Thursday, June 26, 2008


FISA passed the Senate.

Not only that, but Dear Leader Obama didn't even SHOW UP TO VOTE. His previous lukewarm statements about how he would allow the bill to go through but fight against telecom immunity specifically mentioned filibusters. There was a filibuster.


I am also disappointed with Hillary Clinton, who didn't go to the vote even though she's already returned to the Senate, but given that she's not the de facto party leader OR the person parading around like I owe him a vote, my wrath goes mostly elsewhere.

Obama: Get disappointed by someone NEW in 2008!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

David Brooks almost made my head explode this morning. It was an op-ed analyzing Prezident Bush's "decision-making character traits" or something.

He went on and on about the climate surrounding Iraq in 2006, how down on it everyone was, how the Democrats swept the midterm elections, how every single general and expert was saying to pull the fuck out, and how it was extraordinary that Bush went ahead with the surge.

And then he said, without so much as blinking, that the surge was totes successful and basically that the President's tendency to be a willful idiot (which Brooks more charitably characterized as "remarkably self-confident" and "deeply stubborn"), while perhaps somewhat...difficult in the past, was TEH ONELY THING OMGZ that led to our current shining success in Iraq. Did you know that butterflies fly out of people's asses over there now?

Anyway, I have no idea what he said after that because I couldn't keep reading the thing. The surge is a success? Are you flibbing serious?

Monday, June 23, 2008

Watch it. Seriously. Then go to

I fucking love that it's my job to find these things.

ETA: Marc Jacobs, what the fuck?! I mean, what in the fucking name of fucking fuck is that supposed to mean?

Friday, June 20, 2008


Congress rolled on FISA and telecom immunity.

You know how bad things are? I opened the paper today and saw multiple rah-rah headlines about the U.S. military's performance in the GWOT (Global War On Terror), along the lines of "Taliban forces routed in Northern Pakistan" and something about Iraq, and my immediate instinct was not to believe the headlines. It was like those newspaper montages in movies about dictators. (Call me paranoid, but even if those headlines did refer to actual victories, I'm pretty sure those victories were tiny drops in the massive bucket of fail indicated by the larger trend of all the news coming out of GWOT theaters.)

And now the government can wiretap whoever it wants, citizens included, and we can't even sue.

I would love to think that Obama will overturn this the second he gets into office, but I have very little faith in that happening.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

What she said

Rosa Brooks sez:

"Here's the saddest thing about this week's dust-up. Not too long ago -- before he decided that becoming the Republican presidential nominee required him to cozy up to his party's most demagogic extremists and play politics with 9/11 -- McCain was the champion of a common-sense, values-based approach to terrorism.

It was McCain who refused to sanction torture. It was McCain who said Guantanamo detainees "have rights under various human rights declarations. And one of them is the right not to be detained indefinitely." It was McCain who advocated moving Guantanamo detainees to Kansas' Ft. Leavenworth, where they would come under the certain jurisdiction of federal courts. It was McCain who insisted that we respect the basic rights even of enemies who "don't deserve our sympathy" because "this isn't about who they are. This is about who we are."

John McCain, who are you now?"

I have nothing to add.


Holy crap.

Blackwater--Blackwater, the main mercenary military contracting firm employed by the U.S. Military in Iraq? That Blackwater?--asked the court handling a suit against them to do so using Shari'a law.

You have got to be motherfucking well kidding me. Three Blackwater employees died in a plane crash in Afghanistan. Their widows sued.

Last year, Blackwater argued that since they were working as agents of the government and soldiers can't sue the government (they can't? Who knew?), the suit should be dismissed. That argument was disallowed by a court.

So now, because it took place in Afghanistan and because Shari'a law doesn't hold companies responsible for the actions of employees, that's their angle.

Besides the obvious sliminess of trying to wiggle out of damages, the sheer vortex of irony, shamelessness, deadpan balls-to-the-wall opportunism, and general BULLSHIT is just too much to handle. It boggles the mind.

GAH. It's doubly frustrating because under other circumstances questions of the overlaps or encounters between different forms of law, together with church/state issues, would be very interesting. But this really should not go forward. It's disgusting.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

From the Washington Post:

Torture “is basically subject to perception,” CIA counterterrorism lawyer Jonathan Fredman told a group of military and intelligence officials gathered at the U.S.-run detention camp in Cuba on Oct. 2, 2002, according to minutes of the meeting. “If the detainee dies, you’re doing it wrong.”

I have two reactions:
-Oh, big surprise.

If they could stop tarnishing my nation that would be cool, though. I think it's reassuring that they at least knew what they were doing and didn't care, rather than actually being so morally and basically stupid that they just fell into some big hole full of war crimes. I think I can handle deliberate evil over banal evil.

I have work to do now. (Speaking of the banality of evil, how fucked up is it that I can read that and then just think, "Welp, back to work"?)

EDIT: I take breaks from research by reading the news. It could be worse.

Anyway, from the NYT story on the same thing:
The military never used waterboarding, which simulates the experience of drowning, but the C.I.A. used it on three prisoners with the approval of the Justice Department.

Oh bullshit. Big, fat, turds from male cows. Cattlewaste. Kinecrap. ("Kine" as archaic term for cattle, not as a Greek root word having to do with motion; although the addition of that element affords some delightful possibilities.)

Just to be clear, these articles are about notes that have come out from a meeting of Pentagon lawyers who got together to figure out legal cover for torture. Months before anybody in the field requested being able to use such techniques. (The notes, however, demonstrate that they were being used in the field already; they just "officially" didn't exist.)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I know Pakistan is a threat and all. I know the US has been really supportive of it and that that support has come regardless of Pakistan's actions, and that that should stop.

But when I read article after post after article about how Pakistan is DANGEROUS OMG, I can't help but think of my Pakistani friends and wish these pundits/bloggers/reporters would shut up.

For the record, my Pakistani friends are very aware of their state's actions and status, and while they love their country, they are in no way jingoistic. I can think of multiple occasions where I've heard self-deprecating jokes in the vein of "I know my country's crazy...."

It just bugs me, okay?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

It's time for my middle-of-the-night finals post.

I've been reading a ton of editorials about how Obama is "post-racial" because he doesn't talk about blackness all the time, and how all the OMG CAN A BLACK D00D B PREZ from the press/boomers is generational because "the youth" is so "post-racial." Apparently our attitude is, "what's the big deal?"

Now, I grew up in an uber-PC environment, but from what I can say from my own experience, the news, and hell the movies (the ones targeted for the youth, doncha know), we are certainly not post-racial.

So I can't decide if Paul Krugman et. al. are sadly overoptimistic, pulling some manipulative media stunt I'm not seeing, or if I just really can't comprehend how bad it has been in the past.

Probably some of all of it. At the same time:

"Mr. Obama’s campaign so de-emphasized race that for most of the 17-month nomination contest much of the news media became obsessed with the question of whether he was “black enough” to win black votes."

What a crock. Obama emphasized race about as much as most black people on the street emphasize race. What these intellectuals can't see is that the same issues that keep white folks up at night--the war, the economy, health care--are the same damn issues that keep black folks up at night. And I love the tautological bit about the news media obsessing over whether Obama is black enough. DUDE, YOU ARE THE NEWS MEDIA. You obsess over it because you're too lazy to ask the hard questions about Obama and race.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

1. This is hilarious. At his victory speech, Barack and Michelle Obama exchanged a pound. A knuckle bump. A fist bump. Or, as some nutbags would have it, a "terrorist fist jab." The link goes to a collection/mocking of some of the ridiculous, racist-ass freaking out people have been doing. I highly encourage reading the comments, too: there are some damn funny people commenting on that site.

ETA: I started reading some of the racist comment threads, and man, thank maude for Sadly, No!. Because the only way to handle the fact that I share a country with people like this is to laugh.


I wonder what it's like to be this insane.

Oh, and this is just precious:

Fist bump, shmist bump. Let's see some a$$ grab!! forget the lame slap. C'mon, let's get going. She has got some booty!! I would vote for him if he would grab her a$$ on national TV. I mean, let's get the ownership thing straight. She IS your wife.

2. I would really like it if people who purport to engage in political commentary (not around the water cooler, but people who run blogs and such) could all spell "Barack" with the correct number of R's. This goes for everybody but especially people who support him. I mean, seriously, people, it's not that hard. It's kind of embarrassing when they fuck that up.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

It's not what I'm crying for, but this speech is what allowed me to cry.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


Well, he won.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Okay, if you don't know who John Hagee is, he's a religious nutjob (no seriously, this is not just me being from Massachusetts) who endorsed John McCain until he said Hitler was doing God's work, at which point John McCain rejected the endorsement (ya think?)

Apparently, Mr. Hagee has been kindly telling us what the Antichrist will be like so we'll know him when we see him. This line just cracked me up:

This "fierce" gay Jew, according to Hagee, would "slaughter one-third of the Earth's population" and "make Adolph Hitler look like a choirboy."

A fierce, gay Jew, huh? Guess he's a New Yorker. He's already probably been seen on a fashion blog (fashion blogs being obvious hotbeds of unnatural tendencies like homosexuality and OMG SHOEZ).