Cowardice

Unbelievable.

The Senate Intelligence Committee yesterday rejected Sen. Rockefeller’s motion to hold hearings to investigate the President’s warrantless eavesdropping program by an 8-7, strict party line vote. Yet again, every Senate Republican followed White House instructions not to investigate the President, and this time did so despite the statements of several of those GOP Senators just within the last 8 weeks that such an investigation was urgent and necessary.

I wonder if they ever get leash burns?

The Men Don’t Know, but the Rude Pundit Understands….

This needs to be kicked off, post-haste:

Over the next few weeks, months even, as periods are missed and crocodile tears are shed (for, indeed, there will be few real regrets), you can pretty much bet that abortion on demand will become the law of the land in South Dakota so fast that it’ll seem that yesterday never happened.

Of course, this is a fantastic idea, but… having grown up in the (not quite-)Post Jim Crow South (where this sort of thing kinda sorta JUST HAPPENED all the time), I can guarantee you that the cream of South Dakota’s young christian lady-folk will not suffer for lack of a plane ticket to wherever they have to go to get The Little Problem taken care of.

But it’s a good idea.

I just need a couple of bucks until this thing I am working on comes through

I swear, you know I’m good for it. Ain’t I always paid you back before? Except that one time, but… yeah….

Treasury Secretary John W. Snow told Congress last week that it had begun to use the TSP’s government securities fund to keep from hitting the $8 trillion debt limit. He called on congressional leaders to increase the debt limit by mid-March, suggesting that was when the Treasury might not be able to meet its financial obligations.

Let me descramble that transmission for you, if you’d like. It’s the third month of the year 2006, and the Treasury Secretary is essentially saying “Look, yeah, we’re dipping into the RETIREMENT SAVINGS OF FEDERAL EMPLOYEES… but it’s cool and shit. We can always print more money or something.”

The G Fund is one of the most popular investment choices for federal employees, in part because it provides steady returns (4.48 percent for the 12-month period ending Jan. 31). The fund, available only to government personnel, allows investors to earn rates of interest similar to those of long-term government securities without any risk of losing principal and with little volatility in earnings.

The G Fund has about $65.3 billion in assets, but a Treasury spokeswoman said officials “will just take what we need to get through each day.” Treasury began suspending G Fund investments Thursday, according to Snow’s letter.

Just a little taste to beat the shakes, man, that’s all I need.

I am not sure why they’re dipping into the G Fund to avoid the $8 Trillion line, unless it’s just to avoid all of those headlines that say “Fiscally Conservative Republican Administration Hits $8 Trillion Debt Mark.”

Numerous federal employees object to the Treasury maneuver, contending that it amounts to a raid by the government into personal savings accounts. But officials noted that the G Fund has been used to avoid defaulting on the national debt several times, including during the budget showdowns of 1995 and 1996.

I am not sure how the first half of that paragraph is negated by the second half of that paragraph. Unless, of course, you’re looking at this from a purely partisan perspective, and what you’re essentially saying is “IT HAPPENED UNDER CLINTON, TOO!” which is cute, but fucking stupid. Those budget showdowns were engineered to make some kind of point by Cobb County Machiavellian Newt Gingrich. They lasted, what, five days? Ten?

This is hitting the bottom of the barrel of federal money, breaking through and continuing to dig into the earth’s crust, because of the disaster in Iraq soaking up trillions of dollars.

Hat tip to Agent Little Bird.

I think Norbizness has cracked the code

And figured out the secret wingnut plan to destroy the country.

On [the Fourth Circuit’s] logic, no law suit that ever reveals misconduct or criminality by U.S. personnel, no matter how atrocious it is, can ever go forward. After all, anything that might make us look bad could have adverse effects on the prosecution of the War on Terror. In fact, the more atrocious the conduct, the more embarrassing its revelation would likely be – so, under the anti-embarrassment principle, the worse the conduct the more protection it deserves.

I suppose that that’s been the brilliant legal strategy cooked up by luminaries like Gonzales and John Yoo: (1) start with the fact that the United States is ostensibly a constitutional republic governed by the rule of law; (2) create a system of Twilight Zone detainment, torture, and extraordinary rendition that is utterly repugnant to this ideal; (3) argue to the federal courts that they’re a bunch of meddling jackasses that can’t impinge on the executive’s power to do whatever the fuck he wants; (4) when that fails, argue that the American people can’t know the truth about Daddy being a child molestor because it would crush them; (5) profit!

Which brings us to step six: REPEAT.

And step six is what seems to be having the most deleterious effect on me- I just don’t know if I can stand to pay attention to these people enough to be vigilant any more. That’s why I am spending so much time under the hood of my car. Even though their star is clearly in decline, they just never let up.

Is it November, yet? Can we impeach the bastard now?

I’m loving this

Bush’s approval rating has fallen to 43% in the (not so) Solid South. When you’ve lost the hillbilly vote, you’d better find a new gig, quick.

“A new Elon University Poll shows support for President George W. Bush stands at 43 percent in five Southeastern states, while 52 percent of citizens disapprove or strongly disapprove of the job Bush is doing.”

More: “Fifty-seven percent of respondents disapprove or strongly disapprove of the way Bush is handling the war in Iraq, while 39 percent approve or strongly approve. On the economy, Bush’s approval rating stands at 40 percent, while 54 percent disapprove or strongly disapprove.

This is my place in the world, y’know. I love the nine months of growing season and the punishingly hot summers, and the heavy food, the rural culture, and I love having peach trees in my yard. People here are generous to their leaders, and give them a mile when they deserve an inch, because most of us were raised to be deferential to authority and to mind as much of our own business as possible.

However, once you’re on the outs with country folk, you’re in Hatfields and McCoys territory, and it can go wrong for you for a long time. Welcome to the New South, republicans.

As my grandmother used to say, “Don’t let the door hit ya where the dog should have bit ya!”

(Elon, by the way, is right near where I was born. Pretty part of the country, let me tell you.)

Bought and paid for

forwarded without comment:

SUPREME COURT The Supreme Court has tossed out a lawsuit that accused two oil companies of inflating gasoline prices by at least a (b) billion dollars.

Justices unanimously ruled gas distributors didn’t prove ChevronTexaco and Shell violated antitrust laws. The joint venture started in 1998 and ended four years ago.
In the court’s decision, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote that the companies had a legal partnership. And he said the joint venture’s pricing decisions don’t “fall within the narrow category of activity” that’s illegal.
Distributors filed a class-action lawsuit in California accusing the oil companies of using the partnership to fix gasoline prices. The suit said the move broke antitrust provisions of the Sherman Act.

Is it redneck in here? Or is it just me?

Between the incessant nattering about cars and engines and pictures of my bird dogs comes e p o n y m o u s’ condemnation of canned hunting and defense of regular old huntin’ and fishin’.

On a more personal note I’d like to add that while I’ve never hunted, I did grow up fishing with my grandpa. I love fishing and I love eating and preparing fish so spending a few hours on the lake was always a relaxing prequel to a delicious meal.

Are you sure that we’re actually liberal blogs?

Oh, right. We irrationally hate the least popular president since Nixon. We must be UNHINGED LATTÉ DRINKING COASTAL ELITE METROSEXUALS….

Well, then.

I seldom do this, but I am reposting a comment on someone else’s weblog in its entirety here, because it’s just so damn spot-on. You can go here to TBogg’s and see it in its original context.

I am going to repost a comment left for Vodkapundit on his blog, because he might delete it:

I’ve spent 17 months in Iraq, working for the CPA in 03-04 and on reconstruction contracts for a couple of tours since. I probably am a “liberal” by your definition, and a retired reserve officer.

I’m in Iraq now, Green Zone Baghdad. I was listening to mortar fire yesterday afternoon. They (Sunnis? Ba’athists? someone else?) were shelling the neighborhood of one of my Iraqi co-workers, I later learned. I’m waiting for him to come into work now, he’s usually very early.

Not to mention whether we have to worry how, if the shit really hits the fan here, we are going to get out. The helicopter-off-of-the-roof-of-the-embassy theme is a recurrent mordant joke here.

Of course, this is the fruit of this undermanned and underresourced war, always on the razor’s edge of ruin, while Rumsfeld and Bush spout their happy horseshit. The thing is, it could have gone so much better with competent people in charge who followed the Weinberger and Powell doctrines, rather than the marginal and disorganized effort this has been from the beginning. I’ve always said one of the problems with this is that it is run by people whose philosophy is anti-goverment, and it is a situation where government is needed. They are not like the New Dealers who helped rebuild Europe and Japan. But hey, “stuff happens.”

Yes, I know that you might agree with me on that, but why not place the blame where it lies, instead of talking about how civil war might be a good thing.

The idea that some people might find your schadenfreude about an incipient civil war “insult[ing] or inflam[ing]” does not seem to occur to you.

You, apparently a military age male, follow that post with one talking about how much fun paintball is. Yes, shooting as a game, your fun war metaphor.

I suggest you apply for a direct commission in Army Reserve Civil Affairs, they need people desperately. You might also be able to get a job with a contractor on one of the reconstruction projects, maybe the new Regional Reconstruction Teams. Then you might learn that this shit is in earnest, not some parlor word game.

Posted by: Green Zone Cafe at February 27, 2006 01:52 AM

I don’t know what I could add to that.