Saturday, September 03, 2005

"And they don't have a clue what's going on"

New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin:

"And they don't have a clue what's going on down here. They flew down here one time two days after the doggone event was over with TV cameras, AP reporters, all kind of goddamn -- excuse my French everybody in America, but I am pissed."

"I don't want to see anybody do anymore goddamn press conferences. Put a moratorium on press conferences. Don't do another press conference until the resources are in this city. And then come down to this city and stand with us when there are military trucks and troops that we can't even count.

"Don't tell me 40,000 people are coming here. They're not here. It's too doggone late. Now get off your asses and do something, and let's fix the biggest goddamn crisis in the history of this country."

Questions to ask your favorite conservative

Courtesy of Tiny Cat Pants' Aunt B:

I was wondering when the last time was that a U.S. President has overseen so many separate calamities so costly to the U.S. population. There are an estimated 297,000,000 of us. We lost 2,986 people on September 11th. As of yesterday, we've lost 1,885 troops in Iraq and 233 in Afghanistan. Of the known dead from the hurricane, there are 411 direct deaths and 631 related deaths. Twenty thousand people are missing and the death toll will, when all is said and done, be in the thousands. Senator David Vitter thinks we should expect at least ten thousand dead.

And we still have three more years. Who in America will not have lost someone they know to a national disaster on Bush's watch by the end of this?


If someone had told you six years ago that one out of every 20,000 Americans would be killed by this Administration's decisions or bungling during times of calamity, would you have believed it?

I wouldn't have.

According to the National Weather Service, your odds of getting struck by lightning are one in 700,000.

That's right. You have a better chance of being killed during the Bush administration by the administration's incompetence than being struck by lightning.

Take My Breath Away

Via kos, the GOP agenda in action:

Today, next week, next year

The egg is pretty much cooked on the relief operation. But in the coming days and weeks we will move into a recovery phase in which, no doubt, tens of billions of dollars will be spent cleaning up and rebuilding not just New Orleans but big sections of the Gulf Coast.

Does anyone believe that the Bush administration can handle that money and that task without widespread waste, fraud and cronyism?

That's not just a question for partisan Democrats. I would think that there are a lot of Republicans up for reelection next year who are probably giving that question some serious thought. They may not want to attack the president. They may even want their own seat on the gravy train. But they know the record as well as anyone. And they may not want to be carrying the president's water a year from now when the news stories are filling the papers

  • Oh, motherfucker...I'll say this about the right-wing, pro-life lobby--they're glass half full types:

Pastor Shanks on Agape Press:

“New Orleans now is abortion free. New Orleans now is Mardi Gras free. New Orleans now is free of Southern Decadence and the sodomites, the witchcraft workers, false religion -- it's free of all of those things now," Shanks says. "God simply, I believe, in His mercy purged all of that stuff out of there -- and now we're going to start over again."

To which Amanda Marcotte on Pandagon was heard to comment:

FUCK YOU, SHANKS! Just to spite your sorry ass, I will worship the Disco Ball, say "goddammit" loud and often, commit a dozen or so acts of sodomy, consume way too many alcoholic beverages and if I was pregnant, I would get an abortion just to spite you.


And now Newts and Foxes are snapping at the Bush

Even Republicans were criticizing Bush and his administration for the sluggish relief effort. "I think it puts into question all of the Homeland Security and Northern Command planning for the last four years, because if we can't respond faster than this to an event we saw coming across the Gulf for days, then why do we think we're prepared to respond to a nuclear or biological attack?" said former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

In Biloxi, Miss., Bush encountered two weeping women on a street where a house had collapsed and towering trees were stripped of their branches. "My son needs clothes," said Bronwynne Bassier, 23, clutching several trash bags. "I don't have anything."

"I understand that," Bush said. He kissed both women on their heads and walked with his arms around them, telling them they could get help from the Salvation Army. "Hang in there," he said.

He kissed both women on their heads? You know, I shouldn't say anything about this, because if I do, this blog'll get flagged for threatening the president.

Asked later how the richest country on Earth could not meet the needs of its people, Bush said "I am satisfied with the response. I am not satisfied with all the results."


"The people of this country expect there to be law and order, and we're going to work hard to get it," the president said. "In order to make sure there's less violence, we've got to get food to people."

Yeah, you know what else the people of this country expected (god knows why)? That you could be trusted to protect them, and help them when they were in need. Know what I think they're feeling now?

To use another of your funny, funny jokes, Mr. president:

"There's an old saying in Tennessee — I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again." —President George W. Bush, Nashville, Tenn., Sept. 17, 2002

(Apparently it's just something about being in the state)

Above quotes from

This is a truly remarkable video at Crooks and Liars. Shepard Smith and Geraldo Rivera were giving on-scene accounts on tonight's Hannity and Colmes. While the Dipwad Twins were trying to make sense of it from the Fox Studios, Smith and a crying Rivera were pleading for the food trucks to stop at the bridge at which they were stationed, along with "hundreds and hundreds" of refugees.

Hannity, having no real life experience to speak of, wanted to add some "perspective" - a Fox News buzzword for "Let's talk about the GOOD news!" - to the highly-charged and emotionally savaged on-scene description. That's when Smith simply unloaded on Hannity, shouting "THIS IS PERSPECTIVE! THIS IS PERSPECTIVE!"

--From Hoffmania

Friday, September 02, 2005

And now, a few words from the inspiration for the title of my last blog

And when it hurts you know
They love to tell you
How they warned you
They say don’t be surprised
At someone’s lies
They think they taunt you
But if you can stand the test
You know your worst is better
Than their best

And so you stand here
With the years ahead
Potentially calling
With open heart
Or with a spirit dead
You walk on

Lies the reason
Faith or treason
Playing a part
End concealing
Try revealing
Open your heart

Dare to feel
Take the chance
Make the deal

Being an island
Shying from trying
Seems the easy way
Such an easy way
But there’s no future
Without tears

Lies the reason
Faith or treason
Playing a part
End concealing
Try revealing
Open your heart

But if you can stand the test you know your worst is better than their best

lies the reason
Faith or treason
Playing a part
End concealing
Try revealing
Open your heart

--Human League, "Open Your Heart"

Even The Corner and The Washington Times are turning against this motherfucker

So there's this site called The Corner. It's mainly staffed and read by conservative, macho men who specialize in pro- Bush misinformation. And this (via Oliver Willis) is what one of their number had to say today:

I am a post-9/11 conservative who voted for the President to do a job that the Democrats and Kerry could not (or would not) do. At this point, I have zero faith in the Republican Party at the federal level to accomplish anything to make our cities safe. It appears that there has been pretty much nothing done in the way of planning for emergencies since 9/11.

Then there's The Washington Times, which is somewhere between Drudge and FOX when it comes to keeping the populace well-informed. And this is what ran on their editorial pages today:

Troops are finally moving into New Orleans in realistic numbers, and it's past time. What took the government so long? The thin veneer separating civilization and chaos, which we earlier worried might collapse in the absence of swift action, has collapsed.

Rotting bodies float free above submerged streets and crying children haven't eaten in days. Their parents plead from rooftops for rescue, and survivors of the flood line the freeways by the thousands, stumbling in the sweltering heat with no food, no water and no place to go. If this is not hell, it is close to it.

We expected to see, many hours ago, the president we saw standing atop the ruin of the World Trade Center, rallying a dazed country to action. We're pleased he finally caught a ride home from his vacation, but he risks losing the one trait his critics have never dented: His ability to lead, and be seen leading.

The list of things he has promised is a good list, but there is no time to dally, whether by land, sea or air. We should have delivered them yesterday. Americans are dying.

Nobody-nobody thinks this president is doing a good job. The fallout from this one is gonna be immeasureable.

Fuck football

From The Miami Herald:

Hundreds of Katrina evacuees who fled to Tallahassee seeking refuge from the storm have been politely told by their hotels and motels to leave this weekend to make room for a football game: FSU vs. Miami.

Priorities, you know. And it's not as if the good people of Florida have any experience of hurricanes, and might be expected to be even more compassionate than simple human decency would seem to require, is it?

Oh wait, they do have such experience. These people are just greedy pigs.



out of this chaos is going to come a fantastic Gulf Coast, like it was before. Out of the rubbles of Trent Lott's house -- he's lost his entire house -- there's going to be a fantastic house. And I'm looking forward to sitting on the porch. (Laughter.)

I know few people reading this blog need this explained to them, but in case there was any doubt: The man only cares about his wealthy friends, and he thinks chaos and rubble is a time for his funny, funny jokes.

Worst. President. Ever., reverb IS keen...and then there's my hair...

What kinda Indy Kid are you?

You're a Post-Punk. You know 70s punk was cool, but
it was mostly just a stepping stone for the
greater intellectualism of what would come
after. The 80s were amazing. You quite possibly
have huge hair, and may wear lots of black.
Snare drums need reverb. Lots and lots of

You Know Yer Indie. Let's Sub-Categorize.
brought to you by Quizilla

Oh, you gotta be motherfucking kidding me

some men are posting offers of shelter on Craiglist--if of course, you're a young woman willing to fuck them. Now the motivation behind the men who troll refugee camps looking for rape victims has an American face.

Dennis Hastert is taking this opportunity to pontificate on why he thinks rebuilding New Orleans ain't such a great idea. Because, you know, Republicans WUV THE SOUTH. They love it so fucking much they might feel a tad bit sorry for the South before they take a crap on it, shake it out and wipe their asses with it.

And even more: People are complaining that Planned Parenthood is donating the one fucking resource they have--medications and contraception. Oh fucking boo hoo hoo! You fuck on the road during your escape from hell, and we wingnuts who stand in for god are sending you right back, you naughty, naughty, naughty perverts. And no, there's no reason whatsoever to think that women might have any reason to use these drugs other than they are bad, naughty, evil girls who need to be punished. None whatsoever.


Say it, brothers

Hoffmania answers accusations that the left is "politicizing" the hurricane.

The whole post is so good I hardly know what to quote. Here's just the beginning:

We're sure you've seen the accusations of the left using the hurricane as another "excuse" to bash Bush. We'd like to clear this up:

We're not looking for excuses. What we keep getting are REASONS. Every time this country and this world have been thrown into chaos, this White House has been an utter failure to respond.

After 9/11, it took Bush three days to stand on the rubble and bodies in New York with a bullhorn proclaiming that the "people who knocked these buildings down" will hear from us.

Speaking of Hoffmania, the site rightly calls this an Anderson Cooper "smackdown" (but I'm linking to the Blah3 version, which I like even better). It seems Cooper, who is in Louisiana, was interviewing Senator Mary Landrieu. Holy Shit. Check it out. He says more than I ever could.

SEN. MARY LANDRIEU (D), LOUISIANA: Let me just say a few things. Thank President Clinton and former President Bush for their strong statements of support and comfort today. I thank all the leaders that are coming to Louisiana, and Mississippi, and Alabama to our help and rescue.

We are grateful for the military assets that are being brought to bear. I want to thank Senator Frist and Senator Reid for their extraordinary efforts.

Anderson, tonight, I don't know if you've heard -- maybe you all have announced it -- but Congress is going to an unprecedented session to pass a $10 billion supplemental bill tonight to keep FEMA and the Red Cross up and operating.

COOPER: Excuse me, Senator, I'm sorry for interrupting. I haven't heard that, because, for the last four days, I've been seeing dead bodies in the streets here in Mississippi. And to listen to politicians thanking each other and complimenting each other, you know, I got to tell you, there are a lot of people here who are very upset, and very angry, and very frustrated.

And when they hear politicians slap -- you know, thanking one another, it just, you know, it kind of cuts them the wrong way right now, because literally there was a body on the streets of this town yesterday being eaten by rats because this woman had been laying in the street for 48 hours. And there's not enough facilities to take her up...I know you say there's a time and a place for, kind of, you know, looking back, but this seems to be the time and the place.

Man. Wow. Man...

There's a place for us, somewhere, a place for us

August J. Pollack:

Where 9/11 cast a light on the basic compassion of America in the light of a tragedy, Katrina has apparently cast a light on its hatred. In my wildest dreams I wouldn't have thought right-wingers would start attacking impoverished citizens, let alone start demanding their deaths. The are a lot of suggestions about this, the more plausible ones being racism, class ignorance, and of course, ass-saving fervor toward lines of dialogue not related to Bush's mistakes. I don't really know which one, or ones, are true, if any.

My money's on the third one, but you knew that. Sometimes the enormity of the missed opportunity that Bush made of 9/11 still stuns me. Can you imagine what might have become not just of our nation, but of the world, if when 9/11 happened we'd had in the oval office a genuine "uniter, not a divider?" What he could have done with the good will of the world and a nation already united like never before?

But we didn't have that, and here we are. Those of you who have happiness and love in your lives: Cling to it, will you? For all of us.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

A song and two quotes

David Bowie, Underground:

It's only forever
Not long at all
The lost and the lonely
That's underground, underground

Daddy, daddy, get me out of here
I'm underground
Heard about a place today
Nothing ever hurts again

Sister, sister, please take me down...

Aaron Sorkin, The West Wing, "The Crackpots & These Women:"

I want to be a comfort to my friends in tragedy. And I want to be able to celebrate with them in triumph. And for all the times in between, I just want to be able to look them in the eye...I want to be with my friends, my family, and these women.

Aaron Sorkin, The West Wing, "20 Hours in America:"

My son's in public school; it's no good. They've got 37 kids in the class, no art and music, no advanced placement courses. Other kids, their mother has to make 'em practice the piano, you can't pull my son away from the piano, he needs teachers.

Things you never thought you'd see me say dept.

Go, Tennessee!

Tip of the hat to TGW...Fred Phelps Chased Out of TN Town. And in a related story, here's Sean Hannity's latest idiotic statement: The Reverend Fred "god hates fags" Phelps is part of the anti-war left.

You know, I'm really starting to think it's true. That sound you hear is the right screeching out of control.Sorry, guys. You backed the wrong horse. I've said it before but it's worth saying again:

The one thing you can count on (besides the left's bumfuzzlement) is the right's overreaching.

The backlash is coming, guys, and it's gonna be hard, and it's gonna be long.


Mark Evanier wrote yesterday:

I don't want to make the mistake that many bloggers seem to be making today of trying to use Hurricane Katrina to bolster their partisan arguments...and besides, I don't even believe it has to be an either/or situation. The richest, most powerful nation on the planet ought to be able to deal with a war and a couple of natural disasters at the same time. And if we aren't, that is hardly a failing that can be blamed on any one administration or Congress.

Today, Josh Marshall says:

there are just too many examples out there of the ways in which [the president's] policies have contributed to and accentuated this crisis: systematic cuts in levee and pump construction around New Orleans...phasing out FEMA and the apparently the whole concept of national coordination of the response to natural disasters. That's a great idea, isn't it? ...And, of course, example after example of cronies running critical agencies.

I tend to agree with Marshall, but it's worth reading what both of them have to say.

Well...Keitha and Annabel ARE white...

The Washington Post says there are few gay characters in the new TV season, and those there are...

While there is no definitive figure available for the U.S. gay and lesbian population, GLAAD believes the number is "certainly higher" than that represented on network TV, spokesman Damon Romine said in an interview Monday.

...Homosexual characters also tend to lack ethnic and gender diversity.

The study looked at 110 scripted shows and found 16 characters on 14 shows. There were 13 males and three females. Thirteen were white.

"If you're looking at network television to see a good cross-section of our community, you're not going to find it," Romine said. "What you will find is primarily gay white males."

All right!

Ladies, your sex-toy wants have been answered. is now in the business.

The Evil Empire

Bob Harris makes a pretty good case for Bush as Nero. Me, I'm too tired right now to make the argument. The people who need to know won't listen, and the people who know, don't need to be told.

He is what he is, and that is not what they say he is. Times like these I wish I believed in heaven and hell, because it would be a comfort to me to think that people like this would spend eternity burning in undying flame.

But that's just something we use to tell our children.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Sometimes I get them mixed up.

In a speech today at the North Island Naval Air Station in San Diego, President Bush once again misled the American people on the origins of the Iraq war and the future of the Iraqi government. Speaking to a military audience commemorating the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II, the president again implied a direct connection between Iraq and the events of September 11.

“As we mark this anniversary, we are again a nation at war. Once again, war came to our shores with a surprise attack that killed thousands in cold blood,” said Bush. “Once again, we face determined enemies who follow a ruthless ideology that despises everything America stands for. Once again, America and our allies are waging a global campaign with forces deployed on virtually every continent. And once again, we will not rest until victory is America's and our freedom is secure.”

(Bob Geiger)

And once again, we have a President of proven courage who hoped to settle international difficulties through the United Nations. But who worked himself so hard during a war against those who had attacked us, despite having already lost the use of his legs, that it killed him.

A President who said:

It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another.

The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.

Repetition does not transform a lie into a truth.

In the truest sense, freedom cannot be bestowed; it must be achieved.

How fortunate we are to...oh wait, that's not Bush, that's Franklin D. Roosevelt. Bush is the coward who speaks of a war against a country that wasn't any threat to us whatsoever as a noble cause. One for which other peoples sons and daughters should die while he and his remain in perfect health to play baseball, and other useful things like that. The one who is intent on destroying a program that other guy started to keep Americans out of poverty, and who has alienated the nations of the world.

There's no comparison.


I haven't written anything about hurricane Katrina because I couldn't think of anything to say except really bad-taste, gallows humor jokes about "Katrina & the Waves." Anyway, Mark Evanier wrote something which is more-or-less what I would have said (only more eloquent and otherwise better), yesterday.

Today, however, I found out that, also yesterday, a group called Columbia Christians for Life emailed out their response to this tragedy. As a blog called Eve's Apple, where I got this (via Pandagon) puts it...

I do not make this shit up!
This is the text of an actual email I received on Monday...

From: Columbia Christians for Life
Subject: Hurricane Katrina satellite image looks like 6-week fetus
To: Columbia Christians for Life

Satellite picture of Hurricane Katrina at looks like a 6-week unborn human child as it comes ashore the Gulf Coast, vicinity states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida at 12:32 PM, Monday, August 29, 2005...Louisiana has 10 child-murder-by-abortion centers - FIVE are in New Orleans ('Find an Abortion Clinic [sic]')

Baby-murder state # 1 - California (125 abortion centers) - land of earthquakes, forest fires, and mudslides
Baby-murder state # 2 - New York (78 abortion centers) - 9-11 Ground Zero
Baby-murder state # 3 - Florida (73 abortion centers) - Hurricanes Bonnie, Charley, Frances, Ivan, Jeanne in 2004; and now, Hurricane Katrina in 2005

God's message: REPENT AMERICA !

They. Honest to god. Think. That this hurricane is a message from god because of abortion clinics. And some people tell me female women's rights advocates are too obsessed with a single issue.

ETA: And speaking of bad-taste jokes: clown prince of lies Rush Limbaugh and armchair warrior Jonah Goldberg have decided it's great fun to equate the natural disaster of a hurricane with the editor of a magazine with whose politics they disagree.

They're such cards, those guys on the right.

Give it to me...two times

So I traditionally--"traditionally" meaning I did it last year on my old blog--do this thing a day or so before my birthday, which is September first. I've been thinking of it as "the state of the blogger address," but that may be because I've been working my way through my West Wing DVDs.

Anyway, I like to talk a little about where I think I am and what this place looks like today. My big thing this year is I'm incredibly happy to have found, not just characters that I care about but ones I think I can work with for a really long time.

I'm also scared to death that whatever talent I may have, I won't be able to use it to its proper fruition. And the worst part is if I don't I'll feel like I've let them (Keitha, Annabel & Colley-my characters) down. Which is nuts but hey, I'm a writer.

I still feel incredibly cut off from my life except, oddly, when I'm writing. I'm proud of my writing and the rest of my life's a mess. I feel like I need a hand and I know there are people who would help me if they could but they don't know how.

On the other hand, my "common-law stepbrother" is still making me look good.

I miss having friends and a support system in a physical sense. I love my friends in California, they've been incredibly supportive (you know who you are) and there are people I like here in Washington but none of just doesn't...

And it's not clear to me whether I've done anything at all. I'm pleased to have this blog, though. So, onward into another year...

Monday, August 29, 2005

Dissed Ms.

On the Mother Jones blog:

I left the Democratic Party for a long list of reasons, but the main one was the fact that I felt dismissed as a woman. And nothing has changed. Even in the 21st Century, all the Democratic Party had to offer for a presidential ticket was two white males

Like her or not, Senator Clinton gets the same kind of bashing from Democrats that she gets from Republicans, and it isn't about her politics. When the subject of her possible presidential candidacy came up on the MSNBC program "Hardball," host Chris Matthews, a Democrat, immediately said: "Well, that would motivate all the men in the country to vote against her." All the men? Those are some mighty strong feelings of insecurity.

Yeah, I'm not sure what that's about either. There are times when I think I would like a chance to vote for Hilary Clinton and there are times when I think I wouldn't, but I assure you: Neither has as much to do with her being a woman as her being a democrat in the worst sense of the word. I'm really starting to think they're shooting themselves in the foot if they don't address that divide I talked about a few days ago before 2008, if not '06.

Now that's comedy

Ann Coulter's syndicated column has been dropped from The Arizona Daily Star. Why? Let's ask David Stoeffler, publisher and editor of the Star.

Many readers find her shrill, bombastic and mean-spirited. And those are the words used by readers who identified themselves as conservatives.

Act Up and smell the coffee

"Concerned Women for America" (a conservative, "faith-based" group) has found something to object to in the coffee cups at Starbucks. Or rather, on the coffee cups at Starbucks. It seems that the company is running a promotion whereby they include quotations from quotable noteables on the backs of cups.

And one, from Armistead Maupin (author of the well-known Tales of the City series), has aroused their ire. They feel there's something offensive to their people in his proclaimation that he doesn't regret being gay--rather the opposite.

And you know what--they're probably right. There is something offensive to them about that. Good thing, too. The things we choose to care about...

Just let me hear some of that...

Amanda at Pandagon did a couple of numbers today about sex, drugs and rock & roll, only not so much the sex and drugs. First she "translates" a Bush-supporters column about the forthcoming Rolling Stones song thats getting so much publicity.

The Bush-supporter says:

Everybody thinks the Stones are trashing Bush, but the president isn’t really a neocon, and the word sweet is a real stumper. One theory is that Jagger has a crush on Paul Wolfowitz, Dick Cheney, or Condi Rice. Probably Cheney, since the name Halliburton pops up in the lyrics.

Which Amanda translates as:

Translation: The word "neocon" was made up to make the new, more fascist breed of conservatives seem "with it". But since I can cleverly convince my audience I too listen to classic rock radio, there is no need to strain ourselves. It turns out that many Baby Boomers were not especially interested in starting a revolution so much as getting reassured that they could be one step short of uniform-donning goose-steppers and still be able to purchase Rolling Stones albums and think that they invented the idea of "cool".

Amanda also did the same music list thing I did five days ago, and passed on a little suggestion:

writing in the year you were 13 and embarrassing yourself with what songs you actually liked then.

Embarassing myself? Little does she know I turned 13 in 1984. I offer you the top 100 hits of that year. There's hardly any I'm embarassed by even today. Just look at that top 10. It's even got the one and only Yes song I've ever liked on it.

If we go to 1985, the year I was 13 the most for...why I do believe it's "Everybody Wants To Rule The World" by Tears For Fears, in the top 10.

Embarassed? Not a bit of it. Proud as a peacock.

The best and the brightest

Via Hoffmania: A couple of guys from Truthout took a video camera down to Crawford to ask some Bush supporters why, since they were able-bodied, they weren't in uniform. You'd be amazed at how touchy some "hawks" get when you suggest they maybe ought to do more than wave a sign and ride a horse.

I mean, since this is something they really believe in and all.

Sunday, August 28, 2005


In 2002 I wrote a review of Paul Hyde's Big Book of Sad Songs, Vol. 1. I liked that album, in fact it made the top 10 of my top 19 for the year. It seems now that I am not alone in touting Mr. Hyde's songwriting prowess.

For actor, friend to the common man, master and commander Russell Crowe has chosen to record a song from the album for his forthcoming solo debut. I don't know Hyde, but I've got to think this is a pride he will carry with him the rest of his life.

A tale of five women in or from the south

This is gonna be long. I'm combining a couple of different posts I originally made separately, for reasons that should be obvious.

I notice Cindy Sheehan is getting some of the same shit the pro-warriors gave the Dixie Chicks. Meanwhile, I don't want to say the Bush supporters are divorced from reality...oh no, wait, that's exactly what I want to say. has a story about the "Dueling protests" now outside the Bush ranch in Crawford. One of them, of course, is Sheehan's, the other is Bush supporters.

The founder of Move America Forward, Howard Kaloogian, accused Cindy Sheehan, the sponsor of the anti-war protest, of encouraging the very insurgency in Iraq that killed her son.

"The terrorists that are watching Cindy Sheehan's protest believe that this is something that might topple the current administration." Kaloogian said.

Right. Failed "neocon" strategy, general incompetence and a mission where expectations keep being revised downward. A president who thinks sending men and women to their deaths for dishonest reasons is funny and who now has a 36% approval rating.

And Cindy Sheehan might topple the current administration.

And you know what? She might.

I got the CNN story via Hoffmania, who point out:

Arrest Numbers in Crawford:

Camp Casey after three weeks: 0
Pro-Bush Demonstrators after one day: 1

...That doesn't even include Shotgun Guy or Pickup Truck Drunk Guy.

Over on Tiny Cat Pants, Aunt B has made an excellent entry. She starts out by wondering about the Dixie Chicks and whether their career is well and truly over. I hope not. I came to like the Dixie Chicks music late, and I admit the first thing I liked about them was their lead singer's big mouth. Ok, the second thing--they are awfully cute, after all.

But I have come to like their music, which is no small thing. Remember, you're talking about a guy who prefers sample-jams, dance, new wave, techno and synth-pop bands from the '80s. And I like--I legitimately like--the Dixie Chicks' music. I came to like it on compilations; and on their live album which I asked for and got for Christmas last year after seeing them sing with James Taylor on the "Concert For Change." I think/hope they're too good for such vicious, stupid attacks as they recieved to end their careers. But I concede they're probably going to have to complete that crossover.

Anyway, that's only Aunt B's starting point, in the spirit of essays going from the smaller to the big (or in this case, the broads to the broader):

Those of us who have only ever lived in urban areas, where it's impossible for everyone in your community to be in your business, don't understand the appeal in believing that, if only we could get rid of the troublemakers, everything would be all right. We especially don't understand the small-town paranoia that says "If only we could get rid of the troublemakers, everything would be all right" at the same time the speakers seem almost cognizant that anyone at any moment could become a troublemaker.

She develops from that starting point thoughtful opinions about why the war, and George W. Bush, have become so unpopular not just in those urban areas, but rural communities as well. It's worth a look.