conservative aid to less fortunate foreigners) she was not infrequently criticized, including by the right-wing media, which accused her of being too accommodating to Muslim organizations like the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). LINK

Trust me, Karl Rove will not ride off into the sunset, never to be heard from again.

This guy's a cockroach.

And there's always this...

He'd like to teach eventually, but he has no specific job plans, save to write a book on the Bush years, which "the boss," as in Mr. Bush, "has encouraged me to do." As for what his own White House mistakes have been, Mr. Rove winces and says, "I'll put my feet up in September and think about that."

And what about Jeb Bush in 2012? Mr. Rove first says with a tone of skepticism, "Ask Jeb." LINK

The only thing I believe about Rove resigning?

6-8 Capitol Police officers will no longer be guarding his DC house full time, and we won't be signing snarky Christmas carols in front of his house this year.

Best bar bet in the world: Delilah didn't do it.
Judges 16:19--

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Even MegaChurch Pastors Sometimes Sing The Pacta Sunt Servanda Blues

Note: Thanks to alert readers for pointing out that the photo of the megachurch pastor below is actually the megachurch pastor's brother-in-law, Joel Osteen. The Associated Press news story cited included a photo of Osteen.

Here's the headline:

Church Cancels Memorial for Gay Vet

Weird. The megachurch brother-in-law and his megachurch wife... of this story's megachurch pastor (The AP must not have a photo of the Rev. Gary Simons.)

The sister and a photo of the Navy veteran

The facts:

ARLINGTON, Texas (Aug. 10) - A megachurch canceled a memorial service for a Navy veteran 24 hours before it was to start because the deceased was gay.

Officials at the nondenominational High Point Church knew that Cecil Howard Sinclair was gay when they offered to host his service, said his sister, Kathleen Wright. But after his obituary listed his life partner as one of his survivors, she said, it was called off.

"It's a slap in the face. It's like, 'Oh, we're sorry he died, but he's gay so we can't help you,"' she said Friday.

Wright said High Point offered to hold the service for Sinclair because their brother is a janitor there. Sinclair, who served in the first Gulf War, died Monday at age 46 from an infection after surgery to prepare him for a heart transplant.

The church's pastor, the Rev. Gary Simons, said no one knew Sinclair, who was not a church member, was gay until the day before the Thursday service, when staff members putting together his video tribute saw pictures of men "engaging in clear affection, kissing and embracing."

Simons said the church believes homosexuality is a sin, and it would have appeared to endorse that lifestyle if the service had been held there.

Who's lying? Hm. Surely, Caesar will decide in a court of law:

An oral contract is a contract that terms of which have been agreed by spoken communication, in contrast to a written contract, where the contract is a written document. There may be written, or other physical evidence, of an oral contract – for example where the parties write down what they have agreed – but the contract itself is not a written one.

In general, oral contracts are just as valid as written ones, but some jurisdictions either require a contract to be in writing in certain circumstances (for example where real property is being conveyed), or that a contract be evidenced in writing (though it may be oral). An example of the latter being the requirement that contract of guarantee be evidenced in writing that is found in the Statute of Frauds.

Similarly, the limitation period prescribed for an action may be shorter for an oral contract than it is for a written one.

The term verbal contract is sometimes incorrectly used as a synonym for oral contract. However, a verbal contract is one that is agreed to using words, either written or spoken, as opposed to an implied contract.

And there's this to consider:

A contract is a legally binding exchange of promises or agreement between parties that the law will enforce. Contract law is based on the Latin phrase pacta sunt servanda (pacts must be kept).[1] Breach of contract is recognised by the law and remedies can be provided. Almost everyone makes contracts every day. Sometimes written contracts are required, e.g., when buying a house.[2] However the vast majority of contracts can be and are made orally, like buying a law text book, or a coffee at a shop. Contract law can be classified, as is habitual in civil law systems, as part of a general law of obligations (along with tort, unjust enrichment or restitution).

Thus endeth today's sermon.

Go forth today and ponder the merits of legal action against a religious institution. Considering the plethora of judgments against the Catholic church recently, it's no longer a stretch for an attorney to take on mega-church pastors, is it?

As for the morality of the megachurch pastor's actions: Would Jesus cancel?

Think about it.

I mean it, damn it!

Best bar bet in the world: Delilah didn't do it.
Judges 16:19--

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Psst! Want To Know A Secret?

If you missed my weekly column yesterday, here it is.

Best bar bet in the world: Delilah didn't do it.
Judges 16:19--

Friday, August 10, 2007

Think Today Was Bad? Wait Until October...

The peak month for the resetting of mortgages will come this October, according to Credit Suisse, when more than $50 billion in mortgages will switch to a new rate for the first time. The level will remain above $30 billion a month through September 2008. In all, the interest rates on about $1 trillion worth of mortgages, or 12 percent of the U.S. total, will reset for the first time this year or next. A couple of years ago, by comparison, only a marginal amount of mortgage debt - a few billion dollars a month - was resetting each month.

So all the carnage in the mortgage market thus far has come even before the bulk of mortgages have reset. "The worst is not over in the subprime mortgage market," analysts at JPMorgan recently wrote to the firm's clients. "The reason for our pessimism is that loans originated in late 2005 and all of 2006, the period that saw peak origination volumes and sharply decreased underwriting quality, are only starting to reset in large numbers."

Pass the popcorn. This is far from over.

Best bar bet in the world: Delilah didn't do it.
Judges 16:19--

Bush v Zombies ("I believe this is the great challenge of the 21st century")

Click here if you have trouble viewing the video.

Best bar bet in the world: Delilah didn't do it.
Judges 16:19--

So Long, Bat Boy!

I don't even remember when I first heard of Bat Boy, but I don't think I've ever laughed so hard at people who believed crap as I did at the Bat Boy believers.
CLOSING When mainstream journalism goes tabloid (witness Rupert Murdoch's takeover of the Wall Street Journal), what's left for the old scandal sheets? The Weekly World News, paper of record for Elvis sightings and space-alien updates, lost nearly half its circulation between 2004 and 2006. The paper version will be killed this month, leaving just the website. In the end, WWN--which unearthed a lost sandal of Jesus in Central Park and an al-Qaeda plot to hijack Santa's sleigh-- failed to see the big picture: the turf of made-up news and celebs-gone-bad was about to be taken over by the Onion and TMZ, respectively. It was 28.

Not that I ever purchased a copy of TWWN, mind you. I just liked reading the headlines while waiting in line at Safeway.

Bat Boy just won't be the same online. Those grainy photos were so compelling. So long, Bat Boy!

Best bar bet in the world: Delilah didn't do it.
Judges 16:19--

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Your President Is Crack-Caine Brained Today

During his presser, Bush just said:

"The fundamental question: is it matter if there's a self-governin body in Iraq?"

Is it matter

It is matter, George, since you're the one (not the one in your earpiece) who has said repeatedly...

"We believe that, over time, most rejectionists will be persuaded to support a democratic Iraq led by a federal government that is a strong enough government ..."
Only a strong Iraqi government has a chance of restoring internal security. ...

Evidently, George, it is matter.

Cocaine's a helluva drug.

Best bar bet in the world: Delilah didn't do it.
Judges 16:19--

Lyme Diseased Tick- 1; George W. Bush- 0; Obvious Conclusion: Bush Is Either Celibate Or He Lied To Us About His Health

Somebody's lying about blood-sucking in the White House.

If this...

turns into this...

And no one notices, chances are you're celibate.

Or maybe you withheld your health info from the American people, Mr. President.

Which is it, George?

Oh, you choose lying?

Bush was treated for Lyme disease, White House says

(White House deputy press secretary Scott M.) said the incident was being disclosed now, a year after it happened, because the White House discloses the president's minor medical conditions only when it releases the annual report.

Stanzel said doctors decided not to do blood tests to determine for certain that Bush had Lyme disease because the treatment worked and he never progressed to other symptoms, the Associated Press reported.

Stanzel said the president discovered the rash - which appeared on Bush's left leg below the knee - but the spokesman would not specify the treatment Bush received, citing doctor-patient confidentiality.

And here's the celibacy-money quote:

Since his treatment, Bush has become more vigilant about looking for the tiny deer ticks that spread the disease, Stanzel said, and he "does use bug spray and does personal tick sweeps after being outdoors."

Personal tick sweeps?

Where's Laura?

Best bar bet in the world: Delilah didn't do it.
Judges 16:19--

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Shattered Glass Or Shattered Cover Up?

Will we ever learn the truth?

Yesterday, I noted the "reported confession" of The New Republic's "Baghdad Diarist," who admitted his blog posts were bogus. I also snarked about The Weekly Standard's bizarre outing of the soldier blogger.


Josh Marshall writes:
The Weekly Standard, which has been leading the charge against Beauchamp, says another unnamed military official told the magazine that not only had the Army found Beauchamp's written accounts to be false but that Beauchamp himself has now signed a recantation of all his claims. So case closed; he fessed up. Yet when TNR contacted the Army public affairs a Maj. Steve Lamb told them: "I have no knowledge of that."

So what's up here?

Beauchamp makes his charges. The US Army allegedly investigates and finds the highly embarrassing charges to be false. But no information will be released about which of his charges were false, how they were false or how they were determined to be false. (emphasis mine)

They then punish Beauchamp by preventing him from having any communication with the civilian world. And if that's not enough, an unnamed military source tells the Standard that Beauchamp has undergone a successful self-criticism session and has recanted everything. But an Army spokesman tells TNR that he's not aware of any confession or recantation.(emphasis mine)

Here's the deal: I want to believe that the Baghdad Diarist reported the truth; The New Republic has a reputation for fabulism; The Weekly Standard is hardly a reputable source; and the US Military has been caught lying about facts on the ground so many times it makes our heads spin like Linda Blair's.

Will we ever learn the truth?

Not if our only sources are The New Republic, The Weekly Standard, and the US Military.

Truly heavy sigh.

Best bar bet in the world: Delilah didn't do it.
Judges 16:19--