WASHINGTON (Sept. 26) - President George W. Bush urged Americans to cut back on unnecessary travel to make up for fuel shortages caused by Hurricane Rita as he prepared to take his seventh trip to the Gulf Coast.
Hey, idiot, gas is almost $3 a gallon if you haven't noticed. I know flying around on Air Force One and shit keeps you out of the loop, but most of us eliminated "unneccesary" travel long ago.

You schmuck.


Flipper's Got A Gun

Today's "WHAT THE FUCK" story:
Armed dolphins, trained by the US military to shoot terrorists and pinpoint spies underwater, may be missing in the Gulf of Mexico. Experts who have studied the US navy's cetacean training exercises claim the 36 mammals could be carrying 'toxic dart' guns. Divers and surfers risk attack, they claim, from a species considered to be among the planet's smartest. The US navy admits it has been training dolphins for military purposes, but has refused to confirm that any are missing.


Don Young = Asshole

Considering Congress just passed a transportation bill filled with wasteful "pet projects", many are thinking some of that money can be redirected to the Gulf Coast. The biggest offender of wasting your tax money is Alaska Re. Don Young, who got Federal funding for a multimillion dollar bridge to an island of fifty, yes, fifty, five-zero,people (residents were fine with the existing ferry service).

So someone asked him about it, and he revealed himself to be the cocksucker I always knew he was.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - Alaska Representative Don Young is scoffing at suggestions that Alaska should forfeit funding it got in the federal highway bill to help Hurricane Katrina victims.

Editorials this month in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal have suggested money for the Knik and Gravina bridges be diverted to the Gulf Coast.

Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona raised the charitable pork idea on the Senate floor last week, although he stopped short of endorsing it.

When Young was asked by the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner what he thought of the suggestion, he replied --quote-- ``They can kiss my ear!''

Young says the suggestion is --quote-- ``the dumbest thing I've ever heard.''

Like Father, Like Son

I was listening to a CD of Comic Relief '91 (don't ask), and Bobcat Goldthwait spoke about Daddy George Bush's delayed response in responding to the Exxon Valdez oil spill disaster.

While Daddy's bungling of the Hurricane Andrew response in 1992 is well documented, I totally forgot about the Valdez.

God bless Google.
Above all, Exxon avoided responsibility and only wanted to control imagery. By April 2, the oil had fouled 8oo miles of beach, and President George W. Bush had declined to federalize the cleanup.

Watch Out Jenna Jameson! Osama Who?

Talk about your unwinnable wars.

A war on porn will make the war in Iraq seem like a cakewalk. But that's what the FBI wants to do.
Early last month, the bureau's Washington Field Office began recruiting for a new anti-obscenity squad. Attached to the job posting was a July 29 Electronic Communication from FBI headquarters to all 56 field offices, describing the initiative as "one of the top priorities" of Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales and, by extension, of "the Director." That would be FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III.

Glad to know there are no more terrorists.


Down The Wire

Padres magic number down to 8.

Thanks Jeff Spicoli...er...I mean Khalil Greene!


Oh, The Humanity

Sterling Sharpe: "Talented athletes make more tackles than untalented athletes".

Thank you, Captain Obvious.

Fuck Reality TV

Man this is fucked up.

ABC picks this woman for their Extreme Makover bullshit, tapes family and friends trashing the way she looks, gets her hopes up for transforming her, then at the last second flakes out. The woman is crushed and sues ABC.

I hope she wins.

Fuck ABC. First they break up the Sunday Night Football crew (see post below). Then they pull this shit.

Reality TV (why the fuck do we insist on calling it that anyways? When's the last time you found yourself stranded on a deserted island, ate monkey nuts for money, or were offered free plastic surgery?) is getting more and more irresponsible. It uses the gullible to sell shit to the gullible. So fuck them and fuck you for watching it.

Except the Surreal Life. I dig that shit.

Bad Football Weekend

Why do my teams hate me?

First Fresno State blows a 17-0 lead to lose 37-34, then San Diego blows a 14-3 lead to lose 20-17. Egads. This is my life in a nutshell.

Well, at least my Fantasy team is cruising towards a win.

Now I turn on ESPN Sunday Night Football, and I hear the Bland Mike Tirico and Sterling Sharpe doing play by play. What happened to the best booth in football - Paul McGuire, Joes Theismann, and uh, that other guy? I tuned into games I didn't care about them because those guys were entertaining and willing to argue with each other. I'll have to google and find out what's going on.

Padres Magic Number = 9.

EDIT: Okay, apparently ABC/ESPN is already transitioning for 2006, where Monday Night Football shifts to ESPN, and Joe Theismann will be in the booth with Al Michaels. Paul McGuire is doing college football, and the other guy (who I found out is Mike Patrick), I have no idea what his future holds.

I also found out, based on what the google results brought up, I may be the only person in America who liked them.


Talk - Action = Nothing

By the way, I should mention, I don’t want to always critical of the President. I want to have a President I can be proud of. It’s not like some point of pride that I’m anti-Bush. I don’t get a high out of making snide comments. Okay, maybe a little one. And I don’t need for him to become a liberal for me to stop bashing him. Okay, yes I would. But man, doing the right thing once in a while would go a long way for me. He’s like 0 for 6542 on issues that matter. Even Nixon started the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Endowment for the Arts, and opened up relations with China. Bush’s speech the other night had a lot of things I would normally support, but his credibility is so shot I don’t believe a word of it. Here’s to hoping his popularity is so destroyed that it frees him up to try a new approach which encompasses some minute portion of progressive thinking.

That wasn’t even a joke. I want my country to work.

If You Need Proof

The best evidence of how badly the Federal response to Katrina was bungled is how incredibly effective rescue efforts were once the military and National Guard were given adequate personnel, equipment, and direction. The dire situation in New Orleans was reversed in an amazingly short amount of time. It just came days too late, which is not the rescuers fault. It was a failure of leadership. So while we focus on that failure, we should applaud the rescue efforts once they kicked into gear.


Happy 80th Birthday, B.B. KIng

Bush's Gum Flapping

I wasn't moved by Bush's speech at all, and lately I've been moved to tears by just about everything.

I still don't hear anyone asking why, if he's so concerned about the citizens there, he signed an Executive order revoking prevailing wage mandates for Federal contracts. This needs to be explained.


James Sensenbrenner Is A Douche

Earlier this year, Congress passed a bankruptcy bill, written by the credit card companies, which made it much tougher for middle class families to file for bankruptcy, even if their finaiancial troubles are caused by illness or natural disater. The bill was an affront to the decency of this country, and Democrats were derelict in their duty tin opposing it. It was a classic case of Big Business vs. The Common Man, and Congress decided to side with Big Business. Anyways, that whole debate is a separate story. The bottom line is the bill has become law.

But now we have to deal with the aftermath of Katrina. Thousand of lower and middle class families have lost everything. They have gone through hell, and now face an uphill battle. So a couple of Democratic Congressmen are trying to introduce a bill which would exempt victims of Katrina from the provisions of the new bill, making it easier for them to get their lives back on track.

Sensible, eh? Not to dickhead Republican Rep. James Sensenbrenner, chairman of the House Judiciary committee, who will not allow a hearing on the bill, effectively killing it. He says the poor are not subject to the new bankruptcy bill provisions, but he doesn’t mention the middle class families who have been affected. He’s worth $9 million dollars, none of which he actually worked for, so you can see how this fucking prick could disregard the financial catastrophe that is going to hit thousands of middle class families.

Problem Ain't The System's Broke, It's Working All Too Well

Just in case you forgot how our democracy works:

A. Joe Allbaugh used to head FEMA. When he stepped aside, he recommended his old college roommate, Mike Brown, who he appointed as Assistant FEMA director, although Brown had no emergency experience.

B. Joe Allbaugh becomes a lobbyist for private contractors, including Halliburton. He obviously has a friend Brown and the Bush Administration.

C. Katrina hits, devastating the Gulf Coast, much of which will need to be rebuilt. .

D. Firms that Allbaugh lobbies for, including Hallibuton and KBR, get blind no-bid contracts almost immediately. Ka-Ching!

E. Bush signs an Executive order allowing those contractors to pay less than the prevailing wage for workers rebuilding the gulf coast. Ka-Ching!

Just another day in America.

Edit: hmm, apparantly Allbaugh and Brown weren't college roommates, just friends.

The Termite Prophecy

I get so many magazines that I usually fall behind and end up reading them weeks after I receive them. So I am just now getting to a Harper’s from two months ago. One of the articles is an eerie, yet interesting one on termite infestation in New Orleans. In the course of researching the infestation, Duncan Murrell gives a vivid description of the geography and history of New Orleans, the timing of which seems almost prophetic. Now it looks almost like a eulogy for the city, although that was not it’s intent. In describing attempts to deal with termites, he uses the following chilling paragraph:
In this case, the use of organochlorines against termites – native and foreign alike – was something like channeling the course of a river. The water never ceased, it had to go somewhere, and when the dikes, seawalls, levees, and locks finally failed, the effect of releasing the water’s long contained energy was catastrophic.


Top Ten Annoying Phrases

Here's a list of phrases I could do without (or Phrases Pundits Use When They Want To Sound Like They Are in In "The Know"):

1. The Blame Game
2. Drinking The Kool-Aid/Kool-Aid Drinkers
3. Draining the Swamp
4. Talking Heads
5. WMD's/Weapons Of Mass Destruction
6. (references to) Neville Chamberlain
7. Rape Rooms
8. Liberal Elites
9. Chickenhawk
10. IED (it's a fucking bomb)

Did They Think No One Would Check?

As chronicled on The Al Franken Show, Americablog, and many other sources, the Bush administration apparently huddled up and put together a game plan to shift blame away from the Federal Government. This would be accomplished by peddling the lie that newspapers on Tuesday proclaimed that New Orleans had "dodged a bullet".

George Bush: And I myself thought we had dodged a bullet. You know why? Because I was listening to people probably over the airwaves say, The bullet has been dodged.

Michael Chertoff (Head of Homeland Security): "I remember on Tuesday morning picking up newspapers and I saw headlines, 'New Orleans Dodged The Bullet.'"

Joint Chiefs of Staff Richard Myers: The headline, of course, in most of the papers on Tuesday - "New Orleans Dodged a Bullet," or words to that effect.

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld: It's interesting, however; I was told this morning that on Tuesday, August 30th, some of the headlines in the press of the United States said "New Orleans Spared From Storm's Fury;" "New Orleans Spared Straight Shot;" "New Orleans Escaping Feared Knockout Punch."

California Representative David Dreier: "And I remember a week ago today reading the newspaper, which said that New Orleans had successfully dodged the bullet of Hurricane Katrina, and then we saw the levee break."

Well luckily for those interested in the truth, John Avarosis of Americablog compiled a snapshot which shows the headlines of the major newspapers on the Tuesday morning after Katrina hit.

Do you care that they lie to your face? It keeps happening and happening, and there are no consequences. No one gets fired. No one admits mistakes. And apparently, you're okay with that.

Too bad none of these guys gets a hummer in their office, then heads would roll.

Those Wacky Tweakers

This is so completely random that I find it fascinating.
SEARCY, Ark. - The time-consuming and methodical motion of searching for arrowheads on farmland and in riverbeds seems to appeal to methamphetamine addicts, a sheriff says...

"You get kind of wired on that stuff, and you need to have something to do," said Mr. Young, who is in the White County jail awaiting trial on methamphetamine charges...

Many nights Mr. Young found himself in fields full of fellow arrowhead hunters. Now he is in jail, surrounded by fellow inmates who say they also searched for arrowheads before they were incarcerated.

R.I.P. R.L. Burnside

I can't believe I overlooked this, but R.L. Burnside, a raw blues artist with a punk rock spirit passed away two weeks ago.

>From the BBC:

Born in the Delta town of Harmontown, he worked most of his life as a sharecropper and fisherman, only taking up music professionally when he was 65.

Mississippi Fred McDowell taught him to play in Chicago in the 1940s, and he performed in local bars for decades.

After signing to Fat Possum records in 1991, he recorded a dozen albums and toured worldwide. Matthew Johnson, owner of the record label that made Burnside famous, said he played guitar "just 'cause he wanted to. "He never really wanted a career, never said he did. We just sort of gave him one."

Burnside had been in declining health since heart surgery in 1999, and died in hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.

After growing up in the Mississippi Delta, Burnside moved north to Chicago in the 1940s, but came back south after his father and two brothers were killed in the city.

He returned to a country living, and served six months in jail after shooting a man Burnside said was trying to turn him out of his home. "It was between him and the Lord, him dyin'," Burnside remarked in a 2002 New Yorker article. "I just shot him in the head."

He first recorded in the late 1960s, and his sparse, one-chord blues style was documented by the folklorist George Mitchell. After playing in bars for decades, it was only when he became the first act signed to Fat Possum records in 1991 that Burnside achieved a wider fame.

In less than a decade he recorded a dozen albums, including "Bad Luck City" and "Too Bad Jim". His final CD, "A Bothered Mind", was released last year. He toured with a trio comprising his grandson Cedric on drums, and an "adopted" son, Kenny Brown, on guitar.

Burnside was popular with a number of younger acts, including the Beastie Boys and the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion.

Burnside and Spencer's band recorded the album "A Ass Pocket o' Whiskey" in a few days in an old log cabin, achieving a sound described by one observer as "Bo Diddley backed by the Stooges".

Some of his songs were remixed for labels such as Los Angeles' Bong Load records, which first released Beck.

Burnside is survived by his wife Alice Mae and numerous children.


Un. Fucking. Believable.

You would think with all the bad press, Bush would start to do the right thing. Start to get a weary nation behind him. Start to fight for the people instead of against them. I am usually against a lot of the hyperbole on the left and right, but if this story is legit, Bush truly is an evil man. (Thanks to DailyKos for the heads up).

President Bush issued an executive order Thursday allowing federal contractors rebuilding in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina to pay below the prevailing wage.

In a notice to Congress, Bush said the hurricane had caused "a national emergency" that permits him to take such action under the 1931 Davis-Bacon Act in ravaged areas of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi.

Why in the world would he do this? The areas hit hardest are also the poorest. At least there's an opportunity to get some decent jobs to these people and get the economy down there back on its feet. You already know Halliburton is going to get a lot of these contracts. That kind of corruption would be way too obvious. I must be missing something. How could this possibly be happening? I am beginning to think impeachment is the only way to stop this onslaught of incompetence and greed.

I Love Lynne Lofton

Dick Cheney finally had enough of vacationing in Wyoming and buying real estate to go down to Mississippi to survey the damage. Not everyone was impressed.
Most the people Cheney met with were friendly. Lynne Lofton, whose house further down the street was completely destroyed, was an exception.
“I think this media opportunity today is a terrible waste of time and taxpayer money,” she said. “They’ve picked a nice neighborhood where people have insurance and most are Republicans.”
This was after, while doing a television interview, some dude yelled "Go fuck yourself!" Twice (video at Crooks and Liars). Ouch. When asked if he'd heard that much, Cheney responded, "first time I've heard it."

So, wait. you mean I dreamed he said the same thing to Patrick Leahy in 2004? Oh. Guess not.

More Bullshit

“They were shooting at helicopters! That’s why they couldn’t rescue people!” This struck me as bullshit the second I heard it. 99.9% of the time people do shit, good and bad, for a reason. A drug dealer is trying to make money. Armies go to war because their homeland is threatened. Oh, wait. Strike that last one, I guess that falls in the .1%. Anyways you get the point. What’s the point of randomly shooting at helicopters during a crisis? You too would recognioze it as bullshit, unless of course, you find it easy to believe that black people are irrational, unruly, and willing to shoot at helicopters for no apparent reason.

Anyways, the story is bullshit.

Laura Brown, a Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman in Washington, said she had no such report.
"We're controlling every single aircraft in that airspace and none of them reported being fired on," she said, adding that the FAA was in contact with the military as well as civilian aircraft.

The Vampire Gangs of New Orleans

Where is the video of the "armed roving gangs" I kept hearing about? Last week was all about looting and armed gangs. I saw the looting, which I could care less about. I saw people stranded on rooftops. I saw dead bodies. I saw devastation. I saw hungry desperate people. I saw fights between frustrated people. What I didn’t see was armed gangs terrorizing the city. Why is that? Are they vampire gangs who don’t show up on camera? My guess? It was bullshit to begin with. Pretty easy to imagine a bunch of poor black males resorting to violence, isn’t it? Oh, but racism doesn’t exist anymore, I forgot.

Local Government Ineffective? I'm Shocked!

Do you live in a big city? I’ve lived in Fresno (okay, not exactly a big city, but it was a big step up from Lemoore), San Diego, and Sacramento, and I would not trust any of these governments to fix a pothole, much less evacuate a city. All were ineffectual and all were to some extent corrupt. San Diego, whith multiple mayors in multiple weeks, Federal indictments for city councilmen, and a bankrupt pension system, is the ultimate example.

Think about your own mayor. Let’s say the biggest natural disaster in our nation’s history hit your city. Would you trust him/her? Local governments are notoriously corrupt. And even if they weren’t, they certainly do not have the resources to conduct a full city evacuation. ESPECIALLY in a city like New Orleans, which is dirt poor and probably just as corrupt as any other big city.

So hopefully a city won't have to completely depend on these local governments when a catostrophic event occurs.

In a perfect world, there would be a Federal agency to deal with these situations and coordinate Federal Resources in response to catastrophes.

We could call that agency, um, let's see....how about THE FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY. The head of the agency would be a guy known for getting stuff done. Someone who, even if everyone doesn't like him, people know will (god I hate this term) "bang heads" if necessary to get shit done. Someone like Rudy Guiliani (yeah I know libs would crucify me for this notion, but I'm not a goosestepper). After all, with the importance of such an agency, we wouldn't want an inexperienced person in charge. Can you imagine if someone who came from an unrelated field with no experience was in charge? For a goof, let's pretend someone whose previous job was heading the International Arabian Horse Association, was in charge. Imagine the chaos!

Oh, my bad.

Seriously though. When somebody tries to blame the mayor of New Orleans, first think of your own mayor, then think of what FEMA means:


End of story.


The Blame Game

John Stewart:

“When people don’t want to play the blame game, THEY’RE TO BLAME”


Make Them Be Responsible

I believe there should be a public campaign to get Congressmen who won meaningless pork projects (the most egregious example: Alaska Rep. Don Young getting $220 million for an unneccessary bridge to an island with 50 people), in the highway bill to cancel those projects and redirect the funds to helping rebuild lives on the Gulf Coast.

First World or Third World?

I have a strong feeling if Katrina hit a majority white city, the Feds would rush in with overwhelming resources. Instead, this is the scene:
Outside the Convention Center, the sidewalks were packed with people without food, water or medical care, and with no sign of law enforcement. Thousands of storm refugees had been assembling outside for days, waiting for buses that did not come.

At least seven bodies were scattered outside, and hungry, desperate people who were tired of waiting broke through the steel doors to a food service entrance and began pushing out pallets of water and juice and whatever else they could find.

An old man in a chaise lounge lay dead in a grassy median as hungry babies wailed around him. Around the corner, an elderly woman lay dead in her wheelchair, covered up by a blanket, and another body lay beside her wrapped in a sheet.
"I don't treat my dog like that," 47-year-old Daniel Edwards said as he pointed at the woman in the wheelchair. "I buried my dog." He added: "You can do everything for other countries but you can't do nothing for your own people. You can go overseas with the military but you can't get them down here."

Just above the convention center on Interstate 10, commercial buses were lined up, going nowhere. The street outside the center, above the floodwaters, smelled of urine and feces, and was choked with dirty diapers, old bottles and garbage.

"They've been teasing us with buses for four days," Edwards said.

Think It Through

Cliff’s Notes version of last week’s conversation with the uber-patriot:

U-P: People who believe in evolution are morons, intelligent design is the only way to explain the complexities and beauty of life…

Me: Is cancer part of that intelligent design?

U-P: “…………uh………….”

Failed Leadership

Even though support for Presdident is already on the decline, I think Hurricane Katrina is going to be devastating. As people realize National Guard units are fighting for an unclear goal in Iraq, sent there on false premises, while they could be utilized to do things here, they are gonna get pissed. I suppose they could do such things as, oh, I don’t know, rescue people and stop looting (btw, I still don’t care about looting, although most of you apparently do)? Combine this with a piss poor Federal response, gas prices that are going to skyrocket even more than they have, heating prices skyrocketing this winter, and you have a recipe for disaster. I just don’t see how things can get worse.

Happy Birthday, Poor Motherfuckers!

Today, is the 8th anniversary of the $5.15 Federal minimum wage. Whattacountry!