Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Hit The Road, Jack! (or Stanley)

Pres. Obama today relieved Gen. Stanley McChrystal as the commander American forces in Afghanistan:
He said he had done so not out of personal insult, but because a magazine article featuring contemptuous quotes from the general and his staff about senior administration officials had not met standards of behavior for a commanding general, and threatened to undermine civilian control of the military.
“War is bigger than any one man or woman, whether a private, a general or president,” Mr. Obama said. “As difficult as it is to lose General McChrystal, I believe it is the right decision for national security.”
“I welcome debate among my team,” he said, “but I won’t tolerate division.” 
 Buh-bye, ya asshole; take MacArthur's advice, and "just fade away." And I'm also guessing that the family of Pat Tillman will see this as delayed justice for McChrystal's role in the disgraceful cover-up of Tillman's death by friendly fire.

So now, the question is: will the Repugs call him "an angry black man" for firing McChrystal, or a wimp for going along with Gates/Hillary et al? We'll see.

And Another Thing!

Steve Clemons of the Washington Note, appearing tonight on the Rachel Maddow Show and earlier today at the Huffington Post, expressed exactly some of the same concerns and complaints that I have about Gen. McChrystal's insubordination.

From Clemons' post today about the McChrystal controversy at the Huffington Post:
He created a culture of disdain for civilian leadership and showed intolerance for views that differed from his own - even though he was king of the hill as far as the Afghanistan surge. What McChrystal has done is to challenge not the President directly or even the chain of command -- but rather he and his command staff have undermined the very foundation of public trust in the White House's legitimacy and leadership.
And yes, one of the problems I have with McChrystal--aside from his beer-fueled disrespect for not only his civilian and military superiors, but also our allies in Afghanistan--is that McChrystal's counterinsurgency strategy is based on the failed military adventures of France, in Morocco, and The United States, in Vietnam. How stupid can you get? Is this strategy really worth $100 billion a year?

Here's Clemons on Maddow:

Again: fire him.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Fire McChrystal

Just finished reading the Rolling Stone article about Gen. Stanley McCrystal, wherein the general shows his lack of respect for Pres. Obama, his civilian and military superiors, and frankly, himself. He also shouldn't have let himself be interviewed with a few drinks under his belt....and especially Bud Lite Lime--yuck! He also seems particularly clumsy with the political and social responsibilities that go with four-star rank.

Rolling Stone:
[...]n private, Team McChrystal likes to talk shit about many of Obama's top people on the diplomatic side. One aide calls Jim Jones, a retired four-star general and veteran of the Cold War, a "clown" who remains "stuck in 1985." Politicians like McCain and Kerry, says another aide, "turn up, have a meeting with Karzai, criticize him at the airport press conference, then get back for the Sunday talk shows. Frankly, it's not very helpful." Only Hillary Clinton receives good reviews from McChrystal's inner circle.


McChrystal reserves special skepticism for (Special Representative to Afghanistan Richard) Holbrooke, the official in charge of reintegrating the Taliban. "The Boss says he's like a wounded animal," says a member of the general's team.

Pres. Obama, please fire his disrespectful, disloyal ass.

Monday, June 21, 2010

If Corporations Are People, Do They Taste Like Chicken?

Furthermore, can they be tried and executed?

The BP Gulf disaster is the worst environment catastrophe in American history. Millions of barrels of oil spilled into the Gulf of Mexico, coastlines, wetlands, and beaches fouled for what may be years, businesses destroyed, and a massive die-off of sea life in the Gulf. If an individual committed destruction on this scale, they'd surely be arrested, and, with their admission of guilt, tried, convicted, and (depending on the state in which the crimes happened) executed.

So why can't we do the same with BP? Nationalize their American assets, freeze every bank account we can reach here and abroad, arrest BP's executives, and liquidate the company? After all, the Supreme Court says that corporations now have the right of freedom of speech!

Nationalize BP. Arrest CEO Tony Hayward, Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg, and any and all managers that had any responsibility for the Deepwater Horizon oil rig. Sell the company's assets on the open market, or take over as the new management. But $20 billion is not enough. Not for a disaster that has the potential to change the face of the Gulf forever.

They shoot murderers, don't they? Nationalize BP.

It's Relative

What is worse: playing golf with your second-in-command during a time of crisis, sailing in a yacht race while your company's oil well fouls thousands of square miles of ocean, or laying a wreath on the graves of hardcore Nazis?

Hint: anything the Democrat and/or the black man does is automatically wrong.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Friday Funnies, Part 3: The Schmuck Of The Week!

OK, so this isn't that funny, except for the reactions. Texas congresscritter Joe Barton (R-Big Oil) apologized to BP executives yesterday, characterizing the Obama administration "of perpetrating a shakedown by pressuring BP to set aside $20 billion to cover expected damages."

TPM, quoting idiot from Texas:
"I think it is a tragedy of the first proportion that a private corporation can be subjected to what I would characterize as a shakedown, in this case a $20 billion shakedown," Barton said. "I'm only speaking for myself, I'm not speaking for anybody else. But I apologize. I do not want to live in a country where any time a citizen or a corporation does something that is legitimately wrong, is subject to to some sort of political pressure that is, again, in my words, amounts to a shakedown. So I apologize."
 Notwithstanding the fact that Barton is one of Congress' biggest recipients of Big Oil largess, his comment was particularly tone-deaf in light of the country's anger and frustration at BP, and how the spill is being handled. Of course, the GOP leadership's response was "don't say that shit out loud!" However, in an act typical of GOP hypocrisy, several Rethug members of Congress had already complained about the escrow fund. Also bellyaching were the Wall Street Journal, Erick Erickson of CNN and RedState, Laura Ingraham, Newt Gingrich, and Rush Limbaugh, to name a disgusting few.

But of course, Barton had to eat his words. "...he (sort of) apologized for apologizing. Then he apologized again, falling on his sword even as party leaders were throwing him under the bus." Barton didn't get the memo: it's ok to criticize Pres. Obama, but for God's sake, don't openly side with the oil companies! "Off with his head!" they cried. So Barton apologized twice, and so far, there are two Republicans who want him to resign his position as the ranking Rethug on the House Energy and Commerce Committee. We'll see how many more jump on the bandwagon by Monday.

Ahh, hell--Jon Stewart did this better than I ever could. I'll let him take it from here:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Day 59 - Judgment Day - The Strife Aquatic
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

And there you have it: this week's Schmuck Of The Week, the (dis)honorable Joe Barton!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Friday Funnies, Part 2: And Now A Message From Wingnut Central, Vegas Division

Nevada's Republican candidate for Senate, Sharron Angle, is making me forget all about the Chicken Lady, Sue Lowden. So far she's shown herself to be a confirmed nutter, so much so that Republican leadership deemed her "not ready for prime time," and has sequestered her from the press until she can learn how to lie better about her earlier positions I can't imagine why. After all, what's so extreme about wanting to end Social Security, abolish the Departments of Energy and Education and the EPA, outlaw alcohol, stop fluoridation of the water supply, supporting Scientology, and offering support for an armed insurrection against the federal government?

Too bad for her that Las Vegas' KLAS-TV caught her for a few unguarded moments. Take a look:

BTW, what's so "Christian" about cussing out a reporter? They're coming out of the woodwork this year, I swear.

Friday Funnies, Part 1: Attack of the Fanboy Shrink

 Ok, it's Friday, I've been busy, and so much foolishness has gone on this week that it's going to take several posts just to get most of it in. But I thought I'd start off with a truly humorous one, to wit:

The Guardian:
Thanks to the work of French researchers, we now have a detailed diagnosis of the mental health challenges faced by Star Wars' (evidently misunderstood) arch baddie Darth Vader.

In a letter entitled "Is Anakin Skywalker suffering from borderline personality disorder?", soon to be published in the journal Psychiatry Research, Eric Bui, a psychiatrist at Toulouse University Hospital, and his colleagues, will set out why Anakin (later to be known across that galaxy far, far away as Darth Vader) matches six out of the nine borderline personality disorder criteria as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

"I had watched the two prequel movies [Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith], and it was during my residency in psychiatry, while trying to explain borderline personality disorder to medical students, that I thought of Anakin," says Bui, displaying an unnerving lack of awareness that his study subject is, in fact, a fictional character.

"I believe that psychotherapy would have helped Anakin and might have prevented him from turning to the dark side," adds Bui. "Using the dark side of the Force could be considered as similar to drug use: it feels really good when you use it, it alters your consciousness and you know you shouldn't do it."
I wonder if this guy is available to treat Alvin Greene?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Now I'm CERTAIN It's Something In The Water

Ahhh, South Carolina: the South's wellspring of crazy, the state that's giving Cleveland and New Jersey a run for their money as the butt of jokes nationwide, the state that made the phrase "hiking the Appalachian Trail" (in)famous. Home to such lunatic politicians as Mark "the Luv Gov" Sanford and Jim "It Will Be His Waterloo" DeMint, South Carolina has done it again.

Presenting for your amusement and edification: Alvin Greene, South Carolina's Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate. An unemployed Army veteran, an unknown who won the South Carolina primary with no previous experience as an elected official at any level of government, no campaign staff, no lawn signs, buttons, advertising, or websites, no public appearances prior to the election, and, apparently, no desire or ability to explain any of this to the national media. The inarticulate candidate whose malapropisms and painful-to-watch interviews have placed him in a three-way tie for the title of worst-spoken politician in the country, and led to speculation that he's either mentally impaired or the next Sarah Palin. The man who's currently facing felony charges in South Carolina, charged with "showing obscene Internet photos to a University of South Carolina student." The man who tried to pay the $10,400 filing fee for the election with a personal check. The challenger to Jim DeMint for the Senate, whose story has become more bizarre with every passing day.

House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC) has suggested that the no-name candidate who won South Carolina's Democratic Senate primary on Tuesday is a plant."

"There were some real shenanigans going on in the South Carolina primary," Clyburn said on the liberal Bill Press radio show. "I don't know if he was a Republican plant; he was someone's plant.


The South Carolina Democratic Party asked Greene to withdraw yesterday, after reports surfaced that he had a pending felony charge.

And Greene won by over 100,000 votes! This is the best that South Carolina has to offer? In every interview I've heard with him, Greene looks, sounds, and acts like a man afflicted with both low intelligence and some sort of mental deficiency. Greene is not only unwilling to answer the media's questions, but seems incapable of doing so. Calling him "unpolished" would be an a compliment; I've seen street beggars with better presence and diction. Here's CNN's Don Lemon interviewing Greene. Lemon is right, the interview is extremely bizarre:

This guy makes Sarah Palin look intelligent and well-informed. If Greene isn't a Republican plant, then he's just one more piece of evidence that the crazy juice is flowing freely in South Carolina.

Friday, June 11, 2010

"Beyond Petroleum" Is.....Arrogance and Greed

Poor BP. They've destroyed the Gulf coast ecology for decades to come, cost uncounted billions in losses to area businesses and families dependent on the oil industry in the Gulf, ruined--perhaps permanently--the Gulf fishing industry, and suffered the wrath of the American public for their clumsy, ineffective handling of the spill's cleanup. Nancy Pelosi is picking on them for making billions each quarter but still unable to spend more on their cleanup campaign than on their PR campaign. Now, the oil giant has decided to suspend its dividend payment.
British energy giant BP plans to suspend its second-quarter dividend as it faces growing public anger over its handling of massive oil spill in the U.S. Gulf Coast, according to published reports.

According to the BBC, BP directors will meet Monday to make a formal decision. The announcement is expected to be made after negotiating with President Barack Obama on Wednesday.

According to an earlier report from the Times of London, BP is preparing to defer payment of its next dividend to shareholders by placing the money in an escrow account until the full scale of the company’s liabilities from the Gulf disaster can be determined. Further quarterly payments could be treated in the same way.

"We are considering all options on the dividend. But no decision has been made," BP CEO Tony Hayward told the Wall Street Journal in an interview.

The move would affect the company's second-quarter dividend, which is scheduled to be announced July 27.
Presumably there would be no impact on the company's first-quarter dividend of $2.63 billion, which is payable June 21. That decision was announced April 27, just a week after the explosion that killed 11 rig workers and released a massive gusher into the Gulf of Mexico, the worst oil spill in U.S. history.

Some U.S. lawmakers and the Obama administration have pressured Hayward to halt the payment, creating friction with Britain, where widely held BP accounts for about an eighth of dividend payments in London's blue-chip index, providing crucial income for retirees.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday accused BP of a "lack of integrity" and urged the company to suspend its dividend to ensure victims of the oil spill are fully compensated.

BP, which generated $16.6 billion in profits last year, has not cut its dividend in 18 years.


While final approval for the dividend plan would need to be given by BP’s board next month, a growing number of BP directors now recognize that the move may be essential to placate US public opinion, the Times said.
Story continues below ↓

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 Ooooh, dat mean Nancy Pelosi! Eighteen years without cutting a dividend payment, and now because of a few stinky, tarry beaches, dead fish, and oily pelicans, BP is going to have to stiff their shareholders.

My ass bleeds for them.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

BP Spills Coffee Too!

Thanks to Americablog:

One thing that time off does, is give me time for reflection, time for thought, time for comprehension. And, as I often find after such a time, things are as bad or worse than I had thought.

I was just watching Rachel Maddow show how the Repugs were hot to destroy ACORN, but so far have been either silent or in defense of BP. As usual, she made a masterful presentation of how Republican hypocrisy hurts our nation. Between Lisa Merkowski, John Boehner, Steve Kline, and other tools of the far-right, BP may get off with not even a slap on the wrist for destroying the Gulf coast. Meanwhile, ACORN is out of business. (I'll post this segment of her show tomorrow, when it's available online.) How is this even remotely equivalent?

BP takes in literally billions of dollars in government contracts; ACORN, in comparison, received $54 million from 1994 to 2009. BP has killed uncounted thousands of wildlife in the Gulf, destroyed the fisheries in the area, ruined tourism, and is literally making people sick now that the oil is hitting the shorelines. The Gulf oil spill is a tragedy of unimaginable proportions, unlike anything ever seen in the United States. I have to go back to things like Chernobyl or Bhopal to find something even remotely similar. BP has lied about their readiness and ability to handle an oil spill in the Gulf, has lied about the amount of oil flowing from their well, and has killed 11 people. The economic disaster is even more devastating, with estimates that the spill may kill all life in the Gulf, and the cleanup might last for ten years or more.

The Supreme Court recently decided that corporations have the same right of freedom of speech as do individuals. So, I have to ask: when will BP be tried and executed?

Monday, June 7, 2010

Line 'Em Up - I'm Back!

I've been suffering with with back problems for the last month or so, so I've not been around to post. Unfortunately, that didn't stop the evil, the greedy, and the stupid from doing evil, greedy, and stupid things while I was away from the blog. I've got a lot to catch up on, and a lot of people to thank for making our lives "interesting," as the Chinese curse goes.

There's far too much for me to catch up and blog about it tonight, but just to show that I'm back, here's something for ya: the Oscar-winning animated short film "Logorama." (BTW, it's very NSFW) I'll be returning to taking names & kicking asses tomorrow--enjoy!