Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Funny Flight

BBC7 is airing Flight of the Conchords, a screamingly funny rendering of the London exploits of one of New Zealand's two or three best acoustic folk comedy duos, namely Flight of the Conchords. Funny songs and funny stories, aired originally on Radio 4 not long ago.

It's free! Check the BBC Radio Player - Audio on Demand late every Monday (the files stay up for 7 days afterwards) for the next six weeks.

One of the best recent comedies on BBC radio.

You may have seen Flight of the Conchords playing their songs live in person, on HBO, or in other television venues. Funny guys. Also, you may wonder why a New Zealander is doing Outback Steak House commercials in the US. Gotta keep the livestock in bling, probably.


Quagwalk: That's Been the Plan All Along!

Cheney speaks!
Interview Dick Cheney, NBC, "Meet the Press," Transcript for March 16, 2003: "MR. RUSSERT: If your analysis is not correct, and we’re not treated as liberators, but as conquerors, and the Iraqis begin to resist, particularly in Baghdad, do you think the American people are prepared for a long, costly, and bloody battle with significant American casualties?

VICE PRES. CHENEY: Well, I don’t think it’s likely to unfold that way, Tim, because I really do believe that we will be greeted as liberators."

He qualifies it a little in the remaining answer, but it's pretty clear that on the eve of the war, Cheney and his administration are either not thinking one bit about insurgency and civil war (which would be incompetent), or if they're thinking about it, they're hiding the likelihood of an insurgency from the American people (which would be misleading and dishonest, though not technically a bald-faced lie--more like a pellet-in-the-face lie).

Such is the hard-won reputation of Bush and his administration as either incompetents, liars, or idiots. It's one or the other, but one just can't be sure.

As it turns out, Bush's true plan, revealed in his press conference today, is for his successors to clean up his mess. And since he now claims the following:
Secondly, I am confident -- or I believe I'm optimistic -- we'll succeed. If not, I'd pull our troops out. If I didn't believe we had a plan for victory, I wouldn't leave our people in harm's way. And that's important for the woman to understand.

I guess whatever he does is his "plan," no matter how half-assed and wrong it is proven to be, and over and over our soldiers are buffetted by events that Bush can't even comprehend.

Reuters AlertNet - Swedish foreign minister resigns over cartoons

I don't know Swedish laws or mores, but just from what's in this Reuters dispatch, I'm glad this woman lost her job:
Swedish Foreign Minister Laila Freivalds quit on Tuesday after a row over the closure of a Web site with cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad, embarrassing Prime Minister Goran Persson six months ahead of elections.


But she was forced to resign when it was revealed this week that she had not given full information about her role in the closure of a site belonging to a far-right political party which published cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad offensive to Muslims.

Idiocy is a global phenomenon.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Bush: One-Way Loyalty

I've long said that Bush's reputation for loyalty is undeserved -- he demands loyalty but does not return it.

Nice to see that even some relatively honest conservatives believe it too. From Bruce Bartlett, writing to Andrew Sullivan.

I disagree with your characterization of Bush as being famously loyal — a view so widely stated that you can be excused for repeating it. Bush is loyal ONLY to toadies, suck-ups and sycophants. Anyone who shows an ounce of independence — or loyalty to the country above loyalty to him — is punished or dispensed with. You mention Paul O'Neill, but a better example is Larry Lindsey. [....] As I say in my book, loyalty with Bush is strictly a one-way street: total loyalty is demanded, but none is ever really offered in return.

This has been apparent for years. Too bad it wasn't written by Sullivan or any other conserva-blogger when it would have mattered.

Typically, Sullivan misses the point. Bush is disloyal to others, and there are enforcers to make life miserable for those who are not totally loyal to him. Sullivan thinks Bush is a "nice guy." I'm sure Shinsecki, Lindsey, O'Neill,et al don't think the bullshit that happened to them is "nice."

Sullivan really is a tool.

Don't forget that Bush has kept Karl Rove, who loves to slime opponents -- including falsely insiuating pedophilia (how does one do that nicely?) in a Alabama judgeship race, that GW Bush was an enforcer for his father, and that Bush was a protege of Lee Atwater, another classic republican slimer (who tried to repent on his deathbed).

You know him by the company he keeps for decades. Not a nice guy.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Straw Man Bush

From the Associated Press:
Bush Using Straw-Man Arguments in Speeches
When the president starts a sentence with "some say" or offers up what "some in Washington" believe, as he is doing more often these days, a rhetorical retort almost assuredly follows.

The device usually is code for Democrats or other White House opponents. In describing what they advocate, Bush often omits an important nuance or substitutes an extreme stance that bears little resemblance to their actual position.

He typically then says he "strongly disagrees" — conveniently knocking down a straw man of his own making.

Bush routinely is criticized for dressing up events with a too-rosy glow. But experts in political speech say the straw man device, in which the president makes himself appear entirely reasonable by contrast to supposed "critics," is just as problematic.

AP notices this only about six years too late.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Glenn Reynolds, Instapundit: Not only a Hack, but Diametrically Wrong

Glenn Reynolds, amazingly a Law Professor at University of Tennesse, warblogger, and now author of a book about blogging, wrote the following a while back-in April 2003 when many had died but GW Bush was still riding high:

Yeah, there has been a lot of pro-war gloating. And I guess that Dawn Olsen's cautionary advice about gloating is appropriate. So maybe we shouldn't rub in just how wrong, and morally corrupt the antiwar case was. Maybe we should rise above the temptation to point out that claims of a "quagmire" were wrong -- again! -- how efforts at moral equivalence were obscenely wrong -- again! -- how the antiwar folks are still, far too often, trying to move the goalposts rather than admit their error -- again -- and how an awful lot of the very same people who spoke lugubriously about "civilian casualties" now seem almost disappointed that there weren't more -- again -- and how many people who spoke darkly about the Arab Street and citizens rising up against American "liberators" were proven wrong -- again -- as the liberators were seen as just that by the people they were liberating. And I suppose we shouldn't stress so much that the antiwar folks were really just defending the interests of French oil companies and Russian arms-deal creditors. It's probably a bad idea to keep rubbing that point in over and over again.


Glenn Reynolds, Instapundit and somehow a law professor, wrote that in April 2003.

Bush screwed up abjectly despite Reynold's pom-pom waving. Too bad people had to die in the many thousands despite Reynolds' cheerleading.

Of course, Glenn did not sign up to die in IED or mortar fire. Glenn just wanted to InstaEnjoy the InstaWar he was InstaCheering for.

Yay! That was so good in 2003! Yay!

I wonder who is now, in 2006, moving the goalposts from Glenn's Instapundit's emphatic triumphalism of 2003.

Reynolds is a libertarian, so he says. Read the above and sniff out his magnificent libertarianism.

Discourse like Reynold's has made the term "Libertarian" kind of like "psychic:" It mainly denotes a pathetic form of bullshitting.


Explanation for Hiatus

The blog has been a bit slow recently. We've been burned out and exhausted.

Surely just a couple more five-week long vacations at the ranch and Bush will no longer be an incompetent, lying idiot.

Source: Pew Poll Mar 15, 2006

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