Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The People! United! Will Never Be Defeated!

Okay, this is kinda weird...

(Via our new favorite toy, TheRobb.)

The Nashville Municipal Auditorium doesn't appear to be publicizing this as an event open to the public. So, gee— thanks Robb, but I'm not exactly sure why I should be marking my calendar. How far are we expecting this revolution to go? I mean, is it expected to be confined withing the auditorium, or can I expect it to spread? Is there anything in particular I should bring? Ammunition, maybe?

Update 1.0: I changed the link now that I've found the original source of the poster. And yeah— it's what it looks like. The Tennessee Baptist Convention is hosting another event for the Youth Evangelism Conference (beware that link if you don't have much patience for xtian fascists— it's a d10/d6 sanity check).

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Please Introduce Yourselves to TheRobb

Everyone, your attention please...

I have been exchanging plesantries with "TheRobb" over at The Perspective, for the past couple of days, and he was kind enough to come here and leave a comment in a piece I wrote on 60 minutes a couple of weeks ago.

Please take a moment to go to his blog and read, and drop him a comment or two... as a neighborly, friendly gesture...

mojo sends

Sunday, November 27, 2005


I hate to say it but WE FUCKING TOLD YOU SO!

Tip of the hat to Bare Knuckle Politics for putting up the video of these hideous redneckistanis allegedly from Aegis Specialist Risk Managment, which on its website claims to oversee more than 20,000 mercenaries working in in the exciting and growing field of private security in Iraq.

Oh my freeking God, this makes me pig-biting mad, and for no less a reason than that I, Sean and in particular the dread Dr. Strychnine have been raging about this for years and been told we were nothing more than slack-jawed conspiracy minded America hating pansies who want nothing less than total defeat for our valiant fighting men and women in Asia.

All the while, Bubba and the rest of the gang decide to grab a 12-pack of cheap foul smelling beer, grab a camcorder, some old Elvis 8-tracks, and go grease some random hajis for shits 'n giggles on a Saturday afternoon after church.

mojo sends

Update 1.0: And this is how the asshats are responding to this latest outrage. Pretending that a thrill-kill trophy video somehow represents documentation of a valid military operation. And the Elvis? Who knows...

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Could This Be Any More Weird?

Did President Bush seriously consider bombing the Al Jazeera corporate headquarters in Qatar last year?

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Bill O'Reilly is a puke!

Via Crooks and Liars, it appears that William is cooking up a nice little blacklist of Web sites that "smear" him (call him out for being a worthless puke). I say: We need to be on this list.

C'mon William, sign us up! Please put "The Mojowire" at the top of your list of Web Sites that regard you with contempt and amusement.

And have a "Happy Holidays"!

Monday, November 14, 2005

60 Minutes Shilling for DHS

Last night, the CBS flagship news magazine 60 Minutes aired a hideous piece of pro-administration propaganda, trotting out a couple of violent a-holes in a piece on so-called "Eco-Terrorism," and making sure that everyone knows that they are the "Number one domestic terror threat in the United States."

Not neo-Nazis, the Klan or anti-abortion extremists... no, the Earth Liberation Front and their swirly-eyed co-conspirators at the Animal Liberation Front...

And at no point, did the report even attempt to draw a distinction between out-of-touch violent sociopaths with delusions of political grandeur and the legitimate political movement in this country to change environmental policy and preserve environmental quality.

Please contact CBS' 60 Minutes and express displeasure with their capitulation to the Bush Administration.

mojo sends

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Sometimes, You Feel Like A Nut

I occasionally post comments at a religious blog called Stones Cry Out. Don't ask me why— I can't quite figure it out myself.

Recently, one of their editors produced this lovely gem of wisdom, which I will reproduce in its entirety below so you don't have to click through the link and feed them additional advertising revenue.
Derb On Torture

This pretty much sums up my thoughts. Liberal readers, fire away.

We here at MojoWire relish invitations like that.

Even better, Derbyshire's pet homunculus followed up this noxious little dropping with a comment of his own. Here it is for your convenience:

I condemn that sort of thing that happened at Abu Ghraib. The other stuff...I think our laws should allow some leeway when interrogating high-ranking terrorists who are likely to have knowledge of terror plots.

At that point, I snapped and fired off a heated rejoinder. You can see what I wrote in the comments. As of this posting, I haven't seen a response.

So, I taunted him a second time. Here's a reprint.

I didn't think you'd have any words of condemnation for holding family members as hostages, or beating prisoners to death, or smothering them to death with sleeping bags, or drowning them within an inch of their life, of solitary confinement for several months at a stretch, or any of that other stuff that Americans have done and continue to do.

The good news is that we only have the word of highly unreliable and self-interested, corrupt officials that the dead and tortured victims of this policy were actually "high-ranking" terrorists and enemy fighters. Sure, the Supreme Court insisted that the administrati recognize the habeus corpus rights of the remaining detainees who haven't yet been tortured to death— but, the GOP Chamber of People's Deputies is getting ready to "overrule" their interpretation of the U.S. Constitution. This is, of course, good news for you because it provides you with a transparently thin veneer of cover for your anti-Christian bloodlust, which allows you to argue that you only support officially sanctioned torture and murder of the Enemies to the State when they can't prove their innocence.

Don't look now, Matt. That might be Moloch you're worshipping, not Christ.

And these people call us a fifth column.

Update 1.0: Fixed the link to the comment thread.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Pravda On The Potomac Has Flipped

Ever since 9/11, the Washington Post has been a determined and unrelenting supporter of the Administrations response both in Afghanistan and Iraq. As the war in Iraq devolved into the chaotic mess it has become, the Post consistently stood by the Administration, echoing it's agitprop and talking points as if Karl Rove were writing the editorials themselves, not to mention the dishonest and to be quite frank, worthless journalism by several reporters convering the Administration and the Pentagon. We won't even start on Howie Kurtz and their stable of pimps in the Op/Ed section such as Cohen, Will and Ignatious. So you know, when these people ultimately flipped on the White House, they were going to flip hard.

From the Washington Post:
VICE PRESIDENT Cheney is aggressively pursuing an initiative that may be unprecedented for an elected official of the executive branch: He is proposing that Congress legally authorize human rights abuses by Americans. "Cruel, inhuman and degrading" treatment of prisoners is banned by an international treaty negotiated by the Reagan administration and ratified by the United States. The State Department annually issues a report criticizing other governments for violating it. Now Mr. Cheney is asking Congress to approve legal language that would allow the CIA to commit such abuses against foreign prisoners it is holding abroad. In other words, this vice president has become an open advocate of torture.

His position is not just some abstract defense of presidential power. The CIA is holding an unknown number of prisoners in secret detention centers abroad. In violation of the Geneva Conventions, it has refused to register those detainees with the International Red Cross or to allow visits by its inspectors. Its prisoners have "disappeared," like the victims of some dictatorships. The Justice Department and the White House are known to have approved harsh interrogation techniques for some of these people, including "waterboarding," or simulated drowning; mock execution; and the deliberate withholding of pain medication. CIA personnel have been implicated in the deaths during interrogation of at least four Afghan and Iraqi detainees. Official investigations have indicated that some aberrant practices by Army personnel in Iraq originated with the CIA. Yet no CIA personnel have been held accountable for this record, and there has never been a public report on the agency's performance.

It's not surprising that Mr. Cheney would be at the forefront of an attempt to ratify and legalize this shameful record. The vice president has been a prime mover behind the Bush administration's decision to violate the Geneva Conventions and the U.N. Convention Against Torture and to break with decades of past practice by the U.S. military. These decisions at the top have led to hundreds of documented cases of abuse, torture and homicide in Iraq and Afghanistan. Mr. Cheney's counsel, David S. Addington, was reportedly one of the principal authors of a legal memo justifying the torture of suspects. This summer Mr. Cheney told several Republican senators that President Bush would veto the annual defense spending bill if it contained language prohibiting the use of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment by any U.S. personnel.

The senators ignored Mr. Cheney's threats, and the amendment, sponsored by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), passed this month by a vote of 90 to 9. So now Mr. Cheney is trying to persuade members of a House-Senate conference committee to adopt language that would not just nullify the McCain amendment but would formally adopt cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment as a legal instrument of U.S. policy. The Senate's earlier vote suggests that it will not allow such a betrayal of American values. As for Mr. Cheney: He will be remembered as the vice president who campaigned for torture.

I think it's clear, the Post has been listening to the Wire. We've never been able to account for all the listeners. We just assumed it was DHS. About Freakin' time guys.

Friday, November 11, 2005

What He Said!

CNN reporting on W's attempt to bail out a sinking a ship actually quoted the President as saying the following:

"While it's perfectly legitimate to criticize my decision or the conduct of the war, it is deeply irresponsible to rewrite the history of how that war began."

Truer words never passed his pie hole!

mojo sends

I Sing This Song Every Year On 11-11

And The Band played Waltzing Mathilda

Now when I was a young man, I carried me pack
And I lived the free life of a rover
From the Murray's green basin to the dusty outback
Well, I waltzed my Mathilda all over
Then in 1915, my country said son
It's time you stopped rambling, there's work to be done
So they gave me a tin hat, and they gave me a gun
And the marched me away to the war
[get the rest of the lyrics from the official site, linked below]

(Eric Bogle)

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Did The GOP Just Go Crazy and Pass Out in Front of Me?

It looks like the GOP on the hill is about to eat itself. This bit from AP via Yahoo.

WASHINGTON - House Republican leaders canceled a planned vote Thursday on a $51 billion budget-cut package in the face of a revolt over cuts to Medicaid, food stamps and student loans.

The story, which is still developing, apparently, would naturally represent a serious bitchslap from a cosmic pimp hand for the House leadership, particuarly Hastert, Blount and their cadre on the Conference committee...

Look, I hate to chortle about this...

No, who I am fooling ... I will gleefully chortle about this...

But amidst my chortling, I am forced to ask the questions: Did last Tuesday's election results get the attention of some folks on the Hill? Are they a tad less swaggering today than Monday?

I am going to want to see who the leader(s) of the rebel faction is(are)... hard to read too much more into it right now other than that the GOP leadership cadre seems to be in the midst of a train wreck of epic proportions. We'll update as we get more...

Update 1.0: Just get on over to Comrade Joshua for a pretty good take on what's going on... namely that W's ship of state is rapidly taking on water and the First Class Passengers have just noticed the captain and crew jumping over board... Here's the money shot: "Tax cuts used to be a cakewalk for W, now he can't even get them out of committee."

Yeah, Joshua, pass the popcorn...

mojo sends

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

"That's No Moon" —Obi-wan Kenobi, A New Hope

Update on the French rioting... apparently, the editorial board at Le Monde is having the same bad feeling as me.
...Si le pays veut éviter le renouvellement de la catastrophe électorale de 2002, où Jean-Marie Le Pen avait été présent au second tour, il serait temps que ceux qui aspirent à le diriger oublient la politique-spectacle pour réfléchir sans complaisance aux banlieues et à la reconstruction d'une partie de la société française qui les attend.

(Almost unbearably bad machine translation is here.)
If the country wants to avoid the renewal of the electoral catastrophe of 2002, where Jean-Marie the PEN had been present at the second turn, it would be time that those which aspire to direct it forget the policy-spectacle to reflect without kindness on the suburbs and the rebuilding of part of the French company which awaits them.

Yeah. Why do I have this nagging feeling that somebody with a political agenda might be deliberately trying to escalate the violence in France to provide exactly the subtext here that Le Monde is warning about? After all, I'm sure it isn't hard to find people here in America as well as in Europe who would regard a Le Pen victory in the next election cycle as quite the opposite of a catastrophe.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

"I Have A Bad Feeling About This..." —Leia Organa, Empire Strikes Back

It's what? Thirteen days of rioting in France, and only now are the curfews going into effect? [Original French edition here.]

I'm starting to get the nagging worry that maybe there's more to this story than we're ever likely to see in the media coverage. My concern is about the inevitable reaction to this violence at the polls. I'll bet Jean-Marie Le Pen is laughing until he wets his pants. The socialists are so going to blow this one.
Le Parti socialiste s'est inquiété lundi du respect des «principes de liberté» alors que le président du groupe socialiste à l'Assemblée nationale Jean-Marc Ayrault a jugé mardi qu'il serait «indécent» d'en faire une «opération politicienne» et que «l'heure des bilans viendrait».

It would be "indecent" to make a "political operation" out of these events. My god. Could you people be any more dumb? We are so doomed. If France goes blue, then the EU will be torn apart. Just what everyone needs. (AAIEIEE!)

Monday, November 07, 2005

When Torture Is Officially Sanctioned...

...we should not be surprised when stories like this start making the rounds.
The FBI and Capitol Police are investigating the vicious attack of a top Senate staffer at her home last week amid concerns that the assault might be related to her work on the Finance Committee.

Emilia DiSanto, chief investigator for committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), arrived at her suburban Virginia home after work Wednesday about 6:30 p.m. As she was unloading belongings from her car, a 6-foot-1-inch white man dressed in black struck her repeatedly with an unidentified object believed to be a baseball bat.

After she screamed to her family inside the house, the assailant fled. DiSanto was transported to Inova Fair Oaks Hospital, where she was treated for significant upper-body injuries. Nine staples were needed to close her head wound.

(Via Comrade Joshua.)

Here's the paragraph that caught my attention (emphasis mine):
Grassley is known for his aggressive oversight of the public and private sector. Over the past year, he has scrutinized healthcare fraud, organ-donation procedures used by hospitals, drug-safety matters and the use of nonprofit groups related to former lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

Purely coincidental, I'm sure.

"We Do Not Torture"

Maximum Leader Speaks:

I'll save you the trip, though; here's the money shot:
We are gathering information about where the terrorists may be hiding. We are trying to disrupt their plots and plans. Anything we do to that effort, to that end, in this effort, any activity we conduct, is within the law. We do not torture.

That's just fscking precious... Anything we do, as long as it can somehow be filed under the rubric of anti-terrorism where no accountability exists is, by default, legal

Outstanding! Quick, rescind the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878! I can't wait to see what Maximum Leader and Vice President Big Time will decide what's legal next.

Good thing their gettin' those votes on the Supreme Court...

mojo sends

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Bush Lied, And Your Sons And Daughters Died.

We told you. (It's not in the archives, apparently, but we did tell you in one of the radio programs.)

Remember the certification that George W. Bush was required to send to Congress before launching the invasion of Iraq? We were pretty sure at the time that it contained a bald-faced lie. We couldn't prove it, mind you— but we told you to pay attention. Sooner or later, we said, that certification would likely bounce back and bite the Neocon cabal in their collective ass.

Now comes The Left Coaster with this excellent report to show that the President has a real problem on his hands. Apparently, Senator Carl Levin has got hold of a recently declassified document that catches C+ Augustus in the Big Lie for which no one yet dares call him out in public.

From The Left Coaster:

This latest revelation means that at the time Bush justified the commencement of war against Iraq consistent with what was required under Public Law 107-243, he certified things not in evidence, and made claims to Congress (Saddam’s active operation of a WMD program and Saddam’s assistance to Al Qaeda) that he, Cheney, and Rummy already knew were false.

He lied to Congress to start the war. And now 53% of the American public says that if it is clear that Bush lied, they would support Congress considering impeachment proceedings against the president.


We told you the certification was a lie. Now, we know the President lied. We told you.

Now can we please, finally, for once, talk seriously about possible articles of impeachment?

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

To Nuke or not Nuke?

I tend to agree with James previous post that utilizing the filibuster as a key strategy in defeating the nomination of Alito would be a perilous idea. It is a distinct possibility that Democrats could end up trying to filibuster, lose it in the exercise of the nuclear option, and still end looking like demented chumps to the public. Another likely possibility is that a filibuster is attempted, but Democrats can't hold together to sustain it. In any case, the filibuster is too unpredictable to rely on as a central strategy. Judge Alito's record needs to be carefully reviewed and opposition needs to be tied to key Progressivebedrock ideas. His record on worker rights, for example, could be used to justify strong opposition as part of the Democratic parties support for the rights of workers in the face of employer abuse. Support for Roe and Griswold is another area to rally around. Opposition must be grounded in real progressive ideals and not in terms of arcane process or procedure, such as document withholding.

That being said, the filibuster could be threatened in a scenario where Democrats could be assured the public regards their opppositon as principled rather than politics. Also if they believe many Republicans are afraid to trigger the nuclear option in the possibility of losing the Senate. But keep it off the table, at least in public. Democrats too often telegraph their strategy to the White House, making it easy to counter. Harry Reid demonstrated today that surprise tactics can work.


It's official, Senate Democrats do have a pulse. Harry Reid detonated a parlimentary stinkbomb in the Senate today, forcing a closed session. He kicked it off with a rant about the manipulation of Intelligence by the Administration and failure of Congress in it's oversight responsibilities.

Dick Durbin then upped the ante with this statement

"It is within the power of the majority to close down the closed session. They can do it by majority vote to return to the legislative calendar," Durbin said. "We're serving notice on them at this moment: be prepared for this motion every day until you face the reality. The Senate Intelligence Committee has a responsibility

Welcome to the fight Dems. Better late than never....

No Nukes!

I've thought about it some, and I'm inclined to come out and say I think it would be bad politics for Democrats to filibuster Scalito.

Yes, I understand he's a scary monster. He's virtually guaranteed to be the deciding vote that reverses many if not all of the progressive judicial victories of the last eighty years. He's young enough, just like John Roberts, that he could be a source of trouble for progressives on the Supreme Court for the next sixty years. (Remember, kids— this is the 21st century, and we are getting a lot better at extending the life spans of rich people.) He is— as the Rude Pundit would say without editing it for passage through profanity filters— a mthrfsckr.

Except... I'm concerned about the political fallout. The GOP reactionary factions love Scalito more than they love Bush, so don't expect Scalito to need any help from a weakened White House, entangled in scandal. If Democrats attempt a filibuster— assuming they can peel five of their seven members out of the Gang of Fourteen, enough to sustain one— then Republicans will only need three more of their own to invoke the so-called "nuclear" option. That would be a Revolution in the U.S. Senate. In other words, we'd get two revolutions for the price of one.

I don't think Scalito can be stopped without also defeating a move to invoke the "nuclear" option, and I don't think the "nuclear" option can be defeated here.

So the question is: Scalito? Or... Scalito and reactionary control of the Senate? Remember, cloture is the principle mechanism that enables minorities in the Senate to prevent the worst excesses of extremists among the majority. The "nuclear" option erases the 60-vote cloture for judicial appointments, but more importantly, it sets the precedent that any debate can be stopped by a simple majority with a procedural trick.

Given my assumption above, it makes sense to look at who will get the blame for what when the dust settles. When Americans decide the court has been packed with reactionary fscknozzles, I don't think many of them will blame Democrats for deciding not to filibuster them. They'll blame Republicans for appointing such fscknozzles and making a reactionary ideological litmus test a requirement for Presidential candidates.

On the other hand, when the train wreck of gerrymandered House districts collides with the natural conservative bias of the Senate supercharged by eliminating the 60-vote cloture with the "nuclear" option, the narrative will be that Democrats brought on the imbalance by launching "too many filibusters" of judicial appointments. Think ahead, kids— by the time this clusterfsck is apparent to everyone, the filibuster will be a distant memory of how business was conducted back when the U.S.A. was ostensibly a "two-party" republic. We will be firmly in the land of National Bolshevism, and the Party [of which there will be only one that counts] will be the main engine of policy development— not the Congress or the Cabinet.

Some will say that Democrats have to decide where they will stand and fight. Progressives can't allow themselves to be pushed around by the mere threat of the "nuclear" option. I beg to differ. They can. At the moment, the explicit threat is just to eliminate filibusters for judicial appointments. The reactionaries are still nervous about pulling the trigger on cutting off the minority in all Senate debates, and that's an advantage progressives would be stupid to sacrifice— even if they had a real chance to stop a monster like Scalito from ascending to the court with it, which they don't.

Bush and his supporters can be blamed for Scalito. Progressives have to believe they can win back the Congress and/or the White House eventually— the alternative leads to highly non-pragmatic thinking. Let's make sure we can still do something useful in the Senate while we are still the minority. Let's give over the SCOTUS to the reactionaries without a pointless fight we are doomed to lose. It's time to face reality: we lost that fight when Bush was returned to office in 2004.

There. I've said my piece. You may now commence the beatings until I repent and join the rest of the progressive on the barricades for the final battle against evil.