Romney Says…

from TPM:

Republican Mitt Romney said Wednesday that if elected president he and his wife will not embarrass the nation by their conduct in the White House as happened in “the Clinton years.”

He went on to say that he was going to embarrass the country in a more “the last seven psychotic years of impotent old men with access to military force” style. Kind of a “fundamentalist with a secret agenda” meets “tool of corporate power thingy” he said, continuing “a sort of… you know… a nouvelle Inquisition vibe, only with talking salamanders and magic underwear as a bonus.”

“It’s going to be a whole new FLAVOR of embarrassment… that is, if anyone has any shame left to burn after Mr. Bush leaves office.” He concluded his remarks by blowing a small silver dog whistle that only angry white people can hear, and then barked “Thanks, folks…. see you at the polls!”

Someone tell me I am just being paranoid

Am I just being paranoid?

Someone tell me I am.

Six minutes and ten seconds into this interview with David Frost, Benazir Bhutto refers to Omar Sheikh as the man who “murdered Osama bin Ladin”. The interview was about who she thought was behind the first attempt on her life back in the autumn.

Mike Malloy noticed as well. So did a bunch of people. Did she misspeak?

I have spent a day or so rolling this around in my head. Did she mean “the man who murdered Daniel Pearl”?

so… y’know, it doesn’t do my paranoid mind any good that RIGHT ON CUE, another Bin Laden tape turns up from the usual sources yesterday.

If you, like me, are struggling to make sense of what is happening in Pakistan, you could do a lot worse than going and reading this article, and hunting down any information you can find from Tariq Ali. You can also get a great rundown on what is happening inside Pakistan by listening to this broadcast of Democracy Now! featuring Ali and also Manan Ahmed, historian of Pakistan and South Asian Islam.

See also:Juan Cole, particularly this and this and this as well.

Also, Robert Fisk has some interesting things to say about the view from inside Pakistan. Not surprisingly, he mentions Tariq Ali as a good source to seek out for more information.

Alright, folks. You have your reading assignments. I’ll be back to talking about music here shortly….

The Silly Brigade would like you to sign their petition

But I think you know better. Matt Yglesias has the lowdown on the latest Loyalty Oath Pledge Drive.

I am reminded of something I mentioned before….

Almost overnight the Glorious Loyalty Oath Crusade was in full flower, and Captain Black was enraptured to discover himself spearheading it. He had really hit on something. All the enlisted men and officers on combat duty had to sign a loyalty oath to get their map cases from the intelligence tent, a second loyalty oath to receive their flak suits and parachutes from the parachute tent, a third loyalty oath for Lieutenant Balkington, the motor vehicle officer, to be allowed to ride from the squadron to the airfield in one of the trucks. Every time they turned around there was another loyalty oath to be signed.They signed a loyalty oath to get their pay from the finance officer, to obtain their PX supplies, to have their hair cut by the Italian barbers.

To Captain Black, every officer who supported his Glorious Loyalty Oath Crusade was a competitor, and he planned and plotted twnety-four hours a day to keep one step ahead. He would stand second to none in his devotion to country. When other officers had followed his urging and introduced loyalty oaths of their own, he went them one better by making every son of a bitch who came to his intelligence tent sign two loyalty oaths, then three, then four; then he introduced the pledge of allegiance, and after that “The Star-Spangled Banner,” one chorus, two choruses, three choruses, four choruses. Each time Captain Black forged ahead of his competitors, he swung upon them scornfully for their failure to follow his example. Each time they followed his example, he retreated with concern and racked his brain for some new strategem that would enable him to turn upon them scornfully again.

Without realizing how it had come about, the combat men in the squandron discovered themselves dominated by the administrators appointed to serve them. They were bullied, insulted, harassed and shoved about all day long by one after the other. When they voiced objection, Captain Black replied that people who were loyal would not mind signing all the loyalty oaths they had to. To anyone who questioned the effectiveness of the loyalty oaths, he replied that people who really did owe allegiance to their country would be proud to pledge it as often as he forced them to. And to anyone who questioned the morality, he replied that “The Star-Spangled Banner” was the greatest piece of music ever composed. The more loyalty oaths a person signed, the more loyal he was; to Captain Black it was as simple as that, and he had Corporal Kolodny sign hundreds with his name each day so that he could always prove he was more loyal than anyone else.

“The important thing is to keep them pledging,” he explained to his cohorts. “It doesn’t matter whether they mean it or not. That’s why they make little kids pledge allegiance even before they know what ‘pledge’ and ‘allegiance’ mean.”

–Joseph Heller
p. 122-123 of Catch-22

That’s the way to fight those Islamoterroristnazifascists…. make everyone sign a petition, then just LOOK AROUND AND SEE WHO DIDN’T SIGN IT! BAMMO! Instant positive ID!

It’s Genius, this plan! Why didn’t we think of this before???

What we get for our trouble, pt 2

Alterman, in the column that may have gotten him fired:

Who would have imagined in their worst nightmares that these political usurpers would employ the human catastrophe of 9/11 to continue the terrorists work for them? Who would have imagined that they would embark on a course that would eventually kill more Americans than died on 9/11 in wars that do nothing to ensure the nation’s security but much to inspire more Arabs to hate us and wish to attack us? Who would have imagined they would dissipate the global solidarity and support the world had offered us? Who would have imagined that, having ignored all of the signs of a certain attack, they would continue to ignore the most obvious steps to protect us against future catastrophe, leaving our ports, our nuclear facilities, our chemical facilities invitingly unguarded? Who would have imagined that they would willingly allow bin-Laden to escape? Who would have imagined they would lie to the rescue workers about the health effects of the air they were breathing. Who would have imagined that they would put the fate of the nation in the hands of a group of lying, conniving, rats like “curveball,” Ahmad Chalabi and the INC? Who would have imagined a political campaign in which a man like Max Cleland, a man who lost three limbs in Vietnam, would be branded as insufficiently patriotic by right-wing politicians and pundits who never sacrificed so much as a chicken dinner for their country? Who would have imagined they would use homeland security as pure pork money, doling out millions for Red State fire houses while leaving tens of millions who live near obvious targets—and were attacked last time—unprotected? Who would have imagined they would emulate our enemies, employing methods of torture and massacre? Who would imagine they would force our brave soldiers to die fighting phantoms, without even proper body armor? Who would have imagined they would outlaw photographs of military funerals, or that the president could not find time to attend a single one of them? Who would have imagined they would use the attacks to create a domestic spying regime, a series of secret prisons and tribunals, and the declare the right to abrogate any and all American civil liberties whenever it struck their fancy? Who would have imagined, in other words, that they would exploit these tragic deaths to seek to undermine our Constitution, our Bill of Rights, indeed the very foundations of the same “freedom” that allegedly inspired the terrorists in the first place? And finally, who would have imagined that our vaunted “liberal media” and nonpartisan political establishment would cheer them along the way, failing to ask the difficult questions and attacking the patriotism and even sanity of those with the courage and foresight to do so?

Fly nude- it’s for your safety.

My friend Robyn nails the current Zeitgeist:

Terrorists win again.

Air travel.

Electronic carry-on bag search.. but it’s for everyone’s security, so it’s OK.

Leave your lighters, nail clippers and shampoo behind. It’s for the safety of yourself and others. If you care for your fellow-man, you’ll do it. It’s for everyone’s safety.

Take off your shoes. Stare at the caramel skinned, bearded man. He might be a terrorist. Take off your belt. Go through again. Safe and soundless.

No, you can’t travel with carry-on bag. There might be an undetected explosive in there. No, you can’t travel with a hair dryer in your checked-in luggage. It could be a targeting device for terrorist missiles. Safety first!

You know what? Just take it all off. The FBI now suspects every clothed individual of utilizing fabric bombs. All boarding passengers must strip completely, put on a paper smock and booties provided by the airline. Have a safe trip.

Airlines will no longer permit any bags, checked in, carried on or otherwise. You’ll just have to buy new clothes, toothpaste and refill prescriptions at your destination. There’s a Wal-Mart inside the airport. Just get it all there. Watch out for falling prices!

Air travel has been outlawed due to terrorist threats. All overseas trips must be made by boat. All domestic ventures made by automobile. It’s safer for everyone.

Due to nautical warfare and insane oil prices, all travel has been outlawed. Stay in your homes. Only drink government purified purchased water. Be careful.. someone may have contaminated it at the bottling plant. God bless America, my home sweet home.

Sattellites watch you from above, for your safety. Every dollar you earn, steal or spend is tracked for your safety. You live in fear forever.. for your safety.

“And the beauty of it is, the majority of Americans will have been so frightened by terrorist incidents that they will beg to be controlled as a masochist begs for the whip.” ~R.A.W. circa 1975

Lady MacBeth syndrome in action. We suck.