Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
January 23, 2007

O(_!_)O Speaks

Strolling through a flea market in Berlin one stand with pompous objects caught beq's eyes.


'Arsch mit Ohren' is a German expression usually picturing a person in some authority.

Germans are serious about their culture. So the recent quarterly research publication of the Germanisches Nationalmuseum discusses Symbolism and Change of Meaning (PDF, German, pg. 4-8) of 'asses with ears.' Kids eat them.

The biggest ass with ears of all will release some stinky hot air tonight.

President Bush tonight will try to change the subject -- and will fail.

says Froomkin.

The expectations are set for some SOTU announcements on new domestic policy initiatives, like a new health care trap.

But Rove is still working in the White House - so I expect something different.

Some international initiatives where Bush can bet on genuine bipartisan support.

Words that come near to a declaration of war on Iran, support for Israel's colonialism and apartheit and a fierce condemnation of today's labor supported General Strike in Lebanon.

Democrats and Republicans will applause those lines.

Yes, there are lots of O(_!_)O around.

What to do about them? Here is an idea:


So who will Bush kiss today? What is his biggest applause line? While you watch or smell the SOTU fart, what is your impression of preparations, buttock-language, content and reactions? Let us know.

Posted by b on January 23, 2007 at 20:23 UTC | Permalink


Arsch mit Ohren! Can't wait to find a reason to use that phrase. And now I have to find out how to find the Haribo version in New York. Thanks, Bernhard.

Meanwhile, I realize this must have been discussed extensively already, but I don't stop by here nearly often enough: Do we know what has or will or can become of Billmon's archives, both of articles and pre-MoA comment threads? They can't be lost forever, or can they?

Posted by: ralphbon | Jan 23 2007 21:07 utc | 1

yes, let us get to the bottom of this

Posted by: b real | Jan 23 2007 21:16 utc | 2

Was anyone anal-retentive enough to keep all those threads in their complete form?

Posted by: Rowan | Jan 23 2007 22:19 utc | 3

it's a cruel world

Posted by: annie | Jan 24 2007 5:31 utc | 4

I have a Billmon archive which was given to me and I will have it accessible soon.

Posted by: b | Jan 24 2007 5:57 utc | 5

President Bush’s State of the Union Address

...For too long our nation has been dependent on foreign oil. And this dependence leaves us more vulnerable to hostile regimes, and to terrorists -- who could cause huge disruptions of oil shipments, and raise the price of oil, and do great harm to our economy.
Our success in this war is often measured by the things that did not happen. We cannot know the full extent of the attacks that we and our allies have prevented, but here is some of what we do know: We stopped an al Qaeda plot to fly a hijacked airplane into the tallest building on the West Coast. We broke up a Southeast Asian terror cell grooming operatives for attacks inside the United States. We uncovered an al Qaeda cell developing anthrax to be used in attacks against America. And just last August, British authorities uncovered a plot to blow up passenger planes bound for America over the Atlantic Ocean. For each life saved, we owe a debt of gratitude to the brave public servants who devote their lives to finding the terrorists and stopping them. (Applause.)
These men are not given to idle words, and they are just one camp in the Islamist radical movement. In recent times, it has also become clear that we face an escalating danger from Shia extremists who are just as hostile to America, and are also determined to dominate the Middle East. Many are known to take direction from the regime in Iran, which is funding and arming terrorists like Hezbollah -- a group second only to al Qaeda in the American lives it has taken.

The Shia and Sunni extremists are different faces of the same totalitarian threat. Whatever slogans they chant, when they slaughter the innocent they have the same wicked purposes. They want to kill Americans, kill democracy in the Middle East, and gain the weapons to kill on an even more horrific scale.
In Lebanon, assassins took the life of Pierre Gemayel, a prominent participant in the Cedar Revolution. Hezbollah terrorists, with support from Syria and Iran, sowed conflict in the region and are seeking to undermine Lebanon's legitimately elected government. In Afghanistan, Taliban and al Qaeda fighters tried to regain power by regrouping and engaging Afghan and NATO forces. In Iraq, al Qaeda and other Sunni extremists blew up one of the most sacred places in Shia Islam -- the Golden Mosque of Samarra. This atrocity, directed at a Muslim house of prayer, was designed to provoke retaliation from Iraqi Shia -- and it succeeded. Radical Shia elements, some of whom receive support from Iran, formed death squads.
If American forces step back before Baghdad is secure, the Iraqi government would be overrun by extremists on all sides. We could expect an epic battle between Shia extremists backed by Iran, and Sunni extremists aided by al Qaeda and supporters of the old regime.
A second task we can take on together is to design and establish a volunteer Civilian Reserve Corps. Such a corps would function much like our military reserve. It would ease the burden on the Armed Forces by allowing us to hire civilians with critical skills to serve on missions abroad when America needs them. It would give people across America who do not wear the uniform a chance to serve in the defining struggle of our time.

The August plot "the Britsh uncovered" was a British sting operation premptivly blown up by the U.S. ...

The last paragraph is an invitation for Blackwater and other mercinaries ...

Posted by: b | Jan 24 2007 6:19 utc | 6

Webb answer: Democratic response to State of Union

how we might bring the war in Iraq to a proper conclusion that will also allow us to continue to fight the war against international terrorism, and to address other strategic concerns that our country faces around the world.
The president took us into this war recklessly. He disregarded warnings from the national security adviser during the first Gulf War , the chief of staff of the Army, two former commanding generals of the Central Command, whose jurisdiction includes Iraq, the director of operations on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and many, many others with great integrity and long experience in national security affairs. We are now, as a nation, held hostage to the predictable — and predicted — disarray that has followed.
The majority of the nation no longer supports the way this war is being fought; nor does the majority of our military. We need a new direction. Not one step back from the war against international terrorism. Not a precipitous withdrawal that ignores the possibility of further chaos. But an immediate shift toward strong regionally based diplomacy, a policy that takes our soldiers off the streets of Iraq‘s cities, and a formula that will in short order allow our combat forces to leave Iraq.

Posted by: b | Jan 24 2007 6:47 utc | 7

the last paragraph is a call for the skills draft

fuck them

Posted by: annie | Jan 24 2007 6:48 utc | 8

sorry, my #8 was in reference to #6

Posted by: annie | Jan 24 2007 6:49 utc | 9

could today's nyt editorial on the sotu be speaking to the moon? it ends with:

Say what you will about the flaws and shortcomings of the two-party system. After six years of the Bush presidency, at least we know it’s a lot better than the one-party system.

more at the link, but strangely enough it sounds like the corporate media is finally getting it.

Posted by: conchita | Jan 24 2007 7:01 utc | 10

annie #8- as has been said before...let the children and grandchildren of those who propose and enact such laws be the first to go to Iraq, etc. and serve as civilians....under whose authority, btw?

since both blue and white collar jobs have now been and will continue to be exported to other places with cheaper costs, this "skills draft" is an opportunity to get your head blown off because you happened to be born in the U.S. at a time when the middle and lower classes are being treated as nothing more than fodder for meat-grinder profits and foreign "policy."

enough of this shit from the ass with ears in the white house.

Posted by: fauxreal | Jan 24 2007 7:03 utc | 11

E. Howard Hunt has died.

and the U.S. media passes along this bullshit uncritically:

While working for the CIA, Hunt recruited four of the five actual burglars — Bernard Barker, Virgilio Gonzalez, Rolando Eugenio Martinez and Frank Sturgis, all who had worked for Hunt a decade earlier in the Bay of Pigs invasion.

All four also had ties to Miami, where part of the Watergate plan was hatched.

"According to street gossip both in Washington and Miami, Mr. Castro had been making substantial contributions to the McGovern campaign," Hunt told CNN in February 1992. "And the idea was ... that somewhere in the books of the Democratic National Committee those illicit funds would be found."

sooooooo, we're supposed to think that the Republicans actually believed that castro would fund democrats, and that democrats would actually accept such funding? or maybe this was part of Lucienne Goldberg's "findings" as a mole in the McGovern campaign?

...because, what...Kennedy was such a castro lover?

Then again, such a belief (not among the general public but the nutcase right wing) might have been part of their delusions since they continue to exhibit such delusions when they claim that anyone who opposes them is "for" terrorists.

My whole life, as well as the lives of anyone born since the 1950s, has been defined and delimited, politically, by the black ops and dirty tricks of the CIA and the republican party. I detest what they have created.

Posted by: fauxreal | Jan 24 2007 7:16 utc | 12

Milbank sketch

"First we must balance the federal budget," Bush said.

Pelosi shot to her feet, followed slowly by Cheney.

"We can do so without raising taxes," Bush continued.

Cheney leapt up. Pelosi started to stand, then reconsidered and sat down.

Bush called for saving "up to 8.5 billion more gallons of gasoline by 2017."

Pelosi stood to applaud. Cheney remained resolutely planted.

The president demanded a "prompt up-or-down vote" for his judicial nominees.

Cheney rose, grinning and applauding. Pelosi sat silently.
But there were plenty of lines to present Cheney and Pelosi -- and their respective sides -- with the dilemma of when to stand or clap.

Bush called for the need to "pass medical liability reform." Cheney applauded. Pelosi took a drink of water.

The awkwardness increased when the subject finally came to Iraq.

Bush urged lawmakers to "turn events toward victory." Cheney stood and applauded. Pelosi held to her chair, but, as the applaud spread, finally stood without clapping.

Bush called for the United States "to succeed in Iraq." Cheney again stood and clapped. Pelosi wiped her lips and remained seated, as did most Democrats, except for relative hawks such as Clinton and the newly minted independent, Sen. Joe Lieberman (Conn.) When Bush spoke of Marines going to Anbar province to "find the terrorists," a few Republican leaders -- Sens. Ted Stevens (Alaska), John Cornyn (Tex.) and Jon Kyl (Ariz.), and Reps. John Boehner (Ohio) and Roy Blunt (Mo.) -- tried to start a standing ovation, but got little support from either side.

And when Bush spoke about deploying "more than 20,000 additional soldiers and Marines to Iraq," there was silence all around.

Posted by: b | Jan 24 2007 7:39 utc | 13

And the statue is won by the headline writer for the Sydney Morning Herald Give War a Chance: Bush

Posted by: jj | Jan 24 2007 8:54 utc | 14

LAT: Contradictions seen in alternative energy plan

President Bush's proposals to reduce U.S. gasoline consumption by 20% in 10 years include more specific and ambitious new goals than in previous White House statements, but they also appear to rely on assumptions about energy markets, politics and technology that some experts say are debatable, and include some apparent contradictions.

In general, Bush's proposal to boost alternative fuels such as ethanol was greeted with conditional enthusiasm by many scientists, environmentalists and members of Congress. His plan would require suppliers to include 35 billion gallons of alternative fuels in the nation's vehicle fuel supply by 2017, up from the current 5 billion gallons.
Environmentalists were skeptical that Bush's proposal would lead to any significant increase in fuel economy rules.

Indeed, some aspects of the overall plan seemed to contradict each other. For one, Bush's proposal to save gasoline by increasing vehicle fuel economy standards could be undermined by his call for greater use of alternative fuels. Ethanol, for example, gets less mileage than gasoline and, without a major technological breakthrough, requiring more of it could make it harder to increase fuel efficiency.

Philip E. Clapp, president of the National Environmental Trust, said that the president's request for new legislation "letting him set standards basically model-by-model is something Detroit has pushed for years — as a way to poke more loopholes in the current weak standards."
Corn-based ethanol is not without its drawbacks and would be a short-term solution at best. Corn-based ethanol consumes a valuable U.S. food crop and has driven the price up. What's more, the process of growing corn and transforming it into ethanol consumes large amounts of fossil fuels such as oil, coal and natural gas. And with current technology, U.S. farms could provide only enough corn to yield 15 billion gallons of fuel ethanol a year — well below the president's new goal of 35 billion, according to some estimates.

Posted by: b | Jan 24 2007 11:59 utc | 15

Juan Cole has a pretty good response to Bush: Arguing With Bush

Bush has exacerbated conflicts throughout the Middle East. He has contributed heavily to the outbreak of three civil wars, in Iraq, in Palestine and Lebanon. His incompetence and self-contradictory policies have deeply endangered Americans and American interests. Now he is holding his own failures over our heads to blackmail us into throwing good money after bad.

Posted by: b | Jan 24 2007 12:21 utc | 16

I liked this comment on the American Prospect web site:

Here is where I suppose I should remark upon the gracious manner in which President George W. Bush greeted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, but I daresay the president's fawning, whether feigned or merely finessed, rang in my ears with the soft bigotry of noblesse oblige. When the current President Bush ascended to the leadership of the free world, I don't believe he was introduced in his official capacity as somebody's son, even though he had little more to recommend him to the job. Pelosi's introduction by this president, this scion of a dynasty of mediocrity, reduced her to status of somebody's daughter.

Posted by: Bea | Jan 24 2007 14:51 utc | 17

if the emperor says "To prevail, we must remove the conditions that inspire blind hatred and drove 19 men to get onto airplanes and come to kill us," does that mean he recognizes that he needs to step down?

Posted by: b real | Jan 24 2007 17:14 utc | 18

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