Bird, Fish Kills Blamed on Obama and DADT Repeal

J'ACCUSE! - A spontaneous demostration took place in Beebe, AR Sunday as Arkansas Game and Fish Commission officials named Barack Obama as the major cause of a huge fish and bird kill along the banks of the Arkansas River.

Beebe, AR – Arkansas game officials have announced that President Barack Obama has been implicated in the deaths of 4,000-5,000 birds – mostly blackbirds – and approximately 83,000 drum fish along a 20-mile stretch of the Arkansas River over the New Year holiday.

Billy Bob Hatfield, chairman of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, said toxicology tests have found no evidence of poisoning and necropsies that began on Monday have so far revealed no scientific explanation. Officials have also considered – but ruled out – fear of noise from thunderstorms and New Year’s fireworks and midair collisions between the birds. “With both fish and bird kills, it’s clear it wasn’t the noise or poison. And there were blackbird air traffic controllers on duty when the incident took place,” Hatfield said.

The commission settled on the Obama theory after a thorough search of the Holy Bible. “We prayed and the good Lord led us to a passage that says, “A man of dark color shall arrive in your country from Kenya and try to convert you to socialism,” said the chaplain for the Commission, Bob Billy McCoy.

Obama is the Anti-Christ
“We figured that since Obama has been conclusively proven to be a Kenyan and the anti-christ it must be his fault. “When we compared his color to the description of a ‘man of dark color’ found in the scriptures, it proved he was the true culprit,” McCoy said. “Then there’s that whole blackbird thing. Black man? Blackbird? That’s a coincidence? I think not.”

Some Republican officials and televangelist Pat Robertson have added “corroborating evidence” proving the initial trigger for the wildlife disaster was Obama repealing the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy.

“There were thousands of gays swimming upstream of the fish kills in the Arkansas River. Some of the fish were sodomized by those secular homosexual humanists and swam upstream infected with AIDS,” Robertson said. “A dead fish washed ashore in the river and a bit of carcass from the fish was eaten by a blackbird who, in turn, infected the rest of his bird herd.”

“Gosh darn it. There can be no other explanation. God came to me in a vision I had during a nice veal scallopini dinner and told me it was so,” Robertson said.

Former Alaska Governor and Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin also weighed in on the subject via a Twitter message. “Yeah, ditto what Reverend Robertson said. BTW I’m not running for President in 2012, I just play like it on TV. I’m a rogue, God bless America.”

Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe (D) – no relation to the town – cautioned citizens to not consider this a final cause for the incident. “As a Democrat, I will work in a completely bipartisan manner with my Republican colleagues to investigate this matter,” Beebe said.

Too Late for Bipartisanship

However, the Governor may be too late in his calls for bipartisanship. Incoming Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, California Republican Darrell Issa, is already adding an investigation to his lengthening list of issues the committee will take on.

“I’m currently asking lobbyists – including those representing the blackbird and drum fish lobby and the Texas Board of Education – to rewrite new rules and textbooks loosening the stranglehold the Sierra Club and those other nature nuts have on good old American business,” Issa said.

“We’ve already found direct evidence that Barack Obama is a pedophile through his connection to National Public Radio. I’m sure my committee will find him guilty, especially since he isn’t a US citizen. I’m already working with my pastor to fashion an extradition agreement with the Kingdom of God if one is needed,” Issa Said.

“All I know is that under George W. Bush’s administration we had 10 straight years without a wildlife kill. Now, with two years of the Obama administration’s mismanagement, we’ve had socialist health care, oil rig explosions, and the mass die offs of thousands of birds and fish,” Issa said. “Republicans will prove they are the party of God by becoming strong advocates for ecological conservation – as long as it doesn’t involve oil companies, coal companies, or mining interests. ”

“I don’t know why Obama hates America,” he added.

Cross posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks!

Teabonics: The New Official Language of the Tea Party

Among the many ideas visited on the country during the post-Bush Age – 6,000 years ago when dinosaurs roamed an Earth exclusively populated by white Christians – is the notion that the far-right has a disdain for most things intellectual.

To them, science is practiced solely by the Godless heathen of the intellectual effete. History is dangerous socialist mind control that depends on actual facts. And  math? They believe the country can be run for free – no taxes, no services, it’s as easy as turning everything off – except, of course, anything they like which must always be financed by taking away the services used by someone else…unless they’re wealthy.

If ignorance is the breeding ground of fear, the ignorati are pissing a river in their communal pants. Mexicans are trying to retake Texas! Them damn Mooslims is everywhere! There’s a commie in the White House and he’s a goddamn Kenyan! Those damn scientists is refudiating the idea that air pollution, asbestos, and tobacco smoke are the three essential components of life! It’s a damn good thing the civic-minded are still driving Hummers to make up for the damage treehuggers cause.

Tucked in among all those fears is the fear that English is going to disappear from the face of the Earth, despite its position as the lingua franca for the international House of Babel. English must be saved, ironically, through government intervention presumably conducted via the small, unfunded government they’re always prattling on about. It’s an idea patterned after the Academie Francais – something most of them have never heard of because internationalism is a plot…in this case, a French plot, damn their Freedom Fry hating ways!

This summer was a barrel of political laughs. Who could forget Glenn Beck reclaiming the civil rights movement or the witch lady who never rubs one out when she’s stressed! Ah ha ha ha ha! Yeah, good times! But perhaps the biggest comedic relief came from the many signs proudly held up by Tea Baggers (er, Tea Partiers, they’re as offended at that name as Dub is offended by Kanye West).

A quick glance at those signs shows the dominance of the intellectual prowess that is the far right’s brain. They’ve invented an entirely new English language spoken only by the in crowd. It will triumph over all those bastardized languages like Mexican, Ebonics, and Spanglish. Morans, muslins, and terorits are more than simple misspelled words, they’re the vanguard of a new Anglo-Esperanto creation…

Teabonics.

Cross posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks!

 

 

Squandered Political Capital and the Stench of Failure

Not that they’d listen – they don’t listen to anyone – but I’d counsel Republicans along the same lines as the Democrats when they came to power…keep the fist pumps, terrorist or otherwise, to a minimum. Refrain from the siren call to rub it in, lest you be treated to the swirly next election cycle.

Voters partially returned you to power, but don’t mistake that for an overarching mandate. Their opinion of ALL politicians is only slightly higher than that beagle that shit on their new shoes and they’ll tire of you just as quickly if you can’t turn things around within a few months. That’s highly unlikely and some polls already indicate voters believe there will be as little progress under the Griping Old Pootieheads as there has been under the Demojellies. I fear they are right.

Many voters went Republican not so much because they thought Reps were good, but because they don’t like El Jefe and wanted to send a signal. As goes the President so goes Congress in midterm elections.

Walking on Water to Drowning In Water
No doubt, the O-Man has squandered a tremendous amount of political capital in his two years. CHANGE meant continuing or expanding far too many policies he railed against from the last administration. As for HOPE, he left too much of his base and moderates hoping he would get better – while he didn’t. Had he seized the power of his huge win, he could’ve gotten much more done and he and Congressional Dems would stand a better chance of delivering the Hope and Change they touted. Instead, he let the power of NO run his agenda.

But, it’s not like this hasn’t happened before.

Bush the Lesser squeaked into the White House in an election decided by some moronic guy named Chad who couldn’t operate a punch card without putting an eye out. Dub’s first few months were lackluster at best, but then he got the best political gift a pol could ask for – a scruffy hermit with a penchant for bad home movies dispatched some nuts to cause massive mischief on the Hudson.

He, rightfully at the time, climbed up on a pile of rubble, loudspeaker in hand, and railed against the evil trying to defeat America. People rallied around him as they haven’t done since WWII. In a week he went from just another run-of-the mill stumble bum to someone with more political capital than Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina could ever buy… combined.

Imagine What All That Capital Could Buy
With that amazing power, he could’ve done so many things to help this country. For example, and there were many others, he could’ve used it as a bloody pulpit to preach the dangers of foreign oil dependence. Instead, he encouraged domestic and foreign oil companies to poke more holes in the country than ever before at the expense of enforcing any regulation, no matter how trivial. Today we find ourselves not only more dependent, but watching oilagarchs rob the country blind.

He was still riding high at the beginning of term two, although the first rumblings against the most useless and poorly managed war in history were getting louder. By the time Katrina made his uselessness truly evident, the rumble became a shout and he went down in hot flames of embarrassment.

Everyone else’s embarrassment, not his. And all that political capital he crowed about? He apparently banked with Washington Mutual.

Clinton managed to get a few things done in term one, but pissed it away lying about the world’s most expensive BJ. An entire four years wasted, an incredible historical blot on him, and the final death of whatever shred of bipartisanship and civility was left in Washington.

Bush the Elder fared no better. He squandered the terrific political abundance delivered by Gulf War I by encouraging people to watch his lips as they said, “No new taxes”. He then called every new tax a fee until it got to be such a charade he asked people to stop staring at his lips. Voters repaid him by saying, “Watch our lips. Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.”

He did manage to stay out of jail over that whole Iran/Contra thing though. No small feat that.

Failure is one of the few things that is truly bipartisan. Whether, like Obama, you negotiate like a fear-crazed 90-year old lady buying a used car at Mad Man Dapper Dan’s Used Car Emporium or are so incompetent you choke on a pretzel, whether you can’t keep your Johnson out of your intern’s mouth or puke in the Japanese Prime Minister’s lap, there are a million ways to fail. Failure is cumulative. Failure is contagious. In short, failure fails.

Unfortunately, I’d say odds are far more than even that we’re well on the way to another failure.

And, it will no doubt be one huge MoFo.

Cross posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks!

Critics of Ghailani Trial Have Little Faith in U.S. Law

On Wednesday, to the surprise of some spectators in the courtroom, a U.S. federal judge did the right thing: he followed the law.

Judge Lewis Kaplan had a clear choice before him: he could exclude the testimony of a government witness discovered via abusive CIA interrogation of Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, or he could allow the government to introduce that testimony, in blatant violation of U.S. law. Ghailani, transferred from Guantanamo Bay to New York last year, is now on trial for allegedly assisting in the 1998 bombings of two U.S. embassies in East Africa.

In a U.S. federal court, testimony derived from a coercive interrogation is not admissible. A similar rule applies in the military commissions at Guantanamo Bay. Although judges there have more leeway, most military judges are equally principled and take the ban seriously. Torture-derived evidence is inadmissible for two reasons: to prevent U.S. authorities from engaging in torture, and because such evidence is inherently unreliable. International treaties similarly ban its use.

The government knew, of course, that this would be a problem, and it surely has plenty of other evidence against Ghailani or it wouldn't have transferred him to civilian court in the first place. After Judge Kaplan's ruling, Attorney General Eric Holder expressed his continued confidence in the case. Notably, four of his alleged co-conspirators in the bombings were tried and sentenced to life in prison back in 2001 - without the use of this particular government witness. Evidence introduced in that trial pointed to Ghailani as well.

Still, since Wednesday, commentators such as Liz Cheney and Jack Goldsmith have seized on Judge Kaplan's ruling to lament not the fact that Ghailani was thrown in a CIA black site for two years and likely tortured (the government refuses to address Ghailani's treatment in this trial but concedes he was "coerced"), but the fact that the judge has excluded the evidence that his interrogators squeezed out of him - or to claim the administration should never have given Ghailani a trial at all.

"If the American people needed any further proof that this Administration's policy of treating terrorism like a law enforcement matter is irresponsible and reckless, they received it today," announced Cheney after the ruling. Goldsmith, the Harvard Professor and former head of the Office of Legal Counsel Under President Bush, now writing on the new Lawfare blog, wonders "why the government is bothering to try Ghailani." Why not simply imprison him indefinitely?

Coming from Goldsmith, this is particularly disappointing. When he was at OLC, he had the courage to criticize his colleagues John Yoo and Jay Bybee for their twisted legal analysis that allowed them to institutionalize torture as U.S. policy. Now, rather than recalling that error as the source of the problem in Ghailani's trial today, he's criticizing the Obama administration for applying the rule of law at all.

Technically, Goldsmith may be right: the administration could just declare Ghailani an al Qaeda member and ongoing threat and hold him in military detention forever. That's the unfortunate consequence of the "war against al Qaeda, the Taliban and associated forces," which has no logical end. But as a matter of principle and policy, imprisoning people indefinitely without trial would be a disgrace, along the lines of what Goldsmith's colleagues at OLC sanctioned.

If there's anything the United States stands for -- or used to stand for -- it's that we don't throw people in prison without proof they've done something wrong.

Principle aside, it's just bad strategy. As General Petraeus has acknowledged, winning the war against al Qaeda and the Taliban is as much about winning over the local populations where they live as it is about U.S. military prowess. Throwing Muslims in prison for decades without charge or trial is hardly a good strategy. If, as national security experts tell us, al Qaeda's strategy is to present the U.S. war against terror as a war against Islam, indefinite detention of suspected Islamic insurgents without trial hands al Qaeda its most effective propaganda campaign on a silver platter.

Cheney and Goldsmith may be right that excluding a witness derived by torture will make the government's case against Ghailani more difficult. But in the end, a fair trial for a suspected terrorist in a respected federal court will do far more to defeat al Qaeda and its associates -- and to bolster the image of the United States in the world -- than will foregoing justice altogether.

 

 

Kudlow: You Can Hug and We Won’t Ask, If You Don’t Tell

First, it was the terrorist fist bump between the POTUS and FLOTUS. Then came that scandalous bow to the Saudi King. Now, we have the bro hug between Rahm Emanuel and Obama. Could these complaints GET any dumber? It’s like a freakin’ dispute over flag pins … on steroids.

CNBC goob, Larry “Loud Suit” Kudlow, has found it inexcusable that the two shared a hug when Emanuel left the White House. His complaint was that the hug was somehow unpresidential – unlike the double-cheeked smooches every other potentate in the world unloads onto a shocked worldwide audience.

Was it as unpresidential as the time the Pretzel Choker-in-Chief locked himself in a room during a trip to China and then mugged it up for the cameras? Or, how about the time he gave the unwanted back rub to Angela Merkel or carried on discussions with his willing dupe, Tony Blair, while open-mouthed chomping a dinner roll in a blizzard of French bread crumbs? Bush had the manners of a cowboy – a cowboy born in a barn in a cradle of horse apples at that. I heard rumors he farted at state dinners and followed up with the old, “the one who smelled it, dealt it” gambit too.

Remember folks, you heard it here first.

Now I know that Big Screaming Heads like Kudlow aren’t subject to the same stringent rules under which Presidents labor. If they were, the markets would collapse every time they screamed their inane “financial” analysis over top of every guest the crapweasels host.

Hey, wait a minute! They did collapse! KUDLOOOOOOOOWWWWWWW!

As long as we’re going with the insulting stupid, what about Kudlow’s clothes? Bravo needs to reprise an episode of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy to get the sartorially challenged asscake some help. Those horizontal striped ties go so well with his Mafioso striped suits. He looks like a damn TV test pattern.

Have you seen him in HD? It’s a truly frightening experience in the same way IMAX theatres make people bilious.

Kudlow, it’s time for you to learn to luv the hug. It’s time for you to troop over and visit that other offensive CNBC jackwad, Jim Cramer.

Here’s my boffo idea for ending each segment. When Cramer stops his crack-induced diatribes, and after he’s shut off the bull grunts, bear growls, cowbells, and explosions – hug him. Just a little. Maybe a hug combined with a manly handshake or perhaps an NFL-style butt grab. Then, glory in it. Feel the freedom? Feel the tender moment of true friendship? It’s OK even if you feel a little wood – a twig really, nothing ostentatious that would clash with your suit.

If you try it just once, I know you’ll like it.

Then again, humanity isn’t your game, is it?

Cross posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks!

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