Saturday, November 29, 2003

Mojowire for 11.29; vol. 1, no. 34

MUSIC: Intro/Hendrix, Star Spangled Banner
S9/ Supreme Beings of Leisure, Under the Gun
Exeunt/WildChild, Renegade Master

intro with hendrix star spangled banner

J. Good morning, and welcome to The Mojowire, Vol. 1, No. 34... I’m Mojo...

S. And I’m Sean, it’s Saturday, November 29, 2003, Day 972 of the Neocon Captivity, and here’s the news for the week gone-by...

J. Brought to you by Mojohaus-fine journalism, afflicting the comfortable since 1988. Now headlines, from Mojohaus:

S. First this morning, we are going to get off on a danger to the Republic that has been brewing for while. We are getting passing tired of hearing about the So-Called-Liberal-Media conspiracy to destroy America. Stand by to stand by, we are going to pull the pin this thing.

J. The Bush reelection team has fired their first shot of the season and it is every bit the steaming pile of mamalian fecal matter that we all knew it was going to be, accusing all enemies of the administration of being treasonous, terror-loving, surrender monkeys.

S. Then Strychnine brings us all up to speed on how the GOP myth creation machine works and how they are spooling up even now to attempt to hypnotize the American people with tales of Maximum Leader’s heroic absence from his Texas National Guard Unit.

J. And while we’re on the subject of mythology, we want to be taking a look at our staunch ally in the war on terror, that bastion of democracy and freedom, Pakistan, for being the prime supplier of Uranium enrichment technology to wrong-headed theocrats in Iran.

…So stand by to stand by while we get ready to kick this pig...

fade in more hendrix star spangled banner for five or six count then back out again

J. Ever since the days of old when a rogue cowboy named Lyndon Baines Johnson ran the Goldwater Republican conservatives into the Rio Grande, the Jesus-addled Lizard-creatures of the American right has been reduced to singing a single song that was old when it hit the charts.

Nothing is their fault, they are victims of a horrible conspiracy of Democrats, Kennedy’s, Trilateralists, Freemasons, the news media, alien grays, bigfoots and liberal demogogues. They have no responsibility for anything.

Fine, they finally managed to sell that lemon to enough of the electorate that it made stealing the election an easy enough proposition. Now they are the ones in power, with their guy in the White House, their hand-picked bat boys in Congress and their judges populating the federal bench from the district courts to a nearly evenly split team on the Supremes.

And the best they can offer the American people in the way of the leadership they so desparately want is that they *still* have no responsibility for anything. For instance, we are losing the peace in Iraq because the liberal media is destroying our fighting morale.

The War on Terror has at best ground to a stalemate because liberals in Congress and political activists opposed to the Neocon captivity are “lending aid and comfort” to Al-Qaeda when we complain about the destruction of our civil rights by facist elements in power.

Our economy is still in the doldrums, in spite of what is clearly a suspicious reading of the third quarter gdp growth numbers, because liberal ne’r-do-wells in Congress and in academia are working feverishly at destroying America.

Look at the titles of books penned by the current media darlings of the right like Ann Coulter, “Treason,” and “Slander.” These are not catch phrases for her, she really believes liberals are slanderous traitors and should be dealt with accordingly, and so do those who read and believe her.

This is a major threat to the Republic, that in their America, it’s their way or the highway. You know, they tried something like that back in German in the 1930s, and as we recall, that didn’t work out so well for folks there. The notion that even in power, they can not abide dissenting voices. But don’t worry, they won’t be shipping us Wireheads off to the camps yet. They need us way too much.

You see, without us, then who will they have to blame for the miserable failure and destitution they will bring to the United States.

S. One of the most glaring examples of the egregious behavior is that about a month ago, the President decided that your local news room was filled with boobs and rubes who wouldn’t have the temerity to question our Maximum Leader on why he making such a bollix out of Iraq and the War on Terror.

As it turned out, the So-Called-Liberal-Media conspiracy had reached right down into the very heart of American journalism; the small to medium size newsrooms across the country, ran the Prez and his boys like the punks and drones they are.

But this was all in an attempt to get things past the national news media to try to hide the fact that an indigenous insurgent movement in Iraq was springing up and causing a major shift in U.S. reconstruction thinking.

This administration doesn’t make mistakes though, they are completely at the mercy of a bunch of talentless hacks in the West Wing press gallery. Follow this to is endpoint, though. Only the weakest President in history could possibly be held hostage by the press.

One of the major hallmarks of American political society is accountability and transperency of government, and they are the two things the Conservative movement is not only bad at, they are openly hostile to them. They see these traits as simply more liberal tricks, as if they were some sort of political Elmer Fudd writ large and hunting that wascally wibewal, and only to find themselves running off the edge of the cliff yet again...

And if the Conservatives were actually out of power, then that might be the case. However, they Conservative movement own the government, and they don’t have the stones to come correct and take responsibility for their own policies?

That is simply pathetic, and soon, they will start to run out of people to blame. Already the whole argument about the media is starting to get pretty thin with most people. And when you talk about conservative media, we are not talking about media that happens to have a certain view point.

We are talking about media that is bought and paid for by the conservative political elite in Washington, faceless stormtroopers with marching orders to forward a particular agenda, expressly approved by those in power.

J. Is there anyone who was not expecting the Bush team in full campaign rut to not peel away the thin and cheap veneer of humanity and assume their full alien shapes when they began their march to the sea.

The play has been called and the opening shot has been fired, and it in true Texas political fashion, they didn’t bother to start on the high road, instead, charging straight into the gutter.

Picture, a brave George Bush during the state of the union making morally forceful and courageous pronouncements, which he could barely pronounce, much less understand. Then a voice comes overall stating how Democrats and others in this country are attacking the President for attacking terrorists.

Are these people sick? Someone somewhere in a basement in the political office of the West Wing actually came up with the idea that they could get away with charging critics of the President of being supporters of terrorism, and then Karl Rove and his little coven signed off on this inspired piece of political sleaze.

Let’s get it right, for once shall we Karl? We are not attacking the Maximum Leader because he is attacking terrorists. We are attacking the Maximum Leader because he is *not* attacking terrorists. Because he is attacking Iraqis and pretending that he is attacking terrorists, and quite possibly creating more terrorists in the process.

We are attacking the Bush Administration because instead of aggressively taking on the domestic agenda, we are fighting a phony war on terror on the homefront, it is the President and his thugs and operatives waging a vaguely disguised attack on political dissent in this country for the sake of political power and the trucks they have backed up to the federal treasury to facilitate the shoveling of money to the energy, mining, pharmaceutical, steel and chemical industries.

This is what we can expect, they have no policies, no real agendas and no game! The only thing they can offer is to call anyone who disagrees with the a traitor. This is more McCarthy-esque than McCarthy himself. Tail-gunner Joe wouldn’t have lasted ten minutes with this people.

Is there something in the water in D.C. that renders the Republicans incapable of resisting the urge to climb the trees every four years and screech like a basket full of howler monkies in heat while throwing handfuls of feces at the voters who would just like to know what the hell they are doing.

S. It does not auger well for the political psyche of the American people that we are already seeing ads like this from the Bush Administration. We are still a month from the first primaries, a little less than a year from the general election and by that time, we will being seeing ads portraying the Democrats and liberals in general as Mexician wrestling Luca Libre villains in league with the devil.

“Los Democratés have helped Satan build El Roboto Diablo and with the assistance of dread Iraqi Flying Saucers will soon be coming to defile the blond children of the heartland.”

This is the level of political discourse to which the Bush adminsitration has doomed this nation and our electorate.

There has been a noticiable increase in the bad noise emanating from the White House everytime someone gets loose on the President, especially in terms of Iraq.

Between deciding that boys coming home in boxes on TV is bad for national morale, and therefore no longer to be public information, and people being declared terrorists because they didn’t vote for Bush, we are seeing the foundations of facism in this nation.

Campaigns that dehumanize their opponents, control of the media through friendly corporate entities with deep ties to the government in power, an external enemy that will justify the reduction of liberties, these are issues that Americans need to be thinking about.

This is the danger of democracy that Plato warns about in the Republic. The Democracy will easily devolve to a totalitarian state because the populous becomes complacent and the rulers have nothing but contempt for them.

Campaign commercials like the one Bush recently rolled out show this is happening and that the adminsitration has nothing but naked contempt for justice and the people he supposed to be serving. The people he’s actually serving, you know, the Halliburtons and Enrons, they are happier than clams right now…remember that when you see that commercial, that’s aimed at *you* hippy.

They don’t want you to vote for them, they don’t care if you vote at all, in fact, they’d be just as happy if you stayed home. It’s all taken care of…

cue JAMES music
And now the music is telling me that we have an incoming transmission from the redoubtable Dr. S9…

J. That’s right. It is time once again for our regular contributor Dr. Strychnine; having come down the well on one of his rare visits planetside, he joins here in the venerable mojohaus luxury studios this morning…take it away S9…

S9 Pardon the funny tone in my voice, gentle listeners— I spent the last three days in the 1G torus on the station in preparation for my earthwalk, but the lack of a coriolis effect is throwing off my darts game. I lost five straight games to Sean before going on the air, and I’m not happy about it.

On the other hand, one thing I am happy about is the news that the President went on his first covert special operation a couple days ago, and nobody got killed or maimed. Near as I can tell, the worst thing that happened is the President didn’t actually eat any of the Free Range Turkey they were serving at the Crawford, TX ranch. Instead, he subjected His Most Presidential Constitution to the risky gamble of a U.S. Army chow line.

I mean, I admire the bravery and all— the President skulking out of the house under the cover of darkness and disguised to look like just another Texas oil man on his way to a bidness meeting, secretly flying to Washington, then on to Baghdad, for a very special two and a half hour secret rendezvous with two hundred of his favorite professional killers. Why, who knows what terrible gastroenterological distresses he risked by eating that U.S. Army chow instead of that home cooked gourmet dinner at the ranch?

By now, I figure you’re pretty tired of this snarky tone in my voice. You’re thinking: you got a lot a darned gall S9, why do you gotta be such an ass about the President doing right by the troops on Thanksgiving? How can you possibly find fault in that?

Don’t misunderstand. You see, I’m only annoyed because I can see the mythology forming about the President’s first official state visit to Occupied Iraq. I’m not at all bugged about what the President actually did— I’m only peeved about how this event is transforming before our very eyes into an act of heroism and bravery far beyond what the President is actually capable of making.

Those might sound like pretty harsh words, but let’s be honest: this President could not make a scheduled and pre-announced visit to Iraq, even if he wanted to more than anything. The people who lovingly maintain his security bubble would simply not permit him to take such a risk. Every last one of them has a vivid image in their mind of Paul Wolfowitz standing outside the al-Rasheed Hotel in his pajamas after a barrage of RPG’s slammed into the floor below him. If George Bush had told his Secret Service detail that this Thanksgiving trip to Iraq was going to be on the public White House agenda, he would have been shot up on the spot with thorazine and Dick Cheney would have invoked the 25th Amendment.

What about the SAM-7 attack that was supposed to have winged a DHL plane in Baghdad last week? Everybody knows those wacky Iraqis have got shoulder-mounted anti-aircraft missiles, and even Donald Rumsfeld knows that it doesn’t take a genius to fire one at an airplane on approach to an airport. Well hold on there Tex. The official story from CENTCOM is that there is no evidence that Iraqi insurgent forces possess SAM-7’s.

The DHL plane was easily winged in broad daylight, it came in unescorted, and there wasn’t any particular security detail around Baghdad International specifically tasked with protecting it. When Air Force One landed in Baghdad, it was on a secret mission, it landed in the dark, and you’d be insane if you thought the entire approach to the airfield wasn’t swept and secured with extreme prejudice in the hours before the President arrived.

But none of that will be important in the mythology we’re creating about this event. Check out this quote from a U of Texas School of Government professor named Bruce Buchanan, who told a Reuters reporter yesterday, “There was a serious element of risk, so it’s more difficult to trivialize or dismiss as mere showmanship. If they can take down a helicopter with a shoulder-fired missle, they could take down Air Force One.”

See how this works? It’s brilliant. Pay no attention to the fact that the situation is so bad in Iraq that the President can’t even fly into a heavily armed American military base without keeping it a secret so deep that he even has to lie to his wife about where he’s going. No, the myth we’re building here is that the President is ready to put his own personal life on the line to support the troops in Iraq.

Here’s another analsyt, one Shirley Warshaw, a professor of political science at Gettysburg College, going on the record to say, “I think it shows that he is willing to stand up and be counted for something he believes in. He has become personally involved now in this loss of life.”

You watch. This time next year, nobody will remember that the President was AWOL from his National Guard post during the Viet Nam war—
Cue James music for exit
—but everybody will get misty-eyed when they think about the President serving Thanksgiving dinner to the troops in Iraq. It’ll be like Niagra Falls.

J. And once again, we are faced with yet another issue of how international intransigence on nuclear proliferation is going to come back and bite us all on the butt.

No kidding…one day making the Kessel Run down the 405 to or from some function several years ago, I saw a beat to hell minivan stuffed with about a dozen people swerving as though the driver had little practice in pointing a car in a given direction.

But the thing that really caught my was a bumper sticker, green and white that stood off from the burnished bronze/orange color of the van: “Praise Allah, we have the bomb” set against a Pakistani flag on the left of the sticker and a representation of a mushroom cloud on the right.

Great, from some of the same people who brought us plane hijacking and suicide bombers, we now get the news that they, or at least some of their friends, have the ability can split atoms and hurl them great distances.

There are many who saw this as a serious threat to the security of the free world. It was more than the stability of already fragile Indian/Pakistan relations we were worried about. It was about Pakistani ties, at some fairly high levels, with radical Islamists who made no secret of their distaste for the west.

This was not a good combination of factors to those of us who followed these sorts issues in the news.

So, let’s fast forward a couple of years, shall we? The Clinton years end, Bush takes over, idiots with a red hot pepper of anti-American rage drive planes into buildings, we get cozy with several previously unfriendly countries -- like Pakistan -- for a war on terror, we invade Afghanistan, then a short time later Iraq, and so here we are...

But the thing is that we knew Pakistan had already sold and traded a bunch of their bomb-making technology to the North Koreans. Now once they joined with the forces of Red, White and Blue grooviness on the war on evil-doers they swore they would never do it again.

That brings us to this little gem: “The United Nations nuclear watchdog agency is investigating potential links between the atomic programs of Iran and Pakistan after discovering that the secret Iranian uranium-enrichment program used technology identical to Pakistani plans, diplomats said.
Tehran acknowledged to the International Atomic Energy Agency that its centrifuge enrichment program was based on designs by a European firm, Urenco. Diplomats said the designs were the same Urenco-based technology used by Pakistan to develop its nuclear bomb in the 1990s…

“Abdul Qadeer Khan, the primary developer of Pakistan's nuclear bomb, worked at the Urenco enrichment plant in the Dutch city of Almelo in the 1970s. After returning to Pakistan, he was accused of stealing centrifuge plans from the facility. Two former Iranian diplomats told the Los Angeles Times last summer that Khan made several trips to Iran, beginning in 1987, to help with Iran's nuclear program.

“One of them, Ali Akbar Omid Mehr, said Khan was given a villa on the Caspian Sea in return for his assistance…The Iranian centrifuge program is at the top of the IAEA inquiry list because traces of weapons-grade uranium were found in two locations where the machines had been assembled and tested.”

Does anyone else see a little problem with this? Especially given Iran’s hostility towards any secular government in Iraq and the number of people in the south of Iraq who would probably not mind a radical Islamist theocracy take power in Iraq?

S. For the short term at least, we don’t care about the transfer of technology, who gave what to who. That’s not the imporant thing. The critical point here is that this technology was allowed to proliferate at all.

And yet again, the world sleeps, led by the number one proliferation snoozer, the United States, while weapons of mass destruction are allowed to spread. And afterall wasn’t that the main reason we had to go after Saddam Hussein?

One would think that after all the talk from Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld about the danger of rogue states having access to such weapons, the United States would never miss an opportunity again ratchet down on the spread of such weapons.

But alas, there is far too much guilt to be spread around the international community on this one to simply try to hang this on the Bush Administration as just another of their long and distinguished list of horrible mistakes.

And yeah, it’s pretty simple for us to step up here week after week and preach the mantra of cooperative threat reduction and dwindling proliferation, but once the nuclear genie is out of the bottle, there is really little that can be done to put it back in.

This was the point of Niehls Bohr’s 1944 paper “We Are In An Entirely New Situation That Can Not Be Resolved By War.” The problem is that while Bohr understood that in a nuclear world, global security would hinge on the *least* stable state with the bomb, he probably never foresaw stateless threats or guys willing to stuff a truck full of explosives and drive it into a building.

As a result, his idea that there should be a complete open sourcing of nuclear technology starts to sound as naive as those others in the dawn of the nuclear age who thought the bomb could be kept an absolute secret of the state.

So then here we are 50 years later, and the bomb is filtering down, slowly but surely through the ranks of so-called “responsible nations” read the U.S., Europeans and those who play in their economic club.

Hey, if we had *the*answer* we would have told you already, trust us, we are not holding it back for a politically opportune moment. The problem is that as economic disparity in the world increases, there are those states that will seek any leg up anyway they can.

Perhaps it starts there, making it unnecessary for states to get the bomb to get a seat at the adults table of international relations. Regardless, we had better figure it out quick, because if we don’t … well, hell, we don’t have to spell it out for you, you know what happens otherwise.

J. So our patriotic thought for the day: Allowing media to write whatever it wants means the Terrorists win... or as John Ashcroft says... “That Herman Goering guy was really on to something.”


S. And that’s all for this week, tune in again soon for another exciting installment, unless, of course, we are declared enemies of the state.

And remember, you can now email the Mojowire at, that’s

J. This has been the Mojowire, brought to you by Mojohaus... Mojohaus-fine journalism, afflicting the comfortable since 1988, and produced by our super funky fly producer Mike Payne and the Darkling Eclectica, here on KUCI, 88.9...

Saturday, November 22, 2003

Mojowire for 11.22; vol. 1, no. 33

MUSIC: Intro/Hendrix, Star Spangled Banner
S9/ Supreme Beings of Leisure, Under the Gun
Exeunt/WildChild, Renegade Master

intro with hendrix star spangled banner

J. Good morning, and welcome to The Mojowire, Vol. 1, No. 33... I’m Mojo...

S. And I’m Sean, it’s Saturday, November 22, 2003, year 3 of the neocon captivity, and here’s the news for the week gone-by...

J. Brought to you by Mojohaus-fine journalism, afflicting the comfortable since 1988. Now headlines, from Mojohaus:

S. First this morning, it was not a PhiBetaKappa week for the neocon hive brain, starting with another run at discredited stories of Saddam and Osama as bed-buddies and ended with an outright admission by senior Defense Department adviser that the war was completely unlawful.

J. Next, with a court somewhere finally making the inevitable conclusion that Gays and Lesbians are people just like everyone else, the political landscape shifted treacherously under the feet of the left and the right. We say to our progressive brethren, chill out, this really *is* good news.

S. Then, with this week’s dose of horror, Dr. Strychnine explains why average Americans need to pay attention to the growing scandal in mutual fund trading, and reads the bones on what it could auger for middle class boomers and older ‘X’ers still delusional enough to think they’ll be able to retire on cue with 401k plans.

J. Finally, we have a go at the Republican’s “final solution” on medicare that was passed near dawn by a razor thin margin in the House of Represenatives and will, in all likelyhood spell the beginning of the end for one of the most successful social programs of all time.

So stand by to stand by while we get ready to kick this pig...

fade in more hendrix star spangled banner for five or six count then back out again

J. For those of you who missed it last week, The Weekly Standard in a fit of breathless euphoria waxed absolutely apoplectic regarding a memo from the Defense Department that absolutely, finally and once and for all detailed the complicated and in depth working relationship between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein.

Fred Barnes, executive editor of the Standard, went on FoxNews Sunday with his chest puffed out about as far as it would go in a primitive male dominance display whipped out his pathetic and flacid excuse for a news chalootie and proclaimed himself to be Yao-King-of-the-Rock!

And even on FoxNews, this kind of behavior was immediately the subject of derisive laughter... Why? Because even they knew that this would end with the story blowing up in Barnes’ face like a cheap Acme Road-Runner-Seeking-Dynamite-Rocket-Deluxe in the hands of the Coyote.

The wheels have officially come off the war in Iraq for the West Wing speechwriters passing themselves off as policy wonks. There is now nothing for them to do but put their heads down between their knees and wait for the wreckage to slide to a halt.

There have been a few developments in the past week that demonstrate the political chaos generated by the war and portrays the frightening level to which our political leadership is taking its cues from Tom Clancy novels and PlayStation first person shoot-’em-up games...

First, the aforementioned story on Iraq and Al Qaeda, which upon even cursory examination appears to be a cynical ploy at cherry picking unreliable and uncorroborated intel at best, and outright mendacity at worst.

Next generals on the ground in Iraq countering recent claims that foreign fighters are streaming across the border from Syria, and finally an outright admission from Richard Perle, of the Defense Policy Board that America’s war against Iraq was unlawful, but we did it anyway, because we can break any law we want...

To begin with, the memo the Standard based their reporting on was a justification from Doug Feith, Deputy SecDef for Iraqi exploitation when the Senate Intelligence Committee asked for an explanation for the constant harping on a possible Iraq-Bin Laden partnership.

The memo was nothing new, it was a restatement of the same vague and unsupported stories that had been flying around for years, and had already been discredited by the actual intelligence services that allegedly supplied them; not just CIA, but the National Security and the Defense Intelligence agencies, as well.

But that did not stop the Standard from proclaiming “Case Closed” in, like, 10,000 point type, on their front page about a week ago. Unfortunately, the defense department, in their own bellicose fashion, had to put out a terse press release telling the neocon community to cool it because their braying was embarassing to the President at, as it turned out to be, the beginning of an overall period of deep shame.

S. U.S. military commanders in Iraq quickly followed this faux pas by announcing to all and sundry that tales being spun by neocon thugs in Congress and their pet scribblers in their op-ed pages across the country, of an Army of Darkness streaming across the border from Syria bet on drinking the blood of young American servicemen and women was simply not the case.

From the New York Times on Wednesday: “I want to underscore that most of the attacks on our forces are by former regime loyalists and other Iraqis, not foreign forces,” said, Maj. Gen. Charles H. Swannack Jr., commander of the 82nd Airborne Division.

His view was echoed by Maj. Gen. David H. Petraeus, commander of the 101st Airborne Division, which controls northern Iraq and parts of its borders with Syria, Turkey and Iran.

And just as an aside -- “Gen. Patraeus?” Even our generals there are starting to have ancient Roman and Greek names...

Swannack went on to say that the largest group they had come across was a group of six guys crossing the border from Syria. One was armed with a knife, apparently, and was shot when he brandished it at U.S. troops.

Compare this record to the rhetoric of our Maximum Leader on Oct. 28: “The foreign terrorists are trying to create conditions of fear and retreat because they fear a free and peaceful state in the midst of a part of the world where terror has found recruits.”

So then to have the actual military leaders say that there is little or no foreign involvement there outside of the U.S. and Britain puts a rather damp squib on the whole flypaper theory of the “War on Terror” the administration has been trying to sell.

You know, you’ve been hearing this one lately, let’s see, it goes a little something like this: “Instead of flying planes into buildings in America, we have drawn the terrorists to Iraq; subjecting the people we went there to liberate, to the violence, fear and blood of a prolonged asymetrical war of attrition, because, hey...better you than me...yea us...”

The theory itself is not only an amoral political ploy and an utterly criminal act of foisting violence on people who have not done anything to us, but now it appears that it is completely without factual foundation as well.

Nice job, Rummy, rock on!

But that is still nothing compared to the admission this week from the king of swing, Richard Perle, the top of the pyramid in the Neocon Hive brain inside the Pentagram.

Speaking in London last week, Perle made the astute observation that there was no legal precedent, much less international law to which the U.S. is signatory, that would allow a pre-emptive, unilateral war.

“I think in this case international law stood in the way of doing the right law ... would have required us to leave Saddam Hussein alone. [French intransigence] meant there had been no practical mechanism consistent with the rules of the UN for dealing with Saddam Hussein,” the Guardian UK reported Perle saying last week.

So it comes to that, just an open admission that when the law would otherwise prevent the U.S. from doing what it wants, the problem is not the U.S., it’s the law. And of course, we should just blow off any laws we don’t like, because all that legal mumbo-jumbo is just for the beatniks in the coffeehouses, and we’re talkin’ about terrorism here, hippy!

Remember, the only reason this is a big deal is that both Maximum Leader, and his punch and judy puppet across the pond, have been proclaiming in loud, authoritative voices that this war was not only just, it was completely legal and within due bounds of all commonly agreed upon norms of international conduct and law.

Of course, this was a thin tissue of lies, and many of us loudly denounced it as so, only to be called unpatriotic, pro-terrorist and a host of other mean, nasty names. But now, since it is all happening, and as they say in litigation circles, you can’t un-ring the bell, Perle and his pals can now crawl out of the Nazi cross-dressing closet, where we knew they were all along, and say that the war was unlawful on a scale that only those who lived through the Nixon administration can understand.

These are the augers this week for the Maximum Leader, his political advisers and other various flunkies, lackies and assorted hangers-on. It might be that the time is drawing nigh -- thanks to a combination of a politcal campaign season, the new found technology of blogs as new news media and a profound sense of doubt among the electorate as a whole -- that the Iraq war may just be the albatross that gets strung around Dubya’s neck.

Soon it will be impossible for people to not come to the realization that not only does the emperor have no clothes on, but that naked, the emperor is really a frightful sight, indeed a poster boy for indecency laws...

J. Well, we knew it was just a matter of time before some state court somewhere gets loose and makes the intellectual stretch to declare that gays and lesbians are real people and have the rights of other real people, including marriage.

And it also followed that immediately afterwards, the American Right’s tin-foil hat brigade will be entranced in an orgy of hand-wringing and teeth-gnashing, while the left trembles in trepidation at the baleful legal artifact placed in their lap.

Okay...wireheads, we understand, so everyone, take a deep cleansing breath and repeat after me: “culture war issues always backfire on Republicans, gay marriage will not edge out the economic runiation and disastrous war in Iraq as the front burner issues in this election season.”

And you know, that’s sort of a shame, in a way. Right now, Judge Roy Moore of Alabama is being recruited by the Constitution Party to run for President. And we here at the wire say “oh please, oh please, oh please.” Tell us where to send the money, who to write to, what to say...please Judge, please run!

Why? Because whenever one of these guys gets loose on the American political landscape, the far right of the party gets extra wiggy, and then off come the human masks and out come the bat wings, and the rest of the electorate sees them for what they are, little incubi sent to lead us all astray...

You see, this way we see just where all these freaks are. It makes it tougher for them to hide, and right now, that’s what they have been good at. They have learned to blend in with the regular humans very well, especially during an election year. Fortunately, most of the time, one of the herd gets a head full of bad drink and ascends the soap box in the town square to get their Moses on and then they are revealed, and we can have a good laugh.

Then the likes of Ralph Reed and the Christian Coalition came along, and took the rules of political insurgency perfected by progressives and applied them to his campaign and the rules began to change.

Remember how during the 2000 election, the GOP kept Tom Delay and other GOP subhuman lizard men away from the camera’s as much as possible? The Polls consistently show that the key to the Presidents popular support outside of the Dittoheads and Deliverance extras is the cultivation of his image as President Barney Fife.

All the White House needs is to have the Presidents nase revert into the freak mode and demand the White House support them as they rant about the encrouching hordes of gay couples threatneing America with a rash of tasteful weddings.

And lets not lose sight of what this is really about. This is the grotesque homophobia on the right, fed a steady diet of medieval biblical hysteria by a pack of fear mongers selling fundameltalist Christian snake oil. Recognizing the esssential rights and dignity of gay people will deprive the right of their key bogeymen.

It’s going to be increasingly difficult to scare the money and votes out of red blooded Americans if they accept gay people as worthy of their respect and inclusion. And the glue that holds the GOP electoral majority together, fear of a gay, feminist, black planet, will start to unravel. The bell is tolling for the GOP hate machine. And we’ll keep ringing that bell until George Bush has to pack up his Jesus Bobblehead in the Oval office and go back to his true calling, clearing brush in Texas.

S. Now, with that said, can we have a little heart to heart with some of our progressive Democratic bretheren, please?

When, exactly, did the progressive political movement in this country, become too timid to stand up and say that prejudice and bigotry is wrong? We should be celebrating this court decision from the rooftops, not cowering in fear in the some smoke filled backroom.

In the 40-some years since Martin Luther King, Jr. and the civil rights movement, we have gone from standing in the street taking it in the teeth from high pressure water hoses and police dogs because some troglodyte southern sherrif had the temerity to say our friends weren’t welcome in their cafes to skulking around private meetings expressing our outrage behind our hands lest the rest of the world should think we are taking an actual position on something.

Come on, we know right from wrong and we always have. But for the last 20-some years, we have been telling ourselves that winning elections was more important than fighting for our principles and even worse, that they were mutually exclusive goals.

We convinced ourselves that once we got into power then we would unveil the shining white light of our progressive policies. Well, we tried that with Bill Clinton and not only got blown out of the water for it by Republicans who believed, rightly, that the actual power base was not as committed to these concepts as we wanted them to be, we also then took one in the shorts from the rest of the party who turned on us for allegedly trying to queer their deal at the ballot box.

But the progressive movement is starting to wake up to the fact that they have to bring the party and electorate to the policy, not the other way around. Whatever happened to convincing the electorate you are right?

And moreover, it has to be done with a sense of strength and moral purpose, that will convince the rest of the party that we really do have something significant and real to bring to the political process, namely a message that will resonate with average Americans.

We know we won’t win every one of them, and with gay marriage, we know there are some who will turn us off. But at the end of the day, their only alternative is the 700 Club-addled Lizard Men of planet Republitron.

On balance, we are a better deal for the Democratic Party than the Republican Light gang in the Democratic Leadership Conference. The problem is that if we start to look wishy washy or like we are too poll driven in our politics, then we will be perceived as weak and will lose credibility with the rest of the party.

The proof of this is that the DLC has lost credibility with us. And why? Because they take the most cowardly, poll-driven, faux populist stands imaginable, which renders them politically impotent and out of touch with their base.

Progressives are about ideals, about ensuring that our society protects the rights of all its members, including gays and lesbians. When did we start having to feel shamed about that?

Instead of just dwelling on our ability to get votes, we need to be out there talking about our ideas, and that includes extending the promise of the full rights and privleges of American citizenship to gays and lesbians.

Because if we don’t, if we run from our ideas in public, then we are just as bad or worse than the spineless centerists, because our ideals would be nothing more than a cheap facade.

cue JAMES music
And now the music is telling me that we have an incoming transmission from the redoubtable Dr. S9…

J. That’s right. It is time once again for our regular contributor Dr. Strychnine, reporting from his super-secret, ultra-dope, mega-cool, extra-jiggy, Mojohaus spy satellite of love high in geosynchronous orbit above Baghdad by the Bay…take it away S9…

S9 Greetings from high orbit, comrades. Now the the solar flares have lessened somewhat in frequency and intensity, we're not spending all our time in the freshwater reservoir biting our nails and fidgeting with our dosimeters. So we can spare a little love to help explain to our American audiences what all the fuss is about in the mutual fund industry.

First things first. If you're under forty, you're not so filthy rich you still have to work for a living, and you don't know what is a mutual fund, then you better learn. Because they're where a
substantial part of your retirement savings are parked. If you're worker with a pension account, or your employers are offering you a 401K plan, odds are good all that money is invested in the shares of mutual fund entities.

What is a mutual fund? It's like an artificial holding company that exists for no other purpose than to sell its shares to investors, and use the money raised to buy and sell stocks, bonds and other creatures of high finance. An awful lot of working class Americans have their retirement savings invested in mutual funds, and in most cases they didn't have any choice in the matter of where to park their money. Unions and employers often have retirement savings plans for their
employees that give them little or no discretion about where their savings are invested.

Now, for the last several months, the business section has been screaming about corruption in the mutual fund industry. What is that all about, you ask? If you've been reading the headlines and trying to get your head around what the papers are saying in the articles, you're probably concerned that somehow, some way, the filthy, greedy, bloodsucking moonbats on Wall Street have been caught with their greasy digits in the cookie jar with your retirement savings in it-- and you're just not sure how badly you've been ripped off.

By now, you've already dug out your statements and double-checked them to see if all the figures add up. I have no doubt they're impeccable. You will not see how much the greedheads stole from you by looking at your statements. The scams the greedheads used to skim from your precious retirement savings were more subtle than that.

Let's look at how one of them worked. Consider the practice of "late-day trading"-- if you were a friend of the fund manager, or one of his best customers, and you had a lot of money for playing around in the stock market, then you could buy shares in the fund after hours, when all the normal people like you and me were shut out. The price of mutual fund shares is set at the close of trading, so if a late-day trader gets wind after the market closes of some positive news about a stock the mutual fund holds, then he can trade on that news before anyone else can at a price that was set before the news broke. The net effect is to skim some of the profit off the top of the fund before it
even gets distributed into the shares.

Elliott Spitzer is the New York attorney general who is investigating the mutual fund industry, and here's how *he* describes the practice of "late-day trading": it's like being allowed to bet on yesterday's horse race after the winner has already been determined.

How much money are we talking about? For the individual worker with a 401K account balance at around $100,000, it could be anywhere from about a hundred dollars down to zero dollars, i.e. it's possible you didn't lose anything. It depends on the type of funds you're invested in, and which companies were managing them. Apparently, not all of the mutual funds were corrupt-- just the ones managed by Banc One, Strong Financial, Janus and Bank of America Nations (and whichever unnamed ones Spitzer has yet to uncover). International funds were the easiest to fuggle because of the larger timezone differences, so that's where the estimates say the most money has been lost.

The real problem, as I see it, with these mutual fund managers and their buddies (who skimmed off the retirement savings of working Americans) is *not* how much they took from each individual person. It's how much damage they do to the financial markets by cheating. They're like spammers, in a way. It doesn't cost the individual recipient of a spam message very much to download the spam and filter it. But the overall utility of the network is greatly eroded by the large volume of spam distributed so broadly across the entire population.

The mutual fund abuse creates the same kind of hits to the efficiency of the market/network as combating spam does. And it's the same sort of problem: a small number of people have figured out how to become obscenely wealthy by trashing the commons and skimming a little bit from everybody in the network. Does that sound like a familiar dynamic?

It should. It's the central theme of all our scandals of corporate and civil corruption. From Enron, Worldcom, and Global Crossing, to Harken Energy, Halliburton and the Iraqi CPA, to the California energy crisis and the budget process failure in Sacramento, to the problems of global
warming, ocean depletion and space junk, the central feature of all these scandals is that you can bank phat stacks of filthy lucre trashing the commons and looting the public wealth, and nobody has the power to stop it.
Cue James music for exit
Just remember that when the dark night comes and your government is trying to sell you on transferring all the money in your Social Security balance into private mutual funds. We've seen that gambit played a million times before, haven't we?

J. As you slept, Medicare reform was approved by the House of Representatives in a titanic struggle that included a three hour roll call vote on the floor, some knee breaking on the part of Majority Whip Mel Blount from Montana and a final 220 to 215 tally. Now the bill, touted as reform, will make it’s way for the Senate, where its future is still uncertain.

And it bears remembering that whenever Republicans want to reform something, you can be assured that someone wealthy will be wealthier, and someone poor will be substantantially more poor.

True to form, the Republican Party has created a masterpiece of subterfuge and cruel hypocrisy that makes you wonder if there is shred of human DNA left in the Republican Party.

The essential problems are these. Medicare was concieved before the pharmacology revolution, and so was created without a provision for paying for the drugs of Beneficiares. Medicare, part of which is funded by a payroll tax, and the rest paid out of general revenues, is due for the same train wreck that Social Security is headed to when the Boomers retire.

The time to deal with these problems is now. Either a huge infusion of new revenue sources, or a drastic cutback in benefits are the ugly choices awaiting anyone who wants to confront the issues.
But don’t worry folks, the same people who brought you the horror of California electricity deregulation and the annihilation of the Savings and Loan industry are bringing the plague of Market Fundamentalism to a doctor’s office near you. That’s right, Dr Republican is prescribing that classic snake oil, the free market.

The cruel irony of the particular brand of market fundamentalism embraced in the Republican party has little to do with the Free Market. It has everything to do with taking your hard earned tax dollars and raining them down on the campaign contributors. And this glorious philosopy is the guiding principle behind our new Medicare reform.

One of the principal causes of distres for Meidcare beneficiares is the obscenely high cost of presciption drugs. The market power of the pharmaceutical companies, powered by the new drugs, funded in part by you the taxpayer, and augmented by the patent system and a complete lack of any regulation in the market, have combined to put the grusome choice for Seniors between their prescrpiton and their rent or food.

Other less civilized countries, keep presciption drugs affordable for their populaitons, and thus have costs of half or less for many of their most commonly used medicines. But here in the city on the hill, we allow our pharmaceutical companies to gouge our parents and grandparents -- nice!

Unfortunately, grandma and grandpa kettle vote and through advocacy groups like the AARP, they swing a mighty big electoral stick. And they have been working Congress to come up with something to deal with the high cost of presciptions. Set this against the backdrop of the cruel elephant in the room that sits on every budget cycle.

Namely that the Mecicare and Social Security bomb is ticking, and some brave Congressional session is going to have to deal with it and the electoral consequences. Well apparently not this sesssion.

S. The current version of Medicare reform is sublime, in that it provides some relief for lower income seniors, and a massive stacks of benjamins for the insurance industry. Funny, but no effort is made to rein in drug prices, the driving force of the problem. Rather, the Mensa’s in the Republican party want to create “competition.”

Translation, the Republicns despise Medicare, and want to basiclly provide medical coverage through private insurers instead with vouchers. How unfortuante the party never got the soul or concsience voucher. It’s really a marvel when you consider it.

Seniors get enough from the bill to get them off the party’s back, their buddies in the insurance industry get mass jack, and they lay the foundation for the destruction of Medicare. I’m sure their enjoying that sense of accomplishment Governor Tarkin and Darth Vader felt when watched Alderaan go up in smoke.

The House has already passed the bill. Although you must consider the irony that many Conservatives are unhappy with the bill. It might help someone by accident, we suppose. Passage in the Senate is proving to be a more difficult issue.

Many Senate Demcrats and some Republicans who still are holding tenuously onto their humanity have indicated they will not vote for the issue. A fillibuster is possible, and it’s largely been conceded, at least for now, there are not enough votes to break a filibuster.

The really odd thing is that the AARP, the largest single association of retirees, has approved the current bill. The AARP has become largely a discount club for various services, and the current leadership of the AARP is either insane or a pack of retarded dupes.

They have sold Medicare, the single greatest achievement in improving the life of America’s elderly, down the river. How is it that the AARP is willing to allow the pharmaceutical companies to gouge their members for drugs they need?

Apparently they are, and instead of lancing the boil of unrestrained greed that pervades the drug market, they would rather pimp massive corporate giveaways and the subversion of medicare. Nice job...

But then again, according to Democratic leadership, they have also become part and parcel of the broken system, as a third-party broker for insurance and pharmaceutical services.

It was revealed that the AARP took in nearly $210 million in royalties from various insurance concerns such as United Health Care and MetLife, amounting to a third of the organizations money. Make no mistake, privitizing Medicare means big money for the AARP, and they are apparently not above selling their members into slavery to HMOs and large insurance companies.

Look, it’s very simple, Newt Gingrich, who has been the main player behind the scenes for the GOP planning on Medicare legislation has been one of its most outspoken detractors for 20 years and has never missed a moment to try to kill the thing; his stated goal on more than one occasion.

This is not about extending protection to seniors, it’s about killing a popular and necessary government program that protects health care of our most vulnerable population and turning it into a market-maker for yet more rich friends of the administration.

Seniors need to ignore the AARP commercials and exercise the common sense that comes with the wisdom of age, this is not the reform you were promised, this is about using you to make the rich even richer. Remember *that* come election time...

J. So our patriotic thought for the day: Obeying the law means the Terrorists win... or as John Ashcroft says... “I *am* the Law!”


S. And that’s all for this week, tune in again soon for another exciting installment, unless, of course, we are declared enemies of the state.

And remember, you can now email the Mojowire at, that’s

J. This has been the Mojowire, brought to you by Mojohaus...Mojohaus-fine journalism, afflicting the comfortable since 1988, and produced by our super funky fly producer Mike Payne and the Darkling Eclectica, here on KUCI, 88.9...

Saturday, November 15, 2003

Mojowire for 11.15; vol. 1, no. 32

MUSIC: Intro/Hendrix, Star Spangled Banner
S9/ Supreme Beings of Leisure, Under the Gun
Exeunt/WildChild, Renegade Master

intro with hendrix star spangled banner

J. Good morning, and welcome to The Mojowire, Vol. 1, No. 32... I’m Mojo...

S. And I’m Sean, it’s Saturday, November 15, 2003, and here’s the news for the week gone-by...

J. Brought to you by Mojohaus-fine journalism, afflicting the comfortable since 1988. Now headlines, from Mojohaus:

S. First this morning, we are apparently taking the next steps in justifying war in Syria, by passing nonsense legislation that will nevertheless form the legalistic background for a military adventure on the Road to Damascus.

J. But then we are forced to ask the question: “Syria? What about Iraq?” The CIA apparently penned a little memo to the rest of the National Security gang this week detailing our many failings to deal with the situation in Iraq.

S. Then, in a complete shift in gears, we get on a little subject that has been working its way through the media lately: The electibility of a candidate, how it is measured and how much should it control their support within the party and the electorate.

J. Now a quick warning, this week’s dose of horror is not, repeat *not* for the faint of heart. Dr. Strychnine is going to peel the skin off the cheap veneer of civility in our National Defense policy and force Mr. and Mrs. Heartland to contemplate torture in the name of their security.

S. And in the unremitting war against the environment, the Bush administration has decided to spike clean air act violation inquiries into more than 50 coal-fired plants owned by 10 companies nationwide, but with an interesting political twist, wait til you hear this one.

J. So stand by to stand by while we get ready to kick this pig...

fade in more hendrix star spangled banner for five or six count then back out again

J. Syria, come on down, you’re the next contestant on “This Administration is a Bunch of Lying Dirtbags who will Bomb Anyone They Need to in order to be Reelected...

The greasy Euros at Agence France Presse managed to pick up on West Virginia Sen. Robert Byrd’s criticism of a little heralded piece of legislation to scoot through the Senate on Tuesday; the Syria Accountability and Lebanese Sovreignty Act of 2003.

The deal is that the Senate has passed a piece of legislation that calls Syria on the carpet for a whole laundry list assorted evil deeds, such as giving money and support to terrorists in Hizzbollah, and calls on the administration to impose sanctions and so forth.

Would these be the same GOP senators that said sanctions are worthless in the fight against terror?

But no, we are getting sidetracked... The real issue here is that similar legislation was proposed, passed and signed in the year or so run up to the Iraq war, again with very little in the way of debate, much less public knowledge.

Again, the same laundry list of horror, the same demands and the same dubious claims of necessity for the common defense; the same kind of issues that were eventually brought up during the debate on the use of force resolution on Iraq.

So naturally, when Sen. Byrd saw this regarding Syria, he was more than a tad alarmed, and a bit dubious himself: “The bill speaks of 'hostile actions' by Syria against US-led forces in Iraq,” said Byrd. “I have not seen any evidence that would lead me to believe that it is the government of Syria that is responsible for the attacks against our troops in Iraq...Such insinuations can only build the case for military action against Syria, which, unfortunately, is a very real possibility because of the dangerous doctrine of pre-emption created by the Bush administration.”

To be fair, Byrd, is an outspoken critic of US Middle East policy, particularly in Iraq, and rarely misses a chance these days to launch a verbal scud down the street to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., and moreover, there has been a version of this bill floating around the halls of power in the last couple of Congresses.

But compare this: “To halt Syrian support for terrorism, end its occupation of Lebanon, and stop its development of weapons of mass destruction, and by so doing hold Syria accountable for the serious international security problems it has caused in the Middle East, and for other purposes.”

To this slightly elided piece from the final Iraq force authorization: “Iraq's ongoing support for international terrorist groups combined with its development of weapons of mass destruction in direct violation of its obligations under the 1991 cease-fire and other United Nations Security Council resolutions make clear that it is in the national security interests of the United States...

Hell, they barely had to change the language, just swap out the names of the countries.

And it is worth noting that in the Use of Force resolutions, they speak about the previous resolutions, laws, UN action and everything that leads up to the use of force in the findings subheading of the act.

That’s the hook; one of the legislative requirements would be a findings section, which would have to “make the case” and lay out the history of why we need to go to war in Syria, and legislation like this would be a key piece of those findings.

S. This predictable piece of agitprop comes after several weeks of ratcheting up the tension against Syria for allegedly not doing enough to stem the flow of orcs into Iraq along their 400 mile border.

Some in the Congress and in the West Wing are saying that Syria might even be doing it intentionally, although no one can think of a good reason why they would want to.

And yet, for the past two years, the Maximum Leader, W, has opposed the legislation, but has decided at this time to sign it. It begs the question...why now?

There is nothing significantly changed in this year’s model of the Syria Accountability Act, as opposed to the one floated in the 107th Congress, other than a call for Syria to end it’s occupation of Lebannon.

And do you remember all that pre-Iraq war talk about what a bad guy Saddam Hussein was, and how poorly his army would perform in combat and what a pushover the country would be, and how happy they would be to see us invade?

Well, we remember, and so it is with a certain sense of deja vu that we read -- on the same day as the passage of the Syria Accountability Act -- this little gem from the National Review, one of the leading neocon war drum beaters... see if this sounds familiar:

“[Syrian President Bashar] Assad is an exceedingly dangerous man. Syria's army is large, but essentially an empty shell. Its equipment and personnel are inadequate, by any measure, to fight a conventional war against Israel. Our war planners say Syria wouldn't last three days against American forces. So why is Assad so dangerous? Because he makes decisions that cannot be explained in the context of his nation's strengths and weaknesses.”

Again, it’s like they just changed the names of some of the players and reprinted their Iraq war cheerleading.

So, it looks like we are going after the weakest link, yet again. A nation about the size of North Dakota with about 2.5 million men fit for military service and a robust oil industry making up 70 percent of their exports.

And it’s all just in time for an election year, don’t you know. Now would it really surprise anyone if right after the first of the year, the President started to make some bad noise about how all the disrupption in Iraq is not just on-going terrorism, but directly state-sponsored terrorism with a “made in Bekka” label on the inside of the death shrouds.

Of course there would be the garden variety denials from Syria, but it would be clear by that time to all but the most hardned America-hating liberals that the road home from Bagdad has to go through Damascus.

That will be the major selling point. All you hippies complaining that we’re not doing enough to ensure the security situation on the ground in Iraq, fine...we’ll take some assertive action towards securing Iraq by invading Syria, you happy now?!

Kansas Republican Senator, and neocon mouthpiece, Sam Brownback, a longtime critic of Damascus, said the time for negotiation is over, and advocated that the administration quickly move to impose sanctions.

“They should use these sanctions to the strongest degree possible...our troops are dying facing terrorist coming in from Syria. Given what Syria is doing today, I think they should throw the book at them.”

Thanks Sam, that’s great advice. I think we can lob that one up their in the annals of great foreign policy doctrines like “bring ‘em on.” Good job, boiling down the complexity and nuance of international relations to the end of a 60 minute cop show...

“Book ‘em Dano.”

J. For the past several weeks, we've been laying out a case that the Iraqi situation is consistently deteriorating, and that the Presidents efforts to claim all was bread and roses in Iraq, and that the Liberal Media was deceiving the American public with their sissy lies was obscene and an affront to the young men and women who are giving their lives there every day.

Secretary Rumsfeld, and the usual cast from the NeoCon Legion of Doom, and their right wing minions at the Wall Street Journal Asylum for the conservatively Insane, have consistently perpetuated this fantasy, that things were improving every day.

Don't mind the dead bodies behind the curtain folks, those sissies on the left don't have the stomach for War. Even the so called secret memo that Rummy penned, where he described the occupation as a long slog, was hailed as a realist vision of the situation, but not at odds with the improvement theory.

Just a matter of the worst case scenario being tossed around the water cooler by those visionaries at the Pentagram.

Sometimes it seems that the Mojowire isn't really being broadcast from a University Radio Station, but from a smokey Greek Cave by three guys chewing Eucalyptus leaves and speaking with the voice of Apollo. Well it seems that way after a few pints at the Harp Inn anyway. And then things like this come down the pipe, and you really wonder..

The Philadelphia inquirer reported this week that the CIA officers in Baghdad authored a report on the state of affairs in Iraq. And Shock and Awe! It completely contradicts the sunshine and happy story being pimped by the President and the White House. This from the Philidelphia Inquirer:

“A new, top-secret CIA report from Iraq warns that growing numbers of Iraqis are concluding the U.S.-led coalition can be defeated and are supporting the insurgents. The report paints a bleak picture of the political and security situation in Iraq and cautions that the U.S.-led drive to rebuild the country as a democracy could collapse unless corrective actions are taken immediately. L. Paul Bremer, leader of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq, who arrived unexpectedly in Washington for strategy sessions yesterday, essentially endorsed the CIA's findings, a senior administration official said.”

The CIA report identifies what those of us who have not been sedated by Fox News already knew, the war never ended, it just turned from fisticuffs governed by the Marquis of Queensbury rules, into a rude, dirty guerilla war, run by elements of the Baathist military that faded away as we marched to victory in Badgad.

The President’s awful spectacle on that aircraft carrier is now revealed as the disgrace it really was. Mission not Accomplished, Junior, Mission just became a serious problem.

A shooting pain starting to take shape behind your eyes..brace yourselves..there's more..again the PI:

“The report landed on the desks of senior U.S. officials on Monday. Disclosures on the report's findings suggested senior policymakers want to make sure the assessment reaches Bush. Some senior policymakers have expressed frustration in efforts to provide Bush with more somber analyses of the situation in Iraq than the optimistic views presented by Vice President Cheney, Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, and other hard-liners”

S. That’s right, the CIA had to leak a classified assessment of the occupation because the Vice President and his NeoCon flying monkeys were opening the Presidents mail and excising anything that might disturb his carefully constructed fantasy of the Iraqi occupation. Is there anybody driving this train?

Hello, out there, the President's national security team cannot be trusted to tell the President the truth! They are so absolutely committed to not telling the truth to anyone, they now have to be outed by their own intelligence agencies.

This is incredible. And this is not the usual snitching by pissed off partisans in the Beltway, who run to the press like a crying 8-yea-old whenever their superiors make a decision they don't like. This is an intelligence agency afraid that even it's own superiors cannot be trusted to tell the truth.

Maximum ProConsul Bremer was summoned back to Rome, err, Washington, to discuss this awful news with the President. I'm sure the Prez was quite miffed to have to give up his morning cartoons to talk about this nasty Iraq business.

Didn't Uncle Dick say he would take care of it? Now the Administration is going to accelerate it's hanover of power to the Iraqi's, which sounds to us suspiciously like the plan the Cheese eating surrender monkeys in France were floating at the UN a few months ago.

The U.S. military is convinced that more aggressive action in whacking the guerrillas will yield positive results. Uhh..yeah, I'm sure blowing up more buildings and shooting more people will really turn the tide of public opinion. It works really well for Ariel Sharon. The Palestinians really respect him for it.

The CIA report indicated the dearth of actionable intelligence on the ground in Iraq. Yet no plan seems to be forthcoming to change that. When in doubt, hold your finger down on the fire button. Playstation is now the official War doctrine of the United States...Yahoo...

Maybe the changes the White House have made will work. No one really knows, and no strategy is guaranteed success. Well, the Mojowire’s suggestion in February that building a real International coalition with UN approval and support from the UN's civilian support agencies would have worked, but what do we know.? Just pass the eucalyptus leaves and send in the next supplicant asking for a prophecy.

J. The Democratic Party, suffers from a kind of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome that causes them to behave in odd ways towards certain candidates. With rememberances of McGovern, Mondale and Dukakis, they are walking away from their best chance at beating George Bush in November next year.

Is there anyone who really believes that when Bill Safire, official chimp of the RNC comes out and taunts Democrats with “please elect Howard Dean, he’s the guy we want to run against” that he is doing it out of evil glee or a primal notion of fairness?

Hell no, it’s because the RNC is legitimately worried about Howard Dean! He is not only an unknown quantity, unlike the Gephardt, Kerry and Lieberman, he is also increasingly popular; and not just in a grassroots sense, but also in a realpolitck sense as evidenced by a few high profile union endorsements last week.

The bottom line here is that “electability” is yet another one of those myths, like the compassionate conservative” that parties use to shape public opinion.

How many times have we heard each of the candidates open a statement with a version of “I’m the one guy who can beat Bush?” That seems to be the only benchmark anyone wants to run with. And it’s a good one as far as it goes. Right now, electing cousin Eddy who lives under the sink seems preferable to Bush. Hell, even electing the Devil himself would be preferable. Even Satan has to live by a set of pre-determined universal rules...

Yet, the concept is held up as a reason to bar candidates as well. It seems that when you can’t outdebate a candidate and your ideas are not as sharp, original or well-argued, then you come up with the ol’ “Well, he just can’t win, because I said so and I should know because I am in the party elite.”

Perhaps a little history lesson would be in order for all you poli-sci students nursing hangovers right now... Run to the big bookstore across the street here and pick a little tome called “Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail in 1972,” by Hunter S. Thompson, the father and spiritual guide of the Mojowire.

In it’s hallowed pages you will read of the treachery that awaited George S. McGovern, the Democratic insurgency candidate who ran the establishment boys, Ed Muskie and Hubert Humphrey like wounded wildabeasts, with a grassroots campaign fueled by guts, brains and compassion.

The campaign was ultimately doomed for a number of reasons, namely McGovern’s own inability to deal with his emergence as “the real thing,” but mostly because that after he was nominated, the Democratic party machine simply walked away from him a fit of teen angst and pique and let his campaign get drowned in the bathtub by John Mitchell.

That is a mistake that the Democratic Party paid for dearly for the next 20-some years. It was finally excised by a rogue Southern Governor and horn-dog-emeritus Bill Clinton. (Yes, I know many of you irate, knee-jerk American History types are jumping up and down screaming “Jimmy Carter, Jimmy Carter” -- there was certain abberation to that, and he was even less than a one term president, but we will get to his example in a moment.)

When Clinton got into office, the Party officially dumped the McGovern Monkey off it’s back, but only after suffering through Dukakis and Mondale; one too boring and the other too wounded to actually take the fight to the bad guys...

But here we are, ready to run and hide from the brutish realities of this foul year of our Lord two-thousand-and-three. And we are being told that in order to avoid another four years of the Neocon captivity, we must look to our Crecy, our Agincourt, our Waterloo and avoid a “mistake” of the past.

S. But that would ignore the reality of at least the one candidate this is most often aimed at: Howard Dean. Now to come correct, we are Dean supporters, and we are not ashamed of it either. We like the guy, what he has to say, how he says and his willingness to hang it all out in an audacious attempt to defeat the evil hoardes of Neocon orcs fattening themselves our Nation’s still twitching carcass.

For us, he combines a strong force of politics governed by moral purpose, like Jimmy Carter, with the excitement of a Bill Clinton campaign, a guy who can really connect with people and get them excited. So the we ask the question, if you have a guy who can create this kind of energy with a strong populist message, why isn’t the party rallying around him?

There we come to crux of the matter: It would appear that many in the party have either a) not learned the lesson of the McGovern years, or b) would rather doom the party, and hence the country to anothe two decades of treachery and desolation and the hands of the neocons than to have to adjust their own political dealings and back the guy they had not originally chosen and ordained.

That does not auger well for the Democratic Party.

Let’s set the record straight. Electability, assuming we actually have honest, open and fair elections, is a myth. Here it is -- If enough people vote for the guy, he wins! The end!

Electability is yet another one of those debating tools of the desparate, that come out only when their own rhetoric and ideas have failed to excite and the only thing they can run on is their own name recognition because the only thing they have been able to generate in their entire times in Washington have been copies of their names in print.

The issue has never been one of electability. Electability should flow from the candidate’s ability to articulate a vision and a sense of purpose and direction. That sounds a tad polyanic and, of course, we are adults and understand how this game is played.

All we are asking is that people who are looking for a candiate look at this issue of electability and give it its due course and then choose the candidate you want to see win, not the candidate who you think simply represents the lesser of evils.

That is how we end up with guys like Al Gore giving it away or a Michael Dukakis who, while a pretty good guy, still didn’t really have the game to carry a national campaign, yet he was the most middle of the road, inoffensive guy the Democrats had to offer at that time.

Enough of this! We want to brawl, and we want a brawler and if Howard Dean is ready to strip down to his skivies and step into the ring with W and start throwing elbows and stop telling people to feel bad for being Democrats, then he is the guy.

Because otherwise, we return to a time where we know the Republicans in power are in the midst of destroying education, healthcare and the military in this country, we know we have better ideas for guiding America to a safer, more prosperous future where we are respected and admired among the nations of the world, but instead, we will hide back in the corner and whine “please don’t hurt us...”

No, that time is’s on!

MojoWire for 11/15/03

cue S9 music
And now the music is telling me that we have an incoming transmission from the redoubtable Dr. S9…

J. That’s right. It is time once again for our regular contributor Dr. Strychnine, reporting from his super-secret, ultra-dope, mega-cool, extra-jiggy, Mojohaus spy satellite of love high in geosynchronous orbit above Baghdad by the Bay…take it away S9…

S9 Okay, space adventurers-- I know you're having a great time watching Operation Iron Hammer attempt to address the problem of guerilla insurgents in Iraq by dropping quarter-ton bombs on the towns and cities where they live; I know you're excited about seeing ancient date palm groves bulldozed as a collective punishment for the residents of Falluja and Tikrit; I know it feels good to see the U.S. military demonstrating its teeth and claws once again, after so many years of taking it in the gut from hippie peacenik losers like the Mojowire.

But. Can we talk? About the torture, I mean. Can we talk about the torture?

Specifically, can we talk about the torture of innocent Iraqi civilians, just ordinary people like you and me, who just wanted to live happy lives, raise healthy families and make a decent name for
themselves-- and instead they were raped, maimed and murdered in untold numbers every year by the Hussein regime.

Yeah, that torture.

Here's what I want to know: how come patriotic Americans are supposed to be outraged about the torture of Iraqi civilians? I mean, even after Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch spent *decades* cataloguing the incidents of torture and other human rights abuses in Iraq, patriotic Americans *still* needed to be provided with the flimsy pretexts of phantom connections to al-Qaeda and spooky lies about uranium yellowcake from Niger before they could countenance doing
anything "bold and decisive" about it.

Can we please stop pretending to be outraged by scary stories about people being dropped alive into industrial meat shredders? We weren't outraged by these kinds of stories when the Hussein regime was on friendly terms with us. We aren't outraged now about similar stories about our good friends in Uzbekistan, who the reports are saying have a tendency to "boil people alive" if they don't cooperate in interrogations of our enemies.

Here, let's see if *this* story will generate some outrage... this was on the front page of the Washington Post the Wednesday before last. Last year, immigration officials at JFK International mistakenly arrested a Canadian man named Maher Arar, classified him as an "enemy combatant," and secretly deported him. On the spot. No lawyer. No phone call. No warning.

Apparently, the Canadians fingered him without having enough evidence. They've apologized repeatedly for the mistake. But wait. Arar wasn't deported to Canada. He was put on a jet to Washington, then Jordan, and finally Syria. Where he spent the next ten months in a prison
cell. And, he says, he was made to give false confessions under torture.

To quote Dana Priest and DaNeen Brown in the Post: "Officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that the Arar case fits the profile of a covert CIA 'extraordinary rendition' -- the practice of turning over low-level, suspected terrorists to foreign intelligence services, some of which are known to torture prisoners."

Syria swears up one side and down the other that it doesn't torture anyone. Do you believe them? The Hussein regime said the same thing, you know.

Continuing from the article: "Renditions are a legitimate option for dealing with suspected terrorists, intelligence officials argue. The U.S. government officially rejects the assertion that it knowingly
sends suspects abroad to be tortured, but officials admit they sometimes do that. 'The temptation is to have these folks in other hands because they have different standards,' one official said. 'Someone might be able to get information we can't from detainees,' said another.

"Syria, where use of torture during imprisonment has been documented by the State Department, maintains a secret but growing intelligence relationship with the CIA, according to intelligence experts."

So how do we all feel about that? Are we outraged yet? No? I didn't think you'd be outraged. It's all good with you patriotic Americans if it's the *CIA* that gets to be on the receiving end of all that raw, crude intelligence product.

Of course, Syria isn't exactly on the Most Favored Torturing Nations list anymore, now that the U.S. has escalated the occupation of Iraq. But that's okay. Not to worry. There are plenty of other friendly countries where the CIA can deposit 'extraordinary renditions' into the tender mercies of foreign torturers.

Like for example: Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Israel and those are just the ones that the U.S. State Department officially *knows* about. The list at Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch is as long as your arm.

So please, you patriotic Americans-- enough with the fake outrage. You might as well admit it: you actually get a secret thrill out of knowing that Iraqi and Arab men, women and children are being tortured, raped, maimed and killed in the name of protecting your freedom. You like it.
Cue James music for exit
It makes you feel safe and secure. Now you know how Saddam Hussein got away with it for so long.

J. You know, it nearly gags a goat everytime some hack from the Bush cabal or their pet chimps on the hill get up and start railing about how “this President has the strongest environmental record of any Chief Executive in a 1,000 years...”

The bald faced mendacity of that statement is itself enough to trigger a grand mal seizure. I’d be lucky to come out of that without having gnawed my own head off...

But then to have to come to grips with the grim reality that Mike Leavitt, the newly coronated EPA commissar, in his first move, guts the Clean Air Act relative to coal-fired power plants and summarily halts all pending investigations into CAA violations.

That amounts to about 50 plants owned by 10 companies nationwide, who all just got a get out of jail free card, and told that they can now pollute to their hearts content, because modernizing their plants to create more pollution is just more efficient and saves more money for them.

No lie...that’s the line; “Under the old rules, plants that were modernized in ways that increased harmful emissions generally had to install more pollution controls. Under the new rules, any renovation costing no more than one-fifth of a power-generating unit's value would be exempted from the requirement for new pollution-control devices,” according to a New York Times story early last week.

This has left many of the states attorneys generals in places like New York and New Jersey with their heads spinning. They had been counting on a vigorous federal prosecutions in these matters, and were proceding on the assumption that although the EPA was under the firm control of malevolent aliens from the Dog Star, they would at least follow through on what has already been started.

We have seen, time and again, no matter what the issue, that this administration has no shame, sense of consequence and no compunction about chagning gears in midstream on anything and then daring anyone to notice that they are a gang lying scumbags who don’t have the integrity to work a traveling circus, much less run the Washington D.C. Superpower Tilt-a-Whirl.

Seriously, Karl Rove, Dick Cheney or Andy Card shows up at the midway, the rest of the carnies start reaching for their wallets and avoiding direct eye contact...

There are, of course, those of us who saw this coming from a long way off. We are remembered of an article in the Wall Street Journal in June of 2000 which detailed how the coal mining industry in West Virginia decided to throw their lot in with W.

But for a price, namely an relxation on prohibitions of blasphemous Earth-scarring mining practices as well as Clear Air regulations that threatened to slow the pace of coal consumption in the United States, despite the prevalence and maturity of clean-coal technologies, like carbon-sequestration.

Carbon sequestration is -- in a layman’s nut shell -- the net removal of CO2 from the atmosphere into long-lived pools of carbon such as trees, roots, soils and microorganisms.

S. But aside from the obvious need for the administration to fullfill their end of the regulations futures contracts for the mining and energy industry, there is another, deeper, uglier political game being played here.

The basic fact is that while these 50 lucky big coal plants and their companies have been effectively let off the hook, there are several plants in California, identical in nature and output to these others, including several just yards across the border in Arizona, who will still be the subject of EPA Clean Air Act violations inquiries.

Get that cold chill up yer spine?

Look, the average wirehead, who’s brain is the size of a regulation basketball and operates 250 times faster than the average human brain has already run this terrible fact out to it’s inevitable conclusion.

The administration is going to turn the heat up under California utilities, while making less and less expensive for other states to generate large amounts of energy that California will have to buy at greatly inflated prices on a closed and opaque market.

Hey Conan the Gropenator, did you really think W was going to cut this state any slack whatsoever? I mean, we know you are a neophyte in the world of realpolitick and all, but did you really believe this Administration was going to let you have any run.

We told you this was going to be the case when Maximum Leader gave you the stiff arm here a couple of weeks ago out in Redneckistan. And now, it is California’s turn to get the the horse’s head for refusing a favor to Don Cheney.

Again, we see that our Maximum Leader will have no love for a state that ran him by a million votes in the last election, and already he is signaling his political hatred for California, planning to have the Army get out the massive buzz saw and just cut the thing loose after he steals the next election...

This goes beyond just a tampering with federal regulations to get your way, or more to the point, make sure your pimp gets their way. This is using the rule of law as a cudgel to mete out political payback.

I mean, really, this Administration has finally just completely degenerated into the dynamics of a third grade recess. What’s next, running around on the playground shaking down kids for their milk money, giving wedgies and Indian burns, pushing the smaller kids off the swings?

To hijack the nation’s energy and environmental policy in a blatant move to punish political opponents, is really just the sort of infantile temper tantrum one would expect out of this Administration.

There needs to be some adult intervention here pretty soon... otherwise, this whole nation is going to turn into some deranged neocon Lord of the Flies summer camp fantasy...

J. So our patriotic thought for the day: A politically independent CIA means the Terrorists win... or as John Ashcroft says... “Uncle Sam wants shut the hell up!”


S. And that’s all for this week, tune in again soon for another exciting installment, unless, of course, we are declared enemies of the state.

And remember, you can now email the Mojowire at, that’s

J. This has been the Mojowire, brought to you by Mojohaus...Mojohaus-fine journalism, afflicting the comfortable since 1988, and produced by our super funky fly producer Mike Payne and the Darkling Eclectica, here on KUCI, 88.9...

Saturday, November 08, 2003

Mojowire for 11.08; vol. 1, no. 31

MUSIC: Intro/Hendrix, Star Spangled Banner
S9/ Supreme Beings of Leisure, Under the Gun
Exeunt/WildChild, Renegade Master

intro with hendrix star spangled banner

J. Good morning, and welcome to The Mojowire, Vol. 1, No. 31... I’m Mojo...

S. And I’m Sean, it’s Saturday, November 8, 2003, and here’s the news for the week gone-by...

J. Brought to you by Mojohaus-fine journalism, afflicting the comfortable since 1988. Now headlines, from Mojohaus:

S. First this morning, it would appear that some re-education is in order. Namely, the neocons have started to get loose again regarding the reasons for war in Iraq. Everyone get out your thinking caps and swat-paddles...

J. But in the immortal words of Shakespeare, “Should disdain die, when she has such mete food to feed her...” And indeed, our Maximum Leader was again a font of ineffable, or at least highly amusing, tidbits of wisdom at his Oct. 28 press conference.

S. After you get past the rhetoric, though, you come up with these grim tidings, such as a nation wide call for volunteers to sit on local draft boards. There is only one reason to start generating lists of draft board volunteers... you fill in the rest...

J. With this week’s horror forecast,

S. Next week, when you are glued to the idiot box version of the Private Jessica Lynch story, remember that the real Private Lynch has been none too happy about the way the Defense Department has concocted a mythology surrounding her situation to beat the pro-war drums.

J. And then on this week’s Presidential roundup, Howard Dean has had a big week of ups and downs and come out on top, while Sen. John Kerry is running to play catch up and Wesley Clark ratchets up his own campaign rhetoric a notch.

So stand by to stand by while we get ready to kick this pig...

fade in more hendrix star spangled banner for five or six count then back out again

J. It has become apparent that the new fallback position from the Iraq War apologists to avoid talking about the complete lack of Iraqi Flying Saucers and death rays, is to claim that the President never used the work imminent in describing the threat posed by Iraq.

This is quite a retreat from the heady pre-war days, when the media was chock full of sage experts predicting that American Forces would find a Death Star's worth of bubbling Toxins produced in Dexter Hussiens Labs, Soviet style nerve toxins capable of scorching the eyeballs off GI's by just reading the label, and of course, a thriving Nuclear weapons program patched together with aluminum artillery tubes, yellowcake Uranium from Niger, and whatever Iraqi scientists could dig up in their backyards.

Unrepentant Administration drone blogger Andrew Sullivan offers a fair example of the new spin..
“No member of the administration used the term ‘imminent threat’ to describe Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. No one.”

For an Administration known for its “Through the Looking Glass” tautology, this one is a masterpiece of semantic subterfuge. Let's ponder a few statements by the President and his “news sources,” and see if you can detect the imminent threat?...Shall we?

First and most glaringly, the administration had to certify to our NATO allies that Iraq was an “imminent threat” when they attempted to invoke Article V of the North Atlantic Treaty to drag Turkey into the war. The verbage “imminent threat” is a key legal phrase that triggers NATO action, and the administration has to claim an “imminent threat” to go there.

Last October, a reporter put this to Ari Fleischer: “Ari, the president has been saying that the threat from Iraq is imminent, that we have to act now to disarm the country of its weapons of mass destruction, and that it has to allow the U.N. inspectors in, unfettered, no conditions, so forth.”
Fleischer's answer? “Yes.”

Try this.. In January, Wolf Blitzer asked Dan Bartlett: "Is [Saddam] an imminent threat to U.S. interests, either in that part of the world or to Americans right here at home."
Bartlett's answer? “Well, of course he is.”

Of course, let's not forget the Uber Lie that regularly flows from the dread lips of Vice President “Dick” -- May I call you “Dick” Mr. Vice President -- Cheney. Remember his line: “We believe that Iraq has reconstituted it's Nuclear Weapons Program.”

And now, because Dubya could not figure out how to pronounce the word imminent, we are supposed to believe that the notion pimped mercilessly by the Administrations and it's NeoCon Lackeys, that Iraq posed a direct and imminent threat to the United States to answer the question posed by those hippie commie peaceniks “Why Iraq, Why now” was just a false assumption on our part.

This high school freshman debating trick only works when you have the sort slavish constituency that would sell their own children to Al Qaeda if the RNC decreed it would help get G2 reelected.

S. Not only did these freaks pimp that Saddam posed an imminent threat to the security of the United States, but they subtly implied he was connected to 9/11, by having, what a shock, The Vice President constantly harp on some rumor about a secret meeting in Prague between Mohammand Atta and a Hussien official.

The fact that the FBI places Atta in Florida during the alleged time of the meeting doesn't matter to Dick, once the lie is downloaded into his twisted cranium, only a complete harddrive swap will erase it.

Here's a tip at your next smackdown at the Watercooler, The administration claimed Saddam had a cache of Bio Weapons, particularly Anthrax. They found none. They claimed he had VX Nerve Gas. Not a drop was found. They claimed he had a working nuke program. They found no evidence of that.

The only question that remains on the table is: Did they perpetuate the greatest national Security lie of the modern age since the Gulf of Tonkin, or are just so spectacularly stupid that a smooth talking Iraqi Expat like Ahmad Chalabi was all it took to convince a bunch of draft dodging losers drunk on Leo Strauss and old episodes of Hogans Heroes that Saddam was one of those honey bee looking aliens from a Godzilla movie, ready to use his alien Planet X technology to open the gates on Monster Island and invade America with Baby Godzilla and that pissed-off Turtle.

Okay...Deep cleansing breaths...repeat after me: There were no WMD’s, as rightly suspected by the majority of the American and European Intelligence services. Iraq posed no threat to the United States. Iraq was not involved in 9/11. Iraq was not in league with Al Queda. Iraq was an oppressed, financially ruined nation run by a ruthless, evil despotic tyrant who committed a litany of human rights atrocities.

The sort of dictator NeoCon brainiac Condi Rice decreed was too far off the National Interest path to be worthy of an American intervention. “American Soldiers should not be escorting children to school.”...Sound familiar Condi?

Now all the Administration can do is shake it's Fu Manchu looking finger at us for obsessing over the deaths of American serviceman, while trying to cheer us up with the fine news that American serviceman are enabling Iraqi children to go to school. A 180-degree headspin unsurpassed since Linda Blair soiled the britches of America in the Exorcist. Nice Job Condi.

Don't forget Wireheads. You were right. They were wrong. If George Bush never said the word imminent, it does not matter in the slightest. His centrally controlled flunkies did. The Administration was wrong about virtually everything on Saddam, possibly lied about it all, and deserves nothing less than our cynical worst when evaluating their decisions.

Send the Dittoheads skulking back to their cubicles in tears to refill their Oxycontin prescription. They are deluded scum who aren't worth the free air they breathe, while you stride the earth like a Socratic Giant, knocking over cheap rhetorical constructs from Conservative hacks like LiberalZilla. Fire up the radioactive breath and lets run these bums...

J. You know, with a true artist, there is usually one performance or one piece that will define a body of artistic work. With Andy Worhol it was the soup cans, with Van Gogh it was Starry Night, with Barishnikov it was his Nutcracker...

Right then...

With George W. Bush, we are likely to look back on the press conference of October 28, 2003 as the moment all the artistry came together in a moment to define the Presidency in an opus of unprecendented language twisting that topologists are still trying to determine can exist in our current framework of geometry and spacetime.

For instance, take this precious gem from near the beginning: “Mr. President, you just spoke about the suicide bombers in Iraq as being desperate. But as yesterday's attack show, they're also increasingly successful and seem to be trying to send a warning to institutions like the police and the Red Cross not to cooperate with the United States. Has the United States been able to identify who's behind this surge of attacks, where they come from, and how to stop them?

“THE PRESIDENT: Yes. I think it's a very interesting point you make in your question, "they're trying to send a warning." Basically, what they're trying to do is cause people to run. They want to kill and create chaos. That's the nature of a terrorist, that's what terrorists do. They commit suicide acts against innocent people and then expect people to say, well, gosh, we better -- better not try to fight you anymore...”

A sawbuck to anyone who can actually identify an answer to the questions posed...

But wait, W’s just getting warmed up... After making some general statements in his introduction, that were themselves of a highly dubious nature, such as trying to sell his failure in Madrid to get international support for the war as a masterstroke of diplomacy and others, he was asked this very pointed question: “Mr. President, In recent weeks, you and your White House team have made a concerted effort to put a positive spin on progress in Iraq. At the same time, there's been a much more somber assessment in private, as with Secretary Rumsfeld's memo. And there are people out there who don't believe that the administration is leveling with them about the difficulty and scope of the problem in Iraq.”

And the President’s intellectually stunning rejoinder? “Yes, I can't put it any more plainly, Iraq is a dangerous place. That's leveling. It is a dangerous place. What I was saying is there's more than just terrorist attacks that are taking place in Iraq. There's schools opening, there are hospitals opening. The electricity -- the capacity to deliver electricity to the Iraqi people is back up to pre-war levels...”

Fine, but be that as it may, less than a minute after the Maximum Leader was bragging about “pre-war” levels he was also saying that the pre-war levels were horrible, dehumanizing conditions; “economy that has been wrecked by Mr. Saddam Hussein. I mean, he just destroyed their economy and destroyed their infrastructure...”

S. But here were a couple of zingers that actually made it past the censors: “Mr. President, if I may take you back to May 1st when you stood on the USS Lincoln under a huge banner that said, “Mission Accomplished.” At that time you declared major combat operations were over, but since that time there have been over 1,000 wounded, many of them amputees who are recovering at Walter Reed, 217 killed in action since that date. Will you acknowledge now that you were premature in making those remarks?

THE PRESIDENT: Nora, I think you ought to look at my speech. I said, Iraq is a dangerous place and we've still got hard work to do, there's still more to be done...The "Mission Accomplished" sign, of course, was put up by the members of the USS Abraham Lincoln, saying that their mission was accomplished. I know it was attributed some how to some ingenious advance man from my staff -- they weren't that ingenious, by the way.”

Nice job, blame it all on the sailors, what’s up with those guys.

And then there was this comment on the people who voted for Al Gore by a million more votes than Bush in 2000: “Well, I think the American people are patient during an election year, because they tend to be able to differentiate between politics and reality. As a matter of fact, the American people are -- the electorate is a heck of a lot smarter than most politicians.”

That one just left the press gaggle misty eyed and staring in mute wonder...

As a final bit of Dada from the Dadaist in Chief, we are left with this, and ask you to remember this bit of surreality when you stand in the voting booth next year thinking about the life and death decisions a President makes: “...Mr. President. You recently put Condoleezza Rice, your National Security Advisor, in charge of the management of the administration's Iraq policy. What has effectively changed since she's been in charge? And the second question, can you promise a year from now that you will have reduced the number of troops in Iraq?

THE PRESIDENT: The second question is a trick question, so I won't answer it. The first question was Condoleezza Rice. Her job is to coordinate interagency. She's doing a fine job of coordinating interagency. She's doing -- the role of the National Security Advisor is to not only provide good advice to the President, which she does on a regular basis -- I value her judgment and her intelligence -- but her job is also to deal interagency and to help unstick things that may get stuck, is the best way to put it. She's an unsticker. And -- is she listening? Okay, well, she's doing a fine job.”

Thank you Bobo the Simpleminded...Oh God, we’re doomed!

J. The Defense Department made a move last week that sent a scary chill up the spine of all Amercian men and women ages 18 to 29 years-olds. They put out a general call for volunteers to sit on local draft boards.

Now for those of you unfamiliar with how selective service would work, go ask your local aging stoner or ex-hippy, and if they are cogent long enough, they will tell you that the draft board is a local board of the citizenry in charge of receiving the manpower requests from the Defense Department for your neighborhood, then conducting the lottery, determining draft status, as well as maintaining the records of who’s fit to serve, served already, skipped to Canada, etc...

This would be the first call for draft board volunteers since Selective Service was deactivated in 1973, and by itself, it has made a lot of people very nervous about what the hell is going on in Iraq and at the Pentagon.

But before we get all aflutter, supplamental expenditures for the current fiscal for Selective Service carry the magic phrase: “Provided that no funds provided herein shall be used in any way for the induction of anyone into the Armed Services.”And yet, there is this interesting little piece of incongruity, like a blood stain in the carpet where you didn’t remember there being one before.

“This is significant. What the department of Defense is doing is creating the infrastructure to make the draft a viable option should the administration wish to go this route,” said Ned Lebow, a presidential scholar at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire and former professor of strategy at the National War College in Washington.

Looking at the numbers in Iraq alone, 130,000 U.S. troops with increasing pressure to bring the boys home and now Turkey being the most recent Ally to balk at sending their army to help us, is creating a bit of a manpower utilization problem.

This becomes even more problematic when you consider our positions in Afghanistan and a Korean penninsula that could go completely sideways with little or no warning.

So when you start crunching the numbers, suddenly it is understandable how a draft starts to look like a viable option, indeed even a desirable option, for manpower wonks in the basement of the Pentagon.

S. But that would ignore the all-important political question. I mean, how would it be possible in less than year for the President to go from “we will stroll through Bagdad on the road of Baathist bones, to the cheers and flowers of the populace freed from the evil of Saddam and the legion of doom...” -- to -- “Sorry about ongoing war we can’t seem to win in Iraq, you don’t mind sending us all your sons and daughters between 18 and 29, do you?”

This is not the political happy ending the Bush people wanted going into an election year with at least a few of the Democrats having enough of a right arm to bring the nasty heat to Bush in an all-out campaign rut.

No, the West Wingers are throwing a shoe over this issue right now. They don’t care if there’s a draft or not, just please no draft until after Nov. 2, 2004. This would be tantamount to an admission of failure, stupidity and lies on the part of the administration. Political suicide for the President and his gang.

Perhaps this is why some notable Democrats are trotting out the whole pro-draft thing, like Charles Rangel of New York, who is this year’s lucky sponsor of the Universal National Service Act of .

And suddenly, instead of languishing in a committee on committees in a disused cloakroom of the Rayburn building, this thing is in the manpower subcommittee House Armed Services and the committee is actively soliciting comments from the Department of Defense.

Again, this might not mean very much to those who don’t watch regularly, but it is a step up in the activity ladder for this kind of legislation, and a sign that some on the manpower subcommittee at least are taking it seriously.

What if, and we must stress this is nothing more than grotesque conjecture, Congress gets weird and decides to actually bring a Draft resolution to the floor for a real vote. What does the President do? Does the President reinstitute the draft?

Hard to say at this point. On the one hand, he just might, especially as the force utilization in Iraq and Afghanistan spreads U.S. troops way too thin. But if he does, then he is back to explaining why this was necessary, and then why it took Democrats in Congress to do what had to be done by pushing the bill only for the President to come crawling at the end to sign their legislation.

No, I think at this point, the President needs to be disavowing any plans for a national draft, and then get on the phone to Rummy and tell him to cool out with the bad noise emmanating from the Pentagon about draft boards.

If not, then this time next year, they’ll be out on the street looking for real jobs.