Friday, July 27, 2007

Not Enemy Fire, Not Friendly Fire - let's try Fragging

Now it's come out that Pat Tillman was executed. Three close-set bullet holes in your forehead led to that conclusion.

The spin is it that he was fragged. But comments on the story are already poking big holes in this.

A) The AP article says Tillman was telling a fellow Ranger to "stop sniveling" right before he died.
Commenter: Nor is it likely he was "fragged" because he was a bit too gung ho. All Rangers are gung ho.

B) With the change in the storyline from friendly fire to fragging, but restoring the enemy fire detail:
Commenter: if they were under fire, how was there no evidence of that enemy fire?

C) With fragging questionable, and enemy fire and friendly fire eliminated, a commenter posits:
The suggestion that his platoon or company had something to do with the opium trade is beginning to look a lot less fantastical.

By george, I think he's got it! I don't know if Tillman had any thoughts about the illegality of Afghanistan or Iraq wars. Safeguarding opium shipments, on the other hand, could cause some re-thinking.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Say it ain't so, Bat Boy!

The bete noir of National Enquirer, People, US, and Wall Street Journal - the soon-to-be-late-lamented Weekly World News is going under. Belly up.

Who else is going to cover gems like these:
"Most Irresistible Woman on Earth - To Mosquitoes!"
"Mother Natures Endorses Gore For President"
"Why Moses Wandered in the Desert for 40 Years"

What other schizoid rag would tackle sex, politics, and religion, all in the same issue!

Over at the National Enquirer, they're covering blockbusters such as:
"Lindsay Lohan: Busted Again!"
[Ed. note: Okay, to be fair, every MSM outlet was covering that.]
"Campbell Brown leaves NBC for CNN"
[Ed. note: Besides CNN, who cares? Not even NBC.]

Reuters laments the passing of an archrival: Weekly World News to Close(Aliens not blamed).

Forbes reports that an angel of death has visited Weekly World News, and the world is poorer for it.

International Herald Tribune makes it sound like they're equally saddened, but in reality they lifted the same AP wire Forbes did.

Is there no shame!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

The Dictatorship consolidates

Over the weekend I was mortified to learn that Bush signed an executive order on 17 July 2007 which made protesting the Iraq War illegal. [Don't look now, Congressional Dems and Repubs, but he's looking at you too.]

Guerilla News Network:
Bush Executive Order: Criminalizing the Anti War Movement

Alex Cockburn at Counterpunch:
Guiliani and the Dogs of War
The third section, "A Big Mile Marker on our March into the Police State," reprints the Executive Order (Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq).

A Google search as of 4:30pm CT, Sunday 22 July 2007 showed only blogs and the official White House site covering this.

If you call out "Pravda" the American press will answer.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

A half-baked summation of today's news. And some of yesterday's.

First, some reflection. Neocon reporters interview each other and reach consensus. Back in February '03 Katherine Jean-Lopez, Bill Kristol, and Lawrence Kaplan concluded the only group Bush Co. failed to convince on Iraq was the liberal crowd. Liberals prefer tyranny.

This commenter is someone I want to know better:
I have a check signed and ready to post to the first person who tells Bill Kristol to fuck off or shut the fuck up on live television. I'll double it if it's accompanied by a left hook to his cakehole.
The Irish Times, among others, carried Pope Benedict XVI's statement that Reformed/Protestant churches are not churches in the true sense but rather ecclesial communities. And when he said "ecclesial communities," he used air quotes. Ian Paisley, right on cue, threw down the orange gauntlet. Let Marching Season begin!

Moody's and S&P secretly, while no one is looking, are feverishly getting caught up on their ratings. Unfortunately, they're a little behind on the downgrades. When Moody realized just how far behind they were (editor's note: they just got around to Enron), they put this little reminder out:
Moody's has no obligation to perform, and does not perform, due diligence.
S&P spent most of the day at a bar with Moody's, arguing who should put their downgrades out first. Moody's finally agreed to do it, picked up the phone and called AP with the news. S&P then called UPI. Then S&P found out that Moody's only pretended to call AP. Damn them!

And we'll wrap tonight's show with crazy-ass Rick Santorum*. Santorum, channeling (harnessing?) his inner voices, intimated on the Hugh Hewitt radio show (editor's note: that is a real show) that there are going to be terrorist attacks, a lot of them, they're going to happen before the 2008 elections, and as a result Americans will wake up and vote Republican. To sum up, Americans will vote Republican during a Republican administration because they got attacked while the country was on the Republicans' watch. As summed up here: Rick Santorum would very much like it if you'd just blow up and not vote Democrat.

*Link provides medical definition of Santorum.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

South Koreans get it, and rummy thoughts on the U.S. economy, politics, etc.

The South Korean metalworkers union recently led a 5-day strike to protest the proposed the free trade pact between the United States and South Korea.

The working classes have a much better understanding of what free trade does to them then the working classes in the United States do.

Think of it as labor arbitrage. And if you still think illegal immigration and off-shoring are not substantial levers in all this, then you're going to be plenty surprised when your job is snatched out from under you.

In other news, the big boys of Wall Street (Goldman Sachs, Bear Stearns, Morgan Stanley) are taking a beating on their in-house hedge funds. But only the WSJ and Financial Times are really covering these stories. Sadly, most people don't read WSJ and FT.

While Ben Bernanke is reluctantly - and evasively - beginning to admit that the crashing housing market might impact the greater economy, consumer confidence is crashing and banks are hip-deep in the real estate business. Here is their quandary: do they spend the money to minimally maintain the property until it gets sold or dump them as fast as possible, which means firesale prices? In both cases the surrounding home prices fall, it's just a matter of how much.

Do you notice how the main stream press is rigorous in keeping us abreast of presidential candidates popularity polls, but fall short on telling us about the candidates? Why aren't we hearing more about Mike Gravel and Ron Paul - who poll much higher than we're lead to believe, but the online polls get pulled quickly. And print & television media omit the results altogether. Glaringly, we are being told now who the candidates are going to be, and it's not vox populi picking them.

And now for the good news: White Sox and Mark Buehrle agree to a 4-year contract extension. Now all we have to do is shore up 2B, SS, LF, CF, and RF and we'll be good to go. And some bullpen help.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Andrew Speaker, aka XDR-TB Guy, gets his diagnosis downgraded

Various news outlets are reporting that the CDC downgraded Andrew Speaker's TB from XDR to MDR.

Don't be surprised if the CDC keeps reevaluating his condition until it finally becomes just a cold.

They found all the retarded lawyers - and they're working at the White House

Bush and his team are so stupid that they screwed up the Libby commutation. Make sure to read the footnote too.

Enjoy your Fourth of July.