Tuesday, June 27, 2006


Go read the Poorman's take on, what is, bar none, the most dangerous phenomenon the universe has ever known.

: What is “blogofascism”?

A: Blogofascism is a violent online political philosophy and movement. It is characterized by:

-A cult of personality built around dangerously charismatic 2002 US Spelling Bee quaterfinalist and apple-cheek’ed nerd despot Markos “Kos” Moulitsas;

-A reactionary rejection of all standards of human decency and/or invitations to subscribe to The New Republic;

-Many other terrible qualities, TBD.

Q: Is blogofascism real?

A: Realer than anything you could possibly imagine.

Q: Is there any evidence for this?

A: The evidence is right there on your home computer. Open up Miscrosoft Word, and type “blogofascism”. Note that “blogofascism” - the most dangerous political movement in America, bar none - is not even in the Word dictionary! An oversight? Recall now that Bill Gates announced his intention to step down as head of Microsoft - the world’s most powerful computer company - just as blogofascism - the world’s most dangerous computer cult - has come into its own. Is Gates planning on turning Miscrosoft over to “Khairman Kos”, as part of a dastardly scheme to bundle “Halloween III”-style exploding novelty masks with every install of the long-anticipated “Longhorn” operating system? Connect the dots, people! We went through the looking glass a long time ago. We went through the looking glass, walked around the looking glass world for a while, and then went through a couple of looking glass looking glasses we found in there, and we’ve all been flipped inside out and upside down so many times we don’t know if we can believe anything anymore. What does it all mean? Fucked if we know, but if a chronically tardy bunny in a gold-button’ed waistcoat starts waving weird pills at you, for God’s sake, just say no!

Also, we are in the process of forging some really incriminating emails.

Q: How can I protect myself and my family from blogofascism?

A: Make sure your subscriptions to the New Republic are up-to-date, and make sure that you have at least one subscription for each member of your family, and for each room in your house. Give subscriptions to The New Republic as presents on Christmas, Presidents’ Day, birthdays, and un-birthdays. Make sure all your neighbors also subscribe to The New Republic; if not, sign them up for a free trial subscription and then make sure that the issue that comes with the “please cancel my free trial subscription” card mysteriously never reaches them. We’re not saying you should commit mail fraud, exactly - merely that you should do whatever is necessary to protect your family. Unless your local post office has been infiltrated by blogofascists, they should understand.
Learn. Be vigilant. Survive.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Derbyshire and Iraq (and Iggy et al.)

A week or so back, there was a really good piece on Crooked Timber that I hadn't caught until recently discussing Iraq war opponents and Iraq war supporters.

Among the supporters of war were people like Derbyshire, who wanted to reduce large parts of Iraq for rubble as revenge for the September 11 attacks (the absence of any proof of a direct link being, for many, part of the attraction), believers in the WMD threat who wanted to destroy the WMD threat and leave, militarists like Rumsfeld who wanted to use Iraq as a testing ground and permanent base for a new era of American military dominance, rightwing ideologues who expected to transform Iraq into a bastion of free-market economics and support for Israel, ruled by some pliant type like Chalabi, and “decent” leftists who who saw the invasion as a step towards a secular democracy that would bring the Iraqi left to power. While some of these groups might perhaps have reached a satisfactory accommodation, assuming a military victory, they could not all do so.

Of course, the opponents of war were a similarly disparate group, including isolationists and international realists who regarded it as an unproductive use of US state power, a large group (including most on the moderate left) who thought that the human costs of war would outweigh any benefits, opponents of a unilateral war carried out without UN support, advocates of national sovereignty, non-interference in internal affairs and those opposed to any military action by the US.

The crucial difference is that, while the opponents of war might have disagreed violently about their reasons for their position, these disagreements made no fundamental difference to the policy that they supported. In debates over wars of choice, peace is the status quo, and is a fairly unambiguous concept. (Perhaps not totally unambiguous – if the inspections had been allowed to continue and nothing had been found, differences would no doubt have emerged about what to do next, but peace leaves options like this open whereas war forecloses them).

By contrast, the supporters of the war were giving their support to very different kinds of war and assuming that their own preferred version would be the one that took place. But if they were honest with themselves (as Derbyshire has been, at least retrospectively) they should have looked at their allies and realised that there was no warrant for this assumption. Instead, they committed themselves to war with a whole series of implicit conditions. Many of them, in recanting, have blamed the Bush Administration for not delivering the kind of war they supported, or for mishandling the war in various ways that reflect entirely different assumptions and objectives. But, they had no reason to expect anything different.

The same asymmetry arises in predictions about the war. Opponents of the war variously predicted a military defeat for the US, a long and costly occupation, tens of thousands of civilian casualties, millions of refugees, the emergence of a new dictatorship, civil war on religious and ethnic lines, a stimulus to terrorism and so on. Supporters of the war derided all of these predictions and projected a variety of rosy scenarios including a quick military victory, roses and sweets showered on the liberating troops, and so on. Apart from the initial victory, not many of the optimistic predictions have panned out, but, as war supporters have pointed out, plenty of the anti-war predictions have failed too.

But this is the wrong test, and presumes a symmetry that isn’t there. War is doing harm, and only under very special conditions can it produce enough good to outweigh this. This is the point of what used to be called the Powell doctrine which allowed for discretionary use of force only with near certainty of success at low cost, clear and easily achieved objectives and a well-defined exit strategy.

Looking at the list of antiwar predictions, the realisation of any one of them would be enough to make war the wrong choice. As it is, several of them have been validated, and even some of those that seemed falsified, like the millions of refugees are now coming to pass.
I know I harp on the point made in the last paragraph a lot, but it still deserves to be made: whereas opponents merely needed to show that the war was a bad idea, supporters needed to show not only that the war was a good idea, but that it would be fought in the way--and for the reasons--that they advocated. Of course, they didn't do anything of the sort- they just projected onto Bush and Rumsfeld's little adventure everything they wanted their fantasy war to be.

This is the main reason I have trouble with Ignatieff supporters' talking points on Iraq; because they keep claiming (like most of the "liberal hawks" that supported the war) that the war wasn't fought in the way that they wanted. The question is, did they honestly expect that it would? The architects of the war were Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney and George W. Bush, for God's sake... who in their right mind would think that that trio would care in the slightest about the necessary pre-conditions to build a reasonably liberal and representative democracy in the middle east? They certainly hadn't demonstrated any such competence, nor were they making any plans that demonstrated it. Far from it, they seemed to be living in a fantasy world--one that too many American policymakers seem to live in--where every fight is WWII, and every opponent is Germany and Japan. The whole enterprise was doomed, and one's fantasies about a "perfect war" that were deviated from don't change that.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

The war, over the war

There is a little blogwar going on right now between the New Republic (cheerleaders of war-thirsty "Liberal Hawks" worldwide) and DailyKos, over the charge that, supposedly, Kos accepted money from candidates in exchange for endorsing them on his weblog. This seemed unlikely at best to me, and Max Sawicky does a good job of rebutting TNR's wilder charges.

What struck me, though, is this bit in Sawicky's post:

Sectarianism by the way is not an uncommon trait. You could find the same thing in the Ralph Nader Adoration Society or the College Republicans. One always has hopes for 1) a liberal formation that 2) will transcend such weaknesses. On these counts, the Kos hive is oh for two. But they still don't deserve the fictions being served up.

As I think about it, oddly enough you could make a case that this is really about the war. Huh? After all, on most issues Kos is no big leftist. Mark Warner, for chrissakes. Where he really stands out is on Iraq. Where are the attacks mostly coming from? From supporters of the invasion, the current, disastrous occupation, and whatever military tomfoolery is next on the agenda. I can see Peter Beinart on the barricades now, speaking virtually of course.

I'd say they do not look forward to the positive evolution of the anti-war movement, quite possibly in the direction of a more left, radical critique of what Uncle Sam really wants in U.S. foreign policy.
I can't say I disagree. At this point, is there really anything left of TNR but increasingly-feeble attempts to attack anti-war Democrats? Hell, considering the domestic policies of Howard Dean, was there ever a basis for the DLC's "he's an extremist" argument except their pants-soiling terror that Democrats and Republicans might actually disagree about the utility of Bush's adventure?

Sure, it's not as if TNR is right--the public hasn't exactly rallied around the Republicans over the war, and the Dems are freely attacking the war as vigorously as the "Kossacks" were two years ago--but what else do they have, really?

Maybe it's a Walt and Mearsheimer thing, motivated by the worry that the Dems are going to take their anti-Iraq war position and turn it to advocacy of the Palestinian cause (which seems a little unlikely in this day and age). To be honest, though, it seems less about that and more about this fantasy that by embracing warhawk Democrats that never existed, you can somehow "neutralize" foreign policy. Hasn't worked, doesn't work, won't work, and it's just going to piss off the people that you're ignoring and marginalizing.

Or maybe Kos is right, and they're Republicans too afraid to call themselves that. It's quite possible. Maybe even likely. I think it's more likely, though, that they've been so terrified of the foreign policy issue that they're willing to say or do anything to make themselves appear "strong", not realizing how cowardly and servile they appear to everyone else.

Pity, that.

Intense Curiosity

Not that it matters in the grand scheme of things, but that's the emotion that was prompted by the posting from TDH Strategies' Jonathan Ross discussing why he supports Michael Ignatieff for leader. A juxtaposition:

On March 27, I wrote this as to why Mr. Ignatieff was not one of my favourites:

"...a fundamental disagreement with his stances on the Iraq war and the use of torture," and belief "that a man who has spent the better part of three decades outside of Canada is properly cut out to lead the Liberal party so soon after returning "home."

I resented his description of our country as a "well-meaning, herbivorian boy scout" back in 2002. I hated the fact that he had started to include himself in his pontifications on what it was like to be an American (using words like "we" and "our". I had confusion on his opinions on torture, the United Nations, and Iraq, and accused the candidate of being someone who "flirts with [an] issue masterfully, and yet always leaves himself an exit strategy to negate his critics."
That was him then. This is him now:

Well, like I have stated in the past, my opinions were formed with only a peripheral understanding of the man, and I now know that I didn't have all the necessary information. Because ultimately, despite the fact that I don't agree with all of Ignatieff's positions, I also understand that he is a guy that can step up to the plate and offer Canadians many of the visions that I have spent years promoting on this website.

I like the fact that he is willing to take positions that aren't necessarily popular or easy. If there is one thing that has become very clear to political observers is this country, it is the intense backlash against wishy-washy, "trying to please everyone" types of policies after the Paul Martin era. Why have Stephen Harper's five priorities been well received for the most part? Because a) every Canadian is able to find at least one that they can support b) they are decisive in branding who the government is and what they want to accomplish c) people are ready to be won over by leaders, not appeasers.

Supporting our mission in Afghanistan is the right thing to do, and there is no waivering in Ignatieff's stance, in spite of some Liberals' insistence that we MUST be different than Stephen Harper (how utterly silly that kind of stand alone criteria is). His support for the Iraq war and the ouster of Saddam Hussein is controversial and some might even say dangerous, but completely understandable because of his bond with the Kurdish people.
Now he's reciting Ignatieff-supporter talking points. ("Bond with the Kurdish people"? How does that justify an invasion in 2003, when the Kurds were more autonomous than they had ever been?) I mean, this is bog-standard stuff- no spark of creativity whatsoever. Long-in-tooth and long-rebutted.

But more importantly, get a load of all that "he holds his position without wavering" stuff. Aside from being talking points, doesn't that

a) mean that he still holds the contempt for Canada seen in the earlier quote


b) sound a HELL of a lot like a Republican trying to support George Bush in 2004? Down to the word? For those Canadians who maybe haven't been paying attention, consistency is not necessarily a virtue. Sometimes you make mistakes. Sometimes the situation changes. Sometimes you realize that there's a better option. Leaving aside the wisdom of the deployment in Afghanistan, this is a terrible argument, and it makes me wonder why the hell someone of Ross's seeming intelligence would mention it.

The other rather dim bit? Take a look:

These kinds of positions provide a nice transition into my next point - Micheal Ignatieff has more depth behind his opinions than just about any politician I have encountered over the past decade. In fact, it is that kind of knowledge base and experience which make him the atypical politician - a feather in his cap as far as I am concerned. Like I wrote last month:

"Rather than create a wedge with people, however, Ignatieff's long academic and journalistic careers have given him the uncanny ability to know how to identify with an audience. He was just as comfortable walking into a small room filled with wealthy socialites sympathetic to the plight of Israel as he was speaking to a large, semi-hostile Sunni Muslim audience celebrating Milad-un-Nabi. To say that he has been to mosques in Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan, to recant about trips to Israel, to understand the delicate balance of issues betwen the Israelis and the Palestinians...requires a broad base of experience in which to draw upon. And, Ignatieff has plenty in which to work with."

How refreshing...a candidate that can back up his words with academic credentials, global experience, and the incorporation and consideration of a wide range of opinions.
Ok, let's leave aside the "consideration of a wide range of opinions" (every politician does that to a certain extent, unless they're "holding a position without wavering")... what does having a background in foreign policy have to do with, for instance, knowing about a carbon tax?

Sometimes I think that people think that the "Professor" on Gilligan's Island is an actual true-to-life character, and that knowledge of one field means that you must be an authority on another. This, of course, is nonsense- there are any number of fields that Ignatieff is completely ignorant about, just as there are any number of professors who are completely ignorant about international relations and foreign policy.

Ignatieff's strength is in foreign policy, full stop. On that, he speaks authoritatively, although it's important to remember that someone with a Prof. beside his name is usually dead wrong on some issue in his field, and for every issue there's a Professor that's dead wrong about it. The thing about Ignatieff, though, is that it's precisely on the issue of foreign policy that he's been criticized most deeply and by the most experts in the field, and the "Prof." beside his name doesn't insulate him from those criticisms in the least.

If his foreign policy is a millstone around the neck of the Liberal party, it's a millstone. Full stop.

I also found this interesting:

I am very impressed by Ignatieff's intellectual honesty. This approach is a combination of not treating your audience like idiots, and having the resolve to call a spade a spade without walking on eggshells.
Yes, he's pretty good at "calling a spade a spade without walking on eggshells". So was Archie Bunker.

(Oh wait, that's right...it wasn't spades he was "telling it like it is" about, it was Ukrainians. Just calling a Slav a Slav, I suppose. I wouldn't call that "intellectual honesty", though.)

Me, I'm surprised that any Canadian could read this:

He believes that we cannot continue to live in this bubble of "boyscout diplomacy" and expect the world we live in to magically become safer. He says that a mature and diversified foreign policy must involve risk - a quality that we as Canadians are often so adverse to
...and not feel downright insulted. I guess calling the people you want to lead a mob of delusional children is the kind of diplomatic acumen that Michael Ignatieff brings to the table. Ross says "He is a breath of fresh air". He certainly does smell of something.

So kudos, Jonathan Ross, kudos, for joining the winning team:

Finally, aside from the content behind the candidate, the way I have been treated by the campaign, even in the past 24 hours, has been very impressive. I was welcomed on board by the national campaign director with a phone call yesterday. I have already been asked to make contributions, likely on national policy to begin with. I have had a lot of positive encouragement from so many of the individuals that form the collective core of Ignatieff supporters across the country. It is very nice to feel appreciated.
...and I'm very glad that Ignatieff's e-communications and blogger recruitment team worked so hard to bring you onside.

Judging by the talking points in this post, life is so much easier when you can have your opinions chosen for you.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

In case anybody's wondering

My take on the North Korean missile issue is that it's a tactic, and it's quite likely N.Korea wasn't really intended to fire the thing.

Check out this piece, which describes how Kim Jong-Il is pressing for two-way talks with the United States:

North Korea said in comments published Wednesday that its self-imposed moratorium on testing long-range missiles from 1999 no longer applies because it's not in direct dialogue with Washington, suggesting it would hold off on any launch if the U.S. agreed to new talks.
Now, this isn't necessarily true, but it's certainly an argument that the North Koreans could employ even as all involved understand the real reasons why the missile test was scheduled.

And those real reasons? First, the N.Koreans want to sell the thing abroad, and so it's a demonstration. More importantly, though, they also want the US to think that they're within a hairsbreadth of taking out Los Angeles, so as to goad the US into negotiating a firm "nukes-for-security" agreement that ensures that Kim Jong-Il doesn't suffer the same fate as Saddam Hussein. Since that's the entire point of their having nukes to begin with (who else would they be deterring? China?) there'd be little reason for them to keep the things afterwards.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Wait a Sec...

Is Chuck Schumer seriously going to ignore the Connecticut primary and use Democratic money to support Joe Lieberman's increasingly likely run as an independent?

As Digby so ably points out, why even bother running primaries if you aren't going to abide by them? Does anybody seriously think that they're going to get around the anger in the Democratic base by playing these sorts of games? It goes against the very foundations of American democracy.

(Not quite as much as, say, calling primary voters "Democratic terrorists", but it's pretty goddamned bad.)

Sunday, June 11, 2006

What is THIS Talking-Points-Repeating Joker Doing on Huffington's Site?

I'm all in favor of debate and inclusiveness, but I gotta wonder why, exactly, Ariana even bothered inviting Seth Swirsky onboard when the best he can do it recitation of hoary (and long-discredited) Republican talking points.

Case in point:

I voted for Al Gore in 2000. When he lost, I was disappointed, mostly in my fellow Democrats for thinking that the election had been "stolen" and in having forgotten their American history. The Electoral College has elected three other Presidents in our history: John Quincy Adams in1824, Rutherford B. Hayes in 1876, and Benjamin Harrison in1888. The rush to judgment by the now conspiracy consumed Left put me off. Where, I asked, were all the "disenfranchised" black voters who would have given Gore a victory in Florida? No one could produce a single name. And how exactly were the voting machines in Ohio "rigged" in 2004? I now refer to the Democrats as the Grassy Knoll party.
What's ironic about this is that only a few posts away there's a discussion of 2004 that notes that the GAO concluded that it was possible and, indeed, relatively simple for electronic voting machines to be rigged, but that it was unprovable due to the impossibility of audit.

Probably not a good idea to be writing this after Kennedy's Rolling Stone piece regardless, and that "no one could produce a single name" bit was just goofy, but it gets better.

Still, I approached the 2004 primaries with an open mind. I was still a Democrat, still hoping that leaders like Sam Nunn and Scoop Jackson would emerge, still fantasizing that Democrats could constitute a party of truly progressive social thinkers with tough backbones who would reappear after 9/11.
What's this obsession with Scoop Jackson about, anyway? He was a hawkish Dem. Great. That doesn't make him Ben Franklin, although it DOES make him a useful tool for the reflexively fearful.

I was wrong. The Left got nuttier, more extreme, less contributory to the public debate, more obsessed with their nemesis Bush -- and it drove me further away. What Democrat could support Al Gore's '04 choice for President, Howard Dean, when Dean didn't dismiss the suggestion that George W. Bush had something to do with the 9/11 attacks? Or when the second most powerful Senate Democrat, Dick Durbin, thought our behavior at the detention center in Guantanamo was equivalent to Bergen Belsen and the Soviet gulags? Or when Senator Kennedy equated the unfortunate but small incident at Abu Ghraib with Saddam's 40-year record of mass murder, rape rooms, and mass graves saying, "Saddam's torture chambers have reopened under new management, U.S. management"? What Democrat could not applaud the fact that President had, in fact, kept us safe for what's going on 5 years? What Democrat -- even those who opposed the decision to go into Iraq -- wouldn't applaud the fact that tens of millions of previously brutalized people had the hope of freedom before them?
Hoo nelly. Look, Mr. Swirsky, I've got a bunch of unreleased pictures and videos of Abu Gharib, a sheaf of horrifying stories about Gitmo and one HELL of an anti-terrorist tiger rock that I'll give you in exchange for never, ever going near these here internets ever again.

Honestly, this argument is pure 100% grade "A" stupid, farm fresh and ready for the table.

What made me leave the Left for good and embrace the Right were their respective reactions to 9/11. While The New York Times doubted that we could succeed in Afghanistan because the Soviets in the '80s hadn't, George W. Bush went directly after the Taliban and Al Qaeda and crushed them in short order. Although many on the Left claim to have backed the President's actions, the self-doubt leading up to it, crystallized my view of the Left as weak and terminally lacking in confidence.
Seth? There are a growing number of dead Canadians who would wish to strenuously disagree with your contention that th Taliban was "crushed". Pity that they can't, being dead and all.

Oh, and your savior buggered up Iraq, too. A little "doubt" might have served him well.

No, seriously, is this a Kaufman-esque trick of some kind? There's even better crap I omitted about how much "liberal Jews" suck, but I'm not going to belabor the point. Considering this guy's a New York musician, I'm sure he'll be enjoying plenty of attention from his colleagues on this soon enough.

Friday, June 09, 2006


So says the Republicans' Henchmen, according to a DNC email found on justiceblog:

Hurricane season has arrived -- and two fresh studies point to a link between global warming and an increase in the number and power of storms like Hurricane Katrina.

What are Republicans doing about it? They're smearing former Vice President Al Gore.

One right-wing pundit compared Gore to Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi propagandist. Another right-winger, who's been on the payroll of corporate special interests, likened Gore's pursuit of solutions to global warming to Adolf Hitler's pursuit of genocide.

I'm sending Al a note this week telling him to keep fighting, to keep standing up for the truth no matter how vicious the attacks. I thought he might like to hear from you, too. Sign on to this note of thanks, and add your own note of encouragement here:

Ok, let's stop and consider for a moment. I'm not making the claim, but if there were fascists out there nowadays and they wanted to avoid being called such, wouldn't the best tool be to call other people "fascists" on such incredibly thin grounds? After all, when you're called on being corporatist (another term for fascist) as hell, you can say "well, the other guys are fascists too", and other people can say "can we avoid calling anybody fascist?" and you're pretty much insulated from the charge.

Is Al Gore "Hitler" for creating "An Inconvenient Truth" and not providing a soapbox for the purile apologists and ideologues that make up the "global warming skeptic"? Not even close. He's being called "Hitler" because the movie is effective, powerful, and judging by the per-screen grosses would be a logical candidate for wider distribution. They're trying to make sure that their fiction of a "debate" is maintained, and they'll smear however they can to do it.

Oh, and speaking of smears, Juan Cole lose the opportunity to teach at Yale due to another well-orchestrated smear campaign. Why? Well, when you're part of a conservative movement that enjoys control or domination of most sources of scholarship and information, it makes sense that you'd go after academe too. Mearshiemer and Walt were the canaries in the coal mine; it looks like Cole is the first asphixiated miner.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Not Afraid? No Doubt.

It's not news to anybody that Canada came face-to-face with a group of proto-terrorists who bought a lot of fertilizer in the hopes of building a bomb. Warren and (as can be seen on Cerberus) others are starting a "we are not afraid" campaign in response, similar to the British one.

The thing is, from what I've seen out of the Canadian media about Canadian reactions, the campaign is barely necessary. Canadians aren't afraid; far from it, they seem almost contemptuous of what many seem to think of as a pack of barely competent losers. This strikes me as the best way to demonstrate that Canadians aren't afraid- saying it only implies that it's even in question, whereas living it leaves everybody without a shred of doubt.

Certainly CSIS's star is shining brightly, though. If Canadians come away with this with nothing else, they'll come away with this with a renewed respect for their spy agency. That has both good and bad elements to it; the agency could use the support, but its past SNAFUs and the already weak polling numbers for civil liberties imply that it's important to subject it to scrutiny that Canadians may not be inclined towards.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Commonality among extremists

I think at this point pretty much everybody knows about the Canadian jihadists who were scooped in in a police sting on Friday night.

(There is some controversy over whether or not they would have been able to acquire the explosives in question were it not a sting; surely the massive amounts of fertilizer involved would have set off alarm bells, even if CSIS hadn't been tracking these guys for a good while now.)

What struck, me, however, was this backgrounder on the recruitment of "homegrown" terrorists: how they're usually young men angry at modern secularism who use snippets of religion and are recruited through a combination of societal radicals and extremist Internet writings. Sure, this fits the profile of an Islamist, but it also fits the profile of the kind of white kid who becomes a violent skinhead.

Go read the article: if you know anything about recruitment by racists, you'll see how striking similarity is.

(Does this mean that "Islamists" and "race warriors" share other similarities? Not really, and this post should not be taken as the kind of xenophobia that tends to infest this sort of discussion. What's striking is that this sort of thing seems to have little to do with the religion or ideology itself. They could be just as easily violent Hindus or Marxists or Shintoists or whatever.)

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Looks like the Liberal Party leadership campaign just got nasty

Sure, Youth for Joe Volpe is funny. It's funny for a good reason; the whole scandal is not just "sketchy", but somewhat silly as well.

That said, it's going to be significantly less funny to the Liberals reading it when it's their candidate in the crosshairs. Ignatieff and Kennedy, for example, are both ripe for absolutely vicious satire- the former for his "I'm in favor of waterboarding, but not thumbscrews" take on torture, and the latter for seeming to want to live in every province in the country in order to show that he's not actually from Ontario.

(Of course, unlike Volpe, both of those candidates have their coterie of loyal bloggers. I doubt that will decrease the tension, though.)

Meanwhile, Stephen Harper's oppo research team just laughs and scoops it all up for the next election.

Christ Almighty...

I had missed this story earlier... are American soldiers in Iraq seriously NOT GETTING ENOUGH FOOD?

"I got a letter," says Karen. "And he had called me before that. He said, 'Send lots of tuna.' "

Nick told his mother that he and the men in his unit were all about 10 pounds lighter in their first few weeks in Iraq. They were pulling 22-hour patrol shifts. They were getting two meals a day and they were not meals to remember.

"He told me the two meals just weren't cutting it. He said the Iraqi food was usually better. They were going to the Iraqis and basically saying, 'feed me.' "

Karen started packing in that wartime tradition as old as mothers and sons. She packed a lot of the packaged tuna, not the canned.

She happened to mention her hungry son to people she works with at Greenwood Credit Union, where she is a teller and has worked for 30 years.

Pounds and pounds of food started showing up amid the daily business of loans and deposits and withdrawals. Marianne Barao, the branch manager, said it could be done, the credit union could become the place where people help feed hungry Marines who are risking their lives on a skimpy diet.

"We sent out 51 pounds this week," says Karen. "There are customers coming in saying, 'What do you need?' "

The credit union is paying the cost of packing and shipping.
What to say to this? I realize that the care and feeding of Halliburton executives and shareholders is a higher priority, but this is unacceptable. It's a betrayal of the soldiers that once again shows where the Bush administration really stands.

(Blaming Bush? Yep. Shit flows uphill.)

Hat tip: Rogers at Kung Fu Monkey, who included it in an excellent post about the difference between supporting the troops and the "bastards in suits", and Crooks 'n Liars.