Friday, September 28, 2007

I know how you feel, buddy

Tavis Smiley-hosted debate scheduling conflicts, according to the top 4 Republican candidates:

Rudy Giuliani: Nothing to wear, besides, just washed his hair and couldn’t do a thing with it.

John McCain: Straight Talk Express making funny rattling noise, had to take it to mechanic.

Mitt Romney: Had to clean campaign bus upholstery after unfortunate “accident” that followed strapping campaign mascot to the roof.

Fred Thompson: Still working on hand-held device that would punctuate every remark with Law & Order-esque “Dah – dum!”

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Uh-uh, you can't tell me nothing

I know y’all have been checking my blog daily, waiting, waiting for the day when I will finally weigh in on the Kanye v. 50 controversy.

Well, I’m throwing my weight behind Kanye. And not just because his new album is pretty freakin’ rad. Although it is.

I know, I know, Kanye’s an asshole. I get it. I watch the award shows, I’m aware that he seems to have made a hobby out of throwing very public fits over the industry’s not-quite-sufficient appreciation of his genius.

How can I truck with such a self-absorbed young man? Well, to get the answer to that question, you have to check out this self-deprecating and hilarious song from his new album. It’s called Can’t Tell Me Nothing. And except for the part about buying lots of jewelry, I soooo identify with this song. I’m a know-it-all. It’s a fault of mine. I admit it freely. And Kanye gets me, yo.

But more than that, I love Kanye because during a fundraiser for victims of Katrina, he chastised himself on camera for going shopping before he made his own donation. And most of all, I love him for blurting out, during that same segment, “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.”

Because he doesn’t. Otherwise, why would W turn his back on blacks drowning in their attics while he was off on the Redneck Riviera assuring wealthy crackers that they would get their vacation homes rebuilt?

Why would he oppose minorities receiving admission points on college applications, while remaining a happy recipient of the “my daddy” form of affirmative action, as in “my daddy went to Yale so I get to, too.”

Why else would his election campaign coordinate with Republican officials in Florida in 2000 to intimidate black voters or simply scrub them from voter lists entirely, rather than attempt to win their votes in a legitimate manner? Why else ensure the continuation of ill will by directing the Department of Justice to side with those who sought to keep blacks from voting in Ohio in 2004?

Why systematically dismantle the Civil Rights Division of the DoJ, and install so many partisan operatives that his administration actually pursued more cases claiming discrimination against whites than against blacks?

So it’s no surprise that W, when asked to comment about the racially-motivated intimidation, and unequal treatment of black youths by law enforcement, in Jena, Louisiana, responded that the events there “saddened him,” and that he could “understand the emotions.”

What. The. Fuck.

What the hell kind of response was that?

Unfortunately, I know the answer to that question. It was a response carefully worded so as to avoid taking sides.

Because George W. Bush does not want to offend racists. Hey, who do you think those 25% of Americans are that still support that clown?

It’s not like I expect W to, for once, act like he is president of ALL of the people in this country, but given the white supremacist backlash in Jena in the wake of the showings of support for the black students, W had better get the fuck off the redneck fence and show some fucking support for people who are on the side of EQUALITY. Because if he doesn’t, and if he doesn’t send someone down there to tell all those honkies to simmer down, then he’ll be responsible for whatever bad shit happens.

C’mon W, this week it’s been exactly 50 years since a Republican president last stood up for black people, and given the current crop of contenders, it’ll likely be 50 more.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Down the Jonah Goldberg rabbit hole (and back out , thank all that is sweet and holy)

Sure, Jonah Goldberg is a douchebag, but he’s a nationally syndicated douchebag. And because his weekly column runs in the LA Times, he’s also our nationally syndicated douchebag.

Goldberg’s got a problem. He thinks everyone is taking Alan Greenspan out of context in this minor dust-up over Greenspan’s little admission in his recently released memoir that the war in Iraq was motivated by oil. He called his column on it “Bashing Bush with Greenspan,” which I have to admit makes me laugh, because “Bush bashing” is SO 2003. I mean, even Chris Matthews must by now be admitting that people who don’t like Bush aren’t necessarily all “whack-jobs.”

But, as usual, let’s just let Goldberg speak for himself:

Greenspan wrote that the Iraq war was "largely about oil," according to an excerpt in the Washington Post on Saturday. The statement quickly raced around the globe, with headlines like this one from Britain's Daily Telegraph: "Iraq was about oil -- Greenspan attacks U.S. motivation for war." The Independent began its own editorial by declaring: "The credibility of President George Bush's policy on Iraq has suffered another devastating blow. It is all the more powerful for having come not from a political enemy but from someone who was showered with plaudits by the administration."

It’s funny how he makes it seem like “the statement” that “raced around the globe” was only this: “largely about oil.” Here’s the entire statement: "I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil." Yeah, see, that’s a tad bit different, isn’t it? But hang on, there’s more dissembling in store from Mr. Goldberg.

The quoted phrase ran through the Sunday news shows and the blogosphere like a bad intestinal virus.

He’s comparing it to poop, see? That’s how nationally syndicated columnists express disdain.

Hey, watch me, I’m going to write like a nationally syndicated columnist:

Jonah Goldberg’s a shithead.

Wheeeeee! That was fun!

On CNN's "Late Edition," Rep. Tom Lantos (D-Burlingame) was asked if he agreed with Greenspan. "To a very large extent I agree with him, and I think it is very remarkable that it took Alan Greenspan all these many years and being out of office [to state] the obvious."

Well, that is very interesting. But first we should clear the air about something. Greenspan claims that the quote was taken out of context. Greenspan called the Post -- Bob Woodward, no less -- to say that, in fact, he didn't think the White House was motivated by oil. Rather, he was. A Post story Monday explained that Greenspan had long favored Saddam Hussein's ouster because the Iraqi dictator was a threat to the Strait of Hormuz, through which much of the world's oil passes every day. Hussein could have sent the price of oil way past $100 a barrel, which would have inflicted chaos on the global economy.

Yes, let’s do clear the air about something, namely, that as influential as Greenspan was in his time, it is not within his power to change the meanings of words.

He said “is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil.” He did not say “what everyone knows to be my opinion,” or “what everyone knows I would’ve done if I were the decider.” So Greenspan’s protestations that he was taken “out of context” are a little disingenuous, don’t you think?

And even if I were to believe that Greenspan meant what he now says he meant, it’s simply ridiculous to attribute Greenspan’s fear regarding the Strait of Hormuz into a rationale for our current entanglement. What, Hussein takes over the strait, and instead of taking back the goddamn strait, we capitulate, and the price of oil goes through the roof?


Thereby making an indefinite, bloody, trillion-dollar engagement in Iraq unavoidable?

Say what?

So let's get back to Lantos, the California congressman who agreed with the misconstrued Greenspan that it was "obvious" we went to war for oil. What's funny -- though not really ha-ha funny -- is that Lantos voted for the war. If it was so obviously a war for oil, why did he vote for it? Unless, of course, he thinks it's hunky-dory to go to war because of oil -- though that didn't sound like what he was trying to say.

Um, dude, okay, even though you work for the National Review, I’m pretty sure you do things like “read,” and maybe even “think.” So by now you’ve surely been made aware that most members of congress believe they were, at best, misinformed by those interpreting the intelligence on Iraq, and that the majority of them have now stated that they based their decision to go to war on information that was not exactly, er, true?

Surely you must have heard that. Surely you must. So to write the above paragraph like you’ve never heard that, and to therefore encourage an erroneous conclusion among your sympathetic readers, (which, I’m sure, are legion) is kinda creepy and integrity-free and not exactly worthy of a nationally syndicated columnist, now, is it?

As several other politicians and officials noted over the weekend, no White House briefer ever told Congress that this was a war for oil.

Yeah, and unless career suicide becomes the hot new trend in DC, it’s not very likely they ever will.

The debates in Congress didn't say this was a war for oil.

Which debates? The debates in 2003? Well, first of all, one could hardly call them “debates.” I would characterize what when on in congress as “I’ve been told Saddam is a bad man who wants to kill us and has the power to kill us which seems unlikely but everyone else is doing it and I hate being called a traitor and I do kinda want to be re-elected so I guess I’m going along because the Republicans hold the majority anyway vote.”

Bush never gave a single speech saying this was a war for oil.

That’s correct. And you know what else Bush has never done? Gotten down on his hands and knees and begged forgiveness from the American people for being so obsessed with his hard-on for American oil companies and their desire for a seat at the Middle East oil table that he ignored the warning signs that could have prevented the attacks on 9/11. And you know what? The latter seems much more likely than the former.

(If oil was all Bush wanted, he hardly needed to go to war to get it.)

Oh, really? How else do you propose to force an enemy government into giving American oil companies the contracts to extract, refine, and export their oil?

So why is it so "obvious" to Lantos that it was a war for oil?

You know, I’m getting a little tired of this guy’s false ignorance, but sure, okay, I’ll bite one more time: It is “obvious” to Lantos, and to any thinking person who is not so emotionally invested in the lie that they have drawn a lead curtain around their brain and forbidden the truth to enter, because we have, since the war began, become aware of a number of incidents that point to no other reasonable conclusion.

Look, Goldberg, stop pretending you don’t know what I’m talking about. The head of the British intelligence service told the Prime Minister of Britain that all of our stated reasons for going to war in Iraq were, you know, kind of, um, made up.

So clearly there was a reason for going to war that we were not being told. We could guess about what it was, but we don’t have to, because, for one thing, Cheney and his little energy task force forgot to burn their big post-Iraq Christmas wish list, dated two years before the war was begun, which makes fairly plain their motivation, doesn’t it? Doesn’t it, Goldberg? C’mon, Goldberg, forget your crazy-ass momma and your family legacy of hating on the Dems, and admit the logic of the whole thing for just a second.

Perhaps the answer is that when it comes to bashing Bush about the war, no accusation is inaccurate -- even if it contradicts all the accusations that came before. Some say it's all about the Israel lobby. Others claim that Bush was trying to avenge his dad. Still others say Bush went to war because God told him to.

Look, the US didn’t go to war for Israel. If we were merely Israel’s fairy godmother, I’m sure Iraq wouldn’t have been at the top of their wish list. And if an enduring US presence in Iraq that inflames anti-western (and anti-western-ally) sentiment in the Middle East gets Israel off, that’s their fucking problem. It’s merely a perk of the war, and not the cause.

Ditto the dad-avenging thing. Look, clearly Bush has daddy issues. But even a freshman psych student could tell you that Bush’s issues lie not so much in the “avenge daddy” area, and more in the “show up that cold-hearted bastard who sired me but never thought I was smart enough or good enough to carry his name” area.

And as for God telling Bush to invade, well, I’m afraid you’ve gotten your attribution wrong, Goldberg. That story originated not with Bush-bashers, but with Bush himself.

Again, not the sort of quality of investigation one would expect from a nationally syndicated columnist.

Which is it? All of those? Any? It doesn't seem to matter. It's disturbing how many people are willing to look for motives beyond the ones debated and voted on by our elected leaders.

You know what’s more disturbing? Leaders who lie to their people. But that reality seems to be beyond your grasp. Except, of course, when a Democrat is in charge. Goldberg, your agenda is so laughably transparent I don’t know how you manage to churn out these ridiculous screeds. Doesn’t all the guffawing, and pants wetting, and thigh slapping, and eye tearing-up make it really hard to type?

The last time Greenspan made a gaffe of sorts, his comment about Wall Street's "irrational exuberance" sent worldwide markets into a tizzy. This gaffe is more ironic because it was so plain-spoken, but it also managed to call attention to a case of irrational exuberance -- among Bush-bashing war opponents.

Yes, it was a plain-spoken “gaffe,” wasn’t it? Some people would say that therefore it required the most minimal of interpretations, because its meaning was clear. Some people would seek to spin it backwards, and try to make it mean what it clearly did not, and then claim that they are the ones possessing the rational heads.

Fuck it. I’ll admit it. I am fucking exuberant, okay? People are finally starting to acknowledge the truth, and it makes me feel like at long last, we can get somewhere.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


How many times do you have to stick a gun in the face of a woman and threaten to blow her brains out before a jury believes that you stuck a gun in the face of a woman and blew her brains out?

Answer: at least six times.

Because five different women testified at Spector's trial that they had been held hostage by Spector at gunpoint in his home, and threatened with death when they tried to leave, but apparently that information was not particularly damning in the minds of the jury.

An argument they found more compelling, apparently, is that the victim committed suicide. Yeah, it made more sense to them that a beautiful actress would choose to bite it by shooting herself in the face while standing with her purse in her hand next to the front door of a man she had not known before that night.

This argument was made compelling by the defense's assertions that the victim was "depressed."

I know! A forty-year-old non-working actress in Hollywood, depressed? Holy shit! The streets of LA must be literally running with blood! It's a wonder we haven't all been made poor, persecuted, innocent witnesses to actress suicides, just like Phil Spector!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Not only fools, but fat, badly-dressed fools

The clues were all there. We just collectively, as a nation, refused to see them.

The first clue was when Cheney was chosen to head the search for a VP candidate to run with W in 2000 – and chose himself. As CEO of Halliburton, Cheney had made the following remarks in 1999:

"Oil companies are expected to keep developing enough oil to offset oil depletion and also to meet new demand...So where is the oil going to come from? Governments and the national oil companies are obviously in control of 90 percent of the assets. Oil remains fundamentally a government business. The Middle East with two-thirds of the world’s oil and the lowest cost is still where the prize ultimately lies."

The second clue was the Cheney energy task force, a group formed in order to establish "a national energy policy designed to help the private sector." Remember how hard BushCo fought to keep its members, and its documents, secret? Now we know why. It wasn’t just that the preponderance of oil executives participating would make them look bad. No, it was a little bit more important than a mere image problem, as former CIA intelligence analyst Ray McGovern explains:

[A] Freedom of Information Act lawsuit forced the Commerce Department to turn over task force documents, including a map of Iraqi oilfields, pipelines, refineries, terminals, and potential areas for exploration; a Pentagon chart "Foreign Suitors for Iraqi Oilfield Contracts;" and another chart detailing Iraqi oil and gas projects – all dated March 2001.

Another clue: In post-invasion Baghdad, every public or commercial building, from banks to libraries to universities, was looted and stripped down to the drywall. Thieves walked out of the Iraqi National Museum with priceless artifacts tucked casually under their arms. But the oil ministry was guarded by 50 tanks and sharpshooters on every floor and corner of the building.

Another clue: Richard Clarke, in his memoir, tells how, on September 11, 2001, BushCo responds to the attack on the Pentagon and WTC by wondering if they could use it to justify invading Iraq.

Another clue: The Downing Street memo is leaked to the press, and we find out that the chief of British intelligence told Tony Blair that "Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy." He also said that, as of July 2002, Bush was determined to invade. Of course, our leader would tell us right up until the invasion in March of 2003 that he hadn’t made his mind up yet.

Another clue: We find out that we are building large permanent US military bases in Iraq, complete with fast food restaurants, gyms, car dealerships, and a swimming pool.

I could go on, of course. The clues have come at us constantly and from all directions, but still we continue to attribute our war to WMD and/or terrorism. Never mind that the terrorists moved into Iraq AFTER we invaded. Any rookie detective could’ve told us that you can’t assign a motive based on a condition that occurred after the crime, but by now we are grasping at any straw of respectability that we can find.

Look, everyone. It was for the oil. It was. It was for the oil. I know you don’t want to believe that our country would invade another country so that we could force them into a sweetheart deal for their oil, but we did. We did do that. I know it sounds like it might be some kind of war crime, some kind of thing that only a very bad country would do, and not us, because we are a good country, aren’t we? Aren’t we a good country?

History will say no. History will look upon the citizens of the United States at this time and conclude that we are all either liars or fools.

Friday, September 14, 2007

"Shut up," he explained.

So Giuliani’s campaign took out an attack ad against Hilary Clinton in which he says “These times call for statesmanship, not politicians spewing political venom.”

It gets better.

In the ad, which seeks to create a non-existent alignment between Clinton and the left-wing political group, Giuliani accuses the Democrats who questioned Petraeus of an “orchestrated attack.”

I’m not kidding.

In defending the ad, in which Giuliani characterizes Clinton’s remarks to Petraeus in the Senate as a “character attack,” Giuliani said "I can't imagine why we can't get beyond maligning other people's motives nowadays in politics."

This shit is not from The Onion. I swear it is for real.

Meanwhile, I would just like to say to Clinton that telling General Petraeus that his progress report on the Iraq war required a “willing suspension of disbelief” is not really all that effective as a criticism. Because Americans ARE ALL ABOUT the willing suspension of disbelief, baby. C’mon, our politicians talk about tv characters like they’re for real. They’ve been doing it for years!

Not only that, but a significant portion of us actually buy into theories such as “fighting them over there, so we don’t have to fight them here,” as if, in defiance of our own use of the pronoun “them,” we actually thought there was only one of them, and that one was unable to move beyond certain geographical boundaries as long as we kept driving through the place in Humvees.

And to, I would just like to say: stop it with the “General Betray Us.” Not because you shouldn’t malign a member of the armed forces, because I think they’re as fair game as the rest of us, and not because I think Petraeus is particularly steeped in integrity, because, seriously now, how can you have exactly the same optimistic assessment of Iraq three years ago that you have now and have it NOT be a pose, but because, well, it’s just a really bad pun. And I hate puns. I hate even good puns.

I take it back. There are no good puns.

Furthermore, if you really want to smack down the Petraeus, or any other military official who sells his soul to his commander-in-chief, may I suggest a different insult?

You could call it “pulling a Colin.”

I know. Ouch. But desperate times call for desperate measures.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

It gets worse here every day

Just when I thought Bush couldn’t hurt me anymore, I hear on the radio that he is considering nominating uber-toady Ted Olson to replace Gonzalez, and I have to pull my car over to side of the road and scream and pound my steering wheel for a few minutes. And then I have to turn off All Things Considered entirely and play the classic rock station really really loud and sing “Welcome to the Jungle” until my rage is mollified.

And I don’t even like Guns N’ Roses.

It’s not just that this ass-kisser was W’s attorney in the Bush v. Gore case, although lord knows that’s enough.

He was a member of the Arkansas Project, the organization financed by Richard Mellon Scaife for the sole purpose of removing President Clinton from the White House. Scaife is so fucking rich and so fucking scary and so fucking mean that he makes Mr. Burns look like Teddy Ruxpin. Scaife, with the help of attorney Olson, was so intent on finding dirt on Clinton that they paid people to lie about their encounters with him. They proposed theories so nasty that even Ann Coulter refused to endorse them. He shook the bushes so hard in Clinton’s home state that sad, tragic people fell out and were picked up and used by them and eventually discarded.

Not only is Ted Olson vile, but his dead wife, conservative commentator Barbara Olson, was so vile that she managed to be condescending and presumptuous while dying heroically on Flight 77 on 9/11. Allegedly phoning her husband from the plane, she asked him “What should I tell the pilot to do?”

Excuse me while I retch.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Trouble with a capital T

As I said to a friend of mine yesterday, the capacity of the American public to engage in massive self-delusion seems to know no bounds.

Case in point: Fred Thompson, Republican frontrunner!

Thompson is all over Iowa, talking about his humble beginnings, natch, in places like Music Man Square, a museum full of picket-fenced and hay-baled settings based on the rural-Iowa-as-utopia musical The Music Man.

Look, it's none of my beeswax if the Repubs want to nominate him. They seem to fall pretty hard for that "aw shucks" act. It worked for Reagan, and for W. In fact, I think at the times those two were elected there was very little else that WAS working for them, so it might be safe to safe that as far as Americans are concerned, a pick-up, a pair of cowboy boots, and whiff of le shirt-collar bleu, however improbable, is just about ALL you need to con the electoral college.

It is interesting to me, however, that Democrats are smacked down pretty hard whenever they are perceived to be condescending to be one of the people. Witness the harsh treatment of John Edwards, who is a perfectly fine and upstanding candidate, even if he does obsess about his hair.

The hair obsession doesn't phase me. C'mon, I date a musician. What does bother me, though, is that Edwards, whose positions are solid, and whose campaign focus is right on, is dismissed as a light-weight, whereas Thompson, who has so far dodged stating a position on just about every issue except one, is being slavered over like he's John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart, and Abraham Lincoln all rolled into one.

And what's the essential, urgent, high-priority issue on which Thompson has rushed to press his agenda in these dangerous times of ours?

Gay marriage. He's agin it.

Yes, and the whole country just sunk a few millimeters lower into the abyss of lost integrity and moral wrongity-wrong-wrongitude.

Oh, and by the way, lovers of Thompson, before you go and burden the country with another election based on appealing to the "git 'er done!" demographic, I beg you to consider this:

The Music Man is a story about a swindler who convinced a whole town that he was what he wasn't.

Think about it.

Monday, September 10, 2007

This just in: Pope is Catholic!

Petraeus says we are winning in Iraq!

Yes, we are winning. Just very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very slowly.

So if a general in the army says we are winning, it must be true.

Know how I know? Because I am an American, and 68% of us believe that only the military can resolve the war in Iraq.


Only the military can resolve the war. Now if only we can figure out who is in charge of the military.

I hope it's not that 5% guy.

But if it is, at least he's better than no one. By 2%.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Be reasonable

Hey guys, sorry I’ve been neglectful. Life is busy these days.

If you haven’t seen this BBC interview (above) with former interim UN Ambassador John Bolton, check it out. The dude still won’t admit that there were no weapons of mass destruction found in Iraq! Because to him, see, just even THINKING ABOUT WMDs is as bad as actually having them. And they can prove that Saddam was thinking about them, see? He was thinking about them in the north, south, east and west - right Rumsfeld? Plus, Bolton tells us that our mistake was not invading Iraq, because no reasonable person would ever question THAT, but how it was handled afterward.

What?! He’s admitting that we screwed the post-invasion pooch?

Not really. What he’s saying is that we should’ve let the Iraqis decide things for themselves earlier. For instance, whether or not to disband the army totally should’ve been their call.

Okay, I’m not saying that I would disagree with that as an idea, but exactly who would he have picked to put in charge? Um, Chalabi?

And speaking of totally chock full o’ integrity and non-US puppet Iraqis, there is now more evidence that there were extremely reputable intelligence guys in the CIA who were screaming from the rooftops (or the CIA equivalent, which I think equates to very loud, urgent-type whispering) that Saddam had no WMDs. Their source? An informant in Saddam’s inner circle. But Bush said at the time that he didn’t believe that intelligence. He chose to believe the intelligence from one (now completely discredited) source: Curveball.

Ah, Curveball. We trusted you, and you turned out to be about as reliable as…well… as reliable as your code name would seem to imply. Curveball, Curveball, Curveball, how on earth could someone so completely steeped in “Hi, I’m a crackpot!” hold entire factions of the US government in thrall? Could it be that those same factions didn’t truly believe you, either? But simply propped you up in order to justify their own reasons for invasion? Reasons that had more to do with our reluctance to continue life bent over a Saudi oil barrel, and our eagerness to expand profits for US companies with significant, dare I say familial, ties to aforementioned factions?

No reasonable person would believe otherwise.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Heckuva job, Bremer

(L. Paul Bremer receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom)

The latest in a long line of twisting-in-the-wind former Bushies?

L. Paul Bremer. He of the less than distinguished batting average in Iraq as head of the Coalition Provisional Authority. Or, as I prefer to call the CPA, the group that came in and fired all the career diplomats with any experience rebuilding countries, and installed instead an army of loyal, if grossly under-qualified, Christian-y Bush disciples.

One of Bremer's more genius early moves, and one which was not shared with Colin Powell, Richard Armitage, or (so they claim) the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was to disband the Iraqi army. According to many working in Iraq prior to Bremer's decision, the Iraqi army had been standing down, and in negotiations with "the coalition of the willing" to re-form and to cooperate with the rebuilding and the establishment of some much-needed order. But when BushCo decided that all members of Hussein's political party need not apply (all of them Sunnis), the CPA cut them loose, fully armed and pissed as hell and well aware of where Saddam kept all the spare armament that was laying around Iraq unguarded.

And thus was born the insurgency.

You know, so few things are predictable in this upside-down, topsy-turvy world of ours, and of course I know that hindsight don't need no lasik, and yet....

The insurgency, predictable? Yeah, I think I would put that in the category of, oh, night following day, or spring following winter, or even the ultimate in predictability: that BushCo will betray anyone, no matter how loyal, if they think it will deflect criticism from themselves.

Apparently, in a recent interview for a book that has yet to be released, W has been quoted as saying that our policy in Iraq was “to keep the army intact” but that it “didn’t happen.”

Or, more accurately, "Didn't happen. Heh heh."

And Mr. Bremer, unwilling to provide the sole set of shoulders for that load of blame, called up a reporter at the New York Times and said “This didn’t just pop out of my head."

And he produced letters from W to that effect. Sort of. That is, the letters detail Mr. Bremer's plans, and our great leader's reply was “Your leadership is apparent...You have quickly made a positive and significant impact. You have my full support and confidence.” I the only one who looks at W's reply and thinks that maybe he never read Bremer's letter?

Yeah, I didn't think so.

Apologies to Mr. Chandler

The gal kicked off her flip-flops and hoisted her bare, sweaty gams onto the coffee table. She was the kind of leggy brunette that still turned the occasional head, despite the fact that she was clinging to her forties like a roof rat clings to the last orange on the tree. And despite all her years in what could more accurately be called the City of Demons, the utter misery of Los Angeles in late summer never failed to take her by surprise. How could this city be a virtual paradise for 11 months of the year, and then, in late August, become a plastic raft in the Lake of Eternal Hellfire; a hot, sweltering, endless expanse of stripmall-lined blacktop, devoid of life, hope, or even the smallest nugget of human compassion.

Yeah, it was hot. And it had been hot for days. It was so hot she couldn’t remember a time when it wasn’t hot, when she didn’t feel a murderous impulse every time the oscillating fan turned its limp ripple of air away from her and toward the boyfriend who sat sweating beside her on the sofa. “If I killed him,” she thought, “there’d be more cool air for me. Besides, I wonder how much heat his body is generating, even at rest.”

But she soon abandoned her calculations and ambled slowly into the kitchen. It was too hot—even for physics. “All I want to do,” she thought as she opened the icebox door “is crawl inside and curl up next to the pickles and beer.” She sighed heavily. “Maybe tomorrow will be cooler,” she said to herself as she pushed a damp curl back from where it clung to her forehead like a cheap starlet clings to Bruce Willis at a movie premiere.

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