Kerry: He Might be on that Interweb Thingy

CathyI get a lot of funny things via email, but nothing made me laugh as good as this lauding of Cathy Weigel by the Kerry campaign for being their one millionth person to sign up for the campaign online.

First, a quote to demonstrate just how clued in she is: “She had read that we were trying to catch up to the Bush-Cheney fundraising machine and thought, ‘they should put up a web site.'” She managed to find the website after deducing that the .com at the end didn’t mean communist.

Now, of all the pictures they could have taken of her to show just how techno-savvy the Democrat crowd is, they pick the one where she’s chatting on the phone. Way to be on the cutting edge Kerry, she looks like one of my grandmother’s friends yakking it up about the latest episode of Young and the Restless.

Later in the email, to show that Kerry is a person of the people, he called her up and had this conversation:

John Kerry: Well, don’t be nervous at all, congratulations to you.

Cathy Weigel: Well, thank you very much!

John Kerry: It’s a huge thing, number one million. [ed note: Wonkette would probably agree on the huge part]

Cathy Weigel: I didn’t have any idea! They called me last night and told me. Somebody here asked me if one of those things had popped up on my computer screen that said “You’re the millionth customer,” but I didn’t have that so I had no idea.

Customer? Good to see that the Kerry campaign is learning from the Bush campaign, even if it’s only stealing their terminology.

One Millionth Online Supporter! [John Kerry Blog]

( -)-(- )Comments Off

Abu Ghraib: Crackdown on Whistleblower

Samuel Provence was one of the first to step forward and tell all about the abuses at Abu Ghraib, now he and others are being stripped of their security clearances and “flagged” — he cannot receive honours, awards or seek promotion until the status is removed — by the military. He says he is being made an example of by those who would rather continue to cover-up the scandal than correct the matter. The Daily Telegraph reports, in “Iraq abuse insider disciplined”:

“My soldiers who were at Abu Ghraib are so scared now they’re not even talking to me any more – I’m like a villain, but would I do it again? Of course I would, because I stand behind what I said,” Provance said in a telephone interview from Heidelberg, Germany, where his military intelligence unit is based.

“I knew what was being reported was not true.”

“Iraq abuse insider disciplined” [Daily Telegraph]

see more…

( -)-(- )Comments Off

Grumblings from the GOP

McCain thumbs upThe Washington Post covers the Republicans’ growing ire with the Bush administration policies in the article “For Republicans, a House (And Senate) Divided”:

“In other words, everyone exhibited classic Republican behavior. They showed a spirit of decorum that was once embodied by Ronald Reagan’s ’11th Commandment,’ which stated, ‘Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican.'”

“Recent days, however, have brought a free-for-all of GOP violations to their commandment. It got to a point where Bush visited Capitol Hill on Thursday for an intervention. But the president isn’t immune. His poll numbers are dipping, as is support for his increasingly dicey foray into Iraq. Conservative pundits George Will and Robert Novak, among others, have sharply criticized Bush’s spending, growing deficit and the mounting casualties abroad. Novak, in a column this week, cited a poll in which 20 percent of Republicans said they are not committed to voting for Bush.”

It looks like the air is quickly deflating out of the Bush political balloon. I’m also beginning to see that Colin Powell is the only one in this administration who had the foresight to see that this whole thing would eventually fall apart when he announced in early 2002 that he would not stay with Bush if there was a second term. Hmmm, wasn’t that around the same time that memos were flying around warning the president of possible legal liabilities in bypassing Geneva Conventions?

For Republicans, a House (And Senate) Divided [Washington Post]

( -)-(- )Comments Off

Govt Translation: “Rezedents Rights & Rispansabilities”

The Memory Hole has a hilarious fresh catch with this HUD (Housing and Urban Development) brochure that was being distributed in nine languages, including a bastardized English-Creole, intended for Haitian immigrants:

Rezedents Cover
Rezedents Grafs

Complaints from Haitians to government soon followed. Some said they didn’t understand the brochure, others asked if the translation was a racial joke.

The problem with the brochure stemmed from a lack of HUD communication, who “never specified to the government printer that a French-Creole translation, common to Haiti, is what the department needed. Instead the brochure was translated by Cosmos into English-Creole, a patois common to Jamaica.”

pulped document: “Rezedents Rights & Rispansabilities” [The Memory Hole]

( -)-(- )Comments Off

Bush Job Approval: 41% and Falling

From this graph, one would be hard-pressed to find a political strategy to boost Bush’s ratings, save for a disaster or a war. And we’re all warred out.

Bush approval history

Who’s taking wagers on a terrorist attack in October? I’ll give 3-to-1 odds that something in America goes boom in the run-up to the election.

Historical Bush Approval Ratings [UMN Dept. History]
Poll: Iraq Taking Toll On Bush [CBS News]

( -)-(- )1 comment

Say Hello to the New Plan: Same as the Old Plan

I wanted to do a complete rundown on the speech given tonight, but I’m going to be snobby like the networks and snub it. You may have seen it, but chances are, you probably missed it because the network media (CBS, NBC, ABC) snubbed the speech in favor of sweeps week. I don’t blame them; Why play a broken record that everyone knows is spinning the Republican rah-rah tune when network advertisers are trying to hawk their wares during breaks of Fear Factor?

First, Bush was wearing enough make-up on his chin and nose to make Zha-Zha cringe, yet they totally left a large spot untouched above his eyebrow. Is someone trying to tell us something? Like maybe he injured himself between make-up and walking on the stage? Couple this with the strange hypno-tie from Bush’s previous press conference, and you have to wonder if there’s not a concerted effort to make people focus on him instead of the speech.

Bush Magic Healing

Second item on the strange sightings list was that the press release with the text of the speech originally said “Arm You War College”, instead of “Army War College”. I’m sure it’s just a freudian typo, the kind you slip in when you’re talking about places like Iraq. Hey first we “arm you” then we “disarm you” (and then arm you again in the name of democracy), but you have to go to the “Arm You War College” to know these things.

Arm You War College

By the way, did you notice that former Secretary of State James Baker (currently with Carlyle Group) is working the loan deals and getting old loans forgiven while working the new ones? Anyone wanna guess who holds the deed to future Iraq revenues? (hint: it’s not the American people or the Iraqi people).

President Outlines Steps to Help Iraq Achieve Democracy and Freedom [White House]
The Big 3 Silence Bush [AngryFinger]

( -)-(- )1 comment

Drudge Misqoutes Hunter S. Thompson?

Normally, I’m not one to pick on Drudge for spicing up his headlines, but when one is as completely wrong as this one, I have to take notice and bring people’s attention to it. The headline (and link) in question is: “HUNTER S. THOMPSON: Not even the foulest atrocities of Adolf Hitler ever shocked me so badly as these [Abu Ghraib] photographs…”

Now, go search the page that’s linked… you’ll find that there’s no mention of Hitler at all! Now, my initial thought was that it could be in reference to an article he wrote for the June 2004 issue of Vanity Fair, but a quick search revealed that the focus of that article is Lisl Auman’s ongoing tribulations with the Denver police.

So I decided to go check the Drudge Archives to see just what was going on (since I get my feed via RSS which is about an hour late sometimes). I was browsed the Drudge Archives trying to find a direct link to point out the quote and I found this timeline to be interesting (all times are GST) from this page:

22:10:01“HUNTER S. THOMPSON: Not even the foulest atrocities of Adolf Hitler ever shocked me so badly as these [Abu Ghraib] photographs…”

22:44:02 – link and all mention is GONE!

22:52:02 – ESPN SCRUBS HUNTER S. THOMPSON’S BUSH BASH… DEVELOPING…

23:02:02 – ESPN SCRUBS HUNTER S. THOMPSON’S BUSH BASH… DEVELOPING…

23:12:02ESPN SCRUBS HUNTER S. THOMPSON’S BUSH BASH…

So he now claims that the editors are changing Thompson’s article because “‘Hunter can go too far sometimes,’ the Bristol-based ESPN employee told the DRUDGE REPORT.”. Notice the lack of names of sources, it’s usually a sign of dubious authenticity (especially with Drudge), on a matter that would draw the ire of someone like Hunter S. Thompson, this looks like a slam-dunk. Now, being a bit unobjective on Hunter S. Thompson (I have him linked on the sidebar and read his column every week), I can honestly say that I do not remember any mention of Hitler last week because I would have linked to it and quoted it myself (HA!). But I think this is going to morph into a very interesting story, because if the allegation of editors changing Thompson’s writing is true, he’s going to go apeshit and make sure it’s changed back. I also don’t see how it could be construed as a Bush bash, but since Drudge has a way of spicing up his headlines, (as Hunter would say:) Selah!

I’ll be keeping my eye on this one.

UPDATE: It’s true, he did say/write it! Okay, now let’s see how fast he bitchslaps the people at ESPN for changing his article. For the record: I agree with Thompson, lambast me if you like, but the man knows his politics.

Let’s go to the Olympics! [ESPN - Hey Rube!]
Drudge Report Archives (May 24, 2004)
ESPN SCRUBS HUNTER S. THOMPSON BUSH BASH [Drudge Report News Flash]
Hunter T. Seeks Justice for Lisl Auman [TalkLeft]

( -)-(- )2 comments

Doonesbury “Beheading” Comic: Now Available

doonesbury beheadingWell, yesterday was May 23rd — a Sunday — which meant that the Doonesbury cartoon featuring a beheading was run. It’s completely out of context with the Nick Berg beheading, which is not surprising when you read the explanation:

Question) Isn’t this week’s Sunday section out of sequence — not to mention inappropriate?
— C. Pulver, Hartford, CT

Answer) Yes. Due to boneheaded creator scheduling, this week’s Sunday section appears before B.D.’s arrival at Walter Reed Hospital (the facility referred to in the strip), and while he’s still at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany.

As to the unfortunate coincidence of the last panel’s artwork (drawn in April) with the recent grisly tragedy in Iraq, Trudeau shares your chagrin: “Most Sunday sections are prepared five to six weeks in advance, and today’s strip was unfortunately overtaken by events. To ‘hand someone his head’ is a common expression, not normally associated with actual violence. I regret the poor timing, and apologize to anyone who was offended by an image that is now clearly inappropriate.”

Those newspapers around the country who print their Sunday sections late were offered a substitute strip.

Still, there will probably be some pundits who will pounce on the cartoon. Well, lo’ and behold, that theory isn’t too far off.

see more…

( -)-(- )Comments Off

Memo Shows Hypocrisy on International Law

Newsweek has obtained a memo — this time from the Justice Department — which explicity outlines that international doesn’t apply to the U.S. because it’s not applicable under federal law. A rather circuitous way of avoiding the rule international law is exposed in the article “Double Standards?”:

Kenneth Roth, the executive director of Human Rights Watch, who has examined the memo, described it as a “maliciously ideological or deceptive” document that simply ignored U.S. obligations under multiple international agreements. “You can’t pick or choose what laws you’re going to follow,” said Roth. “These political lawyers set the nation on a course that permitted the abusive interrogation techniques” that have been recently disclosed.

This is the kind of stuff that led to Abu Ghraib, they set one standard for the U.S. based on federal laws, and expect the rest of the world to follow international law; Namely, the Geneva Conventions. Remember when the soldiers at the beginning of the war were taken prisoner and put on TV? No one cited U.S. federal law at that time as a basis for humane treatment, it was all about Geneva Conventions being violated.

Double Standards? [Newsweek]

Related Entries:
2002 White House Memo Outlined “War Crime” Fears
Torture Roundup: Rumsfeld knew; Bush Sidestepped Geneva; Libelous Backlash

( -)-(- )Comments Off

Fred Barnes: “Moore is a liar [and a Doody-Head]“

Fred Barnes has written an article to directly confront Michael Moore on an interview that Barnes said never took place:

“Fred,” he quoted himself as saying, “tell me what The Iliad and The Odyssey are.” I started “hemming and hawing,” Moore wrote. And then I said, according to Moore: “Well, they’re . . . uh . . . you know . . . uh . . . okay, fine, you got me–I don’t know what they’re about. Happy now?” He’d smoked me out as a fraud, or maybe worse.

[...]

One, I’ve never met Moore or even talked to him on the phone. And, two, I read both The Iliad and The Odyssey in my first year at the University of Virginia. Just for the record, I’d learned what they were about even before college.

I can honestly say I’ve never seen a Moore film or bought one of his books, but I have read some of his articles. My personal belief is that he’s an extremely left-wing polemic who is interested more in making a name for himself and verbally flaying his opponents than actually doing anything about the issues he sputs on. To be fair though, he represents the antithesis of those on the right-wing (Fred Barnes is relevant example) who act in the same manner, not that either is worth embracing.

Both of these guys spew venom, and I know I speak for a lot of people when I say that the polarization of this country is due to the personal vendettas of men like these two. They have these ideologies which they hijack in order to slander and libel anyone who disagrees with them, and then they say that the other guy hates America because he’s wrong. How about they get a clue and realize that we don’t need them, and the only people taking them serious anymore are in dire need of psychiatric help to de-program them.

Frankly, I think Barnes and Moore should have a televised grudge match to the death. Then, when one of them rises victorious (covered in blood and badly wounded, perhaps an eyeball protruting from it’s socket), the floor should open up and drop them into a room where the Declaration of Independence is read at 10,000 decibels, forcing their head to explode. Voila, problem solved!

Michael Moore and Me [Weekly Standard]

( -)-(- )Comments Off

Libertarians Nip at Bush’s Heels

CBS is running the article “Bush’s Third-Party Threat”. It contends that the Libertarian party — whose forefront candidates include Gary Nolan and Aaron Russo — are poised to take a large base of votes from Bush in November:

Libertarians will be on at least 49 state ballots, several more than the most optimistic expectations of Nader. While Democrats rally around their nominee, the base of the Republican Party is showing some signs of fragmentation.

“I think [the Bush campaign] should be concerned. I don’t know how concerned,” said Don Devine, vice chairman of the American Conservative Union and a longtime GOP insider. “They need to work on it and I think they know they need to work on it.”

The funny thing about the article is that both Russo and Nolan are linking to this. Since so little press is geared towards Libertarian candidates, they form loose alliances before the primaries (this weekend in Atlanta).

Bush’s Third-Party Threat [CBS]

Related Entries:
Kos’s Libertarian Acknowledgement

( -)-(- )Comments Off

Bush Falls off Bike: Chance for Introspective

Bush took a spill from his bicycle while riding the 16th of a 17-mile trek around his Crawford ranch (there’s an obvious “last mile” joke here, but I’ll pass). He was reported to be okay, but had some cuts on his hands, knees, chin and nose (quite a battle with the ground I’d say). I wanted to point out to everyone that in the political game of humor, no one gets a free pass and Kerry also fell off his bike a month or so ago.

Here’s a sampling of a thread from Free Republic that had observations on Kerry’s spill while riding in Boston, you may notice that some of the jokes are interchangeable:

“If this Kerry the Klutz gets elected in November, it may finally get Gerald Ford off the hook.”

“No sooner had the bike fallen over than it stood back up again only to fall over on its other side. This move was repeated several times after which the senator denied any of it had actually happened.”

“AP is reporting that Kerry has just put himself up for an unprecedented fourth purple heart from injuries related to the fall.”

“He’s O.K. He landed on his head.”

It’s funny because Bush also landed on his head.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot to give props to AngryFinger for the heads up and all that, he has a great pictorial of all of Bush’s falls (the idea he attributed to me, but whatever… I mean thanks) and asks: “In the last ten years, let alone two, can you remember having a fall that resulted in a face plant? Not once but twice?”

Bush Suffers Cuts, Bruises While Biking [AP]
Kerry Falls from his $5K Euro-Bike During Photo-Op [Free Republic]
George W. Bush: A Brief Pictorial [AngryFinger]

( -)-(- )Comments Off

Comments or No? (Have a Good Weekend)

I’m considering turning comments back on for all future items… what do you folks think? Good thing? Bad thing? Don’t really care?

This is also the last entry of the day, so have a good weekend (I don’t do any politics on the weekend if you haven’t noticed).

UPDATE: Upgraded the software to WordPress 1.2 over the weekend.

( -)-(- )2 comments

Fresh Calls for War-Crime Exemption from U.S.

The Bush administration must be getting pretty jittery about the photos and video that just keeps on streaming out of the press, because it went out and sought an exemption on the 1-year exclusion from the war-crime tribunal. The Desert Sun reports “U.S. seeks new exemption from war-crimes tribunal”:

Richard Grenell, spokesman for the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, said that the U.S. concern about the court “in no way reflects any lack of determination to ensure that perpetrators of crimes are fully prosecuted.”

“We feel that this court lacks sufficient democratic safeguards that would prevent politicized investigations and prosecutions,” he said.

Which is kinda funny when you consider that they have no problem sending Saddam to the very same U.N. tribunal for torturing and killing Iraqis in um… Abu Ghraib (oops, I mean… Camp Redemption). I mean, it’s different right? Here is a bad guy who was torturing his people and needs to be punished, and we’re America (`nuff said, right?).

So, when the rest of the world calls us a hypocrite, now you realize why they are justified.

U.S. seeks new exemption from war-crimes tribunal [Desert Sun]
Saddam to face war crimes tribunal [CNN]

Related Entries:
2002 White House Memo Outlined “War Crime” Fears

( -)-(- )Comments Off

Something in Gas Fouling Fuel Sensors

Apparently there’s some junk in the gas these days that is causing fuel sensors — the one that tells you how much gas you have left — to burn out and become inaccurate. It has also caused a few fuel pumps to die prematurely. The Courier Journal has the whole story in “Hundreds left stranded after fuel-gauge failures”:

In Louisville, AAA received 174 out-of-gas calls from stranded drivers from May 7 through May 13, Boyd said. It typically gets about 60 calls in a week.

Boyd said more than 200 motorists have called the club to tell them about their fuel-sensor problems.

Unfortunately, they are only investigating a single gas station, it may be the link between all of the reports, but I’d put money that there is an additive that is more corrosive to sensors than previous gasolines and it’s more convenient to blame it on a station contamination. To be on the safe side, you should know at what milage to gas up your car instead of waiting for the indicator to come on.

Hundreds left stranded after fuel-gauge failures [Courier Journal]

( -)-(- )Comments Off

Reuters Stands by Abused Staffers

Editor & Publisher has an update on the story of the three Reuters staffers who were held at Abu Ghraib, including a detailed timeline of their imprisonment. Reuters is not backing down and indeed seems to be ratcheting it up a notch since the Army dismissed the staffers as “not credible”.

Not surpisingly, the Washington Times is trying to dismiss the abuse scandal entirely — going so far as to say that “the story has run its course” — by attacking the never-made claim that they were “journalists”. Instead, it noted that they are “two Iraqi cameramen and a driver under contract”.

It’s absolutely true, but does it make it right to abuse them and then sweep it under the rug?

What’s truly humorous about the WashTimes piece is that it tries to deflect the entire event as bias. Hey, look over here where they are throwing flowers at us. Look how nice our troops are to the Iraqis when they aren’t being ordered to put glow-sticks up thier ass!

Reuters Stands by Iraq Abuse Reports, Releases Timeline on Incident [Editor & Publisher]
Press can’t let abuse story go [Washington Times]

Related Entries:
Reuters Staff Abuse: Swept Under Rug!
Shocking Details on Abuse of Reuters Staffers in Iraq
Reuters, NBC Staff Abused by U.S. Troops in Iraq

( -)-(- )Comments Off

Visual of Abu Ghraib Chain of Command

Because everyone appreciates a good visual analysis of things, uggabugga has created an infographic of the Chain of Command from Abu Ghraib all the way up to the President. As he explains the graphic: “the key elements from Seymour Hersh’s most recent report in the New Yorker, Chain of Command“. The graphic is about a week old and Hersh has released a newer article since then. (click image for larger view at uggabugga):

[via BagNewsNotes]

( -)-(- )Comments Off

New Images/Video Emerge in Abu Ghraib Scandal

The Washington Post has posted newly released images as well as a video of Iraqis being hit and humiliated. They have also released new details in the article “New Details of Prison Abuse Emerge”:

“They forced us to walk like dogs on our hands and knees,” said Hiadar Sabar Abed Miktub al-Aboodi, detainee No. 13077. “And we had to bark like a dog, and if we didn’t do that they started hitting us hard on our face and chest with no mercy. After that, they took us to our cells, took the mattresses out and dropped water on the floor and they made us sleep on our stomachs on the floor with the bags on our head and they took pictures of everything.”

[...]

“Do you believe in anything?” he said the soldier asked. “I said to him, ‘I believe in Allah.’ So he said, ‘But I believe in torture and I will torture you.’ “

All I can say is: “Superb Job”.

( -)-(- )Comments Off

Reuters Staff Abuse: Swept Under Rug!

Wow, the Army must have some gigantic brass balls to be able to blanket deny that three Reuters staff members were abused at Abu Ghraib. On the claims of “being continuously hit”, having “a shoe stuck in their mouth” and being forced to “stick a finger in their anus and then lick it or smell it”, the response is just staggering in it’s dismissal: “Their allegations on these points are not credible.”

Not credible?!? What the hell are they smoking in this investigation? Did they miss the part where our troops are taking pictures of prisoners who are forced to masturbate and perform fellatio?

No, instead of admitting there’s a problem, apparently the best solution is to completely deny that there’s a problem. But oh, let’s send those same “paratroopers accused of beating, taunting and humiliating journalists” off to a refresher course where they will learn that you are not supposed to make a prisoner stick his finger up his ass and lick it!

Seriously, who is passing out the giant brass balls award this year? Because I think we have some nominees.

U.S.: Troops cleared of abusing reporters [The State]

see more…

( -)-(- )Comments Off

A Bit Offtopic: The VanDyke File

Just a little bit of news about what’s going on with me (yeah, you try mixing ems and me while you’re drunk):

  • My infographic “How News Travels on the Internet” is being translated and reprinted in an article for the Icelandic version of “PC World” magazine (incidentally, it has already been done in Chinese). I was not offered any money for it, however I am pretty sure the Iceland tax is like 60% so who cares. He said I would get a copy of the magazine, so I’ll definitely scan it and put it up. I’m sure there’s a bork bork joke waiting to be done.
  • Over 1000 visits yesterday. It’s mostly Nick Berg search engine traffic and it doesn’t seem to be even close to levelling off yet. If I were to get that kind of traffic reliably, I’d post even more than I do now (because I’d hire hot interns for pennies to do it). So tell your friends about the site if you want to help it grow. The site isn’t pro-Democrat or pro-Libertarian or pro-Republican, it’s just focused on dissecting the news for the truth and presenting it in context.
  • A guy from New York Mag called me for an interview regarding the elections. Can’t go into details now since I want him to have his scoop, but hopefully he’ll send me a copy of it when it comes out. I really suck at keeping secrets, ya know?
  • I’m supposed to be a correspondent for WatchBlog at the Libertarian Party Convention here in Atlanta over Memorial Day weekend. However I’m getting a bit of the cold shoulder treatment from them on getting my press credentials. You would think that the Libertarian Party would jump all over the opportunity after the Democratic Convention handed out credentials to “bloggers” and alternative media. It could be a mix-up, but if it’s a premeditated move to block independent journalists, they’ll get more bad press than a Michael Jackson day care center.

That’s it, enough of the boring crap, I now return you to the crazy shit that is happening in political news.

You know, great stuff like how this administration seems to be completely unravelling, with everyone bailing out and indignant finger-pointing becoming the norm as the media feeding-frenzy comes to a head. I don’t see how Bush plans on getting re-elected if he keeps stomping down this path of self-destruction and congratulationing everyone who completely screws things up. “Superb Job” indeed.

( -)-(- )Comments Off

2002 White House Memo Outlined “War Crime” Fears

Joe Stump passed along this article on a White House memo from January 2002:

In it, top White House lawyer to the president Alberto Gonzales warned that the handling of prisoners could cause the White House staff itself to be indicted for war crimes under a 1996 U.S. law which removed protective barriers. It also warned that methods being used to interrogate prisoners and detainees would indeed violate Geneva Conventions and complicity from the White House would allow an international tribunal to indict George Bush himself. Newsweek has the full story in “Memos Reveal War Crimes Warnings”:

Noting that the law applies to “U.S. officials” and that punishments for violators “include the death penalty,” Gonzales told Bush that “it was difficult to predict with confidence” how Justice Department prosecutors might apply the law in the future.

[...]

“The implication was that a new president would come into office and start potential prosecutions of a bunch of ex-Bush officials,”

Memos Reveal War Crimes Warnings [MSNBC/Newsweek]

( -)-(- )Comments Off

Kaufman Hoax Confirmed by Snopes

The story has been officially debunked by Snopes, the “Kaufman Returns” saga is unraveling. My sources say that it’s not even Zmuda behind the hoax this time, but instead is someone who is still anonymous. Regardless, it seems like it will get a little more play through the weekend as curious viewers slowly come to realize that yes, Andy is still dead (after all, he’s already missed the May 16 deadline).

So what’s left after the party is over and Kaufman fans shake their angry fists at a hoaxer who dashed their hopes? Cashing in on t-shirts and merchandising of course:

Related Entries:
“Andy Kaufman Returns” is Hoax

( -)-(- )Comments Off

Chalabi Out; House Raided

Ahmad Chalabi has been on the slide for the past week, and this administration is distancing itself from this man who may take the fall for much of the bogus information that was vetted prior to the invasion.

To start off, funding from the U.S. of $335,000-per-month was cut-off earlier this week.

Not content with that, they went and raided his house and were looking for 15 suspects who were wanted for fraud, kidnapping and “associated matters.” Several people were arrested — Chalabi was apparently not a suspect — but take a look at his company if you want to judge his character.

It gets better though, American Dynamics has the backstory on Chalabi, and he’s no stranger to fraudsters and huckers: “Back in the 90’s Chalabi had quite a run. He ran away from Jordan and was convicted in absentia of massive bank fraud. But defrauding Jordan is small time, Chalabi soon moved his operation to DC. First he worked on the CIA and State Department, selling them bullshit ‘intelligence’ out of Iraq while siphoning funds for more operations.” The CIA eventually wised up to his deceptions and kicked him out.

But round two starts just as his career as a huckster is on the downhill. He approached Cheney and sold them on the idea that he could take the reins of Iraq for them after an invasion. The administration bought into this fantasy so much that they believed damn near every lie he told them — grandiose claims of WMD programs and dreams of flowers and parades on our arrival — to the point that they flew him in right after the invasion and expected him to pick up and become the defacto new leader of Iraq. Sad thing is, everyone in Iraq seems to know what a sham this guy is.

The fact is, once he flew in, he became another two-bit thug in Iraq, except he was milking the American payroll the entire time. He established his own war-lord mansion and lifestyle and set about consorting with thugs and kidnappers (later hiring and housing them), fueling the growing chaos and hatred on our dime. What’s worse, we let him raid the troves of Baath documents, effectively sponsoring his black-mail and revenge operations.

I say good riddance to this guy (and we should have arrested him, not just his cohorts); Someone get an investigation going on the Whitehouse for letting this fraudster pillage our goodwill with the Iraqi people and wasting our time and money.

Iraqi group linked to questionable intelligence loses U.S. funding [Mercury News]
GIs, Iraq Police Raid Home of Former Ally [AP]
Baghdad DC, A Soap Opera [American Dynamics]
Chalabi: A Questionable Use of U.S. Funding [MSNBC]
Secret Baath files may help Chalabi settle old scores [SMH]

( -)-(- )Comments Off