Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 23, 2005

WB: Australopithicus robustus

Billmon:

Maybe we've reached the end of our rope, too -- that is to say, maybe we've risen to a level of intelligence just high enough to create problems we're not bright enough to solve. A kind of evolutionary Peter Principle in action.

Australopithicus robustus

Posted by b on July 23, 2005 at 6:00 UTC | Permalink | Comments (111)

WB: Revolution Day

Billmon:

This appears to have been a major, professional hit -- as opposed to the amateur operations in London. If I had to guess, I'd would suspect the Saturday attack was carried out by operatives who had honed their car bombing skills in Iraq. It certainly sounds similar, anyway, to some of the more spectactular coordinated car bombings in Baghdad.

Revolution Day

Posted by b on July 23, 2005 at 5:58 UTC | Permalink | Comments (2)

WB: Extraordinary Rendition (++)

Billmon:

III. Biden Their Time

II. Bring Out Your Dead

I. Extraordinary Rendition

Posted by b on July 23, 2005 at 5:54 UTC | Permalink | Comments (11)

July 22, 2005

WB: Spring Time for Khomenei

Billmon:

But it may be that the current alternatives -- which might, God forbid, include the use of tactical nukes against Iran's hardened research labs -- are so grim and so scary that even the neocons are finally behaving like rational chumps, instead of crazy ones. For a change.

Spring Time for Khomenei

Posted by b on July 22, 2005 at 19:39 UTC | Permalink | Comments (48)

The Crazies

Justin Logan writes:

"According to Philip Giraldi, writing in the new issue (not online) of the American Conservative, it's to nuke Iran:

The Pentagon, acting under instructions from Vice President Dick Cheney's office, has tasked the United States Strategic Command (STRATCOM) with drawing up a contingency plan to be employed in response to another 9/11-type terrorist attack on the United States.  The plan includes a large-scale air assault on Iran employing both conventional and tactical nuclear weapons.  Within Iran there are more than 450 major strategic targets, including numerous suspected nuclear-weapons-program development sites.  Many of the targets are hardened or are deep underground and could not be taken out by conventional weapons, hence the nuclear option.  As in the case of Iraq, the response is not conditional on Iran actually being involved in the act of terrorism directed against the United States.  Several senior Air Force officers involved in the planning are reportedly appalled at the implications of what they are doing--that Iran is being set up for an unprovoked nuclear attack--but no one is prepared to damage his career by posing any objections.

..."

Posted by b on July 22, 2005 at 17:45 UTC | Permalink | Comments (26)

WB: Breaking the Peg

Billmon:

The factors that have allowed the United States to run enormous, sustained current acount deficits -- deflation, globalization, the Asian savings glut -- may persist for some time. But sooner or later, the sheer size of America's external liabilities is going to force foreign creditors to limit their exposure to our reckless financial behavior. Solvency, not relative rates of return, will be the issue on their minds then.

Breaking the Peg

Posted by b on July 22, 2005 at 9:10 UTC | Permalink | Comments (11)

Open Thread

News, views, opinions ...

Posted by b on July 22, 2005 at 5:33 UTC | Permalink | Comments (22)

WB: Kissing the 4th Amendment Goodbye

Billmon:

Naturally, as if all this wasn't bad enough, many of the "reforms" now being rammed through our Chamber of People's Deputies would make the law worse.

Kissing the 4th Amendment Goodbye

Posted by b on July 22, 2005 at 5:24 UTC | Permalink | Comments (16)

July 21, 2005

WB: S is for Slime

Billmon:

If Fitzgerald has something to say (and you know all of us on the left are hoping he'll say it with indictments) he'll do it on his own time schedule. Meanwhile, the various parties involved will either keep feeding little tidbits to the press or they won't. Nothing the blogosphere does or says will affect the timing of those leaks.

S is for Slime

Posted by b on July 21, 2005 at 21:48 UTC | Permalink | Comments (21)

WB: London, Again

Billmon:

Al Qaeda wanted to kill a large number of people in the first London attack -- to send a big propaganda message to the G8 summit. Today's bombs, on the other hand, may have been intended primarily to disrupt. If and when they start hitting electrical substations and telephone exchanges, we'll know our junior league terrorists are starting to get the hang of it.

London, Again

Posted by b on July 21, 2005 at 19:44 UTC | Permalink | Comments (49)

WB: Starr Search

Billmon:

I'm mixing food metaphors a bit here, but you could also think of Roberts' legal record as a hot dog. The White House hopes everybody will just squirt some mustard on it and gulp it down -- and try not think about what went into it.

Starr Search

Posted by b on July 21, 2005 at 16:40 UTC | Permalink | Comments (8)

WB: Getting Hitched

Billmon:

Bright, talented magazine writers are a dime a dozen (or a dime a word anyway) on the liberal left -- and there's a whole new crop of youngsters coming up. But it's always an intellectual seller's market on the right.

Getting Hitched

Posted by b on July 21, 2005 at 16:35 UTC | Permalink | Comments (6)

WB: Another Gau Heard From

Billmon:

If enough of the "base" starts talking like Frau Koch, it might even force Roberts and his GOP support team to drop the warm and cuddly spin, and demonstrate just how much of a hardliner the guy really is -- thereby stripping some of the radar cloaking off the Stealth nominee. But frantic efforts to polish up Roberts's ultra-right credentials might further feed wing-nut paranoia about the guy: "If he's one of us, how come they gotta keep defendin' him alla time? And why don' his forehead slope down like ourn?"

Another Gau Heard From

Posted by b on July 21, 2005 at 5:19 UTC | Permalink | Comments (36)

WB: King of Comedy

Billmon:

King of Comedy

Posted by b on July 21, 2005 at 5:16 UTC | Permalink | Comments (6)

WB: Think Like Michael

Billmon:

Reasonable people can differ over what that means in practice: fight a lot, fight a little, just get it over with. But it just seems essential to me that everyone understands that this is (to paraphrase Horowitz) war by other means -- not a civics lesson.

Think Like Michael

Posted by b on July 21, 2005 at 5:10 UTC | Permalink | Comments (16)

July 20, 2005

WB: Defining Mr. Roberts

Billmon:
..it's time to wake up, guys. We've got a different rule book now -- brought to you by Karl Rove and the propaganda machine from hell. The Republicans don't use those tactics because they're sick, sadistic bastards (well, not only that). They use them because they work. And until the Dems learn to play by the same rules, they're going to get their heads handed to them, time after time after time.

Defining Mr. Roberts

Posted by b on July 20, 2005 at 20:30 UTC | Permalink | Comments (117)

Not Roberts Thread

Anything but Roberts ... open thread

Posted by b on July 20, 2005 at 18:20 UTC | Permalink | Comments (20)

WB: The Liberal Disease

Billmon:

While liberals sift and weigh the evidence, debate alternative points of view, and reach for that ever elusive "fairness," the conservative machine sifts and weighs alternative propaganda points, debates the best way to manipulate public opinion, and reaches for power -- first, last and always.
...
The real question, then, is purely pragmatic: Do the political benefits of going to the mat over Roberts outweigh the costs? My judgement (and I realize I could be wrong about this) is that they do not -- both because he looks just about impossible to stop, and because even bigger Supreme Court battles almost certainly lie ahead: after Rehnquist and then when the first of the "liberal" justices retires.

The Liberal Disease

Posted by b on July 20, 2005 at 18:05 UTC | Permalink | Comments (33)

Where Have All the $$$ Gone?

The [Government Accountability Office] has been examining the Pentagon's Iraq expenses, and ''we're having extreme difficulty in getting the Department of Defense to provide a full accounting of what they're spending" there, Walker said. ''I can't understand how we're spending $1 billion a week.
GAO investigator rips Pentagon on Iraq war finances, Boston Globe, July 15, 2005

In my reporting for this story, one theme that emerged was the Bush Administration’s increasing tendency to turn to off-the-books covert actions to accomplish its goals. This allowed the Administration to avoid the kind of stumbling blocks it encountered in the debate about how to handle the elections: bureaucratic infighting, congressional second-guessing, complaints from outsiders.
GET OUT THE VOTE, The New Yorker, July 18, 2005

Posted by b on July 20, 2005 at 17:06 UTC | Permalink | Comments (5)

WB: Bob Roberts

Billmon:
The ultra right is now the mainstream, and by that standard, I think it's going to be just about impossible to uphold a filibuster, much less muster up enough Republican defectors to defeat Roberts.

Bob Roberts

Posted by b on July 20, 2005 at 6:29 UTC | Permalink | Comments (23)