Thursday, February 15, 2007


So, Franken has declared he's running against the SMLM. I think it's awesome. He'll be a good candidate and a great senator. But it really does suck for AAR. He's a great host. Thom Hartmann's a good guy, but nowhere near as talented and entertaining as Franken. I actually wish Lawrence O'Donnell would take over the show. That guy's been whipsmart and really funny when he's subbed for Franken. I hope the network doesn't implode (again) as a result of this increasingly lame lineup. Still, it will be worth it if Franken wins Minnesota.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The cast-iron poker chip has been eliminated, rectally 

Bush Says Iran is Source of Deadly Bombs

WASHINGTON, Feb. 14 -- President Bush said today he is certain that elements of the Iranian government are supplying deadly roadside bombs that kill American troops in Iraq, even if the innermost circle of the government is not involved.

Mr. Bush said it had been established beyond a doubt that a branch of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps known as the Quds Force is supplying Shiite groups inside Iraq with particularly deadly, Iranian-designed weapons known as explosively formed penetrators, or E.F.P.s.

“We know that,” Mr. Bush said at a White House news conference.


“I intend to do something about it,” Mr. Bush said.

The Kiss 

David Bender on Air America this evening made an excellent point. The potency of the Hillary candidacy can really not be accurately assessed without considering the moment--if she becomes the nominee--when, at the convention, following her acceptance speech, Bill Clinton takes the stage to join her. Bill Clinton. Redemption. At last.

The country may well go nuts. Bender didn't go this far, but I can imagine viewers moved to such a frenzy of enthusiasm that Hillary will instantly leap to a 15-point lead in the polls.

Then it will simply be a matter of what comes next.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Simple Answers to Simple Questions 

(with apologies to Atrios)

DONOHUE: Look, just hold on here. You had your time. Look, the kid's a phony and here's why. I dealt with him earlier today on an MSNBC show, and I said we could hypothesize that there'd be a Columbia University ping-pong team made of Asians, and somebody goes out there and says "All gooks go home." So I — I asked him about my gook joke. And guess what? Andy's — Andy's sense of humor just collapsed. He found that offensive. You see what you are? You're a phony. You're a typical Ivy League little brat who thinks it's OK to dump on Catholics, but you don't like my gook joke. Now, what's wrong with a gook joke?

What's wrong with your gook joke is that your gook joke isn't a "joke." It's just you saying the word "gooks."

This has been an edition of Simple Answers to Simple Questions.

Monday, February 12, 2007

The die is cast 

We've heard the rumblings. Here's the out-and-out belch, yeasty, bilious, rank. Directly in your face.

Let's give a warm AmCop welcome to "E.F.P.", the new 24-hour playboy of the Armageddon vernacular.

U.S. Says Arms Link Iranians to Iraqi Shiites

BAGHDAD, Feb. 12 — After weeks of internal debate, senior United States military officials on Sunday literally put on the table their first public evidence of the contentious assertion that Iran supplies Shiite extremist groups in Iraq with some of the most lethal weapons in the war. They said those weapons had been used to kill more than 170 Americans in the past three years.

Never before displayed in public, the weapons included squat canisters designed to explode and spit out molten balls of copper that cut through armor. The canisters, called explosively formed penetrators or E.F.P.’s, are perhaps the most feared weapon faced by American and Iraqi troops here.

In a news briefing held under strict security, the officials spread out on two small tables an E.F.P. and an array of mortar shells and rocket-propelled grenades with visible serial numbers that the officials said link the weapons directly to Iranian arms factories. The officials also asserted, without providing direct evidence, that Iranian leaders had authorized smuggling those weapons into Iraq for use against the Americans. The officials said such an assertion was an inference based on general intelligence assessments.


The officials were repeatedly pressed on why they insisted on anonymity in such an important matter affecting the security of American and Iraqi troops. A senior United States military official gave a partial answer, saying that without anonymity, a senior Defense Department analyst who participated in the briefing could not have contributed.

Fascinating figure, this "senior Defense Department analyst" who could only have contributed with anonymity. Surely he's just a career civil servant worker bee, doing his due diligence, humbly shunning the limelight and the political implications of his findings...

But then the officials went much further, asserting without specific evidence that the Iranian security apparatus, called the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps - Quds Force controlled delivery of the materials to Iraq. And in a further inference, the officials asserted that the Quds Force, sometimes called the I.R.G.C. - Quds, could be involved only with Iranian government complicity.

“We have been able to determine that this material, especially on the E.F.P. level, is coming from the I.R.G.C. - Quds Force,” said the senior defense analyst. That, the analyst said, meant direction for the operation was “coming from the highest levels of the Iranian government.”

Good "analysis," Mr. Career Senior Defense Department "analyst." We know how shy you are about making such provocative "analyses," so pats on the back and much gratitude for your humble anonymous service.

Now, pay attention:

The officials also gave fresh details on recent American raids in Baghdad and the northern city of Erbil in which Quds Force members were picked up and accused of working with extremist groups to plan attacks on American and Iraqi forces.

Some of the five Iranians still being detained after they were picked up in Erbil on Jan. 11 had been flushing documents down a toilet when they were found, the defense analyst said, and they had recently been engaged in “changing their appearance” — apparently shaving their heads, though for what reason the analyst did not know.

An earlier raid in Baghdad was carried out, the officials said, after American forces received word that the No. 2 Quds Force official, whom they identified as Mohsin Chizari, was unexpectedly in Iraq. When Mr. Chizari was picked up in a raid in December, he was carrying false identification, the officials said.


The senior defense analyst said there was no direct link between the detained Iranians and the physical evidence presented on Sunday. But the analyst said, “the overall tenor” of the evidence was that Mr. Chizari was implicated in bringing E.F.P.s into Iraq.

And now, the flop, if you'll excuse the poker metaphor:

Laid out on the tables themselves were the tailfins of dozens of apparently used mortar shells, as well as intact mortar shells, rocket-propelled grenades, cases for some of the weaponry, the E.F.P., and two identification cards the officials said were taken in the Erbil raid.

Right: side by side on the table are the E.F.P. and the id cards of the officials from Erbil. Of course, the E.F.P. has nothing to do with the Erbil guys, but just for convenience's sake, they'll be laid out here, side by side. How refined your perception of "the overall tenor" of the evidence is up to you.

The turn:

The shells had serial numbers in English in order to comply with international standards for arms, the officials said. One grenade, for instance, was marked with the serial number P.G.7-AT-1 followed by LOT:5-31-2006. The officials said that the serial numbers clearly identified the grenade as being of Iranian manufacture and the date showed that it had been made in 2006.

I don't know nothing about nothing, but Iran couldn't be bothered to scratch out the serial numbers on the grenades linking them directly to Iran?

The river:

The senior American military official did make it clear that declassifying the material took place only after weeks of analysis on what information could be useful to hostile forces — information that has mostly been kept out of the public eye since the E.F.P.s began turning up in Iraq. “We publicly have not acknowledged E.F.P.s for the past two years,” the senior military official said.

Pretty hard to beat a hand of five aces, isn't it?

Still dead, Wolf? 

Speaking of A.N. Smith, a fun bit of repartee between cranky old party pooper Jack Cafferty and Wolf Blitzer...


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?