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Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 09:02 AM PST

Blow It Off Till After Christmas

by zeke L

Welcome to the last workweek before the holidays, Kossacks. Many of us will be working right up through Friday, maybe even late, to wrap up some important projects.  Don't bother. You can slack off completely the next two weeks by looking to a paragon of modern management, the leader of the free world himself, George W. Bush.

People have been asking why bush is waiting until January to release his new "plan" for Iraq.  My theory was stalling for more favorable PR timing, a la "You don't release a new product in August."  But now that it's Monday, and Christmas is only a week away, it became much clearer to me.  In most workplaces around the country pretty much nothing is going to get done this week, because for many people a week-long holiday is coming up, and then the end of the year.  January seems like a good time to start things up again, so why bother with wrapping up any loose ends now, at the end of December?

I guarantee that's what your office-mates are thinking.  Just look around.  So if you're still working on something, like a chump, I'll tell you how to take a cue from our president and make your life easier and happier this week...

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Mon Jul 10, 2006 at 08:17 PM PDT

Spot the Rabid Sheep

by zeke L

After reading David Brooks' screed yesterday about the "Liberal Inquisition" we are apparently carrying out against anti-war Democrats, I couldn't help but do a double-take when someone pointed me to two letters which appeared side-by-side in a Connecticut paper today.  

Brooks claims that we're a bunch of rabid sheep, or fodder for loose cannons, or agents for his arch-nemesis, Barbra Streisand, or... I don't know, I can't keep up with all the oxymoronic descriptions of This Thing of Ours that are spewing forth from the Right Wing Hate Noise Machine.

But these two letters - I was almost tempted to black out the names of the candidates to see if you could tell.  They tell the opposite story of the fable Brooks is spinning.

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Thu May 11, 2006 at 04:40 PM PDT

"Joe Lieberman Will Die a Democrat"

by zeke L

cross-posted from My Left Nutmeg on behalf of D for Demsbetta

This the new non-answer answer to the question of whether Joe is planning to do a spoiler run to deny Democrats his Senate seat if he doesn't get his way in August.

All day today I've been hopping mad about the revelation that up to 200 million loyal Americans are being spied on by the NSA as terrorist sympathizers. I thought I'd like to get my Senator's opinion on that.

Then I realized I hadn't asked him directly about his threat to run as an Independent, something which concerns me greatly right now as a convention delegate.

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Tue Dec 27, 2005 at 05:26 PM PST

NYT: Fit To Wrap Red Herrings

by zeke L

No conspiracies here, but I do want to take a look at how the New York Times' standards have seriously eroded recently.

And since we're talking about rational discourse, I'm picking a piece from their Op-Ed page today that illustrates one of the classic logical fallacies: the red herring.

SHORTLY after the Sept. 11 attacks, President Bush ordered surveillance of international telephone communications by suspected members of Al Qaeda overseas, even if such calls also involved individuals within the United States... Judicial warrants for this surveillance were neither sought nor obtained... The program's existence has now become public, and howls of outrage have ensued. But in fact, the only thing outrageous about this policy is the outrage itself.

The president has the constitutional authority to acquire foreign intelligence without a warrant or any other type of judicial blessing. The courts have acknowledged this authority, and numerous administrations, both Republican and Democrat, have espoused the same view.

Did you spot the red herring?

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Sun Dec 25, 2005 at 02:49 PM PST

IMPEACHment Carols & Guerilla Good Deeds

by zeke L

Merry Christmas, Kossacks!  If you've already opened your presents, visited friends and family and eaten Christmas dinner, and now you're wondering what to do with yourselves for the next week or so, we've got a fun and exciting little campaign for you to join.

And even if you're not celebrating Christmas today, it's something you can do on the way to the annual Chinese-food-and-movie observance.  In fact it's a great thing to do at the Chinese restaurant, or the movie theater, or the Native American Casino for that matter.

Because whether you're eating Christmas turkey or Peking Duck, we all know that there's a certain President whose goose needs to be cooked for his continued antipathy toward American values.

All I'm asking is that you spread the word.  And that word is IMPEACH

(impeachment carols and saint nicholas tie-in on the flip)

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Thu Oct 27, 2005 at 06:31 AM PDT

A Fitzmas Fable

by zeke L

music and readings from the gospel according to zeke
♩We wish you a Merry Fitzmas,
We wish you a Merry Fitzmas,
We wish you a Merry Fitzmas,
And a froggy perp-march!♪

In those days a decree went out from C-Plus Augustus that all Iraq should be disarmed by force.  This was in the September before the first midterm, when Ari Fleischer was still Press Secretary, because one does not launch a new product in August.  All Washington bowed down, and Iraq was invaded, yet no WMD were found.  And Joseph Wilson went unto the New York Times, telling of his trip to Niger in Africa, because he had evidence that the president's claim of uranium from Africa was bunk.  Yet he did not mention his wife Valerie's involvement, for she was undercover and hidden.  Once Joseph went public her cover was treacherously blown, endangering her life. The time came around for the CIA to be furious, and they delivered a request for an investigation.  And this gave rise to a case, and Joseph and Valerie laid their faith in Fitzgerald, for there was no justice for them at the White House.

...the lesson continues...

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Thu Oct 13, 2005 at 05:51 PM PDT

Fisking Richard Cohen

by zeke L

Somebody needs to dissect Cohen's dumbass column in detail, so here goes.
The best thing Patrick Fitzgerald could do for his country is get out of Washington, return to Chicago and prosecute some real criminals.
Perhaps if by for his country Cohen actually means for George W. Bush and the GOP this sentence makes sense.  There are plenty of people - well, freepers mostly - who think in this pre-rational manner.  I thought that perhaps if I made that small substitution, the rest of the column  might make some kind of wacked-out sense.

I was wrong.  It only gets stupider.

As it is, all he has done so far is send Judith Miller of the New York Times to jail and repeatedly haul this or that administration high official before a grand jury, investigating a crime that probably wasn't one in the first place...
Probably wasn't a crime? Oh, I can feel a good rant comin' on already.  But I'll save that one for last.  Let's let Dick finish his sentence, shall we?
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Transcript of Bush's speech today.

Our "amplified" version includes the president's stray thoughts as he made this historic address.

Since the day President Ronald Reagan set out the vision for this endowment, the world has seen the swiftest advance of democratic institutions in history. And Americans are proud to have played our role in this great story.
Note the past tense. Heh.

Our nation stood guard on tense borders. We spoke for the rights of dissidents and the hopes of exiles. We aided the rise of new democracies on the ruins of tyranny.
Then, because of the law of conservation of tyranny, we selflessly imported that tyranny to our nation on December 12th, 2000, giving up democracy that other nations might be free... or something.
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Mon Oct 03, 2005 at 05:29 PM PDT

actions speak louder than words

by zeke L

for most americans, talk is cheap.  and when it comes to politicians, nearly completely worthless.

so honing "the message" if we ever figure out what it is, doesn't get us very far.  and showing "spine" when it's merely talk or even voting choices we know won't prevail doesn't do a whole lot except for activists and political junkies.

the reason americans aren't switching over to trusting us in droves as they wake up the the stench of corruption from the right is simple:  they don't trust us either.

the only way to fix that is to start doing things...

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Let's go to CNN's Wolf Blitzer, live in the Habituation Room...

WOLF: In a stunning development here in Washington, President Bush has just announced that he will be assuming command of the entire executive branch of the federal government. Here's the announcement, just minutes ago.

BUSH: My decision earlier today to assume limited responsibility for possible oversights in the federal disaster of Hurricane Katrina - any possible federal response to the hurricane - has been proven enormously effective.  And so we've decided to do more for the people of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast.

See, you have all these agencies and departments running around here in Washington, with their bureaucracies and career professionals and stuff.  What is really needed in this time of crisis is someone to exercise authority over all these different agencies.

To the extent that more could be done to cordurate- coordinate the activities of all the many agencies and cabinet departments, I am taking command of the functions of the exacta- the executive branch, exect- effective immediately.

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Sun Sep 11, 2005 at 07:56 PM PDT

Brothers and Sisters: A Lamentation

by zeke L

A cry for help, from the shackles of empire

LORD your people perish down in Egypt
In the land of the mighty river
The priests and princes of the land
Cared nothing for the poor who served them
When the river rose and consumed the weak
The poor were made food for dogs
Leviathan feasted on their flesh
Ransom your people from Egypt
o LORD hear our cry
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Tomorrow morning at 8:46 AM EDT there will be a national moment of silence to commemorate 9/11.  I would like to propose that we hijack it.

Not in any vocal way, but to God.

Last year a number of us agreed to pray at the same time before the Bush-Kerry debates, and we did just that (hey, Kerry kicked Bush's ass in the debates if you've forgotten).

I'd like to ask that anyone here of any religious background open ourselves in prayer tomorrow morning at that time.  We can do that by observing a moment of inner silence where we commune with God.  Christians call this "centering prayer" while other traditions have other names for it.  Even non-theists practice this form of prayer, or meditation.

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