"Where else would you go when you have an ax to grind?"

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Supporting the troops?

I've written in passing about the uncounted costs for the United States and its allies, including Canada, that are fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq. Much has been made of the number of soldiers killed in action and there has been some coverage of the tens of thousands of seriously wounded. Earlier this year, I linked to the stories being told at the Winter Soldier conference about the U.S. Veterans Administration hospitals failure to diagnose and treat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. 
It would seem there is a reason for this failure. Depending on the study you look at - and there are several - it is estimated at anywhere from 12% to 20%  of vets returning from Iraq suffer from PTSD to some degree. Add to that the uncounted number of "military contractors" working as everything from truck drivers to mercenaries security consultants and that is a lot of potential for very bad things to happen.
But not to worry. In war, we all must make sacrifices. After all the President is working hard and has given up golf for the duration, what more can we ask?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

What not to say to a reporter

D'oh! Obama takes the .50 laser-sighted, night- scoped sniper's rifle of his eloquence and proceeds to blow off his own foot.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Jason Kenney: liar or moron?
The Toronto Star does it right and calls bullshit on Conservative Rottweiller Jason Kenney for using a widely discredited piece of propaganda as if it were the gospel truth.

"In a terse exchange, Kenney asked him if this meant he equated Canada's inaction with "Al Qaeda strapping up a 14-year-old girl with Down's syndrome and sending her into a pet market to be remotely detonated." Kenney was referring to an erroneous story about unwitting bombers in Iraq - which military officials later retracted when it was revealed the bombers were adults and did not have Down's syndrome."

Jason Kenney: Mendacious moron, prevaricating prick or just an ignorant, loudmothed jackass who doesn't know what he's talking about? We report, you decide.
What a novel concept - a politician talks out his ass and the media actually points out that he is talking out his ass. I could get used that.

The issue in question that Kenney is trying to distract from is Liberal Senator Romeo Dallaire's comment that Canada's Gnu Gummint should maybe be trying to do something about the plight of Omar Khadr, the 21-year-old who went to Guantanamo Bay intead of high school and college after he was shot and captured in Afghanistan at age 15 by U.S. Special Forces during a raid on Taliban encampment. He is alleged to have thrown a grenade that killed a US soldier, for which the US is charging him with a war crime.

Kady O'Malley was there for the subcommittee hearing in which Dallaire pointed out the obvious, that Khadr's case has become a political hot potato that has more to do with the US government not wanting to admit it is breaking the law than it does with Khadr's alleged war crime.

The National Post quotes the exhange at the parliamentary subcommitte on human rights:
"In panicking, [the United States] is doing exactly what the extremists and terrorists are doing. They don't want to play by the rules," testified Mr. Dallaire.

So naturally Jason "Fathead" Kenney, like many a factually-challenged blogging tory, grabs the wrong end of the false equivency stick and immediately jumps to the defence of the poor, helpless, U.S. military-industrial-national security apparatus and decides to bring Al-Quaida in the whole thing:

"Is it your testimony that al-Qaeda strapping up a 14-year-old girl with Down's syndrome and sending her into a pet market to be remotely detonated is the moral equivalent to Canada's not making extraordinary political efforts for a transfer of Omar Khadr to this country? Is that your position?" Mr. Kenney asked.
"If you want a black and white, absolutely," replied Mr. Dallaire. "You're either with the law or not with the law.
"My position is that the minute you start playing with human rights, with conventions, with civil liberties, in order to say that you're doing it to protect yourself and you are going against the fundamentals of those rights and conventions, you are no better than the guy who doesn't believe in them at all."

Interestingly, the hacks atthe National Post headline their story "Dallaire likens U. S., Canada to al-Qaeda" when it was Kenney that brought up Al-Qaeda, not Dallaire. Like you needed further proof that the National Post is lame.

Dallaire amplified his remarks further today (from the Toronto Star story)

"Suffice it to say that I in no way intended to equate Canadian or U.S. authorities with the terrorist organization Al Qaeda," Dallaire wrote today. "But we cannot avoid the point that if we violate international law in our pursuit of the war on terror, we risk reducing ourselves, collectively, to the same level as those we oppose.
"Our acquiescence with his continued incarceration and prosecution puts in question Canada's standing as a nation that respects global human rights and international law."

Absolutely goddamn 100 percent correct.

Pierre Pollivere also shows he's more interested in protecting George W. Bush's reputation than protecting the human rights of a Canadian child

I'm liking her less and less
I never got what the right hated so much about Hillary Clinton. From the time of her husband's presidential campaign right up to today, the right has villified, belittled and otherwise attacked Sen. Clinton. I always thought that, were I an American, I wouldn't have any problem voting for her for president. Lately, I'm not so sure. It's not just that fact that she voted to authorize the war, I'd be willing to give her that error, lots of people made the same one. But she swallowed the whole thing hook, line and sinker and now she denies that was the case.

In voting to hand George W. Bush the keys to the war machine, she said:

"In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including Al Qaeda members, though there is apparently no evidence of his involvement in the terrible events of September 11, 2001.

It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons. Should he succeed in that endeavor, he could alter the political and security landscape of the Middle East, which as we know all too well affects American security.

Now this much is undisputed. The open questions are: what should we do about it? How, when, and with whom?

....This is a very difficult vote. This is probably the hardest decision I have ever had to make -- any vote that may lead to war should be hard -- but I cast it with conviction."

Furthermore, she went to Iraq in 2005 and stood next to John McCain and told the American people that everything was going well in Iraq when anyone with eyes could tell it was not.

That's stike one

Strike two would be her refusal to bow out for the good of the party once things became inevitable. By this I don't mean after she failed to sweep Super Tuesday or anything of that kind, but she has been more or less mathematically eliminated since she failed to sweep to a massive victory in Pennsylvania. She couldn't quite seal the deal on her comeback there and without doing so there, she was done, short of Obama being caught with a live boy or a dead girl. She was way behind him on fundraising, the superdelegates had started to shift away from her to Obama and yet she hung on, loaning the campaign another few million dollars of her own money in the hope of finding a magic bullet.

I don't think her pathetic attempt to get Florida and Michigan included in the totals after agreeing like everyone else that they would not count is grounds to deny her the nomination, though I do think it stinks.

I don't think her pandering to the right by talking about obliterating Iran or talking about how she learned to shoot from her grandpappy or pretending she's a beer and shot kinda blue-collar gal is reason to deny her the nomination. It's lame, but its something any politician would do.

I don't even mind the wounded tones and righteous indignation of her supporters when they complain about how the boys are ganging up on her and that the mass media is sexist. Surely as good feminists they already knew this, so throwing a fainting spell over it isn't gaining them any sympathy from me. Putting Hillary on Hardball and letting her call Chris Matthews on his horrible misogyny on air would have solved a lot of the problem - does anyone think she wouldn't have eaten his lunch? - but Clinton and her people were too afraid of another "I don't stay home and bake cookies" moment and decided to play victim instead.

I wouldn't even hold here poor choices in campaign staff against her - though why anyone would pick Mark Penn again is a bit of a mystery.

Nope, strike three, and this is really the dealbreaker, is her more or less naked appeals to racism.

"I have a much broader base to build a winning coalition on," she said in an interview with USA TODAY. As evidence, Clinton cited an Associated Press article "that found how Sen. Obama's support among working, hard-working Americans, white Americans, is weakening again, and how whites in both states who had not completed college were supporting me."

While racism has raised its ugly little cracker-assed head a few times in the campaign, this is the first time a candidate has simultaneously courted racists, displayed racism and told her supporter that they were uneducated bigots and that was fine with her.

She's lost, and now its just a matter of getting her out before she burns the house down.

Now, having said all that, if Obama were to be struck by lightning, a bus, or a crazed KKK member, would I advise voting for Hillary over McCain? You bet your ass I would.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Another home-skooked Conservative intellectchul heard from

Probably a relative of these guys. I guess dictionaries are only for ivory tower liberal islamofacist academic pinko anarchists.

Shameless stolen from Orcinus

Did you ever have one of those mornings?

You know, the kind where you wake up after not enough sleep, with a crick in your neck, to the sound of crows and seagulls fighting over the garbage outside. Your spouse is doing that one thing that really irritates you, the kids are sulky and dragging their feet to get ready for school, there's no hot water left, you're out of clean underwear and coffee and it looks like its going to rain?

You know, the kind where you feel like the only good reason to go to the office today would be to give a few people a well-deserved punch in the mouth just on general principles before setting the boss's tie on fire and taking an early lunch? The kind where you're seriously thinking of splashing some gasoline around the living room and kitchen and tossing a lit cigar butt on it, selling the kids to the nearest band of gypsies, sticking up a gas station, stealing a motorcycle and driving to the airport, flying to Patagonia and becoming a hermit who only comes into the village every few months to sell a few goats and buy cases of cheap wine and shotgun shells?

Did you?

No?.....um, me neither. I was just...uh... you know... checking.

SeeqPod - Playable Search

Of couse, then the six year old pokes you in the belly and giggles and you find the coffee and all is right with the world. Besides, there's never a band of gypsies around when need them any more and you don't even speak Patagonian.

"But it's alright ma, it's life and life only"

For those without giggling six-year-olds or coffee, there is Fafblog.

Monday, May 12, 2008

"I'm a politician, step into my big black car"

Limousine Liberal Conservative Bev Oda to taxpayers: "Baby, you can drive my car"

Remember all the bitching and complaining by Steverino Harper when he was head of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation National Citizen Coalition (Editor: what's the difference?) about how the Liberals were just a bunch of fat cats who were living high on the hog at taxpayers' expense? Now he only wants money when it can be billed elsewhere, but won't spend it where he should.

Remember all the outrage on the part of the Tories that the Liberals were using federal money for partisan purposes in a little affair known as "Adscam" and how they swore up and down they would be the party of openness and accountability?

Yeah, right.

and another thing:

"...the NDP found that (is) Oda (what)was doing in Toronto last March 17, when she billed $1,291.88 for a limo that took her from her home to a Conservative party candidate training session. She also made a government announcement later in the day.
In that particular case, the expense was proactively disclosed by Oda - but not the party function"

A $1,300 limo ride? I can fly round trip from Tokyo to Toronto during peak season for less than that.

(a hat tip and apology for my laziness in posting to Cat)

But how do they feel about apple pie?

From the "Just when you thought they couldn't sink any lower" department, we get this Mother's Day treat from the Republicans. We knew they had some major daddy issues, but apparently the Republicans are now anti-mom. Better yet, as has been pointed out, they have flipped-flopped on the issue, having voted for mothers before voting against them.