Sunday, May 31, 2009


If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
– Kipling (of course). 

Top officials from the Bush administration have hit upon a revealing new theme as they retrospectively justify their national security policies. Call it the White House 9/11 trauma defense. 

Being in over their heads is probably not a good excuse for the crimes of the Bush gang. Can you plead incompetence which is what WH 9/11 trauma defense sounds like?  

Cheney's admission that 9/11 caused him to reassess the threats to the nation only underscores how, for months, top officials had ignored warnings from the CIA and the NSC staff that urgent action was needed to preempt a major al-Qaeda attack.

Let this never be forgotten, along with:

Shortly after the second World Trade Center tower was hit, I burst in on Rice (then the president's national security adviser) and Cheney in the vice president's  office and remember glimpsing horror on his face. 

And you guys wanted us to think you were the second coming of Churchill.

The Bush administration's response actually undermined the principles and values America has always stood for in the world, values that should have survived this traumatic event.

Al-Qaeda did not defeat the American people, only the little men in the White House who had no trust in American values of law and justice.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Abu Ghraib, Part Deux

Now that everyone’s appetite has been whetted by the original pg-13 photos from Abu Ghraib comes news of the alleged existence of some slightly more steamy material:

At least one picture shows an American soldier apparently raping a female prisoner while another is said to show a male translator raping a male detainee.

Further photographs are said to depict sexual assaults on prisoners with objects including a truncheon, wire and a phosphorescent tube.

Another apparently shows a female prisoner having her clothing forcibly removed to expose her breasts.

President Obama is there to assure us that these are much ado about nothing, though.

It was thought the images were similar to those leaked five years ago, which showed naked and bloody prisoners being intimidated by dogs, dragged around on a leash, piled into a human pyramid and hooded and attached to wires.

Mr Obama seemed to reinforce that view by adding: “I want to emphasise that these photos that were requested in this case are not particularly sensational, especially when compared to the painful images that we remember from Abu Ghraib.”

Glad to hear they’re not sensational. Sunlight is still the best disinfectant. Might as well get them all out. The sooner, the better.

UPDATE: I put this post up with realization that the Telegraph was not the most reliable news source. There seems to be a lot of back and forth over how sensational these photos are. Leaving the content to people’s imaginations is probably not the way to go, though. Digby:

The pictures are not the lurid images the Telegraph said they were.
Of course, this raises the most important question again (for me at least) which is why anyone thinks the withheld pictures will cause some sort of firestorm if they are actually less incendiary than what we've seen before.

The cover-up is worse than the crime. This remains a truism.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The New Supreme

From Adam Nagourney in the NY Times:

“The G.O. P. has to make a stand,” said Scott Reed, manager of the 1996 presidential campaign of Bob Dole. “This is what the base and social conservatives really care about, and we need to brand her a liberal with some out-of-the-mainstream positions. Forget about cosmetics and ethnic heritage, and focus on her record.”

Nice move by Obama. The GOP has a choice between pissing off their base and tossing away any chance of courting the Hispanic vote for the next few decades. They’ve probably lost that vote already, so what the Hell, filibuster.

As an aside, I have to wonder how Gonzo feels. He coulda been a contenda for the Court, but chose the path of war criminal and is now unemployed. Life sure is funny!

And speaking of funny, apparently Mike Huckabee is under the impression that all Latinas are named Maria.

Beijing Cavaliers?

Did we run out of treasury bills to sell to the Chinese? Well, I for one welcome our new Chinese overlords. And I’m sure Lebron does as well. Nihao!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day 2009


Today is the day in the United States when most of us honor those who have fought in war, for the majority of us who haven’t. These include men such as Colin Powell, Andrew Bacevich and Chuck Hagel. And, so as not to be sexist, it includes women such as Janice Karpinski.

Some however, such as Rush Limbaugh and Donald Douglas, will spend the day devising ways to ensure that these soldiers will no longer be part of the GOP. Let’s not discourage them. No one need sign an oath supporting torture and unnecessary wars in order to be a member of the Democratic party. Let’s encourage the idea of the Republican party being made small enough to be drowned in a bathtub. Maybe Grover Norquist will lend a hand.    

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Beautiful China

This is an awesomely, incredible collection of photos from which I had a difficult time choosing just one.



So, I added another.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Since We’re on the Subject of Daisies

Thought it appropriate to throw on this video for the GOP, in honor of their resurrection of the Lyndon Johnson era daisy ad. Since the Republican party now seems to be mostly in the position of pushing up daisies:


I’ve listened to Mancow a few times and think he’s a total dick. That said, I have to give him credit for going through with this and then admitting that it is torture.

Next up, Liz Cheney and Sean Hannity.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Making 9/11 Truthers Look Sane



Do you get the idea that these people, on January 20th 2017, will still be bitching about the birth certificate, William Ayres and Jeremiah Wright? Not to mention fist bumps, handshakes and God knows what.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

This is Just Too Good

Political or not, I just gotta put this up:

Hat tip to Steve Benen.

Good news, Carl Levin is offering to take the Gitmo prisoners. Here’s hoping the brave folks of Michigan have more faith in corrections officers than the average senator of either party.

Gotta include the John McCain quote:

But McCain said the issue has been muddied by the public perception that the administration would release dangerous prisoners to walk the streets in U.S. neighborhoods. “Whether that’s accurate or inaccurate, that’s the impression that the American people have,” McCain said.

Senator, where do you suppose the public got that perception?

Monday, May 18, 2009

Criminal, Not Political

My aim with this blog was, and continues to be, to avoid the political. I have high hopes for Mr. Obama, but I don't want to be a wide-eyed believer.

That being said, this story which continues to build is not political, it's criminal if true. Actually, I'm not even sure what the defense would be. We know there were no WMD's. We know prisoners were tortured at Gitmo. We know the CIA assessment was that Saddam had no WMD's before the war and they had witnesses to testify to that. It's not hard to infer that "evidence" of al-Qaeda and Iraq connections was tortured out of these prisoners.

"detainees interrogated at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp had revealed that Iraq had trained al Qaida operatives in chemical and biological warfare, an assertion that wasn't true."

"interrogators at Guantanamo and other prison camps were ordered to find evidence of alleged cooperation between al Qaida and the late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein — despite CIA reports that there were only sporadic, insignificant contacts between the militant Islamic group and the secular Iraqi dictatorship."

"two alleged senior al Qaida operatives in CIA custody were waterboarded repeatedly — Abu Zubaydah at least 83 times and Khalid Sheik Mohammed at least 183 times."

"A key proponent of the Iraq invasion and of harsh interrogation methods, Cheney has become the leading defender of such measures"

I have never studied law, beyond business law, but I suspect people have been indicted on less than what has so far been revealed in this episode.

Somehow, the fact that Liz Cheney and the CIA are saying there's nothing to it, doesn't put my mind at ease.

(Liz) Cheney said: "You saw the CIA come out yesterday and say, absolutely, unequivocally, waterboarding was not used to establish this kind of a link."

Fortunately, we have Michael Steele and "a lot of Republicans" calling for a truth commission.

UPDATE: I meant to mention Speaker Pelosi in the original post. Since I just saw it at PolAnimal, I'll say it now. Investigate everyone who should reasonably be investigated.

UPDATE DOS: President Obama is quickly going from the "new JFK" to being the "new LBJ."


Hobbes is absolutely right. This is like having a big white sheet of paper to draw on.

First, I would like to thank Kind and Gentle Truth for the stirring eulogy. It made me almost ashamed to be still alive.

Second, I would ask not to be put on blog lists. I don't expect to add a lot of fresh content here. I, likely, won't be adding you to mine. I have put a link to American Nihilist in my sidebar. Repsac has assembled a blog list there that is second to none.

Third, the explanation for the title of the blog is from the description of Glens Falls, as Hometown USA, by Look magazine in 1944. A bit before my time, but I believe they were saying all you other hometowns aren't quite cutting it. We're number 1! USA! USA!

Fourth, the problem with a fresh, white sheet of paper is deciding what to put on it. I expect it to be mostly a lot of doodling, pretty much like the previous blog.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

It's A Brand New Day

I had three pieces of limestone on my desk, but I was terrified to find that they required to be dusted daily, when the furniture of my mind was all undusted still, and threw them out the window in disgust. –Thoreau (Walden)

This blog is resting on the ashes of Deranged Leftwing Baker. Long live Hometown USA. This blog is to be apolitical. I tried to turn DLB back in that direction. Things get out of control, though. And when they do, a good immolation is in order. Thanks to all those at American Nihilist, Reppy, Truth, Bio and Octo who provided comradeship in the struggle to destroy all that is sacred and good about the United States. Keep up the good fight. If I see the welcome mat out, I’ll try to stop by now and then.

Thanks to Donald Douglas at American Power who provides a stunning example of the psychosis that can infect those who take blogging too seriously and think it actually makes a difference. I don’t want to stick around to see him finally snap. Don’t think it will be pretty.

Special thanks to Repsac for allowing me to be part of the American Nihilist scene for a short while. It was a fun sojourn. I don’t expect to post here much due to terminal laziness. But, maybe now and then.